An alarming TikTok video has prompted people to open their mattresses in a fear-fuelled quest for fiberglass – but experts are warning the public not to check in the first place.
Cody Jacob first documented his fiberglass mattress journey in December 2022, which caught millions of eyes.
Jacob started getting rashes and other health issues and discovered it was connected to fiberglass particles inside his bed, which scattered across every surface of his room, as he shared on TikTok.
The fiberglass inside Jacob’s mattress spread across his room when he unzipped the mattress cover, a move he did not realise would unleash the particles into his room, he told Insider.
“The second you even open the zipper, not even take the cover off, it just goes everywhere,” Jacob told Insider. “It spreads like fine, fine dust particles.”
Jacob added a plea to a different mattress company he liked, Casper, to send him a mattress that doesn’t have fiberglass in it.
Fiberglass can irritate skin, and accentuate allergies and asthma, according to experts at Each Night, a sleep company.
So why is it in so many mattresses? It serves as protection against another danger, experts say: fire.
Fiberglass acts as a “flame barrier”, according to Each Night experts, preventing mattresses from going up in flames as quickly during a fire.
“Fiberglass was appealing because it was inexpensive and non-toxic, while also providing protection that could save people’s lives during a fire,” experts at Each Night said in a news release about the material. “However, fiberglass has become criticised as a material for not being completely free of harm.”
Innerbody Research CEO Eric Rodriguez told Sleepopolis that fiberglass is safe within the mattress, but as soon as people open it to check it can “wreak havoc on your house and your health”.
Jacob’s TikTok left others wondering if they were in the same position – and other viewers desperately warning people not to check.
“Now I’m wondering if my mattress is made out of fiberglass giving the rashes all over my body and how sensitive my skin is,” one viewer said.
“So glad I caught ours before it got everywhere. I’m 99% sure it was making my son sick,” another commented.
Anyone curious about what is in their mattress should read the tags and not unzip it, according to Sleepopolis experts.
Jacob told his viewers that Casper reached out and sent him a different mattress – one that is fiberglass-free.
“It’s really important for consumers to understand what they’re purchasing; but, I also think the bigger issue is that something like this could happen in the first place,” Cody told The Daily Dot. “Of course, being an informed buyer is one thing, but to be subjected to being coated in fiberglass simply because I wanted to wash the removable cover of my mattress is unacceptable.” – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service