The burden of changing buying habits for a more sustainable world is on governments, industries, and on individual consumers too. But, focusing on the latter group for a moment, with a specific subset of purchasing – your beds and bedding – here’s mattress expert and writer Hasic M with an overview of eco-friendly mattresses and bedding; how they’re made, and where to get them …
Many companies create mattresses that are eco-friendly, which can responsibly be disposed of or recycled once they have served their purpose. It is important for you to consider using one of these “green” mattresses as one of the things that you can do to protect the environment.
The reason for the popularity of these mattresses is the fact that thousands of mattresses are discarded every year around the USA alone, and nearly every single one of these mattresses simply sit on the top of a rubbish pile or junkyard scrapheap. The average mattress contains materials that are man-made and which release gases into the atmosphere if not disposed of properly, but most recycling centers won’t accept mattresses due to the presence of the metal springs.
Types of eco-friendly mattresses
Using these eco-friendly mattresses are an important step that you can take to be more eco-friendly, and there are many types of “green” mattresses:
- The latex mattress is created from natural ingredients, mainly the sap of the rubber tree. These mattresses are made from natural latex, and are non-irritant for the skin.
- A futon is a Japanese style mattress made entirely out of wool and cotton, and is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to redecorate their house in an Far-East style. They resemble very thick and heavy down blankets, but they are very comfortable and provide excellent lower back support.
Where green mattresses and bedding come from
The eco-friendly mattress is made with material that is natural and non-toxic, and the manufacturing process doesn’t release chemicals into the air. Green mattresses are healthier both for you and the environment. The materials used for the mattresses are harvested from eco-friendly farmland. The sheep raised for their wool are kept in an environmentally-friendly and humane setting, with their food being free of chemicals and pesticides. They are left to roam free and graze, and they are kept healthy and clean without the aid of hormones or antibiotics.
The materials used are sustainable materials, such as cotton, bamboo, or wool. These materials are able to be grown quickly, easily, and sustainably. Instead of trees cut down for your mattress, these newer and more environmentally sensitive processes ensure that sustainable materials are used, and that the plants grown in order to create these bedding products are completely organic.
Eco-friendly bedding improves air quality, reducing off-gassing
The eco-friendly mattress itself has not been bleached with chemicals, as so many mattresses are. Instead, sustainably harvested cotton and wool is grown organically. This allows for better air quality in the home of the purchaser, as well as reducing harmful off-gassing that negatively affects the environment as a whole.
There are no artificial retardants used on it. Wool is resistant to fire already, and is also mildew-resistant and non-allergenic. Instead of using synthetic materials that require chemicals sprayed on it to resist bugs, mildew, and fire, organic wool acts as a natural obstruction to dust mites.
Can the label tell me anything about whether my mattress is green?
There is one label to look for in order to tell you about the eco-friendliness of a mattress, and this is the “SSA Environmental & Safety Program” insignia. There is a circular seal with a representation of a green field, and the level of “Green-ness” being represented by a leaf:
How mattresses are rated for eco-friendliness
Level I mattresses are the least eco-friendly of the mattresses, while Level III are the most eco-friendly. Already you will be able to find these labels on mattresses made by NaturePedic, Spring Air, Natura, and Boyd Specialty Sleep.
Even if you don’t find these labels on your mattresses, you should ask the salesman exactly what the mattresses are made of. The salesmen will be able to inform you exactly how eco-friendly your mattress is.
Where can I find eco-friendly mattresses?
While not all of the mattresses will be considered green, most will contain a number of green components, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for eco-friendly mattresses.
Nearly every large mattress store in the country will carry a number of eco-friendly mattresses, and you can visit your local mattress store, or consult an online store via Google or other search engine, to find one. If they don’t carry these “green” mattresses, they will usually be able to provide you with information on where to obtain one.
Hasic M is the editor of MattressDetective.com, a consumer oriented site where he focus on mattress reviews and ratings aimed to help you pick a mattress that suits your needs.