Memory Foam Safety Concerns

Although originally made for other purposes, memory foam has become an integral part of our lives. Mattresses are the most common instance where we find memory foam. From my personal experience, I would say that memory foam mattresses are more comfortable and convenient than traditional mattresses. However, most people don’t understand the safety concerns that memory foam raises. Long story short, not many people know if a memory foam mattress is really safe for them. We will explore memory foam safety concerns and the different aspects of memory foam mattresses and their safety in this article. 

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We’ll start with an introduction to memory foam so that you have an idea.

What Is Memory Foam?

As you might know, memory foam is a chemically derived material. Several chemicals are combined through a method so that memory foam gets its viscosity and other characteristics. One of these characteristics is that the foam can mold according to the body heat and get back to the original state after some time. As it is known, the memory foam material is used in many instances like mattresses, pillows, etc.

Creating a memory foam mattress is a rather complex task as it involves multiple layers. Manufacturers will have to combine the polyurethane layer with some other polyols in the market. These polyols might vary — glycerin, petroleum, latex, gel, etc. are all common. The problem is that most of these components are synthetic in nature, but there are manufacturers who use plant-based components too.

Potential Health Concerns with Memory Foam Mattress

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One of the reasons why we discuss this topic is that there have been previous reports on the same problem. That is, reports have said that memory foam mattresses sometimes use materials that are harmful to the human body. And, if you use a memory foam mattress based with such elements inside, you can potentially have some side-effects. Recognizing these materials while purchasing a memory foam mattress is very important to your well being.

  • MDA, which is the common name for Methylene dianiline, is a common ingredient found in a memory foam mattress. Research has proven that constant contact with MDA is harmful to the body. Notably, however, MDA is not found in the required amount in households.
  • Formaldehyde is another component found in memory foam mattresses. Originally intended as an effective preservative, some manufacturers may use the same in mattresses. Irritation to the skin is one of the many problems of the material.
  • DCM or Methylene chloride is another common component of the memory foam mattress base. It might cause irritation to the mucous membrane and is responsible for some impact on pollution as well. the EU has some restrictions on the use of this chemical.
  • Acetone, which is a common cleaning compound, also finds its presence in mattresses. Proximity to limited amounts won’t be a problem, but extra exposure can turn toxic. Manufacturers use this one as an agent.

There is also a concern regarding off-gassing. This refers to the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds in memory foam mattresses. This may happen during the first few days of using the product. However, unlike what we mentioned above, the off-gassing of VOCs is not harmful to the body. This may differ if you have a few other allergies or health issues.

If your memory foam mattress base is made of these ingredients, the mattress itself poses certain risks. You should review the ingredients list and the manufacturing process before making the final call.

How to Pick the Safest Memory Foam Mattress?

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The best idea is to understand the mattress that you are going to purchase. And, there are a few ways which help you do that.

  • You should prefer memory foam mattresses that are made of materials derived from plant based materials. This will reduce the chances of potential health issues in the long run.
  • Make sure that the memory foam mattress base does not consist of dangerous materials we’ve listed above. 
  • You can check out detailed memory foam mattress reviews that analyze several aspects like comfort, safety, and durability.

The Bottom Line

The final word is that memory foam mattresses can be unsafe at times. However, you can use some the guidelines listed here to choose the best and safest option from the market. This will help you enjoy the extra comfort and benefits without worrying about health issues.