I’ve got a bed/mattress about 40 years old in my spare bedroom in Sweden. The bottom of the mattress is covered in this fibrous paper that has started to crumble on to the floor. It turns in to dust at the gentlest touch. I managed to get a big piece for the photo, if you look closely you can see stringy fibers, and my finger covered in fine white dust. Any idea what it could be? Is it possible that it’s asbestos?

  • Only way to be sure is get it tested. If not then wear a good dust mask and remove it.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 29, 2022 at 14:11
  • It is possible, BUT very unlikely. Only way to know is to have it tested.
    – crip659
    Jan 29, 2022 at 14:11
  • it just to keep mattress fibers from falling out and making it look cheap. those can be natural fibers or foam, both "shed" and would impact consumer perception. Such under-linings also conceal all the staples, factory marks, corner-cutting, etc to make it look nicer the 5 times in your life you'll see it,
    – dandavis
    Jan 29, 2022 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Hell no. It's just harmless nonwoven fabric.

What you have there is ordinary nonwoven textile (plastic fibers that were pressed together and partially melted to fuse). It has just weathered (oxidized) and thus it is falling apart now. Plastic shopping bags will do the same if left alone for four decades.

I seriously doubt anyone anywhere in the world ever tried to make matresses from asbestos.

  • 1
    Still, breathing dust won’t do your health any favours…
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 29, 2022 at 15:31

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