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How To Read a Mattress Tag

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 7 minutes

  • Mattress tags, also known as law labels, were introduced in the early 1900s to ensure consumer safety, provide transparency about mattress materials, and prevent deceptive practices in the mattress industry.
  • Understanding how to read a mattress tag involves locating the tag, comprehending the language used, carefully examining its contents for materials, regulations, care instructions, and warranty details, and seeking assistance if needed.
  • Mattress tags typically contain crucial information about materials used, compliance with federal and state regulations, warranty and care instructions, eco-friendliness, allergens, and health concerns, enabling consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing a mattress.

When purchasing a mattress, there’s more to consider than comfort and support. Understanding the information found on mattress tags is essential for making informed choices about your sleep setup. These small, often overlooked tags are key to better sleep and can provide essential insights into your mattress’s materials, safety standards, and eco-friendliness. This guide will take you through decoding a mattress tag in four easy steps. Whether you’re experienced in buying mattresses, or it’s your first time, this article will give you the knowledge to comprehend and make use of the vital information available on these tags.

The History and Purpose of Mattress Tags

Mattress tags, also known as law labels, were introduced in the early 1900s to protect consumers and ensure mattresses were made with safe and clean materials. In the past, mattress manufacturers used various materials, from horse hair to corn husks, in mattress construction. Federal and state regulators’ introduction of mattress tags aimed to provide transparency about the material used and prevent deceptive practices.

Today, mattress tags serve several purposes. They guarantee that new mattresses are made with approved bedding materials and prevent the reselling of used mattresses without proper disclosure. By understanding the history and purpose of mattress tags, you can appreciate their significance in ensuring consumer safety and product transparency.

How To Read A Mattress Tag?

Reading a mattress tag can provide essential information about the mattress’s construction, materials used, and care instructions. Here’s a guide on how to interpret a typical mattress tag

Step 1: Locating the Tag

The first step in deciphering a mattress tag is to locate it. Mattress tags are typically attached to the mattress on the pillow top or along the sides. Look for a white tag with black text or symbols. Some mattress tags may also have plastic coverings to protect the information printed on them. These tags are strategically placed where consumers can easily find them. Once you’ve found the tag, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Understanding the Language

The language used on mattress tags is predominantly English, especially for exported mattresses. However, for locally produced and sold mattresses, the language may vary based on the region. Manufacturers understand the importance of using a language consumers can understand, as mattress tags contain vital information. It is crucial to be able to validate the product when making a purchase. Therefore, choosing a mattress with a tag in a language you can comprehend is recommended. No matter where you live, mattresses are available with tags suited to your understanding.

Step 3: Careful Examination

Once you’ve located the tag and ensured that it is in a language you understand, it’s time to examine its contents carefully. Take your time to read through the information provided on the tag. The tag may include details about the materials used to construct the mattress, such as memory foam, latex, or innerspring. It may also provide instructions on properly caring for and maintaining your mattress. Some tags even feature helpful images to assist with cleaning and maintenance processes. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the information on the tag to make the most out of your mattress.

Step 4: Seek Assistance When Needed

If you encounter unfamiliar words, symbols, or signs on the mattress tag, don’t hesitate to seek assistance. When shopping for mattresses in physical stores, the knowledgeable staff can guide you through the information on the tag. They are trained to identify and explain the various symbols and terms used. Politely ask for help, and they will be more than happy to assist you.

Additionally, online mattress retailers often provide detailed explanations and customer reviews for their products, including information from the mattress tag. Utilize these resources to familiarize yourself with the tags and make an informed bed make decision.

Can You Remove the Mattress Tag?

There is a common misconception that removing the mattress tag is illegal. However, the law primarily applies law tags to mattress sellers and manufacturers under the Textile Products Identification Act enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While consumers are not legally obligated to keep the tag intact, removing it can have consequences.

Removing the mattress law tag may void your mattress warranty, as it often serves as proof of purchase when filing a claim. Additionally, the full penalty of law tag provides essential information about the mattress’s origins and specific characteristics, making it helpful for medical purposes or identifying potential allergens. Therefore, while not illegal, keeping the mattress tag intact is advisable to protect your investment and ensure warranty validity.

Mattress Tags Include Information

Mattress tags usually contain different kinds of information that may differ depending on the manufacturer and the specific regulations in the area. However, some common information found on mattress tags includes:

Materials & Components

One of the most valuable pieces of information on a mattress tag label is the list of materials and components used in the mattress. This knowledge allows you to confirm that no hidden chemicals or allergens could affect your sleep. Furthermore, it assures consumers that the mattress is made ethically and with sustainable materials, promoting a healthier sleep environment.

Mattress tags should also indicate whether the materials used are new, recycled, or repurposed. This distinction is vital for consumers who prioritize eco-friendliness and sustainability in their purchasing decisions. By comprehending the materials and components detailed on the mattress tag, you can make a knowledgeable decision that matches your beliefs and preferences.

Federal and State Regulations

Mattress tags are crucial in ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. These regulations are in place to prioritize consumer safety and sanitation standards. For example, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s flammability standards dictate the information that must be present on mattress tags.

In addition to flammability standards, mattress tags should include information about whether the mattress contains new or recycled materials. This information enables regulators to enforce safety and sanitation standards and ensures that mattresses meet labeling requirements. If a mattress is sold without this information printed on the tag, it may cause concern and indicate non-compliance with safety standards.

Warranty and Care Instructions

Another crucial aspect of mattress tags is the inclusion of warranty and care instructions. These instructions, similar to laundry care symbols, guide how to maintain and care for your mattress properly. Following these instructions can help your mattress last longer, avoid damage, and maintain its best performance.

The mattress tag’s warranty information typically includes the coverage length and the manufacturer’s warranty code. Keeping the tag intact serves as proof of warranty for filing a claim. It is essential to follow the care instructions on the tag to preserve the mattress’s shape, support, and cleanliness. Regular cleaning, rotating the mattress, and using a mattress protector are all key practices to maintain your investment.

Eco-Friendliness and Sustainability

As environmental awareness grows, the mattress industry increasingly focuses on eco-friendliness and sustainability. Mattress tags can provide valuable information about using recycled content, organic fibers, organic materials, and certifications that indicate responsible manufacturing practices.

Recycled content in mattresses, such as steel coils and polyester fibers, offers several advantages, including cost-efficiency, durability, and eco-friendliness. Organic fibers, such as organic cotton and wool, minimize environmental and human health harm. GOTS Certifications, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard and CertiPUR-US, ensure that the mattress meets specific eco-friendly and safety standards.

By checking mattress tags for eco-friendliness and sustainability information, you can choose to build mattresses that align with your values and contribute to a more responsible mattress industry.

Allergy and Health Concerns

Mattress tags can also be valuable for identifying potential allergens and addressing health concerns related to mattress materials. Common allergens found in mattresses include latex, dust mites, dust particles, and dead skin cells. By testing mattresses and checking the materials listed on the tag, you can determine if there are any potential triggers for allergies or sensitivities.

In addition to allergens, some mattress materials may raise health concerns due to exposure to toxic chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Opting for a mattress crafted from non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials is crucial for people with particular health issues or sensitivities. Mattress tags offer details to help you make a knowledgeable decision and prioritize your health and wellness.

Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress: Utilizing Tag Information

When choosing a new mattress, the information on mattress tags can be valuable. By understanding the details provided on the tag, you can make a well-informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some tips for utilizing tag information when selecting a mattress:

  • Manufacturer Information: Check the tag for details about the manufacturer to ensure credibility and reputation.
  • Care and Maintenance Instructions: Review the care instructions to understand the steps required to maintain the mattress’s lifespan and performance.
  • Materials Used: Examine the materials listed on the tag to ensure they align with your preferences and any specific requirements you may have.
  • Third-Party Certifications: Look for certifications such as GOTS or CertiPUR-US to verify that the mattress meets specific eco-friendly and safety standards.
  • Flammability Compliance: Confirm that the mattress tag includes information regarding flammability compliance, ensuring safety standards are met.
  • Suggested Sleeping Positions: Some mattress tags provide information on suggested sleeping positions, which can be helpful for individuals with specific sleep preferences or health concerns.
  • New or Used: The tag should indicate whether the mattress is new or used, allowing you to make an informed choice based on your preferences and budget.

Using the details on mattress tags helps you make a wise choice and find a mattress that fits your specific needs and preferences.

FAQs about Read a Mattress Tag

How long does a mattress typically last?

A good-quality mattress can last between 7 to 10 years, but it varies based on usage and care. Refer to the tag for specific details.

Can I clean my mattress according to the tag instructions?

Yes, the care instructions guide you on cleaning methods. However, seek professional advice for tougher stains or delicate materials.

What do the symbols on the tag mean?

The symbols often depict washing, drying, and ironing instructions. Consult the tag key or manufacturer’s website for clarification.

Does the warranty cover all damages?

Warranties typically cover manufacturing defects. Examine the tag details to understand the warranty’s scope and limitations.

Are all mattress materials environmentally friendly?

Not necessarily. Check the tag for certifications or information indicating eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes.


In conclusion, mattress tags contain valuable information that can significantly impact your sleep environment. Understanding the materials, safety standards, and care instructions on the tag allows you to make a well-informed decision and prioritize your health and well-being. By decoding mattress tags, you can choose a mattress that aligns with your values, promotes a healthier sleep environment, and ensures a restful night’s sleep. So, the next time you purchase a mattress, pay attention to those small, often overlooked tags and unlock the secrets behind your sleep surface.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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