“Reduce, reuse, recycle” has become your mantra. You’ve been making positive changes by choosing organic fruits and vegetables. When cleaning, you’ve made the conscious decision to eliminate harmful, toxic chemicals from your home. You’ve stopped letting the faucet run when you brush your teeth.
What about your mattress? According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, but many people don’t bring their organic/eco-friendly practices into the bedroom. Environmental and health experts agree that chemicals used in traditional mattresses could be making us sick.
The OCA explains that most modern mattresses are made from polyurethane foam, a petroleum product that may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air, creating an acrid, plastic odor and prompting allergic reactions like skin irritation or difficulty breathing. Some mattresses also contain potentially hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene at low levels.
Night after night and year after year, your body’s largest organ — your skin — is repeatedly exposed to these potentially harmful chemicals, which are foreign to our bodies. Our sleep is meant to help our bodies de-stress, rejuvenate, and heal. There are better bedding options.
The first step to choosing the right organic mattress is to do your homework, recommends Cheryl Hahn, founder and president of CozyPure, a Norfolk, Va.-based manufacturer of natural and organic mattresses and bedding. With more than 25 years in the organic sleep industry, Hahn says, “Do your research! Organic is a big buzzword these days, so it’s more important than ever to have the knowledge about what you’re buying, and who you’re buying from, regarding ‘organic’ bedding.”
Hahn offers the following tips: “Ask for a complete breakdown, by percentage, of all components, including the fabric. Ask about their experience with organics so you can have confidence in your decision. Ask if their materials have any third-party organic certificates. Ask what they use as a fire retardant for their mattresses.”
At CozyPure’s workshop, artisans handcraft natural latex rubber mattresses made from nature’s finest ingredients: organic cotton, natural latex rubber milk, wool, kapok, and buckwheat hulls. “We design and produce complete sleep solutions, made only from sustainable, renewable, natural, and organic materials. Not only is this better for our planet, but it is also better for you, because there are no harmful chemicals in our components,” Hahn explains. “Bedding is one of the most intimate products you use every day, so it’s important to choose healthier components. CozyPure manufactures a full line of luxurious mattresses, pillows, blankets, toppers, and sheets designed for comfort and longevity. … Plus it’s affordable, because we sell direct to the consumer.” Mattresses and bedding may be ordered online at cozypure.com.
Since 1918, Norwalk Mattress has been manufacturing handcrafted bedding sets. Patty Drew, president, says, “For 100 years, we have proudly manufactured the finest quality mattresses with the finest natural materials. The materials we used then and now are the same, ‘green.’ We manufacture with natural cotton batting, JOMA New Zealand Wool, Talalay latex, and Oeko-Tex certified textiles. These materials are long lasting, durable and breathable. Each bedding set is handmade by our master craftsmen, one at a time, as ordered.”
Consumers should set aside time to actually try bedding and compare different styles of bedding — most importantly, the comfort, Drew believes. “They should measure heights of their existing bedroom furniture to make sure the bedding set will fit properly,” she says.
Healthy Choice Organic Mattress in New Canaan carries mattresses that are made locally, in Connecticut. “Healthy Choice Organic Mattress was founded with a mission to become a leader in the American-made natural mattress business,” says manager Barbara Goodfriend. “We’re a socially responsible company committed to offering the healthiest, most comfortable and highest quality mattresses on the market.”
Healthy Choice mattresses do not contain any petroleum-based products, and they don’t use any polyurethane foam, polyester fiber, chemical glues, toxic flame retardants, or even a small percentage of synthetic blended latex, according to Goodfriend. “We only use natural and organic materials, including 98% pure Talalay rubber, certified organic wool, and certified organic cotton,” she explains. “You can sleep easy, knowing that after many years of enjoying your chemical-free mattress, it won’t burden a landfill, because it’s biodegradable.”
At Greenwich’s Naturepedic Organic Mattress Gallery, a safe and healthy sleep is their top priority. The company specializes in the design and manufacturing of high-quality organic mattresses and all-natural bedding for adults and children.
The Naturepedic philosophy embraces the idea that Mother Nature offers the greatest materials for a good night’s sleep, and that adding harmful chemicals is both unnecessary and unhealthy. Through its organic mattresses, mattress pads, toppers, and bedding, the company’s mission is to partner with its customers in keeping dangerous chemicals and toxic substances out of the home.
Saatva Mattress Co. in Westport reduces its carbon footprint by selling its eco-friendly mattresses strictly online. Though not 100% organic, it uses recycled tempered steel, eco-friendly foams free of formaldehyde, and organic cotton coverings. Saatva’s foams are tested and certified to meet environmental, health and safety standards, according to the company’s website.
CozyPure’s Hahn explains the benefits of organic bedding and its impact on our environment: “First, most organic mattresses use only renewable and sustainable materials, greatly reducing environmental impact by using natural resources. Next, an organic latex mattress can last for decades with proper care, reducing waste by eliminating mattress disposal at landfills. Then, when the product is finally disposed of, the materials are biodegradable, unlike foams and plastics, which contribute to contamination in our ecosystem.”