I purchased a Tempurpedic king size mattress around 5 months ago and have some serious buyer’s remorse. I had a great impression of the brand beforehand and it is indeed great for back issues but it had a horrible smell for about a month and has since caused me headaches, ent issues, itchy skin and eyes. It took me a while to link the issues to the mattress but I have tested it out by sleeping on my couch and also testing for allergens/etc… in the house. I’m looking for a solid “non-toxic” mattress for around $2k or so. There are so many brands, it is hard to know what is legit and what isn’t. I was wondering if you all could give me some brand names that would be worth looking into. Ideally, something good for the back, but I’m a little freaked out by memory foam now and can definitely cope without it.
I’m sorry to hear that you are sensitive to the materials in your Tempurpedic mattress and that they seem to be causing some significant issues and discomfort for you. While this may not be the “norm” and may only affect a relative minority of people compared to the very large number of people who have purchased one … this isn’t any comfort for those that are in this minority. I am also familiar with the types of symptoms you are experiencing based on my own experience with a different memory foam topper (see post #2 here) although this has only happened on that specific topper and not on other memory foam mattresses or toppers I have slept on. You can also read about some others that have been affected by some types of memory foam in some of the feedback here.
[quote]I’m a little freaked out by memory foam now and can definitely cope without it.
I’m looking for a solid “non-toxic” mattress for around $2k or so.[/quote]
When you have had this type of experience … the first thing I would do is decide whether you are willing to risk trying another type of memory foam mattress (which may be fine for you … especially it’s Certi-PUR certified) or whether you are more comfortable looking at other types of materials and avoiding memory foam completely. There is more information in post #2 here that can help you decide on the types of materials you are comfortable with having in your mattress that can help you answer the question “how safe is safe enough for me?”. Since your own sensitivity to different materials and your own “risk tolerance” may be different from other people … each person may have a different answer to this depending on their history, their sensitivity, any health conditions that may affect their choice, and their willingness to sleep on different types of materials.
Once you have decided on the types of materials you are comfortable with considering … then the mattress shopping tutorial has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.
There is more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses.
Outside of the suitability of a mattress in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) … the most important part of a mattress purchase is to make sure you know the type and quality of all the materials inside your mattress so you can identify any weak links in terms of durability and make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label. Since a mattress is only as good as its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it … and since all manufacturers have access to similar materials and make mattresses that are either lower or higher quality … “brand shopping” can be among the worst ways to choose a mattress (see post #12 here and post #5 here).
Once you reach step 3 in the tutorial … if you let me know your city or zip code I’d also be happy to let you know about any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area as well.
If the reason you went to memory foam is because you didn’t like innerspring mattresses, and you liked the pressure relief of memory foam, then the next mattress type you might want to try is latex. You could try an organic latex mattress that was made using the Dunlop process, or all natural Talalay process. Both of these type of latex mattresses are made with very little chemicals, and offer the same pressure relief as memory foam.
Thank you Phoenix,
I am located in the Miami area in South Florida. I really think the sales person at a retail outlet (Mattress Firm in my case) should warn about the potential issues with Tempurpedic (even if it only affects a minority of people). Especially the off-gassing smell issue. They have a 90 day return windown and if I would have known that these issues could exist, I would have returned it and purchased another mattress from the same store.
Quick question, what would be the probability that I simply received a defective mattress and that is what is causing the issue?
In terms of Inner-Springs, does anyone have any recommendations for organic materials/brands to check out?
If the reason you went to memory foam is because you didn’t like innerspring mattresses, and you liked the pressure relief of memory foam, then the next mattress type you might want to try is latex. You could try an organic latex mattress that was made using the Dunlop process, or all natural Talalay process. Both of these type of latex mattresses are made with very little chemicals, and offer the same pressure relief as memory foam.[/quote]
Thank you, any recommendations for retail outlets in South Florida or mattresses made with the Talalay process?
While the smell of a mattress can vary from batch to batch, every new Tempurpedic (and most new mattresses) will have some initial smell. This is considered to be “normal” and not a warranty issue or a “defect” so it’s very unlikely that you would qualify for a warranty exchange. Some people are more sensitive and are affected more by certain types of materials. You can reduce the chances that you would be sensitive to a particular type of material by making sure that it has a certification for harmful substances and VOC’s but even here you will sometimes find that some people are more sensitive to certain materials even if they are certified. This would be more common with memory foam which has the most chemicals, less common with polyoam, and least common of all with latex (see here and here and here). Tempurpedic is not CertiPUR certified and anecdotally they have the most complaints about their smell and sensitivities 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 number of mattresses they sell.
I would avoid brand shopping completely (see the links at the end of my last reply) and focus on the steps in the tutorial post and the materials in a mattress rather than the name of the manufacturer on the label which has very little to do with the quality or value of a mattress.
There is more about organic certifications in post #3 here. Most people that are looking for and “organic” mattress are really looking for “safe” materials and there are many options that are “safe” that aren’t organic but if an organic certification is important to you then you would be looking for mattresses that either use organic fibers (such as wool or cotton), organic latex, or innersprings.
If you are looking for a mattress that is certified organic as a complete mattress (and doesn’t just contain organic materials and components) then the only two manufacturers that make these are Organicpedic (OMI) and Naturepedic.
Thanks again Phoenix,
I’m interested in the organic mattresses but the natural mattresses would be fine as well. I’m increasingly drawn to the Talalay latex. So would be interested in recommendations for natural talalay constructs/brands as well. FWIW, Brickell Mattresses (select foam) has horrific reviews on BBB and is rated an F. I’m not sure if you all pay much attention to that, but thought it was worth mentioning. Some of the other local retailers seem to have had far less complaints.
I don’t recommend specific mattresses or brands … only a series of steps and guidelines (in the tutorial post) that can help you find the mattress that is the best match for you based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.
Unfortunately nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that make each person unique for anyone to be able to make specific suggestions about which mattress may be the best “match” for someone else based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).
You can see some comments about their BBB rating in post #4 here and the posts it links to. You can also see some interesting (and troubling) information about the Better Business Bureau in this 20/20 article. The comments would also apply more to their online sales through Select Foam than to their Brickell Mattress store which is a different sales channel and hasn’t had the same issues with their after sales service.