7 Nov
2012

Green Mattress – Organic Mattress

Posted by Norman Fong

organic mattress, green mattress

We spend many hours on a mattress, making it one of the biggest investments in your health. We will spend 1/3 of our life on these things, so it pays to think carefully about this purchase. A good quality premium mattress should hold up for 10 years then start to sag. This may contribute to poor sleep and sore backs. Make sure you rotate your mattress every two months, flipping it over if possible to help even out the wear.

When do you need a new mattress?

  • If it sags, is lumpy, or is uncomfortable
  • If you sleep better in a different bed
  • If you wake up tired
  • If the coils start to penetrate outer shell
  • If you had a problem with bed bugs

How can a mattress be an organic mattress? There do no appear to be any organizations like the USDA certifying mattresses to be organic, yet the term is used all over the marketplace. A factory could be third party certified as meeting organic rules.

Clearly many mainstream mattresses are made of synthetic materials like polyurethane, have chemical treatments applied to them, and have poses a chemical VOC off gassing problem.

A green mattress or organic mattress can utilize 100% USDA certified organic cotton, natural rubber latex core, 100% pure organic wool, FSC Certified wood foundation. This all comes at a price of course.  Many are twice as expensive as the typical mattress and are only sold at few outlets.  Some green mattresses are certified by GreenGuard, like the ones from Lifekind, Naturepedic, and Organic Mattresses.

These are criteria to look for in a new green mattress, organic mattress, or crib:

  • No chemicals, formaldehyde, PBDE’s, toxic glue, petroleum products, no off gassing
  • Natural latex rubber – Hypoallergenic, durable
  • Organic cotton and wool quilting – Pass fire standard law of July 30, 2007
  • Cotton Fiber free – Prevents dust mites, mold

Green Memory Foam Mattresses have similar qualities. We will spend 1/3 of our life on these things, so it pays to think carefully about this purchase.

Serta Organic Mattress – Serta Organic Mattresses

I heard a commercial on the radio touting Serta’s Organic Mattress and decided to look into it.

Serta is one of the big 3 mattress suppliers.  They have several Serta Organic Mattresses; Vera Wang by Serta Vera Bloom Euro Top mattress and a Serta Perfect Balance Organic Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress.

Again the term organic is unregulated when referencing mattresses, so any mattress can be called organic. Serta use organic cotton layers, which is a plus. The mattress’s Vinyl cover is made without Phthalates, which is also good.  The Vera Wang one does not mention much except using organic cotton layers.

The other mattresses we looked at before seem much more green.

Replace your pillows

A recent study found that by the time your pillow is two years old, a third of it’s weight is dead skin cells, dust mites, bug droppings, and other undesirable items. This may contribute to allergy or respiratory problems. Replace your pillows regularly and wash them if possible.

Be sure to recycle your old mattress. Ask how your retailer would recycle your mattress. Some take only certain components.  Battered womens shelters and Salvation Army take old mattresses.

Green Eco Friendly Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam has made its way into green mattresses. New mattresses are using combination of high density memory foam and other supportive body-conforming foams that return to their original shape after each night, so there are no lumps or bumps.

Look for products with mostly natural Memory Foam and zero or little in the way of synthetic materials. Natural latex, essential oils, and plant extracts are best. Some vendors add a green tea extract to control odor. Avoid mattresses with adhesives that may off gas VOCs.

Sheet Covers should be made from 100% unbleached organic cotton.

Mattresses must comply with Federal fire safety standards (16CFR1633) and be free of PBDEs.

Keetsa makes the Keetsa Cloud mattress.

Essentia makes Mattresses.

Green Bed Sheets and Eco Friendly Bedding

The green wave has hit bedding. Organic sheets and bedding made from 100% organic cotton is available. Make sure the cotton is grown without pesticides.

Some sheets contain formaldehyde to make them stain, crease, or fire resistant, so make sure you avoid those products. You may have to call the company to verify this. No-iron finish fabric and polyester/cotton fabric are usual tip offs.

Remember to always wash new bedding before using it.

Amazon has a section with low cost organic cotton bedding.

Posted on November 7th, 2012
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10 Responses to “Green Mattress – Organic Mattress”

  1. Devin@Back to Bed Mattress Stores Says:

    It seems like myessentia’s website is rather outdated. There are dozens of manufacturers of memory foam in the U.S. Several of them make petroleum-free memory foam as well.

    We offer one such mattress manufactured in California (Miforma).

    The fact is though, despite attempts to make mattresses greener, even ones made with soy or rubber tree oils instead of petroleum, they still have foaming agents added if they are latex and other chemicals if they are memory foams to generate the poly-urethane like foam. These have not been conclusively associated to any major health issues, but it is difficult to scientifically prove some of the complaints that have been associated with chemicals in mattresses. There is definitely a difference between individual’s level of sensitivity to the chemicals that permeate from a bed, especially if it’s new.

    At this point the only mattresses that are truly chemically free and do not pose sensitivity problems to some are organic cotton and wool beds.

    Anything else that is naturally based is just MOSTLY chemical free, or partly depending on the reality of the manufacturing.

    We do have a much higher rate of complaints for Tempur-pedic, than the Miforma beds. The level of gas permeating from a new mattress is very low for the Miforma product comparitively.

    Good luck!

  2. Serta Organic Mattress | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    [...] recently had an article on organic mattresses. I heard a commerical on the radio touting Serta’s Organic Mattress and decided to look into [...]

  3. Lynda Leonard Says:

    I have a whole lot of compassion for people seeking non-toxic mattresses. I have dear friends who spend thousands of dollars on their health each year purchasing safe products that they will not react to. When they find something they hang onto it dearly dreading having to replace it. Many of them have wrapped their mattress in barrier cloth and some have gone to futons.

    I talk to people every day who are searching for the right mattress that won’t set off a reaction. We offer a mattress that works for many but not for everyone. For those with extreme sensitivities, I send them samples of the futon material beforehand to help them sort out their decisions.

    It is challenging to find an affordable bed and sincerely think we have something that for 25 years has worked for many.

  4. David@MattressReviews Says:

    A truly green and organic mattress certainly carries a much higher price tag. But what price would you put on years of sleeping in peace of mind – knowing that there are no harmful chemicals and toxins seeping out from inside the bed underneath you?

    The bedroom is a sanctuary where a third of our lifetime is spent. It should be as clean and healthy as possible, so that we can get the rejuvenation needed to tackle another day in this crazy world. With that goal in mind, an organic bed can definitely be a good place to start.

  5. Tim@Mattress Reporter Says:

    There aren’t any specific regulations on organic/natural mattresses yet in the US, but thankfully manufacturers are becoming more and more sensitive to the fact that consumers care deeply about how the products they use are made and what they’re made of. We should all pay more attention and make companies live up to high standards.

    Also, be careful about throwing away mattresses, since they can harbor bugs and mold…

    Great article!

  6. Chris@SealyMattressModels Says:

    You’re right about latex mattresses – whether Dunlop or Talalay, these are organic. For those who are looking at this option, it is worth pointing out that Sealy has two latex mattress options right now, one under the Sealy Brand and another under it’s higher end Embody brand. The Embody is is twice as expensive (not cheap at all) but seems to be worth the expense. The Sealy brand offers a great entry point at just under 1K.

    The trouble is finding a retailer who stocks these things so you can get a good “feel” for what they are like. While the consensus is that they share some of the comfort qualities of memory foam, latex is greatly different than memory foam. So be careful with taking a salesperson’s “word” for it before you buy.

    In fact, I would agree that there are some big benefits to latex over memory foam, many of which are touched on here in these comments and in the original article.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  7. Mike Says:

    I urge readers to pay particular attention to the fact that the term “organic” is unregulated when referring to mattresses. Do your research and find out what truly makes a mattress organic and don’t simply accept what a piece of advertising tells you. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lynda Leonard Says:

    I want to say that a Pure Latex Mattress topper can be a solution to a bed that is too firm or has a sag. Often I speak to people who have invested in an organic mattress that is too firm. Keep the great bed and customize it with a latex topper. They are Green, economical and can fix an existing mattress.

  9. fotovoltaika Says:

    People dont understand that if you pay once a good mattress you l have it for 20 years and the sleep will be great. Cheap solutions will make you lose your sleep and your money too…

  10. Lynda Leonard Says:

    I speak to lots of people who are trying to fix their mattresses. The body often takes time to adjust to a new mattress. There is so much on the mattress market now with pillow tops and such. Pure Latex Toppers are a GREEN, non-toxic and eco-friendly solution to adjust the firmness or the sag. And they can last and last and last. One’s mattress can be a great foundation for a restful night’s sleep on a latex topper.

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