What Are You Sleeping With? The Harmful Chemicals That May be Lurking in Your Mattress

If you’re like me, you love sleeping. Whether it’s logging a tight eight hours at night or one of those perfect mid-afternoon summer naps with the fan on, it rejuvenates the body and mind so you can keep slaying during the day. The fact is, people sleep a lot (a third of our life, to be exact). We care about what’s in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and if we have black mold growing in our bathroom, so shouldn’t we also pay attention to what’s in our mattress? Where we spend so much time of our non-waking life?

The alarming truth is that some memory foam mattress manufacturers are not properly regulating what goes into your bed. Which means a boatload of insidious chemicals are being injected into or are involved in the production process of that cushy dreamland giver we lay down to rest on every night.

This is troubling to us at Zonkd for a few different reasons: 1. Sleep is universal. No one should be exposed to these chemicals just for fulfilling a biological need every night. 2. As stewards of a stellar night’s sleep, we want a mattress that makes you feel better, not worse. To counter this recent trend, it was important for us to get CertiPUR-US® certified.

CertiPUR-US® certified means that our mattresses are made without the following nasty chemicals (and are the chemicals you should watch out for when buying a mattress):

The atmosphere we call home

To be CertiPUR-US® certified, you can’t use Ozone-depleting chemicals in the making of your mattresses. You know, that important layer in the stratosphere that protects us from the sun’s rays? I’d venture to say that we don’t want to deplete the ozone any more than we already have.


All these fun acronyms stand for various flame retardants. Because foam is flammable, a quick-and-dirty solution is to douse mattresses in flame-retardant chemicals so, you know, your bed doesn’t combust. While it may be the “easiest” fix, it’s not the safest. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and are known to reduce fertility in humans.

Heavy metal (not the headbanging kind)

Zonkd mattresses are made without mercury, lead, or other heavy metals. This is because heavy metals can cause issues like muscle weakness, poor coordination, numbness in the hands and feet, skin rashes, anxiety, memory problems, trouble speaking, trouble hearing, and trouble seeing.


Another one often used in making memory foam mattresses, formaldehyde can cause skin rashes, nose, throat, or eye irritation, fatigue, sleeping problems, nausea, breathing difficulties, and cancer. This stuff’s no joke if you’re exposed to a lot of it.

Phthalates (a letter salad loaded with potential health issues)

More and more unsavory research is coming out on phthalates. Researchers have linked it to many health issues, like breast cancer, neurodevelopmental issues in children, behavioral issues, altered reproductive development, and male fertility issues.


VOCs (or Volatile Organic Compounds) are gases emitted from some types of mattresses. CertiPUR-US® certified means that mattresses have to meet a strict standard for indoor air quality. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, as well as damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Ultimately, they’re a hell-broth of health offenders.

For good measure, we’ve also made our Zonkd mattresses antimicrobial to stave off bacteria and other germy organisms growing on your mattress. So you can rest easy and healthy and keep your love affair with sleep.


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