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The Hunt for an Organic Mattress

Zero Waste Lifestyle

Last Updated on April 9, 2020

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post all about what we buy organic. You can check that post out here.

I’ve received a multiple emails asking me for more specifics on our mattress. I figured, I’d try and answer all of your questions in one awesome post!

As most of y’all know, my journey towards living a zero waste lifestyle spurred from a personal health crisis.

I started cutting plastic out of my life because I was trying to avoid daily contact with endocrine disruptors.

Endocrine disruptors interfere with our hormones. Specifically, I try to avoid Xenoestrogens which are found in a lot of our everyday products from makeup to couches.

Xeneoestrogens are synthetic chemical compounds that mimic estrogen.

When synthetic estrogen builds up in your system it cause a litany of problems from breast cancer, testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early puberty, and diabetes. (see sources below)

If you suffer from endometriosis or even bad cramps, it’s one of the main reasons you should look into switching to a menstrual cup. Most tampons are bleached and those toxins only antagonize your system increasing your cramps.

It can even be further exasperated with synthetics in underwear and the fire retardants in your couch and mattress.

A lot of the chemicals you’ll find in the products we interact with every day aren’t thoroughly tested. I try my best to be informed. The last post goes into this a little more extensively.

Moving into our new house, our mattress is both our couch and bed. We’d be spending almost half of our day on this one piece of furniture. It was important to me that it wasn’t full of endocrine disrupting materials.

Most mattresses are full of toxic chemicals. The big four you have to look out for are polyurethane foam, synthetic latex, flame retardants like PDBE, HFRs, and Boric Acid, and vinyl.

This post was sponsored by The Futon ShopThe Futon Shop. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my full disclosure for more information.

I was really overwhelmed when looking for an organic mattress. In fact, before I found The Futon Shop, I had looked at five other companies extensively. It can be difficult to wade through what’s authentic and what’s not.

The Futon Shop is a small family business that hand makes mattresses in San Francisco which is very local to me.

They even invited me to tour their factor to make sure everything was exactly how they said it was. Any company that allows me to spend 4 hours inspecting everything with a magnifying glass is A-Ok in my book.

They were so nice and understanding of my zero waste wants and needs. They helped me pick out the perfect mattress, and delivered it without ANY plastic.

They recommended the organic latex moonlight mattress. We’ve been sleeping on this mattress almost 7 months, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s engineered brilliantly.

Most importantly it should last a long, long, long time. Natural latex is one of the, if not THE, sturdiest materials for a mattress. They use GOLS certified organic Dunlop latex.

Here’s a study that examined the sinkage of dunlop latex, “Change in height: After 60,000 impressions.

There was a 1.4mm loss in height. 60,000 Impressions is the equivalent of laying down and getting back up every day of the year for 134 years! Below is a millimeter chart just so you can see how small the loss is.”

Granted, that study was done by a mattress company, but even if they were only half right that mattress is still going to last almost 70 years.

but, what if it doesn’t?

I’m so glad you asked me that. I get to mention my favorite part of this mattress. The mattress comes in sections.

You can buy four sheets of latex any density you like from soft, medium, or firm and then arrange them in an organic cotton mattress case. Kind of like a giant pillow case.

We opted for one firm, two mediums, and a soft on top. This allows us to change the feel of our mattress at any time. If we need it firmer, we can just rearrange the mattress.

If for some reason one of the layers does start to break down, we only have to replace ONE layer.

We don’t have to get a new mattress. We can take the pillow/mattress case off and throw it in the washing machine to keep things nice and fresh.

Taking care of your belongings is a huge part of living a zero waste lifestyle. It’s amazing how well our things hold up if we truly take care of them, and the way this mattress is built makes it easy. 

is it vegan?

No, it’s not. The natural latex is vegan. The latex comes from the rubber tree and is whipped until it’s nice and fluffy.

One rubber tree can yield latex for 30 years. The organic cotton casing is mixed with certified organic wool. Their wool is undyed and lanolin free.

Wool is a natural fire retardant so you don’t have to worry about any of the synthetic additives.

They work very, very closely with their farmers. We discussed their relationship with their farmers in depth, and they ensure everything is produced sustainably and bought as local as possible. Lots of happy sheep!Ā 

I sleep really really hot, would a latex mattress work for me?

In the bay a lot of homes, especially near the water, don’t have A/C. All we need is a fan most days, but sometimes it can be unbearable when it breaks 100.

Justin has very thick blood and was very prone to sweating when it gets hot. Since switching to linen sheets and an organic mattress, I am happy to report NO NIGHT SWEATING. NONE. Not even on the hottest nights.

The polyurethane foam in our old mattress was exacerbating the problem because it wasn’t breathable. 

does it sleep firm or soft?

Our last mattress was SO sinky after four years. You just tumbled towards the center. I like my mattresses firmer and was starting to experience a lot of hip pain. Justin likes things sinky.

I expressed this to The Futon Shop. They prescribed our layers, and they have been the perfect compromise for Justin and me.

But, I also had the option of buying a king mattress and each side could be custom made with twins for each of our comfort levels. Now, that is service people. It’s like a custom organic sleep number bed.

I have answered the most common questions I’ve received, but feel free to leave anymore in the comment section below.


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  1. What about a cotton hammock, it ‘s minimal and the only drawback i see is getting accustomed to having it as the primary place to sleep

  2. First thing that I have noticed in this article Kathryn is that you have a very cut dog, and he seems to enjoy the new matress very very much :))

    Awesome to know that it’s possible to have the mattress customized for each of the sides – this is awesome and you can have both soft and firm mattress in one so you can choose sides each nights.

  3. I’ve been curious about organic mattresses for some time, and haven’t really done any research or readings about them. Thank you for info, and mentioning Futon Shop even if they are a sponsor. šŸ˜›

    I’m curious, have you tried using different bed frames/foundations for your mattresses? From my experience, they really affect the firmness of the sleeping surface by helping the mattress maintain its shape. I’m more curious how it affects organic mattresses since synthetic materials tend to be much stronger, especially if they’re made with polyurethane (memory foam). šŸ˜›

    P.S. I absolutely love your cute doggy, and your blog!

  4. Sorry to bear bad news Kathryn, but a latex mattress is not chemical- free. The process of converting latex from it’s sap form into a solid form involves the use of chemicals. Myself I use a bed that is just organic cotton and steel springs, nothing else, and sleep much better ))