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Does Memory Foam Mattress Cause Cancer

Is Memory Foam Toxic

Therapedic Comfort 2″ Memory Foam Mattress Topper Review

Historically, memory foam could contain any number of potentially toxic chemicals. For example, diisocyanates can irritate the mouth, nose, and eyes, and TDI in particular may be carcinogenic. Other substances could also be used during the manufacturing process. However, as new research sheds light on the harmful effects of certain chemicals, more and more manufacturers are moving away from using these substances. Todays mattresses are usually considered harmless, and any chemicals used during manufacturing are generally fairly stable by the time they reach your house.

Companies usually prefer not to divulge the exact ingredients they use to make their memory foam, as these blends are considered a trade secret. Although not all harmful chemicals are banned from use, most mattress companies voluntarily subscribe to inspections by third-party organizations that test the foams for the most common harmful chemicals. The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down in recent years on companies who make non-toxic claims without being able to back them up.

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

Eos Organic Latex Mattress By Naturepedic

The EOS mattress by Naturepedic is a good option if you are looking for:

  • A truly organic option made with natural ingredients like cotton, wool, natural latex, and sugar cane.
  • Certified by Global Organic Latex Standard for latex-containing mattresses.
  • Certified by Greenguard Gold
  • Certified Non-Toxic by MadeSafe
  • The ability to have different comfort levels for you and your sleeping partner
  • No flame retardant chemicals or flame barriers at all. Yet, Naturepedic mattresses meet all fire safety standards because the materials burn at a slower rate and lower heat release than petroleum-based materials.
  • Have a more conservative budget.

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Whats The Big Deal About Off

Most people think of off-gassing as something that is mildly painful, but incredibly brief. After all, the caustic odor associated with off-gassing only lasts a few hours in most cases, and a few days at worst. Right?


Off-gassing occurs when volatile organic compounds are released into the open air, exposing products to oxygenated air. This typically happens when removing the plastic sheeting around mattresses. Some mattresses are notorious for off-gassing, including many popular and very famous brands. Unfortunately, most people believe, erroneously, that off-gassing lasts only as long as the odor lingers in the air.

While it is true that the initial odors that are so repugnant only last a brief time after opening your new mattress, the effects can linger for several years, depending on the precise chemicals used in making the mattress, according to Nontoxic Living. Even if you cant smell the chemicals in the air, they can remain to cause a wide range of symptoms including:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Damage to your liver and kidneys
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

There is even some evidence that it can contribute to some types of cancer. The problem is that many mattresses contain numerous VOCs, and while the effects of individual VOCs are known, there have been few studies that focus on the combined effects of multiple VOCs. In other words, we dont know how bad it could be.

Youre Using The Wrong Base

Does Memory Foam Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain? (Updated ...

If youve just bought a new memory foam mattress and plonked it on your existing base then a lack of compatibility might be causing subtle sagging thats leading to your back pain.

Youll typically find that memory foam mattresses dont do as well on slatted bases unless the gaps between the slats are no more than 3-4 inches.

This is because spaces that are too wide may allow the foam to push through the gaps and undermine the support.

Solution Use a Compatible Base

You need to check the warranty or the manufacturers guidelines for the mattress that youre going to buy to find out which bases are compatible with your memory foam mattresses.

Be wary of 3rd party sellers that claim you can use any base.

If you buy directly from the manufacturers website, you can often bundle in a compatible base to avoid issues with sagging and voiding of the warranty.

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Recognizing The Side Effects Of Your Memory Foam Mattress

You can recognize the symptoms of exposure to the harmfulness of foam mattresses. These include morning headaches muscle pain, frequent nausea and the lack of concentration. The reduced cognitive ability is most often reported in young children. Especially in those that have been using memory foam beddings. They suffer from the lack of concentration, frequent headaches, and respiratory issues. Some can exhibit allergic problems too. Many adults reported reduced intellectual performance and recurring respiratory problems.

Learn More:Memory Foam Allergy Symptoms

It is not surprising at all that these health issues are starting to increase in scope. Especially since more and more homeowners opt to replace their regular spring mattresses with brand new memory foam ones as a result of that law enacted in 2004.

Even these standard spring-based mattresses needed to follow fire safety regulations. And so they too got treated with harmful fire retardant compounds.

Memory Foam And Possible Health Risks

Memory Foam Beds & Shocking Customer Experiences

Yesterday I received a phone call from a repeat customer who wanted to order some more latex toppers for a beach house she had just inherited in Florida. She was sharing with me stories about her experiences with memory foam mattresses and I asked her to put it in writing because even though I know and preach against memory foam it would be better for people to hear from someone other than myself. Whether the Memory Foam in her experiences was certified or not I have no way of knowing but below is a copy of her testimonial and should be read by everyone who is considering memory foam mattresses.

Dear Ken,

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Less Expensive Ways To Sleep Safely

Do you want to co-sleep with your baby, but dont want to buy a new mattress? Consider a futon as an alternative to an expensive, non-toxic mattress. They are much more comfortable than they were in your childhood, and I love the ones by Soaring Heart in particular.

Heres where I explain the difference between a mattress and a futon:

Should You Ditch Your Current Organic Mattress

Memory Foam vs Natural Latex

Not if its working for you. If you have no body pains and aches, you sleep deep and sound and you dont feel hot and sweaty, I see no good reason for you to change. You may find that the mattress loses its firmness in the near future I would then re-evaluate your next mattress option and give either Organix by Intellibed or EOS by Naturepedic a consideration.

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Fiberglass Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Fiberglass is commonly used in memory foam mattresses as part of the fire barrier typically layered beneath or woven into the inner cover out of sight.

Most people dont realize that their mattress contains fiberglass until they remove the cover and millions of tiny shards of fiberglass are released into their home where they can potentially cause allergic reactions and may cost $1,000s to be removed by a professional cleaning company.

However, not all memory foam mattresses contain fiberglass.

Check out my list of the best mattresses without fiberglass to find some high quality options.

Benefits Of A Memory Foam Pillow

The support that a memory foam pillow gives you helps you sleep in the best position for your spine: one that supports the natural curve of your cervical spine. This is made up of the first seven bones that make up your neck.

To help you do this, memory foam pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the traditional puffy rectangles to a curved orthopedic model designed for back and side sleepers.

As you sleep on your back, gravity keeps your body centered over your spine and keeps the banana-shaped curve of your neck intact. If youâre a back sleeper, experts say that you should use a small, rounded neck roll to support your neck and a flatter pillow to support the rest of your head. You can do this by combining a few different types of pillows, or by using a contoured memory foam one.

For side sleepers, the pillow should be higher under your neck than it is under your head. If you sleep on your side, you want to keep your chin straight ahead in a neutral position.

But some people tuck their chin into a fetal position. This forces your head forward and may cause pain. Studies have shown that a contoured memory foam pillow can help support your chin in the correct posture.

If you often sleep on planes or in cars, a horseshoe-shaped memory foam pillow can support your neck so it doesnât drop uncomfortably far to one side. Just make sure itâs not too high in the back, or itâll push your head forward as you doze.

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Related Advise For Are Tempurpedic Mattress Toxic

Can you be allergic to a tempurpedic mattress?

How Can a Memory Foam Mattress Cause an Allergic Reaction? There are numerous ways allergic reactions can be triggered. Particular smells can be irritating accumulated dust can cause a response, and even the materials that make up the foam itself can be an issue.

Why is Tempurpedic the best?

The mattresses are great at providing pain relief and that’s a big reason people love TEMPUR-Pedic. The high-quality memory foam reduces the pressure points, allowing for a comfortable sleeping experience that doesn’t hurt the hips, shoulders, or neck.

What are the healthiest mattresses to sleep on?

Wishing you good luck in your searchlet us know your favorites in the comments!

  • #1. Avocado Green Mattress. Organic Materials | 100% GOTS organic certified cotton & wool, 100% natural latex.
  • #2. Saatva.
  • #8. DreamCloud.
  • What is Tempur material made of?

    Tempur mattresses are made of a pressure-relieving synthetic foam that moulds to your bodyweight in bed.

    Does Tempur-Pedic off gas?

    Tempur-Pedic offers a wide range of memory foam mattresses. The off-gassing odor strength varies among models, but consumers can expect it to dissipate within the first two weeks.

    Is Tempurpedic good for your back?

    Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt works for all kinds of body type sleepers with back pain. It is available for three firmness levels. A lightweight body will prefer a softer mattress for better conforming.

    TEMPUR-ProAdapt for Bad Back & Lower Back Pain.

  • Vinyl.
  • Flame Retardants And Other Vocs In Mattresses

    How Long do Gel Memory Foam Mattresses Last?

    Have you ever wondered what that weird smell is when you unroll or uncover a new mattress? Most likely, that is the lovely aroma of volatile organic compounds , including a heady mix of flame retardants and other chemicals.

    VOCs, many of which are classed as carcinogens, are emitted as a breathable gas from mattresses, carpets, furnishings, paint, cleaning supplies, printer ink, and other household products. Concentrations inside the house can be ten-fold higher than outdoors and, consider this, you spend a good 7-9 hours a night with your face smushed into your mattress. If youre an infant, you may spend more than 12 hours a day in close contact to a source of VOCs, with studies showing increased concentrations of VOCs in incubators due to mattresses off-gassing, especially when the air is hot and humid.

    Even though manufacturers claim that the polyols and isocyanates in mattress foam have reacted and are no longer volatile, older polyurethane foam mattresses are especially bad for off-gassing as the mattress breaks down into dust. VOCs in mattresses also include a variety of chemicals used as stain and soil repellents, antimicrobial treatments , adhesives, and flame retardants.

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    Are Coil Mattresses Bad For You


    . Also to know is, is a metal bed harmful for your health?

    Health Tips – Metal in BedroomsMetals accumulate electrical charges which can distort the body’s own electrical field. This can make it difficult for your body to heal and possibly to sleep. Do not use a box spring or the metal mattress bed frame it often sits on.

    which is better foam or coil mattress? In general, memory foam mattresses are thought of as softer than a spring mattress. The truth is that a high-density memory foam mattress can be soft or firm. A spring mattress‘ firmness is determined primarily by the coil gauge used in the springs. The lower the gauge, the thicker and stiffer the wires in the coils.

    People also ask, are spring mattresses toxic?

    Most mattresses contain petroleum based chemicals, toxic foams, synthetic fabrics, and fire retardant barriers or chemicals. These chemicals can off-gas to expose your family to dangerous levels of toxins while they sleep. But a mattress can still off-gas even when it’s 10 years old and there’s no chemical smell.

    How many coils should a good mattress have?

    300 coils

    Theres Not Enough Support

    If your memory foam mattress is giving you back pain then a lack of support is one of the major causes.

    Mattress support is NOT the same as mattress firmness.

    Firmness refers to the hard or soft feeling that you experience when you initially lie on the mattress.

    Whilst support is the degree to which the mattress is able to support your spine, promote good posture, and keep your back and joints free from pain.

    The firmness and feel of the mattress is typically influenced by the upper comfort layer of the mattress, whilst the support is more a product of the lower support core although the two can influence each other to some extent.

    Poor mattress support is typically the result of sagging.

    Sagging may occur because theres too much weight on the mattress, the materials have degraded, manufacturer defects, poor design, or a combination of these factors.

    Solution Get the Right Amount of Support

    Getting the right amount of support for your memory foam mattress to guard against back pain can be achieved in the following ways:

    • More support for heavier weights if you weigh more than 230 lbs then you need to make sure that your all-foam, memory foam mattress is designed to hold this amount of weight . Otherwise, you might be better going for a hybrid design where the base is made from coils for more robust support and the upper comfort layer is made from memory foam for greater pressure relief.

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    Are Memory Foam Mattresses Safe

    Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more

    The memory foam mattress trend has picked up speed in recent years because of the bed in a box phenomenon, making quality mattresses readily available to anyone with an internet connection. Memory foam is one of the most popular types of bed-in-a-box mattresses because they are easy to compress and roll up into a box.

    Memory foam is a favorite material for mattresses because it conforms closely to the body and relieves pressure points, making it the top choice for anyone with chronic pain. Its virtually noiseless, too, and its responsive structure means it isolates motion much better than traditional innerspring beds.

    Despite memory foams versatility, some shy away from buying it because they are worried about exposure to toxic chemicals. Today, most mattress companies produce their memory foam using natural manufacturing processes, and their foams are certified by various organizations to ensure they are clean.

    This article will go over the basic structure of memory foam, how its made, and what to look for in non-toxic memory foam mattresses.

    Are Memory Foam Bed In A Box Mattresses Safe

    The dangerous effects of my pillow and memory foam latex or soy products

    While memory foam bed in a box mattresses differ from traditional beds in their method of delivery, they hold all of the same characteristics of any standard memory foam mattress youd find in a store. Shopping directly with an online brand often puts you at an advantage too, as they often disclose all relevant information about their beds and post it on their website. This makes it easy to determine if their beds are up to your standards.

    Whereas in a store, youre often left asking all of those detailed questions, as sales associates usually dont offer up negative information about a bed while attempting to sell it.

    As always, read the description of each mattress material to ensure no harmful substances are lurking in your bed. And if you have questions, ask them! Many websites have a Live Chat feature allowing you to send a message directly to the brand for a prompt reply.

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