Healthy sleep with the Blue Angel

A life without sleep: impossible! It is important for recuperation, to replenish your energy reserves and, naturally, also for the brain. Germans sleep on average for around seven hours per day – depending on the individual’s age and personal needs. During this time, it is important that the body rests, lies comfortably and is not affected by odours or even harmful substances. In our interview with Anke Oehm from the German Environment Agency, you can find out what you should bear in mind when choosing your mattress.

Ms Oehm, what is important for relaxed and healthy sleep?

Anke Oehm: The bedroom should be quiet, dark and well ventilated when you go to bed. A heavy meal and caffeine can disrupt sleep and a smartphone can keep you awake due to the high proportion of blue light in the display. However, emissions from the mattress, pillows and duvets that you can breathe in while you sleep should also be as low as possible from a health viewpoint.

Why is it that not every mattress is as good as the advertising claims?

Anke Oehm: Mattresses have a large surface area, sleepers’ mouths and noses come into direct contact with the material. Harmful substances can be emitted by individual parts of the mattress. These emissions from individual parts such as adhesives or foams can trigger numerous health problems and harm the environment. For instance, formaldehyde, which is contained in mattresses, can possibly trigger allergies or even cause cancer.

Which labels are reliable when you want to sleep soundly?

Anke Oehm: Products with the Blue Angel are particularly low in emissions. The individual mattress materials are not permitted to contain any harmful substances: flame retardants, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and biocide treatments are prohibited. For heavy metals, formaldehyde and other harmful substances, there are strict limits in place that are monitored. Tests for odours and vapours are also part of the assessment procedure.

Alongside health aspects, usability also plays an important role. What requirements must mattresses fulfil to obtain the ecolabel?

Anke Oehm: Height and firmness losses, product purity and durability are tested for the Blue Angel. The mattress cover must be removable and provided with washing instructions.
Consumer information should be enclosed so that consumers can inform themselves quickly and easily. This should include basic information such as the manufacturer, cleaning and care instructions, and information on durability and hardness.

Ms Oehm, thank you very much for your time!