5 Things You Need to Know About Fiberglass in Mattresses
If you are in the market for a budget-friendly or cheap mattress, one of the viable options you might have heard of or might be considering is a fiberglass mattress. And chances are, you might have heard a lot of somewhat negative comments about this type of mattress that got you wondering if it is worth it. Well, in this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about fiberglass mattresses to help you choose between them and other affordable mattress options.
What Is Fiberglass?
Before we jump into the whole fiberglass mattress, let's take a quick look at what the material actually is and why it is often used in mattresses.
In its basic form, fiberglass is a flexible piece of glass that is obtained by melting sand (most often silica) to form thin pieces of glass fiber strands. These glass fiber strands are then mixed with polymers of resin to hold the various strands together to form fiberglass sheets which are then used for various purposes such as mattresses.
So, to get fiberglass, silica sand is melted and then molded to form thin strands of fiber glasses, then resin is used to hold these fiber strands together.
Use Cases Of Fiberglass:
Fiberglass is used in a wide range of sectors, some of which include:
· Aircraft due to their lightweight nature
· Armour panels due to their lightweight nature and ability to catch bullets
· In mattresses
Why Is Fiberglass Used In Mattress?
At this point, you might be wondering why this composite material (fiberglass) is often used in most affordable mattresses, right? Well, the answers to this question are pretty simple.
· Affordability: Fiberglass is relatively affordable compared to other mattress materials such as foam and latex, and its affordable price point is because the manufacturing process is relatively easy and simple, and the raw materials needed for manufacturing aren't quite expensive.
· Durability: The second reason why fiberglass is used in mattresses is its durability. Fiberglass is quite durable and robust such that it can handle your body's pressure on it without losing its form.
· Support: Fiberglass provides sleepers with the support needed to evenly distribute their body's weight giving you a good amount of comfort.
· Comfort: Finally, fiberglass is heat-resistant, which means, you shouldn't feel hot or sweat that much at night when you sleep on fiberglass.
That being said, the main reasons why fiberglass is used in mattresses is because of its heat-resistant feature and affordability.
Where is the Fiberglass in a Mattress?
Contrary to what many people may think, fiberglass mattresses aren't fully made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is often used in certain sections of the mattress for specific purposes. Some of these locations include:
· Topper: Fiberglass may be used as the topper of your mattress to provide an extra plush, comfy, and heat-regulated surface for you to lay on.
· Filling: It may also be used as a filling where it is mixed with other materials such as wool, cotton, foam, and whatnot to provide the mattress with the structure and absorb moisture.
· Foam: Some mattresses manufacturers mix fiberglass with their foam to meet fire safety standards. For example, mattress manufacturers in the US have to meet the 16 CFR Part 1633 standard of flammability and some manufacturers utilize fiberglass to meet these standards. This is because fiberglass is high-heat resistant and affordable, hence, it effectively resists fire. Other fire retardants include wool and rayon; however, they can be expensive.
So, these are the places you can often find fiberglass being used in a mattress. Therefore, fiberglass mattresses aren't entirely made of fiberglass; however, they have some component of fiberglass in either the topper, filling, or foam of the mattress. That being said, fiberglass is often covered in a sheet or mattress cover since exposure to the human body can be hazardous.
What Does Mattress Fiberglass Look Like?
Mattress fiberglass often has a unique look. And as stated earlier, they consist of small strands of fiber bound together. These strands are bonded such that they form a mat and then they are layered on each other until the desired thickness level is achieved.
That being said, if you take off the cover of the mattress and then you see a white fluffy and translucent material that looks like threads woven together or looks like wool batting, then it is most likely made of fiberglass.
The smell of your mattress can be used as an indicator of the presence of fiberglass in the mattress. Mattresses with fiberglass often have the smell of synthetic material or the smell of glue(the resin used); this often makes the mattress smell like a burnt substance. This smell can make the mattress quite uncomfortable to lay on especially, when it is newly bought.
If the topper of your mattress is made of fiberglass batting, you will notice that the texture of your topper feels rough to the touch or scratchy.
Is It Safe to Use a Fiberglass Mattress?
At this point, you might be wondering how safe it is to use a fiberglass mattress; well, the truth is that it is safe to use a fiberglass mattress; however, fiberglass itself can be hazardous; therefore, you need to take certain precautions to ensure that you stay safe. So, in this section, we will explore a couple of pros and cons to help you understand the risk and benefits of this type of mattress.
Pros Of a Fiberglass Mattress:
In previous sections, we explored the benefits of fiberglass mattresses; however, if you missed it, below are some pros of this kind of mattress.
· Affordability: The manufacturing process of this type of mattress is simple and the materials are inexpensive, as such the overall prices of fiberglass mattresses are relatively inexpensive compared to other mattresses made of different toppers and different fillings.
· Good regulator of heat: If you are a hot sleeper, getting a mattress with a fiberglass topper might be a great option. This is because fiberglass is a good heat regulator or an insulator. As such it slows the spread of heat. It is known to trap air, providing sleepers with a cool surface during the hot summers and vice versa during winter.
· Fire resistant: Not only is this material a good regulator of heat but then it is a fire retardant, which is why it is being used by most manufacturers.
· Durable: Also, fiberglass mattresses are durable and can withstand most body types without being deformed, as such, it is a preferred choice by manufacturers.
Cons of Fiberglass Used In Mattress:
As stated earlier, fiberglass can be hazardous, and in this section, we will explore a couple of health issues this material can cause.
· Health Hazard: Should in any case the fiberglass in the mattress gets exposed and then one ends up inhaling it or ingesting the particles, it can lead to health complications such as respiratory diseases, stomach irritation, and sore throat.
· Itchiness: Laying directly on a fiberglass mattress may cause itching in some people. Also, if the cover gets faulty, and the fiberglass gets exposed to the skin, it may cause itchiness and redness of the skin.
· Requires Special Cleaning: Due to the potential cons that may be caused, you will either need to hire a professional cleaning service or observe stringent precautions when cleaning the mattress to ensure that the cover doesn't get damaged to expose the fiberglass material. This can make cleaning a fiberglass material more demanding or expensive than other mattresses made with other materials.
Precautions to Consider When Using a Fiberglass Mattress:
However, if you think getting a fiberglass mattress is an ideal choice for you, ensure to observe the following precautions:
· Use a cover: Do not lie directly on the mattress. Ensure to always use a cover or a bedsheet to engulf the whole mattress before laying on it.
· Do not place items on the mattress: Also, ensure to avoid placing sharp or hot objects on your mattress to avoid puncturing the fiberglass cover. The idea here is to protect the cover to prevent the fiberglass from being airborne.
· In case of a cut, call a professional: When you notice a cut or puncture on the opening of your fiberglass mattress, do not just dispose of the mattress. Ensure to contact your mattress manufacturer for the right procedures required to dispose of the mattress without it causing any harm. Remember if you just dump it outside your home, the fiberglass will become airborne and people in that environment will be at risk of inhaling the fiberglass particles.
How to Tell if There is Fiberglass in a Mattress
As previously mentioned, fiberglass in mattresses is typically covered by a sheet or cover, but it can be hazardous if exposed to humans. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify a mattress containing fiberglass to make an informed purchasing decision. And in this section, we will share with you tips to help you identify a fiberglass mattress:
· Check the tag or label: Always check the tag of a mattress. If you see writings like %%X fiberglass or be on the lookout for terms like "fiberglass" "fiberglass batting" or "fiberglass insulation."
· Read the user manual: Most user manuals will indicate if the mattress has fiberglass in it.
· Ask the retailer/wholesaler/ or check the manufacturer's website: Always do well to ask someone when in doubt.
· Finally, most memory foam mattresses do have fiberglass in them.
In the End:
A fiberglass mattress can be a good option if you are really on a tight budget; however, risking your health for an affordable mattress can be life endangering, Also, the last thing you would want is to wonder if your mattress is punctured each time you go to sleep, and also, since mattresses are long term investments, it is worth it to purchase a high-quality mattress without fiberglass than getting one and having to change it with the slightest puncture. This is why at BedStory, our prime focus is to provide our clients with high-quality mattresses which are fiberglass-free and provide you with the comfort you need.
However, there are many factors to consider when deciding to buy a new mattress, apart from the price, you may also want to consider the mattress size, mattress type, comfort & support, etc. The most important is the mattress type, which can be classified based on mattress structure, appearance, or firmness. Selecting the appropriate mattress type can significantly enhance your sleep quality.