Organic mattresses are among the many bedding choices available to consumers today.
Perhaps you’ve heard of organic foods and organic farms, but not an organic mattress. If so, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know of the existence of these mattresses and are quite surprised when they first find out. But as their popularity continues to grow, they are becoming more available both online and at bedding retailers.
What makes organic mattresses unique is the fact that they are made with all-natural materials. There are some exceptions to the rule, where small amounts of non-toxic synthetic materials are used, but for the most part, an organic mattress will contain 100% natural materials. Some of the materials used in organic mattresses include:
- Organic cotton
- Natural latex rubber from organic rubber tree farms
Just a word of warning if you’re planning to look for an organic mattress: a “green” mattress is not necessarily the same as an organic one. Organic mattresses must meet a strict set of guidelines to be certified, while there are no standards or certification needed to use the term “green”.
The Advantages of Organic Mattresses
The standard non-organic mattress uses synthetic materials which are processed with toxic chemicals. Such synthetic materials and toxic chemicals are believed to be a possible source of allergies, common illnesses and disorders, and possibly even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While none of the materials used in non-organic mattresses has been proven conclusively to be a specific health threat in the form of bedding, there is enough evidence to suggest the possibility.
Formaldehyde, as an example, is a known allergenic and carcinogen. The formaldehyde used in making non-organic mattresses may be cleaned off the surface of materials before the mattresses are assembled, but residue still leaches from the mattresses over their lifetime. In addition, mattresses are required by law to be flame retardant. Some of the chemicals used as flame retardants include antimony, boric acid, and PBDEs. All of these chemicals are also known to be both toxic and allergenic. With a hypo-allergenic organic mattress, chemicals are never an issue.
Finally, synthetic mattresses tend to be attractive to dust mites and bed bugs. With natural materials like wool and latex rubber, this is a thing of the past. Organic mattresses offer a comfortable night’s sleep at a greatly reduced risk of adverse health effects.
Certification of Organic Mattresses
In order for a manufacturer to label a mattress as organic, it must meet a strict set of guidelines and be certified. All materials must be inspected by an accredited certifying organization and shown to be 100% organic and/or free of toxic substances. Certification is granted by such organizations as the USDA, Associated Laboratories, and the Eco Institute. Manufacturers who claim their products are organic should be able to produce certificates from one or more certifying organizations.
The Quality of Organic Mattresses
One of the common misconceptions regarding organic mattresses is that they are less comfortable and of lower quality than standard mattresses. Thankfully, this really is not true. Where comfort is concerned, that’s a matter of personal opinion. Some people prefer foam over inner spring, while others even prefer adjustable air beds. Your comfort is purely dependent on your own preferences. Suffice it to say that if you’re comfortable on a non-organic inner spring or foam mattress, you would be just as comfortable on an organic one.
As far as the issue of quality, manufacturers of organic mattresses are just as concerned about customer satisfaction as manufacturers of standard mattresses.
A good manufacturer will use only the highest quality materials and workmanship in creating his products. You can depend on the quality of organic mattresses the same as you would standard ones. And while it is true that organic mattresses are a little more expensive, that’s only due to the fact that the materials and labor needed to make them costs manufacturers a little bit more.
Organic mattresses may not be the right option for everyone. However, if you or a loved one are prone to allergies and other common illnesses, you might consider switching to an organic mattress to see if that helps. If you’re concerned about the leaching of toxic chemicals in your baby’s crib, an organic credit mattress solves that problem as well.