Wednesday, May 31, 2023


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

By Gail Marsh
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 recently 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.

Glass fibers in bedding?

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.

Sleep-deprived RVer needs help selecting new mattress
News 4 Investigates: The danger lurking in your mattress


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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Jeff Arthur
9 months ago

Kinda funny to a guy that manufactured fiberglass for 43 years

Lorraine A Gehring
1 year ago

This topic is back again. So can you share the link to the article about the hazmat team and young mother? Because, as I stated earlier, I HAVE CUT OFF THE FIBERGLASS COVER. My grandsons sleep on the beds. If I need to take action, you should be clear what action (and what danger) I am in. It is irresponsible to post this without real information.

Gail Marsh
9 months ago

From what I’ve learned, when the fiberglass is disturbed reactions can include upper respiratory infections, coughing/wheezing, rashes, itching, etc. Here’s one link: for you. It’s from the Environmental Working Group (a non-profit, science-based environmental organization). Here’s the link to the study EWG based its article on:
This is another report from an ABC news team: If you watch the accompanying video, you’ll see the manufacturer’s tag which discloses the mattress material (Glass fiber 28%).
Hope this helps, Lorraine. Enjoy your day.

Bill V
2 years ago

To shine some light on this, mattresses sold in RVs have to comply with MVSS302, which is the federal code that determines fire safety for vehicles. Fiberglass is a cheap way to comply and it should be illegal.

Many OEM mattresses made since 2010 were made by Denver Mattress and although some was built to spec and were the least expensive mattresses that could be built, I can say that there is not any fiberglass used anywhere in the entire line and there never has been. As a note, I work for Denver Mattress and know what goes in the product, so if you see that your mattress was made in Denver CO by us, you are safe from fiberglass and any other toxic mattress additives.

Happy trails!

Lorraine A Gehring
2 years ago

I’ve already removed the cover of my Zinus mattress and cut the king-size mattress into two twin-sized mattresses. Are we doomed?

Chris B
2 years ago

Thanks for the article, will be checking our new RV mattress soon!!!

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

Hey, asbestos is fireproof….

Bob p
9 months ago

Asbestos has been banned over 50 years.

Robert Jobson
2 years ago

very interesting good to know

Thomas D
2 years ago

Speaking of rv mattresses, why do they even bother putting one in a rv. Every rv I’ve purchased has had junk to sleep on, including the fancy 1/2 thick useless top quilt. Then i have to buy something good AND pay a disposal fee the get rid of the junk. Leave it off, reduce the price by the $10 it cost them and let the customer buy thier own.
Heck, even the dealer could come up with something better than the factory that makes the rolling junk.

2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas D

I feel this way about the plastic faucets, the ugly pelmets, the useless blinds, the ridiculous mattress coverlet, and a bunch of other stuff. This aspect of the industry is so bad for the planet. Either install things that people will want to hold onto, or just skip it all together and let folks pick up a few things at Home Depot.

9 months ago
Reply to  Tsippi

I agree! At least have an option, like when building a home, to choose your decor and personal preferences. What a waste on the cheap, uncomfortable mattresses.

2 years ago

Wow! Interesting alert here. Maybe one should either sew it shut, or zip tie the zipper closed! Thanks for the heads up!

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