Organic Mattress: Everything You Need To Know
What Makes an Organic Mattress?
The term “organic” is thrown around a lot these days. And while it is rightly seen as a good thing, something being labeled as organic can sometimes be misleading. This includes organic mattresses. Let’s take a deep dive into what an organic mattress actually is, and what you need to look for when shopping.
What is an Organic Mattress
So what is an organic mattress? The term organic often refers to a specific certification, wherein a mattress has to meet certain requirements in order to be “certified” as organic. However, sometimes even when an item is officially labeled as organic, it has still not been made with the best, most eco-friendly practices and resources. The truth is that mattresses are rarely 100 percent organic, and you should be wary if a manufacturer claims to be providing you with one. Rather, there are more telling criteria that can help you to decipher which mattresses are the best, least-toxic options for both the environment, as well as you and your family.
Look at the components that make up your mattress. The best mattress manufacturers will prioritize using natural materials as much as possible. This includes every part of the mattress, from the core to the cover. This requires not taking shortcuts in the process of making those materials. Be sure to enquire regarding not only the materials that make up the mattress, but the way in which those materials were sourced and processed — was the mattress created ethically and is the manufacturer able to tell you how?
If your biggest reason for shopping for an organic mattress is that you want something that will be the best for a healthy sleep, the most important factor will be making sure that everything is hypoallergenic and free of unnecessary, harmful chemicals. Even if a mattress brand has labeled their product a “green mattress,” that does not necessarily mean that their product will also be friendly to allergy sufferers.
Many synthetic materials encourage dust mites, which can aggravate many common allergies, and even some non-synthetic mattresses do not have the properties necessary to prevent allergens such as dust mites, mold, mildew and bacteria from living in the bedding. On the other hand, to point to a positive example, Talalay latex is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, so is an excellent choice for a mattress core.
Organic Where Possible
Furthermore, when trying to spot a green mattress, it’s also telling when manufacturers opt to use organic materials wherever possible. Whether it is natural latex cores, organic bedding covers, or other organic components such as organic mattress protectors or organic pillow casings, this can show a dedication to creating a fully natural mattress.
What Makes FloBeds the Best Option for a Natural Mattress?
Now that you know what to look for in a good, ethically made and chemical-free mattress, you can start to spot those mattresses that are better than the rest. And when you choose your mattress using this criteria, rather than an arbitrary certification, it is easy to see why Flobeds is the best mattress brand for both comfort and peace of mind. Allow us to explain why this is the case, by breaking down an average FloBeds mattress.
A key component in what makes our green mattress the best one out there is the 100 percent natural Talalay latex that we use. We use the Talalay process for a number of reasons, but a major one is how eco-friendly it is. Using natural latex rubber and renewable resources and water-based raw materials, the Talalay latex core for our mattresses is always environmentally friendly, and has been 100 percent natural since 2005.
Furthermore, as mentioned, Talalay latex is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial. What this means is that your bed will not serve as a breeding ground for things such as bacteria, mold, or mildew. Whether you are sensitive to certain allergens or not, this is an important quality in a mattress, and essential for a healthy sleep. Additionally, this natural latex is three times more resistant to dust mites than a traditional mattress. And most important of all, this latex is certified “baby safe” by Oeko-Tex, making it the best for your most precious and vulnerable family members.
What is more, as well as being natural, the Talalay process is superior in terms of comfort. No latex process keeps its shape and support over the years like Talalay. While still giving enough to ease pressure and relieve tension from important areas of your body, it is able to maintain form over time in a way that many other mattress cores cannot, including polyurethane foam, Memory Foam and Dunlop latex. In addition to this, Talalay latex is incredibly breathable and allows for maximum air circulation, making it the perfect material to provide cooler sleep in warm temperatures and warm sleep in cool temperatures.
What is organic cotton? Organic cotton is the version of its conventional counterpart grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals, and that makes it hugely different, especially considering that cotton (organic or otherwise) provides about half of all the world’s fiber needs.
In addition to the natural latex core, every FloBeds mattress is covered organic cotton. And if you are uncertain as to whether this organic certification is the real deal, you need not worry. The cotton we use is completely sustainable, and grown without the use of any chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, or any other harmful chemicals. Standard cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, and is typically grown with the use of many different synthetic chemical fertilizers. With our organic cotton covers, you not only get ultimate comfort, but the ability to sleep soundly in the knowledge that the cover is chemical-free and ethically sourced.
Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of insecticides on 3 percent of our arable land; that’s more than any other crop per unit. That adds up to 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to produce enough cotton for a t-shirt, and 3/4 of a pound for a pair of jeans. And that’s just not bad for the planet; 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Organic cotton on the other hand, uses agricultural methods designed to help sustain the land it grows on, the people who grow and harvest it, and the planet in general. Organic farming really starts with the soil. Compost, frequent crop rotations and cover crop strategies replace synthetic fertilizers to keep the soil healthy and productive. Weeds are controlled by innovative farm machinery, hand labor or flame devices rather than herbicide applications. Rather than attempting to eradicate all insects with chemicals, organic farmers cultivate a diversity of natural enemies which prey on insect pests, and lure pests away from cotton by planting trap crops. Insect pests can be effectively kept in balance with well-timed introduction of beneficial insects to fields. In warmer growing regions, where the cotton plants must be killed or defoliated to pick a quality crop before the onset of winter rains, organic growers shut off water early, and apply certified certified materials to promote cotton boll opening and leaf dropping, readying the fibers for harvest. In the US, both conventional and organic cotton are mostly machine-picked; in some developing countries, cotton is still harvested by hand.
When it comes time to harvest by hand, it follows then that organic cotton is also much safer for those who pick it. Workers aren’t exposed to breathing or otherwise ingesting toxic chemicals while active in the field, and don’t have to worry about the same nasty chemicals getting into their water supply if they live nearby. They can raise healthier children and livestock, and everyone is happier (okay, we made that last part up, but it seems to fit, right?).
Organic cotton certification: Like other organic products (food is the most prominent example), organic cotton must be certified as such by a third party, based upon pre-determined rules and regulations for what is and isn’t allowed in the cultivation process. Here in the United States, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the organic certification process, based on the standards set in the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA); because organic cotton is grown around the world, and the US supply is not large enough to keep up with demand, other certification groups are often cited for products we see and use.
The Dutch organization SKAL (one we’ve seen around a lot), for example, works in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia to certify different agricultural products as organic. Among the rules for certification, in addition to the ongoing ban of pesticides and other chemicals, is that the soil cannot have been sprayed with any of the banned substances for three years, so proper organic certification takes significant time, effort and bureaucratic rule-following (some might call it hoop-jumping or cutting red tape, but we won’t) but the results are something to be proud of: a truly sustainable product.
The final piece of the Flobeds organic bedding is the organic wool mattress protector. Made from St. Dormeir wool, these protectors are not only soft and durable, but completely organic. Made to be washable and breathable, the wool mattress protectors are perfect for expanding upon the Talalay latex’ ability to aid sleep quality by helping to keep you cool and dry in the summer, and warm and cosy in the winter.
Pure organic Plein-Air Wool® fiber used in bedding materials promotes maximum air-flow around your body, and provides natural moisture- wicking – wicks away 1/3 it’s weight in moisture – to help you sleep cool and dry. Plus, it’s nature’s temperature regulator: warm in winter and cool in summer.
Plein-Air Sheep make the best wool! You can be confident that the wool in our luxurious mattress cover is chemical free. NO chemicals or acids are used in the production or processing of organic wool. The sheep are not dipped or treated with any pesticides or herbicides.
The organic wool fleece used in our mattress covers is washed with pure fresh water and baking soda – no additives – preserving the natural lanolin content and a skin friendly pH value of 7.5.
Organic wool also provides chemical-free fire resistance! FloBeds was the first mattress company to use wool (and no chemicals) to pass the new Federal Fire Resistance standards. We have wool on all six sides of the mattress.
Doing the Right Thing is a choice – The use of pure organic wool from sheep raised in a humane manner is yet another example of what many eco-minded businesses are finding: that doing the right thing can produce wonderful results. By simply trying to make the best product possible, FloBeds once again demonstrates that you CAN produce a superior NATURAL product, one that in all ways reflects the integrity and care with which it is produced.
THE SECRET OF WOOL’S SUPERIORITY
Under a microscope, a single fiber of wool looks like a hair whose surface is covered with overlapping scales, like the shingles of a house. These scales are made up of millions of cells and are, in turn, covered with a very thin sheath or membrane which is finely porous – porous enough to let vapor penetrate, but at the same time, resistant to water droplets. And inside the fiber is a very thirsty center that can absorb up to 30% its own weight in moisture – ten times as much as any synthetic, and without feeling clammy. This complex construction creates a fiber capable of absorbing and rapidly evaporating body vapor for healthy dry comfortable warmth.
Wool’s natural absorbency offers another distinct advantage. Because of its extraordinary ability to hold moisture, wool fiber is inherently flame-resistant. The main reason major hotel chains prefer wool bedding is because wool offers beauty and comfort along with a full measure of safety.
Each fiber also has a natural “crimp” like a coiled spring with permanent built-in “memory”, enabling it to return to its original shape after stress. This springiness keeps products such as comforters eternally fluffy, soft and comfortable for a lifetime. In a comforter, wool’s indestructible loft results in millions of microscopic air pockets, which supply the insulation that keep body heat in and cold out.
A survey of wool’s advantages in blankets and wool-filled comforters reveals the versatility, practicality, and superiority of this amazing natural resource, the wonder fiber that science can’t match.
- Pure organic Plein-Air Wool® fiber used in bedding materials promotes maximum air-flow around your body, and provides natural moisture- wicking to help you sleep cool and dry.
- NO chemicals or acids are used in the production or processing of organic wool. The sheep are not dipped or treated with any pesticides or herbicides.
- The organic wool fleece used in our mattress covers is washed with pure fresh water and baking soda – no additives – preserving the natural lanolin content and a skin friendly pH value of 7.5
- Organic wool also provides chemical-free fire resistance!
- Wool’s natural absorbency offers another distinct advantage. Because of its extraordinary ability to hold moisture, wool fiber is inherently flame-resistant.
WOOL-FILL IS COMFORTABLE
Wool is the prized “Golden Fleece” sought in ancient times. Today, quality lightweight wool-fill is equally prized for the new dimension it brings to mattresses, comforters, pillows and mattress toppers.
Like all pure wool bedding, wool-fill feels comfortable, offers superior insulation, resists flames, and lasts over a hundred years. The crimp in the wool fiber makes wool fill especially versatile. Wool naturally forms a cohesive batting without any chemical binders. Bedding made of pure wool-fill will not lose its shape, separate into lumps or shift.
WOOL-FILL IS RESILIENT
Wool-fill retains its superior qualities, wet or dry. Unlike down, which shift into corners and bunches when wet, wool-fill stays fluffy and evenly plump. Unlike synthetics, which feel clammy when wet and flatten out with wear, wool-fill spares you uneven cold spots.
Wool-fill is so resilient it consistently outperforms synthetics such as polyester fiberfill. In scientific tests, wool recovered 95% of its original thickness when compressed. Synthetic substitutes recovered 67% to 79%. No matter how it is twisted, crushed, or pulled, pure wool-fill springs back to its original lush thickness.
WOOL FOR HEALTHY DRY COMFORT
The natural three-dimensional structure of wool (which could never be duplicated in a factory) creates millions of air pockets to trap warmth. This unique cellular arrangement not only gives wool-fill great insulating value, but also allows it to absorb body vapor and diffuse it into the atmosphere. Compared to synthetics, which can absorb moisture equal to merely 4% or less of their weight, wool can absorb up to 30% without feeling cold or clammy. That’s how wool-fill creates a natural comfort zone of dry, warm air around the body to keep you comfortably warmer, longer.
As wool-fill absorbs moisture, it dries from within and so conserves natural body heat. Even under dramatically cold conditions, wool-filled bedding offers excellent protection against rapid loss of body temperature. Whether or not you need this extra protection, you’ll find bedding filled with wool is as luxuriously warm as down, but at less cost and without any of the drawbacks.
WOOL IS NATURALLY RESISTANT TO DUST MITES
FloBeds organic wool retains a small percentage of lanolin oil, a completely natural dust-mite repellant.
WOOL IS FLAME-RESISTANT
Wool bedding is the safest choice both at home and in hospitals, hotels, schools, and other institutional settings. Because of its unique chemical structure and natural moisture content, wool is difficult to ignite. It merely chars, and won’t flair up. It will not melt, so when forced to ignite it does not cling to the skin and cause serious hot melt burn. FloBeds uses wool to meet the Federal mattress flame resistant laws. See the burn-test video. Once again, we were first.
WOOL PROVIDES THE BEST VALUE $$$
Consumers can count on pure wool comforters and mattress toppers for 15, 20, to 30 years and beyond. Initially a wool-filled comforter may cost more than a synthetic substitute, but in the long run wool is the lowest in cost and the highest in comfort and usefulness. Wool comforters out-wear and out-perform all other fibers, AND the wool in comforters, mattress toppers and pillows can be re-carded (re-fluffed) for generations of lasting use.
WOOL IS ECOLOGICAL / BIODEGRADABLE
Wool fiber requires no factory to produce it. Part of its own miracle is that it is self-replenishing. Its source, the sheep, lives on (unlike the source of down) existing on vegetation, which is also self-replenishing.
With mounting concern about what to do with discarded products no longer of use to anybody, wool’s biodegradability is more important then ever. A wool comforter lasts for decades and when the comforter finally gives out it can be returned to the earth for natural recycling, or custom recycled (re-carded) and returned to you for decades of comfort.
All of our removable zippered mattress covers are made with Organic Plein-Air Wool® and produced with the utmost care and respect for the animals that produce it, and the products destined to be made from it. It has been washed in a biodegradable soap and sterilized in a mild hydrogen peroxide. It is NOT carbonized with sulfuric acid like often done with conventionally produced wool.
Wool-filled comforters and mattress pads are an investment in the future. As Heirlooms, they are passed from one generation to the next. The wool can be reprocessed like new again and old covers replaced with new fabric. Wool comforters are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They are washable and usually non-allergenic because of the natural fiber and nonchemical processing.
Featured in all our Mattress Covers: Organic Plein-Air Wool®
Plein-Air Wool® – Plein-Air (French for open-air) Wool is the term used for wool from sheep that live outside all year round. This manner of livestock husbandry results in a longer naturally curly fiber, producing superior temperature regulation for the sheep AND for you.
The strong natural curl provides lasting resilience, bounce and loft that is superior to mechanically crimped wool fiber which will matt down faster. The artificial crimping process used by some wool producers creates strain on the fibers causing them to break easier which results in shorter fibers. This has a direct negative effect on the long-term resilience and loft of the product.
There are zero chemicals used during the wool growing and processing steps. The sheep are not dipped or treated with any pesticides or herbicides.
After shearing, the wool goes through three washing cycles with increasing temperatures (90° – 140°F) followed by a cold rinse in pure water. During the washing cycles pure baking soda and water is used – nothing else. The drying takes place in drum driers and the wool is then cooled down on cooling racks for 24-28 hours before pressing and packaging.
After the washing process the lanolin (oil) content of the wool is less than 1%. This virtually eliminates the typical sheep odor and the risk of moth infestation.
Our organic plein-air wool is harvested from the back and belly only. This is a very important factor as wool for “fill” (as opposed to garments) can also comes from the legs and crotch of the animal and it is impossible to completely wash out the smell.
But if you are looking for a green mattress, the thing that may excite you most about St. Dormier wool is that it is also completely natural and chemical-free. Sourced from New Zealand, you can rest easy in the knowledge that this wool is recognized as a world leader in terms of quality. Wool is also a naturally inhospitable material for dust mites — especially when compared to man-made fibers — and each protector is also encased in natural cotton, meaning even if you have a rare wool allergy, you can still enjoy the protector.
Another bonus of a wool mattress protector is that wool is inherently flame-resistant, countering the need for any chemical flame retardants.
Frequently Asked Questions About Organic Mattresses
To clear up any remaining confusion that you may have on the subject, here are a few of the most common questions about organic mattresses, along with the answers to them.
What organic mattress is the best?
As mentioned, the term “organic mattress” is often somewhat misleading, and refers more to the use of natural or organic components, materials, and processes in the manufacturing of that mattress. So while no mattress is fully organic, a FloBeds Talalay mattress is the best green mattress, and perhaps the closest thing you will find to an organic latex mattress.
Are organic mattresses worth the money?
Since the label “organic” is often thrown around so casually, and often without proper certification, be wary of any mattress brand that claims to be selling a fully organic mattress. In that sense, organic mattresses may not be worth the money, but if you can find a mattress that is made using natural and organic materials, that is something worth spending money on. FloBeds mattresses are certified pure, and we can guarantee that they are all-natural and ecologically safe from top to bottom. Each one even comes with an Oeko-Tex certificate of purity. And if you are not happy with your FloBeds mattress, you have our Goldilocks Guarantee that you can have your money back within 100 days.
FloBeds is the only place where you can be completely certain that you will sleep naturally on a mattress that is perfectly suited to your needs. With personalized firmness, high quality materials, and that all-important Talalay latex difference, not only do you have peace of mind that you are helping the earth, but you will end up with a mattress that is nothing less than what you always dreamed of. Get started and build your new latex mattress today.