What to look for when shopping for a mattress

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Posted at 2:24 PM, Jan 02, 2023

Comfort turned into concern when two sisters bought a gently used mattress and scrubbed it down. They say the process thinned out the outer later and sent fiberglass particles throughout their house.

"We didn't even know that mattresses had a layer of fiberglass. We had no idea and I think a lot of people don’t know that," said Jessica Takacs.

Fiberglass is a flame retardant often used in mattresses.

Takacs said the material irritated her family's skin.

Consumer Reports recommends that people stick to vacuuming mattresses and using upholstery cleaners on stains. Baking soda and the sun can help with deodorizing the mattress.

"Open up the windows, you know? Make sure that sunlight is coming in on the mattress," said Tanya Christian of Consumer Reports. "Obviously, sun is a natural disinfectant."

Christian says people can extend the life of a mattress, whether it's new or used.

She recommends that people use a mattress encasement which is more durable than a mattress protector since it covers all sides.

Christian adds that a mattress pad can also help extend the life of a mattress, as will regular cleaning and flipping or rotating the mattress.

With increasing awareness around the health benefits of a better night of sleep, the mattress market is expected to increase to $73 billion by the end of the decade.

Many companies offer satisfaction guarantees to allow people to try mattresses in their homes first. If you're considering a used mattress, Christian said it's best to visit a showroom to test a similar model.

"You want to try it out for at least 15 minutes," she said. "You know, move around, see how you feel."

Buying a floor-model mattress can save you money, sometimes as much as 50% of the retail price.