Is Memory Foam Toxic?

Memory Foam Mattresses | May 16, 2019

Learning about whether or not memory foam is toxic can help you make an informed decision about which type of mattress will work best for your particular needs. At Innovative Sleep Solutions, we want to help you select the best mattress for your lifestyle and needs. That is why we offer a wide range of mattresses to choose from, such as memory foam mattresses. At Innovative Sleep Solutions all of our mattresses are made with the consumer’s health in mind and contain CertiPUR foams that do not emit harmful chemicals.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Toxic?

The overall toxicity of a memory foam mattress is dependent on where you purchase it from. In some cases, memory foam can be produced using a number of chemicals and processes, causing a distinct chemical odour, known as off-gassing. New memory foam mattresses can experience off-gassing as a result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) breaking down, forming a gas.

In low-quality memory foam mattresses, VOCs can form in the foam and adhesives and can contain chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons, formaldehyde, benzene, methylene chloride, polyols, etc. These types of chemicals can often lead to health problems due to prolonged exposure.

While low-quality memory foam mattresses can have a number of elements that could make the memory foam toxic, high-quality natural memory foam mattresses are tested to ensure that they promote a clean air environment

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Safe?

Even though all memory foam products, both natural or synthetic, will have some chemical contents, keeping an eye out for the following labels will help you identify natural memory foam mattresses and which mattresses are safe for use.


All CertiPUR-US approved foams are made without the use of certain chemicals—prohibited phthalates, ozone depleters, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, and PBDEs—and are thoroughly tested for emissions to ensure that they are safe for indoor air quality.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

In order to get a Global Organic Textile Standard label, a mattress must contain at least 95 per cent of materials that are certified organic. Memory foam mattresses with this label are also prohibited from using specific substances—chemical flame retardants, polyurethane, etc.—even within the remaining 5 per cent of materials used.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

Memory foam mattresses with a Global Organic Latex Standard label are made up of 95 per cent organic latex. In order to get this label, memory foam mattresses must also adhere to the restrictions placed on certain materials that are allowed to make up the other 5 per cent of the mattress.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100

While mattresses with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label are not guaranteed to be produced organically, this label does set limits on the emission of harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde and other VOCs. This label also prohibits the use of certain chemical flame retardants, colourants, and allergenic dyes.

If you would like to learn more about whether or not memory foam is toxic, or if you are interested in one of our mattresses, please contact Innovative Sleep Solutions at 604-536-9380 or by filling out a contact form on our website.