Unmasking the Unhealthy Odors of Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam is a product that has grown in popularity a great deal in recent years as people look for ways to get a more comfortable sleep that’s easy on the joints and muscles. But consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health hazards associated with sleeping on a non-organic mattress made with memory foam – whether it be just a single layer or an entire mattress made from the material.

As a highly-flammable synthetic (petroleum-based) material, memory foam (which is a form of polyurethane foam) has to be treated with toxic flame retardants like formaldehyde to prevent fire. These chemicals are linked to all kinds of health concerns and they’re what you smell when you remove your memory foam mattress from the packaging. That signature pungent, chemical memory foam bouquet is in itself a hazardous brew of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that will pollute your indoor air and hamper your efforts to get a healthy sleep, but there’s more to the scent-story of memory foam.

Covering up the Memory Foam Odor with Perfumes and Deodorants:

Consumers are becoming more educated about the health hazards in the foams used to create conventional mattresses. To combat concerns that individuals have regarding their mattresses, companies that make foam mattresses have started to add perfumes and deodorants to their products in order to mask the unpleasant smells. This adds yet another layer of VOCs to your mattress, exposing you to even more potentially unsafe chemicals.

So what are these chemical scents that are added to your memory foam mattress? They can include any of the following “air freshening” chemicals:

1. Bonded quaternary ammonium chloride compounds

2. Decamethcyclopentasiloxane

3. Ozone

4. Paradichlorobenzene

5. Phenolics

6. Tributyltin maleate which has been linked to endocrine disruption and is an immune system toxicant

These chemical scent ingredients have been linked to a variety of health concerns, including asthma, tremors and convulsions, irritation of eyes, nose, and throat, and even cancer. Combined with all of the other potential hazards associated with synthetic mattresses, choosing one of these conventional sleep systems could significantly impair your health.

Organic bedding, on the other hand, will be made with natural ingredients such as organic cotton, wool, or natural latex foam – all materials that can really reduce your exposure to chemicals and aid your quest for getting a healthy night’s sleep. So the next time you’re on the market, don’t be drawn in by the far-fetched claims of health benefits of memory foam in your mattress. Choose a natural mattress fill instead.