Everyone knows that cigarettes are unhealthy, but did you know that cigarettes or more specifically cigarette companies made mattresses unhealthy as well? In the early 1920s, Congress attempted to address fires caused by cigarettes-most commonly from people falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Eventually, a more fire-safe cigarette was developed, and cigarette companies were encouraged to adopt them. Unsurprisingly they did not.
Later consumer safety regulations tried to protect people from dangerous products, but the tobacco industry was excluded. This put the burden of fire safety onto furniture and mattress producers. At the same time, synthetic materials were becoming more and more popular, but many of those synthetic materials (acrylic and nylon among others) are flammable. To overcome the inherent flammability of these materials, companies added flame-retardant chemicals to their mattresses.
This initially seemed to protect people but many of those chemicals are harmful to people. Top 4 Toxic Chemicals Found in Traditional Mattresses. These chemicals off-gas from traditional mattresses and cause a host of problems for people. And if a home does catch on fire, those flame-retardant chemicals become airborne harming residents and especially firefighters. Firefighters, who already put their lives at risk, experience higher rates of cancer and other illness due in large part to flame-retardant chemicals.
This is a serious problem, but the solution is simple: use more natural materials. Wool is naturally fire-resistant, so our All Wool Mattress and Natural Latex Mattress don’t need any added chemicals to pass fire tests. Major mattress manufacturers have even started to see the benefits of wool, using a wool encasement around a synthetic mattress to pass flame testing. That’s a step in the right direction but misses out on all the other benefits of wool or natural materials. By avoiding the underlying issues of cigarette fire safety, cigarette companies have caused even more problems. But it’s easy to avoid these issues and have a comfortable home with naturally made products.