Looking for a Naturepedic discount code? Year round, you can use Greenchild15 to get 15% off the purchase of their top-rated, certified organic mattresses and accessories.
We recently learned that conventional mattresses are much more dangerous (and in more ways) than we realized.
We always thought mainstream mattresses were bad because they’re filled with toxic chemicals that make them flame retardant. We believed that the tradeoff for inhaling endocrine disruptors all night was that if a fire broke out in your home, your mattress wouldn’t catch fire and your family would have more time to get out safely.
It turns out – that belief is mostly wrong.
Most mainstream mattresses are actually made of mostly petroleum based materials – which are highly flammable (think gasoline) and sprayed with toxic flame retardants.
If you don’t get why a mattress made of gasoline is bad, scroll down to watch the video.
AN ORGANIC, NATURAL FIBER MATTRESS IS SAFER BOTH SHORT- AND LONG-TERM
So, why are the added chemicals also bad?
Because we spend one third of our lives sleeping, it’s really important to make sure we’re not inhaling toxins while the body is trying to rest and restore itself. The health impact of our exposure to mattress chemicals is huge – especially for kids. In this feature, we’re sharing what you need to know in order to choose the best organic mattress.
Not only are conventional mattresses loaded with chemicals that can cause chronic health conditions and not sustainably made… you may be surprised at what you learn here about the flame retardants they contain.
SLEEP IS A TIME FOR REST AND REPAIR
When we sleep, our bodies are resting, rejuvenating, and detoxing. If our bed is off-gassing toxic chemicals, it’s limiting the body’s ability to rejuvenate and detox—not to mention exposing us to harmful chemicals for the hours that we’re sleeping on it.
Childhood cancer rates have increased 34% since 1975. “Such an uptick in cases over a short period of time signifies environmental factors are at play” explains Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP.
Babies and children sleep more than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development; combined with the fact that exposure to toxic chemicals during these critical windows of development can be detrimental, it’s important that babies sleep on safer surfaces.
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE SAFEST MATTRESS
Whether your mattress is due to be replaced due to age, or if you’re just learning about safer mattress alternatives, it can be overwhelming to sift through information and decide which organic mattress is the right one for you.
This guide to non-toxic, organic mattresses will help you create a chemical-free bedroom with ideal indoor air quality.
THE PROBLEM WITH POLYURETHANE FOAM MATTRESSES
Flexible polyurethane foam has been a popular material in mattresses thanks to its affordability, as well as light weight and resilient properties.
However, the higher flammability of polyurethane foam used in furnishings has been associated with an increase in serious fires as well as fire deaths.
In the below video, fire fighters created two identical rooms. One contained furniture made with natural materials, and the other contained furniture made with synthetic materials. See how dramatically fire spreads in a room with modern furnishings compared to furnishings from decades past.
Natural materials burn at a slower lower rate than petroleum-based materials and with lower heat release. Yes, petroleum. As in gasoline.
Ironically, even synthetic mattresses with flame retardants burn extremely hot once ignited. That’s because they’re essentially petroleum at their core. Escape times and the toxicity of the fumes can be drastically different for something as simple as materials, and may ultimately make the difference between life and death.
WHAT’S IN AN ORGANIC MATTRESS?
To reduce the danger of fatal fires, many mattresses have flame retardants applied in order to meet flammability standards and can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from both the polyurethane foam itself, glues/adhesives used in its construction as well as the flame retardants.
Exposure to VOCs can cause short and long term symptoms, from headache and dizziness, to damage to the kidneys, liver and central nervous system. VOCs found in mattresses include acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and benzene (among others), which have been associated with increased cancer risk. There are also risks from the endocrine disruptors found in conventional mattresses.
So, now you know that you don’t want a polyurethane foam mattress, but what should you choose instead?
The terms “eco”, “green”, “natural”, and “organic” are tossed around and in most cases, misused when it comes to marketing.
This is what you need to know to buy a safe mattress. Here’s the breakdown:
Core: Polyurethane foam, also appearing as “memory foam” or “soy foam,” is made with a potentially cancer-causing chemical, and may emit VOCs. VOCs can also be found in synthetic latex foam, which can irritate eyes, nose and throat, cause headaches and are linked to cancer.
Padding: Polyester is often used for padding, which is a petroleum product that may contain hidden additives and contaminants.
Flame retardant material and chemicals: Studies show that these toxic chemicals appear immediately in the bloodstream and urine, and have linked flame retardants to long-term impacts like endocrine disruption, lower IQ, ADD, fertility issues, thyroid disease and cancer. They are heavy polymers and wind up in common household dust; they’re inhaled and consumed and then stored in our fat, and they bio-accumulate and increase through the food chain. What’s worse, studies are showing that these added chemicals are not even effective in slowing fires.
Cover or “ticking”: This layer is often made of vinyl, used as a waterproof cover. Vinyl relies on many toxic chemicals throughout its production, including cancer-causing chemicals, asthma triggers, and developmental toxins.
TYPES OF NATURAL MATTRESSES
In addition to polyurethane foam mattresses, mattresses can use latex foam, steel coils, or a combination of both. Some other materials used in organic mattresses include cotton and wool.
- Inner Spring Mattresses – coils can be in hourglass or circular shapes, and can be continuous, or wrapped in cloth as “pocket coils,” giving them the ability to compress independently.
- Latex Foam Mattresses – these mattresses are comprised of various layers of latex to provide layers for comfort and support. They are typically covered with cotton and/or polyester.
- Hybrid Mattresses – using a mixture of both coils and latex, hybrid mattresses often have varying designs when comparing different manufacturers.
MATTRESS CERTIFICATIONS DEFINED
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the gold standard for organic mattresses. Any textile must contain at least 70% organic fibers to be eligible for certification and must meet specific criteria. You can search the GOTS database to verify whether a brand truly has GOTS certification.
The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) focuses on organic latex and requires that 95% of raw material be organic, as well as meeting safety standards.
The Organic Content Standard (OCS) verifies that a product truly contains the organic material it is labeled to have.
MADE SAFE screens products to ensure no ingredients are known to cause harm to human health.
UL Greenguard certification means the product has been tested for chemical and VOC emissions and met standards set for allowable emissions.
OEKO-TEX laboratory tests include around 100 test parameters and consider how the product is intended to be used.
THE BEST ORGANIC MATTRESS BRANDS
Naturepedic goes beyond GOTS certification and has strict standards to provide only the safest mattresses. Not only are their individual materials certified, but the finished mattress is certified as well.
Backed by 90 environmental organizations, the toxicity of the mattress industry is corroborated by the recent report The Mattress Still Matters, released by the nonprofit Getting Ready For Baby Coalition. The investigative report found that the majority of crib mattresses evaluated were made with chemicals of concern.
Naturepedic’s No-Compromise Organic Baby Crib Mattress was concluded as the only mattress to be both fully transparent with component claims and made with no hazardous chemicals.
Understanding that reducing children’s exposure to environmental toxins may help prevent non-genetic childhood cancer is what motivates Naturepedic founder Barry Cik to continue to his fight for massive chemical reform.
“We are fighting to disrupt the industry from the top down, but also want parents to not only have access to trustworthy information to assess what’s at risk, why it’s important, and what chemicals to be aware of, but to understand that they have power in this, too,” explains Cik. “We want parents to be better equipped with how to create safe, optimal conditions for their child that can lower internal toxicity levels and may prevent their risk of disease.”
Naturepedic’s kids’ mattresses have won theGood Housekeeping Parenting Award multiple times.
Looking for a Naturepedic discount code? You can use Greenchild15 to get 15% off the purchase of their top-rated, certified organic mattresses and accessories.
Naturepedic products can be found in hospitals across the U.S. Their product line includes everything from crib mattresses to luxury king mattresses, and they are fully customizable to the firmness that works for you.
For organic comfort and safety with a lower price tag, the affordable Happsy line. Made by Naturepedic, they follow the same rigorous standards for safety. The main difference is there are fewer custom options with Happsy mattresses. Right now you can get $200 off a Happsy mattress with code SAVE200.
Another affordable safe and eco-friendly mattress option is MyGreenMattress. Their Natural Escape Organic mattress is perfect for adults. The Kiwi is their most popular organic kids’ mattress. And their safe option for babies and toddlers, the Emily Organic Crib just won a Good Housekeeping 2021 Parenting Award.
ADDITIONAL SAFE BEDDING TIPS
- Avoid crib mattresses made with materials and chemicals such as polyurethane foam and chemical flame barriers or other flame retardant chemicals, formaldehyde, pesticides, glues or other chemical adhesives, and GMOs.
- Avoid crib mattresses made with potential allergens like latex or soy (including so-called soyfoam or ecofoam).
- Look for crib mattresses that are waterproofed with food-grade polyethylene which meets FDA food-contact standards, and not with vinyl or perfluorinated compounds or other questionable materials.
- Look for all bedding, including sheets, pads, toppers, blankets, comforters, etc., made from natural fabrics like organic cotton and wool that are free of harmful chemicals.
- For adult mattresses, the healthiest mattresses are made with organic cotton, organic wool, organic latex, and individually encased coils.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SACRIFICE COMFORT FOR SAFETY
If you’ve been disappointed by greener options before, it can be hard to justify buying a higher priced item even if you know the logic is sound.
In this case, you don’t have to worry. Naturepedic’s mattresses are comfortable, breathable, and last for years. You can customize the options for maximum comfort and flexibility. Your sleep partner also gets to choose their sleep preferences so you’ll never have to compromise. And with the pillow top version, you get three full layers of customizable comfort.
You can use Greenchild15 to get 15% off the purchase of their top-rated, certified organic mattresses and accessories.
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