The Real Reason Why Mattresses And Pillows Come With A “DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW” Tag

Because (i think) this is only a US thing, let start with the basics so everybody can follow us here: mattresses, pillows and all stuffed furniture sold in the US come with this warning tag:

Photo: davef3138 / Flickr

This incredibly weird label had people asking the same question for decades: is it really illegal to remove the label from your mattress or pillow? And if so, why?

Well, as it turns out, there’s a pretty good reason this tag is there and the warning is not actually for you, but for the seller. Here’s the interesting story. (the article continues after the ad)

During the 19th century, manufacturers of mattresses, pillows and stuffed furniture were not trusted that the materials they were stuffing their products with were actually the proper materials they were supposed to use.


In an effort to protect customers, several states passed laws that required producers to attach to each product a tag that clearly informed the consumer of the materials used in the construction. These laws also increased the penalties in case of deception and made it illegal for the sellers of the products to remove the tag. Therefore, the “DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW” warning is not actually there for the consumer; it applies only to the seller and it’s there to protect the consumer.

For a long time though, many people were under the impression that the label applied to them and they were cautious not to remove it. Because of this misunderstanding, the tag has now been modified to make it clear that the consumer can remove the label. The tag now reads “UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG IS NOT TO BE REMOVED , EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER”:

Photo: The Sleep Judge / Flickr

So yeah, feel free to snip off that tag from your pillow if it’s really getting on your nerves; you’ll not end up in prison.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Weird Reason Why Angostura Bitters Label Is Too Big For The Bottle 

Copyright © I’m A Useless Info Junkie. Expand for sources and details.

Main Article Photo:  Jeffrey M. Vinocur / Wikimedia, davef3138 / Flickr
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Ever Wonder Why?: Here Are the Answers! | Why can’t You Take the Tag off of a Mattress? | What if I removed the tag from my mattress?

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