This is a post written in collaboration with Haiku Designs—an Elephant partner. We’re honored to work with them—they’re dedicated to transforming our homes and offices into eco-friendly, “Zen Modern” spaces. ~ ed.
“People don’t think about it—they eat organic, they exercise, but they don’t realize that a third of their lives is spent on a toxic mattress.” ~ Clay Phipps
This article is part two of a series on eco-friendly home choices. Read part one here.
Is the place where I rest my head every night as safe as it seems?
Or am I in a toxic relationship with my bedding? Are my mattress, sheets, pillows, and comforters poisoning me?
Unfortunately, for many people, the answer is yes. Perhaps it’s a slow poisoning spread out over several years, but it’s a poisoning never the less.
You have heard the cliché many times I am sure: we spend a third of our lives in bed. And this wouldn’t be a problem, if it weren’t for the fact that most sleeping products today are made from a whole list of synthetic fibers and petrochemical foams. In addition, in order to meet Federal Flammability requirements, traditional mattresses must be treated with some type of flame retardant chemical. Many of these chemical fibers and foams are known carcinogens. Most will off-gas some type of volatile organic compound (VOC) into the sleeping environment and some can also effect us by contact with our skin.
Over time, these chemical compounds can begin to create a whole list of health issues that begin stressing our immune and nervous systems, eventually resulting in auto-immune issues, allergic reactions, low immunity to illness, low energy, restless sleep, skin and food sensitivities.
It gets worse, though…
Mattresses and pillows based on synthetic chemical foams are also especially attractive to dust mites. In case ya didn’t already know, dust mites are microscopic creatures that live on human skin flakes. Eugh! They are harmless in themselves, but synthetic mattresses are an ideal harbor for dust mites. They love it. It is the droppings from dust mites that are dangerous. Some synthetic mattresses over a span of several years can have up to 2-3 lbs. of dust mite’s droppings and these again cause allergic reactions and compromised immune systems.
The only answer is to go natural and eco-friendly.
Haiku Designs feel there is a better, less toxic way to go. Thanks goodness today’s eco-friendly consumer has a choice of buying all natural and organic sleep products, from natural botanical latex foam mattress, to organic sheets and comforters. These products have little to no chemicals or synthetic foams and not only provide a comfortable and luxurious sleep but also are toxin free.
Here is list of healthier choices that’ll give you a better night’s rest, short and long-term:
Organic & All-Natural Mattresses
Consider botanical latex foam mattresses. Latex is an all natural foam formed the sap of the Asian rubber tree. It is gathered much like maple syrup, and then formed and molded into latex foam sheets. This is an all-natural product, and is also naturally resistant to dust mites. Dust mites cannot abide the natural foam cellular structure in latex. Latex also has double the life expectancy of synthetic foams, creating a good long-term healthy investment.
Look for eco-friendly mattresses that use wool instead of a chemical flame retardant. Wool is naturally flame resistant. In addition, wool wicks away moisture. Lessing and eliminating night sweats as well as creating a comfortable sleeping environment.
Consider botanical latex pillows, or pillows made from all natural wool clusters. Several pillows lines today are made from….an all-natural product made from tree fiber. These come in all sorts of densities and comfort levels, allowing you to find the just right pillow to meet your sleeping requirements.
Organic Cotton & All-Natural Bedding
Many mattresses, comforters, and sheets today are available in organic cotton. Look for organic certifications and a list of materials to ensure you are buying as much natural fiber as possible. Consider raw tussah silk comforters, which are very popular in Europe.
The big advantage is by considering eco-friendly options for your bedroom you are creating a healthy, toxic free, chemical sleep environment, resulting in a better nights sleep. In addition, these all-natural choices will support sustainable agricultural practices and cuts down on the use of chemicals through out the manufacturing process.
Here’s to better and healthier sleep, a better and healthier you, and better and healthier world.