Many families swear by their memory foam mattresses, and it’s hard to deny that the material can offer impressive support, longevity, and comfort. However, what you’re probably not hearing from fans, manufacturers, and salespeople, is how there are some serious downsides to using memory foam. These aren’t just trivial concerns, but are valid points that could compromise the health of your family.
Let’s take a look at the dangers of memory foam, and how you can provide a safer alternative to your family.
Memory Foam is Made from Toxic Materials
Visco-elastic polyurethane foam sounds much less marketable than memory foam, but it’s a technical name that you should familiarize yourself with. Like many of the consumer and comfort goods on the market today, memory foam is a type of plastic. It is chemically treated to achieve the right consistency and amount of support, and before it can legally be sold, it is treated by chemical flame retardants.
The flame retardant used in the United States (where the majority of all memory foam mattresses are sold) is banned throughout the European Union. The particular chemical, PBDE, may also be a cause of hyperactivity and a trigger for ADHD. It’s no wonder that the material can’t be used in the EU, the world’s largest economy, so why is it still available on shelves in some countries?
Another major concern of the toxic chemicals in memory foam is potential breathing problems. Polyurethane is a respiratory irritant, and in young babies and toddlers it can cause breathing difficulties and pulmonary agitation.
Is There a Suitable Alternative?
Memory foam isn’t safe by any stretch of the imagination. Even with flame retardants, it can still burn, and the fumes that are released will be deadly, and they’re even environmentally damaging.
If you want to protect your family without sacrificing comfort, then it’s time to go for organic materials. Natural latex mattresses and pillows are the best alternative to memory foam, and they provide all of the same posture and comfort benefits that memory foam does. Latex comes from a renewable plant sap, and can be sourced through ethical farming methods that benefit the communities where it is harvested.
Without toxic additives, no odors, and a guarantee of safety for toddlers, teens, and adults, latex is undoubtedly the best solution for a peaceful and healthful night’s sleep.