Some months back, I mentioned I was green mattress hunting; I promised to keep you updated on the results of the organic wool and natural latex sleeping experiment. Well, its been three months since I’ve written anything. I’ve been catching up on my sleep.
I’ve slept on a variety of surfaces in my lifetime: inner-spring mattress, American futon, Swiss futon, Japanese futon, straw, and, of course, the floor. I’ve slept as high as three mattresses stacked, and as low as the hardwood itself. I’ve also slept on a number of mattress toppers: “egg crate” foam, memory foam, cotton, down, and poly-fill.
I am a three-way sleeper. I change sleep positions from back to side to stomach all in one night. I have back problems, like so many of you, and insomnia. I know good sleep when I get it, which is rare.
In the three months I’ve been sleeping on the new pesticide, flame retardant, and chemical free natural latex mattress (with three layers of firmness ranging from firm to soft), and the organic wool topper (meant to add extra padding, as well as regulate temperature in both summer and winter), in addition to super soft organic sheets (I couldn’t put pesticide-heavy cotton sheets on the new combo) I have experienced many, many more good nights than not.
The mattress seems to support my weight evenly, and imparts the feeling of being “lifted”, somehow. Yes, it’s a bit like sleeping on a cloud, I’ll admit to the cliche. I don’t wake up hot in the middle of the night anymore, and when I move…..no one else does. HUGE improvement. I went with the natural latex over a memory foam mattress because I wanted feel like I was lying ON the bed, rather than IN it (and the natural latex has the added benefit of having no added flame retardants or added chemicals). With the level of flame retardants already in the average Californian’s blood stream, I should already be fireproof. I can’t imagine the desire to wallow in even more chemicals. For info, check out this link to the issue of California citizens and flame retardants: http://www.consumercal.org/article.php?id=1016
I would love to do a comparative sleep study of both memory foam and latex one day (maybe when this bed wears out), but I am thrilled to have a clean, green, serene place to rest my head for the next 20 years!
Our mattress comes from Savvy Rest Organic Mattresses, and is made from Dunlop natural latex. Savvy Rest received the National Geographic “Greenest” award, and their website is full of interesting info– I never knew how rubber was harvested before visiting them. http://www.savvyrest.com
One note of caution: This is an EXPENSIVE item. It’s not more than other specialty mattresses, but it is probably more than you’ve ever considered spending on something you enjoy while unconscious. This is why I encourage ALL of you to do some research of your own when looking for a green mattress. Perhaps your needs can be met by buying a simple organic cotton spring mattress, or an organic futon; there’s even a company that makes a mattress out of cherry pits!
For Bay Area readers who want to support their local merchants, I REALLY love “A Happy Planet” in San Francisco; it’s an indie store that carries everything you need for a green night’s sleep, from organic mattresses right down to organic wool, kapok, buckwheat, and natural latex pillows. They even carry sheets and comforters; from them you’ll get an education and a warm smile. If you’ve spent a lifetime sleeping on down or chemically laden down alternatives–shredded natural latex pillows are a GREAT choice, and rather than smelling “fowl”, they smell a bit like pancake batter. In a good way. http://www.ahappyplanet.com
Going green is so easy,
you can even do it in your sleep….
Top photo from Flickr’s Wiros, “Sleeping Beauty”