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Old 03-25-2016, 01:52 PM   #15
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Nick,

It's about what your hard requirements are and what trade-offs you're willing to make. If you want NO VOCs, or at least none outside those naturally occurring in wool, cotton, and tree rubber, then you have to rule out foam mattresses. They off-gas, and not just for the first week (that's a common myth). Will low-VOC foam mattresses with flame retardant socks (not sprays) make you sick? That's equivocal as it's very difficult to test.

If no-VOCs is *not* a hard requirement, then Casper is probably the best bet. They are willing to send you all the certification data and lab numbers, and despite being an industry certification, CertiPUR does seem to have reasonable standards (more on this below). Casper (and some of its competitors) use a sock to pass the flame retardant test, which you can remove.

Otherwise you could go with cotton, wool, latex or some combo thereof. For the ones that are the least "treated", which usually means how the cotton or wool is processed once it is picked or sheared, sometimes they smell a little "more natural". I have not bought one of these yet (still shopping). Some people complain, but people complain about all kinds of ridiculousness, so I don't know how strongly a given untreated wool/cotton mattress will be from one of the half dozen companies that sells them. It likely varies a lot among companies. If you're in a city that has a showroom for any of those, I'd recommend a visit to test comfort / smell / etc. You can also request samples from several of them.

As far as "green" certifications go, what matters is who runs the certification. CertiPUR is run by the foam industry, so it's in their best interest to make certifications that manufacturers can pass. I imagine the limits for various compounds are based not just by what is considered toxic, but also by the lowest amounts they can actually achieve. Otherwise no one would get certified.

Does that mean CertiPUR mattresses are "safe"? No one really knows, and those who want to remove all risk from foam VOCs should just avoid them entirely and not expect an industry standard to safeguard them.

That first link I mentioned (https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-p...des/mattresses) has a good description of how to vet the certifications.

Hope that helps!
Matt
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by spelunkus View Post
Nick,

It's about what your hard requirements are and what trade-offs you're willing to make. If you want NO VOCs, or at least none outside those naturally occurring in wool, cotton, and tree rubber, then you have to rule out foam mattresses. They off-gas, and not just for the first week (that's a common myth). Will low-VOC foam mattresses with flame retardant socks (not sprays) make you sick? That's equivocal as it's very difficult to test.

If no-VOCs is *not* a hard requirement, then Casper is probably the best bet. They are willing to send you all the certification data and lab numbers, and despite being an industry certification, CertiPUR does seem to have reasonable standards (more on this below). Casper (and some of its competitors) use a sock to pass the flame retardant test, which you can remove.

Otherwise you could go with cotton, wool, latex or some combo thereof. For the ones that are the least "treated", which usually means how the cotton or wool is processed once it is picked or sheared, sometimes they smell a little "more natural". I have not bought one of these yet (still shopping). Some people complain, but people complain about all kinds of ridiculousness, so I don't know how strongly a given untreated wool/cotton mattress will be from one of the half dozen companies that sells them. It likely varies a lot among companies. If you're in a city that has a showroom for any of those, I'd recommend a visit to test comfort / smell / etc. You can also request samples from several of them.

As far as "green" certifications go, what matters is who runs the certification. CertiPUR is run by the foam industry, so it's in their best interest to make certifications that manufacturers can pass. I imagine the limits for various compounds are based not just by what is considered toxic, but also by the lowest amounts they can actually achieve. Otherwise no one would get certified.

Does that mean CertiPUR mattresses are "safe"? No one really knows, and those who want to remove all risk from foam VOCs should just avoid them entirely and not expect an industry standard to safeguard them.

That first link I mentioned (https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-p...des/mattresses) has a good description of how to vet the certifications.

Hope that helps!
Matt
THANKS Matt, great feedback ... I agree with you on foam certifications .. I think I may just bite the bullet and buy two twin Latex mattresses and cut them down myslef ..
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:57 PM   #17
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Nick,

Just a comment on going full-latex... try to sleep/lay on one first. They are the part that makes these chemical-free/organic mattresses REALLY firm, and they are much firmer than the PU foams. I like a firm mattress and even my latex/wool/cotton mattress at my apartment is a bit too firm for me. Maybe you could get full latex and get an organic wool or cotton "topper" that will soften it.

Matt
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:05 PM   #18
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Latex mattresses aren't all firm. Squeeze a latex foam pillow in a high end department store and you can see how soft it can be made.

Latex foam can vary from pillow soft to rock hard, depending on the density. For a soft topper, use an 18-22 ILD. For a mattress for a 180 lb person, I prefer about a 30 ILD. For a very firm one, consider 44 ILD. IMHO, the most comfortable mattresses have a firmer lower layer with a softer topper.

I use KTT Enterprises for Talalay Latex Foam. The owner is a former board member of the only Talalay Latex Producer in the country.

Disclosure: I am related to the owner.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:13 PM   #19
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@65CV yeah that is true. My stick house mattress is *really* firm because of the latex, but I guess that was intentional.

I see some organic mattress makers have mattresses that are all latex (with several layers of differing firmness), with just a thin layer of quilted wool on top.

There are also coconut coir mattresses/futons, which I hadn't looked at before. They're more expensive, but The Futon Shop has some that are reasonably priced. They will custom-make me a 60x75 Cocosupport (a firm, not VERY firm, coconut coir + latex + wool combo) for $1500 (http://www.thefutonshop.com/Cocosupp...ess/p/771/7167). I tried one out in their LA store today and it feels more like a spring mattress where your bodyweight feels distributed across the bed, not just directly over the spot where the weight is. I was going to go with that or their EcoPure Latex + Wool (http://www.thefutonshop.com/All-Natu...ure/p/685/6652). That was about $900 at 60x75. Because both of those have wool they don't require a doctor's note to skip the Borax flame retardant.

They have a sale going on now. I know the prices I've been quoted include a lot of discounts from MSRP.

Note, those are both on the firm side. I was planning on adding an existing extra wool comforter that I have on top of it (under the sheets).

Matt
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:17 AM   #20
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THANKS Matt, great feedback ... I agree with you on foam certifications .. I think I may just bite the bullet and buy two twin Latex mattresses and cut them down myslef.
Yep, I just did this. I purchased the organic latex and cut it to a radial then used coconut mat and SOME gel foam for the top 9 (had the cut foam topper from before). The mattress is firm but also comfortable. I encased it in an organic cotton zippered mattress cover. The coir was $100 shipped, the latex was $495, the cover $89, The gel foam $60 (divided by two) so $744 for one twin mattress MOSTLY organic and mostly Latex. The other twin is HD foam- upgraded foam mattress that sleeps well. It was $400 for the mattress and $60 for the gel topper and $40 for the cover- $500.
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