Frequently Asked Questions
Mold and You:
Mold and Your Bed:
Mold and Your Sleep Number Bed:
Mold and You
Q: What is mold?
A. First, it's important to know that mold growth in mattresses is rare. Mold is fungi that occur in nature in large quantities and reproduce by releasing spores into the air, which then settle on surfaces. If mold spores settle on organic or contaminated surfaces when other conditions of temperature, humidity, shade or darkness, and oxygen supply are conducive, they germinate and develop new colonies of mold.
Source: "Controlling Mold Growth In The Home," The Near State, Kansas State University Agriculture Experiment Station and Corporative Extension Service.
Q: Is mold dangerous? What are the major health concerns?
A: Select Comfort® has consulted with experts who have advised that common household mold does not create any serious health concerns, particularly at the levels that might be found in the average mattress product. However, for some people, allergic reactions to mold can be serious.
What makes SleepNumber® beds a good choice for allergy sufferers is the zip-open design. This allows owners to easily open and study the inside of the mattress, and vacuum inside their bed on a regular basis, if they so choose.
According to Dr. William Schoenwetter from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, "All of us, everyday, co-exist with mold and have few problems. It would take many exposures over long periods of time to become sensitized or allergic to mold. The number-one way to control mold contained in the environment is to control humidity."
Q: Are certain geographic areas more susceptible to mold?
A. Common household mold is more likely to be found in relatively humid climates or in homes with little circulation.
Mold and Your Bed
Q: What conditions need to be present for mold to grow in a mattress?
A. First, it's important to know that mold growth in mattresses is rare. Mold can gather in all types and brands of pillows, bedding and mattresses, under very specific conditions. Again, mold formation in bedding is uncommon, but it can be encouraged by an accumulation of moisture released by the body into the mattress as well as other factors.
Q: How can someone tell if mold is growing in their mattress?
A. Usually, the first evidence of mold is a musty odor. Mold spores are too small to see, however, colonies of mold growth can be seen on damp and musty-smelling innards of the mattress. If you own a mattress that unzips, you can inspect the inside of your mattress for mold spores as well as address the issue in the rare case that mold growth has occurred. However, if you own a traditional mattress with a cover that cannot be opened the mold may not be visible.
Q: What can consumers do to prevent mold growth in beds?
A: The following will help reduce the risk of mold growth in the home:
- The key to deterring mold growth is to control moisture in the air. Use a dehumidifier to reduce any potential for mold or mildew growth. Keep humidity levels under 50 percent.
- Avoid placing your bed on an outside wall or directly above an air conditioning or heating vent, which can cause condensation and increase the chance for mold growth in any mattress.
- Use a high-quality mattress pad to protect your mattress from moisture, particularly if you heavily perspire while sleeping.
- Wait 20-30 minutes before making your bed each morning, turning the covers back and allowing the mattress to air out for a bit.
- Vacuum the bedroom regularly, using a high-quality vacuum cleaner such as one with a HEPA® filter, one that does deep cleaning, or a central-vacuum system.
- Reduce dust mites by using allergen covers on pillows and mattresses. Wash bedding weekly in hot water (at least 130 degrees).
- Use a high-quality electronic air purifier to remove additional airborne particulates from the bedroom. (Note: Ionic air cleaners ARE NOT recommended for use with the Sleep Number® bed, as they can cause the natural rubber in the air chambers to break down over time.)
Q: Does bed construction contribute to mold growth?
A: According to experts, bed construction is not a key contributor to mold growth. Multiple variables — including indoor humidity levels and bedding care practices, among other things — are more likely catalysts for the rare occurrence of mold in a mattress.
Mold and Your Sleep Number Bed
Q: Are Sleep Number® beds more susceptible to mold than other mattresses or upholstered products?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that a Sleep Number® bed is more susceptible to mold growth than other mattresses or upholstered products. That stated, Select Comfort has always taken the issue of mold growth in mattresses very seriously. So much so that we are an industry leader in the use of antimicrobial agents to deter the growth of mold in our products.
Q: What is Select Comfort's approach to deterring the growth of mold in its products?
A: The research and development team at Select Comfort focuses on the continuous improvement of our products. So, they are constantly testing our protection measures to eliminate the risk of mold growth in our products.
Since 1996, Select Comfort has used antimicrobial foam in its beds to minimize the formation of mold. Several years ago, we worked with SANITIZED AG, a world leader in hygiene function and material protection, to reformulate our antimicrobial agents. Select Comfort has not confirmed a single case of mold growth in mattresses treated with the reformulated antimicrobial agents.
Q: What if I think I have mold in my Sleep Number® bed?
A: For those who believe they may have an issue, we stand by our product. That said, if you purchased a Sleep Number® bed after 2005, when we began employing advanced antimicrobial agents, it most likely is not mold growth. What you may be seeing is a sweat stain or filaments of the air chamber that are darker than surrounding fabric. Our highly trained customer service agents can help identify what you may be seeing in your newer bed that appears to be mold.
For those customers who do have an issue, we go well beyond what other bed companies can do to ensure full customer satisfaction. We'll do everything reasonably possible to rectify the situation for our customers, replacing chambers, foam ... we'll make sure they benefit from improved technology and make the bed like-new for them. If you have allergen or mold-related questions or concerns, please call 1 (800) 988-0779 to speak with a Select Comfort Customer Service representative. Twitter users can also send a message to @SleepNumberHelp.