Have you ever wondered what it means for a mattress to be natural?
There are all kinds of terms used these days when it comes to the so called, “natural” mattress. You may have come across terms like bio-foam, green-tea infused foam, natural memory foam, copper infused foam, graphite foam, or the one that companies love to flaunt… bamboo.
So what do all of these mean and what’s the actual definition of a, “natural” mattress? We explain it in the video below.
Your mattress is the most important piece of furniture in your house. Let’s face it, what other article in your home do you have as much contact with as your mattress?
The average person spends 6-8 hours every day in their bed. That’s about ⅓ of your life! The mattress is also the only piece of furniture where your face is literally inches away breathing whatever is inside it.
It’s hard to say what is inside every mattress, but there are 3 things that can be found in about 95% of mattresses, (especially within the mainstream and online companies mattresses), that can have a negative effect on your health. If you are sensitive to chemicals or have immune system issues, these are the 3 things I would avoid in your mattress:
- Polyurethane Foam. – Since the 1970’s polyurethane replaced cotton and natural rubber as the go-to material for padding inside mattresses. It is very inexpensive to make and very easy to mass produce. However, since polyurethane is a petrochemical, it is laden with chemicals that can and most usually do off-gas.
- Glues/Adhesives– On average, the typical mattress has anywhere from 2-7 layers of padding. To keep these layers from shifting, mattress companies usually glue these layers together. The problem with gluing these layers together are the many chemicals that are found in adhesives. In some cases, you can still smell the glue many days after it has been delivered.
- Chemical-Based Fire Retardants– Since 2007, a federal law was passed that mandated every mattress must pass the fire test. While that law might have solved one problem it opened up the door to a host of many other problems regarding people’s health. A couple of the dozens of chemicals that are used in most fire retardants are Formaldehyde and Antimony Trioxide which have both been shown to be carcinogens.
If you have a mattress from a typical mattress retailer or if you purchased online, the chance that you may be sleeping with some of these chemicals is high. But, there is an alternative to your typical mattress. The solution to this problem is an all-natural mattress free of the potentially harmful chemicals listed above. Mattresses where natural materials like natural rubber/latex, cotton and wool are used instead of synthetic foams. Natural latex comes from the rubber tree where the liquid from the tree is used instead of petroleum. Not only is latex a lot healthier but it also is much more durable. The average latex mattress lasts 2-3 times longer than a traditional mattress.
If you are on your mattress shopping journey but confused on how to find the right one. Download our FREE Guide to get all the tips you need for finding your perfect mattress. Just click the image below to get it now.
Mattress shopping can be one of the most daunting tasks we each face at some point in our life. Whether the reason being due to the fact that you have no idea if the mattress you try in the store is going to feel the same as when you buy it, or you are simply overwhelmed by the sea of white rectangles in the mattress showroom, we have come up with five mattress shopping tips to turn a once daunting task into an enjoyable experience.
1. Bring Your Pillow!
The pillow is one of the most important pieces to this puzzle. Your back support and comfort all starts with the pillow. The pillows is 15-20% of your spinal support, so if that’s out of alignment, everything else is likely to follow. A pillow can greatly affect your experience on the mattress. Some pillows respond better on certain types of mattresses. If you are happy with your pillow at home then we recommend bringing it with you when you go mattress shopping. If you’re not happy with it, then make sure you are properly fitted for the right pillow when you are in the store.
2. Know your sleep position
Side sleepers– Most of the weight and pressure is on your shoulders and hips. A mattress that is too firm will trigger those pressure points causing you to toss and turn. A medium to plush mattress is recommended for a side sleeper.
Stomach sleepers– Beware of the soft mattress. A mattress that is too soft will cause you to get in the reverse hammock position and will cause lower back and neck pain. Just an fyi, this is the unhealthiest of the sleep positions because most of our weight is in our midsection and makes it difficult to maintain a neutral spine position.
Back sleepers– The most versatile of the sleep positions. As long as the mattress is conforming to your natural “S” curve then Plush, medium or firm can all be an option. A quick tip for back sleepers, placing a pillow under your knees helps with keeping your spine in alignment.
3. Know Your Support
Too Firm Too Soft Just Right
4. Know Your Materials
The materials of the mattress greatly affect the durability. Latex, Memory Foam, and Polyfoam, are the 3 main materials that are used for padding. Latex is the longest lasting and most expensive, followed by memory foam, and then polyfoam.
If you like latex, make sure you know if the latex you are buying is 100% all-natural latex or blended latex. Some places may mislead charging you all-natural prices when in reality they are giving you synthetic latex.
If you’re leaning toward memory foam, try not to go with anything less than 4 – 5 lb density. Also choose an open cell memory foam as it sleeps cooler than a closed cell and usually is of a better quality.
If you are keen on a more traditional polyfoam mattress, make sure the density of the foam is 1.8 lbs or greater. Foam that is less than 1.8lb density is cheaper quality and assured to wear down quicker. If the shark, I mean salesperson, does not know that, then go on to the next store.
5. Know your budget
A new mattress does not need to break the bank. And just because one mattress is more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. Only you know your budget, but a high quality traditional coil mattress should not cost thousands of dollars.
Budget guide Mattress lasting
1-5 years: $200-$500
5-10 years: $500-$1300
6. Know your comfort
When you first lay on a mattress your body is likely to be tense and not relaxed. We recommend you spend at least 3-10 minutes on each mattress to give your muscles and joints time to relax. Doing this will allow your body to detect any uncomfortable pressure points or pains that are not being relieved by the mattress.
Bonus Tip Wear comfortable clothes when mattress shopping similar to what you wear to bed. If you wear your birthday suit when you sleep then make sure you come dressed with loose clothes because ain’t nobody wanna see that.
If these tips have helped you in any way during your time out mattress shopping drop us a line as we would love to hear from you. If you have other criteria you use when mattress shopping let us know as we would love to hear what helped you ease through that daunting task.
Also If This was just too much information for you take in all at once. DOWNLOAD our FREE PDF by clicking the image below. It’s a simplified version of this article. You can print it out and take it with you while you mattress shop.
What Is Off-Gassing
When it comes to mattresses, off-gassing refers to the chemicals from the foams, glues, and fire-retardants that are being emitted into the air. Specifically, the types of materials that are found in mattresses are acetone, benzene, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride. Such chemicals are named VOCs, (Volatile Organic Compound). These are emitted as gases from the solids that are derived from the mattress. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors, (up to 10 times higher), than outdoors. So it gives off a very distinct smell, most say it resembles the smell of cleaning supplies or a, “new car smell”.
Should I Be Worried About Off-Gassing?
VOCs, (Volatile Organic Compound), can have short-and long-term adverse health effects. Some side effects of the off-gassing are irritation in the eyes, throat, and nose, and it may cause asthma. Just as comfort is subjective, chemical sensitivity is subjective as well. It varies from person to person. It really boils down to how chemically sensitive you are. Some people are very chemically sensitive where in they would need a completely natural mattress. To some other people, this issue not a priority. But for those of us that want to be responsible consumers, this is good information for us to have handy.
Is there any solution?
Yes! There is a solution, if you love the feel of memory foam or a polyurethane foam, Certipur is your answer! Certipur is a non-profit organization that serves as a certification program that tests polyurethane foams to give consumers confidence in the foam they’re buying. They have rigorous standards placed on foam producers. Part of their standard is that they do not accept any foam made with Mercury, lead, other heavy metals or made with formaldehyde. Here at Mattress Makers we only use foam that is certified by Certipur. The other option, and most preferred, is buying Latex! It’s a natural material with no harmful chemicals! It lasts 3 to 4 times longer than foam and it sleeps cool! These are the two options that are available for consumers that are worried about chemicals.
All in All
As we learned, off-Gassing is the the result of VOCs being emitted into the air. Those VOCs are the toxic chemicals that are used to make the mattress, which we learned can be harmful for either the short or the long-term. There are solutions though, first with Certipur. The second and most preferred option is Latex, its a natural material with no harmful chemicals, lasts 3 to 4 times longer than foam and sleeps so cool! This information was provided in order for you to make an educated purchase, but it’s ultimately it is up to the sleeper to decide if they find it a priority to sleep naturally.
If you are currently on your mattress shopping journey download our FREE Mattress Shopping Guide to make sure you find the perfect mattress for you. Just click the image below to get it!
- The Facts On Memory Foam Smell and Mattress Off-Gassing- https://www.amerisleep.com/memory-foam-mattress-off-gassing-temporary
- Mattress Off-Gassing- What Is It and How Do You Get Rid Of The Smell- https://www.thesleepjudge.com/mattress-offgassing-and-how-to-get-rid-of-smell/
- The “New Mattress” Smell- What Is Mattress Off-Gassing- https://www.mattressclarity.com/blog/new-mattress-smell-mattress-off-gassing/
Memory Foam-Pros and Cons- https://www.themattressunderground.com/our-articles/memory-foam-pros-and-cons.html