Shocking Truth About The Memory Foam Mattress Topper

We all know the importance of a supportive mattress and how it’s NOT GOOD FOR US TO sleep on the same mattress for 15 years, but have you thought twice about what that mattress is made of? Or about the chemicals it emits over time? This is a crucial factor to your health and is often overlooked.

Why is this important?

When you consider that the average person spends ONE THIRD of their life sleeping, how could it not be important? Also, when you think of your child sleeping on a mattress that is emitting chemicals, it can be quite disturbing and bad for their health considering they have much lower tolerance levels. It is also important to know that certain mattresses emit more chemicals and are not as good for your health when compared to others (i.e. foam based mattresses).


So what are these harsh chemicals in our mattresses?

One of the most common chemicals is called “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs). These VOCs are often found on a wide array of materials and furnishings in the home including paints, glues, cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing, electrical equipment…and even your mattress!


Specifically, the VOCs are found in the foam and adhesive parts of the mattress {funny how memory foam mattresses are so good for you back, but can be bad for your health} and can include harmful chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), formaldehyde, benzene (carcinogenic chemical), methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethane, naphthalene, perfluorocarbons.

Additionally, if there is mold in your mattress (let’s face it, most of us are sleeping on 10 year old mattresses, so this may be the case), then there is definitely VOCs present! How do we know this? Well, VOCs are also given off by molds and are recognized by a characteristic “moldy smell” in damp areas. So if you have old mattresses at your cottage/cabin, maybe chuck them out, as cottages tend to get really damp in the summer {especially in humid climates!}.

What can you do to avoid these chemicals?

There are many things you can do to avoid mattresses with VOCs and other harmful chemicals. We HIGHLY recommend the amazing, soft, incredible quality mattresses and organic products from the company Organic Lifestyle. You can see a lot of the positive customer testimonials here. An added bonus, is you can even buy their mattress products online – woo! Here is a testimonial from their site that we though was a good idea to share (just to further emphasize the quality and benefit of their products):

“My husband and I were looking for a mattress made completely of natural, non-toxic materials that would inhibit as much motion transfer as possible. On a bit of a leap of faith, we purchased a king-sized extra-firm rubber mattress and a split slat foundation for it. We loved it immediately. A year later, we still love it. The motion transfer from one sleeper to another is minimal, though the larger size of a king mattress might contribute to this as well. The only downside seems to be that hotel stays are no longer as comfortable as they used to be, by comparison! – Farrah, Orillia, ON”

If you aren’t 100 % sold on the whole organic mattress idea, maybe just go for an organic mattress pad?  Surpringly, traditional “memory foams mattress pads” are what contain the most harmful VOC emitting chemicals. {I personally use the wool mattress topper} .

If you are interested, I believe the store has a sale on right now too!


Are Chemicals Just Emitted In Old Mattresses?

The craziest thing about all this, is that VOCs are produced in new and old mattresses. YEP – EVEN NEW MATTRESSES! The VOCs come from the off-gassing of the mattress after it has been made. Even worse is that some mattresses are also pre-treated with formaldehyde-emitting stain and water repellents whose manufacture releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), classified by the U.S. EPA as a likely human carcinogen.

The main problem stems from manufacturing and packaging. Indeed, When most mattresses are manufactured they are immediately sealed in an air tight plastic covering that prevents out-gassing of the glues etc. inside the mattress, which is the main problem (traps the VOCs)- YUCK!

If you want a mattress that has 0% VOC’s, and is made from a very high quality natural materials, Eco-Savy highly recommends the mattresses from Organic Lifestyle {we can’t stress this enough}.


Organic lifestyle also wrote a funny and informative article on the subject of Sleeping on an Organic Mattresses (wink wink), if your interested.