Should you ditch your chemical mattress?


A couple waited anxiously for their new memory foam mattress topper, after months of hearing their friends rave about the out of this world material that moulds to your body.  When they un-wrapped the 3 inch thick pad, they noticed a strong pungent odour.  After only 2 nights, one lady felt nauseated, and her partner had a asthma attack in the middle of the night.  So they decided to return the topper, but the odour lingered for weeks.

These reactions are relatively rare, but if you are chemically sensitive, you might lose some sleep also.  Especially if you find out what’s really inside your memory foam mattress or bedding.

Since the 60’s, most mattresses have been made of a polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds that can cause skin problems, and respiratory problems.  Formaldehyde, commonly known as the preservative from science class, is used to make an adhesive that holds these mattresses together and has been linked to asthma allergies and various cancers.  In addition, there are cotton pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals that can cause cancer as well as nervous system disorders.

While, the polybrominated diphenyl ether (pbde) family of chemical flame retardants have been phased out since their ban in 2004, mattress manufacturers have had to pass an open flame test of 30 minutes of exposure for any mattress sold in the United States since 2007.  The exact ingredients in their formulas are considered trade secrets however it is speculated that they still contain some potentially harmful toxins such as antimony oxide (a carcinogen) and melamine resin (which contains formaldehyde).

In a 2005 study, Walter Bader author of the book “Toxic Bedrooms” sent several mattresses to an Atlanta based lab.  One of the memory foam models was found to emit 61 chemicals including carcinogens benzene and naphthalene.

More and more consumers are seeking out alternatives including mattresses made of natural latex, organic cotton and organic wool.

So should you ditch your conventional bed in favour of a green one?

Organic mattress companies have found a simple way to fireproof:  wrapping their beds in a generous layer of wool which is a natural fire retardant that exceeds the current regulations.  These natural latex mattresses also are very durable, lasting sometimes in excess of 25 years, without the release of toxic chemicals. The down side of these natural mattresses, is their price.  Typically starting around $1500 for a queen sized set.  However, if that’s what it takes for peace of mind and a healthy night’s rest, it’s a sound investment.

Dormio Organic Beds offers a vast variety of natural and organic mattresses and bedding accessories.

Dormio Organic Beds…naturally better

Best selection of natural and organic quality mattresses and bedding in the Toronto area!
Should you ditch your chemical mattress?