Is memory foam safe?
There are a number of sites warning of memory foam and health risks with certain chemicals used in their manufacture. With most man-made materials there are a number of synthetic materials many of which will be present in your home and as always we want to provide you with the facts to make an informed decision. So is memory foam really safe?
There are some other chemicals which are subject to debate about the safety and volatility of them being present in a mattress. Granted in large amounts some of these chemicals are highly toxic. However, the amounts used in foams are very low in some cases which obviously reduces the risk. It’s a tricky balancing act given the manufacturers won’t give the exact quantities and measurements. It’s a bit of a trade secret with the different blends to make foams which are incredibly frustrating for you the customer. The following are frequently cited.
What chemicals are in memory foam?
The following chemicals are frequently cited:
- Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate
- Methyl chloroform
- Vinilideine chloride
An excellent resource for a more detailed explanation can be found here on the exacting contents of some types of memory foam. There is a class lawsuit in the USA being brought against Tempur for the effects of off-gassing which has yet to be decided on in a court of law. With everything you need to be careful to measure up the risks, the chances of those risks affecting you when making decisions. If you are overly concerned we would always advise a more natural material for your mattress rather than a man-made foam.
Our position is that Memory Foam has been around for over 20 years and whilst there are complaints about side effects from some of the chemicals off-gassings the majority of users report no complaints. The same chemicals are present in car seats, sofas, household plastics etc. If you are concerned then our advice would be to opt for a natural pocket sprung mattress or a natural latex bed, but there are price considerations. For further information of off-gassing please follow this link for a detailed account so you can make your own mind up.
For a further review of Memory Foams structure here is a link to one example of a data sheet for the more scientific of our viewers!