5 Tips for First-Time Organic Mattress and Bedding Buyers
As consumers grow more conscious about the use of chemicals in consumer products, they become aware of the health implications of organic food and farming. A lot of us already use organic baby food, toothpaste, household cleaners and other consumables.
But what about our bedrooms? Considering that rest is key to proper functioning and we spend so much time sleeping, it’s important to choose a mattress and bedding that’s safe and comfortable. This is especially true for children, who can spend 10 to 14 hours a day sleeping. Your best bet is to pick chemical-free products that are safe, comfortable and supportive during your child’s development.
Organic Bedding and Mattresses: A Guide for First-Time Buyers
When you buy organic mattresses, pillows and comforters, you create a cozy and healthy sleeping environment for yourself and your loved ones. However, choosing the best organic mattress and bedding can be challenging since there are so many materials, brands, sizes and varieties. Here are a few tips to make your selection easier.
1. Check the Material
Although a traditional innerspring is the most common mattress material, they’re made of springs or coils that obviously aren’t organic. Many synthetic bedding products contain harmful chemicals like carcinogens which are known to disrupt hormones and cause cancer. This is also (and particularly) true of mattresses By choosing organic, non-toxic bedding materials, you can provide your family with a safe, chemical-free sleeping environment.
If you’re choosing to go organic, always opt for 100% natural bedding materials like cotton, wool or latex. Look for unbleached organic materials with organic fill and dyes to avoid chemical exposure.
Wool is ideal for duvets and pillows due to its natural temperature-regulating abilities. Its tiny pores absorb perspiration and help you stay cool and comfortable. Wool can easily hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or sweaty. It also acts as a natural insulator in the winter to help you stay warm. You can enjoy sound sleep despite the seasonal variation in temperature.
Latex is another popular organic bedding material, but there are different types, including synthetic, natural, certified organic and blends. Choose only organic latex certified to the Global Organic Latex Standards to ensure safety against chemical and toxic hazards. Note: people with latex allergies should, of course, avoid latex mattresses, pillows and toppers.
2. Consider Your Sleeping Position
Aside from the material, you also need to consider your sleeping position when choosing your organic mattress and bedding, especially pillows.
Side Sleepers – Side sleepers need a mattress that lowers tension and pressure points during sleep while also providing the right level of support. Organic latex and memory foam mattresses are ideal for side sleepers because they distribute your weight across the bed and eliminate unnecessary pressure and body ache.
As for the pillows, the thickness can be determined by how broad your shoulders are. The centre of your neck and nose should form a perfect line and be completely supported by the pillow. If you need your arm to further support your head or neck, it means your pillow is too thin.
Stomach Sleepers – Stomach sleepers usually have more back, shoulder and neck pain compared to other types of sleepers. This is because they often twist their necks to one side while sleeping which also misaligns their spine. 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.
The right organic pillow for a stomach sleeper should be neither too thin nor too thick – just something in between. If it’s too thick, it can make your neck stiff and sore; if it’s super thin, you may have to use your arms to support your neck.
Back Sleepers – Sleeping on your back is supposedly 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.
Back sleepers also need to choose pillows with medium loft and firmness. Additionally, they must have fill materials that can conform to body pressure, such as memory foam. A pillow that is too thin or soft can make your head lean back further, while a thicker pillow can push your head forward. Both can cause back and neck pain.
3. Consider Sustainability
What’s good for the environment is good for your health. Hence, choosing a ‘green’ mattress topper is important.
Wool is the most sustainable of all organic bedding materials. Obtained from animals like sheep, rabbits, goats and alpacas, it’s an eco-friendly material that doesn’t harm the environment when it’s harvested. And since fur grows back, its fabrication does not involve any non-renewable resources, nor does it off gas or cause pollution. What’s more, it’s completely biodegradable and toxin-free.
4. Ensure Comfort
Since natural fabrics experience minimal contact with harsh chemicals, they are naturally soft and comfortable.
The weave of the material also influences these factors. For example, if you sweat a lot at night, feather and wool mattress toppers can wick away moisture to ensure you are cool and comfortable. They also ensure proper airflow and provides warmth in winter.
Memory foam and latex trap body heat and don’t facilitate airflow, which is a disadvantage in summer.
You can also opt for gel-infused mattress toppers which are designed to allow more airflow and comfort throughout the year.
5. Consider Ease of Use and Cleaning
Heavy mattresses, bed sheets and mattress toppers can be difficult to transport, use, and clean. Organic wool, cotton and feather are lightweight materials that are easy to wash and dry, whereas memory foam and latex are heavier and more difficult to handle.
While some bed sheets and toppers can be machine washed, others require dry cleaning. Of all the organic bedding materials, wool and cotton are the easiest to clean and maintain. Small spills and other messes can be quickly wiped off the surface of wool which is naturally moisture resistant. With proper care, occasional cleaning, and the use of mattress pads, you can retain their looks and functionality.
Going organic is a small step towards reducing global warming and ensuring the long-term health of our planet. But cost can be a constraint when it comes to investing in natural products. While it’s true that organic bedding is more expensive than conventional bedding, the long-term benefits are worth the investment.