Is your new mattress making you sick?

This week, I’m talking about the off-gassing that comes from new mattresses. Plus, a look into a shipping mishap that left us with two new mattresses. One we wanted and one we wish we NEVER received.

Is your bed making you sick?

The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic. Since the mid- to late ’60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds (more commonly known as VOCs). VOCs can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.

Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that hold mattress layers together, has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. And then there are cotton pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals, which can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders.

And you’re spending 1/3 of your life inhaling those chemicals that are found on and throughout your mattress. So, is it making you sick? Well, maybe. Chances are good.

How do you know if your mattress is off-gassing?

When you smell the “New Mattress” smell, that’s when it’s off-gassing. That “New Mattress” smell is the chemicals wafting up into the air. If you have experienced this, you have been exposed to a serious number of VOCs. Not good. These fumes contaminate the indoor atmosphere in your bedroom and can seep into the rest of your house. Which reduces your indoor air quality considerably.

The more layers the mattress has, the more likely it has off-gassing properties as well. This is because each layer needs to be glued together with some type of adhesive. This adhesive is a major source of the VOCs. The multiple different layers can also add additional toxic chemicals into the air. Do you know how many layers are in your current or new mattress?

Our mattress mishap.

So, we just recently moved to a house about two months ago. And since we have more room now, we wanted to create a guest room for when we have visitors. To make that guest room a little more appealing, we decided to purchase a mattress instead of having to blow an air mattress up every time someone comes to visit. More comfortable and less flat. In my opinion.

Before purchasing any mattress, I did some extensive research into finding the most environmentally friendly, most clean, and most sustainable mattress that I could find for our guest bedroom. We were also looking for something in our low budget.

The major problems with mattresses are the materials used within the mattress, the environmental cost of manufacturing and shipping, the VOCs, and the longevity of the mattress. Like how well does it “hold-up” with constant use? Mattresses actually have a pretty big carbon footprint. One way to reduce the footprint is to find a mattress made with organic and/or natural materials that have been sustainably produced. It is should be light-weight, have few layers, and limited glue holding it together.

We landed on purchasing the Tuft & Needle mattress. It only has two layers and comes in a box which means it has little glue and is light-weight. It is made from CertiPur Certified and GreenGaurd Certified memory foam. Which means that is free from harmful chemicals like VOCs and has undergone very stringent testing that measures a product’s off-gassing and the resulting indoor air quality. It is also OEKO-TEX certified which means it’s also safe for babies.

The Tuft & Needle mattress was also in our budget for a guest bed. We paid a total of $475 for their Full mattress bed. Plus, since I bought it off Amazon, we got free shipping. Score! The longevity of the mattress ranges about 10 years, but since it is just a guest bed and not being slept on every day, we figured that it would last much longer.

So, this is the mattress that we wanted and purchased. Is this the mattress that showed up at our house? No. The mattress that showed up in a box at our house was a Zinus queen sized mattress. We didn’t notice until we had it out of the box and opened up. And once you open these things, it’s like impossible to get it back in and you can’t return them. So, we are stuck with it. But let me tell you, this thing reeked! Like I mean smelled AND STILL SMELLS! We have it locked away in one of our spare bedrooms because it smells so bad. It’s been two months and is still off-gassing. The thing is like the mattress from hell.

Amazon did end up sending us the right mattress though after we called and complained. When we opened up the Tuft & Needle mattress, guess what? Absolutely no smell whatsoever. It was perfect. Perfect little angel. It rolled it out nice. It inflated nice. There was no smell. It was soft but firm. Perfect. But, now we are stuck with a mattress that we hate because of a little mix-up accident. Our plan is to donate it or give it away after it is done off-gassing. I would never wish the toxic chemical smells on anyone.

So, a lesson for today, do your research on eco-friendly mattresses before purchasing. Try picking the best one in your budget to live a clean, sustainable life without killing yourself with off-gassing. And if you decide to go with a mattress in a box, be certain that it is the one you ordered before opening the package.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day.

Take care of yourself <3




Healthy Child Rest Easy

- Prevent Toxic Off-Gassing when You Can’t Afford to Buy an Organic Mattress:

Green Plant USA

- Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Mattress Industry:

Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

- What’s Really ‘Green’? A Look at Mattresses, Part II:

Mother Jones

- Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?:

The Good Trade

- 10 Affordable Organic, Natural & Eco Friendly Mattresses For A Healthier Home:


- How to Buy an Eco Friendly Mattress:

Tuft & Needle

- Mattress:

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