When people say, “don’t let the bed bugs bite,” they’re not just being cheeky. Your mattress is where you rest your head at night, but it could be harboring more than just a deep night spent in your REM cycle. If you’ve been tossing and turning and can’t figure out why, here are eight mattress-bound hazards that could be turning your dreams into nightmares.
Your mattress may contain toxic chemicals such as flame retardants, polyurethanes, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs.
The Essentia Organic Mattress is one of the few mattresses free from these chemicals. It’s constructed with all-natural materials that give you a good night’s rest and prevent nagging allergy symptoms.
One study from the University of California at Berkeley found that the foam inside a typical new mattress is 18 percent PBDEs, linked to cancer and neurological damage. Given this information, it’s easy to see how the chemicals in the average bed could be damaging to your restfulness. Investing in organic bedding is your ticket to a good night’s sleep free from respiratory irritants.
Dead skin could be another culprit hiding in your mattress. The average person loses over one pound of skin in their lifetime, and much of it ends up in their mattress. The result? You may be sleeping on dead skin cells every night.
Dead skin cells draw in dust mites, the most common cause of house-dust allergies. If you have allergies, air out your mattress regularly or buy a dust mite cover for it.
If you are a pet lover and your furry companions sleep with you every night, chances are your mattress has pet dander. Pet dander is one of the most common causes of house-dust allergies. Consider removing your pets from your sleeping area to reduce exposure and bathe animals regularly to minimize shedding.
Sweat is an obvious nightmarish hazard that’s lurking in your mattress. Many people sweat during sleep, especially if they have a fever or take certain medications. If your mattress is old and saggy, it may retain sweat more quickly than a firmer mattress. Over the years, all of the sweat still lives in the mattress beneath your sheets.
This entry may come as a surprise, but you likely have crumbs or food stains on your mattress if you eat in your bed. Crumbs are food for dust mites, who devour them. Remember the coffee you dripped in the bed three years ago? It’s still there. Even if you feel like you got most of the stain out, there are still traces of it lurking in your mattress.
Although you likely don’t have a mold infestation, the occasional fungi spores could be hanging out in there even if you keep it clean. The problem with fungi is that it reproduces quickly—producing mold colonies within days.
The fungus can live in a mattress, and you would never know it, especially if you have a foam mattress. Over time, sleeping on a molded bed can create chronic respiratory problems and illness.
Bacteria is the result of all of the above nightmarish hazards. The longer your mattress sits in your home, the more bacteria it accumulates. Some mattresses over ten years old even have staphylococcus and norovirus. Don’t overlook any of these hazards to protect yourself. While these contaminants are typical, you should take the proper precautions to have a cleaner mattress.
Each time you move around on your mattress, you kick up the dust mites, oils, and odors that are trapped within the fibers, even if you don’t see or smell them.
Your mattress accumulates sweat, dead skin cells, food crumbs, pet dander, and even bacteria over time. While there is no way to avoid the buildup of these things, you can take the necessary steps to lower it by avoiding eating in the bed, bathing your pets regularly, and airing out or vacuuming your mattress regularly.