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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

101 Comments

  1. We bought our organic mattresses from Lifekind in 2005 and they still look almost new and were absolutely the best investment in our health we made at the time. We also have organic pillows and organic sheets and put a grounding sheet on that so hopefully nothing toxic happening while we sleep. 🙂

    • Hi Doina (or anyone else!),
      I was wondering if the natural rubber mattresses make you hot when you sleep on them? Also, were your organic pillows rubber or wool? I just can’t imagine sleeping on a natural rubber pillow and staying cool. I cannot STAND to be hot when I sleep.

      Lauren,
      Thanks for a great article! I love all the helpful comments from everyone else, too!

      • Hi Lauren,
        I know this was a while ago but I wanted to answer your question. I sleep on a 100% natural latex mattress and pillow and I love it so much. I got the mattress in July 2014 when I was 7 months pregnant and yes, it did feel hot but I live in Southern California so it was hot all around. Now that it is cooler I do not notice feeling hot or sweaty at all. I sleep soundly every night (as soundly as possible while co sleeping with my 5 month old baby). No tossing and turning. No toxic chemicals. I love it. I got my bed from foamsweetfoam.com. 25 year warranty can’t be beat!

      • Another consideration — assuming it’s GMO soy, aka “Round-up Ready” soy, it may contain harmful pesticides that could break down in the form of dust particles.

        The dust from conventional sofas and chairs, along with mattresses, is one of the primary ways of ingesting the flame retardants, and I would think GMO soy particles may be similarly ingested.

        • I think Becky is making a great point. I never would have considered this. Darn. I was liking this company until I learned about the soy. It’s so easy overlooking details like this.

          Also, everything breaks down over time, so unless some solid research has been done, I don’t know that simply wrapping the soy would be enough to prevent any of the GMO properties from leaking into our breathing space.

      • Hi there,
        Most of the products used to make the intellibed are not healthy. Mineral oil is from petroleum. Silica is also is not healthy. Polyurethane is made from oil. Soy is not ever healthy. I have to say I’m NOT sold on that bed! The claim they are non toxic is totally not true. I’m sorry you probably paid a ton for it, too.
        Best,
        Marissa

  2. I was under the impression that springs are bad in a mattress. What is your take on metal in your mattress? I think it’s interesting that you mentioned a new mattress triggering an immune response. Now that I think about it, I got a new mattress early in high school and began having eczema soon after. I can’t remember exactly how long after, but it was soon.

        • Yes, the metal springs can. This is why so many people prefer something along the lines of a futon. One woman sought out the perfect nontoxic mattress for her family and ended up starting a buckwheat mattress company. She passed fire testing with flying colors. Buckwheat doesn’t burn.

        • Dr. Mercola has an interesting article (with a rather extreme title) on that here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/18/your-box-spring-mattress-could-be-acting-as-a-gigantic-cancercausing-radiation-antenna.aspx

          I am not so concerned about the springs and EMFs, because I take other steps which I feel are more important to reduce EMFs in my environment (turning of WiFi at night, unplugging things in my room, keeping my bed away from my wall, using corded phones in my house, etc.). With that said, electromagnetically hypersensitive people might be better off with a different mattress.

          On the other hand, the gel used in IntelliBED is resistant to microbial growth. 100% natural mattresses are much more likely to foster microbial growth, and research indicates that the toxins produced by molds are increased by EMFs.

          So it’s not a black and white answer, and there are different aspects to weight. That’s my two cents.

          • You must be getting a good commission to be recommending a “non-toxic” mattress that is so chock full of toxins. It’s unbelievable and appalling the marketing scams that a lot of bloggers are promoting. You included.

      • Metal springs in mattresses are said by some to amplify and transmit Geopathic Stress from the ground up through into your body.

        A lot of health issues come from a distortion of natural Earth Energy (see below for causes of this) which then disturbs your body’s energy system and all the matter in your body that depends upon it for motivation (movement) and direction. What we all need is, rather, positive energy from the ground (natural, clean and healthy Earth Energy) supporting/maintaining/strengthening your body.

        1. Every electrical wire in your house that generates EMF radiation detracts from the blanket of proper nourishing Earth Energy (7.83 Hz = Schumann Earth Resonance) you should be immersed in and suckling from as par for the course in generating a good result inside your personal “biofield”.

        2. Every metal wire in the springs of your mattress, and the metal in the bed frame (if that is what you have) distorts the healthy Earth Energy coming up from the ground.

        3. Every toxic chemical — such as anti-microbials in mattresses and pillows — and all air pollution disturbs natural Earth Energy and adds to the distortion load/potential of that distorted energy.

        4. Geopathic Stress (GS [meaning “suffering Earth”]) or distorted Earth Energy can be made via underground electrical wiring and underground water (and oil and gas) pipes, some of which will be located under almost every house. Unfortunately, underground water will also distort Earth Energy. Running underground water gets electrons knocked off the water molecules, and this creates a weak electromagnetic field which then interferes with the Earth energy, turning it toxic.

        We need to be “plugged in” to the Planet, literally, but EMF and GS jumps in between us and the beneficial Earth radiation/energy we need, in a way like a minister of religion jumping in between God and man — the minister distorts what should be a healthy relationship between us and the organized, honest “Universe”.

        If you suffer chronic illness, then the position of your bed could be directly over the top of a line of GS coming up from the ground under you. In Europe it has been found that multiple people over the decades sleeping in the same spot/bed in a house will get the same brain tumor or the same type of cancer. Decade after decade. In fact studies show that 85%+ of disease has as its basis in GS. But if we are getting the right kind of healthy Earth Energy, we can sustain many insults to our health.

        Visible signs of GS could be plants in a particular position not thriving, becoming distorted in shape (e.g. “tumors” on trees), or trying to grow AWAY FROM a line of GS. Also animals not thriving: not breeding, getting fleas/sick, etc. Ants, fleas and wasps like GS. Strangely, cats like it!

        It is critically important, if where you are and where you sleep is slowly killing you, that you:

        1. Get a foam mattress (without disgusting anti-microbial chemicals infused into it!) that does NOT have metal springs in it.

        2. Have a wooden bed frame, NOT a metal one.

        3. Move the position of your bed radically to see if you get an improvement in your health.

        A great deal — indeed most — of our health status is determined by what we are exposed to while we sleep. If 8 hours or so of healing and reinforcement doesn’t happen while we’re horizontal, then we are in deep trouble.

    • According to their website, “When we do use foam we use soy foam rather than polyurethane foam, but never in the sleeping area. In some beds we use a special form of latex (talalay) which has been processed to remove the protein which causes allergic reactions.” (And I updated the above post to fix my misinformation about polyurethane foam. The PU foam used by IntelliBED is intert and non-offgassing, unlike the PU foam treated for memory foam mattresses.) Bob told me that they’ve never had a customer experience an allergy or reaction to their mattresses. I hope this helps you and good luck finding the right mattress for you!

  3. Thank you so much for this post Lauren! My husband and I are planning to purchase a mattress for ourselves and for any future babies we may have, and I just had no idea where to buy a safe non-toxic mattress. I am so thankful for this post, because you did all the searching around and research for me! My husband also has hip pain, so that is just another reason the intelliBed mattress will be perfect for us.

    Thank you, thank you!

  4. I’ve been on the desperate hunt for a truly good mattress/bed/futon for years. I think I’ve finally found the answer to my prayers here, but it’s made with 100% usa, low-VOC, CertiPur-approved polyurethane foam… I’m torn. is all polyurethane dangerous and harmful? If this is no good, I feel rather defeated. I figure it would at least be worlds better than the serta/sealy whatever it is mattress I’m currently sleeping on… hope to hear your opinion! (btw, the futon/mattress/bed is the Tuft & Needle 5″)

    • Did you end up getting a Tuft and Needle? I’m mattress shopping and considering T&N since it has the Certi-Pur certification. The Intellibed is out of our price range at this point. Would love to hear your thoughts on what you ended up getting!

    • I apologize for my misinformation in the post, and I’ve updated it after talking to Bob, the CEO, about polyurethane foam. PU foam is actually non-offgassing and inert as long as it has not been treated with other chemicals. The PU foam in memory foam mattresses has been treated in additional ways, which is why it is toxic. I share Bob’s explanation in the updated post.

  5. For the budget option, after much research and debate, I put together my own latex bed with mattress components – slabs of latex.

    Three sources are, in order of increasing expense:
    http://www.foambymail.com
    http://www.foamorder.com
    http://www.sleepez.com

    The foam by mail pieces are what I have. There is not a very discernible difference in the softness, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the ILD rating. I went crazy and ordered 1-3″ toppers in various ILD ratings so I could rearrange, but I really can’t tell a difference. Plus the thinner pieces are able to slide around more. If you are ordering from foam by mail (also called foam factory), then I would suggest ordering medium if you and your spouse are average weight. Softer if thinner, harder if heavier.

    I just had a baby and need to upgrade to a king, and I am just planning to order two of the 6″ mattresses (uncovered slabs) to stack and make a 12″. 6″ is too thin if you or your spouse are 175+ I would say.

    I do not recommend FBM’s mattress covers, however. Their stretchy one shrunk a few inches in the dryer, to the point it was unusable because it created high sides. Sleep ez has the best selection of cases I have found, and that’s what I am planning to use on my next mattress.

    If you can afford to spend a little more, Sleep EZ seems to be the best way to go. I might try that once we get through the baby mess stage. 🙂

    Three other points:
    -If you don’t cover the mattress, you will probably start losing small chunks and tearing the foam before long. However, the comfort is amazing because you are getting the full benefit of the latex flexibility. If you do decide to cover, make sure the cover you buy is very, very stretchy. Otherwise it will constrict the latex and not be as soft/supportive.
    -you will need a box spring that’s something less than 3″ gaps between the slats, or to switch to a platform bed, or to put your latex bed on the ground. Latex needs a lot of support.
    – Google “diy latex mattress” for some message boards with more than you could ever need about building your perfect latex bed for as low of a price as possible.

    Good luck with finding a mattress that is comfortable and supports your postural alignment.

  6. I’m currently thinking about buying a “Twist” mattress – they send you a kit and you construct it yourself so I don’t know if it is subject to the same requirements as pre-assembled mattresses, but it is pretty cheap ($421 for a full-size) and is made of organic cotton and organic buckwheat hulls (they also have a non-organic option that is cheaper). They look a little funky in the pictures, since they’re tubes of fabric twisted together, but in the FAQ section it says it doesn’t FEEL lumpy. I’m curious if anyone has one already and how they like them.
    http://openyoureyesbedding.com/pages/the-new-twist-mattress-kit-product-description

  7. Just a brilliant article plus excellent research. About springs and EMF fields, Dr. Mercola has a whole segment on his site about EMF fields, including the problem that innersprings are the perfect shape to conduct low frequency toxicity. I spent a lot of time being sure that my bed was out of the range of EMF producers. Big subject, but if somebody “wakes up” to remedying EMF in their sleep environment, first thing to do after neutralizing area is stand your innerspring up against a neutral wall and let it “detox” for couple of days. For people who can’t replace mattress, it’s easy to “barrier” with organic cotton pads or older pre GMO quilts, etc. One of our distinguished “foremothers”, Hanna Kroeger, was a premier user of The Pendulum, which is a lot cheaper than an EMF meter. Some people have just the right personal magnetic field to use pendulums adroitly for personal and “geomantic” purposes (including water quality and enhancements,where to put the geraniums, etc.), Plus it’s a really interesting learning curve in “multidimensional”. interaction. There are all kinds of internet articles plus “dowsing” societies. I use a lot of silica (crystals, crystal chips by the pound, Himalaya coarser grade salt in bags, etc.) as EMF barriers..including in neutralized “rose bowls” under the bed) If a person lives midst cellphone towers and other bigtime EMF field putter-outers, it pays to be more meticulous about protecting yourself. As Lauren reminds us, taking our power back can be fun and educating. If people don’t think crystals as silica are neat, try one stroking your dog or cat. Sniff sniff, wag wag, purr purr. They’re also good for mange spots, emergency boos boos like stubbed toes. P.S. The sympathetic/parasymp statement is divine, oughta be on billboards or T shirts. The whole ecology trip is about restoring natural environment, beginning with “selfie”: we be the revolution we’ve been waiting for, we might even be the return of the Divine Feminine with a little practice.. Best ‘high heart’ love CT

  8. Dr. Mercola reported a couple of weeks ago that California passed a law that eases the requirements for flame retardants in beds and furniture (sofas, chairs, etc.).

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/19/flame-retardant-toxic-hot-seat-documentary.aspx

    The history of this is fascinating! WHY are these toxins even required, you may ask? Well, back in the 1960s when everyone smoked, the tobacco industry was taking heat for cigarettes causing house fires. Rather than address the issue by making self extinguishing cigarettes, they formed a front group called the National Assn of State Fire Marshals that joined forces with the chemical industry to push through a requirement for toxic flame retardants to be used in furniture. And they’ve never been shown to work.

    Thanks for this post! Now that people are waking up and revising the laws, we need to create demand and awareness for non-toxic alternatives for commercial beds, upholstered furniture and carpet padding containing flame retardants.

    Did you come across any good alternatives for other furniture such as couches and chairs? Might be an idea for a future post…

  9. For anyone doing mattress research, I highly recommend http://www.themattressunderground.com They are not trying to sell mattresses and have the most complete thorough information I have ever found. You can do searches that include the forum or post questions/comments. I recommend doing a search on Intellibed. We are currently considering natural latex. Thank you for all of your research Lauren.

    • Yes, Matress Underground has great info! After researching their site, we are going to check out http://www.rockymountainmatress.com for their natural latex mattresses. They also have an outlet store not far from us…hopefully where we can find additional discounts. I don’t recall ever spending more than $600-700 for a mattress…my husband needs a bit more convincing on this subject!

  10. I bought an organic mattress from http://www.savvyrest.com/. Layers of natural latex, so I don’t have to worry about any possible EMF effects from metal springs. Plus, when you order a king, you can get split layers to customize firmness on each side of the bed. This was a selling factor for me. I can have my soft side, and my husband can have his firmer. Yes, they are expensive, but it should last for decades.

  11. Thanks for this post, I’m currently researching non toxic mattresses and it’s exhausting! Regarding the Intellibed, I’m wondering about the material that covers the mattress-at a glance it looks just like the standard type used.

  12. For all of you who know they NEED a non toxic mattress, but know it absolutely isn’t in the budget, especially if you are struggling to eat right and you are like us and spend most of your money on food, it isn’t that hard to sew yourself pillows, comforters, and bed pillows. My little one has been on GAPS for 1 1/2 years and I knew the mattress thing was an issue, but their beds are fairly new and right now just isn’t possible to buy a new one. If you have even simple sewing skills, it isn’t that hard. I made an organic cotton wool stuffed pillow and cover for each one of us for about $30 each. And I am going to make her a mattress next. The 0ther option is to get 5 mil plastic, cover the mattress and make a bedpillow to help drown the plastic noise. This is probably what I will do for my other child and us for right now. I made the bed pillow for about $75 and the organic cotton, 100% wool stuffed mattress will cost about $250. It was just difficult for me to buy a non toxic mattress for us and not our children. Buying that many mattresses is very expensive.

  13. We bought a Savvy Rest Organic latex mattress and we love it. No other materials in the mattress, just latex. They give you 90 days and you can change out the layers if you want it firmer or softer. And there is an organic wool cover over the layers. No questions about what is inside or on your mattress! Took a little adjusting going from a standard mattress to latex, but once we got the right firmness/softness it has been perfect. BUT it is soooo heavy! I don’t look forward to moving it!

  14. http://www.purerest.com/Organic-Mattresses/Organic-Mattresses-Natural-Rubber-Zip-Outer-Customizable

    When I decided to make the switch to an organic mattress when I moved to my first real, unfurnished apartment, I did a fair amount of research and went with this one.

    I wouldn’t recommend it! It’s comfortable and everything, but the customizable part was a bad idea! It was a lot of work to set up, doesn’t stay aligned, and was a big pain when I moved apartments last month. Also the pillows I got from them are very bunchy and they were expensive, but it’s at the point already that I want to replace them. So maybe some of their more normally built mattresses are worth it, but I wouldn’t recommend that brand to anyone who’s looking.

  15. Lauren, if you haven’t already seen it, I think you would really appreciate and enjoy the movie “Toxic Hot Seat.” It is all about how we ended up with all these fire retardants in all our furniture and baby products (this part will make you VERY angry!!), what these chemicals are doing to us, and the efforts to have them removed from our homes (and our bodies). It’s a fantastic movie. It’s an HBO Production, so you could probably find it on HBO, or I think you can view it on HBO.com, for a small fee.

  16. We got 2 organic futon mattresses for the kids from Soaring Heart Bed Company. So far they work really well, no odor (my nose is sensitive), and my little boy has not had an outbreak. He is the most sensitive person ever (even to water).

    I think we are going to get the mattress version for us. Can’t wait!

  17. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been looking into getting “Tuft and Needle” shikibuton-style mattresses for our family, and was torn on the polyurethane foam component. Seriously, once I FINALLY found non-toxic, affordable mattresses that were made in the USA, I was like, please, God, let the polyurethane thing somehow not cause us any harm… (T&N is not paying me btw! nor do they know I am shopping for their mattresses or leaving this comment lol). so to find out that it’s pretty safe, I’m SO RELIEVED… I’m so ready to retire this “PROJECT”! and finally get some new, non toxic, affordable mattresses!!

  18. Today in the market, companies are selling toxic mattress that may be dangerous for children’s especially. There are four options for non-toxic mattresses certified organic mattresses, Wool mattresses, Prescription for chemical free mattress and Intelli bed. You can select the best one for you on which you feel comfortable.

  19. I am also struggling with my matress but not primarily for the toxins. I just woke-up with back pain on various matresses I tried. So I ordered a nice soft one which is probably very similar to your pillow and fixed my back pain, just that its most likely not made of non-toxic materials. It doesnt smell BAD per se, but it still has a weird smell. Now unfortunately, IntelliBed does not ship outside US :(.

    What do you think about water beds instead? Was this a price issue? Or why didn’t you even mention them..?. I think when water beds offer some quality equal to just lying in a bath top :D, then this would be so awesome. I am excited to try one out now, but I don’t know if there is anything that speaks against them, except for the price. Toxicity should be a non-issue, since the water encasement is made of the same materials that are all around us (PVC or something I guess) and the outer shell where you sleep on can be of material of any choice.

    • back pain and muscle aches are a pretty common body symptom of TOXICITY. Likely if you can ‘smell’ it….it is not healthy. Yes, it is very important to have a non toxic bed (lots of hours spent in bed) Water beds can be great for support and warmth, but yes….the outer shell can be a neurotoxin. You would need to know what the ‘plastic’, per se is……..and then goggle that product/name. Also it can be useful to go online (for most any product) and simply google: MSDS (material safety data sheet) and then enter the chemical/product. Do know that many toxins damage the brain (as well as the body) My sister’s memory and focus declined after purchasing aTempurpedic (toxic !) mattress. BEWARE everyone ! do you homework and don’t assume things are safe

  20. I recommend this third party non-toxic mattress guide (http://media.wix.com/ugd/a2c2a6_9e5481ea8ac1b48caefc9a0a0c125a1f.pdf), and paying special attention to the third party certification descriptions. Trade association standards like CertiPUR are not nearly as meaningful. The guide covers crib mattresses, but many of the companies make adult size mattresses as well. Soaring Heart and Naturepedic have done the most to be non-toxic and transparent. Other companies may not be as well known nationally and were not included in the review, but still have the third party certifications, such as Cozy Pure and Sleeping Organic. I am not affiliated with any of these companies, just wanted to share the information.

    I also second the motion above about referring to mattressunderground.com for research/education on mattress support, comfort, materials, construction, etc. Truly, between these two resources alone I feel empowered with accurate, factual information to make an informed choice.

  21. Just bought the intellibed because of your recommendation- waiting for it to arrive this week. I was wondering if you use the mattress cover they send with it (due to their 60 day trial)? It doesn’t seem to be particularly non toxic.

  22. I purchased the Intellibed at your recommendation but am extremely disappointed in its smell. Also the pillow has plastic and exposed foam. Granted the foam does not have fire retardants, but sleeping next to these things hardly seems worth the $2000 I paid for it. What have your offgassing experiences been? How satisfied are you with the CertiPUR foam they use, which is sponsored by DOW chemicals? Fortunately we are within our 60 day trial still, so we can still return.

  23. Lauren, thanks for the post! Every once in a while we look around for good posts — and by good, we mean full of helpful information that people can use to make wise choices when they buy a mattress. Our beds don’t always end up on ‘organic’ or ‘green’ mattress lists, which is a bit of a shame because our mattresses are pretty amazing – they are flame retardant without using chemicals and they are recyclable. Plus, we’ve managed to make an innerspring mattress without using any metal coils…just recyclable elastomer springs. Take a look when you get a chance…www.somniumbeds.com!

  24. UPDATE: please change your ‘information’ to include the FACT that recent changes in the laws make it so that fire protection is NOT required in a mattress – as long as the manufacturer discloses it does not have fire retardant, etc. in it. That will make a huge difference on our health to not have those nasty chemicals required. Also keep in mind that every person is different in what ‘bothers’ them. thank you for sharing your experience and I hope everyone knows to sleep on safe materials. Patricia, Seattle, WA

    • Is this true? Do you have any links to news or law changes to keep with me in my mattress shopping? That’s wonderful if true and I hope some companies change their formulas ASAP!

  25. Sorry to tell you this but you have been misled. All forms of Polyurethane are toxic. Even the ones with “certiPur” logo. It’s so toxic that certiPur themselves says it is against their policy to make such claims.

    http://www.certipur.us/pages/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Form_B_CertiPUR-US_Terms_of_Use.pdf

    Example of unacceptable claims that are NOT related to the certiPur-US program.
    * Soy, or bio-based content
    * Green
    * Environmentally-Safe
    * Safe
    * Non-toxic

    Matter of fact, it was the Polyurethane foam industry that decided to “certify themselves”. certiPur after all is sponsored by Americas Top 3 worst polluters.

    The DOW chemical company is a proud Platinum Sponsor.
    http://www.dow.com/polyurethane/why/commitment.htm

    DOW is the Top 3 Worst polluters.
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933679.html

    certiPur also boast about not containing so and so chemicals. Over half of said chemical has been banned in the US and banned worldwide a LONG time ago. So to mention it doesn’t contain such chemicals is more of a marketing tactic.

    • I appreciate your comment, and I discussed this as soon as I could with IntelliBED. I trust the integrity of the company and, from my own experience using the mattress, I know it is highly beneficial for alignment and also constructed with the least toxic materials. After discussing this with Bob, the founder of IntelliBED, this is what my representative said,

      “We have reviewed this and CertiPur, for legality purposes, does limit the use of claims. We are going to be changing the language we use slightly just so we aren’t going against CertiPur. With that being said CertiPur is not who sells us the foam and being certified by them is just one more step in us going above and beyond to show we are making every effort possible to have the safest beds on the market.[…] The details were an oversight on our part. Please let me know what information I can provide you, if any.” If you would like to speak my representative, I can give you his contact info.

    • Thank you for adding this to the discussion, Andrew…I was going to add this info myself. NO polyurethane is safe, and this CertiPur organization really emphasizes what they don’t allow in their certified foams, but not what they do allow. Lying, or misleading anyway, by omission. Polyurethane is a man-made product that originates in a lab and there’s no way I am trusting that. If I’m going to spend a bunch of money on a new mattress, it’s definitely going to be 100% made from earthly materials. Also, mineral oil is terrible…it’s a petroleum distillate. Besides the fact that it’s bad to put on your skin, I don’t see how anyone could claim it’s “food grade”. Anyway, that’s my two cents. (And I did check out the IntelliBED and CertiPur just to give them the benefit of the doubt. Also, I found it interesting that every blogger who said the IntelliBED was awesome said that anyone ordering the mattress would get a discount if they mentioned the blogger’s name. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but they does make me question the validity of the promotions…kickbacks?)

  26. That’s actually what I thought too. I like sleeping on my back, I wouldn’t mind sleeping on a tatami goza mat. How I wonder, did pregnant women sleep? Did they sleep on their backs or on their side and how did they stay comfortable?

  27. Hi! I read about your choice to Intelli beds for our son’s mattress and read that we could get 10% off going through your post and did not see the 10% taken off our total is there a code to put in before we purchase our new mattress?

    Thank you!

    JoAnne

  28. Simple and inexpensive trick around the whole mattress and couch flame retardant and synthetic materials is just to purchase a 100% natural (make sure it isn’t a “blend”) Dunlop latex topper and either make your own organic cotton or linen cover, use an organic duvet cover, and/or purchase the organic cotton cover off of eBay or the site you buy the topper from. I got my daughter a 3″ Dunlop firm twin size topper and organic cotton cover shipped to me for less than $300 back in 2009 when we converted from a crib. Some sites cost even less now. Make an inexpensive frame out of wood pallets (basically stack them and secure with screws), buy an organic sheet set, and a kopak or latex pillow…perfectly toxin free bedding. She loves her bed still and it has lasted really well, unlike my conventional mattress that over time has collapsed and has an indent where I usually sleep. The latex bounces right back and has ZERO indentations from body weight. This is why I am now going to use the same method for a sofa, as my couch looks terrible after a few year of sitting on it in the same spot. The only difference is that I will be making organic pillows for the backing. However, an inexpensive futon frame could easily be used as well for a more conventional looking sofa. If you use pallets though and want storage space under the bed or sofa, lift the pallets using concrete blocks. You can paint these with eco-friendly paint or leave au naturel. Now, this method for a sofa will not win any interior design awards, but if you are a seamstress you can easily make an amazing cover and pillows to spruce it up. Plus, it works as a bed AND a sofa…2-in-1.

    This is seriously affordable, non-toxic, and fulfills the need. I find it interesting that many societies use mats and/or thin mattresses and have less back problems than Western cultures that use 8-11″ mattresses and box springs, which are obviously unnecessary and wasteful. Using a natural latex topper is not only affordable and more sustainable, but it is far easier when relocating or moving…they can be rolled up and put in a sedan for transportation! The cover is removable, so it can easily be washed too, unlike conventional mattresses.

    I do not understand why Western societies throw down thousands on mattress sets and sofas, especially those now seeking an “organic” product. It’s beyond me!

    • You may also use shikibuton (Japanese bed). I am considering to order one from The Home Of Wool (www.TheHomeOfWool.com) and use it as a guest bed and for traveling. I have a friend that sleeps on a shikibuton every night and says it is the best.

  29. Tuft and Needle is a Phoenix co that is producing mattresses of the same kind as the company you mentioned – also certified by Certipure.
    The king size is only $750! Free shipping. That’s regular pricing. 100 day trial/full money back guarantee. They believe in not taking advantage of the consumer, they are an anomaly in the mattress industry! So glad I found them! I would have spent a small fortune if it weren’t for them. I understand the importance of the impact this has on health, but why spend $5k if can get same for less than $1k. It’s not too good to be true – check it out.

  30. You might likewise utilize shikibuton (Japanese bed). I am considering to request one from The Home Of Wool . and utilization it as a visitor informal lodging voyaging. I have a companion that considers a shikibuton consistently and says it is the best.

  31. Hello,
    You may have already been told this, but Rayon is actually not a synthetic fiber. It is made from natural cellulose. But how the fiber is broken down can vary and some processes use chemicals that can off-gas.

  32. Some of your info you give is very misleading, especially this part.

    “3. Prescription for chemical free mattress – With a doctor’s prescription, you can purchase a mattress not treated with fire retardants. According to this article,

    You must have a prescription from a physician licensed in your state that says “this patient requires a chemical-free mattress”. This can be written by any licensed physician, including medical doctors (MD), osteopaths (DO) and chiropractors (DC).

    If you go that route, you want to make sure that the other mattress materials are not inherently toxic so avoid memory foam mattresses.”

    You do not need any doctors not to buy a chemical free mattress. For the past eight years I have manufactured natural and organic mattresses in the SF bay area. We pass all federal regulations with organic wool as a natural fire retardant. We regularly do mandatory burn tests and have always passed without any fire retardants, just wool.

    If a customer requires a mattress free of wool because of allergy or belief they can buy a mattress free of wool that does not meet federal standards with a doctors prescription.

    Nice information you are giving but in the end you will confuse a lot of consumers.

    -Will
    Owner and founder of The Natural Mattress Store

  33. I just want a bed without TOXIC Chemicals ! Why is that so difficult ? I don’t expect my bed to SPONTANEOUSLY Combust ! ( We don’t smoke or have any sort of a flame near our bed) A bed is a big investment in so many ways. We are thinking of purchasing a Organic Mattress from @Naturepedic (their EOS – Series) anyone have a experience with this mattress ?
    And just as we’re doing our ‘homework’ on Organic Mattress’, along comes this: IntelliBED <—- Now what to do ?
    yesterday, my husband & I spent 'Mattress Shopping' I know I don't like the feel of the "THUD" of the memory foam or the Latex, and we know we like the Feel of the soft top with good support under the soft top. Our current mattress is Too Firm (Memory Foam) by the time we realized this bed was making us miserable, it was too late to exchange or get a refund.
    We live in the Portland, OR Area…. Can't seem to find more than 1 store that offers Non-Toxic beds, we welcome any advise. Thanks ! 🙂

  34. Hi Lauren! I found this article a real eye opener and have since been looking into non toxic mattresses. I live in Canada however and am wondering if you have any recommendations since IntelliBED is not an option. I would appreciate any guidance a great deal!

  35. Love this post! I definitely cannot afford the mattress you recommend though and was asking friends for recommendations. The most affordable one was Tuft & Needle. I was wondering if you’d ever heard of them and what you thought about them. I emailed them about offgasing and such and received this response. I was wondering if you could lend me your opinion and tell me if anything stands out to you:

    “The Tuft & Needle mattress is 2 layers, one layer of polyfoam and one of Tuft & Needle Adaptive foam. We have our foams tested for VOCs (off-gassing) and other concerning substances. As far as VOCs are concerned, our foams emit fewer than 0.5 parts per million. Feel free to read more about testing here: http://certipur.us/pages/for-consumers/.

    Usually, there are two major concerns when it comes to sleeping on foam. The first is the off-gassing concern, which I touched on above. In actuality, with the exception of certain metals, every substance on earth will off-gas. We’re definitely not the only mattress or textile company to have our materials tested for VOCs and toxins like formaldehyde or heavy metals, but we do test as an added measure to make sure we’re providing good products.

    The other concern with polyfoam and memory foam mattresses has to do with the use of flame retardants. We do not use any chemical flame retardants in our products. Our fire barrier is rayon cellulose fiber blended with fine-grained sand and a small amount of polyester which, in combination, are inherently fire resistant. It’s been tested and verified by an accredited lab to fully comply with flammability standards.”

  36. Certi-PUR is a BS certification, and almost any manufacturer of foam mattresses could easily get it. The group that does the certification (the group’s name screams BS, something like the “Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam”) is sponsored by Dow Chemical and two other chemical manufacturing companies. Because of this, I think it is very, very unwise to trust Certi-PUR standards, as I see no way they can be truly unbiased when being sponsored by the companies making the poisons placed into mattresses.

    The most trustworthy and stringent certification, in my research, is OEKO-TEX. It is based in Switzerland, and (most importantly) was NOT set up by chemical manufacturing companies in order to deceive the public about what is “safe” and what isn’t.

    • Also, I like your website! I’ve found lots of helpful info here, and I just want to provide more helpful info. Check out this PDF of membership benefits to the Polyurethane Foam Alliance, the group that started the CertiPUR program. In their “accomplishments” they brag of getting legislation passed that would’ve classified the foam as a hazardous material, among many other things: http://www.pfa.org/Library/PFA_membership_info.pdf

      Thanks Lauren!

  37. An Australian chemical company based in South Carolina called Alexium International has developed an eco friendly non halogenated fire retardant which will be incorporated in several major bedding company products over the next few months.

    Game changing technology in which the US military are assessing for their 50/50 nylon/cotton uniforms in which the founders have been trying to make FR for 40 years.

    Look for the Alexiflam tag when shopping for a new mattress.

    http://www.alexiuminternational.com

  38. I’m wondering what your take would be on The Purple Mattress. It has a similar gel technology and uses untreated polyurethane foam. I’d like to steer clear of innerspring.
    We just returned our intellibed because of a lot of motion transfer. Thoughts?

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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