Are memory foam products safe to use if you have breathing issues? Can you get harmed if you inhale the fumes from them? Well, it will really depend on what kind of memory foam you have, and its quality.
Let’s face it: memory foam is not a natural product. Memory foam is made from chemicals, and it is possible that it could aggravate existing breathing issues such as emphysema, and make your lungs have to work harder. Having difficulty breathing can be one of the risks of toxic memory foam. However, it’s not just limited to that: other people can get throat and sinus problems, coughing fits, headaches, asthma attacks and hallucinations, if it is really bad. The smell that the memory foam puts out (known as off-gassing) can be there for several weeks as well, which means the chemicals are there for that long too.
- Some memory foam products contain up to 61 chemicals, which get emitted while you sleep. They can include agents such as benzene and naphthalene, which have been known to cause cancer. These chemicals are creating pollution right where you sleep. If you have emphysema already, you’ve probably been advised to avoid polluted areas, and your sleeping area is not an exception to this.
So how do you manage this, if you already have emphysema or other breathing problems, and you want to have a memory foam mattress topper? Well, it turns out that there are several companies that make memory foam mattress toppers and other products which are free of harmful chemicals. There is also a testing and accreditation company, CertiPUR-US, which will test the memory foam for chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (or VOC). These are a source of pollution. If a memory foam product passes the VOC test, CertiPUR-US will certify it as being free from these chemicals, which will in turn mean that it is less likely to pollute your bedroom.
Other memory foam companies will advertise the ingredients for their products. Essentia, for example, list the toxic chemicals that are present in low-quality memory foam products on their website. By contrast, the products made by Essentia are VOC free, and do not have the toxic chemicals. However, the products are also quite expensive, but are worth it if you want to avoid the problems connected with toxic chemicals in your memory foam products. Alternatively, a Saatva memory foam mattress is a discount mattress available online, which is considerably cheaper than the Essentia one, while also not having the same chemicals. It also has an organic cotton Euro Pillow top and is only $899 in their online store.