Tips on finding a truly green mattress (guest post) - Our Daily Green

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tips on finding a truly green mattress (guest post)


Consumers are becoming more wary of what’s in the products they buy. Whether it’s a perfume, processed food, furniture, or anything else, people want to know that the products they buy are going to be safe to consume.  This is especially true with mattresses because people spend 6-8 hours a night in them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of marketing gimmicks in the mattress industry, so it’s pretty difficult to know exactly how “green” the mattress you are looking at is.  Here are a few helpful hints of what you should look for if you are looking to get a more natural, eco-friendly mattress.

Tip 1- Beware of false “green” claims

A lot of companies in the mattress industry will make claims that their mattress is “green” for this reason or that.  Most of the time those claims are dubious at best.  For example, some companies will claim they use “bio-based” foams.  This will lead you to believe that the foam is 100% bio-based, but in reality the foam is only a small percentage bio-based (usually 10-35%) and the rest is petroleum-based.  If you ever see “bio-based,” make sure you find out the exact percentage breakdown of bio-based versus petroleum-based.

Similarly, companies will make a big marketing push around their product that has been certified by certiPUR.  This certification means that the foams used the in the mattress have not been made with specific harmful chemicals.  However, this should be the absolute minimum you should expect from your mattress, and it doesn’t mean the mattress is “green” by any means.  The foams used are still going to be petroleum-based.

Tip 2- Not all latex is green

Many companies that sell latex mattresses will make claims that their products are green because they use latex in their construction.  However, there are different types of latex.  There can be natural latex, which actually comes naturally from a rubber tree, or synthetic, which is not very green at all. In most cases, companies use synthetic or blended latex because it is much more economical to manufacture.

The only way to have a “green” or “organic” mattress is if the mattress is constructed using natural latex.  If you are looking at getting a latex mattress, then you should look into whether it’s truly natural or synthetic.

Tip 3- Business model

Companies that sell through physical stores leave a large carbon footprint.  Think of all the energy used to keep a store going each day.  Companies that sell online leave a lot smaller carbon footprint because they avoid having stores entirely.  By buying online, you are actually making a more green choice than if you go to a store.

Tip 4- Be willing to pay more for a green mattress

The only real “organic” or “green” mattress out there is a natural latex mattress.  To make a natural latex mattress is very expensive, so for you to get one you have to be willing to pay more.  There’s really no way around it, and that’s why so few companies offer such mattresses.

Overall, you should be initially skeptical of big claims from mattress companies about their “green” mattresses.  Do your research, and know that you might have to pay a little extra if you want a truly organic mattress.

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