The Scary Reality of What May Be Hiding in Your Mattress

May 05, 2020

The Scary Reality of What May Be Hiding in Your Mattress

It might sound like little more than ghost stories. The truth, though, is that what is lurking deep within the recesses of most traditional innerspring mattresses is terrifying in its own right. While it is no ghost story, these are some of the downright frightening things that could be lurking in your own mattresses, affecting your family, and their health, every single time you go to sleep. These include the below.

Dead Skin

Humans shed skin while we sleep, move around, and carry on with our days. The fact that we spend eight hours, on average, in our beds, means that much of our dead skin will be shed in the bed. That’s why dust mites love mattresses. It’s an all-they-can-eat buffet for the mites.

Dust Mites

As if the thought of hundreds of thousands of microscopic bugs crawling around inside your mattress eating pounds of skin cells isn’t disgusting enough, these bugs leave their droppings where they live, too. There are things you can do to help mitigate dust mites, such as:

  • Washing your sheets weekly
  • Use hot water when washing sheets to kill all germs
  • Reducing the temperature in your bedroom to reduce how much you sweat at night
  • Showering before going to bed
  • Reduce the number of covers you use. The goal is to sweat less while in bed.
  • Switching to a mattress that is not friendly to dust mites, like the latex mattress offered by Eco Terra

The key is to starve them of their food supply, so they never really get a foothold within your mattress.


Traditional innerspring mattresses made with polyurethane foam, as well as many modern memory foam mattresses, contain a wide range of chemicals that could be harmful to you and your family. Some of the chemicals are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be absorbed through the skin, or through inhalation.

The problem with VOCs is that once they are released into the air inside your home, often through offgassing, they will linger, for weeks, months, and even years continuing to poison the air you breathe, causing short and long-term health issues, and potentially triggering prolonged allergy and/or asthma attacks.

Mold, Mildew, and Viruses; Oh My!

Traditional innerspring mattresses are made in ways that create target-rich environments for the formation of mold, mildew, and more within the dark, warm, moist recesses of the mattress. Additionally, they harbor old viruses and other microbes that can make them smell over time. Natural latex mattresses are made from pure botanical latex foam that is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, dust mites, bacteria, and microbes. Additionally, natural latex is exceedingly breathable, so that moisture does not remain trapped, creating conditions that are ripe for mold to flourish and thrive.

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

Once commonly used as a flame retardant in mattresses and in the foams used in sofas and chairs, PBDEs have a long history of controversy, and are currently banned in many countries around the world. PBDE exposure has been linked to learning and developmental problems in children, in addition to cancer and endocrine disruption. It is especially harmful to children and babies.

Though they’ve been banned in the United States since 2004, an Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs study reveals that levels of the harmful chemical in infants born nine years after the ban had five types of PBDEs in their blood. In three of the infants, the levels were higher than those detected in the mothers.

Natural Latex Mattresses: A Healthier Sleeping Option

Now that you’ve heard about the doom and gloom of traditional mattresses, and what may be lurking inside them, it is time to explore safer, cleaner, more inviting alternatives for your bedtime stories.

Mattresses made with natural latex present a much more attractive solution for your mattress nightmares by offering a healthier sleeping solution for you and your family. Plus, they offer better support and comfort than old, sagging, lumpy, and bumpy mattresses that are well past their primes. Some of the benefits you can enjoy with natural latex mattresses include:

  • Open cell design that allows heat and moisture to escape for a cleaner, sleep experience
  • Superior support and amazing comfort
  • Naturally antimicrobial, hypo-allergenic, and anti-bacterial
  • Creates unpleasant living conditions for dust mites
  • Doesn’t trap heat in, providing cooler sleep night after night, and helping to prevent the humid environment mold and mildew require

As you can see, there are no frightening surprises lurking within a natural latex mattress. And, the best news is that these mattresses can last up to 20 years or longer before you need to even think about replacing them, unlike traditional mattresses that turn into nightmare central within seven to 10 years. Read Eco Terra’s Latex Mattress Buying Guide to learn more!

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.