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Are You Sleeping on an Unhealthy Mattress?

Everyone is looking for health benefits these days. Individuals all over the country work hard to make their homes and buildings as healthy as possible for their families. You may not know this, but the mattress you choose to sleep on every single day plays an important role in your health and your family's health.

From cleaner air to better sleep, below you'll learn what materials are unhealthy in a mattress, and which ones are healthy, so you can make an informed decision when you're out shopping for a new, healthy mattress.

Unhealthy Mattress Materials

For a mattress to be considered "healthy", there are certain ingredients/materials to stay away from, including:

  1. Hazardous Chemicals

When you think "non-toxic", you might have a label of a crayon box in mind, where you want to ensure your child won't become ill if they decide to eat one. However, in mattresses, the word "non-toxic" takes on a whole new meaning. Some issues linked with toxic chemicals in mattresses include:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Compounds like these irritate your nose, eyes, and throat, and could cause damage to your liver, central nervous system and kidneys.
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): These are often used in sofas, insulation, and mattresses as fire retardants. They're linked to lower IQs and hyperactivity in children.
  • Boric Acid : This is often used within the mattress's lining for preventing dust mites, bed bugs, and bacteria from becoming a problem. It's a poison, and could be dangerous with exposure to it for prolonged periods.
  • Formaldehyde : A caustic chemical used in a variety of household products, including certain mattresses. You can suffer burning eyes and respiratory problems through limited exposure, but long-term exposure could lead to cancer, neurotoxicity, lymphatic system damage and liver toxicity.

You can limit your exposure to any of these by choosing a non-toxic mattress. This will help keep you and your family healthy in the process.

  1. Noxious Gases

One benefit latex mattresses have over other types of mattresses like memory foam mattresses, for instance, is natural latex doesn't contain any noxious gases.

As manufactured products release VOCs and other types of chemicals in the air, it produces off-gassing. These particles settle in dust, and hang in the air where you can inhale and ingest them.

Off-gassing is where products are saturated with different types of industrial chemicals. These products don't inherently contain these chemicals. They give these chemicals off as particles, in some cases, in large quantities. Just lying down or sitting on a new memory foam mattress could release a cloud of these invisible, unwanted chemicals. You can sometimes smell the particles, but in other cases, you can't. Off-gassing can be particularly noxious when the product is brand new.

One troubling thing you may discover when researching memory foam mattresses and the off-gassing in some of them is there's a large range of processes and chemicals in use, but very little information from manufacturers about these chemicals. Keeping the chemicals a secret can make it hard for the average individual to evaluate, learn about, and maybe even identify the risks their mattress may be placing them and their family in - even their pets and the environment.

A healthy mattress, like a 100% natural latex mattress, is made with all-natural 100% latex, and no industrial fillers or chemicals. They don't off-gas. And typically, manufacturers of these mattresses, like Latex For Less, disclose the ingredients of our mattresses knowing you deserve to understand exactly what you sleep on every night.

Best Non-Toxic Mattress Materials

To help you figure out which mattresses are the safest for you and your family, here are some non-toxic materials to look for in a mattress:

  1. Organic Cotton

Organic mattresses are made of organic cotton and other organic materials. The manufacturing process doesn't involve any chemicals or pesticides. Aside from being very comfortable, there are several direct benefits you experience from sleeping on organic mattresses, including:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Repel dust mites
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Mold resistant
  • Naturally fire retardant
  • Chemical-free (plus no fire retardant chemicals)
  • Warm in the winter
  • Cool in the summer
  • Eco-friendly, crafted with biodegradable materials
  • Customization for firmness options
  1. Natural Wool

Wool has been a popular and common material for all-natural comforters, pillows, mattresses, toppers, and other types of bedding for a long time. The demand continues growing today. When you think about all the benefits of this fiber, it's easy to understand why this is the case.

To begin with, natural wool is:

  • Fire resistant
  • Temperature regulating
  • Comfortably soft
  • Dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic
  • Natural

Manufacturers harvest latex from rubber tree sap, which is a durable and highly sustainable crop. The rubber trees don't require any pesticide use, and can be tapped into them many times before they must be cut down. Because of this process, latex is a better eco-friendly option.

With all the false claims today out there in the market, it can be hard to know which mattress is truly healthy, and which could potentially introduce toxins and chemicals into your home. With mattresses, certifications speak volumes about how healthy the mattresses are. There are certain certifications you'll want to look for when you're shopping around for your healthy mattress, including OEKO-TEX Certified Latex and GOTS Certified Organic Cotton.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates,, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report,, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.