How to Choose an Organic Mattress (For a Good Night’s Sleep)

Jul
24
Organic Mattresses

 

We spend around a third of our life sleeping. That means the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep to remain attentive and productive throughout the day.
Since quality sleep is key to our physical and mental wellbeing, investing in quality bedding is a must. When you choose an organic mattress, you create a safe and healthy sleeping environment for you and your loved ones.

Guide to Choosing an Organic Mattress

Guide to Choosing an Organic Mattress

Whether you’re upgrading your baby’s crib or making your own bed more comfortable, here are a few things to watch out for when buying an organic mattress.

Check the Materials
What goes into your mattress? They’re usually made of one of these three support materials:

  1. Metal Springs – A traditional innerspring is the most common material, with some made with individually-encased coils. These reduce motion transfer and are comfortable for children and teens. Spring mattresses come in a range of comfort levels and prices. However, since steel isn’t an organic material, mattresses made with springs or coils obviously aren’t organic. Only those made with organic cotton, wool or latex can be termed so. Always look for unbleached organic materials with organic fill and dyes to avoid chemical exposure.
  1. Latex – Latex is another popular mattress material, but there are a few things to consider when selecting organic latex. There are different types of latex, including synthetic, natural, certified organic and blends (these vary the proportion of natural and synthetic content). Natural and organic latex certified to the Global Organic Latex Standards ensure safety against chemical and toxic hazards.

Note: People with latex allergies should, of course, avoid latex mattresses, pillows and toppers.

  1. Polyurethane Foam – Also known as soybean foam, memory foam, bio-based foam and eco-foam, polyurethane foam is highly flammable and requires flame retardant chemicals. Hence, it cannot be considered organic.

Consider Your Sleeping Position and Comfort Level
Aside from the material, you also want to consider whether you want a soft or firm feel when choosing your organic mattress.

  1. Side sleepers need a mattress that lowers tension and pressure points during sleep while also providing the right level of support. Organic latex and organic memory foam mattresses are ideal for side sleepers because they distribute your weight across the bed and eliminate unnecessary pressure and body ache.
  1. Stomach sleepers need a firm organic mattress to lower their back and shoulder pain, which is often the result of their sleeping posture. Memory foam mattress’s visco elastic foam provides a neutral spinal alignment that is both comfortable and supportive. It readily accommodates your body shape to give you good, uninterrupted sleep.
  1. Back sleeping is the best position for spinal alignment and overall health. It’s highly recommended for those who suffer chronic neck pain or poor circulation. A slightly medium to medium firm organic mattress is ideal for back sleepers.

An organic latex or memory foam mattress works for all sleeping positions. This is because it helps keep your spine in perfect alignment no matter your posture while giving you full body comfort and support.

Choose Organic Batting
Batting is the soft padding that covers springs or latex foam inside a mattress. Organic wool or cotton is the most common type used for natural or organic mattresses. Since natural latex is hard and rubbery, topping the mattress with a soft organic material is necessary for comfort and safety. Clean the surface at frequent intervals to avoid dust and allergens.

Avoid Fire Retardants
Many mattresses, including organic foam and latex ones, contain fire retardants to withstand blowtorch flames. Since some fire retardants have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, obesity and birth defects, it’s better to avoid these types.

Look for Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Materials and Production Methods

A truly organic mattress will not only be made using 100% natural materials but will also be manufactured sustainably. This will ensure a lower carbon footprint than conventional synthetic mattresses.

For instance, if you are looking to purchase an organic cotton or natural latex mattress, make sure that the raw materials were obtained sustainably. Also, if purchasing a mattress from an organic mattress supplier in Toronto is important to you, then find out as much as you can about them and their products before you buy.

Understand the Differences Between Organic and Natural Mattresses

While many consumers and mattress suppliers in Toronto use the terms interchangeably, there are differences between natural and organic mattresses. Firstly, natural mattresses are made using natural materials such as cotton, latex, or wool. However, this does not mean they are organic.

Note that organic mattresses are also made using natural materials but have certifications, such as the GOTS or GOLS (see below for additional information). These state that the materials used in their production were grown in a way that does not employ any chemicals. They are also grown without the use of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This material creates a safe environment in your home.

Be Well-Informed About Certifications

While purchasing a mattress material can be confusing, understanding the different types of mattress certifications can be even more so. However, there are a few important ones to know about. They are:

  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

This standard monitors the natural rubber used to produce organic latex mattresses and ensures different aspects are in compliance with it. This includes the plantation, harvesting and manufacturing methods used to produce the final product. For an organic latex mattress to receive this certification, manufacturers need to prove that it is made with at least 95% certified organic raw materials.

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

This is often considered the gold standard for organic mattresses. Any product manufacturer looking to obtain this certification, including mattresses, must ensure that at least 70% organic fibres are used to manufacture the product. It is typically used for both cotton and wool, and ensures every step, from harvesting to manufacturing and labelling, has been done using organic products. This is why it is also considered one of the toughest organic textile standards to achieve.

  • Oeko – Tex Standard 100

This third-party international certification program tests more than one hundred harmful substances. These include heavy metals, banned colourants and formaldehyde, among others.

Pick the Right Mattress Material

Deciding on the best material for an organic mattress can be difficult. For allergy sufferers, their choice of materials may be even more limited. Let’s look at some of the most common materials used to make organic mattresses.

  • Latex

While synthetic latex is also available, organic latex is made using natural sap obtained from rubber trees. This sap is processed to create a springy material used to manufacture natural and organic latex mattresses. The material is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and dust-mite resistant.

Being a breathable material, organic latex can resist mould and mildew. It also hugs the sleeper’s body like memory foam and prevents motion transfer. This makes organic latex mattresses suitable for couples who share a bed.

  • Cotton

Cotton manufacturers typically use a variety of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals to protect their crop from pests. This creates an unhealthy and unsafe sleeping environment, as these chemicals result in the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). During sleep, we inhale these VOCs, which can have detrimental effects on health.

However, organic cotton farmers don’t use any harmful chemicals when growing or harvesting their crops, so you don’t need to worry about off-gassing or exposure to toxic chemicals.

  • Wool

Organic wool is popularly used in chemical-free mattresses, as it is naturally fire-retardant. This means it does the same job as chemical fire retardants, without the chemicals.

Organic wool has numerous other inherent qualities. For instance, it is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. It can also wick away moisture, allowing sleepers to remain cool. Organic wool also naturally repels dust mites, which reduces indoor allergens.

Organic wool can also absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture, which can easily evaporate as there are tiny pores in the cuticle cells. This provides ventilation and makes the material comfortable to sleep on throughout the year. Hence, organic wool mattresses are suitable for sleepers who sweat or sleep hot.

Look for Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Materials and Production Methods

A truly organic mattress will not only be made using 100% natural materials but will also be manufactured sustainably. This will ensure a lower carbon footprint than conventional synthetic mattresses.

For instance, if you are looking to purchase an organic cotton or natural latex mattress, make sure that the raw materials were obtained sustainably. Also, if purchasing a mattress from an organic mattress supplier in Toronto is important to you, then find out as much as you can about them and their products before you buy.

Understand the Differences Between Organic and Natural Mattresses

While many consumers and mattress suppliers in Toronto use the terms interchangeably, there are differences between natural and organic mattresses. Firstly, natural mattresses are made using natural materials such as cotton, latex, or wool. However, this does not mean they are organic.

Note that organic mattresses are also made using natural materials but have certifications, such as the GOTS or GOLS (see below for additional information). These state that the materials used in their production were grown in a way that does not employ any chemicals. They are also grown without the use of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This material creates a safe environment in your home.

Be Well-Informed About Certifications

While purchasing a mattress material can be confusing, understanding the different types of mattress certifications can be even more so. However, there are a few important ones to know about. They are:

1. Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

This standard monitors the natural rubber used to produce organic latex mattresses and ensures different aspects are in compliance with it. This includes the plantation, harvesting and manufacturing methods used to produce the final product. For an organic latex mattress to receive this certification, manufacturers need to prove that it is made with at least 95% certified organic raw materials.

2. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

This is often considered the gold standard for organic mattresses. Any product manufacturer looking to obtain this certification, including mattresses, must ensure that at least 70% organic fibres are used to manufacture the product. It is typically used for both cotton and wool, and ensures every step, from harvesting to manufacturing and labelling, has been done using organic products. This is why it is also considered one of the toughest organic textile standards to achieve.

3. Oeko – Tex Standard 100

This third-party international certification program tests more than one hundred harmful substances. These include heavy metals, banned colourants and formaldehyde, among others.

Pick the Right Mattress Material

Deciding on the best material for an organic mattress can be difficult. For allergy sufferers, their choice of materials may be even more limited. Let’s look at some of the most common materials used to make organic mattresses.

1. Latex

While synthetic latex is also available, organic latex is made using natural sap obtained from rubber trees. This sap is processed to create a springy material used to manufacture natural and organic latex mattresses. The material is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and dust-mite resistant.

Being a breathable material, organic latex can resist mould and mildew. It also hugs the sleeper’s body like memory foam and prevents motion transfer. This makes organic latex mattresses suitable for couples who share a bed.

2. Cotton

Cotton manufacturers typically use a variety of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals to protect their crop from pests. This creates an unhealthy and unsafe sleeping environment, as these chemicals result in the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). During sleep, we inhale these VOCs, which can have detrimental effects on health.

However, organic cotton farmers don’t use any harmful chemicals when growing or harvesting their crops, so you don’t need to worry about off-gassing or exposure to toxic chemicals.

3. Wool

Organic wool is popularly used in chemical-free mattresses, as it is naturally fire-retardant. This means it does the same job as chemical fire retardants, without the chemicals.

Organic wool has numerous other inherent qualities. For instance, it is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. It can also wick away moisture, allowing sleepers to remain cool. Organic wool also naturally repels dust mites, which reduces indoor allergens.

Organic wool can also absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture, which can easily evaporate as there are tiny pores in the cuticle cells. This provides ventilation and makes the material comfortable to sleep on throughout the year. Hence, organic wool mattresses are suitable for sleepers who sweat or sleep hot.
Replacing an old mattress can be expensive, especially when you’re going the organic way. However, when health and comfort are your top priorities, it’s advisable to choose premium-grade organic mattresses as they’re worth their price. Consider your needs and the above-mentioned tips to make a safe and well-informed choice.