Why Choose an Organic Mattress?
It is amazing that at one time, before the Industrial Revolution, purchasing organic food, clothing and more was commonplace. Nowadays, all seems backwards as society has succumbed to quantity over quality so it can pay less for subpar products while anything organic has become a privilege. So why go the extra mile and spend your hard earned coin on an organic mattress? For one, you spend between 2000-3000 hours in your bed per year. That’s approximately 83-125 days sleeping, sprawling and/or sexing on your mattress. Why would you want to jeopardize so much time when you could use every second to your advantage in not only a comfortable setting but a healthy one as well?
Mattress VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Manufacturing with conventional as well as flame retardant chemicals in mattress production does not take into effect the dire health risks of slow ‘off-gassing’ that accompanies it. Since the 1960’s, mattresses have included many VOC additives such as polyurethane, phthalates, formaldehyde, benzene, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), naphthalene, pesticides and more. ‘Sleep Safe in a Toxic World’ author Walter Bader even conducted his own test by sending a mattress to a lab which found 61 VOC emissions. He comments, "Mattresses are like cigarettes were in the 1930s, completely unregulated, and everyone thinks they're safe."
It Is All There in the Organic
Some may not feel that ‘off-gassing’ is accumulated enough to cause any bodily damage. On the contrary, PBDE’s (mentioned above) are now rarely used as a result of being found in blood and breast milk plus interfering with thyroid health as well as brain development. Environmental Health Trust PhD Epidemiologist, Devra Lee Davis weighs in, "Although the amount people inhale is incredibly small, the exposure adds up," Purchasing an organic mattress has no ‘off- gassing’ and can even compete with flame retardant chemicals. Wool, mechanical cloth and rayon made with hydrated silica and baking soda are natural flame retardants. Wool is the best as it is difficult to ignite, has a low flame spread, self-extinguishes and does not drip or emit toxic fumes if burned. Moisture is also significantly reduced in wool preventing mold buildup that can grow on man-made materials. Natural rubber latex is resistant to allergy causing dust mites and organic cotton efficiently wicks moisture from a sleeping body making for a more comfortable slumber. Most organic mattresses are hypoallergenic, bug resistant, antimicrobial, chemical-free and flame resistant. Interestingly, a sea sand flame retardant formula is being used as an additive to organic mattresses.
The environmental impact of manufacturing an organic mattress is significant. However, if purchasing one, be savvy and make sure you follow the ‘source to consumer’ trail as many companies offer only a small percentage of organic quality hidden in the advertising as well as the product. Environmental benefits include: non-use of earth damaging toxic pesticides and fertilizers; hormone and cruelty-free wool gathering practices; renewable resources such as rubber trees; better work environments; no off-gassing; and no bleaching.
If approximately one-third of your life is spent on your bed why not make it an organic mattress. Sleep on this, more people put money into their cell phones, computers and/or cars than they do their mattress. Seems silly huh?