Are there mattresses available without fire retardant chemicals, and if so, how can I find one?

asked Jun 12 '15
Anonymous384's gravatar image


Naturepedic mattresses do not have any chemical flame barriers or any other flame retardant chemicals. As well, no doctor's prescription is necessary.

answered Jul 19 '15
Barry Cik's gravatar image
Barry Cik ♦
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Hi, There are many mattresses with options which do not include chemicals to pass the fire retardant regulations. There are many good quality latex mattresses which use wool for the fire barrier. Then, there are many foam mattresses which use alternative materials to pass, such as natural boron or hydrated silica.

answered Jun 15 '15
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Joe Alexander ♦
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Have a doctor write you an RX to have one made without FR.

answered Jun 21 '15
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Cindy E ♦
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Thistle is simply the source of cellulose for the viscose dope used to create the viscose rayon portion of the fire resistant (FR) barrier used in the Saatva and Loom and Leaf mattresses.

The viscose rayon fiber is then blended with polyester, and perhaps other fire resistant fibers to create an “inherent” fire resistant barrier. “Inherent” means that there are no chemical additives or finishes used to achieve the fire resistant feature of this barrier. This type of a barrier is commonly used in the mattress industry.

To achieve this fire resistance, the viscose rayon fiber is commonly combined with silica during the fiber extrusion process. When exposed to an open flame, the polyester and the cellulosic portion of the viscose rayon will burn away, but the silica will remain to form a char barrier that will interrupt the flame enough to prevent the mattress components from catching fire during the timeframe mandated by CPSC 16 CFR Part 1633.

As viscose rayon is a bio-based textile with a raw material of cellulose (derived from trees, eucalyptus, cotton, thistle, etc.), some refer to it as natural. However, this fiber is certainly man-made through the use of various chemical and mechanical processes and is not found naturally in nature. And as the viscose rayon used in most mattress FR barriers is blended with polyester and other materials (for fire resistance, loft, ease of handling or elasticity), and referring to them as “natural” or “more natural” could certainly be considered a stretch of the truth. At the very least you’d want to lay out the framework of the comparison.

There are many other ways to create a fire resistant batting layer. Here’s one.

I think there is quite a bit of confusion that occurs when people read about the FR barrier being “natural,” and in this case they could infer that there is actually some sort of a thin layer of thistle shavings or slivers woven into a barrier that is somehow fire resistant. Of course, this isn’t true, as that would be a very flammable barrier indeed.

When people ask about a non-chemical fire resistant barrier, they’re usually looking for something completely natural, like wool. I’d advise that you check first with the manufacturer to find out exactly what they are using for their FR barrier, and then do your own objective learning about those particular products. When researching, I would be especially skeptical of the recent proliferation of sites dedicated to specific brands where promo coupons are offered for purchases of those particular mattresses. These sites tend to parrot the claims of the manufacturers they promote, and it’s one of the ways many of the newer online brands are currently marketing their products. Rely more upon information from unrelated sites and organizations.

This may be a more detailed answer than what you were seeking, but I hope it helps you find what you want and avoid much of the greenwashing that goes on in the mattress industry.

answered Jul 24 '15
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Jeff Scheuer ♦
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edited Jul 24 '15

Thanks for this extremely thorough, objective, and helpful response, Jeff.

(Jul 24 '15) Goodbed Help ♦♦ Goodbed Help's gravatar image

There are many options available that do not utilize chemicals.

In place of chemical based flame retardants, many mattresses are now using a fire sock. Most fire socks are built from wood pulp and sand. Fire socks are designed to melt in the presence of fire, effectively smothering the flames.

Leesa, Brooklyn Bedding, and Casper are a few that come to mind that use a fire sock. Though it's a fairly common FR today. You'll find fire socks used in many mattresses.

Another more natural option would be a mattress with thistle. Loom & Leaf uses natural thistle as their flame retardant.

You can find reviews on my site: sleepopolis-mattress-reviews.com

answered Jun 15 '15
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Derek H from Scottsdale, AZ
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