Today, there are a lot of products that are being labeled as eco-friendly; unfortunately, most of these claims are nothing more than marketing hype that have very little to do with reality.
This can also be true when it comes to eco-friendly mattresses.
However learning what to look for and how to evaluate mattresses will help you decide for yourself whether it has a negative impact on the environment.
What Is An Eco-Friendly Mattress?
Basically, an eco-friendly mattress uses organic and sustainable resources, such as wool and organic cotton. It is also safe and non-toxic since it doesn’t contain chemical substances, such as petrochemicals and volatile organic compounds, which are usually found in traditional cushions.
Purchasing green mattresses helps the environment because it minimizes the need for traditional beds that use harmful chemicals and non-renewable resources. Doing so will also help you support organic farming and other sustainable industries which do not use pesticides, synthetic hormones, or other chemicals. Lastly, if you patronize organic farming, it will help combat global warming by reducing the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
The Components Of A Green Mattress
There are various types of mattresses in the market, such as coil, foam, air, or water beds. These cushions usually have a coil or foam base, or have an air or water bladder base. It is then combined with a foam top and fabric. To ensure that you are choosing a green mattress, you have to take into account where the materials came from and how they are manufactured.
- Foam: petroleum-based, convoluted, and high density foams came from petroleum and they are made with foaming and plastic agents. These materials tend to off-gas when they are new and they do not decompose over time. Mattresses made with these materials can’t be considered environmentally friendly.
- Springs: Steel coils do not have a huge impact toward the environment, especially since most steel coils used in mattresses are recycled.
- Air and Water Bladders: Some beds have vinyl bladders which are synthetic and non-decomposing.
If you want to purchase a green mattress, you have to look for cushions made from these materials:
- Natural Latex: This is harvested from the sap of a common rubber tree. The sap is collected for up to 6 months and the tree heals within 60 minutes every time; thus, natural latex is considered as a sustainable resource. Cushions made with this material can contour to the body and it feels denser than innerspring beds.
- Organic Cotton: This material is grown and processed without using any pesticides, insecticides, or other chemicals. Beds made with this material are very comfortable to sleep in and it is also breathable. Organic cotton is a very safe and non-toxic mattress material.
- Organic Wool: This is considered as a sustainable resource because it is shorn every year and the sheep is kept alive. This type of material does not use hormones or pesticides in the sheep’s food. This is an excellent mattress material since it is naturally fire resistant; thus, there is no need to use fire retardant chemicals. In addition, it is also less vulnerable to dust mites.
- Bamboo: This material can be harvested every few years as the plant can re-grow quickly. When selecting a bamboo mattress pad, you need to choose organic bamboo. You also have to choose bamboo combined with cotton and other fibers to make it more durable.
- Recycled Steel Springs: If you want to purchase a green coil mattress, you have to make sure that the springs or coils used are from recycled steel. This material can still provide proper support and comfort even if it is considered recycled.
These are just a few components you must look for in a mattress. All these materials are from natural resources and it has little effect on the environment as compared to their synthetic and toxic counterparts. Additionally, they do not produce harmful VOC, can be recycled, and they decompose easily.