Organic Mattress Shopping 101 – What To Know Before You Go
There’s a lot more to shopping for the perfect organic mattress than lying down on every model in the showroom. (Though I certainly wouldn’t leave that part out.) Most people shopping for an organic mattress know they want something that is healthy and sustainable but have no idea what really constitutes natural latex, let alone the difference between Talalay and Dunlop. And you can be sure that not-so-organic mattress companies are happy to maximize on all the consumer confusion surrounding organic wool, cotton, and natural latex. Lucky for you, I’ve put together this handy little organic mattress shopping guide of what you should know before you go. (For best results, print it out and use it as a cheat sheet!)
If its blended, its not natural latex
There are no laws on the books about what officially constitutes a “natural” latex organic mattress. Therefore, even if your natural Talalay or Dunlop is mixed with synthetics, it may still be mis-labeled as “natural.” When a mattress is blended, the synthetic ingredients cancel out most of the benefits that draw a shopper to natural latex in the first place. Synthetic latex is made of styrene and butadiene, chemicals that off-gas and are linked to adverse effects on the nervous system, particularly in children. If you see the words “natural latex” when you’re on the hunt, make sure to look a little closer at where that latex is coming from. (Still confused about the difference between Talalay and Dunlop natural latex? It all comes down to how the rubber sap is processed when it’s removed from the tree. Dunlop is baked, making it a bit firmer, while Talalay is flash-frozen, then baked, and sealed with water-based glue.) BUYER BEWARE: even if the latex contains only 10% natural rubber, it may still be labeled as natural! Make sure you purchase from a reputable company.
Wool will keep you cool on hot Florida nights
Oftentimes, organic mattress shoppers in South Florida are a little skeptical when they discover that their new bed may be covered in a layer of organic wool. I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, wool is great if you’re laying down in chilly Chicago or snowy Syracuse, but I’m sleeping in South Florida!” Don’t be fooled by this woolly mis-perception. Organic wool mattresses are great for hot climates like South Florida because they regulate body tempertures and absorb moisture way better than beds made out of synthetic materials, keeping you and your natural latex nest cool and dry all night long.
Pair your organic mattress with wood, not particleboard
If you want to replace your base along with your non organic mattress, consider investing in wood instead of inexpensive particleboard. Why? Particleboard is often coated with formaldehyde, among other things, meaning that even if you’re napping on natural latex, you may still be breathing in harmful toxins. Untreated wood bases are your best bet if you’re looking to make your bedroom a place where you can breathe easily.
These are just a few of the basics that you should know when shopping for an organic mattress. If you’d like more information, feel free to peruse my previous blogs, which are chock-full of fun facts about going organic, mattress-style. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a natural latex pillow when you’re on your bedroom buying frenzy.