Memory Foam

Yesterday we received our brand new memory foam mattress. I duly unwrapped and aired it for the afternoon before making up the bed to sleep.

It REEKS of chemicals! Whilst trying to ignore the fumes I sat up in bed and started researching the health risks (and scared myself silly). I eventually dragged the old mattress into the living room and got a few hours sleep on the floor. I read that exposure to the flame retardant treatments and synthetic materials can affect hormones and unbalance the thryoid; amongst other symptoms. Alarm bells started ringing deafeningly!

We had been sleeping on memory foam since 2009. Could this have contributed to my Hashimoto's and Fibromyalgia diagnosis? Eeeek.

14 Replies

  • Interesting but scary thought. My last memory foam mattress was like yours -reeked for the first 24hours and then was fine -no smell. Used it for ten years. My current one is a well known brand and has never smelt.

    Have no idea if it's the cause or not of my hypothyroidism or whether it's chemicals in furniture, carpets, fluoride in water/toothpaste, plastic bags, plastic bottles, supermarket packaging, cling film......etc....

    Hopefully someone more informed will come along and answer your question soon.

  • Oh heck, I can empathize with you there! We just bought a sealy latex mattress and the first night i managed 30 minutes in it :( eyes stinging, breathing issues (i have asthma as well as Hashi) coughing and retching.

    Its the flame retardant I think but its still "gassing" and I did unpack it 8/12 twelve hours before unhand to breath, but i guess it'll have to go back. and I dont know what to do.

  • Hi leaf1, I'm sorry your experience was so bad, perhaps it is different between brands, Dunlopillo emphasise the natural quality of the rubber they use, and the health benefits. I am sure that my mattress was not full of retardant materials and I've been fine on it.

  • I have allergic asthma as well as Hashi too - after an hour in bed, I felt like I had inhaled chill powder! After another day's airing however, it's a lot better and I managed some sleep on the mattress last night. I agree that it's more likely to be the flame retardant treatment.

  • on a recent email from Dr. Isabella Wentz, she mentioned how common latex allergy is with hashimotos and food allergies and sensitivities as well. I would tell the company you are allergic and get your money back. If you put it on a credit card, they often have buyer protection. i am going to start shopping for a new mattress soon..i am really glad that you brought this up. It is issues with our cloths too and it can take years and lots of money, to get into a safer environment.

    Also, google the dangers of flame is a huge issue.

    I am trying to put my hashi's in remission.

  • Hi Joburton, don't panic! I have a Dunlopillo latex foam mattress and have slept on it for years. I have asthma and allergies and it has been great (had to get rid of the feather pillows though!) I a, extremely careful about stuff that could cause health problems. ,y understanding is that the smell is the rubber, it has been packaged into the plastic covering and will dissipate quickly. I don't think it is a chemical smell. If anyone out there knows better, please feel free to correct me!

    I hope you have many good nights asleep on it!

  • Hi Travelling, bear in mind that 'latex foam' is completely different to 'memory foam' which is in the mattress Joburton has got. Latex foam is from natural ingredients and memory foam is from something they made up for the space industry. Don't know any more than that though.

  • However "natural" latex foam is, allergy to latex is not rare.

    Indeed, for many years research has been going to to replace latex (possiby all forms of rubber) for the contact between vehicles and roads.

  • Wanted to report that the fumes have dissipated somewhat - I stripped the mattress, opened all the windows and blasted it with fans! From doing more research I figured it can take some time (depending on the materials) before the mattress completely 'off-gasses'.

    I'm guessing that it was the flame retardant treatment that made my eyes sting and chest hurt. Apparently manufacturers are not required to state what they use! I'm going to persevere with this mattress because my old one has a Jo shaped dip in my side :D.

    I don't remember having the same problems with that mattress, but on reflection, had left it to settle for at least a week in the new house before moving in.

    @Leaf1 - Give it a chance - I read that it helps to sprinkle bicarb of soda on the mattress to soak up toxins, then hoover it.

  • Food for thought regarding flame retardants! (an article from Boston University School of Public Health)

  • mine suggested airing for 24hours. I bought a zip up mattress cover that also ponged for a bit. both fine now:)

  • yes..the chemicals are absorbed thru your skin. Same with chemicals in your food. This is why autoimmune disease is on the rise. The chemicals in food are ruining our guts and our immune systems . There is even flame retardant in your coffee maker, aluminum is tied to Alzheimers. Plastics are unsafe. I just spent a lot ridding my house of most of it.

  • When we replaced our mattress we did try a couple of memory foam mattresses but didn't like the way they sort of clung to one. We eventually went for a silk and wool one, which we love.

    If you are at all concerned about this it would be better to return it sooner rather than later, I think, if this is what you intend to do.

  • It's much better now, we only get an occasional waft. It will have to do for the next few years anyway. I find memory foam is better for supporting my body and helps with fibromyalgia related discomfort.

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