Are Memory Foam Mattresses Toxic?

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Toxic

Are memory foam mattresses toxic? A quick Google search will turn up plenty of results. But there’s still one question on your mind: are memory foam mattresses really harmful? This article will explore the question and provide some useful information. Among the possible contaminants are Diisocyanates, Methyl benzene, Polyurethane, and Formaldehyde. Read on to find out more about memory foam mattresses’ potential dangers.


A recent study has uncovered some concerning facts about diisocyanates in memory foam mattresses. The chemicals are released from polyurethane foam during the production of memory foam mattresses. While the EPA does not regulate VOCs in consumer products, the term “volatile organic compounds” (VOC) is confusing. While the term “VOC” can refer to a range of compounds, the compounds that come off foam mattresses vary greatly, making it impossible to say which ones are more hazardous than others.

Most memory foam mattresses contain diisocyanates, which are polyols that bond with a blowing agent to produce the foam. Diisocyanates are carcinogenic and can cause respiratory and skin problems. Although diisocyanates are the least toxic organic isocyanate, they can still be harmful to humans.

Some mattress manufacturers choose not to disclose the exact ingredients of their memory foam mattresses. Some of these companies consider their blend of chemicals a trade secret and rarely publish the exact ingredients. Luckily, there are some companies that subscribe to CertiPUR-US standards and have their products tested for diisocyanates. However, be wary of inexpensive mattresses. These may contain methyl benzene, which is an irritant to the nervous system.

Polyurethanes are made from a chemical known as toluene diisocyanate. These materials are very flexible and are used in mattresses, furniture cushions, and other common household applications. It also has several other properties, including resilience and comfort. These polymers are known as diisocyanates, and the chemistry behind them allows for an endless variety of properties and benefits. Diisocyanates in memory foam mattresses can vary in composition, with higher concentrations resulting in firmer, softer foam.

Methyl benzene

Methyl benzene is a petroleum byproduct commonly used in the construction of polyurethane. It is not used directly in the manufacturing process but has a high ozone depletion potential. In addition, it has been linked to several health risks including headaches, nausea, and itchiness. Moreover, it can cause a rash, nose, or throat infection. Fortunately, memory foam manufacturers are now avoiding the use of methyl benzene.

VOCs are highly unstable and can transform to gas at room temperature. They can cause a lingering smell, attract dust mites, and worsen your breathing. Because of this, it’s important to buy a memory foam mattress that is free of VOCs. For example, CertiPUR-US mattresses must not contain benzene or toluene.

The manufacturing process of memory foam mattresses also involves toxic substances, which are not deliberately added to them. However, they can be the result of the interaction between chemicals in the foam. These include methylene chloride, which can be harmful to the body and brain, lead, and mercury, which can cause kidney, liver, and reproductive system damage. Other chemicals that are commonly found in memory foam mattresses include phthalates, which can damage the reproductive system, liver, and kidneys.

Methyl benzene in a memory foam mattress is associated with a higher risk of respiratory problems. In addition, it may be carcinogenic. To reduce the risk of exposure, try choosing memory foam mattresses made of non-toxic materials, such as wool, Kevlar, or rayon treated with silica. If you have any concerns, you can contact a certified retailer.


The most common question about memory foam is whether it contains flame retardants. While foam is a popular material for mattresses, flame retardants are not only toxic, they can also affect the reproductive system and cause hormonal changes. Research has also linked these chemicals to numerous health problems, including decreased fertility and lower birth weight.

VOCs are commonly found in the foam and adhesives of mattresses. They include formaldehyde, benzene, and methylene chloride. Additionally, many consumers are concerned about the volatile organic compounds, or “polyols” that come off of memory foam. Polyurethane is a petroleum-based polymer that can emit harmful VOCs. The odors released by memory foam mattresses are unpleasant and can even be harmful to humans.

Despite recent studies showing that VOCs are harmful, the good news is that there are ways to reduce your exposure. One way to do this is by avoiding memory foam mattresses that contain a high proportion of VOCs. By choosing memory foam with a higher proportion of plant-based materials, you can reduce VOCs and avoid the harmful VOCs. You can also opt for fabrics that contain up to 20 percent plant-based materials, which have a lower VOC content.

While many companies have eliminated the use of these harmful chemicals from their manufacturing process, some manufacturers still use these chemicals to cut costs and save money. Low-quality memory foam mattresses are more likely to contain higher levels of these chemicals, so if you want to buy a memory foam mattress, check the label. In addition, when buying used memory foam mattresses, look for those with the same label. You may be surprised at what you find!


The most common memory foam mattress component is polyurethane. But did you know that polyurethane is toxic? It is made from a chemical called polyols, which are toxic to human health. Although there is no official warning about these compounds, they are found in many materials. These materials contain a wide variety of chemical additives and are not always regulated by OSHA. In fact, they may contain carcinogens.

Although polyurethane foam is recyclable, it is hard to recycle end-of-life products. Unlike other materials, memory foam mattresses typically end up in landfills, and the polyurethane component breaks down into toxins. Those chemicals end up in the air, which makes your bed full of toxins. These substances are dangerous to your health, and they are also not renewable. As such, it is important to find mattresses made from natural latex, as opposed to synthetic latex.

To get a mattress certified as safe, look for a CertiPUR-US certification. This certification requires that manufacturers use specific techniques and materials. This certification is valuable, but the label itself doesn’t mean much. If the material is certified as “certified,” then it should not be toxic. You can’t be sure of this, though. Even if the manufacturer claims the product is safe, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

Memory foam is made from a wide range of synthetic chemicals. But they are less toxic in their final state. VOCs are the primary culprits in transferring toxic chemicals into the air and ambient environment. Most memory foam mattresses contain less than one percent of these compounds in the final product, but they are still toxic. To make a mattress completely safe, a mattress should be tested for VOCs.


While dimethylformamide has long been associated with memory foam mattresses, its dangers are not yet fully understood. This chemical has been linked to human cancer. The substance is also a known carcinogen and can damage the endocrine system over long periods of exposure. Most manufacturers, however, have opted to subscribe to third-party inspections that screen memory foam for the common carcinogens. The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on manufacturers who make bogus claims about non-toxic compositions.

One of the biggest concerns about memory foam is the potential health risks from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are highly unstable and can be converted into gas at room temperature. The gas produced can irritate the respiratory system and can even cause allergies. Furthermore, the chemical can cause other problems, such as the formation of dust mites. To avoid these potential dangers, it is important to purchase a new mattress or cover.

Memory foam is made from polyols, which are chemicals derived from petroleum oil. Nevertheless, many of these mattresses also contain other chemicals, including Dimethylformamide. Although this is a good thing, it is not a good idea to sleep on a memory foam mattress if you are allergic to the chemicals. In addition, some foam mattresses contain flame retardants that may be harmful.

Another chemical used in the manufacture of memory foam is propylene oxide. Exposure to this chemical can cause headaches, irritated eyes, or skin irritation. It has also been linked to cancer. Propylene oxide, in particular, is a known carcinogen, while TDI is more commonly used in plastics. TDI is one of the most common VOCs in memory foam.