States govern the labelling laws of new and used bedding. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibits the misrepresentation of used bedding being sold as new. New mattresses have a white bedding law label that states "All new material consisting of . . ." where the filling materials are listed in percentage order by weight. Labels for used mattresses may be red or yellow and read "secondhand stuffing" or "previously used stuffing," depending on the state. Approximately 34 states have bedding label laws.
Definition of Bedding
Bedding label laws pertain to items used by a person for sleeping or reclining--including mattresses, box springs, pillows, and cushions filled entirely or partially with any material or substance.
According to the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials (IABFLO), bedding labels should be approximately 2 inches by 3 inches, printed in black ink, in English, in a minimum of 9-point type. Section One of the label should read "UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER" in capital letters. Section Two states, "ALL NEW MATERIAL consisting of . . .", or "SECONDHAND STUFFING containing . . ." will also be in capital letters. The label should be made of Tyvek, or a comparable material. Subsequent sections might list a federal registration number, a certification statement, name and address of the manufacturer, date of delivery, finished size of the mattress, weight of the filling, and a "made in . . ." statement. Several states require a separate flammability notice label, or the flammability information will be printed on the same label.
If possible, look at the label of the actual mattress that you are purchasing to determine if it is new or used. When the mattress is delivered, read the label before the delivery truck leaves your home. If you purchased new, and you received used, you are within your rights to return the mattress immediately. When you pay for your new mattress, ask the clerk to write "new mattress" on your receipt. If you discover after the fact that the mattress delivered is not new, you will be in a better position to return the item for a full refund.
All Inclusive Reference
The "Manual of Labeling Laws & Registration Requirements"; ISPA, 2007, distributed by the International Sleep Products Association, lists the states and jurisdictions with and without labelling laws. The labelling requirements for new bedding, information on tagging or labelling of used bedding, U.S. (Federal and State), and Canadian labelling laws, illustrations of the Uniform Law Label, contact information to file a complaint, an explanation of the registry numbering system and an indexed classification of filling materials and a label and tag shopping guide are also included.
State bedding labelling laws
To determine the bedding labelling laws in your state visit the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials (IABFLO) website.
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