A Natural Mattress for a Green Sleep
Randy Metcalf, The Explorer
Bedrooms are transforming into sacred spaces. Where the all-in-one entertainment center once ruled, televisions are disappearing and reading lights are being unplugged toward realizing the room as a nourishing environment. But for many, the place where we spend one-third of our life is a nest of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic.
Since the mid-1960s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam—a petroleum-based material that emits volatile compounds in the form of off-gassing that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that hold mattresses together, has been linked to asthma and allergies. Cotton pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals have been linked to cancer and nervous-system disorders.
Walter Bader, president of Organic Mattresses, Inc. (OMI), created a company to manufacture the finest organic latex mattress that can be manufactured at a competitive price. A longtime sufferer of multiple chemical sensitivity himself, Bader wrote two books from his research on mattresses which off-gas possibly harmful toxins that are released in the deterioration and decay of the materials used in their manufacturing.
Bader’s book Sleep Safe in a Toxic World details how beds may be one of the most overlooked causes of people’s health problems in the world today. The author and entrepreneur shows the reader how to shop for a safe and healthy organic mattress, and provides tips for eliminating toxins in all parts of the bedroom, from the walls to the floors to the closets. “We don’t sell our mattresses using information in my books to scare people or to put down the competition,” Bader explains. “We just want to give organically preferenced consumers an organic mattress choice.”
Jeff Saunders, owner of American Mattress, was relaxing on his bed when he read Bader’s book. “It woke me up to the differences in mattresses. I immediately wanted to carry the OrganicPedic mattress in my store and offer them to people who need healthier sleep conditions.”
When Saunders stocked the organic mattress, he attracted the attention of chiropractors with patients sensitive to chemicals, as well as winter and holiday visitors, thrilled to find in Tucson what was unavailable in their hometowns. As a business man, he is happy to see that consumers are not making sacrifices in terms of price or comfort. High-end and ultra-luxury prices for mattresses have become more common—placing OMI’s beds in the mid-range price point of specialty beds.
“All the company’s mattresses are made in the U.S.” Saunders noted. OrganicPedic mattresses are made in a smoke-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free environment according to the company literature. They contain only natural materials: natural rubber latex from sustainably harvested rubber trees, certified organic cotton and OMI’s own trademarked, cruelty-free Eco-Wool. Eco-Wool is processed under strict purity controls. It is naturally flame resistant, meeting all federal flammability standards without the use of chemical fire retardants. Wool is a natural temperature regulator, and is also a resilient, durable fiber. The mattresses meet federal, California and Canadian fire safety standards.
“We like to show our customers the benefits of a comfortable mattress while helping them find solutions to their environment that allow them to achieve quality sleep. We always like to start with how they are sleeping and go from there,” Saunders enthuses. “No one mattress is perfect for everyone, but the constant that everyone is looking for is support.”
America’s Mattress is located at 7881 N. Oracle Rd., in Oro Valley. For more information, call 520-742-2337 or visit AmericasMattress.com/Tucson. See ad page 5.
Dale Bruder is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings. Connect at TaoTime@dalebruder.com.