Skip to main content
Aug 02, 2017 Hali Reynolds

The Liability of Using Non-Compliant Mattresses and Bedding


While different organizations in different states are held to different standards of compliance, one thing stays consistent: Organizations are liable for the bedding and mattresses they provide to their clients.

If mattresses and bedding items are not compliant, then that organization is at risk of fines, lawsuits, or even shutdown. 

Here are some areas where different organizations commonly fail to be compliant:

  • Mattress flammability. All mattresses must pass the federal flammability test laid out in the 16 CFR 1633. A mattress that does not pass this test is considered to be non-compliant and cannot be sold for distribution. It might be time for you to consider replacing any mattresses purchased or donated before 2007 when this law went into place.
  • Bedding safety features. Guard rails are an important safety feature for bunk beds. Whether you're running a camp or a college dorm, guard rails reduce your risk — risk of injury to those sleeping in your beds as well the risk of dealing with a lawsuit if the injured person files a claim.
  • Over capacity. While space restrictions are not directly related to the type of bedding you use at your facility, these regulations do influence how you choose to arrange your beds. Do your research on what the space requirements are for your state. Homeless shelters or rescue missions may have different standards than camps, so make sure you're looking at the information that's relevant to your facility.
  • Bed bugs. Unfortunately, many homeless shelters have a reputation for being infested with bed bugs, according to a recent Crosscut article by David Kroman. Nevertheless, these shelters are still required to pass inspection if they want to keep their operating licenses and funding. Our bed bug proof mattresses and mattress covers offer a great solution to this problem.

Who's going to know?

Having a non-compliant mattress hardly seems like a scandal compared to other dishonest business dealings you've heard of, but the seriousness of this issue can quickly escalate. For example, if someone ends up in the hospital because they were injured in a fire or they fell off the top bunk, a mattress that didn't meet fire specs or a simple bunk that didn't have a guard rail suddenly becomes a big deal.

Depending on your facility, inspections may be part of your routine. Many organizations are required to accept random inspections, and if your facility isn't ready, you could be shut down. Even if an outside agency isn’t requiring a mandatory inspection, it’s a good idea to do a thorough in-house inspection of your facility annually or consider hiring a third party risk assessment expert to analyze any areas of exposure within your organization.

It's kind of a big deal.

Whether the inspector discovers your non-compliant mattress, or the other lawyer points it out in court, the results are never favorable. You could end up with anything from a state fine to a pricey lawsuit and/or having your doors closed permanently. 

When you buy your beds and mattresses from American Bedding, you can be sure your mattresses are designed to be bed bug proof and meet federal flammability requirements. Our knowledgeable sales team will also give you expert advice on what you need and don't need for your specific situation. It's important to us that our customers provide quality bedding to their customers.

Contact us online, or give us a call at1 (800) 203-2507. 

Want A Closer Look? Explore our Products! Download Our Catalog 

Published by Hali Reynolds August 2, 2017