I bought my children memory foam mattresses only to find out that they offgas some highly toxic chemicals. What should I do?

Asked by Kelly Whysong-Zeltner
Woodland, CA

Where can I find polyethylene mattress covers for my kids' twin-size mattresses?


Susan Davis

Answered by Susan Davis

Mountain View, CA

Spectrum Fine Homes, Inc.

December 5, 2010

We are surrounded by plastics everywhere we turn, and so many are being determined toxic! What's a parent to do?

My suggestion would be to sell this mattress on Craigslist and buy an organic mattress. There are a few great options -- especially since you live in California!

Buying from local manufacturers (within 500 miles) means the carbon footprint of the mattress is reduced, and you will also be supporting the local economy -- making this an even greener option.

  • Look at the OMI Organic Mattresses at Living Green in Culver City. These safe and healthy mattresses are made in Northern California.
  • Another wonderful option, and a great informative website, is Lifekind Mattresses -- also made in Northern California.
  • And there's the McRoskey Mattress Co. in San Francisco, a family-owned business since 1899 -- we're talking "heirloom" mattresses! You can purchase them at Berkeley Mills in Santa Monica.
  • Naturepedic, based in Ohio, also has wonderful products for babies and children. There are several locations in Southern California where you can find Naturepedic mattresses.

These mattresses may cost a little more, but good health for your children is priceless! Try to recoup some of your investment by selling the memory foam mattresses, and re-invest in a healthy mattress they will use until they leave home. 

If you have the space in their rooms, consider a queen size that they can take with them when they leave home. A good mattress can last a long, long, time -- and that's sustainable!


For more information:

There is a great online resource for concerned parents at the Healthy Child, Healthy World website. This might help with future choices.

Also, read Mary Cordaro's Q&A "What do you think of memory foam mattresses and toppers? Are they safe?"

Tagged In: home air quality, organic mattress

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