WAKE UP and read the label on your mattress
About nine months ago, my husband and I purchased two twin Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Topper Supreme Mattress Toppers (that fit well side-by-side on a king bed) at Bed Bath & Beyond. We’ve slept in a number of comfortable hotel beds when traveling and we were hoping to get that sink-into-the-mattress super-soft feeling.
Over the course of the next several months, my husband developed rashes that started in his torso and progressed to his arms and legs. I was waking up with headaches that got progressively worse. I started making changes to my already healthy diet thinking that maybe I was developing food allergies. I’d often wake up with hot flashes. I brushed this off thinking that it might have something to do with my hormones.
We would sometimes feel stuffy in the morning. When I woke up, my eyes would be irritated and foggy. We thought we might be experiencing some seasonal allergies or sinus issues. My husband and I are quite healthy so I kept searching the web for what might be going on with us.
Eventually, I noticed that I’d start to feel congested as soon as I laid down in bed at night. I sometimes felt queasy in the morning, but better as the morning went on. And I knew I wasn’t pregnant! I kept Googling for answers to what might be going on until one day, I stumbled upon a number of articles and books on the dangers of polyurethane foam, the very thing we’d been sleeping on for the past six months.
- Toxic nightmare: Is your bed making you seriously sick?
- Is Your Mattress Making You Sick?
- Sleep Safe in a Toxic World by Walter Bader
The day I discovered these resources, my husband and I stripped the memory foam mattresses off our bed and within a few days all our symptoms began to fade away.
It had already been more than six months since we purchased these at Bed Bath & Beyond, but I was determined to get the $600+ back for these items that had such a negative impact on our health. I called and explained the situation to the manager. He was very kind and told me that I could return them despite the fact that they were past the return date. I’d been in this store a number of times and I always find the staff to be very friendly.
I sincerely appreciate that the manager approved our return with no hassles, but if the corporation really cared about their customers, they’d get these products out of their stores so others wouldn’t have to go through what we went through. Or worse yet, that others sleep on these for years with subtle, but mounting health effects, only later to hear from their doctor that she or he doesn’t know what caused their illness.
Bed Bath & Beyond executives need to be aware of the affects of their products not only on their customers but also on their employees who are breathing in this stuff for hours when they’re at work. Something this serious should be addressed in their Corporate Responsibility Report.
Bed Bath & Beyond offers a number of useful household products, but when I go in their stores, I try to get in and out as quickly as possible. There are a lot of strong odors being emitted from cleaners, plastics and the bedding. I don’t like the odors or the feeling I get when I’m in their stores. And because they’re packed with products from floor to ceiling, the air is especially thick with who-knows-what particulates.
After the experience with the mattress toppers, I’m even more convinced that I should avoid going in Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
Tempur-Pedic has a number of attractive phrases on their website, such as: “your best night’s sleep, what we believe, buy with confidence, and TEMPUR love stories,” but they carefully seem to avoid any promise of providing beds with safe, non-toxic materials. Buyer beware!
Peel the sheets of your mattress and pillows and read the materials on those labels that say:
UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER
But even if you’re a label-reader, Dr. Robert Bartosh of Pro-Active Wellness & Injury Centre warns that your mattress or mattress topper may contain additional materials or chemicals that are not required by law to be listed on the label. Before you buy your next mattress, take a few minutes to hear what he has to say about the potential risks of memory foam:
CVS recently vowed to stop selling tobacco products because they’re harmful to their customers. It’s time that Bed Bath & Beyond makes the same commitment to pull hazmats out of their stores!
If you’d like to replace your bed, be sure to shop at a store committed to providing all natural mattresses that are free from toxic chemicals, such as Sleep Essentials in Roanoke, VA, or the 100% organic wool mattress from The Futon Shop.