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Why Cotton Stuffed Mattresses Aren’t Good for Sleep

Cotton-Stuffed-Mattress
Last Updated on April 9, 2020 by Ashwini G

When we think of all-natural materials, our first impulse is to believe they are healthy. Most natural materials are considered healthier than those manufactured by man, but there are exceptions. For instance, sleeping on mattresses stuffed with natural materials is more harmful than beneficial. Yes, in olden days, people slept on homemade mattresses stuffed with anything from horsehair to hay, but no one knows for certain if those materials didn’t cause problems. Even cotton, the highly common material in use since the beginning of mattresses, can be disadvantageous to sleep and overall health in many ways.

Cotton is a material that’s been associated with mattresses since the very beginning. Cotton is breathable, comfortable, and known to be harmless to the skin. Isn’t that why cotton clothing is said to be great for the skin? While that’s true, there’s a world of difference between cotton clothing and mattresses stuffed with cotton. Sleeping on a mattress stuffed with cotton fibers can pose various risks to the user.

The Use of Cotton in Mattresses

The biggest benefit of cotton is that it’s a natural fiber and very easily available around the world. In almost every region, cotton can be easily accessed for making a variety of products. This convenience has always made cotton a very popular fiber for use in mattresses, pillows, and other forms of bedding. Not many fibers are as compatible with our bodies as cotton. Synthetic fibers like foam and latex are all the rage today, but they do not offer the comfort and convenience of cotton. As far as healthy sleep is concerned, cotton is ideal for the skin.

Until 30 years ago, cotton was the primary ingredient used for stuffing mattresses. Back then, memory foam or latex wasn’t heard of, and the foam that was available wasn’t fit for mattresses. In fact, cotton was so common that people could even make their own mattresses at home, simply by stuffing up two pieces of cloth with cotton fibers and sewing it up. It was cheap and easy and comfortable for any season.

The use of cotton in mattresses dropped significantly after the bed-the-box phenomenon gave rise to memory, innerspring, and latex mattresses. These are manmade materials that are entirely manufactured from synthetic fibers and have nothing natural about them. However, compared to natural cotton, these materials are much safer because they are manufactured in accordance with various safety standards.

Disadvantages of Cotton in Mattresses

Most people will be surprised to learn that cotton stuffed in mattresses isn’t the healthiest out there. In fact, it is far riskier than manmade materials like foam. The following are some of the disadvantages of cotton stuffed mattresses.

Chemicals

Most cotton isn’t organic, and even when manufacturers claim it is, they aren’t being completely honest. When cotton is grown, it is saturated with various kinds of chemicals. Of course, these chemicals are necessary to make sure the cotton fibers are not lost to pests. However, these chemicals never leave the cotton fibers, and they only become stronger after coming into contact with body heat. Even though cotton is supposed to be safe for skin, the presence of these chemicals makes it harmful to sleep on a cotton mattress every night and breathe in the chemicals.

Fire Risk

One standard that cotton mattresses don’t conform to is fire safety. Newer materials like foam and latex are manufactured in keeping with fire safety standards, but the same cannot be said about cotton. This is an extremely flammable material and can catch fire even from a small spark. On the other hand, materials like foam and latex can be protected against fire because they are built with fire retardants.

Allergies

Natural materials aren’t suitable for everyone, especially if they are prone to allergies. Many people tend to suffer from allergies, and natural materials aggravate the problem. Sleeping on a cotton mattress can lead to increased incidences of allergic reactions like sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and rashes. On the other hand, newer mattress materials are manufactured with special components that do not attract or trap dust and do not aggravate allergies.

Dust Mites

One of the worst features of bedding is that it traps dust and leads to dust mites. This isn’t just restricted to mattresses; any kind of upholstered surface can harbor dust mites. And dust mites are extremely hard to eradicate. Once dust mites start residing in any upholstered surface, it is almost impossible to get rid of them. This is a problem that plagues every natural material, including cotton. However, materials like memory foam are built in a special way so that dust mites are unable to grow. This makes these materials safe for all, including babies, infants, and those with allergies.

Alternatives to Cotton Stuffed Mattress

Indeed, cotton does have several benefits, being a natural material. However, the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits. Using a cotton mattress can lead to allergies, fire hazards, and exposure to harmful chemicals. That’s the reason why cotton is rarely used in mattresses anymore, now that there are tons of modern materials to make mattresses with.

Memory foam is the most popular material for manufacturing mattresses today, and for a good reason. Memory foam offers many of the benefits of cotton, without the fear of dust mites, chemicals, or allergies. Even though memory foam isn’t a natural material, it is made to ensure that it is safe for use in every way.

Memory foam has minimal off-gassing, which means you don’t have to live with an unbearable odor for many nights after you get the mattress. Memory foam sleeps cool doesn’t cause you to sweat, and doesn’t aggravate allergies. The thickness and firmness can be customized, and the price range is huge. You can get a cheap memory foam mattress or a luxury memory foam bed, but you still get to enjoy all the benefits of this material.

Instead of using outdated cotton stuffed mattresses, switch to a memory foam mattress to enjoy safe and healthy sleep.

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