What Is the 16 CFR 1633 and Why Is It Important?

Burning mattress.

If you're in the mattress industry and the phrase 16 CFR 1633 sounds like a bunch of jargon to you, then keep reading. You've found your CliffsNotes for open flame mattress testing.

Welcome to class.

What is the 16 CFR 1633?

In short, the 16 CFR 1633 is the federal flammability standard for mattresses and mattress pads. The unabbreviated name for this standard is Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1633. (See why we shorten it now?)

As an act of Congress and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), this standard has been in effect since July 1, 2007. So obviously, it's pretty official.

Why does it matter?

According to 1633.1, "The purpose of the standard is to reduce deaths and injuries associated with mattress fires by limiting the size of the fire generated by a mattress set during a thirty-minute test."

In addition to saving lives, complying with the flammability standard also protects your business or organization. 

As a business owner or organization director, you are responsible for ensuring that the products you use are up to code. But if they're not, and your facility catches fire, then you could be liable for any injuries that result from the fire. Whether that ends in a monetary loss or a complete shut-down of your facility depends on a variety of factors.

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How does it work?

All mattress manufacturers are required to put their mattress prototypes through a 30-minute flammability test. This test, which follows a very strict procedure, is conducted over an open flame. If the prototype passes the test, then it is approved for distribution.

However, if it fails the test, then the manufacturer can no longer legally create that mattress before making modifications that will allow it to meet flammability standards. 

To learn how manufacturers create mattresses to pass the test, watch this short video.

Where's the proof?

All mattresses that pass the open flame test receive a label stating so. These labels also contain the name and address of the manufacturer so there is no confusion down the road. Before you purchase a mattress, confirm that it has this label.

So, what is the 16 CFR 1633 and why is it important? The 16 CFR 1633 is the flammability standard that ensures maximum safety for your facility’s mattresses. This standard protects your residents and guests as well as your business. And since the safety of those staying in your facility is in your hands, it’s easy to see why the 16 CFR 1633 is so important!

At American Bedding Manufacturers, all of our mattresses have the 16 CFR 1633 label. We've been in the mattress industry for two decades, so we know the ins and outs of the business. Give us a call at (800) 203-2507, or click on the banner below to request a catalog!


Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published on June 7, 2017 & has been updated to include additional information.

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