Saturday, September 30, 2023


Danger! Check your RV’s mattress for fiberglass! Yes, really!

Many RVers switch out the original bed mattress that comes from the RV factory and purchase a memory foam mattress or “bed-in-a-box” as a replacement. A foam mattress might be more comfortable. But it might be dangerous, as well!


A hazmat team wearing full-body protective gear entered a home near St. Louis, Missouri. The team was called in to clean up a fiberglass hazard caused by a mattress. Yes, a mattress. The entire home was filled with tiny shards of glass released from the mattress when a young mother removed the mattress cover. She wanted to wash the cover and since it featured a handy zipper, she had no reason to suspect any danger.

Fiberglass everywhere!

Once disturbed by the removal of its cover, fiberglass dispersed immediately into the air. Helped along by the HVAC blower, the glass bits were soon everywhere. Fiberglass was found throughout the home: in the toys, on the furniture, in clothing, pillows, curtains, everything! The glass fibers irritated family members’ eyes and throats. The glass shards caused tiny cuts to their skin, too, causing itching and irritation. The entire family of five had to leave their home until the mess was professionally cleaned.

Fiberglass in mattresses?

It turns out that many manufacturers routinely put fiberglass into their mattresses. Why? Fiberglass makes the mattresses more fire-resistant. The Consumer Products Safety Council has received numerous complaints about fiberglass inside foam mattresses and recommends that consumers check the mattress contents tag before ever removing the cover.

A solution

Not every foam mattress has fiberglass inside. However, I recently checked the foam mattress that we bought to replace the RV factory original. Turns out our replacement mattress contains 64% glass fiber! I immediately bought a new mattress cover. I used the new one to “envelope” the foam mattress, along with its cover. When needed, I can safely remove this mattress cover and not risk the fiberglass nightmare.

Don’t make the costly (and hazardous) mistake others have made. Do not remove the mattress cover! Even if the cover has a zipper. First, make sure you know what’s inside your mattress and take precautions to stay safe.


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Neal Davis
12 days ago

Wow! Thank you, Gail! Fiberglass in mattresses is a bit concerning. Thank you for sounding the alarm!

EJ Canary
12 days ago

I found a very comfortable wool mattress topper. Wool is naturally fire resistant so they don’t have to add any toxic fireproofing chemicals to it.

Eric Bernhard
12 days ago

For how long can a cover made of pretty much anything keep some of the tiny, sharp glass fibers from penetrating through to the outside?

Split Shaft
13 days ago

At this point and age in my life, it is too late to worry about fiberglass. I have rolled around in the stuff long enough it should have killed me by now.

Bill Byerly
13 days ago

Thank you for your warning report. Those mattresses should have their own big bold warning labels on them where they can’t be missed seeing.

Jack Fate
13 days ago

Having worked in the manufacturing of fiberglass for 43 years. The drama here is quite silly. At this rate If you only knew the variety of products made of fiberglass you probably couldn’t sleep at night.

13 days ago

Good information, we’re about to buy a new mattress for our new TT. But come to think about it, I’ve never even SEEN a mattress with a zipper on it.

13 days ago

How would it even be safe to sleep on a mattress with fiberglass in it? Breathing fiberglass causes lung issues. Mattress cover or not, I’m checking my mattress. If it has fiberglass, it’s gone! Thank you for this article.

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