Popular Flame Barriers
As people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of a healthy mattress, chemical flame retardants have thankfully become less popular. Again, this doesn’t mean that the problem has been completely eliminated, but we’re getting there. In fact, TB 117-2013, which involved switching from an open flame test to a smolder-only test, decreased the need for chemical flame retardants by making fire testing standards more realistic and reasonable. This was a step in the right direction and showed that if the furniture industry can improve, so can mattresses.
Currently in the mattress industry, three mattresses must be sent to a reputable lab and put through the open flame test in order to meet the standards of 16 CFR Part 1633.
There are both synthetic and natural flame barriers found in mattresses today. Here are some facts you should know.
Kevlar has been used as a flame retardant because it’s a sturdy and heat-resistant synthetic fiber found in tires and helmets. Kevlar is a type of plastic so it isn’t the most eco-friendly flame barrier.
Rayon, the same type of fabric found in clothing, is also utilized as a flame barrier. The yarn inhibits the flames from spreading and quickly engulfing the mattress. We’re not a fan of this synthetic fabric though because it’s not necessarily free of harmful chemicals. Formaldehyde and Teflon are found in synthetic fabrics such as rayon, polyester, acrylic, and spandex.
Another synthetic material we prefer not to use is silica. Using a silica sock as a flame barrier has also become very popular in the mattress industry. The sock stifles the oxygen necessary for a fire to grow. You will find this flame barrier used in a lot of polyurethane foam mattresses since it’s a cheap way to pass the burn test without using chemical flame retardants.
Wool is more prevalent among natural mattresses but not all wool found in mattresses is certified organic, which means lower costs and fewer regulations.
At Savvy Rest, we use certified organic wool batting as a natural flame barrier because we want to include the very best in our organic mattresses.
Wool batting (as opposed to individual wool fibers) smolders and burns slowly which means it gives off less heat and because of its tight, woven structure, creates an environment that is not conducive to fire spreading rapidly.
The wool batting in our mattresses is GOTS-certified organic. In fact, all of our customizable organic mattresses are completely GOTS-certified, giving our customers peace of mind.