Inside The Memory Foam Mattress


The most used material in mattresses is polyurethane foam. This foam is produced when a polymer is combined with water, the mixture will expand many times its original volume. When the chemical process is complete, the foam is chemically inert and does not cause any adverse health effects, but the end product is very flammable and will give off carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide if set aflame. Because of this, manufacturing standards require that flame retardants be added to the foam so that it can withstand an open flame for ten seconds, before it can be used to produce goods. These flame retardants however, are generally deemed harmful by the EPA. Many of the flame retardants used on mattresses contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause a mattress to “off gas”. Off gassing is when the VOCs in a mattress are released in the air, not only do they give off a bad smell, but can have long-term health implications. Some these effects include:

  • Eye, nose, or throat irritation

  • Dizziness

  • Headaches

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Damage the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system

VOCs may give off a smell and be easy to identify, but some are odorless and often left undetected by the consumer. When purchasing a mattress from a retailer, mattress manufacturers are not legally obligated to disclose what flame retardants they use on their mattress, so it is important to check what certifcations a mattress has.  This badge lets you know that the mattress materials have been extensively tested for harmful chemicals and compounds, allowing you to purchase your mattress worry free. Check our ratings on the current green mattress brands out there. see the reviews

But what happens to your old mattress? When you get rid of your old mattress, be sure to bring it to a recycling facility that is capable of properly disposing of your mattress, or it may end up in a landfill. learn more here