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Adhesives/ glues in innerspring systems? 30 Jan 2021 12:37 #1

Hi, this website is extremely helpful, thanks to those running it.

I had a bad experience with some severe offgassing from a bed in a box purchase. Something in the mattress irritated my eyes and sinuses really badly. I did let the mattresses air out for a week before we slept on them (we were leaving for vacation so I thought that would work out well but even after that I had pretty severe eye irritation). We’ve had the mattresses a couple of months now, and while it has improved, it still irritates my eyes. When I sleep in our guest room it goes away. This was an all foam, multilayer mattress. It did have the certi -pure certification. From my research since the purchase, it seems like it could be the foam itself, or possibly adhesives used to keep the layers together. At about the same time I purchased three foam toppers for our camper, let them air out for one day and used them with no horrible effects, although one had significantly stronger odor than the other two and I didn’t sleep on that one, so it seems that some foams don’t cause me issues.

So I’m searching for another mattress and thought I would maybe try a hybrid with pocketed coils and latex or foam comfort layers (I have tried all latex and didn’t really like the feel, although I’m sure some may be better than others). I assumed innersprings would have less chemicals and offgassing but then I read that they can have a substantial amount of glue used to hold the pocketed coils together.

Can anyone tell me if there are coil systems that don’t use adhesives? Or if the adhesives used are prone to offgassing?

Several of the mattresses I’m looking at use Leggett and Platt quantum edge Combi zoned springs.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Adhesives/ glues in innerspring systems? 30 Jan 2021 14:04 #2

KAycee22, it sounds like you are very sensitive to chemicals so you might consider looking at more natural bedding materials like latex, wool and cotton versus man made materials like poly foams and memory foams. There may be some initial off gassing from the glue used to assemble the bed layers but that should flash off very fast after it has been applied. I suspect the vast majority of off gassing in your other mattress is from the chemical makeup of the foams themselves as some (esp memory foam) can have very strong odors that don't seem to go away. Poly and memory foams are made from chemical reactions and may continue to off gas as a result of their manufacturing. Those bed in a box companies use almost exclusively poly and memory foams (some exceptions) so I'm not surprised at all you didn't have a favorable reaction after unboxing one. Latex can also have a smell too so make sure to check that before selecting that for your chosen bed type but in most cases it would be very hard to detect any odor when covered inside a mattress. The coil spring bases are assembled in fabric rows and then basically hot melt glued together, there is really no off gassing there at all from any of the ones I've ever dealt with so I wouldn't worry about that too much. You could use something like a bonnell spring base instead (older bed design) which has just open springs connected by wire but there are some serious drawbacks to that type of system including some pretty serious motion transfer. Again I seriously doubt the spring base would be the source of any chemical irritations you might be seeing when using a mattress.

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Adhesives/ glues in innerspring systems? 31 Jan 2021 12:13 #3

Thank you so much for your quick reply and the information you shared. Glad to hear that you haven’t experienced much offgassing from the pocketed coil systems, that gives me some confidence that I can try that route.

I am looking at one mattress that is springs with a latex layer that seems to have great certifications. My only concern is that I am a side sleeper and usually experience pressure in my hips ( female, 5’4”, 150 pounds) and it seems like the more natural mattresses are all rated fairly firm. ( The foam one was extremely comfy so I am sad to return it but definitely want something more natural after that experience). I did see another mattress that has only a few (3) inches of foam, along with some latex, and it is GreenGuard Gold certified, but not sure how much difference that would make if I am extremely sensitive to foams. If anyone has thoughts on that, I’d appreciate it. Thanks again for your help!!

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Adhesives/ glues in innerspring systems? 02 Feb 2021 00:30 #4

Hi KAycee22.

Hi, this website is extremely helpful, thanks to those running it.


I am glad to hear that you've found the resources on our site useful in your research so far! It is always rewarding to see how one by one consumers become more educated and able to make an informed mattress purchase. Days of sleeping on “hand-me-down and cheap thrift store mattresses” are better left behind as they can definitely throw a wrench in the works when it comes to your general wellbeing and the quality of your sleep.

I had a bad experience with some severe offgassing from a bed in a box purchase. Something in the mattress irritated my eyes and sinuses really badly. I did let the mattresses air out for a week before we slept on them (we were leaving for vacation so I thought that would work out well but even after that I had pretty severe eye irritation). We’ve had the mattresses a couple of months now, and while it has improved, it still irritates my eyes. When I sleep in our guest room it goes away. This was an all foam, multilayer mattress. It did have the certi -pure certification.


As Mattrebuild noted, poly and memory foams are chemical-based and may continue to off-gas for some time yet.
The off-gassing issue is common with memory foam and polyfoam mattresses. In general, CertiPUR does have high standards for testing (see post #2 with info about some of the more reliable "safety" certifications , including in-depth CertiPUR info). where you can be reasonably sure that the smell or off-gassing that you may notice has been tested for any potential harm it may cause you (within the limits of the test). This said all memory foams and polyurethane foams in general use some "nasty" materials in their chemical formulations. However, some of the foams have more of this material left in them by the time you sleep on them than others.

For those that are sensitive to VOC off-gassing, this can lead to issues ranging from a reaction to the unpleasant smell itself all the way to respiratory issues caused by the vapors regardless of foams certification. People with certain medical issues such as MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) may be much more sensitive to some materials that the large majority of people would be fine with

More natural materials used in mattresses such as different fibers and good quality latex foam (which may also have a less unpleasant odor for a short time and is usually tested as well) are usually considered to be superior in this area. In the case of Certipur certification, the foam will also have been tested to some degree for durability and so is less likely to lose its beneficial qualities in a few months after purchase but the density of the memory foam would still be a much more important durability factor than any limited durability testing done by CertiPur.

Can anyone tell me if there are coil systems that don’t use adhesives? Or if the adhesives usedare prone to offgassing?


Off-gassing from your spring unit would be an unlikely source of any chemical irritation you may experience from a mattress. L&P’s pockets are ultrasonically welded and the springs are sealed inside an individual encasement. The only adhesive used is applied with a glue head to bond the strands together. Many suppliers are now moving away from the use of glue as this makes recycling difficult. The glue is used sparingly and it is water-based (no solvents) but I’d need to double-check on this. Texas Pocket Springs has a glueless Quadcoil module that uses only ultrasonic welding. Innerspring supplier Agro, Bad, Germany, also uses horizontal ultrasonic welding, instead of glue, to seal the spring pockets—a technique it uses on taller units for vertical welds. Cortec, Another German company Spinks at Interzum Cologne, Germany also has a glueless wrapped-coil Cortec

My only concern is that I am a side sleeper and usually experience pressure in my hips ( female, 5’4”, 150 pounds) and it seems like the more natural mattresses are all rated fairly firm.

Generally speaking, side sleepers tend to need softer and/or thicker comfort layers than those who sleep on their backs or stomachs. A good starting point for a good comfort layer for a side sleeper is 3" and then depending on weight, body shape, preferences, and the firmness of the support layers, to go up or down from there. Most side sleepers will fall in the range of from 2" - 4". You are correct that natural fibers in a mattress may tend to compact rather than soften and may change their feel and become firmer over time but this is relative to each individual. However, tufting and precompression may greatly mitigate this.

Latex on the other hand is a natural material that has the lowest levels of off-gassing from all types of foams. The smell isn't harmful and it tends to dissipate within days. Talalay latex tends to have a sweeter smell and Dunlop tends to have a more rubbery smell but neither are harmful and both have been tested to Oeko-Tex standard 100 class 1 (safe for babies) standards. Both will dissipate to levels below normal detection but the rubbery smell can last longer than the sweeter

So I’m searching for another mattress and thought I would maybe try a hybrid with pocketed coils and latex or foam comfort layers (I have tried all latex and didn’t really like the feel, although I’m
sure some may be better than others). …My only concern is that I am a side sleeper and usually experience pressure in my hips


Because of your VOC sensitivity and needing more comfort for your side sleeping I’ll make a case for using latex if you decide you like the feel of it. It may be that a lower ILD softer Talalay latex will give you a different comfort experience, as it has comparable pressure relieving qualities to memory foam due to its ability to form itself to the exact shape of your body profile while you are sleeping and to do this instantly as you change positions. Latex and memory foam share this ability to form a pressure relieving cradle more than other more commonly used materials.
Generally, latex is more durable in any layer, more point elastic (takes on the shape of the body better which provides more even support and aids in better pressure relief), has a higher support factor (gets firmer faster with deeper compression which helps with deep support), is more breathable (regulating humidity and temperature), has higher resilience, elasticity, and "liveliness" which provides for a better "feel" for most people, is more natural than polyfoam for those who prefer more natural materials, has fewer complaints about off-gassing and odor, is biodegradable, is less flammable, and is overall a much superior material in any layer ... but as you know is also more costly.

Because even in the softer versions it has a higher resilience and is more "supportive" than other foams, it will also help support the more recessed areas of your body, such as the lumbar, that need "filling in" and are not in close contact with the firmer support layers underneath and because of its resilience it less motion restricting than memory foam and changing positions and another movement on the mattress easier. This also makes thicker, and in some cases, more pressure relieving, comfort layers possible when needed or preferable without the same degree of risk that a thicker "pillowtop" or "eurotop" comfort layer will put your spine out of alignment.

As you narrow down your options and start to move forward in making a decision as to the mattress type of your preference and the materials within it. I’d also browse our Trusted Members you will come across many who offer fully latex beds or latex hybrids. Here are few I pulled out with a quick scan through them:

The Natural Escape by My Green Mattress
The Select Sleep Hybrid by Sleep EZ
Latex Mattress Factory's Luxerion Hybrid
Luma's Natural Latex Hybrid
The Certified Organic Latex Hybrid by Nest Bedding

I hope this gives you a springboard to get started as you move forward. Please do not hesitate to reach out with more questions.
Phoenix
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