Is your mattress affecting more than the quality of your sleep? When choosing a mattress, the main criterion is typically comfort. However, your mattress may be toxic. Most conventional mattresses are treated with chemical flame retardants. Chemically treated mattresses can off-gas harmful chemicals, which you can breathe in while sleeping. You spend a lot of time sleeping, and extended exposure to these harmful chemicals can have a negative impact on your health and may be linked to cancer, reproductive complications, brain damage, and respiratory disease.
Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives. As more people move away from everyday household products containing harsh chemicals, more toxic-free options emerge. Because one-third of your life is spent sleeping, choose chemical-free mattresses to minimise the risk of health complications due to extended exposure to harmful chemicals.
So what exactly are chemical-free mattresses made from? Read below to learn about the various non-toxic materials and why they’re a healthier option.
What is a chemical-free mattress?
Before we can break down the materials used in chemical-free mattresses, we need to first understand what the term means. A chemical-free mattress is made without the use of toxic chemicals and typically constructed from natural ingredients or organic materials.
Conventional foam mattresses are petroleum-based with volatile organic compounds. Materials such as memory foam and poly-foam are manufactured rather than grown. Organic mattresses are constructed using natural materials such as latex, cotton, and wool.
Latex can either be synthetic or natural. Natural latex is a plant substance harvested from the rubber tree. Similar to sap, it’s harvested by draining the milky substance through a slit in the bark. Latex is a complex mixture used by plants to seal themselves after injury and protection from insects. This natural process eliminates the need for pesticides, making natural latex a safer and more eco-friendly choice.
Be aware of synthetic latex. Latex can also be synthetic, but this version doesn’t hold its shape as long as its natural counterpart. And the chemicals contained in petroleum products can be problematic for people with chemical sensitivities.
Natural latex mattresses are pesticide-free, making them a green, non-toxic, and a safer foam option.
Wool is a natural flame retardant, making it an ideal material for many chemical-free mattresses. Most organic mattresses satisfy federal fire regulations by sewing a layer of organic wool into the cover. Organic wool comes from sheep that have not been exposed to chemicals such as pesticides. The use of synthetic hormones, medicines, pesticides, and parasiticides for dipping sheep is prohibited. Regulated treatment of the sheep produces chemical-free wool. This can be advantageous for your health as well as eco-friendly. Organic wool is a renewable and durable fiber that supports sustainable farming practices. It also naturally regulates body heat and moisture, making your sleep a more comfortable experience.
Plant-based memory foam
Though memory foam is a popular core used in many mattresses, it’s produced from petroleum-based chemicals. Plant-based memory foam (soy foam) has a portion of plant-based ingredients used in the manufacturing process. Soy foams have about 20 percent vegetable oil content mixed with polyurethane foam. Although soy-based foams use a portion of natural oils in their construction, they are still a petroleum product that smells, and they don’t last as long as natural latex.
Coir mattresses are made from the fibers of coconut husk. Most coir mattresses are hybrid, using coconut fiber as the primary material. These mattresses are typically very firm. Often, coir mattresses have a layer of natural latex to soften the sleeping surface.
Metal coils are not generally considered a health risk. Better quality coil mattresses use strong durable steel coils, which provide a long-lasting and comfortable sleep experience. Natural coil mattresses are tufted with all natural materials, such as cotton, wool, and sometimes natural latex or horsehair. The newer hybrid mattresses have individually pocketed coils with a layer of natural latex on top. Either option is non-toxic, so choosing between a traditional or hybrid natural mattress is a matter of personal preference.
Benefits of switching to a chemical-free mattress
As previously discussed, extended exposure to chemical off-gassing can pose health risks. Mattresses must contain materials that are flame-retardant, meeting strict flammability standards. However, choosing a mattress that uses non-toxic flame retardants reduces the health risks associated with harsh chemicals. Look for products that include wool in their covers. There are also vegan non-chemical options.
If you suffer from allergies, non-toxic mattresses may relieve your symptoms. Most chemical-free mattresses are hypoallergenic. Additionally, natural materials are more breathable and durable. As we’ve discussed, wool and latex help regulate body heat and moisture, making your sleep cooler and more comfortable. Plus, mattresses with chemicals tend to break down more quickly, while natural latex and natural spring mattresses may last up to 20 years.
If you’re shopping for a chemical-free mattress, consider choosing a company that is also environmentally friendly. It will benefit your health while promoting less pollution and more sustainable practices. At Plank and Coil, they believe that the terms “green” and “health” go together. Their mattresses satisfy all federal fire requirements organically instead of chemically. They offer latex, traditional spring and hybrid mattresses, wool, and mattresses with coir. They aim to combine home furnishings with health and wellness, using organic materials and more sustainable practices.
Choosing a chemical-free mattress is choosing to make your health and the environment a priority. Make the switch today and promote a healthy lifestyle while making a positive impact on the local and global community.