Looking to buy an organic mattress? Don’t get lost in the rhetoric.

If you’re in the market for an organic mattress, you have your work cut out for you.

 

You’re probably surfing the ‘Net slogging through organic mattress jargon and wondering how you’ll ever be sure you’re getting the real deal. Here’s some insider info, hope it helps.

 

Organic food is regulated. The organic mattress industry is not. Most dealers can’t even agree on what the definition of an organic mattress, is. So I’ll take a crack at it.

 

To be truly organic, with the exception of an innerspring coil system, a mattress should be made with materials found in nature, not a chemical plant. These materials usually are produced organically without the use of pesticides or toxic processing treatments: cotton, wool, 100% natural rubber. Some high end models feature horsehair.

 

An organic mattress is free of chemical flame retardants; wool usually serves as the fire protection. To be truly “organic”, a mattress does not contain petrochemical-based synthetics, boron, borate, or boric acid, or other chemical treatments.

 

Here are four questions to ask your sales person:

  1. Is the outer cover made with certified organic cotton? Be sure it has not been treated with stain resistant chemicals like formaldehyde.
  2. How does the mattress meet the U.S. Fire Resistant Code #1633 that took effect on July 1, 2007? If the mattress is organic, in most cases a layer of organic or untreated wool is placed under the outer cover to pass the burn test. Wool self-extinguishes when exposed to a flame. Some manufacturers use non-chemical flame retardants like corn husks and baking soda; ask how these are processed to be sure they are truly toxin-free.
  3. Is the innerspring coil system sprayed with oils or a rust-proof treatment? An organic innerspring mattress system is untreated.
  4. Is the inner core of a latex mattress made with 100% natural rubber? If the sales person hedges, the latex core is probably a blend of 60/40 natural rubber and petrochemical-based synthetic. The percentage of natural rubber in the core of an organic mattress should be 90+%.

As you do your homework, keep in mind a .com website offers information to help sell their products. For objective opinions and reliable facts, do your research on sites that end in .org.

 

Look for third party reviews / certifications and buy from a reputable dealer. Steer clear of stores that recently opened, in this economy they could close just as quickly putting your warranty and your deposit at risk.

 

Don’t assume you’re getting an organic mattress when the brochure says it’s all natural, eco-friendly, green, or sustainable (a true organic mattress is all of these things). Remember, unless it’s called organic, it’s just marketing hype.

 

Let me know what you think.

Comments 12

  1. This is a helpful guide in getting the right organic mattress. Heads up to people looking to buy an organic mattress. Make sure it really contains an ample percentage of organic materials. Some companies tend to label their products as organic when in truth, the mattress is only comprised of 5% organic materials.

  2. Oh my word there is a lot to look out for when getting an organic bed, I had no idea. I have to say thanks for taking the time to go through all that in order for us to actually know what we are looking for and that one does not get ripped off when making a purchase of one of these beds, as so many people have been in the past.

  3. DFW Furniture has started using more ecologically friendly material in the production of our mattresses. We now offer Bamboo ticking and organic cottons in many of or beds rather than polyester fibers. At http://www.dfwfurniture.com/ we have also switched many beds to Soy based foams. These soy based foams reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help support the American Soybean farmers. Consumer seem very interested in these “green Mattresses”

  4. There is in fact a true USDA Certified Organic latex mattress now available through latexmattresscompany.com It’s the real deal and you can see for yourself the certification stickers on the organic latex cores. I agree however that there is a lot of misleading information out there so be sure and put in your due diligence when price comparison shopping.

  5. Thanks for your comments, Stephen! Yeah, I’ve considered all these things,
    and did try to talk to him about it. But he shied away from telling me any
    good reasons soooo….. I’ll really never know! But it’s entertaining now
    (not back then!) to ruminate on reasons why. Thanks for your added thoughts!
    😉

  6. The BW piece suffers from the common pitfalls of analysis of national–leaning perspective. Here’s a quote from the article:
    What happened to the “everything is local” adage? The concept of local is morphing quickly in a world where instant global communications and social media widen our circle of friends and acquaintances to include the world. In essence, we’ve become national—if not international—citizens.

  7. This is a great article. Wow, so many of these things I never thought of before. I often read posts, even on this site, and I think they are great, but I don’t take the time to leave a comment. I’m going to start leaving more comments for sure.

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