Memory Foam Concerns: Health, Safety, and Pollution

A great multi-layered memory foam mattress will properly support your entire body
A great multi-layered memory foam mattress will properly support your entire body

There are several health concerns regarding memory foam.  Most mattresses are treated with flame retardant chemicals that might be hazardous in large doses, and companies that do not meet the industry standard should not be trusted.  It is worth it to invest in a costlier but higher-quality memory foam mattress to ensure that you stay healthy.  Also, some people suffer from allergies to certain chemicals, innocuous or otherwise, that may be present in most memory foams.  Most quality memory foam mattresses offer many health benefits including alleviation of arthritic pains and muscle aches.  They also deter bedbugs and other common pests.  In the end, it is up to you to do the research and find a great memory foam mattress that will help you sleep better at night without risking your health.

Memory foam itself is a polyurethane product that is induced with chemicals to increase its thickness and density.  Depending on the manufacturer, the cooler the foam the firmer the mattress will be.  A low-density memory foam mattress is pressure sensitive and can be a good choice when you are searching to have the mattress mold to your own body shape.  On the other hand, high-density foam reacts to body heat and can mold to the warmth of your body in only a few minutes.  Because of these properties, the memory foam was originally used for medicine, offering the patient a way to lie immobile on a healthy mattress that allowed pressure to be released on otherwise fragile bone structures.  Blood flow to gangrenous areas could be relieved, allowing the appendages to heal.  Wheelchair seat cushions, and bed pillows and padding are a couple other applications in the medical field.  Foam mattresses could also be fitted for people with posture or chronic pain problems, as well. 

memory foam pillows are also very supportive, but take care to buy only a quality pillow as cheap imitations tend to be potentially toxic.
memory foam pillows are also very supportive, but take care to buy only a quality pillow as cheap imitations tend to be potentially toxic.

Asthma attacks can be less threatening when you use a foam bed.  The foam mattress and topper will not produce mold like a standard mattress will. Some mattresses do give off odors that may seem like paint. You can rid your mattress of this smell by letting it air out in most cases, leaving this issue to be only minor.  You do not want to light fires, such as candles or cigarettes, in bed as these types of mattresses are traditionally sprayed with flame retardants.  Babies, since the foam mattresses mold to the body, may have a hard time rolling over when placed on this type of bed.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of the processes to manufacture foam mattresses, foam beds and foam toppers, the product itself is not organic.  To make sure it is pliable enough to offer these benefits mentioned here, only around 5-10% of soy can be added to memory foam.  The U.S. has found a formula, however, to make the product non-toxic and safe.  The plants themselves have the opportunity to run greener energies to give us a more environmentally friendly product.

Be aware that the cheaper the product is, the more likely your foam mattress will contain many chemicals in the formula that needn't be included.  Tempur-Pedic, the original in the series is the high end, while the U.S. brands can come in second.  Other lesser-known manufacturers may not be what you are looking for.  You will be safer in your foam bed as you have less of a chance of injury when there are no springs involved.  Just be aware of what you are looking to purchase, and you should be safe.

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