Your Mattress Could Be Making You Sick

There’s nothing quite as awesome as a comfortable mattress to help you get a good night’s sleep. We all love sleeping with our spouse or partner, and I can tell you that winter is a time of year when that bed of yours gets the most use. It’s just wonderful to snuggle under the covers when the weather outside is chilly. But is your bed in cahoots with your carpet trying to poison you?

The Killer in Your Mattress

Have you ever smelled a brand new mattress? It doesn’t matter whether you buy a memory foam bed, a latex foam bed, or even an innerspring bed, they all let off a pretty ghastly odor when you first pull them out of the plastic wrapping. This odor isn’t just supremely unpleasant, but it can also be poisonous!

How is this possible?

  1. Fireproofing — A few decades ago, beds were made without using tons of chemicals and treatments. Then, a bed caught on fire, and someone decided that mattresses needed to be made fireproof. You’d be amazed by how many chemicals are used to treat the mattresses and make them fireproof, including things like boric acid, zinc borate, and antimony trioxide, among others. These chemicals can be very toxic when you breathe them in, and they can cause skin problems when you sleep on the mattress. Every year, more and more fire-retardant chemicals and materials are being used to produce mattresses, so every year there are more and more things that can cause health problems.
  2. Foam –– Foam mattresses made before 2007 actually have fewer harmful chemicals than those made after July 1, 2007. The reason for this is that the fire retardant regulations changed on this date, and foam mattresses made after this date had to be manufactured using far more chemicals.
  3. Pesticides —  The core of your mattress is usually pretty safe from pesticides. Innersprings are made of steel, latex is made from rubber, and the memory foam is made from God-knows-what kind of chemicals. However, it’s the shell of your bed that’s going to contain pesticides, as the shell is usually made from cotton. As much as 25% of all of the chemicals used in agriculture go into cotton, so there’s a huge chance that the cotton shell around your mattress is loaded with those chemicals. With more than 107 active ingredients in pesticides that can cause cancer, it’s no surprise that it can be a real health risk if your bed is covered with cotton.

Side Effects of a Bed

This may sound silly, but sleeping in one of the beds treated with these chemicals can cause serious health problems. People have reported problems like:

  • Headaches
  • Joint ache
  • Eczema
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Ringing ears
  • and the list goes on…

The problem becomes even more serious for those that have impaired immune function. This may not seem like a big deal, but autoimmune disorders like celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis are just a number of health problems that are being combatted using immunosuppressant drugs. These drugs stop your immune system from functioning properly, thus making any health issues a lot worse. It’s the ones with a compromised immune system that suffer the most.

What’s the solution?

  • Use an organic mattress cover to ensure that you don’t inhale any of the chemicals in your bed as you sleep.
  • Use bedding that is organic, thus reducing your skin’s contact with the mattress.
  • Change your mattress to one that’s organic, made with hemp, covered with wool, or made using natural materials.

With any luck, you can get a good night’s sleep without your bed trying to kill you as you close your eyes for the night!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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