Why Fire Retardant Barriers Do More Harm Than Good
Every mattress sold in the U.S. must pass the exact same federally-mandated flammability standards.
This is great for our safety, right?
On one hand, yes. Sleeping on a mattress that won’t quickly go up in flames in the event of a fire is incredibly comforting — pun intended!
On the other hand, the manner in which many mattress companies pass this federally-mandated flammability test can be rather questionable. In order to pass the test, the large majority of mattress manufacturers merely coat, cover, soak, or douse their mattress fabrics in harmful chemicals. These chemicals are known as “flame-retardant” barriers, and they’re the culprits behind all sorts of health and developmental concerns.
But without flame-retardant barriers or chemicals, does a mattress become more flammable and thus unsafe? No!
At Happsy, we are fully against the use of flame-retardant chemicals and our mattresses are still fire-safe, passing all of the government flammability standards.
We consider the best form of fire protection to be our superior product design, which eliminates the need for these toxic chemicals in the first place. Using organic cotton, for example, is a far superior filling material that’s significantly less flammable. Through our extensive research, our products are free from fire-retardant barriers.
Unfortunately, not all mattress companies follow the same organic guidelines.
In particular, mattresses that use polyurethane or memory foam are petroleum-based and extremely flammable. These types of mattresses can only pass fire safety tests by being infused with chemical barriers.
And the main problem is, companies don’t need to tell you how they pass the fire safety tests or which chemicals they use.
So that you’re more informed, we want to shed light on three common (and problematic) approaches that many mattress companies take —
Douse the mattress with chemicals
The traditional approach to passing flammability requirements was to treat the actual foam with flame-retardant chemicals. This is the worst of the methods used today, because it uses particularly toxic chemicals that can escape from the foam and end up in the air around us. Exposure to these toxins has been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, cardiovascular disease, cognitive delays, and decreased fertility. Scary, right?
Wrap the flammable mattress in a fire-retardant cover
More commonly, flammable materials are now encased in a synthetic fabric sleeve or barrier. Flame-retardant chemicals are typically mixed into the composition of the sleeve, so mattress companies can still promote the use of “inherently flame-resistant fabrics.” However, pretending like there are no chemical flame retardants in the mattress is not the same as finding actual healthy alternatives, like we’ve done at Happsy!
When in doubt, lie
The truth is, you can’t take a flammable foam block and pass fire-safety tests without using some sort of chemical treatment. It just doesn’t work that way! So, when many manufacturers claim to have an 100-percent natural fire barrier, it’s simply not true. Those hydrated, silica fire barriers are actually rayon — a synthetic fiber that’s anything but natural.
How does Happsy pass flammability tests? It’s simple.
For one, we don’t use petroleum-based polyurethane foam. It’s much easier to avoid flame-retardant chemicals if you don’t use a block of solid fuel as your primary material.
Still, just taking away polyurethane foam isn’t enough. This is why we’ve created an innovative, naturally flame-resistant design.
Through extensive research and testing, we’ve made sure that all of our organic materials pass fire safety tests with absolutely no chemical flame retardants or barriers. There’s nothing soaked into any foams or coated onto any fabrics.
For Happsy, avoiding polyurethane foam was a no-brainer. Toxic chemicals plus high flammability is simply not a healthy combination. So, why would we put that in a mattress? We wouldn’t. We want you to sleep easy, knowing you don’t need to worry about flame-retardant chemicals in your mattress. It’s all about delivering healthier sleep for happier mornings.