Living a healthy lifestyle is more than just eating organic foods; it’s also important to avoid toxins in your every day life. So are there toxins in your mattress? Odds are, yes. Here’s what you need to know about mattresses and off gassing + the safe, nontoxic, affordable mattresses our family chose.
I once had a friend describe healthy living as swimming upstream against a strong current. I can’t say I disagree. Healthy living in today’s toxic world isn’t easy. In fact, it’s downright hard. And expensive.
When I found out how toxic mattresses are, I was anxious to replace the ones our family slept on every night. However, when I began researching nontoxic mattresses, I realized that replacing all of our family’s mattresses would be no small feat.
I found that some of the most popular nontoxic mattress brands could cost upwards of $4000 for a king size! Talk about sticker shock. And frustration at feeling like replacing our family’s toxic mattresses was out of reach.
Thankfully, I didn’t stop my search there. I was determined to find affordable, safe mattresses for our family. After all, we spend a third of our lives bed; my babies deserve to sleep on a safe mattress!
Are you worried about toxins in your mattress? Read on and I’ll tell you about the affordable mattresses I found and chose for my family.
Toxins in your mattress?
It’s true. Conventional mattresses are full of toxins that can harm your health.
Not only are mattresses doused in dangerous chemicals (more on that below), but they’re also made from toxic materials like industrial rubbers and petroleum products, adhesives, and unnatural fabrics.
All of these chemicals and synthetic components result in off gassing.
What is off gassing in a mattress?
Off gassing occurs when new products are purchased and removed from their package. You’ll notice it with just about any product you purchase: new cookware, car seats, a new car, and, yes, mattresses.
Depending on the level of toxicity and amount of chemicals used, a product may have off gassing for a short period of time, or a long period of time. This off gassing is responsible for the strong smell you’ll notice for a while after a mattress comes out of the package, but even after the smell is gone, off gassing continues. Mattresses can off gas even after 10 years!
Mattresses, like car seats, are required by law to pass flame resistance tests. Manufacturers typically accomplish this by dousing the mattresses in flame retardant chemicals, which are effective for reducing flammability, but pose huge health hazards to consumers.
Unlike other products that you use for short periods of time, we sleep on mattresses for a third of our life! For kids, it may be even more. Imagine, just snuggling up to those chemicals, rolling around in them, and absorbing them as you snooze.
Those synthetic materials conventional mattresses are made from also contribute to off gassing.
Are flame retardants toxic?
In a word? Absolutely.
The chemicals used in flame retardants (antimony trioxide, which is labeled toxic by the EPA, decabromodiphenyl oxide, aka DECA, a chemical similar to the banned PDBE, melamine, which is easily absorbed by the skin, & vinylidene chloride, which is commonly used in mattresses, can be brought to the surface through wetting, and has been listed as a possible carcinogen that can cause nervous system damage) may be associated with adverse health effects in animals and humans, including:
- Endocrine and thyroid disruption (aka hormonal imbalances)
- Immune system damage
- Reproductive toxicity
- Negative impact on fetal and child development
- Diminished neurologic function
Clearly the toxins in your mattress are nothing to sneeze at! I know it’s difficult to navigate the toxic world we live in, but there are companies working to change that.
My favorite affordable, non-toxic mattress solution
I was so excited when I came across My Green Mattress. Not only do they make a mean natural mattress, but the mattresses are actually affordable. For the first time, I felt like a natural mattress, free of off gassing chemicals, was within my reach!
My Green Mattress offers mattresses made from organic cotton, wool, and natural latex. Best of all, their manufacturing process and materials make the mattresses naturally flame-resistant, which means no toxic, off gassing chemicals! (Wool is a natural flame retardant that was once used in firemen’s coats- how cool it that?!)
My Green Mattress features:
- natural New Zealand wool, minimally and gently processed
- GOTS certified organic cotton
- natural latex, derived from the sap of the rubber tree, that conforms to your body and alleviates pressure to offer extraordinary orthopedic support
- free shipping
- 10 year warranty and 120 night comfort guarantee
Read more about their manufacturing process and materials used in their FAQ here.
Why our family chose (and loves!) My Green Mattress
I’ve already given you the rundown about how wonderful MGM mattresses are from a manufacturing standpoint. I’ve told you they’re more affordable than similar mattresses (hello budget-friendly!), but are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Yes! They really are.
Full disclosure- the kind folks at My Green Mattress did give me a discount on my mattresses, which led me to replace all of them at once. However, if I hadn’t been offered the discount, I would’ve still chosen My Green Mattress, as I had already made the choice to purchase them. I just probably would’ve replaced one or two mattresses at a time, starting with the most sensitive family members’ mattresses.
The REAL question, though? Are the mattresses comfortable? Again, yes!
Here’s what our family got:
For Mr. Incredible and myself, I chose the Natural Escape, the more luxurious version, which features three inches of organic latex over the pocketed coil innerspring. (More cushion for us grown ups.) See the Natural Escape here.
For the kids, I went with the lesser-priced, slightly-firmer Pure Echo. Still a great mattress, without the added cushion. (Personally, I believe it’s healthier to sleep on a firmer surface anyway.) Check out the Pure Echo here.
If you really like a softer sleep surface, you can add a natural latex mattress topper, which can provide additional comfort. See the options for mattress toppers here.
You can also give the helpful folks at MGM a call and they’ll help you pick the right mattress and accessories for your family.
Bottom line- our family has been super happy with our mattresses. The kids have slept great on them and the Mister and I haven’t had any back troubles since making the switch. In fact, he was just telling me yesterday how pleased he’s been with our purchase and how high-quality the mattresses are.
Because the mattresses are handcrafted in a family-owned factory, the attention to quality and detail is far above what you would see from a mass-produced mattress company. The fabric is soft and cozy (though you do want to take care to protect and take care of it- check out the mattress protectors here), and it smells nice and fresh vs. like chemicals.
My Green Mattress is a company I’m proud to support and work with because they care about people and the environment, and they’re working hard to make non toxic living affordable for everyone.