How to Know if You’re Sleeping on a Healthy Mattress

A healthy mattress is an important part of your journey to a healthier home and an improved lifestyle. As the movement for “going green” gains moment many people are looking into every product that they own and researching ways to transform it into an earth-friendly option. There are a number of negative implications presented by materials in common bed brands touted as the best mattresses. Detoxing your mattress will make you not only feel better, but also create a much smaller impact on the environment.  Here, we will discuss the disadvantages of chemical-based beds and how to choose a  non-toxic healthy mattress.

Healthy Mattress 101: Avoid Chemicals

While consumers seek a healthy mattress, it may seem almost impossible with the number of chemical-based beds that are offered. While these types of mattresses are certainly popular, they do pose a number of health concerns.


One of the first things people will notice about a chemical-based mattress is that it has an odor. This is because there are a number of chemicals that are used to create the mattress in glues, various foams, fire barriers and synthetic textiles. These odors found in foams, new cars, paints, and adhesives are released by volatile organic compounds [VOCs] and can cause headaches, breathing irritation and restlessness, not to mention they can build up in our bodies and contribute to a host of other health issues.  The off-gassing of chemicals is very common for a few weeks after purchase. While many people with chemical-based mattresses think that the problems are gone once the odor dissipates, this is simply not true. The chemicals are still very much present even if the smell has lessened over time.

Healthy mattresses may have a light odor, often from latex-based foams or other organic substances, but these should not cause breathing problems or headaches for most people, as they do not carry VOCs.

Fire Retardants

Another aspect of chemical-based beds that poses a problem is the process manufacturers choose to make sure the bed meets fire resistance laws. Currently, the chemicals are very loosely regulated and manufacturers are not required to disclose how they achieve flame resistance. Brominated fire retardants (commonly grouped as PBDEs) were the most common method, but some are now being phased out due to health concerns (though imported mattresses may still contain them). Other possibilities include boric acid (roach poison), antimony (a relative of arsenic), bromines and formaldehyde. The sheer amount of chemicals that it takes to ward off an open flame for over a minute can lead to a number of health concerns such as: headaches, nausea, respiratory irritation, skin irritation and long-term side thyroid effects.

While the chemicals are meant to serve a purpose in protecting people from fire hazards, the negative health impacts may not make it worth the long-terms risks when it comes to many chemical retardants. Because of this, people should consider more natural alternatives that still provide protection, but without the sacrifice of your health or the environment. Some options used in healthy mattress lines include bamboo rayon and wool (though most wool is treated with boric acid to meet regulations). You can also buy barrier-free mattresses from some manufacturers with a prescription.

Healthy Mattress Options

While chemical beds are abundant, there are alternative options for people that are interested in having a non-toxic mattress in their home. One alternative are voc-free plant based memory foam mattresses from Amerisleep.  Instead of using countless chemicals to ward off fire, the natural memory foam manufacturer is using rayon. Rayon is comprised of natural bamboo polymers instead of harmful chemicals. Now, consumers have the same protection from fire hazards like other mattresses without the negative effects on their health or the environment.

Other healthy mattress alternatives include natural latex and traditional waterbeds. These mattresses are said to be better for people who have chemical-based allergic reactions or have sensitive skin. 100% natural latex specifically is made with a natural rubber material that has not only been proven better for allergies, but has other benefits like memory foam, such as warding off pests like bed bugs or dust mites. Waterbeds are not subject to flame regulations since they contain water, and some manufacturers use organically-based vinyl. Consumers should be aware that there are other options out there that have a number of benefits without the problems that are associated with chemicals.

Why it’s Important to Detox Your Home

There are a number of reasons that detoxifying your home is better for you and your family. Transferring your chemical-based bed for a natural mattress is one of the first steps you can take to ensure that you are on the right path to a greener home. There are a number of products in homes around the world that include chemicals that overtime can alter your immune system, endocrine system, reproductive system, cause migraines, and some are even linked to cancer. Not to mention, the chemicals that are used in the creation of mattresses and other products cause a serious drain on natural resources.  As people are becoming more health and environment conscious there is a huge transition from chemical-based mattresses to completely natural beds. Detoxing your home and opting for a healthy mattress will certainly lead to a smaller impact on the environment, but more importantly it will lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

1 thought on “How to Know if You’re Sleeping on a Healthy Mattress”

  1. It is really hard to find a non-toxic mattress. Your article is a very important one. I think that going for a detoxed bed is good not only for our health but also for the environment. I am currently looking for a mattress and I will certainly look for a natural mattress.

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