This is a post written in collaboration with Avocado Green Mattress—we’re honored to work with anyone this dedicated to the health and well-being of the planet and the people who live, and sleep, on it. ~ Ed
Our bedrooms are our most sacred, intimate spaces—at least that’s how I’ve always seen it.
It’s the reason T.V. is banned in mine and, most of the time, I try to avoid looking at my phone when I’m in the bedroom too.
I’ve always hung artwork I love and arranged things (a little obsessively I admit) so the space feels uncluttered and zen. I keep closets neat and organised, make sure the sheets are changed regularly so it always feels heavenly and fresh to slip into bed. I basically annoy my husband a fair amount by being super fussy about keeping the whole room tidy, minimalist, and calming.
I don’t do this because I’m an obsessive neat freak (okay, maybe a little), but it’s more because I’ve always felt our bedroom should be a haven from the hectic world outside…a peaceful, welcoming place reserved for sleep and se…dentary activities. Stepping into our bedroom should feel like a warm, wholesome hug from an old friend.
But, despite all the love and care I’ve put into it, I recently realized that the foundation and reason for the whole room was basically toxic to me and my family: our bed, and more specifically, our mattress.
I was horrified, but not surprised.
The further I walk down the eco-conscious consumer path, the more I learn about just how much toxicity is knitted into the fabric of our everyday lives—into the products and habits we once saw as perfectly safe and completely ordinary, because we were never informed enough before to question them.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
Now that I know better, I must do better—for my own, my family’s, and the planet’s health.
So I started researching greener, more natural alternatives and found this article (right here on Elephant) whose writer did the legwork of hunting down and testing all the best quality, most affordable eco mattress options.
And this is what she came up with: “I searched for months for the best non-toxic, eco, affordable mattress…The magic sleep island at the end of my mattress quest, Avocado Green Mattress turned out to be my big winner.”
Now, a mattress is something you don’t just pop to the shops to pick up casually one Saturday morning. It’s a “highly considered” purchase, as it should be. There are a lot of factors to balance: materials, quality, value, brand reputation, reviews, warranty, and so on. But far too often, the impact on the environment and human health is an afterthought. It shouldn’t be. On the contrary, it’s important for the health of the planet, and our own health, to be the change we wish to see by opting for an eco-friendly mattress as well as other eco-friendly products.
Like all great, forward-thinking products, Avocado Mattress is an innovative solution born out of necessity.
In 2016, Jeff and Alexandra D’Andrea wanted to buy a green mattress—made from non-toxic, natural, and organic materials—that they could actually afford. But instead of choices, they found dubious claims and companies that were pretending to be green. What was often being marketed as green, natural, and non-toxic was, in truth, hardly so.
Their research showed that most mattresses (even from the most reputable brands) are made with industrial-strength chemicals and contain toxins that are known to be dangerous to our health and the environment.
Jeff and Alex discovered (as I recently did) that most mattress brands rely on petroleum-based polyurethane foams that can emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), a chemical odor, also known as “off-gassing,” which can cause respiratory and throat irritation, forgetfulness, dizziness, headaches, skin sensitization, and allergic reactions. The fact that many companies also use chemical adhesives and chemical flame retardants, and include phthalates, heavy metals, and formaldehyde in their product formula—all of which are suspected to cause cancer, developmental problems, neurological deficits, and impaired fertility—gave Jeff and Alex reason to pause.
Yes, there were a handful of green options, but most were too expensive. They believed they could do better.
So Jeff and Alex went to work. They assembled a small team with a deep expertise in technology, design, manufacturing, marketing and customer service to create their first product and build their brand. They are not venture-funded or infused with loads of cash from outside investors, like so many other similar companies. Instead, they used their own money to design an honest product that’s unlike almost everything else in the marketplace. And they called the core product and the company, Avocado Green Mattress. (Why? Because they say Avocados are green and everyone loves them!)
Fast forward to today: their Avocado Green Mattress is handmade in sunny California with natural and organic materials, to include 100% natural latex from tree-tapped and sustainable sources, natural Joma® New Zealand Wool, and certified organic cotton. It also features up to 1,414 fabric-encased innersprings made from recycled steel, with varying, zoned support for proper shoulder, hip, and back support. Every Avocado ships compressed in a plain, unbranded, recyclable box, and includes free shipping, free return pickups, 100-night sleep trials, optional in-home setup, and removal of your existing mattress. No wonder they’re rated five stars by verified customers.
But what’s disrupting the market is what’s not included: no petroleum-based polyurethane foams, no toxic flame retardants, no chemical adhesives, and no industrial chemicals are used. It’s about as natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly as they can make it. And it’s surprisingly affordable, with prices starting at just $959.
Considering the average lifespan of a standard, toxic mattress or bed-in-a-box is about 10 years, and Avocado comes with a 25-year limited warranty that’s a pretty good deal.
If we’re going to go green with our mattress, how about the rest of the bedroom?
While the #1 way to green our bedrooms is by starting with our mattress, what other products are poisoning our most intimate spaces, unbeknownst to us? Are there other easy and affordable ways we can safeguard our own health at home, whilst protecting the planet—even if we’re not ready or able to purchase a new mattress just yet?
Here are four more bonus tips from the genuinely helpful and caring people at Avocado:
Bonus tip #2:
Make an easy sleep upgrade: the Avocado Green Pillow is probably the fastest and best sleep upgrade you can give to your bed, short of buying a new mattress. Made from Dunlop latex strips and biodegradable Kapok fiber with an organic cotton cover, these pillows are the most supportive and cushiony all-natural pillow across the board.
Bonus tip #3:
Come clean about the air you breathe: indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air and 90% percent of our lives is spent indoors. Break down harmful microscopic pollutants like allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and even airborne chemical with an air purifier from Molekule.
Bonus tip #4:
Get intimate with ethical and sustainable: as truly eco-consumers, we should make sure what we wear closest to our hearts is just as kind to our environment and one another. Opt for sustainably and ethically-made underwear and sleepwear, like Luva Huva.
Bonus tip #5:
Put only love and care into your body: make sure when it comes to your most intimate of intimates, it’s organic, fair trade, and sustainably made all the way. Most sexual health-related products contain harmful ingredients and put little care into how they affect our bodies, particularly women’s bodies. Sustain Natural are changing that. Their range of tampons, pads, condoms, lubes, and wipes put our bodies and the planet first, leaving out the bad stuff—like parabens, animal by-products, and sythetic fragrances.
Here’s to healthier, happier, gentler living in and out of the bedroom.
Brand Content Editor: Khara-Jade Warren