are tempur=pedics toxic?

want to know if these beds (older models too) are toxic?

I wonder if that is true ? can anyone say for sure?


Hi suziQ,

There is a lot more information in post #2 here and the more detailed posts and information it links to about safe, natural, organic, “chemical free”, and “green” mattresses and mattress materials that can help sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you differentiate between them and answer “how safe is safe enough for me” that can help each person decide on the types of materials they are most comfortable having in their mattress or on the certifications that may be important to them. These types of issues are complex and are generally specific to each person and their individual sensitivities, circumstances, criteria, beliefs, and lifestyle choices.

The only reliable way to assess the “safety” of a material in more general terms is based on any laboratory testing and certifications they have for harmful substances and VOC’s (see post #2 here for more information about some of the reliable “safety” certifications) and Tempurpedic is not CertiPUR certified and doesn’t have any specific certifications for VOC’s that I’m aware of so there is really no way to know for certain. Anecdotally they have the most complaints about their smell and sensitivities to their material (see here) but they are also the most widely sold memory foam mattress as well so some of the frequency of complaints would be the result of the sheer number of mattresses they sell.

There is also a class action lawsuit against Tempurpedic regarding VOC’s in their mattresses (see here and here).


I feel it is also important to note that the words toxic or toxins is thrown about an awful not nowadays in many different arenas. I think almost any substance has the potential to be labelled toxic but toxicity depends on the dosage. So for instance, it is possible to ingest a toxic amount of water. The toxic amount of water would be almost impossible to consume versus say exposing yourself to a toxic amount of lead or mercury. But it is the dosage that determines the level of toxicity.

So when we are talking about common chemicals that we are exposed to every day like formaldehydes and other VOC’s technically there are safe levels and there are unsafe levels.

Regardless of the products you are dealing with the levels of most VOC’s will be higher in brand new product versus older products that have already gassed off somewhat. The size of the room and the amount of air circulating in and out of the space also plays a big factor.

So for instance most people even sleeping on a brand new mattress it is a small chance that you will react negatively although some individuals are far more sensitive to smells and may have chemical sensitivities of some kind. But on the flip side, imagine a scenario where someone just moves into a brand new home, they have new paint, new carpets, new underlay, new mattress and other furniture in the room. It is now easy to see in a scenario like this that actually the total exposure PROBABLY isn’t good to be exposed to. So you definitely want to pick and choose your own battles.

I feel in the interest of disclosure that although I am a Tempur-Pedic dealer in Canada we specialize in natural mattresses and that is truly where my heart and passion lies. But at the same time a lot of people in the ‘green-industry’ as a whole are guilty of using fear-mongering to help create the market for natural products, this is not always based on sound science. I feel that this is actually a disservice to the other legitimate things we know about sleep that may cause people to want to sleep on a natural bed; such as the increased airflow and moisture absorption in the fabrics and upholstery compared to synthetic beds. This can have a very net positive affect on your sleep.

that is a very detailed answer thank you! I live in an apartment but I can certainly open the windows and keep some airflow.It is a smaller space than a house -12x12 bedroom but I am hoping it will be okay because like the feel of tempur-pedic.
Someone had said that they off gas forever. Is that true?

I see you have an online store so I will look there. I had never thought of that,carpets,furniture all of these things have some chemicals in them.

Is it true that tempur-pedic is better because they are made in the US and not cheap china foam?

Also I heard that the company changed their beds( I have a friend with an older model) I slept in their bed while housesitting and loved it! did they change the beds to provide less toxins?

Thank you for the detailed answer ,you seem like a reliable retailer.

also thank you moderator for the links to find answers.

it is appreciated.

Hi suziQ,

As [email protected] mentioned … offgassing is really a matter of degree. While mattresses and many other household items and furniture will have some degree of offgassing over the long term (even fruits and vegetables have offgassing) … it’s generally below the levels that most people would consider to be harmful after a few days or in some cases a few weeks although there may be a few people that are more sensitive or have medical conditions such as MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) that may be sensitive to levels of some VOC’s that most people would be fine with. Some of the information in post #3 here may be helpful.

There is higher and lower quality memory foam made in North America by many different manufacturers (not just the memory foam that is made by Tempurpedic) and there is also higher and lower quality memory foam made in China by many different manufacturers as well. It would depend on the specifics of the memory foam and how it was manufactured. Having said that … I think it would be fair to say that there is some some additional risk and uncertainty involved in buying a mattress that is made in China or other imported mattresses that may be subject to longer periods of compression during shipping and storage that can sometimes affect the durability and useful life of the mattress (see post #6 here).

Tempurpedic has changed their mattresses many times over the years and also added many new models so that they have a wider range of mattresses to attract a larger percentage of consumers or keep more of their customers that purchased their mattresses previously because they now have a great deal of competition that also make similar or better quality memory foam mattresses (and many that are lower quality as well) that sell for lower prices that they didn’t have when they were first introduced (see post #2 here). The changes weren’t about having less toxins in their mattresses.


thank you .