Once you delve into the world of natural health, it becomes extremely overwhelming to know that even things like furniture have the potential to harm our health. Mattresses are probably one of the biggest offenders when it comes to the chemicals used in their manufacturing, and the fact that as the mattress gets older those chemicals are released even more! Throw in things like dust mites, dead skin cells (yuck!), water damage, etc and it’s no wonder that mattresses can actually do us harm- especially when we spend about 8 hours on them each day!
The Health Hazards of Mattresses
There are so many different toxic chemicals used in popular mattress brands- and you can’t even deny it when you smell a new mattress! Lucky for us, one of the worst chemicals ( polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) were banned in the US in 2004 (but if your mattress was made before then, it probably contains PBDEs). In 2007, the US declared that all mattress had to have some sort of fire-retardant used on them, so many companies still used toxic chemicals in their furniture.
The most common toxins you’ll find in mattresses are boric acid, arsenic, formaldehyde, antimony ( an extremely toxic heavy metal), and the flame retardants other than PBDEs. These chemicals can lead to illnesses like asthma, nervous system disorders, vision problems, skin reactions, thyroid problems, hormonal disorders, infertility, and even cancer. Our livers work hardest at night- it can’t do its job correctly if it is being constantly bombarded with toxic chemicals, even while you are sleeping.
This issue is even worse for kids, especially babies. They even use these chemicals in crib mattresses! There is a HUGE link between SIDS and toxic mattresses, so much so that there are companies that have created mattress covers that prevent the toxic chemicals from leaching through and harming the child. The country of New Zealand has been actively getting parents to realize this risk and they have basically eliminated SIDS this way. (Read more about that here.)
Which Brands are good?
I recently purchased a Brentwood Mattress, and I absolutely LOVE it. They have great deals on Amazon Prime, and they can even do one-day shipping! Brentwood uses only CertiPUR-US certified foams that are free of flame retardants, formaldehyde, heavy metals, and phthalates. This particular mattress also has a removable mattress cover that is made from natural bamboo materials, and it also has a 25-year warranty! The mattress arrives rolled up which is pretty cool. It fluffs up completely after a few hours, and the best part is that there is NO SMELL! NONE! It’s super comfortable too. They have a lot of other options, but we went with the 11 inch memory foam queen size. I think it’s the perfect compromise for someone that wants a natural mattress, but they don’t want to spend their life savings on an “organic” mattress.
**Update 5/2018: it’s been 2 years since I bought the Brentwood and I still love it! It’s holding up perfectly and it’s still an incredibly comfortable mattress.**
Update 11/2019: Due to our home situation (with mold issues), we decided to replace our mattress. The Brentwood was still holding well but we wanted to try a different brand and went with a Tuft and Needle. It’s definitely one we like as much as the Brentwood and over it was the same experience with shipping, no smell, and comfort.
My name is Kristin, and I've been on the path to help people achieve better health using whole food nutrition, mineral balancing, and holistic healing principles for almost 7 years now. The body is a whole and we must treat it as such! I have my Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences, certificates in Herbal Studies from Herbal Academy, and I am constantly learning more about health to help my clients and followers.