You spend about one-third of your life in your bed. It serves as a refuge where you rest and recharge; however, certain kinds of older mattresses might actually endanger your health. Many people choose memory foam mattresses because they are softer and more comfortable than models from the past. Those who find memory foam mattresses most comfortable are typically those who sleep on their side and on their backs. However you happen to sleep, a memory foam mattress could be the thing you need to get your best night of rest. There are some caveats, though.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a material that is made of polyurethane. Typically, a memory foam mattress is made from two layers, a polyurethane core and a polyurethane outer layer. The core is denser and stiffer than the outer layer; that provides the structure to the mattress. As memory foam mattresses have become more popular, they have come under some scrutiny for the materials they are made of. Each manufacturer uses a different combination of polyurethane to create their mattresses, and each formulation tends to be a trade secret. Some have raised concerns that these companies might be releasing harmful chemicals or vapours during the manufacturing process.
The most common concern is with regard to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are physical compounds that release vapours and can be quite harmful. The concerns are very valid, but most of them are overstated. United States regulations have greatly reduced the number of acceptable chemicals used in the creation of mattresses. Since the United States is such a large market, manufacturers tend to follow their regulations, primarily because it would be burdensome to attempt to manufacture different kinds of mattresses for different countries. You can research what Sleep Junkie says about the safety aspect of certain mattresses by searching online.
Those who research mattresses tend to stress that the chances of off-gassing from VOCs in a modern mattress are very low. Even for those materials that do release vapours, the rate of off-gassing tends to be much higher in raw materials than it is in the actual finished products. Even if the raw material happens to be volatile, the processing of that specific material typically stabilises its components. Furthermore, there are multiple kinds of memory foam to choose from. Foam made from plants tends to release fewer gases and poses fewer dangers, as it comes from a naturally occurring source.
How Do You Know?
Your first indication that something is wrong would be a reaction to the bed itself. If you switch mattresses and begin to experience irritation, you might be reacting poorly to the materials in the mattress. Also, you should take a closer look at the manufacturer. If the manufacturer promises you “VOC free” or “no VOC” mattresses, you should look elsewhere, as it is impossible to create a memory foam mattress completely free of volatile organic compounds. This is representative of false advertising.
Also, the type of foam used in memory foam mattresses is the same type of foam that is used in many other standard pieces of household furniture. Your sofa, some chairs, and other furniture tend to have a polyurethane-based foam; therefore, if they have not caused any trouble, your mattress probably won’t either. If you still have a concern, you should look into purchasing a natural latex mattress.