Are Memory Foam Pillows Safe?

Memory foam pillows have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people enjoying their comfort and support. However, there are concerns about the safety of these pillows, as they may contain toxic chemicals that can harm your health. In this article, we’ll take a look at the safety of memory foam pillows and whether or not you should be using one.


Are Memory Foam Pillows Toxic?


In recent years, the use of chemicals in memory foam has become a cause for concern among many people. There are several potential risks associated with these chemicals that deserve careful consideration.

Memory foam pillows are made from polyurethane, which is a type of plastic. This material is often treated with chemicals such as flame retardants, pesticides, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can off-gas from the pillow, and be inhaled by the person sleeping on it. This can lead to a number of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and respiratory problems.

The first major concern is toxicity. Many of the chemicals used in memory foam have been linked to a variety of negative health effects, including changes in reproductive and developmental systems and damage to the nervous system. Exposure to these chemicals over long periods of time or at high concentrations can lead to serious medical issues:

  • Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen that can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and headaches
  • Naphthalene: A chemical used as a moth repellent that has been linked to cancer
  • Benzene: A solvent that is known to cause leukemia
  • Icocynates: A group of chemicals used as flame retardants that have been linked to cancer
  • Phthalates: A group of chemicals used to soften plastics that have been linked to reproductive problems
  • Heavy Metals: Such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can cause neurological problems
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic compounds): A group of chemicals that can be released into the air in the process called off-gassing and cause respiratory problems, headaches, and dizziness


are memory foam pillows toxic

How to Choose a Safe Memory Foam Pillow?


When it comes to choosing the best memory foam pillow for you, there are several important factors to consider. One of the most important is whether or not the pillow has been certified by CertiPur-US. This certification indicates that the pillow meets a certain standard for quality and safety, so choosing a CertiPur-certified memory foam pillow ensures that you are getting high-quality materials without any harmful toxins or chemicals.

Another factor to consider is whether or not the pillow has been Oeko-Tex certified. Oeko-Tex certification is another indicator of quality, as it means that all components of the pillow have been tested to ensure they are free from harmful substances such as formaldehyde and heavy metals.

Additionally, choosing a memory foam pillow with Greenguard GOLD certification will ensure that your new pillow has met strict indoor air quality emission requirements, making it a safe choice for you and your family.

Take a look at these CertiPur-certified memory foam pillows:


Inight Pillows

Inight Memory Foam Pillows
$49.99 $43.19 ($21.60 / Count)

CertiPur-certified Memory Foam

03/07/2024 11:56 pm GMT

Inight Pillows conform to your body, providing customized support for your head and neck no matter your position. Not only is it CertiPUR-US certified for its unmatched quality and durability, but the pillow cover has also been awarded OEKO-TEX certification for its eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes.

And if that wasn’t enough, Inight Pillows are designed with ventilation in mind to keep your head cool throughout the night and prevent moisture buildup that can lead to discomfort.


Oceano Gel Memory Foam Pillow by Brentwood Home

Oceano Memory foam Pillow by Brentwood Home

CertiPur-Us and Greenguard GOLD Certified Pillows


These pillows are filled with cooling gel memory foam and BioFoam, which means that they provide the perfect level of cushioning and support while also being gentle on the environment.

Oceano Pillows can be adjusted in height depending on your desired level of cushioning, and they are covered by sustainable Tencel fabric to ensure that they are soft and breathable. Additionally, these pillows are certified by Greenguard GOLD and Certi-Pur, so you can rest assured knowing they are safe and non-toxic.


Best natural alternatives to memory foam pillows


Although you can find safe memory foam pillows, choosing an organic bed pillow has even more benefits. Not only are organic pillows free of harmful toxins and chemicals, but they are also made from sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials. Here are some of the best organic pillows on the market:


Organic Latex Premium Talalay Pillow by Organic Textiles

100% Talalay Latex Pillow by Organic Textiles

Material: Oeko-Tex certified natural latex and cotton cover

03/07/2024 09:06 pm GMT


Organic Textiles Latex Pillow combines organic latex with premium Talalay to create a soft yet supportive sleeping surface that conforms naturally to the body’s shape and pressure points.

Additionally, latex is naturally resistant to dust mites and other allergens, making it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. However, some users may find that organic latex makes a slightly firmer sleeping surface than memory foam.


Read More: Latex Pillows Pros and Cons


Holy Lamb Organics Woolly Pillow

Holy Lamb Organics Woolly Pillow

Materials: Premium Eco Wool and Organic Cotton Cover


Holy Lamb Organics Woolly Pillow is another great option for those seeking a natural sleeping surface that offers firm support while still feeling soft against the skin. Made from pure organic wool using traditional weaving techniques, this pillow has excellent temperature-regulating properties and allows air to circulate easily throughout while you sleep. 

Overall, each of these natural alternatives to memory foam offers unique benefits and drawbacks that you should consider carefully before choosing a new pillow for your bed!


Read More: Wool Pillows Pros and Cons


Are Memory Foam Pillows Eco-Friendly?


Another issue is environmental toxicity. The release of chemicals from memory foam into the surrounding environment can pose serious threats to local ecosystems and aquatic life, especially when these chemicals are present in large quantities or at high concentrations.

Indeed, some studies have found alarmingly high levels of toxins from these substances in nearby water sources, making this a huge cause for concern. Therefore, we must be mindful of how these materials are used for our safety and the protection of our planet as a whole.

There are also concerns about the way memory foam is produced. The manufacturing process often uses toxic chemicals and produces harmful emissions. These can be harmful to both workers and the environment.

Another environmental concern is that most memory foam pillows are not biodegradable. This means that once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan, they’ll sit in landfill sites for years, slowly releasing toxic chemicals into the ground and polluting the surrounding soil and water. This can devastate local wildlife, plant life, and the people living nearby.


Read More: Tips for Recycling Old Pillows 




Although memory foam pillows offer many benefits, such as conforming to the body’s natural shape and providing customized support, they may also contain harmful chemicals and toxins. These substances can off-gas over time, leading to health problems for some people. Additionally, memory foam pillows are not biodegradable and can take up significant space in landfill sites.

For these reasons, many people choose to switch to natural alternatives like organic bed pillows made from latex or wool. These options provide similar benefits to memory foam pillows without potentially harmful side effects.

Ultimately, the best pillow for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider your options carefully before deciding to ensure that you choose the perfect pillow fill type for a comfortable and healthy night’s sleep!


Read More: How to Get Rid of Old Pillows?

About the Author Kamila Flieger

My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.

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