Do you worry about the chemicals in your life or do you wonder are memory foam mat safe? If you’ve been considering this type of mattress or any other, you may be wondering if chemicals and odors are really a danger.
We spend more than one-third our lives sleeping on a mattress, so the concern is certainly valid. A new material or product seems to be trying to kill us all the time.
The ingredients used in some memory foam beds can raise some eyebrows, from flame retardants to foaming agents. The issue of synthetic chemicals is discussed on several websites, which has brought the issue to the forefront.
Power comes from knowledge, right? We will examine memory foam ingredients, research, consumer information, and product comparisons in this article to assess memory foam safety. The article explains how to tell the difference between mattresses that are safe and those that aren’t.
Are Memory Foam Mat Safe? A Look Inside.
So, what does this stuff consist of? A memory foam bed consists of two layers: a polyurethane memory foam layer and a polyurethane foam core layer. Each layer of a mattress must be wrapped in some type of fabric, and all mattresses must also be flameproof in some way.
Additionally, some brands may include materials such as gel or gel-infused foam, latex foam, or padding made of polyester, wool, or cotton. The vast majority of people are familiar with this type of material. Typically, people are concerned with the memory foam itself and fire-proofing chemicals, which we’ll discuss below.
Memory Foam & Polyurethane Foam Components
Polyols are the binder/bulk ingredient. Usually made from petroleum oil, but may also include botanical ingredients such as soy or castor beans.
The reactive ingredient is diisocyanates. A flexible polyurethane foam is formed when the polyols and blowing agents are combined. The most commonly used sources are MDI and TDI, which can cause respiratory and dermal sensitization and may be carcinogenic in raw form. The MDI is known to be the least hazardous organic isocyanate, and is the safer alternative. The primary danger with these compounds is during manufacturing. After reacting, they are inert but can offgas.
The foam is created by introducing carbon into the blowing agent. In the past, manufacturers used CFCs, but today they might use HFC or water.
Choosing a Safe Memory Foam Mattress
It is difficult to study the effects or risks of potential VOC exposure from memory foam, which is why little specific research has been conducted, and none has shown that it is toxic or unsafe. Polyurethane Foam Association, an industry group, and the Environmental Protection Agency both confirm that finished memory foam is inert and does not pose a health hazard.
Having reacted, the polyols and isocyanates are chemically inert (no longer volatile) and no longer pose the same dangers that individual components may. US polyurethane manufacturers adhere to strict regulations regarding ingredients and pollution, and the US and EU have banned the most hazardous chemicals and additives in the past decade. Off-gassing odors and chemicals in adhesives and fire-proofing methods would be residual concerns for choosing a safe memory foam bed.
Here are a few things you should look for when shopping for a memory foam mattress:
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- To better understand the foam, find out if it is made from plants or petroleum. Unlike synthetic foams, plant-based foams are less likely to emit toxic substances.
- You may want to ask if the foam was made with MDI or TDI, as MDI is known to be safer.
- Inquire what kind of blowing agents are used; halogen gases CFCs/HFCs contribute to air pollution. The variable pressure foaming technique eliminates the need for chemical blowing agents.
- Find out what the memory foam is made of. Blends that include a significant proportion of plant-based materials (20%+) have less petroleum content and are therefore less likely to off-gas.
- Ask how the mattress meets anti-flammability standards. For reducing chemicals, rayon-treated silica and kevlar fabrics (not just seams) appear to be the safest options.
- Check to see if there are any mattress testing standards. CertiPUR-US® and OEKO-TEX® require a minimum level of VOCs and product safety.
- Know that high-density foams contain more polymers and therefore will have a stronger odor.
- You should find out where the memory foam and poly-foam layers are manufactured. The foam made in the US and EU is made under stricter regulations than some imported foams and may be a safer option.
- Despite the fact that manufacturers should disclose ingredients, tough competition and trade standards may prevent many of them from doing so. Many salespeople may also not be aware of details about product ingredients. If salespeople are unsure or cannot provide satisfactory answers, you can do your own research by going online or contacting the company directly.
Additionally, you can check the consumer product safety commission’s records and read some of the best mattress reviews online. There may be a higher proportion of VOCs in the mattress if many reviewers mention strong odors or side effects. The VOC content is likely to be lower if they mention a light, non-bothersome smell or no scent at all. You may be concerned that sinus irritation may occur if a large number of people report seeing this. However, keep in mind that smell is highly subjective, so if this is a concern you may wish to steer clear. if you need best memory foam kitchen mat recommendation, we have a list you can check.