Need help finding a chemical-free matress

Hi Urlacher,

I’m sorry to hear about your experience but I can certainly sympathize and it appears that for some reason you may be sensitive to a material that would normally be fine for most people. I have also had a similar experience with a memory foam topper (see here) although I haven’t had any reaction to any other type of memory foam other than this specific topper. Unfortunately … it may be somewhat difficult to track down the cause of your experience.

The only reliable way to assess the “safety” of a material in more general terms is based on any certifications they have for harmful substances and VOC’s and while for most people memory foam that has a CertiPUR certification would be “safe enough” … it’s also possible that even with a certification some people may have a specific sensitivity to certain materials that for most people would be fine (some people with MCS or multiple chemical sensitivites for example may react to materials that the large majority of people will be fine with). In very general terms and based only on anecdotal information and “reports” you will find that memory foam will have the highest incidence of people that have complaints about “symptoms” they they experience when they sleep on memory foam followed by polyfoam followed by latex.

Since this mattress didn’t seem to contain any memory foam it may be much more difficult to find out the specific materials you may have been reacting to because it could be a particular type of foam, a fire barrier (although the most common fire barriers used in the industry today are non chemical inherent fire barriers), any glue in the mattress, or “something else” completely.

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.

There are many mattress manufacturers and some retailers that sell or can make a mattress that doesn’t have a fire barrier with a doctor’s prescription but it would also be a good idea to make sure that any of the other materials in the mattress are also less likely to be the cause of your experience since it may not have been the result of the fire barrier in either one or both of your mattresses

There are also manufacturers and some retailers that sell natural latex mattresses that use wool for the fire barrier that would also be very unlikely to cause any issues with sensitivities although they tend to be in higher budget ranges.

I’m not sure where you are in Iowa but there is a list for the Des Moines, IA area in post #6 here and for the Cedar Rapids area in post #4 here and for the Omaha/Lincoln, NE areas in post #2 here and for the Sioux Falls area in posts #2 and #3 here, and for the Fairfield/Ottumwa area in posts #1 and #2 here and for the Champaign/Springfield/Peoria areas in post #2 here and for the Kansas City area in post #2 here and for the Chicago, IL area in posts #2 and #4 here and for the St Louis area in post #6 here and for the Minneapolis area in post #2 here and for the Milwaukee area in post #2 here which I believe includes all the manufacturers and retailers I’m aware of in and around the Iowa area that will give you a good starting point and a number of manufacturers or retailers that you can call and talk with to find out whether that they sell or can make a mattress that meets your criteria.