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Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Government Crest

O.F.T

Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Mattresses Safety Warning

A few months ago, the OFT warned local consumers to be on their guard following instances of highly flammable ‘memory foam’ mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows being sold by rogue traders in the UK, often house to house or through the classifieds in local newspapers.

The OFT is now concerned that ‘memory foam’ mattresses sold through the classifieds in local newspapers may not satisfy the requirements of the relevant safety legislation, in this case the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Two examples of the mattresses concerned were purchased by enforcement officers and samples taken from the mattresses were submitted for analysis. Based on the samples submitted, the filling material used in one of the mattresses failed an ignitability test.

The mattresses appear to be very heavily discounted, for example, a king size mattress was priced at only £160 rather than the extremely questionable recommended retail price of £999, but what may appear to be a bargain could turn out to be a potential death trap. Traceability is of paramount importance when it comes to ensuring the safety of consumer goods but the mattresses do not carry any manufacturer’s details and were sold by a trader out of a van. It is stated on a label on the mattresses that they comply with “Current Fire Safety Regulations” but the validity of this statement is obviously very much in doubt.

Photographs of the mattresses:

Mattress 1Mattress 2

Mattress 3

The OFT is taking steps to trace local consumers who have purchased similar mattresses and anyone who has purchased a mattress similar to the ones shown in the photographs through the classifieds in local newspapers should contact Trading Standards on 686520 for advice.

David Quirk MHK, the Chairman of the OFT, reiterated his previous advice:

‘Consumers should stick to genuine traders, for example the local shops, when purchasing these products unless they are prepared to run the risk of purchasing a potential death trap just to bag what may appear to be a bargain. Genuine traders will be aware of the relevant safety requirements. Avoid the obvious pitfalls of dealing with doorstep traders.’

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