Are Memory Foam Mattresses Toxic-Free? Time For The Truth!

Top among your concern when you go to sleep is whether the comfortable, firm, adjustable and plush Memory Foam Mattress you sleep on, is eco-friendly and free from chemicals. There is no dispute that these types’ mattresses have high levels of hazardous materials.

However minimal research has been carried out to authenticate these claims. They are safe to you but only if you choose wisely. Foam is used to make mattresses due to its affordability and lightness than most materials.

They are popular due to their firmness. Besides, most manufacturers promote them as 100% natural though this may not be entirely true.

How will you be Affected by the chemicals?

You might be wondering what VOCs are? Once you purchase a brand new Memory Foam Mattress from your local supplier, it has off-gassing toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These toxins will eventually mix with the air we breathe when gas escapes into the air.

Foam is a petroleum by-product, and can burn quickly. It’s added harmful chemicals which are fire resistant. With time these chemicals break down, that’s why your mattress feels lighter over time.

The mattresses are safe to use because the breakdown of chemicals will only happen after an extended period. The advantage is that in the households the toxins exposure is minimal and the main hazard is during their manufacture.

What to Look out for in a New Mattress

Memory Foam Mattresses usually produce some odors when new. Avoid sleeping on it until the gassing period is over. Place it in a ventilated room. You might experience some headaches, allergies, and nausea and if this does not go away during the gassing period, then you should consider an alternative mattress. The memory foam mattresses have chemicals that may be harmful. However, each producer usually has their mix.

What chemicals are Present in the Memory Foam Mattresses?

Methylene Dianiline/MDA
It irritates the skin, can damage the liver and also the thyroid. However, household items usually produce low levels. It’s suspected to be cancer-causing substance.

​Vinilideline chloride
Causes irritation to the eyes and the respiratory system. Alleged to contain cancer-causing agents and damages internal organs.

Inhaling it can affect the nervous system

It can cause damage to internal organs and suspected to have cancer-causing agents.

It is hazardous if inhaled in large quantities

​Methylene chloride
It can irritate the mucous, and it’s alleged to cause cancer. The EU has come up with regulations to restrict its use.

Though it is not present during their manufacture, it is a byproduct of the chemical reactions.

Are the Fire Resistant Fabrics Toxic?

Due to high flammability, the memory foam mattresses are added a chemical fire resistant fabric material as part of regulations in the United States. Manufacturers are not necessarily compelled to disclose the ingredients, and therefore the chemicals might be toxic.

Some of these chemicals include Brominated fire retardants, boric acid cotton, chlorinated tris, wool, modacrylic fiber, melamine resin, decabromodiphenyl oxide, Kevlar, Alessandra fabric and rayon treated with silica. Some of these toxins can cause effects to the nervous system, hair loss, and cancer.

Natural materials that don’t contain chemicals can be an alternative. For example, wool and Rayon treated Silica made from bamboo tree pulp and silica from glass or sand.


Minimal VOCs exposure is also from other sources, for example, food packages, painting materials, and cars emissions. They have the potential to affect the human body in one way or the other only after long-term exposure.

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