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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Chemical-Free Ingredients Equal Great Sleep

Oct 02, 2014 04:17AM

During the past decade, there has been a significant amount of greenwashing of mattresses, as companies rushed to take advantage of the new niche they represent. The labels organic, eco-friendly and the very vague natural have been co-opted by some companies to misrepresent unhealthy products as more clean and healthful. It is important for consumers to do their homework. 

If you are looking for a healthy mattress option, it is vital to look for products made with organic, chemical-free cotton, latex (rubber) and wool. These materials are dust mite-resistant and anti-microbial. Wool is also naturally flame retardant, resistant to mold and has an ability to repel water. The components are often cultivated using no pesticides and manufactured using chemical-free processes. As a result, the mattresses are hypoallergenic, durable and biodegradable. 

Not all organic/natural mattresses are created equal, and some can have the same issues as conventional standard mattresses. Look for products with trusted third-party certifications, such as GreenGuard, Oeko-Tex and GOTS. These certifications mean some ingredients in the mattress have been vetted by non-profit organizations committed to improving air quality, with no financial gain from their certifications.

Some organic mattresses are competitively priced to their non-organic alternatives. Manufacturers are incorporating a natural latex, which comprises 90 percent of the organic mattress. The natural latex is more durable and dense and lasts longer than polyurethane cushioning materials and the wire springs found in conventional mattresses. In addition to seeping toxic flame retardants into the environment, many of the 20-40 million mattresses thrown away each year in the U.S. are hard to recycle and remain in landfills so extending the life of a healthier mattress is valuable in more ways than one.