For instance, the beds breathe better, said Freeman, so they stay cooler.
“After you go to sleep, you stay asleep, and you stay dry and comfortable,” he said.
Vispring beds are handcrafted with wool, horsetail, silk and cashmere and run anywhere from $3,100 to $40,000. Hugh Landes, Vispring’s vice president of North American sales, said for many, the extra cost is worth the added benefits.
“Consumption of sustainable furniture is a form of social responsibility,” Landes said. “Many consumers are looking for products that leave a small footprint on the environment.”
The SFC’s Inglis answered three questions about the benefits of sustainable mattresses.
1. Why might consumers want sustainable mattresses?
Of the many environmental toxins that we are exposed to in our daily lives, we want to be sure that there are as few as possible on the bed we spend eight hours sleeping on.
2. What are qualities of a sustainable mattress?
When you look at a mattress, there is a box or box springs that might be made of wood and metal. You want to be sure that the wood is not causing deforestation (and) is legally harvested from well-managed forests. When metal is in a mattress spring, you want to know that it is recycled metal.
If you’re going to have foam in your mattress, make sure it is pure natural latex that is a nontoxic, biodegradable product. Foam is flammable. A common way to keep mattresses from burning has been to (use) flame retardant chemicals, but they release so many toxins. What you want instead is a barrier that will keep the flame from going to the foam. A wool barrier is the safest, healthiest, most clean barrier. Finally, you have some kind of fabric (covering). Look for organic cotton.
3. How can consumers protect themselves?
Certifications are the best assurance. When you find out that the company is a Sustainable Furnishings Council member, any product you buy from that company is going to do more good than harm.
BedFax: A Specialty Sleep Association service that verifies manufacturers' claims and promotes industry transparency
Forest Stewardship Council: Certifies companies that meet forest management requirements set to conserve forests
Control Union: Accredits textile manufacturers that use at least 70 percent certified organic natural fibers with the Global Organic Textile Standard