Toxic Materials In Foam Mattresses Are We Safe
Their incredible popularity seems to be unstoppable. Seeing how most of the homeowners are switching to foam mattresses we have to stop and ask ourselves. Are these synthetically based mattresses safe for human use?
This question is sound and logical. Especially, since the materials used in making memory foam mattresses are artificially made. And by themselves can be harmful to human health. But, the reality is not that gloomy.
High-quality, foam-based products are now available for way less money than before and with green and eco-friendly manufacturing process. We do not recommend that you opt for any mattress that’s below $400 or pillow that costs less than $50. But, in order to learn why cheap products can be harmful, we have to get to the bottom of this issue.
Most of the cheaper memory mattresses come from polyurethane foam. This substance is not safe for use in the U.S. since 2004 due to health concerns. Even the more expensive brands contain some of the most toxic substances. The health concerns are great. Given no testing was conducted only time will tell on how effects of their use impact human health.
In this article, we will explain the main components of cheap foam mattresses. How do they exactly affect human health? We will question their safety and expose possible concerns about their use.
Best Cooling: Sleep Innovations 4
Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal. king | Material: Gel memory foam, fiber fill | Thickness: 4 inches | Care: Removable, washable cover| Warranty: 10 years
New smell lingers
For some, the decision to buy a foam mattress topper isnt based on creating a more plush surface as much as keeping things cool throughout the night. Combining the best attributes of memory foam and fiber-fill, this is the goldilocks of mattress toppers. Each layer is two inches thick, providing both support and plushness all in one. The pillowy top layer is machine washable, and it provides great protection for the memory foam layer. Although, should anything go awry, the memory foam layer has a 10-year warranty).
But the toppers best attribute is its cooling capabilities. Despite sitting beneath a two-inch layer of fiber-fill, the gel-infused memory foam still works wonders to keep you cool at night, no matter the temperature outside.
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, short queen, queen, king | Material: Green tea and charcoal-infused memory foam | Thickness: 1.5, 3, or 4 inches | Care: Spot clean| Warranty: 5 years
Infused with green tea and charcoal for odor protection and moisture-wicking
No cooling gel
Needs 48 hours to expand to full size
Just keep in mind this denser topper might feel a little hot, as theres no cooling gel, so its better for cold sleepers or cooler climates.
What Do You Think Of Memory Foam Mattresses And Toppers Are They Safe
What do you think of memory foam mattresses and toppers? Are they safe?
I am curious about “memory foam.” We are buying a new mattress and have not been able to dig up any information on memory-foam mattresses or toppers. We are also considering latex or organic cotton/wool, but we’d like to know the health implications of these other popular mattresses.
Memory foam is, simply put, foam made from polyurethane. Also called visco-elastic polyurethane foam, memory foam poses various health and environmental concerns:
I recommend you purchase a properly constructed, 100-percent natural/organic mattress that passes the federal open-flame test, made with 100-percent natural latex instead of synthetic materials.
In addition to being less toxic, an organic mattress will also provide other health benefits. For example, while synthetic mattresses tend to hold moisture and provide favorable conditions for dust mites, an organic mattress made with natural latex and organic or chemical-free wool is naturally resistant to moisture and dust mites.
In the book Prescriptions for a Healthy House you’ll find a comprehensive article that I contributed, including many other tips for choosing a truly healthy, organic mattress.
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Learn More About Latex Mattress Toppers
There is an eco-friendly alternative topper that doesnt retain body heat, offers soothing comfort and supple support, and will last longer than gel or memory foam mattress toppers. Read more about the common types of latex mattress toppers available today.
As with any mattress topper, read up on the components of a latex topper and look for certifications that confirm a manufacturers claims for 100% natural or organic latex toppers.
You can also check out our guides to which type of latex mattress topper will work best for you in terms of firmness and depth or shop the Naturally Nestled selection of latex toppers and pillows.
The Consequences Of Flame Proofing
Many memory foam mattresses contain additives that are designed to slow or prevent the spread of flames. These substances are called flame retardants, and although they are meant to quell the danger of a fire, they can cause unwanted side effects and health issues.
Most retardant chemicals used in the manufacturing of commercial mattresses contain toxic chemicals. Since polyurethane foam is a flammable substance, US regulators require all memory foam mattresses to include flame retardants to resist the spread of a fire. Weve listed the most popular flame retardants used in memory foam mattresses below.
- Chlorinated tris : A common fire retardant banned in several European markets consider carcinogenic.
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers : A known neurotoxin that can negatively impact the human bodys endocrine system.
- Modacrylic fiber: A carcinogenic substance that has caused sudden infant death syndrome in rare cases.
- Decabromodiphenyl oxide: A possibly carcinogenic material that may have negative neurological effects if consumed.
- Rayon and silica: Non-toxic substances derived from natural bamboo.
Today, public safety campaigns have pushed the negative consequences of flame retardants into the public consciousness. Consequently, scientific research is being undertaken to seek new ways to prevent the spread of fires in memory foam mattresses without exposing consumers to harmful chemicals.
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What Situations Do Memory Foam Toppers Work Best For
It’s probably safe to say you’re looking into a topper because you want memory foam… and you also want to save money.
Perhaps you just can’t pony up the substantial money needed to buy a memory foam mattress.
Fair enough. Just keep in mind that along with what I said above about back pain, a topper is best for the following:
So Are Memory Foam Mattresses Safe
The worldwide popularity of memory foam has made the material subject to heavy scrutiny in recent years. Critics and environmentalists have panned memory foam for containing toxic substances that can be harmful if ingested or converted into a gaseous form. However, in their regular physical state, the risk of harm from memory foam is minimal.
Ultimately, the question are memory foam mattresses safe has no definitive answer. On the one hand, there are several harmful chemical substances used in the manufacturing of memory foam such as blowing agents, diisocyanates, and polyols. However, there are organic and eco-friendly memory foam mattress options that avoid these potential carcinogens.
If youre going to purchase a memory foam mattress, you can minimize risk by choosing a model made by a reputable brand that contains only non-toxic materials. Also, be sure that youre only purchasing memory foam for adultsinfants should never sleep on memory foam since the flexible material can obstruct breathing if they roll over in their crib.
About the author
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Is Your Mattress Releasing Toxins While You Sleep
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 — Most people consider their bed a safe haven, but new research suggests your body heat might trigger the release of potentially harmful chemicals from your mattress.
Mattresses are known to release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds . These VOCs come mainly from the polyurethane used in the mattress, but also from other chemicals used in flame retardants and plastics, the researchers said.
Unfortunately, your body heat appears to increase VOC emissions from your mattress, according to tests conducted on eight different types of polyurethane mattresses.
But don’t toss out your mattress just yet: The estimated doses of most VOCs remained well below the levels that could cause health effects, researchers noted.
However, some compounds did reach levels of concern for infants and young children, if their ages were considered in exposure calculations, the researchers added.
“There is no reason to panic, and yet it is important to understand that air quality in our sleeping micro-environment is important with regard to our exposure to various pollutants such as VOCs,” said senior researcher Yael Dubowski, an associate professor with the Israel Institute of Technology. “Hence, we should make an effort to improve it.”
Body heat appeared to increase each mattress’ release of VOCs, compared with the levels released when the mattresses were not in use, researchers found.
Is Mattress Topper Right For You
Generally speaking, the dilemma is usually between purchasing a new mattress and a topper that would revitalize your current one. Let us make it easier for you: if your bed is even slightly usable, there is no need to spend a fortune on a new one. Wed like to point a few comprehensive benefits that you might take into account when you are torn between those two options.
- Mattress toppers are responsive
Right off the bat, just like a memory foam mattress, the topper is also going to be responsive and mold to the contours of your body. It will respond quickly, as soon as you lay down. It is going to provide you with the necessary support exactly where and when you need it the most. If you are experiencing specific issues or types of pain, this is the right call.
- Noise Transmission
Memory foam is characterized by the fact that it provides flawless noise transmission regarding its isolating properties. Therefore, if you have a partner who is overly active while he or she sleeps, this is going to be a great option.
If there is one thing that you ought to know about memory foam, its that it is very durable. When you invest in a topper of the kind, its likely to be a long-term investment that you would be able to rely on for years to come.
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Is Sagging A Concern In Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Sagging may be a concern in all memory foam mattresses, especially at the edges because of excess weight while getting in and out of bed. To counter the sagging problem at the edges, many mattresses are made with enhanced edge support. Most mattress manufacturers cover sagging greater than 1 inch in their warranties. Before buying a new mattress, read its warranties, sleep trials and return policies in detail.
What Is Gel Memory Foam
Gel memory foam mattresses are made by either adding gel beads to memory foam, swirling liquid gel into memory foam, or adding gel on top of the comfort layer. Cooling gel helps in dissipating heat, allowing you to sleep cool while retaining memory foams original body-conforming and pressure-relieving features.
What goes into the cooling gel is a closely guarded secret by mattress manufacturers. Some mattresses have a thermal gel inside that absorbs body heat to lower body temperature, while others use chemicals known as phase-changing materials or PCMthey start out solid at room temperature and change into liquid from body heat. There are some complaints that gel memory foams cooling effect may be temporary because once the PCM changes state from solid to liquid, the heat remains trapped in the mattress.
Some gel memory foam beds may have better cooling abilities than others. The performance of gel memory foam also depends on the structure of the other mattress layers and how hot the sleeper gets at night. Gel memory foam in a hybrid performs better than in an all-foam mattress because the layer of coils in the hybrid enhances the mattresses breathability. In all-foam models, factors like the mattresses cover material, breathability, and heat affect the gel memory foam layers effectiveness.
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Common Problems With Gel Mattress Toppers
All of the problems listed above for memory foam mattress toppers apply to gel mattress toppers, because they are made from a combination of memory foam and cooling gel.
The main benefit of gel toppers over memory foam toppers without gel is that the gel adds a cooling effect to offset the tendency of memory foam to hold in body heat. However, not all gels are created equally and not every product provides the same cooling effect. The variability in quality found in foam toppers is also an issue for gel toppers, so research these products before buying.
Everything You Need To Know About Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
When we think of the perfect sleep, we imagine lying down on a plush mattress with soft pillows and a nice warm blanket, creating a cosy and comfortable nights sleep.
While a quality mattress can be the key to your comfort, adding a memory foam mattress topper is undeniably a fantastic way to elevate the comfort level of your bed.
Memory foam mattress toppers can be bought together with a new mattress, or it can also be used to bring new life to an old bed.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about memory foam mattress toppers and why you can benefit from using one.
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Will The Odor Go Away
Many memory foam mattress owners report that the off gassing period ends after a number of days. Of course there are many factors which influence this including the product, the type of foam, the sensitivity of the person, the room ventilation and more. Even if the initial odor goes away, it is natural to wonder if there are health issues related to off gassing.
Which Mattress Type Is Best For Me
If you are a hot sleeper, a cooling mattress may be your priority, but which cooling option to choose will be your decision. Read mattress reviews carefully before investing in a new bed to secure a good nights sleep for yourself.
About the author
Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimers and sleep. Geoffs passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.
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Dont Even Think About Buying A Memory Foam Topper Until You Read This
Here are the most frequent questions I have received on how to buy a memory foam topper.
Also, at the bottom of this page are fourteen more questionsand comments from my visitors.
I will be adding more answers to questions in the future. Fornow though, I hope these here will help you make a good decision about buying amemory foam topper.
Will It Support My Back
Simply put, using a memory foam mattress topper for your bed will allow for better support for your back as you sleep.
The memory foam moulds to your bodys contours and conforms to any sleeping position, providing premium comfort and weight distribution.
Whilst the memory foam is soft and squishy, it still adds an extra layer of support for the areas where its needed, like your shoulders and back.
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Common Problems With Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
Memory foam is made from petrochemicals and is not biodegradable. While some companies are adding green components to their memory foam products, the base material itself is not biodegradable. Therefore, both memory foam and gel mattress toppers are not ideal options for eco-conscious consumers.
For the first several days after bringing a memory foam mattress topper home, it can give off strong odors. Known as off-gassing, which refers to the release of volatile organic compounds , these compounds are generally considered safe if you buy from a reputable company that is transparent about its manufacturing processes. However, if you have allergies or are sensitive to chemical smells or emissions, memory foam may aggravate these conditions.
Another common problem with memory foam mattress toppers is that they tend to hold in body heat. Many people who prefer to sleep in a cooler environment find this effect unpleasant.
Lastly, over time, memory foam starts to lose its form, which results in indentations in the surface of a mattress topper. This can result in decreased comfort and may signal that its time to replace the topper. Memory foam toppers can vary widely in terms of both composition and quality. Its best to do careful research before selecting a memory foam mattress topper and choose one with a clearly outlined warranty.