Part 1 of my Non-Toxic Bedroom Series: How to Choose a Latex Mattress. Not all latex is equal. I’ll help you wade through the info so you know what to look for! Done in partnership with Bedrooms & More.
Creating a Non-Toxic Bedroom has been on my to-do list for a while now. Last winter I started having this wheezing thing at night. Only at night. In the bed. At first, we just assumed it was the beginning of a cold or some winter sickness but it didn’t go away. My husband and I started taking note of it and both noticed that it would start about 5 to 10 minutes after we would get in bed.
Truth be told, it didn’t even occur to us at first that it was probably our popular brand memory foam mattress. We thought it was allergies, the carpet, my pillow, dust, etc.
After weeks of this, I started doing more research on the materials that made up our bed and it seemed obvious that we needed to get rid of it and think about what materials we wanted to sleep on and breathe in for (at least) eight hours every single night.
The more I have learned about the actual chemicals and materials that are used to create traditional mattresses and the majority of memory foam mattresses, the more concerned I have been that our mattress was a cesspool of toxic crap. That we were breathing in harmful VOC’s for hours every single night and that it was making me sick.
I started researching Non-Toxic Mattresses and it was so overwhelming! There is SO MUCH information out there, so much mis-information and a lot of really good marketers who want your money.
One thing that became clear was that for a truly Non-Toxic Mattress, I needed to go with latex. But, not all latex mattresses are equal (far from it) as many are made with synthetic latex or pure latex blended with synthetic latex or latex that has toxic glues, adhesives and other chemicals added to it.
I reached out to Bedrooms & More, which is a family-owned Seattle based Mattress store (since 1972) that specializes in pure latex mattresses and other non-toxic bedding. I seriously had about 1000 questions and they took the time to thoughtfully answer every single one. They genuinely care about quality, sustainability and sourcing. Rare to find in the mattress industry but their store is such an amazing resource.
We decided to partner to bring you a 3-post series on Creating a Non-Toxic Bedroom. I’m super excited to help break it down for you. I plan to give you the information that I wish I would have found all in one place from a trusted source.
This first post is all about choosing a latex mattress. What to look for, what questions to ask and empowering you with the information you need to get the highest quality product. Post #2 will be about all of the other materials, accessories and bedding that make up a non-toxic bed and the last post will be a recap of the whole process with a before and after bedroom makeover!
Here is a sneak peek at our bedroom “BEFORE” picture…
Why a Latex Mattress?
Let’s dive into latex mattresses. Latex is one of, if not, the best choices for a truly non-toxic mattress because latex is a sustainable, natural material sourced from the rubber tree. When manufactured in its pure form, there are no off-gassing of toxic VOCs, it’s hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, and has anti-dust mite qualities as these types of organisms do not thrive in natural latex. Lastly, latex offers a natural buoyancy and elasticity that isn’t found in other “green” bedding options.
The thing is that all latex is not created the same. There are three main types of latex used in latex mattresses:
- Botanical Latex (pure latex from the rubber tree sap without any fillers, additives, glues or chemicals)
- Latex Blends (pure latex blended with some type of synthetic latex)
- Synthetic Latex (usually derived from petrochemicals)
What To Look For?
If you want a non-toxic latex mattress, you need to get a mattress that is made from 100% botanical latex from the rubber tree sap. Period. Synthetic latex is not natural and derived from chemicals. These chemicals release harmful VOCs into your bedroom environment which you then breathe in for eight or more hours every night. Synthetic latex also breaks down differently than natural (biodegradable) latex which impacts comfort and durability over time.
Ask for a certificate showing that the mattress was made with tree rubber. If they cannot provide you with this, it’s a major red flag that the mattress is most likely a blend of botanical latex and synthetic latex or even just synthetic latex. Any retailer who sells true tree rubber latex beds will have a certification that proves it.
Comfort and More…
We have had our latex mattress for about two months and I’m still in awe of how comfortable it is. I’m going to break down all of the bedding choices we made to complete our “Sleep Envelope” as the good people at Bedrooms & More call it in my next post. In the meantime, I’ve never slept better and that wheezing thing has been gone since the day we got that memory foam bed out of our house. How crazy is that!?
If you live in the Seattle area, Bedrooms & More is having their once-a-year Memorial Day sale right now. It started on the 19th and runs through May 29th.
If you can’t make it in for that, they have a free class EVERY Saturday morning at 9:30 AM on How To Shop for a Mattress (free parking and coffee included).
I hope this was helpful! Stay tuned for Part 2 in June and check out the video below for a little more about choosing latex and a glimpse into our bed getting set up!
DISCLOSURE: This post is part of a series of posts sponsored by Bedrooms & More. Bedrooms & More has compensated me for my time to create this content and share about my personal experiences with their products. All opinions are my own.