Are you considering buying a new mattress? Don’t follow my example and buy a toxic mattress. Do the research ahead of time and purchase a non toxic mattress instead. I wish I would have done that years ago.
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Buying a New Mattress That Was Toxic
When my husband and I were first married, we went shopping for a new queen size mattress. We needed something to replace what we each brought into our marriage. I had a hand-me-down queen mattress and he had a twin.
We wanted a mattress that was not only comfortable and roomy, but one that was also affordable and long lasting. Those were the criteria we used to make our buying decision at the time.
Off we went to various furniture stores. We knew that Serta and Sealy were popular brands, so we mainly looked at those. We tried them out in the store, talked to the salesperson and looked at the price, then moved onto the next store to do the same thing.
We finally found a store that was running a sale on Serta mattresses. It was a style that we liked, so we made the purchase. The store was going to have the mattress delivered in a few days.
I remember being excited about getting a new mattress. Oh, the solid, restful sleep I was going to get on our new pillowtop mattress!
The day finally came when they delivered our mattress set. They took it upstairs to our bedroom, set it on the mattress frame, unwrapped the plastic from around it and left.
I was excited to try it out. I ran over to the mattress and was ready to jump on it when all of the sudden I stopped in my tracks. I was blown away by the awful strong smell coming from the mattress. How was I suppose to sleep on that?
Fortunately, after much pleading, the store let us return the mattress.
We returned back to the store and opted to purchase a less toxic sounding mattress (at least that’s what the name implied).
Unfortunately, that mattress smelled too. Just not as much. We were stuck with that mattress because I knew the store wouldn’t let us return another mattress. They had made an exception with our original return.
- A Mattress Purchase Should Not Be Taken Lightly
- Are Mattresses Really Toxic?
- Things I Wish I Had Known Before Buying a Toxic Mattress
- 1. Mattress Materials
- 2. Flame Retardant Free Mattress
- 3. Mattress Certifications
- 4. Non Toxic Mattress Brand Options
- 5. Mattress Return Policy
- Buying a Non Toxic Mattress is Definitely Worth It
A Mattress Purchase Should Not Be Taken Lightly
Back when we made that purchase I didn’t even realize that there were chemical free mattress brands to chose from. Mind you, there weren’t as many brands back then to chose from as there are today, but there were a few.
We purchased this mattress before I had any issues with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. It was before I realized how toxic a mattress could be.
I have learned a lot over the years when it comes to a non toxic mattress. I so wish I would have known these things when we originally were shopping for a mattress.
A mattress is a large purchase that should last for many years. It is also a piece of furniture that we spend a lot of time on. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a purchase taken lightly.
Are Mattresses Really Toxic?
Unfortunately, many mattresses are toxic. They are created with materials which can emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Chemicals are in everything from the synthetic fabrics and adhesives to the flame retardants that are on it.
These harmful chemicals can cause a variety of health symptoms ranging from breathing problems, and throat irritation to liver damage and cancer.
Things I Wish I Had Known Before Buying a Toxic Mattress
When making a purchasing decision for a mattress, I wish I would have known the following things. It would have made my decision easier and would have saved me from sleeping on a toxic mattress that was harmful to my health.
1. Mattress Materials
When you consider all of the time you spend on a mattress, it’s so important that the materials you lay on are not harmful to your health.
Choosing a mattress that is certified organic can help reduce the amount of chemicals you sleep on each night.
Using organic cotton in a mattress means that the cotton was not grown with nasty chemicals. In addition, it eliminates many chemicals from the finishing fiber.
Choosing a mattress which includes wool helps to avoid toxic flame retardants since wool is resistant to burning.
If you’re shopping for a latex mattress, it is also best to choose one that is organic and 100% natural.
If you are looking for a mattress with a waterproof cover, be sure to choose on that is not PVC or vinyl.
Additionally, be sure to avoid chemical adhesives, added antimicrobials and fragrances.
2. Flame Retardant Free Mattress
Flame retardant laws were passed in the United States the 1970s. Initially, the law was created in order to reduce fires at home from things such as cigarettes and candles. Chemical fire retardants were to be applied to foam materials in mattresses since they were likely to burn quickly.
Unfortunately, the law which was intended to save people’s lives from fires has caused countless of other health issues instead.
Polybrominated-biphenyl-ether (PBDE) commercial products are used as flame retardants. They are highly toxic. PBDEs can bioaccumulate in our body and stay in our system for a long time.
Those harmful chemicals can even be passed onto a baby from its mother. Studies show PBDE levels in breast milk of women tested in the United States were 10-100 times greater than human tissue levels in Europe where PBDEs are banned in some European countries.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to buying a mattress with harmful flame retardants. Choose a mattress that doesn’t have polyurethane foam, but is made with wool instead. Mattresses with wool can pass flammability standards because it is naturally resistant to burning.
Also, look for a mattress which meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This standard prohibits the use of harmful flame retardants.
3. Mattress Certifications
There are a few certifications that a non toxic mattress company should meet.
It is important to have independent, third-party certification when it comes to a mattress. With third-party certifications, the certifying organization has no relationship with the manufacturer and tends to be transparent and fair.
Third-party mattress certifications can help to identify the impact of health risks and environmental impacts. With certification, you can find out whether a product meets acceptable standards for quality.
When purchasing a mattress, some common certifications you should look for are:
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard): GOTS certified mattresses must have at least 95 percent organic materials, and the remaining 5 percent or less of materials can’t contain specific harmful substances including formaldehyde and polyfoam.
- GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard): GOLS certifies latex products, requiring that latex must be at least 95 percent organic.
- GreenGuard: This certification tests mattresses for VOCs.
4. Non Toxic Mattress Brand Options
Fortunately, today there are more options to choose from when considering a mattress purchase. I am thankful to the people who have created companies which provide healthier non toxic mattress options.
The following non toxic mattress brands can be found online. You can read about the materials they use and their sustainable practices on their websites.
The following are non toxic mattress brands which I recommend:
Naturepedic is well known for their organic crib mattresses, but they also sell twin, queen and king mattresses too.
I personally have a Naturepedic twin mattress. I bought their waterproof mattress because I didn’t want to deal with dust mites which can be found on cotton fabric layer mattresses.
I chose Naturepedic for many reasons. The organic materials that they use to make a mattress and the fact that they don’t use chemical flame retardants on their mattress.
Naturepedic has many certifications including being certified organic (GOTS), and certified non toxic by MADE SAFE.
Naturepedic offers free ground shipping in the Continental U.S.
Happsy offers certified organic mattresses that do not have chemical flame retardants, or chemical adhesives. Everything from the cotton fabric layer to the fillings inside of the mattress are organic.
Happsy has many certifications including being certified organic (GOTS and GOLS), and formaldehyde free. They are also recommended by MADE SAFE.
Happsy offers free shipping, a 120 night trial and free returns.
Avocado Green Mattress
Avocado wasn’t around when we made our original mattress purchase, but I wish it was. Avocado started in 2015.
Avocado offers non-toxic organic mattresses without chemical flame retardants.
Avocado has a ton of certifications for both their product and sustainability practices including being certified organic (GOTS and GOLS), and formaldehyde free. They are also recommended by MADE SAFE.
Avocado offers free shipping and returns. They also offer a 1-year sleep trial.
5. Mattress Return Policy
Mattress return policies have changed over time. When I tried to return our original mattress years ago, the store gave me a difficult time.
Many organic, non toxic mattresses are purchased online, so it’s a little different. You don’t have the chance to test the mattress out before purchasing. You have to make the decision based on research and reviews.
Fortunately, many non toxic mattress companies offer a free return policy. They know you aren’t able to try it out before you buy it. They also want you to be satisfied with your purchase.
In addition to free return policies, many online companies offer free shipping.
On top of that, companies such as Happsy and Avocado offer long time sleep trials. That is a bonus so you don’t have to stick with a mattress you don’t like after sleeping on it for a couple of days. It is rare to find a company that will let you sleep on their mattress for a few months before returning it.
Buying a Non Toxic Mattress is Definitely Worth It
There you have it! These are some of the things I wish I would have considered when buying a new mattress. Since one-third of our life is spent laying on a mattress, it’s so important to choose a healthy option!
Be sure to consider a non toxic mattress the next time you’re in the market for a mattress. Your body will thank you!