Picking an eco-friendly mattress: Guide and options

Eco Lifestyle
Picking an eco-friendly mattress
Larry Moore

What Is an Eco-Friendly Mattress?

A good sleeping mattress is often sought out for especially since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. We commonly look for comfortable and cozy mattresses when shopping around, but we rarely pay attention to what goes into the mattress’ production.

The best eco-friendly mattresses in Canada are not harmful to the environment. The materials, production, delivery, and its existence has little to no negative impact to the environment. These mattresses are usually made from natural and organic fibers.

Some manufacturers that utilize non-organic materials possibly use pesticides which is harmful for the environment. Foams usually contain petroleum and less durable than natural latex. Natural latex has longer lifespan and good resistant against dust mites and mold.

When looking for mattresses, it’s also important to focus on the company’s social responsibility. This will let you know their plans and steps to contribute to environmental protection. Some companies even support charities and environment protection communities in varying ways.

There are also certifications that prove how eco-friendly a product or company is. These are the following certifications to look for:

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
  • The product materials are comprised of 70-95% organic fibers.
  • The production process should meet environmental and social criteria.
  • Greenguard
  • The product should satisfy the standards for chemical emissions from a third-party.
  • Greenguard Gold
  • Satisfies more health-based criteria
  • Requires lower VOC emissions than the Greenguard certification requirement
  • Oeko-Text Standard 100
  • Textile products should not be made of dangerous substances for human health.
  • CertiPUR-US
  • Foams must not contain the following: heavy metals and harmful chemicals.
  • VOC emission should not be more than 0.5 parts per million.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
  • Product should have 95% or more organic raw latex from accredited organic plantations.
  • eco-INSTITUT
  • The product should be tested and generate higher safety levels than the required legal pollution control and low emissions.
  • Made Safe
  • Products screened for toxic chemicals

Environmental Justice Foundation states that organic certification is given to the products that have no harmful pesticides and chemicals in their materials.

What to Watch Out For

Mattresses and sleep go hand in hand in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Getting an eco-friendly mattress will make you even healthier on top of this. Mattresses commonly have harmful materials according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). These substances include polyurethane, vinyl, PVC, and chemical flame retardants which are linked to the following health problems:

  • Harming developing reproductive systems
  • Negative effect to the immune system
  • Cancer
  • Disruption of hormones
  • Respiratory problems

Polyurethan and synthetic latex foam usually emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Children and crib’s mattresses may emit high VOCs that can harm the babies and children when sleeping. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) link VOCs to the following health problems:

  • Headache
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
  • Damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system

Flame retardants are also associated to severe health problems such as cancer and impairment of neurological development.

Eco-Friendly Mattress Products

  • Birch Natural Mattress
  • GOTs certified cotton
  • Natural Talalay latex: certified from eco-INSTITUT, OEKO-TEX, and Rainforest Alliance
  • No VOCs or emissions
  • Naturepedic Chorus Mattress
  • GOTs and GOLs organic certified
  • Greenguard Gold certified
  • PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress
  • Greenguard Gold, eco-INSTITUT, and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified
  • My Green Mattress Ntural Escape
  • Organic cotton and wool cover GOTs certified
  • Brentwood Home Oceano Luxury Hybrid Mattress
  • Wool and cotton GOTs organic certified
  • Greenguard Gold certified
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Made from GOTs and GOLs organic certified factory
  • Avocado Green Mattress
  • Greenguard Gold certified
  • uses OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified materials
  • GOLS organic and eco-INSTITUT certified latex
  • Wool and cotton GOTS certified organic wool

Other Options

Other people have different preferences on what to use for sleeping. Other options include hammocks, pull-out beds, and futons. Despite the difference, people should be responsible to look for products that aren’t harmful to the environment. Learn more about the materials used and find the ones with GOTs and GOLs certifications. It’s important to have complete disclosure regarding the production, materials, and social responsibility to aid in finding the right product.

Wrap Up

Having an eco-friendly mattress does not only improve your sleep but also help protect the environment. It may take time to find the right product, but it’s definitely the better choice in the long run. With many ways to be informed about different products, people can take the initiative to support the options with less environmental impact.

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