6 Features of a Healthy Mattress (2021 Update)
How can a mattress be healthy? ‘Healthy’ in this context refers to the support and comfort it offers and the impact it has on your overall health.
For example, synthetic mattresses combine petroleum-based nylon, polyurethane foam, and vinyl treated with chemical-based flame retardants. These substances are harmful to your skin and can lead to many diseases due to the release of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, and damage your central nervous system. In short, they’re not healthy.
On the other hand, organic mattresses are chemical-free and manufactured by combining natural materials like organic wool, cotton, and latex. Simply put, they’re healthy.
If you want to buy a ‘healthy’ mattress, here are some features to look for.
Top 6 Features That Make a Mattress Healthy
Your mattress can have a major impact on your health. Look for these features to buy one that doesn’t harm your overall well-being.
As mentioned, mattresses made with toxic materials, like petroleum-based nylon and flame retardants, can trigger allergies and have long-term health effects. Your best bet is to go with organic alternatives. Mattresses made with natural materials like organic latex and wool are safer than their synthetic counterparts as they’re softer on the skin and naturally regulate body temperature. The result is a comfortable sleeping environment.
Sustainable and Biodegradable
A mattress should not only be healthy for you but also good for the environment. Today’s eco-conscious consumers prefer products that are sustainably sourced and don’t pollute. To reduce your carbon footprint and enhance the sustainability of our ecosystem, organic mattresses are the right choice.
When you choose a certified organic mattress, you can rest assured that it’s both sustainable and biodegradable. The materials used to make them are produced using methods that replenish and maintain soil health. For example, natural latex is collected by carefully cutting the bark of rubber trees without damaging the tree itself. Organic cotton is produced using natural fertilizer instead of the toxic pesticides associated with conventional growing methods. And organic wool comes from free-grazing sheep that are treated ethically. The best thing about these materials is that they are biodegradable, unlike synthetic mattresses which take years to decompose in a landfill.
Firmness and Support
The firmness of a mattress is one of the most important factors to consider. It should neither be extremely soft nor too firm, else it won’t provide proper back support. A healthy mattress should contour to your body’s shape and keep your spine aligned. It must also keep your lower back from collapsing and hold your body in a neutral position which means your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels are aligned.
It’s advisable to choose a medium-firm mattress so the natural curve of your spine is maintained and your muscles are not strained.
Mattresses that trap dust, pollens, and moisture provide a breeding ground for dust mites, mould, and mildew. They’re also a health hazard for allergy sufferers. These allergens cause itching, rashes, eye irritation, sneezing, and coughing.
Instead, pick a mattress made with hypoallergenic materials like natural latex and wool. Their natural antimicrobial properties prevent the growth of mould, mildew, and dust mites.
Another advantage of a wool mattress is that it is naturally breathable. It also doesn’t hold moisture, making it too dry for allergens to survive.
Customizable mattresses offer varying levels of firmness for both the left and right sides of the bed. This allows you and your partner to have different sleep experiences and helps build a healthier relationship if you disagree on what makes a mattress comfortable. For example, if you like a slightly soft mattress while your partner prefers a firm one, an adjustable mattress is the answer.
Have you ever thought about how your mattress smells? You should. First, watch out for unpleasant (and therefore possibly harmful) odours. Foam mattresses treated with flame retardants release powerful odours. If you keep breathing them in, they can cause respiratory distress and headaches.
Thankfully, mattresses made of natural materials do not off-gas and instead create a clean and healthy bedroom to keep you comfortable. That said, some organic latex mattresses do have a certain odour when they are new due to the manufacturing, washing, and curing processes. However, this smell is minimal and goes away after a few days.
A good night’s sleep means seven to eight hours of sleep, preferably an uninterrupted one. Your mattress must be comfortable and free from harmful chemicals or odours. Switching to a healthy, organic mattress is a good way to reduce headaches, body pain, and irritation in the eyes, nose, throat or skin. Make sure you look for these features when you buy your next mattress to get the one that best promotes your health.