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Since people spend a considerable amount of time sleeping, they likely want to know that what they are sleeping on is safe.
With many different companies selling mattresses that contain different types of material, it is often difficult to determine what mattresses have the least number of toxic components.
The following are some things to look for when choosing a non-toxic mattress.
Non-toxic mattresses either contain no or reduced amounts of potentially harmful chemicals. Manufacturers use some of these chemicals in foam mattresses to prevent them from catching fire.
Mattress foam forms as a result of a chemical reaction between three compounds: polyols, carbon-based blowing agents, and toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
Incidences of occupational asthma may be due to exposure to TDI. However, according to a 2011 study, people living near a TDI plant did not have meaningful TDI exposure.
According to the American Chemistry Council, manufacturers have treated all products that create chemicals to make them safe before selling them to consumers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also state that manufacturers make these products safe and non-toxic before they reach the consumer.
Another area of concern with foam mattresses is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, VOCs are compounds that can quickly become gases. Many products within the home, such as hobby supplies and some furnishings, contain VOCs. However, the list does not include mattresses.
Some potential side effects of VOCs include:
Long-term effects from exposure include:
- loss of coordination
- kidney, liver and central nervous system damage
- increased cancer risk
In a recent study, researchers found what they described as “concerning” exposure levels to VOCs from mattresses during simulated sleep for infants and small children. Despite the elevated levels, the researchers did not see evidence of adverse effects from the exposure.
The biggest advantage of choosing a certified non-toxic mattress is limited exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
People who want to avoid potential exposure to harmful chemicals should look for mattresses that are certified non-toxic. According to Consumer Reports, there are two labels to look for when shopping for mattresses:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certifies organic textiles to 95% and bans the use of chemical flame retardants and polyurethane (used in foam mattresses)
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifies that 95% of the material use organic latex
Also, the agency recommend looking for these certificates as well:
- CertiPUR-US bans use of certain chemicals and flame retardants in polyurethane mattresses
- Organic Content Standard 100 looks at thepercentage of material that is organic but ignores added chemicals, such as flame retardants
- Greenguard certifies that emissions from the mattress are below a certain level
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
The Nectar memory foam mattress uses CertiPUR-US foam that meets the standards for emissions and foam quality with independent reviewers.
The mattress offers a 365-day home trial allowing the person to return the mattress anytime within a year of purchase. Size options range from twin to California king.
T&N Original Mattress
The T&N Original Mattress has several certificates for being non-toxic, including CertiPUR-US for its foam and UL Greenguard Gold certification that checks for low emission levels.
The mattress offers medium to firm support for sleepers.
The DreamCloud – Luxury Hybrid Mattress
The DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress consisting of several layers, including memory foam and springs. It provides medium-firm support for sleepers.
The mattress has the CertiPUR-US certificate for its foam and has limited VOC emissions.
The Zoma Mattress offers CertiPUR-US foam with low VOC emissions. The company also make the mattresses in an environmentally friendly way. It provides support, comfort, and a cooling effect for the sleeper.
Awara – Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress with Natural Foam & New Zealand Wool
The Awara sprung mattress has several certifications and does not use polyurethane foams or chemically-based fire retardants. It also uses water-based adhesives.
It is a medium-firm mattress with a year-long return policy.
Natural Escape Mattress
The Natural Escape Mattress has both the GOLS and GOTS certifications. This means both its fibers and natural latex meet the independent organization’s standards for materials.
The mattress offers medium-firm support for stomach, side, and back sleepers.
Organic Latex Mattress: The Botanical Bliss
The Botanical Bliss by Plush Beds is a latex mattress with several certifications, including GOLS and GOTS, for both their cotton and wool.
The mattress is free of several different chemicals, including lead, mercury, and other heavy metals. The mattress also offers pressure point relief.
Birch Natural Mattress
Birch Natural Mattress by Helix offers a toxin-free mattress. The mattress does not contain any foam or other toxins.
It has certifications such as Greenguard and GOTS. It also offers pressure point relief and a breathable surface for sleepers.
Avocado Green Mattress
The Avocado Green Mattress contains organic latex, organic fibers, and individual coils. It also does contain any polyester, polyurethane foams, or fire retardants.
Several organizations have certified the mattress, including GOLS, for its latex, and GOTS, for its cotton and wool. The mattress comes in several sizes, from twin to California king.
People thinking about buying a mattress that contains non-toxic materials should check for independent certifications.
Non-toxic mattresses are generally free of memory foam and chemical fire retardants. They typically contain organic latex, cotton, and wool.