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Question from starflower

Hello Debra! I love your blog! We recently purchased an S-brand mattress (with a memory foam pillow top) from a local store that doesn’t offer any organic alternatives. It stunk, and I started researching, and found all the terrible info on traditional beds (wish I had started this research before we purchased!) Nevertheless, we cannot afford to replace this bed with an organic one at this point, and so I am trying to find ways to reduce our exposure to the VOCs. We co-sleep with our 1 year old, so I’m really concerned about this now.

Do you think putting a 3″ natural latex/wool topper would provide a bit of a buffer for us from the VOCs? I realize they’re still emanating from the mattress, but at least our noses/skin would not be right on top of it.

At least we got a good price on this heap of VOCs. I won’t feel bad replacing it in a few years!


Debra’s Answer

An organic topper will NOT provide much protection from the chemicals outgassing from the mattress.

One thing you can do is wrap your mattress with foil insulation (one brand is Reflectix–sold at home improvement stores). It is a layer of foil fused to two layers of polyethylene plastic. The polyethylene is nontoxic and the aluminum foil witll block the fumes. Wrap the mattress and tape to close with aluminum foil tape, which is sold where you buy the Reflectix.

THEN put the topper on and you’ll be pretty safe.

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