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
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.
My favorite mattress is the wool and innerspring mattress, I got one for my daughter’s crib mattress, and it was super comfortable, held up well, and smelled like sweet wool (I love how wool smells). That mattress was purchased about 12 years ago. The wool innerspring mattresses are the most expensive kind, so as I’ve bought them for bigger beds, I’ve switched to natural foam.
I also recommend a natural pack-n-play mattress if you use one of those for your kids. I actually purchased two, since my little guy napped at a babysitter’s a couple times a week, and I was using a pack-n-play for his crib full time at home.
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.
As of 2/24/2018 this mattress is 100% latex, each of the two different kinds described below, with a cotton cover and wool as the flame retardant layer. I have an earlier version of this mattress, and I LOVE it! It’s what I slept on with my youngest when he was an infant. It’s comfortable, not too hot, and never had that ‘offgassing’ smell.
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.