We all spend a good portion of our lives sleeping. So a great place to start with a home detox is your mattress. Federal law requires companies meet flammability standards first set in the 1970s, when house fires from people smoking cigarettes in bed were more commonplace. Many companies met these requirements in a quick & dirty way, by treating mattresses with known carcinogens (that also cause numerous other health harms). It used to be that the only way around having all those chemicals in your mattress was a doctor’s note. But today there are many companies meeting the flammability standard without chemical flame-retardants. Below are details to help you choose the healthiest mattress to fit your budget.
Who: for those seeking a toxin-free alternative in standard size mattresses, though many of the companies mentioned below also offer crib/kid size versions
What: toxin-free mattresses for most budgets, in three categories:
$$$ fully organic and naturally flame-retardant (i.e. typically has a high wool content or wool encasement)
$$ made with really good materials (often organic cotton and natural latex or chemical-free foam) and includes boric acid as a natural flame-retardant*. Note: boric acid can also be avoided with a doctor’s note (you send the note to the mattress manufacturer) *scientists disagree on the potential harm it causes, but why not just avoid it!
$ made with better materials, minimally off-gas, and promise to be free of chemical flame-retardants
Where: many of these mattresses can be purchased online, delivered to your door, and come with a love-it-or-return-it policy
When: as soon as you can save enough to make the switch, or if you’ve recently purchased a mattress and are unsure if it has been treated with chemical flame retardants you can do one or both of these to protect your healthy home environment:
Why: on average, humans spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping. If you sleep in a bed, this is a wise investment!
How: friends have shared that they have the best experience with hassle-free returns (when the first mattress they ordered doesn’t work out), if they purchase the mattress directly from the company, rather than it’s Amazon.com site. So I’d encourage you to do so. Here are my top 5 picks:
You’ll find $$ mattresses typically through futon stores and locally made mattress shops, found in big cities (i.e. Seattle, Portland, etc.)
The Futon Shop is also having a big sale on organic mattresses through July 23rd, worth checking out.
If you have a favorite mattress not mentioned here, please share in the comments! Questions can be posted there too.
Photo credit: Kayleigh Stefanko Photography