Whether you call it fibreglass, fibre glass or the US spelling “fiber glass”, you’ve perhaps seen a lot of media coverage lately about mattresses containing dangerous fibreglass.
I’m receiving quite a lot of comments and emails about this issue, normally every time there’s an article appearing in the media – such as this Metro.co.uk article about a lady in Texas. Many Brits are rightly confused and worried about what is inside their memory foam mattress or pillow.
Just to clarify this point once and for all: none of the major brands of mattress contain fibreglass in the UK/EU from what I can tell. I have contacted all the “big” brands and/or inspected the labels of each memory foam mattress I have, and none of them mention that they contain fibreglass.
Why do mattresses contain fibreglass in the first place?
The reason is simple: fibreglass acts as a fire retardant. It stops your mattress going up in smoke and prevents it being a fire risk.Many manufacturers, particularly of cheaper mattresses, have decided to encase the mattress in a fibreglass cover. You are not supposed to remove this cover, but some people do, without realising.
If you are concerned if your mattress contains a fibreglass cover, then take off the top layer and look for something like the image below – it will be reflective when held up to the light.
You can also check the label to see if it contains “fiber glass” or any similar spelling. Here’s the label from a US-only mattress (not sold in the UK) that does contain fibreglass, it is sold by a company called Zinus:
Please note that there are other ways of producing a fire retardant mattress, other than just wrapping it in a fibreglass sheath – and these other methods are preferred by most brands sold in the UK, thankfully.
For more information and how to check yourself if your existing mattress contains fibreglass, I’d recommend checking this article.
Which brands are safe to buy in the UK?
I have contacted the following brands and they have confirmed to me, that neither their pillows nor mattresses contain ANY fibreglass, however check yourself if you are concerned before purchase:
- Nectar (UK models)
- IKEA (UK models)
- DreamCloud (UK models)
- Brook and Wilde
This list is not exhaustive.
Be aware that mattresses sold on Amazon or eBay are perhaps more likely to contain fibreglass because they are often produced in China quite cheaply. I am still awaiting confirmation from OTTY and Inofia, both of which are sometimes produced in China.
I’m still worried, what else can I do?
If you have an existing mattress, check the label first and foremost.
If you’re shopping for a new mattress or pillow, your best bet is to purchase either a latex mattress or wool mattress. They are more expensive, but they satisify the fire-retardant regulations so there would be literally no point in putting a fibreglass wrapper on to them. I have reviewed my favourite wool mattresses here.
Please leave your comment below if you have a fibreglass mattress and which brand(s) it is!