Most mattress manufacturers douse their products with a toxic bath of chemicals to make them resistant to fires. Not only are these flame retardants sometimes ineffective, but they also present serious health concerns-especially since we spend, on average, about one third of our lives in bed. Not only that, but the very materials used to construct the mattress, such as petroleum-based products like polyurethane foam, are also suspect. Last year the University of Texas studied 20 old and new crib mattresses made with either polyurethane foam or polyester foam and found more than 30 different types of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Babies are particularly vulnerable to harmful effects. UT researches say "these and other chemicals lead to increased risk of childhood cancer, infertility and other adverse effects on reproductive health, increased pulmonary infections, risk of allergic disease and asthma." Thankfully, more sustainable, well-designed mattresses made with healthy materials are available if you look around. Naturepedic is one company offering GREENGUARD-certified mattresses that are allergy-friendly, waterproof, safe and comfortable.
Naturepedic mattresses are hand made in the United States by Amish craftsmen. Using the highest quality materials, including organic cotton sourced in accordance with the most stringent environmental and labor standards, the company is one of the few in the country certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). And despite eschewing flame retardants, Naturepedic mattresses pass all flammability standards. How are they able to achieve this without sacrificing quality and key features, like waterproofing, which parents will agree is especially crucial for baby mattresses? Well, cotton is significantly less flammable than some materials in used in mattresses. And the company uses polyethylene, a lower impact plastic that is easy to clean and resists stains, to create a non-toxic waterproof surface for crib and kids mattresses.
Unlike some new mattresses on the market, this brand is also less likely to cause allergies in users, and the mattresses for children offer support as they grow. No glues, no latex, no polyurethane, no GMO fibers, and no flame retardants or flame retardant barriers. Sounds pretty good, right? But what about comfort? At the end of the day, proper rest is essential to each person’s well-being. No matter how green, a lumpy mattress isn’t going to improve anyone’s health. That said, it’s not easy to please everyone, since we all have different physiological requirements.
Some people like firm mattresses, while others need theirs to do cartwheels. Naturepedic offers a range of options from simple to luxury mattresses at various price points for different customers. Super light sleepers will appreciate the adjustable bed base, and there are several safe options for babies too. You can’t put a price on your child’s life, but most Inhabitat readers will find Naturepedic’s line is definitely affordable. And for those functions the mattress can’t perform on its own, the company offers a line of mattress pads, toppers and pillows to fill in extra duties. Either way, you are bound to find a healthy alternative that will ensure you and your family can sleep fitfully. How dreamy.
Images via Naturepedic