/ health

Are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) In Your Mattress?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands[1].

Where can VOCs be found?

VOCs can be found in many household products: paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, clensers, fuels, pesticides, furniture, and many more.

What are the health effects?

These compounds can potentially cause negative health effects through inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. The most common effects are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Cancer

As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed.

What can I do to limit exposure?

It's very imporant to limit exposure to any VOCs because of their potential longterm health effects. If you are worried about VOCs, you should start at your bedroom because we spend over 1/3 of our day in this location. Our mattress, pillows, and sheets can contain VOCs and because we are so close to these products for an extended period each day, we want to limit VOCs. For mattresses and pillows, it is important to look for "offgas" free materials like latex foam (natural compound) and avoid memory foams/polyurethane foams (petroleum based). "Offgassing" is the process in which VOCs are released into the air from chemical in your memory foam mattress.

Your Mattress, Pillows, and Sheets

If you currently sleep on a memory foam mattress, it could be leaking/offgassing harmful chemicals which you are breathing in all night long.

At Legend, we use the highest quality Talalay latex foam, so there are no VOCs. Latex is technically defined as any of several natural or synthetic colloidal polymers suspended in an aqueous solutions. Simply put, latex is rubber particles suspended in water. It’s harvested from the Havea brasiliensis, the rubber tree, as sap, similar to how maple sap is collected. Latex foam is very breathable, resists collapsing, and has a buoyant springy feeling. In contrast, memory foam is a petroleum-based product that offgasses. Memory foam traps heat, doesn't have much—if any—bounce, and has a quicksand like feeling. Check out our healthy products at legendsleep.com.

Even more, our Talalay latex products are hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and sustainably manufactured. Keeping you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and well rested.


  1. EPA https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality ↩︎

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