Help! I Have Mattress Allergy, What Should I Do?

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A nice and comfortable mattress is something we all look for. However, for those experiencing mattress allergy symptoms, there’s more to consider. It’s a fact that allergies are the most common discomfort Americans endure, but unknown to many, theirs is also the so-called foam allergy.

If you come to think about it, the bedroom is one of the most used parts of your home. You spend about 6-8 hours inside it every day. But as much as you think this is the safest place on earth, it could also possess some harm if you have the said allergy.

Foam allergy can be one the common culprits as to why sleepers tend to sneeze and have watery eyes. Some would even have skin rashes if the reaction is intense. The allergy to mattresses can range from mild to chronic. Although it happens frequently, other people associate it with dust in the bedroom or something they ate before dozing off.

What is an allergy to the mattress?

Mattress allergy symptoms are an umbrella term for all irritations caused by the bedding. It can be skin rashes, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, or combination of these. Take note that allergies are our immune systems’ response to anything in the outside world. The fact that something triggers irritation, it can be considered as an allergen.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 50 million Americans suffer from allergy each year. Actually, it’s the 6th leading cause of chronic illnesses in the country that records expenses of more than $18 billion annually.

It’s a bit difficult to point out how many of these people are allergic to their mattresses. Each allergy case is a spectrum of irritants. Mattress could only be one of it. The person might possibly be reacting to dust and particles outdoors which are similar to that you can find in beds.

So to avoid overcomplicating things, allergies to mattress are any irritation or negative reaction a person experiences when he or she is exposed to the material. However, there’s one thing I have to put in context here. Bed bugs and mites may not count as an allergy to mattresses. These critters can be found on corners of your house and other stuffed furniture.

If ever you have reactions to these insects while in bed, it’s safe to associate it with bug allergies.

Types of allergy to mattresses

Like what I said earlier, allergy to your bedding can be caused by a variety of triggers. It can be dust, chemicals in the mattress, the material itself, and more. Here are the usual allergies people experience in relation to their mattresses:

Foam allergy

What’s unique about us humans is that our bodies react differently to the same thing. For example, those who use mattress foams may experience irritations while others won’t. A lot of people resort to memory foam for comfort, but their intentions may backfire once they exhibit symptoms of allergy. It could be the chemicals used or the dust that accumulates on the mattress.

Latex allergy

Natural latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. As much as this is natural, the proteins still present to the foam can be allergens for some. Take note that the reaction will only happen if the allergic person is in direct contact with the latex foam. Some of the symptoms are dry skin, rashes, and in worst cases, runny nose and watery eyes. You can dodge latex allergy by using a mattress protector or opting for a different material.

If you start to have labored breathing and tremors due to the use of latex beds, you should seek the opinion of a doctor right away.

Heat rash

This happens more often to mattresses made of high conforming materials like adaptive and memory foam. Since the foam sticks closely to the body of the sleeper, there’s no way for the air to seep through for cooling. This stuck heat won’t exhibit symptoms in just one night. Once the irritation accumulates, you’re going to see rashes.

However, heat rash can be considered as an indirect allergy to the mattress. You can get to almost anywhere including clothes, chairs, and even the folds at the back of your knees.

Chemical allergies

If there’s one allergy associated with mattresses, it would be the adverse reaction of the body to the chemicals used in treating the foam. One chemical found in mattresses considered to be a major suspect to allergies is called isocyanate. This can trigger asthma attacks and even nausea or headaches.

To avoid this, make sure that you’ll get a mattress that’s certified by the CertiPUR-US. This non-profit organization makes sure that the foams used on the mattresses are free of ozone-depleting chemicals, formaldehyde, heavy metals, and other harmful substances.


Dermatitis or rashes is probably the most common reaction to mattresses. However, this could be due to a myriad of reasons. First, it’s possible that your mattress is too old that it’s harboring critters, dust, and accumulated grime. But on the other hand, it could also be stuffed with chemicals that aren’t supposed to be used based on industry standards.

The quick fix here is to use a mattress protector or avoid lying down on a bare mattress. Besides, that’s not comfortable, right?

What triggers these?

If we’re going to list all the possible triggers of allergies, this whole website won’t be enough. When it comes to mattress allergy symptoms, the triggers are murky. Everything can be a trigger once your immune system decided that it wants to give a fight.

A lot of people don’t even realize that they have the said allergy until they go to the doctor. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that there’s a big difference between common colds and allergies. Just because you have a runny nose doesn’t mean your mattress is to blame. If you’re sharing the bed with someone else, check if they have colds too. You might have contracted the virus from that person.

But generally, mattress allergy symptoms are triggered by dust, bug droppings, and other forms of dirt left on the mattress. Chemicals are also to blame here. Many manufacturers don’t even think about complying with industry standards. Make sure that you look for a CertiPUR-US clearance if you tend to have a very bad case of allergies.

Allergy triggers are very subjective. Each symptom and cause are unique to each person. If you have doubts, you should consult a doctor to get diagnosed.

How it affects your sleep

About half of all sufferers of seasonal allergies are reported to have disrupted sleep. No matter how intermittent the attacks are, it can still compromise the quality of slumber. Those who have allergies, be it for mattresses and other things, complain about daytime fatigue and exhaustion. If the allergic reactions are lingering, lack of enough shuteye can border to insomnia. And even after the issue with the mattress is resolved, conditioned insomnia may take place.

But to make it simple, the severe the allergy gets, the less sleep that person enjoys. And that spells trouble for people who have active lifestyles and physically or mentally demanding careers.

Aside from the worry of another allergy attack, a lot of those who have mattress allergy symptoms will endure clogged noses. The blockage and difficulty of breathing will make it difficult to doze off. If ever the person falls asleep, he will be awakened multiple times when he can’t breathe on his nose. And as far as our body is concerned, we don’t voluntary breathe through our mouths while sleeping.

What to do if you have an allergy to your mattress?

Since you will spend a large chunk of your time inside the bedroom, it’s important that you know how to arrest these irritations. For starters, here are some of the quick fixes to reduce the attacks:

Get rid of dust

Sometimes, your mattress isn’t really the allergen; the dust present on it is. Many people are sensitive to small particles so it’s best to dust your bed off using a HEPA vacuum to suck out even the tiniest bit of dust.

Check the mattress material

If you suspect that you’re allergic to memory foam, you surely have to avoid purchasing a mattress with that material. The same goes for latex. But if you need the support and conformity of these foams, you should use a mattress cover to dodge the allergens. You should also check what chemicals are present or used in the production of the bed.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Aside from their itchy bites, bed bugs will have produce droppings that can trigger asthma attacks when inhaled. Check your mattress for these uninvited visitors or better yet, use a mattress protector to stop them from harboring inside.

Change your sheets regularly

How often do you change your sheets? Once a week is a rule of thumb here if you want to keep your bed clean. Even though you sleep after a shower and your room is enclosed, there would still be dust, sweat, and saliva that are going to seep through your covers.

What to look for a mattress if you have allergies

Again, there’s no single mattress material that can be referred to as an allergy-trigger. All mattresses, both synthetic and natural, can cause irritations. It’s just a matter of knowing what your body reacts negatively to. So for a quick guide, here are some of the things you should look for when buying a mattress:

Natural vs. synthetic

Synthetic foams are traditional beds and way cheaper than natural ones. However, these are highly processed and infused with chemicals to retain its firmness.

Avoid innerspring mattress

If you have mattress allergies, it’s best to skip innerspring mattresses. The spring construction inside gives enough room for bugs and mites to thrive.

Look for hypoallergenic options

Nowadays, there are so-called hypoallergenic beds that are cooler to sleep at. Below, we reviewed two of the best hypoallergenic mattresses that you should check out:

Our Personal Mattress Picks

Comparison Chart

LUCID 10 Inch Twin Hybrid Mattress – Bamboo Charcoal and Aloe Vera Infused Memory Foam – Moisture Wicking – Odor Reducing – CertiPUR-US Certified
Brentwood Home Cypress Cooling Gel Memory Foam, Non-Toxic, Made in California Mattress, Queen

LUCID 10” Bamboo Charcoal and Aloe Vera Infused Mattress


If your current mattress is giving you an intense heat rash, it’s time to switch to a more breathable choice. This is a blend of memory foam, transition foam, and coils. The material has a blend of bamboo charcoal and Aloe vera to remove the moisture away from your skin. If you’re worried about the coils being a harborage of bugs, use a mattress protector.

This LUCID mattress has a medium plush perfect for any sleeping position, even for those with body pain. Remember that this is a bed-in-a-box mattress which will be delivered compressed. Let it stabilize for a few days.

Some users say that it’s a bit firmer than what’s advertised, but it might probably during the first few nights. If you’re not happy with the plush, you can use a topper to attain perfection.

Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress


Looking for a mattress that’s certified by the CertiPUR-US? The Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress would be a great bet. It’s made of memory foam for total comfort, motion isolation, spine alignment, and reduced pressure points.

You don’t have to worry about breathability since this mattress is lined with New Zealand wool that will help wick sweat, heat, and odor.

This mattress comes with a 25-year limited warranty for its medium-firm plush. However, one caveat we have for this mattress is the seemingly strong chemical odor upon unboxing. The good thing is it goes away after a few days. Make sure to use a bed sheet before testing this out. Your skin may react harshly to the chemical still present on the surface of the foam.

Mattress allergy symptoms can cause other complications if not diagnosed early. You can opt to purchase another bed or utilize some preventive measures to help you dodge the irritants. If you have doubts, the opinion of your doctor would be of great help.

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