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Mattress Amnesty: Saving Americans from Dangerous Fiberglass Mattresses

Mattress Guides
Read Time: 4 minutes

We want to pioneer the drive towards safe sleep for the whole of America. So, here at Sleep Junkie, we are encouraging the public to check their mattress and those of their loved ones for signs of fiberglass.

Fiberglass has been historically used in mattresses as a cost-effective fire retardant – it’s cheap to source and its melting point means that should a mattress catch alight, it will melt rather than burst into flames.

Thankfully, there are signs that make it easy to spot whether you have a fiberglass mattress.

So what should you look out for?

Firstly, mattresses that contain fiberglass are generally budget mattresses. So if you found a bargain mattress, then there’s a likelihood that it could contain fiberglass. 

Additionally, polyfoam mattresses tend to contain fiberglass so if you believe you got a steal on a memory foam mattress, there is a possibility that it’s not ‘true’ memory foam.

Sadly when it comes to commerce, quality can end up being less of a priority when it comes to producing and selling products en masse. Speaking of production, due to manufacturing standards, having a mattress that was made in China means that it was far more likely to have been produced using fiberglass.

Take a good look at your mattress cover label, too. Specific phrases are often used to bamboozle and cover up the fact that fiberglass is present in a mattress. Some labels might state that the mattress contains “glass fibers”, “glass wool”, or “silica”, but beware these are simply more marketing-friendly terms for fiberglass.

There is another tell-tale sign that can be found on the manufacturer’s instructions on your mattress’ label. If the label states “do not remove the cover” or otherwise tells you not to tamper with the cover then it means that the mattress inside probably contains fiberglass.

If you suspect that your mattress contains fiberglass or believe that your home has been exposed to fiberglass from the mattress, turn the lights out and shine a bright light over the mattress. If you can see a glistening, almost glittery material then there is fiberglass coming through your mattress cover.

What should you do if your mattress contains fiberglass?

It’s important to remember that if the mattress is intact and you haven’t spotted any glass shards, then there’s no reason to panic. 

Fiberglass isn’t inherently noxious, but when broken or released, can cause micro tears to the skin (causing rashes and even blisters) and can irritate eyes, aggravate the respiratory system, and worsen asthma.

If you are not in a position to switch out your mattress for a new one, using additional mattress covers could help safeguard you or your family members against fiberglass particles.

We are launching a mattress amnesty to help you #SafeSleepAmerica, so if you are worried about a mattress belonging to you or a family member, we are offering discounts to anyone pledging to get rid of a current mattress for the sake of safe sleep.

How to safely dispose of your fiberglass mattress?

Protect yourself

Even if your mattress hasn’t split and you can’t see evidence of fiberglass around your home, you should still protect yourself when you are disposing the mattress as there is the risk of the mattress getting damaged when being moved around, and fiberglass leaking from the mattress. 

We recommend wearing gloves, goggles and a mask to protect your skin from any harmful fibers. We would also recommend turning off the air conditioning if you have one, this will stop any split fiberglass from spreading around the home if it is split. 

Cover the fiberglass mattress  

Whether your mattress has a leak in it or not, it is safest to cover the mattress in a zipped encasement. You can purchase these from most web-based retailers. These cases will prevent any, or any further fiberglass from spreading around the air in your home. 

Clean the area 

When cleaning up fiberglass from a mattress, use a lint roller around the area to collect any glass fibers that are around the bed area, bedding, clothing and mattress coverings. Lastly, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will also sweep up and fiberglass particles that may be lingering around. If you are certain that there was a leak, then it may be best to pay a professional cleaning company to stop any further damage. 

Removing the mattress from your home

There are a few ways to dispose of a mattress, and one of those is recycling, however this is not recommended for a fiberglass mattress. Instead, it is best to throw the mattress in the garbage. You could either hire a removal bulky waste company, take it to the waste disposal yourself or check your local rules and regulations for garbage collection as you may be able to have it collected as a part of your trash collection service.

If you are interested in handing in your mattress, please fill out the following form –

Terms and conditions

  • Five people who commit to swapping their fiberglass mattress by January 31st, 2024 will receive a discount code for a brand new Amerisleep mattress worth up to $1,500.
  • Interest must be registered by January 31st, 2024.
  • If you are selected to receive a complimentary mattress, you will receive a coupon code to the email address you entered.
  • If selected, your current mattress will be picked up by a professional team and taken away for proper disposal.

Dorothy Chambers is our in-house sleep expert and a firm believer in the benefits of a daytime nap. With a background in psychology, Dorothy is fully aware of the impact sleep has on our brain, mood, and overall well-being. In an effort to help readers lead happier, more productive, and healthier lives, Dorothy spends her time researching the best sleep habits to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested.

Dorothy Chambers spent years studying clinical psychology before joining us to promote a deeper understanding of sleep, along with some cursory research into biology and physiology. She’s particularly interested in the effects that different sleep positions have on the body. Later on in her career, she plans on pursuing a doctorate degree in behavioral sleep medicine.

Dorothy wakes up at 7 a.m. every day after a full night’s rest to better tackle a full day of work. After a session of morning exercise, she catches up on the latest sleep news and research before writing. She’s a fan of watching academic lectures, listening to scientific podcasts, and testing new sleep theories firsthand. Dorothy Chambers has written dozens of articles in her tenure with Sleep Junkie.

Her work has been featured on Home & Gardens, House Beautiful, Real Simple, Apartment Therapy, CNBC, Bustle, Yahoo! Finance, Fox 17, and even AARP.org.

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