As adults, we spend about 30% of our lives in our beds, but your baby will spend about 70% of their time sleeping, so you want to make sure that they are sleeping and resting in mattresses of only the highest materials and best quality. Because babies spend much of their time in their cribs and in the nursery, focusing on creating the healthiest environment possible is of great importance to many parents. Babies also have more sensitive skin than adults and are more sensitive to chemicals. Organic products provide a safer alternative for your baby and your home.
Even though organic mattresses are often more expensive, avoiding all the chemicals was very important to me when I was pregnant with my first child. So we ended up decided to buy a used crib and put the money we saved towards the purchase of a new organic crib mattress from Organic Lifestyle.
I recently had a conversation with Dihan Chandra, owner of Organic Lifestyle - an online green boutique that specializes in creating a healthy indoor environment for the home. I have been shopping at Organic Lifestyle for the last 5 years and love the quality products they carry as well as the expertise they have to offer. Dihan always does his research before offering any new products to his customers so I know I can trust every item I purchase from Organic Lifestyle. I had a few questions for Dihan about organic mattresses and wanted to share his responses with you.
1. What are the problems with conventional mattresses?
Dihan: Essentially, it's the number of chemicals like formaldehyde, polyurethane foam and fire retardant chemicals that are included in products we sleep on. Fire retardant chemicals are from a by gone era when people used to fall asleep with cigarettes in bed. Formaldehyde (common use is in embalming human bodies) is used to help preserve the wood / bed materials so that your bed & mattress lasts longer. Polyurethane foam is from a petrochemical base which is known to off-gas VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which in turn, some have been shown to be carcinogenic. Today, what this amounts to is that we inhale this chemical concoction as we sleep. To make matters worse, we re-introduce ourselves to this every 7-10 years when we replace our mattress.
2. What makes organic mattresses different?
Dihan: Organic Mattresses are associated with being expensive - that's because the cost to make it without short cuts are expensive.
For example, the cost to grow, feed & maintain sheep over years to sheer its wool versus cost of making chemicals in a lab. However, price-wise organic mattresses are comparable to mid-high quality conventional mattresses available at big box stores like Sleep Country & The Brick (queen mattresses range from $2000-$2500). So why wouldn't you spend the money on something that you know is certified organic and have Peace of mind?
Organic mattresses contain no synthetic materials so no off-gassing. Instead, materials like organic cotton and chemically untreated stainless steel innerspring coils or natural rubber are used. There is also no off-gassing of fire retardant chemicals as wool acts as a natural fire retardant.
• NO synthetic pesticides
• NO synthetic fertilizers
• NO genetically modified organisms
• NO carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic chemicals
• NO endocrine disruptors
• NO non-biodegradable detergents, degreasers, or surfactants
• NO chlorine bleach
• NO plastisols
• NO other synthetic chemicals
If concerned about potential wool allergy, there are other inert fire retardant substances like baking soda & hydrated silica that is consider safe by the FDA. Just ask the question from your mattress manufacturer - What are they using as a fire retardant - even some of the so called "green" mattress companies use kevlar based fire retardants - Would you feel safe knowing you are inhaling this as you sleep?
3. What should we look for in an organic mattress? Are there any differences between them?
- There is a lot of greenwashing, especially for products carried in bigger box stores, or example organic cotton cover but filled with polyurethane filling - so ask what's inside. Safer materials for mattresses include organic cotton cover, natural rubber made using the Dunlop process or chemically untreated stainless steel innerspring.
- Type of fire retardant options - Look for wool or baking soda & hydrated silica.
- Have the mattresses been tested for potential off-gassing or presence/concentration of toxic chemicals?
Organic Lifestyle provides material contents as well as its certification online:
If you have allergy concerns, there are options - latex, wool free, dust mite resistant options.
Here is a good comparison chart:
Organic Lifestyle store is a green boutique that specializes in creating a healthy indoor environment for the home. They carry natural bedding and mattresses, baby products, clothing and more.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more, visit www.organiclifestyle.com or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/organiclifestyle.
***ENTER TO WIN***
Enter this contest for a chance to win a natural wool or shredded rubber youth-size pillow from Organic Lifestyle!
Contest is open to North American residents only. Free shipping of the pillow - winner can choose either the toddler-size wool pillow or the dust mite resistant shredded rubber pillow. Prize value is approx $75. Contest ends Monday, August 12, 2013 at 11:59pm. Winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
How to enter:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "contest entry" in the subject line and in the body of the email, please include your full name, email address and phone number.
* The winner will be announced on my Facebook page so be sure to "like" the page if you would like an update to show up in your newsfeed.