Do You Sleep on an Organic Bed?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM

I've often thought about sleeping on the floor or a minimalist bed ??? but I???d not thought before (until I read this blog post) about ???off-gassing??? ??? i.e. all of the coatings and chemicals that are used in mattresses to make them fire retardant, stain resistant, different colours and to glue them together.

Some of the flame retardants particularly sound quite nasty ??? and so close to your body, for such prolonged periods. I don???t think sleeping on the floor would be much less toxic as I believe my landlord carpeted my house with stain resistant carpets!

How significant do you think this risk is ??? and do you mitigate it in some way? Or sleep on an organic mattress?

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8 Answers



on February 16, 2012
at 11:35 PM

We have been sleeping on an organic latex mattress for the last 5 years.

I really didn't see the point of eating grass-fed, organic, yada yada and then poisoning myself at night.

It was part of a concerted effort to minimize the endocrine disruptors we are exposed to.



on February 17, 2012
at 03:22 PM

I have a Cal King Tempur-Pedic Cloud, and poison or no, sleeping on that thing is pure magic. Only time in many years I consistently sleep through the night.


on February 17, 2012
at 03:29 AM

We bought a king sized organic cotton/wool blend futon mattress about eight years ago, and my husband built a platform for it out of untreated wood...it compressed over the years, and we had to let it go, and now sleep on a chemy bed that is top of the line, and was a barely used hand me down...my hope is that it is done off gassing from being stored for so long, but I can't wait until we can afford to replace the organic!



on February 17, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Our cribs have organic mattresses, which was something we just found the money for. Just another thing you don't want a newborn breathing -- chemicals all night.

We currently still sleep on non-organic mattresses, but WILL be buying an organic mattress for sure the next time we get a new one!



on February 17, 2012
at 12:00 AM

Yes. When I first moved to the US I had a brand new typical American mattress on box spring, mmetal frame, polyester bedding, only the linens were cotton. When I first read about the offgassing (those fire retardant laws don't exist in Germany where I lived before) and how severe it actually is I gave it away on Craigslist and slept on the floor for a few days/weeks. The morning headaches and clogged up sinuses were gone. I then bought a twin bed frame made of untreated pine wood from Ikea (it was on sale), a latex mattress with cotton cover (no flame retardant) from Ikea, not organic but neither synthetic nor natural latex offgasses, much less expensive than an all organic mattress, plus I have an organic wool topper, organic cotton pad, all bedding is organic cotton and wool, and so are all linens. I've been sleeping that way for several years now and it's just great. And a latex mattress can last a few decades and the bedding can last forever, if treated properly (airing out in sunlight). I'll never go for anything else. Debra Lynn Dadd wrote a book "Home Safe Home" where she also writes thoroughly about beds and offgassing, or you can also read more about it (and other home related environmental issues) on her website debraslist. I found many products I now use that are 100% natural through that list.



on February 16, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Yes, I kinda freaked out when we had a baby and I had been researching bedding and SIDS.

Chemicals in the bed off gas when you first buy the mattress which is bad enough, but apparently the real danger comes later when drool, sweat, etc. mix with the flame retardants (most likely antimony) and certain kinds of fungus grow releasing neurotoxins that can interfere with respiration in infants.

In New Zealand they were able to eliminate SIDS in a study by covering crib mattresses tightly with a thick polypropelene cover. Not wanting to co-sleep on a crinkly bed (the idea of the plastic under the sheet seemed like a suffocation hazard anyway), we opted for an organic cotton futon. We did it the crazy way though because we couldn't afford a new bed at the time, I seriously don't recommend acquiring used bedding via craigslist if you can help it, it is a miracle we didn't get bed bugs.

I started to suspect that the old mattress might be having an effect on me several years before I even got pregnant when I realized that I was getting weird cases of fatigue, that were exacerbated by resting in bed. The more I slept the more I needed to sleep. I know many people think that just means a lack of exercise, but when we switched to an organic cotton futon that phenomenon stopped, when I wake up now it feels different than it used to. I don't lie in bed fuzzy headed for the first hour I'm awake now.

Supposedly, JC penny's has good deals on natural mattresses, that is where the people we got ours from were headed to upgrade to a squishier natural mattress.



on February 17, 2012
at 03:11 AM

I slept on a cotton futon for 25 years. But, as I've gotten older, I've started to have back issues, and it got to the point where I could no longer get a decent night's sleep on a futon. Right now, the only mattress that is truly comfortable for me is memory foam, which is about as far from organic as a mattress can get.


on February 16, 2012
at 10:55 PM

I currently have an organic bed and I love it. I sleep a little better for sure. Some people can be sensitive to some of the chemicals used in non-organic beds. Wouldn't recommend sleeping on the floor though, haha.

If you can't get an organic bed, then I believe they make 'organic' sheets. So at least you'd have somewhat of a protective barrier between you and the mattress chemicals.

Hope this helps :)

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