I had a few requirements when searching for a safe mattress...
1) The most important: It must be free of toxins. Toxins in bedding can come in many forms: gases, EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies), and chemicals that will come in contact with the skin.
2.) It must be comfortable.
3.) I would like it to last a long time.
4.) I would like it to be affordable.
I started reading blogs about natural, organic, and safe mattresses and they all seemed to suggest the same one. But when I contacted the company I knew right away that it violated my number 1 requirement. It is full of toxins in the gel ingredients, the EMF's, and even the parts that touch the skin (they are not organic). But what is good enough? Sometimes the rabbit holes can be exhausting and this was no exception.
I learned that having any metal in your mattress and box spring can act as an antenna for electromagnetic frequency and can contribute to many health issues, including cancer. Here and here are some links that explain more about that. So any mattress with coils was automatically out of the running.
In addition to coils, I found that toxic flame retardants in mattresses are used. They also are linked to cancer, learning disabilities and much more.
There were so many options and companies boasting organic and the purest of mattresses. Hours turned into days and days turned into weeks as we sorted through the information, contacting companies trying to find out which was truly the most pure.
When it came down to it there were 3 ingredients that seemed to be the best. Certified organic cotton, organic wool, and natural latex from the rubber tree. The first 2 are fairly easy to sift through because there are associations that are very thorough which certify quality when it comes to organic cotton and wool. The natural rubber latex was a little bit trickier to navigate. Although there can be some certifications and much boasting of truly natural latex, there are often chemicals used in the processing of the latex that are toxic. It is my opinion that it is the chemicals that people have allergic reactions to more often than truly natural latex itself.
We were so persistent searching for the answers to questions that came up as a result of our research including:
What are the gelling agents used?
What are the curing agents used?
Is ammonia used to stabilize the rubber?
Is zinc chloride used to cross-link the cellulose fibers?
How does Talalay latex differ from Dunlop latex?
(In the end, they both seem like decent options but we chose to go with the Talalay because we liked the manufacturer's commitment to a natural product. They even wash everything with filtered water and are quite purist to avoid toxins in any part of their processing.)
How is the pH set?
Is sodium fluorisilicate used?
After weeks of meticulously hunting down information, we narrowed it down to 2 companies. But one was not only more helpful and transparent, but they were also less expensive. I couldn't even get answers to my questions from the other company. The company that I spent the most of my time communicating with, including emails and phone conversations with their President Chris Mullins, is Sleeping Organic. I asked so many questions that had never been asked before and they were very patient and helpful. Chris even gave me the numbers of the actual manufacturers of the latex and we spent some time on the phone with the manufacturer in the Netherlands getting the rest of the answers to our questions directly.
In the end, we are confident that we have the most pure mattress available. The choices at Sleeping Organic offer options to fit most budgets and their warranty is an outstanding 20 years. There is also a 100 night comfort exchange. One of the perks of going with Sleeping Organic is that you can choose your firmness layers of your mattress and at any time you can rotate them to adjust your bed to your liking. When my husband and I are ready to order ours (hopefully in the next year!) we will opt to have our layers split at no extra cost. This is beneficial if there is a season where one of us needs a softer or more firm mattress, we can shift the layers on our side of the bed and get the right support we need for maximum comfort! Another awesome product they have is a crib mattress. I only wish I knew about them when we purchased our highly toxic "organic" crib mattresses. They also have pillows and other accessories and often offer specials and bonuses to orders.
When my daughter finally got her mattress she said it felt like a cloud.