Organic Twin Mattresses: What to Look for and Where to Find them

July 20, 2011

Mattresses are more than just foam, springs and cotton, they contain (surprise!) flame retardant chemicals, mercury, boric acid, and formaldehyde. Pretty disgusting when you think we spend (hopefully) 6 hours plus sleeping on that every night.  What’s worse is that all non-organic mattresses from the U.S. are required to be flame retardant (enough so that they can’t catch on fire from a blow torch!) so manufacturers douse mattresses with highly toxic chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a chemical that is banned in Canada and Europe. This is especially alarming since according to Mercola.com, PBDE is “associated with numerous health issues like brain and reproductive damage, decreased sperm quality, thyroid problems and even cancer at high levels.”

As we peacefully sleep, we are breathing in these nasty chemicals without even knowing it. The best bet is to have a “safe” or organic mattress that does not contain chemicals and is made from 100% organic cottons and/or wools.

When looking for an organic mattress you will need to do your research. This starts by understanding the materials in an organic mattress such as natural rubber, wool, and cotton.

Natural rubber
is a renewable resource that many organic mattresses are made from. Generally, they are made from the milk or the sap tapped of Hevea Brasiliensis tree whose juice is extracted, poured into a mold and then baked. This system called the Dunlop method is how many chemical-free mattress are made.

Wool
used in organic mattresses should be G.O.T.S certified (an independent organic certifier) and used from sheep that have grazed in pastures free from pesticides and herbicides. The wool should also be washed without detergents, chemicals, chlorine or bleach.

Cotton
in organic mattresses should be made from pure, organically grown and harvested cotton and should have a tag that says 100% organic certified cotton. This generally means that cotton was hand picked and grown organically without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or defoliants to fertilize the crop, control plant growth or pests.

After you do your research, be sure to test out the mattress and ask tons of questions. Organic mattress are generally more expensive than traditional mattresses so you want to make sure your are getting the most out of your investment.

Some organic mattress companies:

East Coast Organic Mattress Store: East Coast Organic specializes in the Dunlop mattress method for mattress production. Essentially this involves harvesting milk juice from the Hevea Brasiliensis (a rubber tree). This milk is then poured into a mold with hollow pins and baked to produce a blend of organic and chemical-free wools used for their mattresses. Additionally, their mattresses do not use any synthetic blends or any artificial fillers. The company has a store in Pennsylvania but if you can’t make it out there you can call for a free consultation in order to decide which mattress is right for you. Some products they offer is The Key West, ($1,560 for a twin mattress) a 6-inch mattress made from organic cotton and wool; The Saluna ($2,099.00 for a twin mattress), a certified organic cotton mattress and The Mount Shasta ($1,299 for a twin mattress), a 5” thick all-wool mattress. They also sell organic pillow tops, duvets, pillows, foundations and baby cribs.

Life Kind: A Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified Eco–Factory, Life Kind sells bedding, and products for the bath and home and a huge line of organic mattresses. All products from Life Kind are made without polyurethane foam, chemical flame retardants, formaldehyde, anti–fungicides, pesticide–treated cotton, or other harmful chemicals. Life Kind features The Euro, a 100% natural rubber and metal-free mattress ($2,195 for a twin mattress) that includes a double-stitched quilted cover of pure wool and organic cotton. The also sell The Traditional (8” deep), an organic mattress made with wool and certified organic cotton that has a medium-to-firm feel. The mattress has four layers of certified organic cotton canvas and six layers of certified organic cotton padding.

Woodstock Organic Mattress: Woodstock Organic Mattress, a family-owned company, specializes in producing handmade organic mattresses. They offer several products like the WJ Southard Organic Innerspring ($799 for a twin) an 8” handmade mattress made from organic and eco-friendly wool, 100% organic cotton and a 460 offset coil innerspring unit. They also sell The Van Patten Collection ($1,599 for a twin mattress), a 7” handmade mattress composed of 100% natural Dunlop latex core and 100% hand-sewn organic fabric.

Savvy Rest: An organic company that sells all-natural latex (Dunlop or Talalay) mattresses. The Serenity ($1,739 for a twin mattress) is made of 3” layers with a sturdy organic cotton casing and organic wool batting. The wool fill promotes a cooler, drier environment and more comfortable sleep. The Savvy Rest Organic casing closes with a strong brass zipper. They also offer the Tranquility ($1,469 for a twin mattress) is made just like the Serenity, but with two 3” layers of natural latex. It’s a good choice for toddler beds, bunk beds, or for smaller adults who like a quite-firm mattress.

IKEA: IKEA supposedly also carries organic mattresses although they don’t use the word organic – they use the term natural. On various forums such as on mothering.com we found that Sultan Erfjord ($699 for a twin mattress) mattress is covered in natural latex, 100 % lamb’s wool and 100% eco-cotton that is grown without pesticides. IKEA also describes this mattress as 85% natural. All of the other mattresses on their site are made from latex or foam.

Have you found one you liked? Do you think the expense is worth it?

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