California May Ban Fiberglass From Mattresses and Other Furniture: What It Means for You

Even if your mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, it could still contain fiberglass. However, that could soon change.

Caroline Igo Editor
Caroline Igo (she/her/hers) is a wellness editor and holds Sleep Science Coach and Stress Management certificates from the Spencer Institute. She received her bachelor's degree in creative writing from Miami University and continues to further her craft in her free time. Before joining CNET, Caroline wrote for past CNN anchor, Daryn Kagan.
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  • Carl R. Greer/Andrew D. Hepburn Award for Best Nonfiction Essay (Miami University, 2021)
Caroline Igo
2 min read
A sheet of white, woven fiberglass
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On Sept. 8, the California Senate approved a bill that bans the use of fiberglass in mattresses and upholstered furniture. The ban includes the use of other toxic and chemical retardant materials. The bill is now at the will of the state Assembly and, if approved, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2027. 

"Manufacturers must meet fire safety standards, and I feel confident they can do so without the use of fiberglass or any toxic or unhealthy components," said Laura Friedman, assemblymember and author of this bill.  

"Manufacturers on many fronts are responding to the demands of health experts, consumers and lawmakers to make their products comfortable, effective and attractive without increasing exposure to unnecessary and often harmful chemicals," she added. 

A recent study from the California Department of Public Health found that while some mattresses claim to be chemical free,  fiberglass may still be found in or under the mattress cover. While some mattresses have the CertiPur-US certification, this award often only includes the foam, not its cover (where fiberglass can hide). 

During this California Department of Public Health study, two out of the four mattresses tested were found to have fiberglass under the zippered cover. Each of these mattresses also failed to include this and other toxic chemical additives (antimony and vinyl chloride) on the label.     

What is fiberglass?

Fiberglass is an artificial fiber-reinforced plastic made out of glass fibers. They are often woven into a cloth or flatted out. The material is cost-effective, strong and flame-resistant, which is why it's often made into mattresses and upholstery. 

If a mattress cover or couch cushion containing fiberglass is removed or damaged, you may expose yourself to this toxic material -- and this exposure may pose a threat to our health.  

Can fiberglass affect our health? 

Any exposure to fiberglass can irritate skin, eyes and lungs. Other exposure symptoms include:

  • Embedded fibers in the skin 
  • Itchy rash
  • Blisters 
  • Red eyes
  • Sore throat or nose if inhaled 
  • May trigger asthma or bronchitis 
  • Sour stomach if swallowed

More research is needed to truly understand the effects of fiberglass on our health in the long term. Research suggests, however, that inhaling fiberglass most likely won't cause cancer

How to ensure your mattress doesn't contain fiberglass

Jonathan Gomez

Children are especially sensitive to fiberglass exposure, so it's best to avoid mattresses that contain this material looking for a crib mattress. Find a company that is transparent about all of the materials used in its products, especially those that are fire-resistant. I suggest looking into organic mattresses

If you are concerned that your mattress may contain fiberglass, use caution when removing the cover. This new bill from California will hopefully change the mattress industry for the better. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.