For most people, buying a mattress comes down to two main factors: comfort and price. Individual preference will determine the former while individual budget will determine the latter. However, many shoppers are now becoming increasingly aware of the need to be eco-friendly. There are certainly ways to make your choice of mattress one that is better for Mother Nature, and environmentally-friendly options aren't hard to get hold of.
If you'd like to improve your eco-friendly credentials when you pick up your next mattress, you simply need to know what to avoid and what to seek out.
Know What to Avoid
Even though conventional mattresses are made with materials that seem quite natural, they will often have been made using petroleum-based polyester, nylon, or polyurethane (PU). Due to the manufacturing method, these materials should be avoided; they also emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Another thing to check is whether the material has been sprayed with flame-retardants, such as silicone and boric acid.
In terms of the inner material, make sure you veer away from memory foam. Memory foam is made using petroleum products and other harsh chemicals, so it shouldn't be considered an eco-friendly choice.
Know What to Look For
Now you know what to avoid, we can move on to the best choices. When it comes to mattresses, latex is generally the most ethical material. Though latex sounds like something that has been produced using chemicals and oils, it is actually obtained by tapping a rubber tree. No herbicides or pesticides need to be used, and the fact that the trees aren't killed during this process means that latex is a sustainable resource. Even the cut made for tapping heals quickly.
Of course, a latex mattress needs to be covered in softer material if it is to be comfortable to sleep upon, so you'll also need to consider the covering. Organic cotton and wool are your best options, and organic cotton will often be wrapped in wool to make it fire-resistant. After you've checked that the cotton is organic, make sure the wool is both all-natural and pure grown, this means that the sheep it was taken from have been raised and treated humanely.
Finding an eco-friendly mattress might sound like a tough task, but there are plenty of options out there. Remember, you won't just be helping to save the planet – the absence of chemicals will also prevent allergy flare-ups and help you protect your health. In every possible way, it's the natural choice.
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