The Many Ways in Which Your Mattress May Harm Your Health

The Many Ways in Which Your Mattress May Harm Your Health

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When looking for a mattress, there are a variety of things to have in mind, past perceived consolation. In time for Presidents’ Day mattress gross sales, The New York Occasions listed a number of suggestions that can assist you choose your splendid mattress. Amongst them:1

1. Assess high quality and sturdiness — Bedding and medical specialists advocate in search of reminiscence foam with a density of three kilos per cubic foot or higher, and coils with a gauge of 13 to 15.

2. You usually get what you pay for — A latest New York Occasions take a look at of 20 foam mattresses steered fashions within the $1,000 vary and over had been of upper high quality than these costing lower than that. A high-quality mattress will final you about 10 years, so it’s value investing within the highest high quality you may afford.

three. Consolation is subjective — What’s too arduous or too smooth for one individual could also be good for an additional, and this contains these with again ache. Whereas a 2003 research2 in The Lancet concluded medium-firm mattresses improved ache and incapacity amongst sufferers with persistent nonspecific low-back ache one of the best, your greatest guess is to check out quite a lot of firmness ranges.

The New York Occasions recommends taking your individual pillow alongside when looking for a mattress, and mendacity in your regular sleeping place for about 15 minutes on the mattress into account.

Whereas a cushty mattress is actually essential, in case you have again ache you might wish to contemplate addressing your sleeping place as effectively. As defined by chiropractor Dr. Peter Martone in “What’s the Best Position for Sleep?” it’s essential to sleep along with your backbone in a impartial place, which suggests sleeping in your again with a pillow tucked beneath your neck, not your entire head. To study extra, please see the hyperlinked article.

four. Make the most of trial durations — As famous by Ron Rudzin, CEO of The Saatva Firm, your mattress shouldn’t solely really feel comfy while you first go to mattress, “It’s a must to really feel good while you get up” as effectively.three

Many mattresses now include a 30-day trial interval, and should you’re not utterly glad with its efficiency, return it and check out one other one. In spite of everything, you’ll be sleeping on it for the subsequent decade, so it’s definitely worth the effort to search out the correct one.

Many Mattresses Are Loaded With Toxins

An element that wasn’t on The New York Occasions’ tip checklist was ensuring the mattress doesn’t comprise toxic chemicals. From a well being perspective, this might be your most essential consideration. As of July 1, 2007, all U.S. mattresses are required to be flame retardant sufficient to face up to publicity to a 2-foot-wide blowtorch flame for 70 seconds.

Whereas producers can obtain this both by pure strategies or chemical means, many resort to using flame retardant chemical compounds.four Dangerous flame retardant substances you would possibly discover in a mattress, together with these from “high-end” manufacturers, embody:5,6,7









Polybrominated diphenyl esters (PBDEs) — PBDEs have been linked to endocrine disruptioneight developmental neurotoxicity,9 reproductive issues,10 thyroid dysfunction11,12 and sure cancers,13 simply to call just a few.

PBDE has been banned within the U.S. since 2004 as a consequence of well being considerations, but when your mattress accommodates polyurethane foam and was manufactured earlier than this date, it would nonetheless comprise this harmful class of flame retardants.

Decabromodiphenyl oxide — This can be a flame retardant chemical just like banned PBDE, linked to hair loss, reminiscence loss and presumably most cancers. As a gaggle, flame retardant chemical compounds have been recognized as certainly one of 17 “excessive precedence” chemical teams that must be prevented to reduce your risk of breast cancer.14,15

Boric acid — A respiratory irritant used to kill roaches,16 boric acid is linked to reproductive, developmental and neurological harm.17

Antimony — A steel which may be extra poisonous than mercury and formaldehyde, it’s linked to most cancers and coronary heart issues.18 Antimony leaching from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cot mattress covers has additionally been linked to sudden toddler loss of life syndrome.19 Elevated temperatures, urine, saliva and detergents used to wash the quilt had been all discovered to boost the discharge of antimony, and will do the identical if it’s in your mattress.

Melamine20 Linked to mobile harm, kidney malfunction, reproductive harm and most cancers.21

Vinylidene chloride — Whereas not as frequent as another flame retardants, this chemical, a possible carcinogen, should be used. Well being results embody central nervous system results equivalent to convulsions, sedation, spasms.22

Bromine — A corrosive chemical, persistent publicity results to this chemical embody pulmonary edema.

Formaldehyde — This can be a extremely poisonous poison and cancer-causing agent.

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Your Mattress Can Be a Important Supply of Publicity to Poisonous Flame Retardants

The U.S. Shopper Merchandise Security Fee admits flame retardant chemical compounds equivalent to these are poisonous and which you could soak up them into your physique; nonetheless, they deem the quantities emitted out of your mattress to be so small as to not trigger any antagonistic well being results.

However that’s the declare made for many sources of poisonous publicity, be it meals, air, water, cleaning products, furnishings, electronics, private care gadgets — you title it. And while you add all these exposures collectively, we’re not speaking about minute quantities.23

Contemplating you’re spending a 3rd of your life in mattress, your mattress may very well be a major supply of poisonous publicity, and should you go searching, you’ll discover anecdotal reviews of individuals getting sick from toxins traced again to their mattress.24

Sadly, it is just about unimaginable to search out out what’s actually in your mattress as producers will not be required to label or disclose which chemical compounds their mattresses comprise. Your greatest guess is due to this fact to hunt out producers that specify their mattresses are chemical free.

Have in mind, although, that simply because an organization could have licensed chemical-free foam of their mattress, that doesn’t essentially imply the whole mattress is freed from flame retardants.

The flame retardant chemical compounds are often embedded in a separate mesh material layer on high of the froth, beneath the highest material layer, so the truth that the froth is chemical free means little on this case. As a substitute, you’ll wish to search for mattresses made fully of naturally flame resistant supplies, equivalent to Kevlar, wool or natural cotton.

Your Mattress Might Be Making You Sick in Extra Methods Than One

Poisonous chemical compounds aren’t the one manner your mattress would possibly make you sick. Final 12 months, CNN Well being25 listed a lot of components which may come into play, together with:

Mud mite droppings — In accordance with some analysis,26 four in 5 American properties have at the very least one mattress with dust mites, and whereas the mites themselves don’t pose a well being hazard, their feces are extremely allergenic.27

To manage mud mites, the American Lung Affiliation recommends lowering humidity in your bed room, lowering locations the place mud mites can thrive, changing carpets and repeatedly moist dusting and mopping your flooring.

Mould and fungi — In a single research,28 10 pillows examined had been discovered to comprise 47 completely different species of fungi. To reduce mold and fungal progress, use a HEPA filter-equipped air air purifier subsequent to your mattress.

Sweat — Some research recommend you’ll sweat out as much as 26 gallons of sweat into your mattress every year, which may promote staph or strep an infection. To reduce your threat, wash your linens in sizzling water at the very least as soon as per week.

Pet dander, saliva and urine — If in case you have pets, contemplate not letting them sleep in your mattress. In the event you do permit pets in mattress, wash your linens extra often, and vacuum your mattress and pillows at the very least as soon as per week.

Natural Mattress Labels You Can Belief

In the event you’re in search of a protected mattress, that you must know what to search for on labels. Some phrases, equivalent to “pure,” imply just about nothing, whereas different labels, equivalent to “natural,” could also be deceptive (because it may imply solely a part of the mattress supplies are natural). Shopper Stories has beforehand issued a information29 of what such labels actually imply. Listed below are some highlights to contemplate:




Finest mattress labels

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Not less than 95 % of the mattress supplies have to be licensed natural. Sure substances, together with flame retardants and polyurethane (frequent in reminiscence foam merchandise), are prohibited.
  • International Natural Latex Commonplace (GOLS) — This label applies to latex mattress and ensures solely natural latex is used.

Good mattress label

  • Oeko-Tex Commonplace 100 — This label units limits on the emission of poisonous chemical compounds equivalent to formaldehyde and unstable natural compounds (VOCs). Chemical flame retardants, colorants and allergenic dyes are prohibited.

Labels with some worth

  • CertiPUR-US — This is applicable solely to polyurethane foam and prohibits sure substances, equivalent to PBDE. Testing is required for formaldehyde and different toxins. Simply keep in mind that this testing applies to foam solely, and never the opposite material layers that will comprise flame retardant chemical compounds.
  • Greenguard — The completed mattress have to be examined for particular emission limits of formaldehyde and different VOCs.
  • Greenguard Gold — The identical as Greenguard however with tighter emission limits.
  • Natural — A mattress could also be labeled natural even when solely components of it are natural (and different components comprise dangerous chemical compounds). As an example, the label could learn “made with natural cotton.”
  • Natural Content material Commonplace 100 — This is applicable to the proportion of certified-organic supplies within the mattress. It additionally ensures correct monitoring of natural cotton from its supply to the completed product.

The Finest Mattresses Have A number of Labels You Can Belief

A mattress needn’t have simply one of many certifications above. The perfect and purest mattresses in the marketplace will adhere to a number of security requirements, supplying you with the final word in security and luxury.

That is actually the case with my Healthy Home Certified Organic Mattresses and bedding made by Naturepedic. These mattresses not solely move flammability requirements with out chemical flame retardants, they’re additionally third-party licensed with:

  • International Natural Textile Commonplace (GOTS)
  • International Natural Latex Commonplace (GOLS)
  • GREENGUARD® Gold
  • Natural Content material Commonplace (OCS100)

My mattresses present fireplace safety with superior product design and higher supplies. Their distinctive and revolutionary method offers a easy and stylish resolution permitting these mattresses and bedding merchandise to fulfill all federal and state flammability requirements — with out using harmful chemical compounds.

Be particularly cautious when selecting a mattress for your child, as merchandise meant for youngsters and infants are additionally these most probably to be doused in flame retardant chemical compounds. You spend from six to 9 hours each night time along with your face in shut proximity to your mattress, inhaling these chemical compounds. Your youngsters spend even longer sleeping, with their faces even nearer to the mattress floor, so make sure you search for a chemical-free mattress to your youngster.


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