Whether we're at home or in a hotel room, we all need a good night sleep. I know I always get my energy back after a refreshing rest! But there are a few factors which contribute to a relaxant slumber, and one of them is the mattress underneath us. Lucky for us, the modern mattress industry uses new materials and technologies to help us get the proper repose.
Foam is, nowadays, a universal and affordable bedding option. This material was initially developed for NASA, back in the ‘60s. They used it for their space program, to keep the astronauts safe during missions. While acting as an excellent shock absorbing material, foam also proved soft enough to be used for various purposes.
Thus, it quickly became a primary component of mattresses. But the manufacturing process has raised many questions regarding the safety of, well, humans sleeping on it, night after night, for many years. The main concerns sight out the chemicals used during the production process and the odor the mattresses might cast.
All foam beds have polyurethane as a prime ingredient. Polyurethane is a petroleum-based compound, a byproduct which is extracted during the refinement process of crude oil. Besides foam layers and fabric, some brands also use materials such as gel, gel-infused foam, latex, latex foam, polyester padding, wool or cotton. All products must meet the safety laws regarding fire-proofing.
But polyurethane can also be encountered in household furniture or even in innerspring mattresses. So it appears to be not as harmful as some may think. I did a bit of research and found out that the percentage of consumers reporting health issues after having bought a foam bed is rather small. In fact, market reports covering the past 25 years claim that only 2% of the customers face such problems and return the mattresses because of this situation.
Nevertheless, let’s see the main health complaints related to foam beds:
- Allergic reactions – mostly nose or throat irritation
- Aggravated asthma
- Headache muscle pain
- Lack of concentration
- Other respiratory issues
It’s also the conclusion of those reports I came across that usually people with a weaker immune system show these symptoms. But to meet the public requirements and cast away all suspicions, most top mattress producers continuously improve the manufacturing process, using more and more materials that are eco-friendly and harmless.
When we look at the health improvements these mattresses provide, we see that not only are they safe to sleep on, but also help us get a better rest. Reports on the constant use of foam mattresses show a notable decline in chronic back and neck pain. Modern hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant cover materials make them safe to use even for people who have allergies or other respiratory issues.
I believe the real issue is the quality of the foam mattress you buy. Low-quality products will inevitably impact your overall health, in time. But high-quality items will allow you to enjoy a healthy sleep for many years. My advice is to do your research on http://www.sleepingguide.org/, find out what materials were used for the mattress you want to buy and make an informed decision.