Dr. David Minkoff’s Health Blog, Health & Wellness

You Are Where You Sleep


Recently, I had a patient come in and tell me that she should be a mattress specialist with all of the trouble she has had with her mattress. With all of the awareness around cell phone radiation, GMOs, Glyphosates etc., I have to say, I have never thought of a mattress before until she made this comment. So, I decided to do a little looking myself and this is a synopsis of what I found.

Many of us spend so much time with good food, good environment, good thoughts but we overlook the place where we spend 1/3 of our lives … our beds!

Mattresses contain a heap of toxins, maybe as comparable to a toxic waste dump. Yet, not only are we, but our loved ones are sleeping on top of this dump as well. Petroleum byproducts, Flame retardants and toxins to name a few.

If you are sleeping on a mattress in the United States, there are 3 basic types: Innerspring, polyurethane foam and gel foam. These 3 mattresses all have harmful products that seep in the body and not only are a nightmare to understand but can cause nightmares to the body!

The Innerspring mattresses have usually a polyurethane covering, which that in itself is toxic.

Let’s look at Triclosan. A common chemical found in mattresses. Now, we all know that it takes a lot to have the FDA advocate for our health, I mean, they are doing their best, but I am sure they are overwhelmed to say the least. In September 2017, the FDA banned this chemical, Triclosan, in liquid hand soap, but it can still be used in mattresses. It can also be used in dishwashing detergent, personal care products and Colgate toothpaste.

Triclosan can cause liver issues as well as hormone disruption.

This was taken from the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website:



The American Medical Association says not to use it at home.


Read ingredient labels or use Skin Deep® to find products free of triclosan and triclocarban, its chemical cousin.


Triclosan may still be used in everyday products like plastic cutting boards, food containers and shower curtains. These products don’t bear labels with their ingredients but are touted as “antibacterial,” or they make claims such as “odor-fighting” or “keeps food fresher, longer.

Or better yet, sleep standing up!!! Just kidding.

More along the lines of coil spring mattresses, a group of researchers noted the lower incidence of cancer in Japan compared to Western countries. Part of the reason that was concluded was that a coil spring mattress emits low levels of frequencies, as it acts as an antennae. They noted that Japanese sleep on Futons that have no metal coils in the mattress… something to think about! On You-Tube there are videos of metal coil mattresses functioning as an antennae and picking up radio stations!

Now, let’s look at polyurethane mattresses. Just the word “polyurethane” is enough to scare you. Popular polyurethane mattresses are the memory foam mattresses. They are made of an inner core and outer core, both containing polyurethane. Some brands include other things like latex, wool, cotton and most are usually familiar with the innards of the mattress or can become easily familiar with. The main issue with this polyurethane is that it can only be made with harsh chemicals, in other words, it’s not natural. One has to be especially careful with mattresses that are imported. In addition, the FDA mandates that mattresses sold in the US, be fire protected and be able to withstand a fire for a certain amount of time. The fireproofing materials are harmful as well with many symptoms including, respiratory issues, rashes and eye sensitivities to name a few.

The newest mattress on the market, are gel mattresses. They are designed to warm up with touch. There are two types of these mattresses. One is the gel throughout the mattress and the other has a thin film of gel along the top. Again, most are filled with polyurethane or other harmful chemicals that cause a myriad of health issues.

There are many tips for buying mattresses. If you are buying latex, make sure it is organic, natural latex. One can ask the manufacturer which products are in the flame retardants. There are even certification companies that will review and analyze mattresses so you can be assured you are getting the best for your health. Remember, that mothers with infants, it’s just as important to choose a crib mattress that is clean for the baby as babies spend up to 10-14 hours in bed daily.

Goodtrade.com did a review of organic mattresses and the price range varies. Prices range anywhere from $600 to $2000. Many of them still have the inner springs in them as the concern of the inner spring transduction has not yet become realized as a health issue. My suggestion if you are looking for a new mattress and want the most health conscious one, if you can, avoid the ones with the inner springs.

If you read this article and are perhaps fretting about the chemicals from your mattress that are now in your body, no need to worry. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we can detox your body to a clean state of health. See your provider for more details!!!

To your health,

Jennifer Baer, ARNP

Dr. Minkoff

About Dr. Minkoff

In 1995, Dr. Minkoff's wife became ill and her physicians couldn't find what was wrong. Not accepting their "no hope" conclusion, Dr. Minkoff went on a search to help her which led him out of emergency medicine into complementary and alternative medicine to find the answers. In the process he gained expertise in Biological medicine, heavy metal detoxification, anti-aging medicine, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, energy medicine, neural and prolotherapy, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. He studied under the masters in each of these disciplines until he became an expert in his own right. The answers he found were soon in demand when others learned of his wife’s return to good health. In response to this, he and his wife, Sue Minkoff RN established LifeWorks Wellness Center in 1997 and it quickly became one of the most comprehensive complementary and alternative medicine clinics in the U.S.