Monday, January 28, 2013

Mattress rodeo

Sophie is going to have a pretty sweet suite in a few days: mostly hand made, thrifted, low-VOC, and organic. I socked away the bedding a few weeks back, material for the curtains (still to-be-sewn) and just now purchased the long-awaited mattress. We have a really easy homemade headboard waiting to be attached to the wall (courtesy Aunt Nancy), and she'll be getting the thrifted dresser that I purchased and painted for Tucker's nursery. While she doesn't have 100% organic bedding and we won't be springing for the untreated natural wood box spring, we are still making big strides in lowering the chemical load of this house one purchase at a time.

Here is the mattress round up. It's a rodeo out there of information, mis-information, "green-ing" of things are not even close to "green," and extreme over-use of the word "eco." Don't get me wrong, there is a plethora of options - and good ones, too. Simply depends on your budget. Here was the list of budget friendly options that I pulled from.





I turned to the master of all things inexpensive, European and "home," and wound up with my first option, the Ikea Sultan Edsele. The comfort is firm and it's the most natural of the mattress they offer. The inside is composed of seven inches of 85% natural latex and 15% synthetic latex. Just like every other mattress in the US, they must meet flame retardant safety standard, yet there is no information on non-toxic flame retardants... so it is safe to assume they are of the toxic variety. However, a mommy group friend told me that she actually cut open the mattress exposing the inside and was able to simply remove the layer that Ikea inserts for US customers that is treated with the flame retardant chemicals. And she told me that natural latex is so comfortable. So, this one stayed on my list. Ultimately I decided I would rather not spend this amount of money to dismantle a brand new product. I'll wait until I see a how-to on Ikea Hackers. $929



Another mattress I took great interest in for it's cool design and awesome marketing: the Nook Sleep System Full size Pebble. The middle of this mattress is made with a non-toxic foam core (read: certipur, a certified manufactured foam, not a natural product) and then topped with one inch of natural latex foam. What's on the outside of this mattress is what makes it different than the rest. The cover is removable and washable! Pretty cool for potty training and every-day kid accidents. Here is a link to their education section. Nook mattresses are made in North America. The rise is six inches and it's compression rolled to ship, no coils in this bad boy. Alas, it's not organic and for that price, I can still get organic. $995


Last but not least, and the winner of the Mattress rodeo: The Naturepedic No-Compromises Organic 2 in 1 Ultra kids mattress. Packed with 528 coils and 100% organic cotton, the comfort is medium-firm. Three sides are water and dust mite proof (great for potty training/food/spills) and the other is a quilted, more plush side you can flip to later when kids are heavier/bigger. The 100% cotton makes it hypo-allergenic with no wool or latex. It is also naturally dust-mite proof with it's polyethylene barrier (no PVC or vinyl here!). It's non-toxic flame retardant is composed of hydrated silica, baking soda and cellulose. NO phthalates (chemicals that act like hormones/endocrine disruptors). Here is a link to their education section. $999 directly from the manufacturer, but I purchased it from one of their preferred vendors (call to make sure) through Amazon for $899 and free shipping.

While you can easily spend $1300 to well over $2000 for an organic, natural latex full-size mattress for your kiddo, that just wasn't in our budget. There are other really great options if you pocket is a little deeper. If these price points are still out of reach, there is another way, too. My fellow green-mom Meagan told me how to take a conventional mattress and make it better:

Purchase the No-chem mattress wrap made of Polyethylene for $28.00 (non-toxic plastic wrap that doesn't allow off-gasses to escape into breathing space) and wrap those chemicals up tight! Now that you've created a noisy, plastic-y sleeping foundation, purchase an organic cotton or wool mattress topper, wrap it with a protective cover and slap on your fitted sheet. Then pray to God that you don't go flying across the room when all of the elastic gives way and the covers lose their grip :) (Organic cotton or wool mattress toppers go for $200-$400.)

Like I said before, when we considered what was in a conventional mattress, there was no looking back. We had to jump in with both feet and do a lot of reading and asking questions. Hope this was helpful... to at least one of the two people reading it. 

9 comments:

  1. I had started reading up on organic mattresses when P was a few months old, because...yikes! Scary to think that's what we've been sleeping on. Anyway, have bookmarked this for future reference. Thanks for posting this, my friend! PS Big girl room?! Too fast, Soph. Too fast. xoxo

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    1. I mean, how did I miss the invitation to the organic mattress party? I am shocked that it was never brought to my attention before. Only writing to share this with other mamas like yourself that would like to be informed. I know, on the big-girl-room thing. I keep thinking if I don't make the curtains, then we can't complete the room, and she can stay in her crib forever. But then Tucker rocks it out after a nap and I'm scared he's going to make his bed collapse (our Jenny Lind is cool, but SO not stable). Mad mommy love to you and P

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  2. Hi! Any chance you might be able to share details on your friend's hack of the Sultan Edsele? I bought one about a month ago and still can't even be in the same room with it.

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    1. I don't know the details other than she cut it open and said it was pretty obvious what needed to be removed! Good luck :)

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  3. The Ikea Sultan Edsele is the only mattress from Ikea in the US that does NOT use ANY chemical fire retardants. It's expensive because they use cotton and wool as they are naturally fire retardant. Don't just take my word for it, you can e-mail Ikea, they will be happy to discuss it with you.

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  4. Hi! I'm in the same boat now and so also emailed IKEA -- both U.S. and Canada. Here's the IKEA US reply: "IKEA natural mattresses as HEGGEDAL and EDSELE do not contain any fire retardants. The mattress cover is made of 100 % wool fibre which makes the products meet the NA regulations CFR 1633 for beds/mattresses." Their other mattress do use flame retardants in an "inter-liner fabric".

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