We spend eight hours of every day asleep, meaning that we spend about 1/3 of our lives on our mattresses. The quality of a mattress affects how well we sleep, and it can be especially important for those who can’t get as much sleep as they need to be well rested. Beyond just the comfort and support of a mattress, the material it’s made from also affects how well we rest.
Benefits of Non-Toxic Mattresses
A mattress is a long-term investment in your comfort while sleeping, but it’s also an investment in your overall health. Some of the reasons to consider a non-toxic or organic mattress are:
- Free of chemicals, synthetic materials, and pesticide residue
- Non-toxic fire barrier methods
- Free of volatile organic compounds
- Sustainable manufacturing and farming
- Hypoallergenic materials
- Biodegradable after disposal
Without the extra chemicals present in traditional mattresses, a non-toxic mattress lets you breathe in clean air while you sleep, and the eco-friendly materials that will benefit you for many years will also benefit the environment when it’s time for a replacement.
What to Look for in a Non-Toxic Mattress
Following the organic health trends of food, organic mattresses are starting to find their way onto the market. Since they’re a newer product, though, it can be difficult to tell what you should look for while shopping. But choosing smart doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it just takes a little preparation.
Navigating the world of non-toxic mattresses can be tricky, and even a certified organic mattress can still contain nonorganic materials. Before you make a quick decision on a mattress based on the label, make sure that all layers of the mattress are organic, not just the latex.
Materials you’ll want to see are natural latex, wool, and cotton, and 100% natural latex foam is one of the most environmentally friendly options. Be careful that if you select a latex material it’s natural and not synthetically made. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any chemical flame retardants and avoid them in your purchase.
Besides just the composition of the layers, pay attention to what’s holding the layers together. Avoid solvent-based glues and find a mattress with water-based glues instead.
A label can tell you a lot about the quality of the mattress – or it can tell you very little. What information a label has on it can vary from company to company, and you may be missing out on some important information if you’re not reading carefully.
GOTS labels (Global Organic Textile Standard) signal 95% certified organic textiles or higher. GOLS labels (Global Organic Latex Standard) do the same for certified organic latex. Both labels have very comprehensive information about the materials so you can keep an eye out for anything else that matters to you in a product. Mattresses with GOTS and GOLS also have environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and ensure certain banned substances will never make it into the product.
Other holistic and comprehensive labels you can rely on are Greenguard Gold and Oeko-Tex Standard 100. These labels indicate limits on volatile organic compounds, flame-retardants, and dyes, making them suitable for a non-toxic mattress purchase.
Take Your Time
It can be easy to make a quick purchase when mattress shopping but remember that this investment should last you for years and will affect the quality of your sleep. On average, consumers only spend a few minutes testing a mattress in a store, but you should give the matter a little more consideration. Be sure to test several lying positions to make sure the mattress is right for you. It doesn’t do any good to pick a non-toxic mattress and then find out it isn’t comfortable.
Since many organic mattresses are available online, be sure to call a customer representative to answer any questions you may have and give recommendations based on your sleeping habits, height, and weight. Many companies also send out samples of their mattress material so that you can confirm it won’t trigger any allergic reactions. If a company offers a free trial, you can make sure you feel right lying on the mattress, even without visiting a store.
Purchasing a mattress is a big investment and will affect the quality of your sleep. Picking a non-toxic mattress is a great way to improve your health and help the environment, but you still want to take care so that you can find the mattress that fits you.