Healthy Sleep Starts with a Healthy Mattress
It may make common sense that whatever your mattress is “breathing out” you are breathing in while you sleep. But awareness of the toxins commonly found in mattresses is fairly new. All of us spend about one third of our lives sleeping. A healthy mattress is a wise, long term investment in your health and well-being that will certainly improve your quality of life and result in better performance during your waking hours.
What makes a mattress healthy (or not)? You know—and might love—that new-car smell. But new-mattress smell? Not so much.
In both cases, the odor comes from off gassing, which is what happens when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) leak out of upholstery materials and mattress foams and into the air you breathe. Common VOCs include fumes from such scary things as formaldehyde, toluene, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons.
When it comes to VOCs in your home, though, the effect on indoor air pollution can be cumulative. Furnishings, paint, carpeting, and plastics are all potential sources. The greater the exposure, the greater your risk of experiencing symptoms.
Not all mattress foam is the same. Some contain natural ingredients derived from corn and soybean oil in place of some of the standard petroleum-based derivatives. Foams that carry the CertiPUR-US label are guaranteed to be free of harmful and are verified low-VOC, meaning they meet low-emission requirements for indoor air pollution. Plus, CertiPUR-US foams are manufactured without ozone-depleting chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), making them better for the environment.
If you want to eliminate worries about off gassing all together, you may want to consider buying an organic mattress. In those mattresses, fabrics like cotton and wool, and other components, aren’t treated with harmful chemicals. Another option is a natural latex mattress; since latex is a plant-based material, you never have to worry about pesky off gassing odors.
Key Benefits of Eco-Friendly Mattresses
Your largest organ, your skin, is in close contact with your mattress while you sleep. Since eco-friendly mattresses don’t contain harmful chemicals, your skin is safe from “digesting” any harsh substances. Sleeping on a conventional mattress, you are coming in contact with chemicals, harmful glues and other irritating substances that aren’t good for your health.
Unlike conventional mattresses that are made with synthetic materials, eco-friendly mattresses are constructed using renewable and natural resources such as soy beans and recycled steel. Some eco-friendly mattresses are even fully bio-degradable. Whether they are partially or completely “green”, eco-friendly mattresses minimize their carbon foot print.
For people who suffer from allergies, conventional mattresses can make them worse because they often contain formaldehyde and other irritating solutions. Eco-friendly mattresses are usually hypo-allergenic and use organic cotton that is gentle to your skin.
While conventional mattresses contain synthetic fabrics such as polyester, eco-friendly mattresses use materials such as organic cotton, bamboo or wool that are safer for the skin and also more “breathable.” Instead of waking up hot during the night, you’ll sleep cooler on an eco-friendly mattress because it helps to reduce moisture while you’re sleeping.
Less Toxin Exposure
Since many conventional mattresses are unregulated, they contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds are often associated with skin irritations and respiratory problems. Since eco-friendly mattresses contain low levels of VOCs, you are less exposed to toxins.