The Stuff That Dreams are Made of.
About 4 years ago we had dinner with some of our closest friends who make some of the most ridiculously absurd purchases. Our dinner conversation went from their insanely decorated home, to their country club, their son’s private school and then eventually to their beds. They told us about these amazing mattresses they discovered. Mattresses that were originally made for kings and queens. We laughed so hard we almost cried as they told us about the way these beds were crafted. Made only of the finest materials like organic cotton, flax and wool. They were hand sewn and assembled then covered in a signature check material that screams – I am for the elite. Hilarious as it all seemed, in the back of my head I was thinking we might actually be onto something since we had been looking for a new, safe mattress…for about 5 years, no joke. I was getting a little excited until they mentioned the cost. Just a little more than 10k they said. Say WHAT?? “Watch the video” they said. “Then you’ll understand.” So we did. Next thing you know the joke was on us. We were trying to figure out how to budget for the lower end of the line… a $13,000 mattress that was going to help us live 10 years longer. I even called a few of their stores and asked about floor models. Seriously? Who the F wants a floor model mattress?
After coming down from our mattress high and landing firmly back in reality, we decided to look for something a bit more practical. But I still agree with the makers of said video. Your bed is arguably the most important piece of furniture in your house. On average you’ll be spending about 23 years of your life asleep on one. If you have too many young children or are a blogger like me, you can cut that down to about 20. Even still, that seems like an adequate amount of time to justify paying a premium for where you’ll be resting your head.
Everyone likes to name drop when they buy an expensive, name brand mattress. I cry a little inside when I hear the names. I’m sorry to burst the bubble of all you savvy, snobby mattress shoppers. Those memory foam toppers, cool to the touch sleepers, sleep number situations and pretty much any other big box brand mattresses are just a straight up crime. You’re paying a premium for absolute crap. Some time ago someone got the idea that we should take a bunch of fluff, mix it with springs or coils, toss in some toxic flame retardants and call it something to sleep on. Manufacturers aren’t required to label or share what goes inside so there is very little motivation to make something better. The marketing is flashy and the markups are ridiculous. Once again, the consumer pays the price in dollars and health.
I will leave all of the boring, scary details of why you should believe me to the bloggers of the world who get 19 hours of sleep in their lifetime. Trust me when I tell you, if you are going to replace just one major ticket item in your house this year, make it your mattress. If you have a newborn or toddler in a crib, make replacing his/her mattress your priority. This and this will provide even more information on children and safe sleep.
Our journey to find something better wasn’t easy. We looked long and hard and travelled to distant lands (okay, Colorado) to find something we could agree upon. I wanted non-toxic, my husband wanted comfort. I wanted the Rolls Royce of mattresses, my husband wanted to be able to pay our mortgage. Like so many things that are better for you, they don’t always feel the same as what we are used to…and the really amazingly comfortable and safe mattresses can put you out thousands of dollars. Toxic as they may be, those other beds are comfy. Natural latex isn’t always so much.
I know that many of you are in the same position we were a few years ago. I hear your cries, I see your texts, I get your emails and I nod to your tags on Facebook asking me for my help. So here it is, people. The Better Have is going to walk you through how to find a safe mattress. Actually, scratch that. You really just want to know about some decent brands.
The good news is that there are many new safer options on the market. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are all as good as they sound… most are not and there are many labels that confuse the consumer with false trust. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Oeko-Tek certification are the gold standard.
But even if they aren’t all that they seem, brands that carry some of the other labels still tend to be eco-friendlIER and much more committed to safety than the conventional brands. They also provide a more reasonable price point which is a plus. You know my blog is about BETTER, not best… progress, not perfection. This guide reflects accordingly.
The three mattress brands I have actually laid on and love are:
Others that have a great reputation from fellow eco-minded (AKA anti-chemical nutcase) mamas:
Companies that are offering a step in the right direction at a reasonable price:
Intriguing but yet not well researched (by me or anyone I trust):
Avocado Green Mattress (use code BetterHave100 for $100 off any size Gwen or Reed mattress)
Whatever mattress you get, it’s always a good idea to air it out for a few days before bringing it inside and sleeping on it.
If you have recently purchased a mattress that can’t be returned or you simply can’t budget for a new one, there is something you can do that I highly recommend to minimize off-gassing. You can wrap your mattress in a cover made of polyethylene. There are ones like this for beds and this or this for cribs.
When it comes to bedding, pillows and duvet covers – we love the products we have purchased from Holy Lamb Organics. Use code “FRIEND16” for 15% off your order.
Finally, for the record and because I know inquiring minds want to know, my baby sleeps like a queen on her Hastens while we sleep a little less luxe on a Loom & Leaf mattress. Something’s gotta give.
*We will be purchasing another new mattress in the coming weeks and I will update you when we do!
Until then, goodnight…sleep right.