There are many chemicals used in the manufacturing of mattresses that surprised me. Learn about some of the primary ingredients that concern me and a safer mattress choice.
When I first started on my natural living journey, I would have never imagined that mattresses could be a potential source of toxins in my home. I would have assumed that any bed that was sold to me would have been completely safe. Unfortunately that assumption was not entirely accurate. Many mattresses are a huge source of toxins within our homes.
Mattresses can contain any number of chemicals.
Many beds – even many natural or green beds – are made from materials that emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). According to the EPA, VOCs can cause a wide range of health problems, including eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; skin allergies; nausea; fatigue; dizziness; liver, kidney and central nervous system damage; and even cancer.
Formaldehyde is often used to make the adhesive that holds mattresses together. Formaldehyde has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose and throat cancers, and can also cause fatigue, skin rashes and severe allergic reactions.
To meet Federal Laws that requires mattresses to withstand an open flame and cigarette burns, many mattress makers choose to use chemical flame retardants. Many flame retardants have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems and impaired fetal brain development.
Many mattress manufacturers also use boric acid – a pesticide frequently used as a roach killer – in the lining of their mattresses to help the mattress resist bed bugs and bacteria. Acute boric acid exposure can lead to skin blistering, convulsions and even coma. Long-term exposure has been linked to neurological and developmental problems, and inhalation could cause upper respiratory tract damage.
In addition, pesticides have been found in non-organic cotton mattresses and bedding products. According to the Organic Consumers Association, 25% of all the pesticides used in the US are used to grow cotton. Seven out of 15 of the pesticides used in cotton production are are listed as “possible,” “likely,” “probable” or “known” human carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency. Residues from these pesticides remain in the cotton in your mattress and other bedding after manufacture.
Non-organic cotton mattresses also contain genetically modified materials as 85% of all cotton crops in the US are from genetically modified seed. If you’re trying to avoid supporting the GMO industry, you should consider choosing organic cotton whenever possible.
Choosing a Safer Mattress
When I started researching all of these chemicals in mattresses, I was distraught that I had been sleeping on – and I had let my children sleep on – mattresses containing these potentially harmful chemicals. Fortunately, the mattress my husband and I had at the time was used, so it should have off gassed most of the VOCs before we got it (we’ve since received a Naturepedic mattress), but Zoë’s mattress in her toddler bed was a standard, run-of-mill crib mattress.
So when MyGreenMattress.com reached out to me about reviewing one of their non-toxic, safer mattresses, I was excited to learn more. Many of the natural mattresses companies I had looked at were very expensive. Comparatively, MyGreenMattress.com is more affordable.
Their Pure Echo line is free of harmful toxins and made with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and Natural Joma Wool (no latex products). The reason they went with organic cotton and wool instead of natural latex is because latex is significantly more expensive, and they wanted to be able to offer a safer mattress to more people.
They don’t use any polyurethane foams or chemical fire retardants in their products. They use wool instead because it meets all of the Federal requirements for flame retardants.
Our My Green Mattress is comfortable to sleep on too (it’s on the firm side). They use 3-zone pocketed coil innerspring system with enhanced lumbar and edge support. Since organic cotton and natural wool don’t break down like polyurethane foams, the mattresses should last longer.
In addition to being safer and non-toxic, the entire Pure Echo line of mattresses from MyGreenMattress.com is made in the USA! So you don’t have to wonder about foreign manufacturers not following US guidelines or not disclosing materials or manufacturing processes.
Our Experience with the Pure Echo Mattress
My sister and I shared a Queen-sized bed when we were little and loved it. After sharing a bed at a hotel a few times when they were around 3 and 5, Zoë and Kaylee expressed that they wanted a big bed to share. They received a Queen mattress from MyGreenMattress.com to review and loved it up.
After a couple of years, they got their own twin mattresses to review from Essentia! When the girls got their new mattresses (and bunk beds!), we were able to move the My Green Mattress queen bed into our guest room.
Our guests are still happily sleeping on it in 2019! Our guests typically express that it’s comfortable, and some friends who slept on it are planning to buy one for themselves.
Get a Discount on Your Mattress
If you’re ready to make a purchase from My Green Mattress, be sure to use HM125 to get $125 off any mattress twin or larger. Get 12% off all accessories with code HM12. Codes cannot be combined with any other discounts.