The mattress industry has not always been known for its commitment to consumer safety. Major concerns with mattress safety started in 2007 when new regulations actually encouraged manufacturers to add numerous chemicals to their beds.
These harmful chemicals continue to be added to mattresses from manufacturers all around the world. Big companies with greedy stakeholders don’t need to care about consumer safety. What’s the big deal if 15% of their customers complain of odors that usually indicate harmful chemicals are present? That’s the industry standard for memory foam mattresses by the way — 15%!
That is a big deal!
If you’re shopping for a new bed, get to know the materials you’ll be spending a third of your life on. Because sleeping soundly is about more than relieving pain and inspiring deeper sleep, it’s about knowing you’ll truly wake up healthier in the morning and not having to wonder, “is my mattress safe?”
Chemicals in Memory Foam Worth Fretting About
In 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against a major memory foam mattress manufacturer. This lawsuit alleged that their products released volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can result in allergic reactions as well as possible long-term complications, and that the company was aware of the concerns but didn’t do anything to warn customers or eliminate the VOCs from their products.
Additionally, although many memory foam products today are VOC-free and claim that odors will quickly dissipate, formaldehyde and other odors may continue to be released for months. This is called off-gassing and is a significant issue for many memory foam mattress owners, 15% of whom on average complain of off-gassing and odors.
In comparison, non-memory foam, low VOC mattress owners still complain of odors in as few as 3-5% of reviews.
Conversely, Purple does not use any memory foam in any of our products. This is not just because memory foam sleeps hot, develops a body impression, and lacks adequate support, it’s also because it tends to emit strong off-gassing and can be harmful to sleepers. And that’s just something Purple isn’t willing to sell to customers.
Flame Barriers Lack Common-Sense Safety
Flame barriers became commonplace after fire marshals reported more individuals died or were injured from mattresses or upholstered furniture catching fire than any other type of fire.
This smart move, however, quickly became problematic for sleepers. Flame retardant chemicals, such as PBDEs and Tris, can off-gas and cause reactions or negative side-effects.
In fact, Target, Wal-Mart and Babies R Us were sued in 2013 due to undisclosed Tris flame retardants in baby mattresses.
The founders of Purple were aware of this issue when they began inventing the perfect bed. The goal was to use a flame barrier that would protect customers in the event a fire occurs without harming them on a day-to-day basis.
We decided not to use chemical treatments, and instead found a special flame barrier fabric with unique non-toxic fibers that naturally slow flames. We then got our flame barrier GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which means it meets the health standards for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities, to assure our customers that we hold ourselves to the highest safety standards.
The Top 3 Common Mattress Allergens to Avoid
- Latex allergies are somewhat common. Many experience a reaction with latex gloves or or other protective products, but what about latex mattresses?
- Latex mattresses have somewhat recently made their mark on the bed industry. Many latex mattress companies claim the proteins responsible for causing a reaction to latex have been washed out of their mattresses. Studies have confirmed most proteins in latex extract are not present in mattresses, so those claims may be true, however, the proteins are not completely gone.
Depending on the mattress company and their processes, one study showed that the remaining proteins were equal to or more than the amount in latex gloves.
Although few cases of adverse reactions to latex mattresses have been reported, it’s still worth doing ample research about the levels of proteins and processes used by latex mattress companies.
- Cotton: In the agriculture industry, cotton is known as one of the worse materials for humans because it’s one of the most heavily sprayed crops. When shopping for a mattress, pay close attention to the materials in the cover on the mattress.
Purple created its own patent-pending cover to make it the most comfortable, safe, and sleek cover on any bed in the market (without cotton!)
- Our cover is 29 percent knit fabric, 67 percent viscose, and 4 percent polyester. The no-move bottom panel is also made of polyester.
- Dust Mites! Perhaps the largest offender when it comes to mattresses is dust mites. Prepare to be grossed out: Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in pillows, mattresses, blankets, carpets, and other soft materials. It’s their waste and body fragments that some people are allergic to, in various degrees of severity. Although dust mites are a fact of life, studies have shown that foam mattresses and spring mattresses are the most susceptible to dust mites.
Look For Manufacturers Committed to Safety
Purple achieves its goal of helping people feel better by making safety a priority. Purple’s products have no off-gassing and only use CertiPUR-US® Certified foam with our mattress. Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ is made with non-toxic, mineral oil-based, food-contact grade materials. You could eat it if you wanted to and be totally fine (even though we don’t recommend that!)
Purple’s flame barrier is free of dangerous chemicals and is an extra barrier, in addition to the cover, between people and the non-toxic plastic powder coating we use to prepare our beds for packaging.
Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material is a natural dust mite deterrent and is hypoallergenic, along with our foam and cover. And we never use latex with any of our products.
Purple has taken every measure to produce clean, non-toxic products for you to live your life on. Compared to many of the mattresses you see today, Purple has less evidence of potential adverse effects than almost any other technology or material on the market.
Purple’s mission is to help people feel better. We try to achieve this in several ways: through our ridiculously comfortable Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ technology, through our knee-slapping videos, and through our commitment to living healthier, happier lives.
Which is why we committed at the very beginning to produce safe products that help people feel better, not worse.
Get a mattress that truly allows you to sleep easier and feel better.