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Why mattresses have ‘Do Not Remove’ tags

Mattress tags that read "Do Not Remove" have been the butt of jokes for decades, but why is it a crime to begin with? Dan Lewis of Now I Know explains why the much-mocked mattress tag removal law exists.

Before springs and coils and memory foam, legit mattresses were filled with straw and other soft, cheap, and safe materials. Unfortunately, there were a lot of less-than-honest vendors.

…who stuffed mattresses with gross things like corncobs and old rags!

The tag, originally, was designed to make manufacturers disclose what was in the mattress — the law required mattress makers to print what was inside on the outside. Manufacturers could lie but doing so would run the risk of discovery later on; a government inspector could obtain one of the mattresses, do a spot check, and if anything other than what was listed was inside, the manufacturer could be subject to fines and other penalties.

But that didn’t stop the manufacturers from selling mattresses filled with nasty stuff, they simply ripped the tags off.

So, Congress made it illegal to remove the tag “prior to the time any textile fiber product is sold and delivered to the ultimate consumer.” And, perhaps to protect themselves, manufacturers also printed the “do not remove” warning on the tag itself.

For some reason, though, the early mattress tags didn’t note that the end consumer could remove the tag, confusing generations of sleepers.

Now you know.

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