You have seen that Zinus mattresses are cheap, popular, and comfortable to sleep on. But. You’ve also heard a LOT about the hazards of fiberglass in mattresses, and a lot of what you’re hearing is about Zinus. There’s even a lawsuit.
You’re feeling pretty worried about buying one, and you need some clear information. Do Zinus mattresses contain fiberglass? The short answer is yes. Zinus mattresses contain fiberglass.
I’m going to give you all the facts about Zinus and fiberglass, fiberglass in mattresses, and whether it’s worth the risk (short answer, if you can buy a fiberglass-free mattress instead, that’s much better).
Zinus Mattress Overview
Zinus has made a household name for itself with its cheap furniture and massive popularity on Amazon.
Starting with their now famous Green Tea mattress, Zinus now offers a wide variety of mattresses that are much loved in America and beyond.
Zinus offers mainly all-foam mattresses, or foam and coil hybrids. Part of how they keep their manufacturing costs down is using fiberglass in the fire barrier. All mattresses sold in the USA are required to have a fire barrier under federal law.
There have been several cases of the fiberglass inside Zinus mattresses getting out of the mattress, either through a cover being removed or a rip in the cover, and this is when the problems with fiberglass happen.
Fiberglass Free Alternatives: Exploring Your Options
You’ve got a lot of fiberglass free mattress options. Here are six that I have personally verified with the brands that they do NOT use fiberglass anywhere in the mattress.
BEST ON AMAZON
Tuft & Needle Original
There are many mattresses out there that don’t use fiberglass OR toxic chemicals in their fire barriers. They often come at a higher price point, but you can still get a great mattress without fiberglass for around $1000.
These mattresses tend to use materials such as organic cotton or organic wool as their fire retardant: these are known for their slow-burning properties (and are great at regulating your body temperature when you lie on them). Here are my picks:
Need To Know: Fiberglass Facts
Why Do Some Beds Have Fiberglass?
All mattresses sold in the United States are required to contain a fire retardant under Federal Law. Fiberglass is used inside mattresses as a cheap solution to provide a fire barrier without the use of harmful chemicals. That is not to say that ALL mattresses contain fiberglass, but it’s certainly common.
Chemical fire retardants were sometimes used in mattresses until it was discovered that some of them were harmful to human health, and are no longer used (look for Certi-PUR US or similar certifications for reassurance your mattress does not contain these chemicals).
If your mattress ends up on fire, the idea of the fiberglass is that it melts in on itself without burning, forming a protective layer or “sock” around the mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are made using chemical foaming processes, so without any fire barriers, they’d be infernos of flame within one second so a fire barrier is really important.
Where Is The Fiberglass Inside The Mattress?
The fire retardant layer of a mattress needs to surround the foam to protect it from being engulfed in a catastrophic wave of flame.
If you’re buying a mattress that has fiberglass in it, you’ll find it woven into an internal cover layer. This is exactly where you find it inside a Zinus mattress.
- Zinus has its stretch knit cover, which is the surface you lie on, then a thinner, internal fabric layer that encases the mattress foams
- There is no fiberglass in the outer stretch knit cover, so you’re not sleeping directly on it
- The fiberglass is woven into the thin layer encasing the foams
It’s absolutely critical you DO NOT remove ANY cover from a mattress that uses fiberglass in the internal cover, more on that further down the article.
Is Fiberglass In A Mattress Safe?
The answer here is yes and no. Let’s look at it from both perspectives.
YES: Fiberglass makes for a great fire retardant. It’s a budget-friendly option that allows companies to produce cheap, fire-safe mattresses without using toxic chemicals in their fire barriers.
NO: If the fiberglass gets out of the mattress, you’re going to end up with the fine strands of it all through your bed, your bedroom, your house. This can cause itching, irritation, and even small cuts. The fibers are so fine it will be nearly impossible to fully clean them up once they escape.
This means that if you do buy a mattress with fiberglass, you can be assured you’re getting a good fire barrier, but you’re going to have to be VERY CAREFUL to remember to never remove the cover.
Further to that, since fiberglass is usually found in cheaper mattresses, you need to think about how durable the cover is. If the cover rips or breaks down, you will end up with fiberglass contamination despite your best efforts. Your best safeguard against this issue is to use a mattress protector on top of the mattress (which you will want to do anyway).
How To Spot A Mattress That Has Fiberglass
There are two basic ways to spot a mattress that has fiberglass inside it:
- It has a non-removable cover
- It is a budget-priced mattress (I’d say around up to $600 for a King. When you start getting towards $1000 for your mattress, that’s when I would expect them to use something else as their fire shield)
You’ll notice that many of the budget mattresses on Amazon have nonremovable covers. This, combined with their price point, is a dead giveaway that there is fiberglass inside as the fire barrier. If you see a mattress that has a removable cover, you can relax a little.
Is It Safe To Buy A Zinus Mattress?
In this article we covered that Zinus uses fiberglass, the fiberglass can and sometimes does escape, and that can be a problem.
If you feel confident you will be able to contain the fiberglass inside the mattress, Zinus is going to be perfectly fine to sleep on. The question is, are you happy with that risk?
I know I wouldn’t be, and with so many fiberglass free mattresses to choose from that you’ll never have to worry about, I’d honestly buy something else.