What if I told you there was a change you could make that greatly reduces the toxins that your children inhale for 12 hours a day that they would never complain about, that you wouldn’t have to do anything different in your day-to-day life, and it doesn’t make any more work for anyone in your house?
What would that change be?
Changing your sleeping surface to a natural alternative.
Conventional mattresses are pretty toxic things, and a natural alternative is even more important because you spend so much time in close proximity to them. If you’re putting in the work to eat clean, ingest water that is clear of chemicals, and use nontoxic cleaning products, don’t you think that it would also be a good idea to avoid inhaling toxins as you sleep?
Mattress chemicals have been linked to SIDS (and another), allergies, asthma, autism, fertility problems and chemicals are even found in breastmilk and cord blood, showing the necessity of switching everyone over to a natural mattress, not just vulnerable infants.
Have you switched to natural mattresses yet? They’re a big investment, but one that’s more than worth making. I just purchased one more, this time from Amazon (this is the one I got).
Prioritizing mattresses for members of the family
Buying new mattresses is a cost investment for sure. I had to prioritize and space out our purchases, averaging one new purchase a year.
I prioritize mattress replacement in this order:
- Newborns or infants to reduce SIDS risk, and also because theirs are the least expensive. This mattress is for where the baby sleeps- so if they sleep in your bed, replacing yours is the highest priority.
- The mattress where a pregnant mama will be sleeping.
- The child who has the most ‘leaky gut’, allergens, or toxin symptoms. For me, this was my daughter who broke out in hives all the time over toxin exposures, specifically new furniture and crib mattresses.
- Older kids, or less allergic children.
- Finally, everyone in the house.
- Because they outgas into the air in your home, I do recommend replacing even your guest bed with a nontoxic alternative as you have the ability.
In perspective, if you save $20/week (coffee runs, misc clothing purchases at Target that aren’t needed, even just keeping the thermostat a few degrees lower) you’ll be able to replace one of your mattresses with a natural alternative in less than a year. Also, the cost of a mattress, assuming daily use for 10 years (they should last longer than this though), is just 24 cents/day for a queen, 13 cents/day for a twin.
What’s it like to buy a mattress online?
The mattresses that I’ve purchased from Amazon either come in a large box (the pack n play and crib mattress) or they come super compressed (heavy!) and rolled up like shown above.
We move them to where they’re going (on the bed frame) and then open them up and allow them to unfold and decompress. This takes a few hours, and they have all been ready to sleep on that evening.
Mattresses we use
Pure Green Organic Mattress (the kids)
Nook Sleep Mattress (crib mattress)
With the mattresses, read the information I link to carefully. Unfortunately, they can change the materials of the mattress and just update the existing listing, so you’ll want to verify there aren’t synthetics or chemical flame retardants before you complete your purchase.
Waterproof Cotton Mattress Pad
For both of the above, I used a cotton mattress pad, or a felted sweater to protect the mattress. My littlest was a spitter upper, and this pad sure helped save the mattress!
Now we use the mattress pad when the above child wants to help with the dishes, it goes below his stool and protects the wood floors from all the drips as dishes get washed.
About Natural Foam
Natural foam mattresses are the less expensive alternative to conventional toxic mattresses. I haven’t felt it was necessary to buy organic foam, just natural latex with a cotton cover has been fine for me. Natural foam comes in two types, Dunlop or Talalay.
Dunlop foam is made by melting and spinning the rubber sap into a froth, and then pouring into a mold. Some particles from the process settle to the bottom, making the bottom more firm. Dunlop foam is more firm, heavy, and less expensive. You can also purchase softer mattress toppers (see here) to help soften your bed.
Talalay foam is poured into a mold, flash frozen, and ‘baked’ to set. It is a softer less dense foam, and is uniform throughout. This process is also a little more expensive. Watch for some synthetic foam additives when choosing talalay foam, it’s added sometimes.
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I’m confused…when I click on link, it is a topper, not mattress. How do you find sheets to use with it if it is a topper b/c it would make my bed so thick? Am I misunderstanding something?
Sorry Heather, I didn’t copy the links over right – it should be fixed now :D
Probably good that you can’t afford the innerspring kind – I have heard that the metal innersprings act as conductors for the various emf’s, radiowaves, etc in the air, so it’s better to sleep on a mattress without those.
I agree, I don’t want any metal in my mattresses and we stick with wooden bed frames too. Here in the UK I bought a Yanis organic latex mattress which is doing us very well.
Thank you for the review, Cara! It looks like there is no reason this mattress wouldn’t work on a futon frame. Do you think this is true, as far as you can tell?
It’s thick- I don’t think it would fold up into the couch position of a futon (do they all do that?)
So no metal springs? How long till you replace and how do you clean disinfect?
I don’t think it would be any different than a regular mattress? I clean my mattresses with a hand held carpet cleaner if needed (kid puke, etc). I don’t think you’d have to replace it any more often than a regular high-quality mattress.
is it a metal free? Also, how firm is that? In addition, one of the reviews stated this mattress is not all natural latex, but rather partly soy foam. Are you still happy with your purchase? I have a bad back pain, and looking for some healthy alternatives.
Thanks for your review,
Good questions! Yes, it’s metal free. One side is firm, the other is ‘medium firm’. I just checked the tag again, it says it’s 100% natural latex, with 4 oz of wool (fire resistance I’d guess) and organic cotton as the cover. I wonder if the person on Amazon is looking at a slightly different mattress.
I am really a bit confused, you said its an organic cover but description says that its cotton poly blend.
“Is the cover removable? what fabric is the cover?
The Roma latex mattress has an 60/40 cotton to polyester stretch cover quilted to 1.5 inches of super soft reflex foam. Cover is not removable. Mattress is quilted on both sides with a medium plush side and a firm side. Thank you for your inquiry and we look forward to serving you.”
Also, there is no wool, right, but soy foam as sales rep explained to me.
Hi Cara, since you’ve had a few months to sleep on the mattress I am wondering if you are still happy with it?
Yes! I love it! Good thinking asking about that.
I’ve been looking at the Roma mattresses and the price is outstanding, but I’ve been reading that the layer/s of soy foam do off-gas. I wish they’d make them w/o the soy.
Hi Erin, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I took a picture of the label on my mattress, it doesn’t have any soy foam. I’ll put it in the post.
Great recommendation, Cara, it seems to not be available in King. Do you know a comparative brand that is?
Just FYI… I was about to buy 3 of these matresses in twin size for our daughters beds. I contacted the company directly to ask them questions. They advised that they no longer use soy they use something called flex foam but it is synthetic. It’s used in the covering with the wool cotton apparently to make it more comfortable. I told him I was looking for a completely natural non toxic matress without any chemicals, fire retardants or synthetic materials and asked him his opinion and he told me he would NOT recommend this matress to me ;(
I’m thankful for his honesty but now out on the prowl searching more!!
That’s weird, mine doesn’t have any soy foam in it, or synthetic, just latex.
What do you think of the tuft & needle brand?
Thank you, Cara! Sarah Pope and Carrie Vitt have also blogged on this. Hope it becomes “the norm”.
Hopefully it will be! The mattress laws are leftover from trying to prevent deaths from people who would fall asleep smoking cigarettes. I would imagine that is a less common occurrence now…
Thanks for sharing your insight and experience. We recently purchased a hybrid from Costco by Brentwood Home. We love it! We have a Brentwood Home Juniper twin coming for my youngest this week. The sales Costco has on these mattresses make them pretty reasonable. From what I can tell Brentwood Home looks nearly identical to Avocado Green mattresses. It’s nice to see more options becoming available.
That’s great, I’ll have to look into it for our next purchase!
Hi Cara, I was wondering if you knew anything about the hybrid latex mattress, Eco Terra? https://ecoterrabeds.com/ It seems like it should be pretty healthy. What’s your take on if it should be all the way natural through and through? Does having coils make it a deal breaker? DH and I think it looks pretty good having natural latex and all, but wanted to run it by you first.
Hi Mandy, I skimmed the website and the only thing that is concerning to me is that they say it’s ‘made with 100% latex foam’ that makes me wonder if there is also a layer of another kind of foam or something in it. It’s the same way some processed foods will say ‘made with real fruit’ when the food is really 90% corn syrup ;) If you can get the company to send you a picture of the mattress tag, I believe that by law they have to disclose all the materials. If it’s really only latex, coils, and cotton, it looks great!