A good night’s sleep is what we all yearn for after a busy day. It is estimated that every person spends approximately one-third of his life on the bed. So a good mattress is what everyone would like to invest in. But what if these mattresses are the reason for your sleep getting disrupted and also affecting your health? We will specifically look into the memory foam mattress and its allergic reactions.
What is memory foam and why are they preferred?
Memory foam mattresses are made up of a type of material known as viscoelastic. This material is energy absorbent and also soft and conforms to a person’s body shape. This material is very comfortable when used for mattresses and pillows and hence is preferred by many people. It can distribute heat and pressure evenly and return back to the original shape once we get up.
The main benefit is the comfort that memory foam provides. It also provides support to the body and is helpful for people with back pain and other bodily pain and helps them have a restful sleep.
What are the main Memory Foam Mattress Allergic Reactions and what are its causes?
Many types of mattresses including memory foam mattresses have been linked to many health issues, the chief ones being allergic reactions. Many types of health issues include headaches, itching of the eyes, joint pains, respiratory problems and also skin infections etc. Sometimes dizziness, fatigue, fever sore throat etc. are also experienced. Long term exposure to some of the chemicals in the mattresses can also lead to cancer.
So where do these allergic reactions come from? Most of the earlier day mattresses were made from natural materials which were harmless and allergic reactions if any were caused by only dust mites or mold. The modern day mattresses on the other hand have many toxic chemicals in them. These chemicals are mainly the petrochemicals, flame retardants and other additives. These chemicals are similar to those used in pesticides. A few of these chemicals include boric acid, formaldehyde, zinc borate, vinylidiene chloride, and melamine etc. Some of these chemicals have to be necessarily included in the mattresses to meet the stringent fire proof laws.
Most new memory foam mattresses produce a smell, often called off gassing. This and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are caused when a few chemicals disperse and are emitted to the air are known to have caused allergic reactions to a few people. A suit was filed in the California courts recently against the harmful VOCs emitted by the tempurpedic’s memory foam mattresses and the allergic reactions and complications caused by them.
How to avoid these Memory Foam Mattress Allergic Reactions?
Some of the possible solutions to avoid memory foam allergies are,
- To air all new mattresses or pads to avoid smells or off gassing
- To use natural mattresses or mattresses made by other materials to avoid known allergens
- To look for manufacturing standards and certifications to buy safer mattresses
- Adding a cover to the mattresses to avoid harmful gases and direct contact with the mattress
Most of the leading manufacturers are taking steps to reduce toxics and are using alternate products to reduce toxicity. But it is better to research about the mattress thoroughly before buying them. It is also advisable not to use these mattresses for children. Not much research has been done on mattresses or for its allergic reactions.