How concerned about health effects from memory foam?

Hi Phoenix and company of the forum,
I ordered this mattress and it’s arriving tomorrow:

I also just bought a mem foam topper for our futon:
and it freaking stinks really bad. Both the “scent” they add, which is disgusting and the chemical smell itself. How concerned should I be about the chemicals in mem foam based mattresses? I am sensitive to smell, so I am hoping the eco-sleep mattress isn’t too smelly. But we also will have a 6 week old in the room with us.

Basically I am having late buyer’s remorse.

Are latex mattresses more natural, less chemicals, etc? I’m feeling pretty anxious about it now :-/


Hi BedHog,

I guess the “fresh scent” isn’t quite what it’s described to be.

I think that it’s important when you are choosing a memory foam topper or mattress for each person to decide on “how safe is safe enough” when it comes to memory foam. Some people are much more sensitive than others to both odor and any VOC’s that are released from different types of toppers and materials. My own “minimum” guidelines for any memory foam product is in post #10 here.

For most people … CertiPur certifcation or alternatively memory foam that is known to be made in North America is “safe enough” but for others they may choose to research more deeply or avoid memory foam completely either because of greater sensitivity or as a matter of belief or principle. I have personally experienced some of the “effects” of memory foam (from a topper bought from WalMart) and I can assure anyone that they are not pleasant (although they do go away within a few days of removing the “offending” product).

As a personal choice … I would also not use memory foam in close contact with babies or infants. (post #2 here has links to the better forum threads that discuss mattresses and children).

Each person may decide that a different level of research is more important to them but if you would like links that may take you further down the rabbit hole of the controversy about what is safe, natural, eco-friendly, and organic and the differences between all of these (they are not the same thing) then post #2 here and the information and resources it links to would be a good place to start.

At the very least I would be very cautious with the use of memory foam of any kind around young children or make sure it was CertiPur certified* as a bare minimum if you do choose to useit. At least Ecosleep is CertiPur certified.

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint:


I just folded and compressed that topper from target back up and wrapped it in it’s plastic and shoved it back in the box. It’s out in the car now to be taken back. It literally stank up the whole house with this mint ice cream from hell smell. It was in the basement!

Unbelievably disgusting smelling.

I did make sure that ecosleep is certipur certified before I bought, but nonetheless am still a little concerned now after my foray with this topper. I’ll read the links regarding children and these products — which honestly i’m feeling guilty about at this point because I didn’t even think that my wife would probably be sleeping for a while yet with the baby next to her at night. That will change soon as the baby starts to feed less at night, but still.

Thanks for the good advice like always!

The mattress should arrive tomorrow and I will for sure be following up here :slight_smile:

Hi BedHog,

I’m looking forward to your feedback :slight_smile:


Just got the mattress!

The box was about 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft by 76 inches tall (width of bed). It was listed as 120 pounds.

Unpacking was easy, I have photos and a video that I’ll share later.

The stank isn’t too bad so far, but I’m staying out of the room and leaving the windows open over night. It’s far far less stinky than the el cheapo topper from target, that’s for sure. :slight_smile:

Day 2, still fairly stinky. More so than I want to lay on. Like I said though, I am fairly sensitive to it. My wife probably wouldn’t even notice it.