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A Guide To Choosing A Safe & Non-Toxic Mattress

May 7, 2024   By Jennifer Cook

Nobody wants to be in a toxic relationship, much less sleep on a mattress that feels like it’s choking you and burning your skin. Ideally, you should use memory foam made with natural latex and other organic materials.

Preferably, everyone sleeps on a perfect mattress. In practice, finding an eco-friendly yet comfortable mattress with natural materials might feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start.

Good thing for our customers, all Ecosa mattresses come with notable certifications like CertiPUR-US and STANDARD 100 OEKO-TEX to ensure that you’ll arguably sleep in the best mattress available. We’ll tackle those two labels in more detail later, so keep reading!

If Ecosa mattresses aren’t what you’re looking for, don’t fret. We still got you covered! Here are some things you need to know about non-toxic mattresses.

How Can I Tell If My Mattress Is Toxic?

Quick disclaimer. Mattress companies aren’t deliberately selling you toxic mattresses. However, some aren’t as scrupulous as they should be when choosing what materials to use for their products. Often, either the customer or the environment pays a heavy price.

A high-quality mattress doesn’t need harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and heavy metal additives to be the best option for Australian sleepers. Brands must realise that profits aren’t all that when the fate of the environment is at stake.

So why aren’t other manufacturers opting for organic mattresses with minimal environmental impact?

One possible reason is cost-cutting. Synthetic materials are easier and cheaper to procure and mass-produce than eco-friendly alternatives. The more they lower production costs, the more affordable a new mattress becomes. In the short term, customers might have saved a bit, but medical costs down the line will be no joke.

Buying an eco-friendly mattress to match your totally green sleeping environment is the dream. After all, who wouldn’t want to sleep guilt-free, right? Finding a non-toxic mattress is difficult as sourcing their materials is somewhat tricky.

So how can you know if the bed you’re sleeping on now is dangerous?

You can start by checking if your current mattress uses materials like chemical flame retardants with alarming additives like VOCs or volatile organic compounds.

Most mattress manufacturers don’t try to hide their products’ materials, so having a look is a must. Another good way to check if you’re in danger of inhaling or being exposed to harmful chemicals is by giving your bed a smell test.

As mentioned earlier, toxic mattresses aren’t above using dangerous compounds like toluene; a harmful hydrocarbon used to manufacture nail polish, adhesives, and, sadly, foam.

Yes, the memory foam that should give you impeccable breathability and relief from back pain might actually do more harm than good. Visualising how much VOC emissions you risk inhaling is not difficult.

Since we’re on toxins and compounds, you should be on the lookout for…

What to Avoid?

Curating a comprehensive list of toxic compounds and materials to avoid when shopping for a new mattress is a herculean task, but we can’t, in good conscience, not give it a try.

Australia, like most countries, is trying to lessen the use of unsustainable materials in most products, and mattresses are not exempt.

Foremost on the list should be polyurethane. A synthetic chemical compound, polyurethane is often used in foams thanks to its feathery weight and innate flexibility. Being a compound, it also contains harmful VOCs that can cause respiratory complications.

Another area to look into is flame retardants. Certain countries enacted legislation requiring the inclusion of flame retardants in mattresses. However, toxic chemicals are usually necessary to manufacture these firewalls. Is a fire-free sleeping environment a worthy trade for inhaling bromine, boric acid, or melamine?

Sometimes, the toxins you should be on the lookout for aren’t only in the foam itself. Whether removable or not, covers can also be a nesting place for these little nasties, particularly those imbued with antibacterial properties. Say hello to vinyl.

PVC or polyvinyl chloride-based mattress covers have anti-microbial properties that keep sleepers free from dust mites. However, that comes at the cost of exposure to cancer-inducing heavy metals and chemicals common with PVC-based items.

Here’s Why You Should Care

The problem with using polyurethane foams is the risk of emissions. Inhaling harmful chemicals, even insubstantial amounts, can add up and creep up on you. You wouldn’t want to gamble on your newborn sleeping on a toxic cot mattress, right?

Let’s say you dodge that bullet; you also need to worry about flame retardants and traces of PVC in your mattress cover.

Retardants are known to contain dangerous chemicals like bromine, exposure to which can lead to headaches, difficulty in breathing, and even skin burns.

On the other hand, PVC contains chlorine and phthalates that can cause cancer and asthma while triggering existing or unknown allergic reactions.

Aside from respiratory complications to worry about, exposure to toxic chemicals can also lead to skin inflammation that can go beyond being comfortable and alarming when left unnoticed.

In fact, if you’re worried about possible exposure to harmful compounds, don’t hesitate to contact your health experts.

Quick-fire Options

If you’re searching for examples of a non-toxic mattress, look no further than Ecosa mattresses. Whether you pick the Vital, Pure, or Ecosa Mattress, the attached CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certifications of these products are reminders that you’re in good hands.

A CertiPUR-US Standard means a product didn’t use toxic chemicals and carcinogenic compounds like formaldehyde, which is common in flame retardants. This label also certifies that your purchase has as few VOCs as humanly possible to make it child-safe. Seeing the OEKO-TEX tag means a product scores a perfect 10 for sustainability.

On the other hand, the Pure Mattress comes equipped with Dunlop Latex, that’s free from chemical additives. Considering its adjustable firmness and premium feel, it is worth the investment.

The Cot Mattress is the perfect blend of eco-friendly design and manufacture with utmost safety for your precious children.

However, if Ecosa mattresses aren’t your cup of tea and you want something from a physical store.

What Else Should You Monitor?

A mattress isn’t the only toxic spot in your room. In fact, dangerous materials in your bed may also be in pillows, bedding, and even your clothes.

These toxic materials are also in other household items like plates, mugs, and cleaning products. It is necessary to stay vigilant and be aware of the materials used in all purchases.

To make your toxic-free journey easier, switch to eco-friendly and sustainable household products like these!

Question-Answering Time

Here are some common questions concerning toxic mattresses you’d want to know the answers to.

First, are organic mattresses more prone to dust mites than latex ones?

That’s a definite no. There’s no need to rely on dangerous chemicals when nature can produce the same effects without negative effects!

Another commonplace question on forums is whether or not foam mattresses emit noxious fumes. Sadly, it’s a possible scenario. It’s gotten to the point that people suggest airing out a mattress before use.

Repeated and sustained stress on a mattress can reasonably make it release toxic gases, the type you wouldn’t want to get a sniff of.

That’s a No for Toxic Mattresses

Sleep should be relaxing—that deep, soothing, and restful slumber after a gruelling workweek. Lying on top of a ticking dirty bomb of a mattress is the polar opposite.

The cons of a toxin-laden mattress may not seem imminent, but they’ll surely come back to haunt you. Sleeping on the wrong side of the bed is one thing; napping while inhaling noxious fumes is another.

Now’s the perfect time to switch to eco-friendly mattresses, but of course, the choice is yours.

Check it out: King Size MattressesQueen Size Mattresses

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