I started sleeping on a Tempurpedic “Memory Foam” mattress in 2001. Within a short period of time I developed a cough that woke me in the middle of the night sometime between 1:30 and 3:00 AM. I would cough uncontrollably for 20-40 minutes to the point of choking from excessive mucus.
For almost an entire ten year period in which I slept on a Tempurdedic memory foam mattress I experienced difficulties breathing, coughing, throat and sinus irritations, night sweats, etc throughout the night. Sixteen months ago I was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I spent nearly a decade attempting to figure out what was making me sick. After discussing my condition with two doctors, they both came up with the same explanation-- I was suffering from an allergy and or an environmental irritant.
During a visit to the doctor’s office in February 2011 the doctor asked me a question. He asked me - When I am away from home on vacation or business do I cough? I answered no, just when I am at home. He responded by saying that meant the problem originated with something in my home environment. I continued to search for the cause of the cough, breathing difficulties, night sweats, etc.
A fortuitous event occurred when I applied for and was granted a second warranty exchange on my Tempurpedic memory foam mattress. (The original mattress purchased in May 2001 was defective and I received a prior replacement.) The 2nd new replacement mattress arrived on Friday, February 24, 2012. By Monday morning, February 27 my condition had worsened dramatically and I couldn’t walk into my bedroom. The smell coming from the mattress burned my eyes and it was extremely difficult to breathe while standing in the bedroom.
(My husband also slept with me on the same Tempurpedic memory foam mattresses and he experienced night sweats and suffered from high blood pressure.)
nearly 10 years I realized my cough, night sweats and breathing problems had to do with the mattress. I immediately removed the mattress from my bedroom into a spare bedroom and closed the door. It is almost four months since the mattress was moved to the spare bedroom and even with the windows open the strong smell in the bedroom permeates the room and prevents me from going inside for more than just a few minutes. When visitors come and I open the door the first thing anyone notices is the smell.
Within two days of not sleeping on the new Tempurpedic memory foam mattress, the majority of my problems improved significantly. Unknown to me for almost a full decade, I’ve been sleeping on bed that I believe has made me sick. One might wonder how come it took me so long to figure out the cause of my problems. The best explanation I can give is that I trusted that there are consumer product safety laws that protect me. It never occurred to me that the US Consumer Product and Safety Commission hadn’t thoroughly vetted any potential problems with the Tempurpedic memory foam material prior to its use by the American public. I assumed the bed I slept on would be safe, especially since people generally spend a third of their existence in bed. Surely our government made certain that the beds we sleep on are safe. I never gave it a moment’s thought that the bed I sleep on had the potential to make me sick. One need only stand in the room with the Tempurpedic Memory Foam Mattress a few seconds to experience the unpleasant nasty stench. It has a slight resemblance to the smell in our high school chemisty lab when we dissected a frog.
After it became obvious in February 2012 that the mattress was emitting nasty smells, I decided to go on line and research the Tempurpedic memory foam mattress. I learned that my problem was not unique. This problem has apparently been known for many years. Had I checked on line sooner, I would have found plenty of information and complaints shared by many others with similar problems.
The following is a quote taken from the website Chem-tox.com:
“The Tempurpedic was not really "endorsed" by NASA, but we were informed that it was researched by NASA but rejected for use in the space industry because of chemical volatility issues.”