For the eco-warriors among us, purchasing pretty much anything comes with making a conscious choice about its impact on the environment. One product in particular we might not think of as even coming in an ‘eco-friendly’ package is a mattress.
We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping, so it makes sense that we invest well in something that will serve us – and the environment – well.
There’s a real market for eco-friendly mattresses both at home and in businesses, like hotels! In fact, if you many guesthouses and hotels have already started swapping out the old mattresses of the past for the sustainable ones of the future. For example, Bed Guru’s Hotel and Contract Beds come with organic mattresses.
So, here’s our guide on what to look out for when buying an eco-friendly mattress.
1. Check the materials used
To make sure you are definitely buying something eco-friendly, you will need to check the materials used in the mattress.
Natural latex and organic cotton are two of the most common eco-friendly mattress materials and they are just as comfortable (if not more so) as those that use toxic chemicals, petroleum-based foam or harmful pesticides.
Latex in particular is one material you must look out for. Synthetic latex is the bad one: it’s made one-hundred percent of crude oil and often has some toxic and/or fire retardant materials used alongside it.
The chemicals found in mattresses like these are often associated with health problems as they slowly expose us to harmful substances.
The only real eco-friendly latex is natural latex. It is made with the sap from Hevea Brasiliensis (a rubber tree) and as far as texture and quality goes, it scores full marks. Natural latex follows and responds to the body very well indeed.
2. Double check credentials
You can often judge how eco-friendly a mattress is by the credentials of the manufacturer, but make sure you get the full picture. Sometimes manufacturers will plaster the product with ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ labels, but there might be more hiding underneath. Make sure to press for the truth so you’re actually getting what’s on the tin.
In the United States and the United Kingdom, there are no official government bodies that certify mattresses as eco-friendly or not. It is a relatively unregulated market, but there is hope out there.
One independent organisation, Okeo-Tex, tests and certifies mattresses (alongside other textile products) around the globe rigorously to assess how environmentally friendly they are. What’s great about Okeo-Tex is that the organisation actually checks the whole production process, checking for hazardous or illegal chemicals.
Other certification bodies, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), do this too. GOTS checks to see if the product is eco-friendly and socially responsible as well, covering manufacturing, labelling and shipping.
3. Money, money, money
It’s generally true that many eco-friendly products cost more money. However, they usually last longer, so it is worth it.
Be prepared to spend some money on an eco-friendly mattress. You should save up so that you’re prepared for the cost and do your research well so that you don’t get ripped off but still get a good deal.
Buying an eco-friendly mattress means you’ve done some good for the world, so you really can get a good night’s sleep.