There’s a good chance that you’ve either heard of a foam mattress, or you have one. They’re incredibly popular these days and are considered to have a number of benefits when it comes to the quality of your sleep.
However, just because they have their advantages doesn’t mean that they’re entirely free of harm. One important thing to note about them is that they’re synthetic, which poses a number of questions, including the big one: are they safe to be used by humans?
One of the reasons why foam mattresses are so popular is because they’re affordable. There are a lot of mattresses out there that can set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Not everyone has this much to spend on their mattress, which is why a foam one is a great option.
However, some of the materials that foam mattresses are made out of could be harmful to you. One of these materials is called polyurethane foam, and it is considered not safe to use in America and has been since 2004.
Let’s take a look at what foam mattresses are made out of and why they’re considered toxic to humans.
Memory Foam: How Was it Invented?
You may be surprised to find that memory foam was first invented for NASA, to be used in their space programs. Needless to say, this doesn’t sound like the type of material that was meant to be used by humans.
The main reason why it was created was to keep astronauts protected in space. This is because memory foam is great for absorbing shock, which is why it’s been used in their helmets and suits, among other equipment that has been used by NASA.
The small pockets of space within the memory foam are designed to absorb any pressure applied to it. The foam compresses as pressure is applied, absorbing any force that it comes into contact with. This is why lots of mattress companies who sell memory foam mattresses applaud the use of them to help with chronic back pain.
However, this doesn’t change the disturbing fact that the materials themselves aren’t safe to be used by humans.
What is Memory Foam Comprised Of?
As we mentioned above briefly, memory foam contains polyurethane. In fact, this is the main ingredient. This element is actually made from petrol, which comes from crude oil.
When polyurethane is being made, it’s often combined with a number of different toxic chemicals. From petrochemicals to boric acid and formaldehyde, the result is often a cocktail of toxicity.
By law since 2004, America has demanded that all mattress be fireproof to a certain point. This has only added to the toxicity of the mattress in the way that the fireproofing interacts with the existing chemicals.
Walter Bader was one of the first people to take this type of information public, and even wrote a book about how your mattress could be making you sick. From respiratory problems to skin irritants, there are a lot of harmful components to a mattress, especially one that’s made out of memory foam.
If you’re someone who has a weaker immune system, then you may respond to toxins in your mattress quicker than others. You may notice a bad smell during use, and this could very well be the mattress emitting poisonous gases.
From troubling breathing to having severe allergic reactions, there are many things that can occur as a result of toxins being released into the bedroom from your mattress.
You should be able to figure this out by smelling your mattress or the air in the room. If it’s giving off a bad odor, then this means that the chemicals it contains are releasing toxic gas into the atmosphere.
Memory Foam Mattress: The Side Effects
Luckily, it’s not hard to detect the side effects of using a memory foam mattress that contains harmful chemicals. Symptoms may include morning headaches, lack of concentration and feeling nauseous.
Children that have been sleeping on memory foam mattresses and bedding report reduced cognitive development, and can even develop allergic reactions as a result.
These issues are also becoming more widespread. This is because more people are opting for a memory foam mattress to replace their older spring mattress, especially since America implemented the fireproofing law in 2004.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that sometimes quality is worth the price for the health of you and your family.
Nobody wants to spend too much money on a mattress. However, if you do invest a few more hundred dollars than you’d like, you could end up with a mattress that’s not only eco-friendly, but it’s been put through strict manufacturing protocol that ensures the safety of you and your loved ones.
The better quality your memory foam mattress is, the less likely it’s going to release harmful chemicals into the air of your bedroom. Make sure always to read the label and check the manufacturing process of your mattress before you make the purchase.