The Importance of an Organic Mattress with Avocado Green Brands
The first thing we thought about when putting together our master bedroom was making sure we had a totally natural and organic place to sleep. We have partnered with Avocado Mattresses to share with you why this is such an important aspect of our homes!
I have spent many years sleeping on mattresses that I knew probably weren’t made of natural materials…not really wanting to know too much, I avoided looking too deeply into the issues around the making of conventional mattresses. But when it was time to invest in a bed for my husband and I that we would sleep in for many years, I finally did the research about why an organic or natural mattress was so important. I was shocked by some of the information I found and wanted to share with you all so hopefully we can begin to make more informed decisions about what we are sleeping on night after night!
Looking at Walter Bader’s book, Sleep Safe in a Toxic World, and the Avocado website on why an organic mattress is so important, I was literally kept up at night thinking about what we are all sleeping on. EPA research shows indoor air is 5 times more polluted than outside air. That’s because most mattresses are made with petroleum-based polyurethane foams and memory foams.
One term that frequently pops up in discussions of mattresses and chemicals is “off-gassing.” This is the phenomenon that occurs when a mattress and its associated materials release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These VOCs can include formaldehyde, toluene, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons, though each mattress is different and may release different chemicals. This happens when you open a mattress that has been vacuum packed and then releases a lot of the things it’s been made with as it expands. This phase can be the most toxic, but still these things can exist post expansion. There is not a huge amount of research on long term effects of sleeping on these chemicals, but some research has shown that continual exposure to VOCs could potentially lead to increased risk of cancer, nervous system damage, and liver or kidney damage.
We also need to talk about the foam that is in so many mattresses today. Propylene oxide and TDI (Toluene Diisocyanate) are chemicals used to create polyurethane foam and memory foam, which are very popular mattress materials. Unfortunately, they are also responsible for a large amount of off-gassing of the aforementioned VOCs. The CDC has announced that both propylene oxide and TDI are associated with increased tumor risk in mice and rats. And whilst not enough research again has been done for human beings, I think it’s safe to say we likely want to avoid sleeping on foam made from chemicals.
Another issue is flame retardants, which ironically were created to prevent the extremely flammable foam fillings from easily catching on fire.Halogenated Flame Retardants (HFRs) are commonly used fire retardant chemicals found in mattresses. HFRs have been linked to a raft of health concerns, including :
- Abnormal reproductive development and delayed puberty
- Neurobehavioral changes, damage to brain and nerve function
- Thyroid disruption
I think that gives a good idea of why we need to avoid toxicity in mattresses…and I haven’t even gone into the fact that creating mattresses made with all these chemicals has a huge environmental impact. And you can imagine what landfill looks like as it’s choked with 7 MILLION mattresses being thrown away EACH YEAR IN THE UK ALONE.
So now for the good news – there are amazing brands out there that are making mattresses that are incredible to sleep on and full of only good stuff. I have partnered up with Avocado Green Brands to talk about some of what they are offering as alternatives to synthetic and chemical based mattresses.
As they say, “A real non-toxic mattress will use natural materials, be certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard, and have third-party certifications that screen and test for the presence of known toxic chemicals and unsafe chemical emissions. A non-toxic mattress will never use polyurethane foams, memory foams, flame retardants, or fire socks, and will be needle-tufted rather than glued.”
I always feel that certification is a great tool to make sure you know that mattresses aren’t greenwashing when it comes to what they are made with. MADE SAFE® is the first comprehensive human health and ecosystem-focused certification for non-toxic products, to include mattresses and bedding. The MADE SAFE® certification is the highest bar in the industry, screening against 6,500 known and suspected harmful chemicals. Avocado is one of only three mattress brands in the world to achieve the MADE SAFE® non-toxic seal.
It’s such a pleasure to be able to go to sleep knowing I am lying on organic cotton and wool and nothing else. I can truly say I am now getting the best sleep of my life! If you are feeling inspired to try one for yourself, you can use the code CORAHILTS125 to get $125 off any size Green or Vegan Green Mattress for yourself at Avocado!