The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has developed a new foam mattress standard that specifies the requirements, sampling and test methods for foam mattresses suitable for domestic and hotel use.
However, the standard does not apply to mattresses used for medical or orthopaedic purpose.
The new standard, US 202: 2021 Textiles – Foam mattress – Specification cancels and replaces the old standards.
The main changes from the previous editions are a change in the title to cater for other foam mattresses, such as expanded polyethylene mattresses among others.
According to the UNBS Executive Director, David Livingstone Ebiru, the standard requires that mattresses be classified as, hybrid mattresses and Non innerspring mattresses.
“Hybrid mattresses are those that contain two or more compositions or a mixture of materials e.g. both polyurethane foam and innerspring units while Non-innerspring mattresses do not contain any innerspring units. These may be produced from foams such as polyurethane, latex, thermo bonded polyester, polyethylene or any other resilient filling,” Ebiru explained.
Still on the new standards, he says the mattress cover must also be New, clean and free from defects such as splits, Free from chemicals which are harmful to the skin or those that can react with the rubber foam shall not be used in the finishing of the fabric among others.
Ebiru explains that all mattresses are required to meet the flammability requirements to reduce the risk of fire.
“When the mattress is tested, it must not burn for three minutes or more and should not burn beyond the gauge line,” he said.
Furthermore, manufacturers must ensure to label the mattress legibly and indelibly with a strong label on the outside of the mattress.
Ebiru advised consumers to look out for these labels in addition to the UNBS Q Mark while buying mattresses.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a Government Agency responsible for developing, promoting and enforcing of national standards in the protection of Public Health and Safety, and the Environment against harmful and sub-standard products.