Is Memory Foam Flammable?

Memory foam is flammable. It consists of polyurethane, which can burn. Although it is resistant to open flame and contains fire retardant, the foam is still considered a combustible solid.


Memory foam originated as something NASA developed to ease the pressure of G-forces during take off. However, because the foam emitted a smelly gas and was not very durable, it was never used in space, according to Memory Foam Reviews.

How It Works

Tempur-Pedic used the idea and developed its own product, a mattress for medical patients, which it later started selling to the public. Since then, other companies started making memory foam. It has holes that compress under pressure and heat, allowing the mattress to conform and mold to the body.


Once it is ignited, memory foam can burn rapidly and produce severe heat, dense smoke, burning liquid and toxic gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. Dust from memory foam can also burn.

About the Author

Lexa W. Lee is a New Orleans-based writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has contributed to "Central Nervous System News" and the "Journal of Naturopathic Medicine," as well as several online publications. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Reed College, a naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and served as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology.