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Are Memory Foam Mattresses Bad For Your Health

Memory Foam Mattresses Can Be More Convenient To Purchase

Is Memory Foam Bad For Your Health?

One of the interesting things about memory foam mattresses is that you can purchase them online as a bed in a box type mattress. Memory foam can be compressed and rolled up, and many manufacturers will do just that to enable their mattresses to be conveniently delivered to their customers all over their sales region.

Receiving a bed in a box order has benefits for the customer as well as the manufacturer. When you receive a rolled-up memory foam mattress in a box, you will be able to carry it much more easily to your bedroom, without encountering any issues with stairs and doorframes that seem too small to fit your mattress through.

Another bonus of ordering a compressed memory foam mattress online is that you will not have to handle the delivery. But even if you did, for some reason, have to transport your boxed mattress from one place to another, it would be far easier to manage than if you had a full-sized spring or hybrid mattress to deal with. With a bit of careful planning, you could even fit your mattress into the back of your car.

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.

What Is Memory Foam Made Of

Specific memory foam ingredients vary from company to company. However, virtually all flexible polyurethane foams contain a few basic ingredients:

  • Polyols are the basic building blocks of memory foam. These are molecules that contain more than one alcohol chemical group, called a hydroxyl group. Polyols are organic compounds and can be found in everything from sugar to plastic.
  • Diisocyanates are a type of chemical compound that chemically reacts with polymers to produce polyurethane foam. Toluene diisocyanate and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate are the most common diisocyanates used in memory foam.
  • Blowing agents are used to help create the chemical reaction that makes the foam. Most current companies use water, which is less toxic than traditional chemical-based blowing agents.

Many substances used to make memory foam are derived from petroleum, and some shoppers express concern that their memory foam mattress may be toxic.

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Arememory Foam Toppers Any Good

You may read comments on websites that have memory foam mattress topper reviews about how a topper can turn any mattress into a luxury bed. This is simply nonsense. That’s like saying you can put a fake fur jacket on a pig and turn it into a purebred dog.

See, in order for the topper to work, you have to have a good mattress already that the topper can sit on top of.

If your mattress is getting into that seven to ten-year-old range, a topper may not help you get a better night’s sleep. You may need to be thinking about replacing the entire mattress.

Just take a good honest look at the mattress you have. If it’s seven years old and still decent, you might be able to keep that mattress going for a few more years if you put a topper on it.

However, if your mattress is already worn out, and sagging in the middle, the foam topper will sag too. It’s a waste of money because the topper will conform to the underlying foundation.

Flame Retardants Can Be Toxic

What is the Best Type of Mattress For a Bad Back?

Mattresses sold in the US need to be able to withstand an open flame for at least 30 minutes.

And given that polyfoam is derived from petroleum and therefore highly flammable, memory foam mattresses need to be encased in a fire-resistant material .

Some mattress manufacturers will treat the fire barrier with harsh chemicals that can be toxic, whilst others may opt to go for a fire barrier thats comprised of natural materials like wool or thistle.

However, many mattress companies use proprietary formulas that make it difficult to find out exactly what substances are used in the fire barriers of their memory foam mattresses.

Some of the potentially toxic materials associated with flame proofing a mattress may include:

  • Boric acid cotton can be treated with boric acid to make it more resistant to fire. However, boric acid may be toxic to the organs.
  • Modacrylic a potential carcinogen.
  • PBDEs potentially toxic to the liver, thyroid, and nervous system. Thankfully, PBDEs were banned in 2004 in the US. However, PBDEs may still be used in mattresses made outside the US.
  • Trisphosphate a potential neurotoxin, carcinogen, and endocrine disruptor that may disrupt normal development.

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What Can I Do If I Have Back Pain

Whether you experienced back pain because of physical activity or you’re simply sleeping incorrectly, getting the problem fixed is important. In many situations, those experiencing significant back pain are on mattresses that are too old or do not conform to them in a way which is comfortable.This makes switching mattresses a necessary step. However, not all mattresses will offer the support you need and it’s important to try different types of mattresses to determine which is best for you.Memory foam mattresses are ever changing and there are more options now than ever before. They have proven more often than not to be beneficial when used by those who have chronic back pain.Just remember that whatever choice you make, spine alignment should be the utmost priority. It can do wonders to alleviate the pressure at certain points on your body and the right mattress can provide your pain some much needed relief.

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Memory Foam Moulds To Your Body

The problem with lying on a standard spring mattress is that it does very little to acknowledge your body. Perhaps your heavier areas might sink into the mattress slightly, but this is more of a response to your weight and does not factor in the shape of your body. You will not get the support that you need from a spring mattress, as there may be parts of your body that will not even come into proper contact with the mattress .

Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, mould to your body in response to the heat you produce. The foam gives way when you press, or lie, on it, and returns to its original shape when you relieve the force or get up. As your body temperature heats up, memory foam mattresses sink and mould to your bodys contours.

The foam sinks more deeply in areas that press down further, like your hips and your shoulders, which means that your whole body is evenly supported while you sleep. When you change positions, sit up or rollover, the memory foam will immediately change, sinking, rising and moulding once more, to reflect your new sleeping position.

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Memory Foam Construction & Makeup

The main ingredient of memory foam is polyurethane. This compound comes from petroleum as a byproduct. Extracted during the refinement process of crude oil.

During the process of making a memory, foam polyurethane is often mixed. The number of other toxic chemicals include many harmful compounds. Polyvinyl chloride, formaldehyde, boric acid, antimony trioxide and different types of petrochemicals.

Since 2004, by law, the U.S. requires all mattresses to be fireproof to a specific temperature point and ever since the toxicity levels in foam memory mattresses have increased. This makes foam mattresses very harmful.

All memory foam comes from using various heavy industrial chemicals. It is no wonder it is unfit for human use.

A lab in Atlanta analyzed several mattresses made from this, it found them to emit 61 different types of chemicals. Some of these materials were carcinogens including benzene and naphthalene.

This was first announced by Walter Bader, the author of the book Toxic Bedrooms. It is remarkable that no one is actually letting the public know about this information.

As for the main ingredient polyurethane, its use isn’t monitored at all. It was not regulated by OSHA , even though it is well known that it can be dangerous when combined with other chemicals.

Some of the isocyanates found in memory foam mattresses can cause harm to the skin. These can also cause respiration problems. Isocyanate compounds irritate skin and are harmful to human health.

Is Gel Memory Foam Good For Your Back

Is Your Memory Foam Mattress Good for Your Back?

In 2011, gel memory foam mattresses were introduced in the market. It immediately gained popularity because of the extra level of support and comfort it offers. This type of memory foam mattress can conform to your body and distribute your weight equally across the mattress to achieve a floating effect.

Although this mattress is ideal for people with back pain problems, its heat retention technology traps heat. As a result, you feel overheated while sleeping on a gel memory foam. The discomfort can trigger your back pain and other health conditions.

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What Is A Spring Mattress

A spring mattress contains one or more layers of metal coils, which provide a bouncy feel to the bed. An insulating material wraps around each coil to cushion it.

The thickness, number, and type of coil vary between different spring mattresses. Layers of foam or natural fibers give the mattress further cushioning and provide comfort. They also improve back support.

The pros and cons of a spring mattress include:

Can A Mattress Really Be Bad For You

We spend roughly one-third of our lives on our beds, so it makes sense why wed be concerned about potentially harmful chemicals in our mattresses. As a relatively new technology, memory foam still feels somewhat risky and untested for many consumers. After all, there are many chemicals and natural latex substances found in memory foam.

At present, three main components are used in the manufacturing of conventional memory foam material. Weve listed these three elements below for your convenience.

  • Polyols: A petroleum oil-based ingredient that acts as a binder or bulking agent in a latex mattress.
  • Blowing Agents: Creates foam by introducing carbon to the material.
  • Diisocyanates: Reacts with polyols and blowing agents to create polyurethane foam.

So, which of the three components above are the cause of all this concern? The answer, unfortunately, isnt easy to pinpoint. However, there are a handful of potentially harmful substances that are identified in memory foam mattresses in the past. Some of the more well-known harmful substances in memory foam include:

  • Acetone: High toxicity threshold, limited impact at low exposure
  • Formaldehyde: Toxin that can occur as a byproduct of adhesives
  • Methylene aniline : Potential carcinogenic substance
  • Dimethylformamide: Suspected carcinogenic substance

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How Do I Know If My Mattress Is Causing My Back Pain

In general, memory foam mattress doesnt usually cause back pain. Most sleepers prefer memory foam to innerspring mattresses. The only thing that might trigger your back pain is your body weight and shape. Some people easily sink into the memory foam while creating misalignment on their spine which can cause your back pain.

In other words, not all sleepers can take advantage of memory foam mattresses. If your weight is evenly distributed through your body, then you can benefit from memory foam. Heavy sleepers, on the other hand, may not enjoy the same experience as their weight is heavier in specific areas. As a result, they easily sink into the memory foam which gives them spine misalignment and back pain.

Ideally, a memory foam mattress can adjust to different body shapes while making sure that bodyweight is evenly distributed throughout the surface of the mattress. In return, it relieves your spine and neck from extra pressure. If you keep on having back pain issues upon waking up, then its likely that your mattress is causing the problem.

Memory Foam & Polyurethane Foam Components

Health Benefits of Using Memory Foam Mattresses
  • Polyols the binder/bulk ingredient. Usually composed of petroleum oil-derived ingredients, but may also include botanical sources like soy or castor beans.
  • Diisocyanates the reactive ingredient. Reacts with the polyols and blowing agent to produce a flexible polyurethane foam. The most commonly used sources are MDI and TDI, which alone in raw forms can cause respiratory and dermal sensitization and may be carcinogenic. MDI is regarded as the safer and less toxic option, and is known to be the least hazardous organic isocyanate. The primary hazard with these compounds is during manufacturing after reacting they are inert but can offgas.
  • Blowing Agents introduces carbon to create the foam. Used to use CFCs, though today manufacturers may use water, HFC or other agents.

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Possible Ingredients/Byproducts of Concern

Which ingredients are causing all the trouble? There are some other chemicals that can be in memory foam, however the ingredients used in a specific brands memory foam are considered trade secret and are not required to be released. Often, pinpointing the components is impossible.

The good thing is that US laws and voluntary restrictions have phased out most of the more concerning chemicals that could be present in memory foam, though these would not necessarily apply to imports.

Rarely Used or Banned:

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Memory Foam Is Environmentally Friendly

When it is time to say goodbye to your old memory foam mattress, the good news is that you can easily recycle it rather than sending it to the skip.

Memory foam is a type of plastic, and though it is not as easy as some plastics to recycle, it is still possible. And as the demand for memory foam mattresses continues to grow, so does the need to recycle them which is encouraging some recyclers to get creative with how to give the memory foam material a second life. Most often, memory foam mattresses will be recycled into other products that contain foam, in a process called down-cycling.

Not all recycling centres take in memory foam items, so make sure you do your research that finds a place that does. In comparison, spring mattresses are almost impossible to recycle as a whole, as they contain a variety of components like metal springs and fabric exteriors that will need to be separated and sorted. With that said, if you can find a recycler that will do that for you, you can still recycle your spring mattress. It just may not be as easy as recycling one that is made out of memory foam.

The Endy Foam Mattress

The Endy Mattress offers a unique triple layer design that provides full support and comfort for a great night of uninterrupted sleep. The combination of open-cell, transition, and support foam materials is a truly innovative construction that is suitable for a wide range of sleepers.

Whether you toss and turn or stay in place, you will have the balance of support and responsiveness you are looking for here. And if you and your partner sleep differently, that will not be a problem. Their movement will not disturb you thanks to the motion isolation quality of the open-cell foam!

There is also good news for the eco-conscious or sensitive noses out there! This mattress is certified CertiPUR-US so you will not get that factory chemical smell that comes with other brands. Since some people can get migraines for chemical smells, this is a definite plus!

  • No break-in period before you can return the mattress
  • Made in Canada
  • 10-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial is shorter than most of the other mattresses on this list
  • Only one firmness level of Medium Firm

Save $50 On Your Endy Order By Using Code: SUSTAINABLE50

Memory Foam Backrest 16w X 12d X 16h Black

The MEMORY FOAM BACKREST, 16W X 12D X 16H, BLACK is great for people spending long hours at the workstation. The high-density memory foam will support your entire back. The backrest was constructed to mold to your body. Not to mention youve got space on your side. NASA originally developed the large memory foam to relieve g-force stress to help with pressure sensitivity. The two adjustment stamps will keep the memory foam firmly in place for maximum back support.

How We Chose The Best Copper Mattresses

Health Care memory foam mattress at RC Willey

There arent too many copper-infused mattress options on the market. But even with a limited set of choices, we made sure to look at:

  • Company policies. We prioritize mattress companies with solid customer-facing policies, like no-hassle shipping and returns, in-home trials, and fair warranties.
  • Company reputation and transparency. Brands featured below all have a decent reputation, transparent business practices and positive customer reviews. Plus, their mattresses meet federal flammability requirements.
  • Quality. We chose models with materials certifications, like CertiPUR-US. The mattresses are solid picks, regardless of their so-called copper-specific properties.

Not Enough Time Has Passed

It can take up to 30 days or more for a new memory foam mattress to break in and adjust to your body weight, body type, and preferred sleeping position.

This is why many sleep trials stipulate that you cannot return the mattress until this 30 night adjustment window has passed.

Solution: Adjust or Return

The solution is to wait for the 30 night trial period to pass to see if you get used to the mattress and your back pain eases returning it for a refund if youre still unhappy.

However, spending 30 nights in agony isnt recommended.

So you might like to try some of the adjustment strategies that Ive already listed in this guide to help you cope in the meantime if you have no choice but to sleep in the mattress.

You could try using a mattress topper, walking/rolling on the mattress to break it in, heating/cooling the room, trying a different base, or switching your sleeping position.


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