Stage One: Collecting The Raw Material
The main ingredient used in making a 100% natural latex mattresses is obtained from the Hevea brasiliensistree . This tree is cultivated on a large scale in Southeast Asia and West Africa where the tropical climate favors its growth. Latex is the name given to the sticky white sap produced by the rubber tree when its trunk is cut.
The process of harvesting this sap begins with the making of deep spiral incisions into the trunk of the rubber tree. A vessel is placed at the end of this spiral to collect the latex oozing from the tree. For several hours the latex steadily flows along the incisions into the collecting vessel. Latex undergoes coagulation when exposed to direct sunlight. This causes it to harden prematurely which complicates the processing cycle. To prevent this from happening, latex is usually harvested at night or in the early morning hours before the sun comes out.
Organic Certifications In Mattresses
Terms like natural and eco-friendly are unregulated for mattresses. They also dont mean that the mattress is made of natural materials. A mattress must be 95% organic to meet USDA organic mattress standards and be labeled as organic. Some mattresses may use organic cotton or organic wool for the top layer, but check before assuming an organic label means an entirely natural mattress.
If a mattress is certified organic, it is certified by a third party. Look for terms like:
- GOTS Global Organic Textile Standard. Mattresses with this certification must use at least 95% certified organic fibers for all fabric used.
- GOLS This stands for Global Organic Latex Standard and is the first third party standard for organic latex. It specifies that the latex used must be at least 95% organic latex.
- GREENGUARD An independent certification that requires environmental chamber tests for over 360 chemicals. This certification specifies that a mattress is low in VOCs, phthalates, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals and that it is safe for children and the elderly.
If youre buying a mattress that contains both cotton/wool and latex, it is good for it to have all of these certifications.
Health Problems From Fire Retardants
Any chemicals used in your bed can off gas into your home and linger in your indoor air. The chemicals that are off gassing into your bedroom air dont stay in your bedroom. They become dust and are circulated throughout the house, where you breathe in the particles or ingest them.
There are many different types of chemical fire retardants. All of which need to be researched independently. However, there have been health problems shown with chemical fire retardants, as the Made Safe Detox Your Sleep report shows, including:
- endocrine disruption
- lower IQ
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How To Shop For Organic Natural And Eco
Select is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time.
Not too long ago, comfort and price were often the only factors at play when people shopped for a new mattress. But as plastic chemical pollution continues to take a toll on the world, environmental impact is increasingly on consumers’ minds. The upside? There’s a growing market for eco-friendly products, from compost bins to bedding. The downside? It can be frustrating to figure out whom to trust and what to look for.. If youre eager to shop for a sustainable mattress and put your money where your heart is, weve consulted experts on how to choose the best sustainable mattress and compiled some top-rated eco-friendly mattress options organized by the materials theyre made out of.
Im So Excited About It Since It Feels Like Something Weve Been Talking About For More Than A Year
Our queen size mattress was causing us all kinds of back aches and I was pretty disappointed by the life span of it, considering the expense of it and the name brand. It just didnt hold up and I was very hesitant to just go out and buy ANOTHER one of the same kind because I didnt want to create another huge pile of wasted mattress within a few years again.
In our house, practically everything we think about wanting or needing we first consider if we can make it ourselves! Turns out, you can make a lot of things! So, I did a search for DIY mattresses, as Ive done a little bit of research in the past on foam mattresses or shikibuton style mattresses and I found DIY Natural Bedding.
I did a comparison on 3 different organic options for mattresses you can check that out here. This company appealed to me for a few reasons: Organic! Also, its all DIY style so every single item is meant for you to use in your customized final product. There is a big focus on mattresses, but there are also other things you can make with their materials like blankets, foam cushions for furniture and much more.
Since we ordered multiple pieces, the items came in different shipments based on when they were ready. We actually slept on just a single slab in the ticking for about a week because our second latex slab hadnt arrived! It honestly wasnt too bad, but I could feel the wood slats of the bed through the mattress if I sat in one place.
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Try A Mattress Topper
If comfort is the issue but the mattress is otherwise good, Id try a mattress topper to make it more comfortable. We purchased a down topper, which helped some, but not as much as Id hoped since our mattress was getting older and it was too firm.
If I had known about it, I would have gotten an Intellibed Topper, which offers many of the same comfort benefits as a full Intellibed mattress at a fraction of the price.
Combined with a mattress encasement, this may help an older mattress remain usable for a long time without the need to fully replace, especially if the mattress is older than 2007 and has less issue with flame retardants.
What Is A Latex Mattress
Latex is a natural milky substance found in almost 10% of all plants. Its most commonly found in the Amazonian rubber tree, native to the Amazon but now grown across Southeast Asia. Latex is used for many products, including mattresses. Commonly known as a natural, green or organic mattress, latex mattresses have a unique feel compared to traditional mattress materials. Latex is bouncier and cooler than memory foam with some slight contouring abilities. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to this material, so its important to have a good trial period to test out the mattress before making the full purchase.Weve created an extensive buyers guide to help you find the best latex mattress in Canada. Use this guide to help you form your own criteria:
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Benefits Of The Natural Mattress Industry In Relation To The Synthetic Mattress Industry
The large global demand for natural latex mattresses has made a huge impact on the environment and the economy in the areas where large-scale latex production is carried out.
Latex is extracted from the Hevea brasiliensis tree which is also called the rubber tree. A typical rubber tree plantation contains hundreds or even thousands of these trees at any particular time. Cultivationof this crop significantly increases the forest cover in the latex-producing countries. This added tree cover contributes to an improvement of the prevailing climatic conditions and better air quality. Furthermore, the production process of natural latex mattresses does not utilize nor release any hazardous chemical compounds to the environment. This contrasts with the production process of synthetic foam mattresses which results in the production of large quantities of chemical industrial waste due to the fact that most of the raw materials used are petrochemical compounds like polyurethane. Most of this waste eventually ends up being released into the environment with catastrophic consequences.
How To Protect Your Mattress After Cleaning
Once your mattress is cleaned and sanitized, its important to protect it between cleanings. Doing so will also make cleaning the mattress much faster and easier. Consider protecting your mattress with these ideas:
- Avoid dust with a fitted sheet: A fitted sheet provides a barrier that keeps dust away and reduces the chances of mattress staining. Its far easier to remove the sheet to wash than it is spot-cleaning the mattress.
- Use a tightly woven allergen-proof mattress protector: A mattress protector is a heavier-duty version of a fitted sheet. It will protect your mattress from stains and odors and can prevent bed bugs and allergy-producing dust mites from taking hold in your mattress. A tightly woven fabric keeps tiny microbes and debris out from causing further trouble.
- Add a mattress pad: Mattress pads can add an extra layer of comfort and protection to your mattress. There are a variety of mattress pads available, some waterproof, others featuring gel or memory foam for extra padding.
- Flip and rotate regularly: If your mattress is double-sided, flipping and rotating it regularly can ensure more even wear. Even if you cant flip the mattress, you could rotate the mattress.
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Reduce Emfs In The Room
As I mentioned above, I think EMFs are definitely a concern, but mattresses are very low on the list of places to address EMFs. In a previous post, I compared getting rid of mattress springs to reduce EMFs to putting a filter on a cigarette to reduce harmful exposure it may help some but it doesnt address the real problem.
While I think natural mattresses are important for many other reasons, I personally think that these steps are much more important when it comes to EMF exposure :
Avocado Best Organic Latex Hybrid Mattress
The Avocado mattress has more than a dozen certifications. They prove Avocado is sustainable, but also one of the best organic mattresses out there.
The Avocado Green mattress is a trendy latex hybrid with 100% organic materials. It is non-toxic and durable, an investment that will last you a long while. This supportive mattress will cater to most sleeper body types. Especially back and average-weight stomachsleepers.
Its high level of versatility is also due to the changeable firmness of the mattress. You can add an extra layer of latex that is sewn in. Make sure you check Add attached pillow-top when ordering the Avocado mattress.
The added layer gives Avocado Green two extra inches and more plush latex. More inches means a less firm mattress.
Avocado has a 7/10 firmness in its regular version/size. But, when you add the attached pillow top, it becomes a 6/10 on the firmness scale. From a medium-firm to a gentle firm at the drop of a hat!
Choose to sleep on latex! Its a very responsive material that lets you sleep cool. Also, latex used in Avocado is certified organic by the GOLS standard.
What also makes Avocado a cool mattress are coils. Air circulates undisturbed thanks to them. The organic wool regulates heat even more.
Can you believe all Avocado mattresses are handmade? Yes, in the Los Angeles factory that works hard to keep the carbon footprint negative!
Only certified organic and durable materials are in the Avocado:
- And other materials
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Flame Retardants & Other Harmful Chemicals
Mattresses can be a major source of chemical exposure. Mattress companies are not required to disclose all of the chemicals they use and have to withstand an open flame from a blowtorch for over a minute. To accomplish this, many companies douse mattresses in flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, better known as PBDE. These chemicals are highly toxic and do not have to be disclosed!
PCBEs are banned in Canada, Europe, and even parts of the US. They can accumulate in the body through skin and inhalation exposure and are associated with hormone, brain, and reproductive damage, especially in children.
Mattresses can also contain harmful compounds like:
- Formaldehyde Commonly used in mattresses, especially as an adhesive in mattresses made from polyurethane foam .
- VOCs Can cause lung and skin irritation and are often found in the glue in many mattresses.
- These are linked to hair and memory loss and are listed as possible carcinogens.
Chemical flame retardants arent the only problem with conventional mattresses, however.
How To Choose An Organic Mattress: Nontoxic Natural And Healthy
By: Author Kimberly Button
How to choose an organic mattress or a natural mattress for a nontoxic bed and healthy sleep.
So youre interested in a natural mattress or organic mattress? Good for you! Your mattress is the piece of furniture that you will spend the most time on in your life! It is smart to make it a wise investment, especially since you might spent 25 40% of your life on it EACH AND EVERY DAY!
But trying to find a natural mattress can be confusing. Every mattress company claims that their mattress is the best. You might not understand the differences between the materials and certifications. There is a lot of greenwashing with mattresses . Then youll have to decide between a bed-in-a-box and a traditional mattress. And finally, youll see the price and probably decide buying a healthy mattress might just not be worth it.
Trust me, I KNOW!
Ive been right where you are so many times! Ive had to buy a lot of beds in my life. And every single purchase was painful.
The amount of time that I spent researching bedding companies was depressing. Then Id get upset and scream at the computer, wondering why no one could make it easy to understand all of the materials and certifications. Finally, you had to order the mattress, then wait forever for it to come, then deal with delivery people.
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Average Lifespan Of A Mattress
The average mattress may last anywhere between five and ten years, depending on care, maintenance, and material. Latex foam beds may last the longest, with a span of eight to twelve years. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses may last the least, between five and seven years. A quality memory foam mattress could last between seven and ten years.
Is The Latex Mattress Recycled When It Is Returned
With countless bed-in-a-box companies popping up and offering 100-day trials these days, little thought is often given to what happens when consumers return mattresses. For starters, most people are unaware that mattresses are difficult to recycle because the materials they contain are hard to take apart. Its why mattresses often end up going straight to landfill. There, they occupy 400% more space than other garbage and take 80-120 years to decompose . Add to that the reality that Canada disposes of six million mattresses each yearand you have a recipe for a mattress landfill disaster and environmental nightmare.
How we compare: At Silk & Snow, we adopt eco-friendly production practices and are conscious about our social impact. Each week, we donate about 20 lightly-used mattresses to a variety of charities, such as Habitat for Humanity, Ravens Moon and Furniture Bank. When the mattresses are not in donatable condition, we turn to mattress recyclers , like Re-Matt in Alberta and Mother Earth Recycling in Winnipeg. There is always a way to leave the planet better than we found it.
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Greenguard Gold Certified Crib Mattress
GreenGuard Gold certificate tests the emission of harmful chemicals in a product and ensures that the products emit a low level of VOCs. For example, having a Greenguard Gold-certified crib mattress is an excellent thing to keep the emission level of formaldehyde, and other VOCs at a low level, but it does not make a mattress non-toxic.
In addition, babys are more susceptible to even the lowest emission of VOCs indoors as they breathe more per body weight, so they get a bigger dose of whatever chemicals you have in your indoor air.
The Comfort Of Nature
Sleep like it matters
Sleep can change your life. That’s why we build affordable, natural products designed to assist your body in waking up healthy, rested, and ready to go.
Our mattresses are made using materials grown in nature, without the use of glues, harmful chemical fire retardants, or viscoelastic memory foams.
Customer Raves & Reviews
Love, love, love our new bed!! I sit at a desk all day at work and by the end of the day, my upper back and shoulders are sore from fatigue! Since sleeping on the firm cumulous mattress, my back and shoulders are feeling infinitely better and I feel refreshed in the morning!!
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Cornstarch And Baking Soda
Best for DeodorizingAnother handy household item thats great for cleaning a mattress is cornstarch. By absorbing the odor-causing bacteria, cornstarch will eliminate that old mattress smell. You can even mix baking soda and cornstarch for a double whammy of cleaning strength.Just sprinkle a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and baking soda onto the mattress, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Then, vacuum the entire mattress, bed base, and under the bed before putting the sheets back on.