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Anyone have Experience, with having a New Bed.

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Cfswombat, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Cfswombat

    Cfswombat

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    Rockhampton, QLD Aust
    We, hubby mainly and I have bought a new Ensemble and are putting in the bedroom tonight. We have had it here at the house about 2 weeks, airing, trying to get rid of some of the NEW smell out of it.
    Has anyone here had any previous experience with a new bed and how they reacted, how long it took to air etc.
    I am a bit scared about what affects it may have on my new release of life.:eek:
    Our old bed is long past the year it should have been replaced.
    Any advice or hints would be great.
    Fran
  2. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    PA, USA
    When I bought mine, it had this awful weird stink to it, I think from the wood in the boxspring. OMG, it lasted months and months. I don't remember how long that stink took to leave, but it was bad. Then I had problems with comfort. The pillowtop was too soft for me and I had to put the mattress on the flat side. That worked, but then I had problems with the frame and had to get rid of that, it was so high up I was getting hurt getting in and out of bed. Now, I'm sort of okay on this thing.
  3. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    No experience (trying to make my old one last for the same reason), except it might take longer to air out than you think. It could be months depending on your level of sensitivity.

    I would keep the old one handy.
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    If the smell is too bothersome to you right now, think about storing it OUT of its plastic (just cover it in cotton sheet) in a shed or something for at least a few mths where it can air (best not to do that in the house).

    Not long ago I too had to get a new mattress (my other one was over 20 years old and springs were sticking out). I was thinking I was going to have to buy a new one (which did concern me as I was worried about the smells and affect on me) but I got very lucky and a friend had just brought a new one for her back and said I could have their old one which is still in great condition.
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Don't want to depress you but have onlly just brought a chest of drawers into the bedroom, bought them 6 months ago but couldn't stand the smell, they have been 'airing ' in the spare bedroom. That the problem with MCS everything is an unknown quantity, I'd put it in another room for now if you can, keep your old bed, if it affects you just try it once a week for a couple of hours or something, build up your tolerance slowly.
  6. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Washington State
    I have plentiful experience with beds and with reacting to them. It looks like I wrote a bit of a book here, so settle in for a long post or just skip down to the bolded line to read my recommendations. :)

    My first experience, back when my MCS was still mild enough for me to have no clue that it had a name, was when I was sleeping on a very old mattress (20+ years old) and was given a brand new memory foam mattress topper. It made me very ill. I removed the topper and sent it to a galaxy far, far away, but the mattress became contaminated with the fumes and I eventually decided that I'd better part ways with it.

    My next bed was an all cotton futon mattress that's something like 50 years old, hard as a rock but otherwise great.

    I then switched to sleeping on a mattress that was about 10ish years old, the one I had been sleeping on before my health spiraled, and that was okay, but my MCS in general was growing more and more severe until the only place semi-safe for me was a stripped down bathroom, where I still had life-threatening reactions but they were somewhat more controlled. I slept on the bathroom floor, where there was no room for a mattress so instead old plastic cushions from lawn chairs were used. I had to be careful not to get my face too close to them, but otherwise it was okay. Note that at this point my MCS was so severe that I was reacting to the laptop, to all paper, to any fabrics besides my specified ones, to too many plastic bottles in the room, etc.

    Then I got my porcelain trailer, designed specifically to be a non-toxic place for someone with severe MCS. It came with some sort of foam mattress that was supposedly a really good, inert, material, but I reacted to it and replaced it with my trusty hard-as-rock futon mattress. (The cushions were sent to a fellow MCS sufferer in similar straights whom I had heard about through an MCS newsletter, and we became friends as a result. :) )

    Sadly, I went through another period of increased MCS severity and that mattress had to go. At this point, just for reference, my MCS was so severe that I had to give up all fabric of every kind, it all became irrevocably contaminated with the washer/dryer. That meant no clothing, no bedding of any kind, just sleeping naked on bare wooden slats. I went slightly crazy from sleep deprivation for the first few months due to the pain, but eventually learned to live with it as we desperately worked to get me clothing and bedding. All fabric had to be organic, unbleached, undyed cotton that was not tolerable to me until after it had gone through literally months of soaking in baking soda water, then vinegar water, then washed with a special kind of soap, then line dried, over and over and over again (we later learned that boiling was also useful to the process) until I could finally put my face near it without having reactions. And from this I slowly built up a wardrobe of homemade clothing and bedding that made things slightly softer to sleep on. Still no mattress, though, because even though there are organic mattresses available, there was no way to process the contents and fabric of those mattresses to make them tolerable. To the best of my memory I lived this way for about a year and a half, though I'm a bit fuzzy with times.

    Finally, after a lot of testing, it was determined that I could tolerate organic wool batting from a particular supplier if it was aired out long enough. A homemade mattress was sewn using "safe" fabric over the batting, and after a while it was finally aired out enough that I could sleep on it. It was just a pad, "thin" compared to a regular mattress, but oh, so much better than the wooden slats!

    This set-up was my solution until nearly 3 weeks ago, when I developed a severe reaction to my mattress and nearly died from it. (I wrote about it here and later on in the thread discussed my thoughts on why it might have happened.) Since then I've been back to sleeping on wood, though I still have sufficient sheets, clothing, and a blanket to make it semi-tolerable. With Fibromyalgia it's painful even to lie down on a soft surface, so to say the boards take a little getting used to is an understatement. But it's amazing how adaptive our bodies can be when there's no choice, and my past experience has made this adjustment period much easier as I'm already familiar with all the tips and tricks to it.

    Currently my hope is that a 100% natural latex mattress topper will work for me. I've acquired a sample that my caretaker is now processing to try to make it tolerable, and if that's successful then we'll go for the whole thing. I'm a little wary about it because I develop allergies (both true allergies and sensitivities) at the drop of a hat - I even recently developed one to my strongest pain meds - and latex is one where if you have an allergy to it it's usually a bad one, which is why I've avoided it in the past. But hopefully with all the precautions we're taking, not only through processing it at home but also adding layers of fabric to form a sort of barrier will be sufficient to prevent a worst case scenario.

    If not, the secondary plan is to purchase and process loads of fabric and stack it up on top of itself to create some padding.

    Alternately, I can sleep elsewhere if I wear my gas mask (respirator), though so far this option has only been utilized as a last resort for emergency situations due to the discomfort and also because the mask, while it protects my lungs, causes a reaction on my skin.

    I type all this out because I think it's important for people to know just how vital safe bedding is for those sensitive to chemicals. It isn't just about tolerating the smell, rather, it's about not exposing yourself to poisons that your body cannot process efficiently like healthy people's bodies can. I realize, however, that not everyone has an amazing caretaker who will sew them a mattress, nor is everyone so sensitive as to require the environment my body does, nor does everyone have the money to purchase organic everything. So then, here are my recommendations:

    If you want to purchase a brand new mattress, go with one that is either organic cotton/wool or 100% natural latex (if it only says "natural latex" then it can still have a significant amount of synthetic latex made of petrochemicals in it). Most organic mattresses have wool in them so as to be sufficiently fire-retardant as required by law, but with a doctor's prescription you may to purchase wool-free cotton mattresses as well.

    For standard mattresses try to get one that's at least 5 years old, the older the better. Second-hand stores, garage sales, and family attics are great for this kind of thing. You want to be sure there is no mildew and that any dust mites or bed bugs are killed; ozone is great for this.

    If you need a brand new toxic mattress, all isn't lost, though I cannot imagine it being anywhere close to recommendable without the use of an ozone generator as well as some kind of effective barrier to reduce immediate exposure to the outgassing fumes. An ozone generator is very different from an air purifier that uses ozone in that the latter puts out "acceptable" levels into the air while an ozone generator emits lethal concentrations. In order to treat an area all people, pets, and plants must first be removed or else they will die. The great thing about it is that once the ozone gas has reacted it spends itself completely, so there is no residual gas remaining that can possibly be harmful once the treatment is complete.

    A molecular chemist could explain this a lot better than I can, but the basics of it are that ozone "oxidizes" things. A few intense treatments will age that mattress as if a year has already gone by, and more will continue to increase the effect. It's pretty amazing how it works, and it will kill exposed mold, mildew, and dust mites while it's at it. If you aren't sure you want to commit to buying an ozone generator you can rent one to check it out. But make sure you get the correct size for the room you intend to treat, since it's the concentration of ozone that has the most influence on its efficacy.

    If ozone isn't an option and a suitable mattress isn't an option then you want barriers, barriers, and more barriers. Try to keep those fumes from reaching your body, especially your lungs. I haven't done it myself, but wrapping a mattress in some sort of plastic should help a lot, so long as you don't have an issue with the plastic itself. A "safe" mattress topper can also help some. Use what you have to try to design a safe place, and don't underestimate the importance of a non-toxic sleeping area - or of avoiding chemicals in general, for that matter - lest you end up like me, sleeping on wood, desperate to find any soft material that I can lay on without endangering my life.
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    I think that is quote important too.. as with mattresses.. you have your face right by them 8hrs or more a night so what they are emitting can really affect ones health so much.


    Dainty.. that sounds shocking what you are going throu with the MCS :( . I once knew another online who was very similar and he ended up having to sleep onside in a shed on the ground. (I think he ended up dying due to the MCS and all the issues around it).
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    I'm not sure about spring mattresses, but foam mattresses and pillows are usually treated with stinky fungicide. It's suppose to degrade faster in sunlight I think.

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