March 3rd, 2020 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, Thyroid

How to Pick a Safe and Quality Mattress

How to Pick a Safe and Quality Mattress

What you will learn in this article:

  • Types of mattresses in the market (pros and cons of each)
  • Toxins found in mattresses and their health impact
  • How greenwashing is done
  • Which 2 mattresses I recommend and why
  • Why I retired my previous organic mattress
  • My experience with Organix by Intellibed
  • My experience with EOS organic latex mattress by Naturepedic
  • Which mattress is right for you?
  • What if you have a Tempur-Pedic?
  • Get a safe and quality mattress, risk free

This article could save you 20 to 30 hours of research if you are considering getting a new mattress. Picking a new mattress has proven to be far more complex than I originally thought. Gone are the days you would walk into a store, lay on the bed (or bounce around as a kid) and pick based on what felt comfortable.

As you will learn in this article, there are a few factors that go into evaluating a mattress. Superficial comfort can be misleading. The chemicals might not be obvious. The long-term impact can be harmful.

A good mattress can be a large (but not the only) factor in getting a good night’s sleep. I wrote about the other factors to consider for good sleep here. It’s common sense that sleep is good for you. You feel energized and sharp. You don’t crave coffee and cookies. You look younger. Your body produces growth hormones and rebuilds the cells during good quality sleep. I don’t think I need to convince you that sleep equals good health.

In doing mattress research over the past couple of years, I used the following eight criteria to help you pick the best mattress:

  1. Non-toxic (includes no off-gassing) and hypoallergenic
  2. Support for the hips and shoulders
  3. Temperature control
  4. Durability and warranty
  5. Ability to try and return
  6. Customer support
  7. Founders’ commitment
  8. Price and value

A few things I learned in the process:

  • The government regulations aren’t here to protect your health. They will help your mattress not catch fire (that easily), but it comes at the cost of being exposed to chemicals that should not be there. More on that below.
  • An organic mattress doesn’t address all issues. It also needs to support the body properly.
  • When choosing a mattress, I concluded that the two most important factors are: Non-toxic materials used and postural body support.

When choosing a mattress, I concluded that the two most important factors are: non-toxic materials used and postural body support.

Petrochemical-based mattresses are a major concern. Depending on how the final material is treated, major off-gassing can occur. What’s the problem with petrochemicals? A review published in the journal, Recent Advances in Petrochemical Science found that petrochemicals can accumulate in organs and tissues and cause damage to the brain, nerves, liver, and the developing baby. They can cause cancer and inflammatory conditions, plus hormone imbalances and disorders. (1)

So, picking the wrong mattress can actually interfere with getting your hormones back in balance.

Types of Mattresses

1. Innerspring Mattresses

These mattresses are owned by the vast majority of people (they make up two-thirds of mattress sales), and have been around since the 1930s. Serta is a popular brand that is widely available. The name comes from the spring coil core of the mattress, which provides support and disperses weight. There are different types of coils that provide varying levels of support, motion transfer, and durability, reflected in the price.

Types of Innerspring Coils:

  • Bonnell: Oldest, most common, least expensive. Contoured shape makes them durable and provides good spine support.
  • Offset: Available as double-offset (greater support) or free arm offset. Offset springs are more durable and, as a result, more expensive.
  • Continuous Wire: Durable and resilient coils, but have the least contour, meaning minimal support for the spine.
  • Pocket coils/Marshall coils/Encased coils: Best contour coils (good spine support) and minimize motion transfer, but the type of thin steel springs that are used can make them more expensive and short-lived.

Pros: These mattresses are affordable, widely available, and comfortable to a wide variety of people. They tend to be firmer, which is preferred by heavier individuals and some people with back problems. Because they lack the foam of other mattresses, they tend to stay cooler, which is great for people who tend to get overheated at night.

Cons: These mattresses tend to sag over time and the lifespan is overall shorter than other mattress types. They can be noisy. They also don’t isolate motion, so if your partner rolls over, you’ll feel it. Because the springs don’t contour to the body, this mattress doesn’t provide much pressure point relief (hips and shoulders are important points of contact). As a result, this mattress can seem too firm for many people.

NEW! A Better Coil: Naturepedic Ergonomic Organic Sleep (EOS) coils, which are individually wrapped (encased). They contour to the body, isolate motion, and provide balanced pressure point relief. They provide just the right amount of bounce, while also being breathable and dissipating heat. These have a 10-20 year warranty, depending on which mattress you choose.

2. Memory Foam (viscoelastic) / Polyurethane Foam

Tempur-pedic is the leading brand of memory foam mattress. This type of material was originally developed by NASA in the 1970s to help protect airline pilots and passengers in case of a crash. The “viscoelastic” comes from the material being both viscous and elastic under stress (pressure). It’s known for its ability to give you a “customized” feel as this type of foam responds to the pressure and heat of your body to give you the feeling of being surrounded by softness. The main components of a memory foam mattress are its polyurethane memory foam top layer and then the polyurethane foam core.

Pros: Memory foam conforms to your body, making for a very comfortable mattress surface. It’s highly supportive to the spine and evenly distributes weight. Because it excels at preventing motion transfer, it’s great for couples and light sleepers. Because it’s foam, it can easily be packaged and shipped, so you can try it out for a month and easily send it back if it doesn’t suit.

Cons: Memory foam is a polyurethane foam and while polyurethane is a man-made, petrochemical-derived product, its hazards are dependent on interactions with other chemicals. While polyurethane itself is non off-gassing, memory foam has chemical additives that make the foam more flexible but also cause it to release all kinds of hazardous chemicals, such as methylene chloride, methyl chloroform, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Methylene chloride makes up 98 percent of the off-gassed chemicals and is toxic to the nervous system and multiple organs.

Tempur-pedic has been involved in numerous lawsuits related to its toxic mattresses. Even though this class action lawsuit ended up being denied, I believe it’s just a matter of time before it regains traction – the same with how it took the FDA 10 years to declare BPA a toxic compound. (2)

3. Natural Memory Foam (Usually a scam)

Brands of so-called natural memory foam mattresses include Keetsa and Loom & Leaf/Saatva. There is nothing natural about this type of memory foam and it is known for off-gassing of fumes that can last for days. It is still a petroleum-based material, but to make it natural, a company will replace 2-15% of the petro-based foam with soy oil or cedar oil. Clearly, this does not remove the hazards of the petroleum foam and does not make it “natural” by any means.

However, Essentia mattresses out of Canada seem to be a truly natural memory foam over a latex core. (See pros and cons of a latex-based mattress below).

Pros: Same as regular memory foam: It conforms to your body, making for a very comfortable mattress surface. It’s highly supportive to the spine and evenly distributes weight. Because it excels at preventing motion transfer, it’s great for couples and light-sleepers. Because it’s foam, it can easily be packaged and shipped. Additionally, if it’s encased in organic cotton or if it uses wool as a flame barrier to make it a more natural option, it could potentially off-gas fewer chemicals than a fully conventional version.

Cons: It generally still contains a lot of hazardous chemicals. Depending on the type of inner core, it may not be supportive of the spine and good posture.

4. Natural or Organic Latex

Natural latex (also referred to as NR latex, all-latex, or pure latex) is made from naturally occurring latex from rubber trees. Some common mattress brands that use natural latex include Avocado and Saatva. My newest latex mattress is from Naturepedic (more on them below).

There are two types of latex foam, based on the manufacturing process:

  1. Dunlop latex is made by taking the rubber tree sap with its natural sediment and stirring, molding, and then stem-baking it. During the process, the sediment falls to the bottom of the mattress and makes it dense and heavy. The resulting mattress is firm and provides good support for heavier individuals.
  2. Talalay latex is made by vacuum-sealing the rubber tree sap, depriving it of oxygen. Then the sap is frozen, then baked. The resulting mattress, with its sediment distributed throughout, is softer and lighter.

Pros: Supposed to be all natural and non-toxic. They are hypoallergenic and have naturally-occurring anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. They also provide great pressure point relief, making them very comfortable. Natural latex mattresses “sleep cool” due to their naturally breathable materials. While not quite to the level of memory foam mattresses, natural latex mattresses are also good at preventing motion transfer.

Cons: Not all natural latex mattresses are supportive of the spine and posture. Because it is natural, latex tends to deteriorate faster. —Some brands last only 4-5 years before needing to be replaced. Certain kinds of natural latex may contain VOC chemicals that have been added in manufacturing. Natural latex does tend to be more expensive, and it can be difficult to find in a store. Online purchasing makes it difficult to “try before you buy” unless they offer a money-back guarantee —which some do. They tend to be a bit heavy, especially Dunlop latex. However, it varies, depending on the model and size.

If you decide to get this mattress, you’ll definitely want some strong movers to help.

5. Synthetic Latex

Synthetic Latex was created as a less expensive substitute for natural latex. It’s produced from petrochemicals that off-gas. Synthetic latex mattresses can be 100% latex or may be a blend of natural latex and synthetic latex (latex hybrid). This is done to avoid deterioration over time, as synthetic latex tends to gradually lose its shape and crumble around the edges. Still, they tend to last slightly longer than traditional mattresses (6-8 years, versus 6 for a traditional spring mattress).

Pros: They provide great pressure point relief, making them very comfortable — at least at the surface level. Like natural latex, synthetic latex mattresses “sleep cool.” These latex mattresses are also good at preventing motion transfer.

Cons: Synthetic latex is produced using a number of petroleum-based chemicals. Chemicals you’re going to be breathing in as you sleep. It doesn’t last as long as natural latex as it tends to crumble over time. They aren’t as available at your local mattress store, so you’ll likely have to purchase online without testing it first. Synthetic latex tends to be a more expensive option, though more affordable than natural latex. They are heavy and not convenient to move.

6. Gel Foam

Gel foam is a viscoelastic foam (like memory foam) that is infused with beads of gel. This is meant to improve the circulation of air in the mattress, reducing heat – so it sleeps cooler.

Pros: Gel foam mattresses have the same benefits of memory foam, such as the feeling of comfort and being surrounded by softness. They are supportive of the spine and distribute weight evenly. They help prevent motion transfer, so they are a “quiet” sleeping option. Because it’s foam, it can easily be packaged and shipped. The gel also helps sleepers feel cooler throughout the night, which may help sleep quality.

Cons: Same as memory foam. While polyurethane itself is non off-gassing, viscoelastic foam has chemical additives that make the foam more flexible but also cause it to release all kinds of hazardous chemicals, including methylene chloride, methyl chloroform, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With the addition of gel in the manufacturing process, these mattresses are more expensive than regular memory foam mattresses. As the gel deteriorates, the mattress may lose its firmness.

7. Gel Matrix (Organix by IntelliBed)

Gel Matrix™ is a patent-protected elastic solid copolymer gel. The co-polymer Gelastic made by the Gel Matrix™ is a honeycomb-structure that supports the body. The honeycomb gel adjusts to the pressure of the body to create even support.

Pros: Highly supportive of spinal alignment and provides great pressure point relief. Very durable – lasting over 20 years. Unlike other mattresses, the gel doesn’t deteriorate with exposure to heat, moisture, pressure, or oxygen. It doesn’t off-gas and is non-toxic. The gel also protects the springs underneath you from the weight of your hips and shoulders, prolonging their lifespan.

Cons: Because it’s made from mineral oil (baby oil), it’s not technically an organic option since it is petroleum-based. However, the mineral oil may be certified food grade, which is also the type of mineral oil used to preserve wooden serving bowls and cutting boards.

8. Organic Latex-Spring (EOS by NaturePedic)

Pros: You get the best of both spring mattresses and organic latex mattresses combined in one.

Cons: Because it’s a Dunlop natural latex mattress, it does tend to be heavy and more awkward to move.

Toxins Found in Mattresses and The Health Impact

Here is a list of things I have uncovered that can be infused into a mattress, depending on the type.

To my shock, none of these chemicals are banned or restricted even though when using a mattress, your head is right next to these toxins, for hours at a time.

Memory Foam Chemicals

Gel Foam Chemicals

  • The same as above: memory foam chemicals

Synthetic Latex Chemicals

Natural Latex Chemicals

Flame Retardant Chemicals

Flame retardants are some of the worst chemicals leaching from mattresses. Check out this list from Green Science Policy for all kinds of toxic health effects along with scientific references.

The problem with them is that most mattress companies refuse to disclose what they use, hiding behind “industry secrets” and stating that they are still “safe and compliant.” This is worrying as in the United States, many harmful chemicals (banned in the EU) are used pervasively – it does not make it OK or safe.

Greenwashed Mattresses

“Greenwashing” is a term that refers to marketing that falsely promotes a product, service, or organization as being safe, natural, organic, or environmentally friendly. The words used may or may not have any truth behind them. “Green,” “natural,” “eco-friendly” are simply marketing claims that don’t reflect any actual research or testing.

So-Called Certifications

The natural and organic mattress industry is full of greenwashing, too. Some of the so-called certifications don’t even exist – there’s no certifying body or agency.

Some of the so-called certifications don’t even exist – there’s no certifying body or agency. 

Some of the so-called certifications don’t even exist. There’s no certifying body or agency.

CertiPUR-US – Does It Mean Much?

You have to look beyond simply a CertiPUR-US label and learn more about the manufacturing process. Polyurethane foam should be non off-gassing once it’s finished being made. However, if a company decides to add chemicals to the polyurethane to either make it into memory foam or to make it more resistant to flames, that could pretty much cancel out the CertiPUR-US certification.

Polyurethane in itself isn’t toxic. It’s the chemicals that get added to it that can make a mattress highly toxic and harmful.

Polyurethane in itself isn’t toxic. It’s the chemicals that get added to it that can make a mattress highly toxic and harmful.

Chemicals Don’t Need To Be Disclosed

It’s also good to know that chemicals that are infused into the mattresses don’t have to be disclosed. Chemicals can be used in the processing of the materials and still remain in the final product and you’ll never know what they are and what levels remain. Organically produced mattresses are, of course, a better option if you’re wanting to avoid chemicals, but natural materials just aren’t long lasting and they are unable to provide adequate postural support.

The most trustworthy certifications to look for (with the more stringent requirements) if you’re just seeking out the most organic options include Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) for non latex-containing mattresses and the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) for latex-containing mattresses. Greenguard Gold (which particularly considers children and the elderly) and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 set limits for VOCs, dyes, and flame retardants.

These certifications don’t allow polyurethane foam at all and promote what they believe to be safer materials.

However, most organic mattresses aren’t necessarily the most supportive for your spine, which is of primary concern when you’re trying to improve your sleep and lessen back and neck pain.

The trick is to find a mattress that is as non-toxic as possible but which is also supportive of your body for a good, pain-free night’s sleep. Now I have found two brands that I love.

Which 2 Mattresses I Recommend and Why

Overwhelmed yet with what you’ve read so far?

Like I said earlier, this article is probably saving you 20 to 30 hours of research, not to mention the stress and overwhelm. I’ve put my highly skilled researcher to work on this project so we get all facts and claims cross-checked. As you know, I don’t look at other blogs for information – blind leading the blind isn’t going to help you and me make a confident decision.

First off, in case you are new to me and my work – I try to live a non-toxic life as much as I can. I don’t obsess about it, but I do what I can. Choosing a mattress is one simple thing I can do to control the level of toxins in my life. Since I sleep 8 hours each night, that’s 30% of my life spent in bed – it’s one item to pay attention to.

How Did I Evaluate Mattresses?

In picking a mattress, here are the eight criteria I used to screen the endless brands and manufacturers. In order to make the cut, a mattress had to be/have:

  1. Non toxic (includes no off-gassing) and hypoallergenic
  2. Support for hips and shoulders
  3. Temperature control
  4. Durability and warranty
  5. Ability to try and return
  6. Customer support
  7. Founders’ commitment
  8. Price and value

Using this screening process, I ended up finding two mattresses that I loved: Intellibed and Naturepedic. Both brands meet all the eight criteria I set forth in the new bed search.

It also boiled down to my two top criteria: These brands are both non toxic and support body posture.

To evaluate your current mattress, or if you want to get a new one, use the above 8 criteria to make a judgement. Also, refer to the list of chemicals we listed above. You can write or call the manufacturer and ask if any of them are present in the mattress. (Your call will certainly be a memorable one to the sales rep!).

Why Did I Retire My Previous Organic Mattress?

In August 2017, I had a double hip replacement (the why and how is here). Two months before it, I bought a new organic latex mattress to feel more comfortable in my recovery. One of the problems I had, which my doctor said was most likely due to my hip issues, was lower back pain. To my surprise, as much as the hip pain dissipated in months after the surgery, the lower back pain did not. You can imagine my deep disappointment that such an invasive surgery didn’t take care of this chronic pain.

For the longest time, I didn’t make the connection that my mattress could be the culprit. After all, I thought I had chosen the best-in-class mattress on the market and I really wanted to love it.

After speaking to a few of my “online influencer” friends and then diving into online research, I’ve finally found out what the issue was: My organic latex mattress did not provide the postural support that I needed for my hips and shoulders. I was basically caving into it.

Friends who owned organic latex mattresses longer than me (4 years and more) also admitted that their mattresses were losing their form, beginning to sag, and had to be replaced.

I therefore retired my organic latex mattress to the guest room.

Organix by Intellibed

What Makes Intellibed One of My Top Recommendations?

Non-toxic. I got over the fact that it’s not fully organic and accepted that the materials used don’t off-gas and seem to be safe – according to their tests (see above) and my own research (see above). The mattress also had no smell when it got delivered and unwrapped.

Postural body support. Many of our readers say how much they love Tempur-pedic for the comfort and the help it provides in mitigating chronic pain. As you know now, foam mattresses are infused with a chemical cocktail; formaldehyde, a well known carcinogen. On the other hand, a lot of organic latex doesn’t provide the support – I’ve learned it first-hand. This is why I’ve found Intellibed’s Gel Matrix technology such a good fit – it’s scientifically proven to support the posture, it’s recommended by over 1000 doctors to their patients, yet it’s non-toxic.

Temperature control (great for night sweats). Any woman experiencing hot flashes and night sweats knows that a mattress that retains and re-circulates her own body heat is hell to sleep on. Intellibed is designed to pass the body heat down the mattress so your own body heat will dissipate. This technology has also been used in hospital burn units to provide ventilation for burn patients.

Firm and soft at the same time. When I announced that I was testing a new mattress, many of our readers asked if it was firm or soft. We’ve been conditioned to think in these terms but the reality of Intellibed is that it is both. When I sleep on it, I feel well supported, yet, it’s extremely comfortable. In the above video, Bob explained the importance of not putting pressure on the parts of the body and skin we sleep on as this will result in tissue blood flow interruption and makes us either wake up and/or toss and turn more than needed.

Less tossing and turning = deeper sleep. The way Intellibed explains the reason for less tossing and turning (which in most cases leads to deeper sleep, I certainly feel it) is due to the softness of the bed. As you can see on the above image, their mattress has no red spots which indicate pressure points – they make us toss and turn. This explains why I had a hard time turning on my organic latex mattress – I had to place my leg firmly on the mattress to lift myself off (almost like coming out of a hammock) and turn over – that effort would pull me out of deep sleep. I suspect that’s why I sleep deeper now.

Durability and cost. I spent $4K on my organic mattress and the expected lifespan is 4 to 5 years – that’s $800 to $1000 per year cost. An Intellibed retails for about the same and with the 20-year warranty, that’s $200 per year.

Return policy. I respect the owners in that, despite the shipping cost being significant (you get the base + the mattress), they are willing to stand by their product to take it back if it does not work for you. The return policy is 90 days. (The initial shipping is non-refundable. Also sheets, pillows, and protectors are non refundable. Intellibed will pay to have the bed shipped back.)

Financing. The mattress investment is in the $4000 region, which can be a lot of money to some people. Intellibed makers have partnered with financial providers to facilitate a loan, if you need one.

My Sleeping Experience with Organix by Intellibed

I gave Intellibed a go and within 3 days of sleeping on the bed, my lower back pain was gone.

In fact, I’m writing this article as I’m in the middle of unpacking the house (the mountain house I mentioned I just bought) and in spite of being on my feet for 10 to 12 hours each day, I have zero back pain. I’m tired but pain-free.

I will also say that my quality of sleep has significantly improved – according to the mattress guru, Robert Rasmussen, that’s because turning becomes easier and I don’t wake up when I do turn. That made sense because I distinctly remember having to use my foot to “get myself up” and turn on my organic mattress.

Learn More About Organix by Intellibed

I sat down with the founder of Organix by Intellibed, Robert Rasmussen, to talk about how to pick the right mattress for you.

Here is the video of the webinar – you will learn a ton about the mattress industry and how it impacts your sleep.

Download the webinar transcript here.

What you will learn from the webinar:

  • My personal experience with an organic latex mattress
  • Types of mattresses in the market (pros and cons of each)
  • Toxins found in mattresses and their health impact
  • What are volatile organic compounds?
  • How greenwashing is done (this is so sneaky and frustrating)
  • Which mattress I picked and why?
  • My sleep experience with my current mattress
  • Should you ditch your organic mattress? (It’s not a straight-up “yes” or “no”)
  • What if you have Tempur-Pedic or other memory foam mattresses?
  • How to save on a mattress with a Hormones Balance group buy discount

I recorded this short video to share with you the background and why I ditched my organic mattress. Some of our readers also commented on the investment in this mattress – which I’m addressing in this video as well.

My Biggest Skepticism About Intellibed: It’s Not Organic

To be perfectly honest, my biggest reluctance and skepticism around Intellibed was the fact that they are not fully organic. Part of the bed is made with polyurethane which has a bad reputation.

They also use Gel Matrix™ which is a copolymer gel made into a honeycomb-structure that supports the body.

Here are the reasons why I’m still standing by my choice (and keeping the mattress) and feel OK with personally using and promoting a non-organic mattress to our Hormones Balance community:

  • Even though the mattress is made with polyurethane, it is important to know that polyurethane in itself isn’t toxic and does not off-gas. It’s the chemicals that get added to it that can make a mattress highly toxic and harmful.
  • Gel Matrix (the silicone-like honeycomb to keep you straight) material itself was approved for use in baby bottles and is non-toxic.
  • I asked for their toxicity reports, which they sent over – showing 0 cytotoxicity on the scale 0 to 4. Cytotoxicity means toxicity to the cells.
  • I have also found research showing the non-toxic effect of copolymer gel.
  • The postural support the mattress offers is key in keeping a good posture, being pain free, and getting deep, quality sleep.

However, if you’re committed to getting an organic mattress that has postural support plus longevity, enter Naturepedic.

EOS Organic Latex Mattress by Naturepedic

Naturepedic carries high quality latex mattresses that are officially organic.

What Makes Naturepedic One of My Top Recommendations?

Non-toxic. All of NaturePedic’s organic mattresses are truly organic. They more than meet all of my criteria for a good mattress, including more certifications than I could ask for: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), GREENGUARD (certified to the highest level), and Level III under the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), to name a few.

Postural Body Support. Unlike my previous organic latex mattress, Naturepedic mattresses provide excellent postural support. You can choose your level of support; they have both plush and cushion-firm. I didn’t have the same postural problems and pains as with another organic mattress that came with no support.

Temperature control. Naturepedic mattresses have a top quilt layer that are made with organic cotton fabric, wool batting, and a sugarcane-based PLA comfort layer. The wool wicks away moisture from the body and offers temperature regulation. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. PLA improves the moisture wicking of the wool. It’s a synthetic fiber made from non-GMO sugarcane. It’s also used in food packaging and medical supplies and doesn’t contain or offgas any harmful chemicals.

Firm and soft at the same time. Naturepedic allows you to customize the comfort level of your mattress. Your mattress can even be different from one side to the other, so that you can have a medium firmness while your sleep partner has extra-firm. Or it may be the other way around. You can even change your firmness preference years later, as you swap out layers.

Durability and cost. I spent $4K on my last organic mattress and the expected lifespan is 4 to 5 years – that’s $800 to $1000 per year cost. A Naturepedic Organic Mattress costs around $3k and lasts 4 times that long. The EOS series has a 20-year limited warranty. That translates to a cost of $150 to $200 per year.

Return Policy. Try your Naturepedic mattress risk-free for 90 days. If you’re not completely satisfied, they’ll take it back for a full refund. Naturepedic will also replace the firmness pads at no cost to you, upto 90 days. If you picked plush but find it too soft, they will send you a firmer option at no cost.

Financing. Naturepedic offers financing through Affirm, so that you can purchase now and pay over 3, 6, or 12 months’ time.

My Sleeping Experience with an EOS Organic Latex Mattress by Naturepedic

Admittedly, I wasn’t convinced that organic mattresses worked. I used to own one and developed lower back problems during that time. Even my friends would report that their organic mattresses wouldn’t last more than 2 to 4 years. I was therefore reluctant to try Naturepedic’s mattress.

To my surprise, after trying it out and sleeping on it for over a month, my back felt as good as always. I tried both fittings; plush and cushion-firm and preferred the latter. Their smart design allows you to pick different firmness for each side of the bed! I also loved the fact that the mattress smelled like organic baby cotton diapers when unpacked; with no off gassing and potential toxic fumes to deal with.

The founder of the company and I share a similar vision; we uncompromisingly believe in organic, environmentally-friendly and transparent products, especially in an unregulated industry such as this.

Which Mattress Is Right For You?

Now that you’ve learned about both brands and the healthy mattresses they make, how do you know which one is right for you?

Organix by Intellibed:

The Organix Mattress by Intellibed is a good option if you are looking for:

  • A non-toxic mattress made with NASA technology
  • A silica-based fire blocker with modacrylic fiber (no bio available chemicals)
  • High mattress that includes a base
  • Have a higher budget

EOS Organic Latex Mattress by Naturepedic

The EOS mattress by Naturepedic is a good option if you are looking for:

  • A truly organic option made with natural ingredients like cotton, wool, natural latex, and sugar cane.
  • Certified by Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) for latex-containing mattresses.
  • Certified by Greenguard Gold (which particularly considers children and the elderly)
  • Certified Non-Toxic by MadeSafe
  • The ability to have different comfort levels for you and your sleeping partner
  • No flame retardant chemicals or flame barriers at all. Yet, Naturepedic mattresses meet all fire safety standards because the materials burn at a slower rate and lower heat release than petroleum-based materials.
  • Have a more conservative budget.

Both Beds:

  • Made in USA
  • 90-night trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • CertiPUR-US certified

These are both great mattresses. But what if you’re currently sleeping on an organic mattress by another brand?

Should You Ditch Your Current Organic Mattress?

Not if it’s working for you. If you have no body pains and aches, you sleep deep and sound and you don’t feel hot and sweaty, I see no good reason for you to change. You may find that the mattress loses its firmness in the near future – I would then re-evaluate your next mattress option and give either Organix by Intellibed or EOS by Naturepedic a consideration.

What If You Have a Tempur-Pedic or Another Memory Foam Mattress?

This is a tough one because, unlike an organic/latex mattress, you know by now that these mattresses are heavily spiked with harmful chemical cocktails – formaldehyde, a well-documented carcinogen, is just one ingredient. It is my opinion that if you want to regain or maintain good health, you should change your mattress.

One question I asked myself was: “What if the memory foam mattress is two years old and has off-gased by now. Is it still toxic?” I’ve searched for answers and found no such research.

The closest I uncovered are these two things: Dr. Sprott’s research on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) which linked a fungus reacting with chemicals found in mattresses – making it highly toxic and even deadly for infants, to quote:

“A fungus that commonly grows in bedding can interact with these chemicals to create poisonous gases (Richardson, 1994).”

This means it’s a potential ongoing problem, not just during the initial off-gassing period.

Secondly, there is enough anecdotal consumer evidence showing that people who owned foam mattresses have had health issues that go on for years. Apart from a class action lawsuit against Tempur-Pedic, there is also a website listing foam mattress (including Tempur-Pedic) health issues and reactions. In our own community, this is what one of our readers posted:

If you are suspecting that your mattress is making you sick and you are ready to upgrade your current mattress, consider purchasing either Organix by Intellibed or EOS by Naturepedic.

Risk-Free Purchase Options

Organix by Intellibed

Organix by Intellibed asks you to keep the mattress for at least 30 days to acclimate. If you decide it’s not for you, return it in 90 days (that’s over 100 nights’ trial). What is non-refundable is the initial shipping, sheets, pillows, and the protector. Organix by Intellibed will pay to have the bed shipped back.

Mention “Hormones Balance” when you order and receive 10% off + free shipping + two pillowcases + free mattress protector.

EOS Organic Latex Mattress

EOS mattress by Naturepedic gives you 90 days to see whether you’re sleeping more comfortably. If not, you can swap the top layer for free. Naturepedic offers a 90-day money-back guarantee on adult mattresses with 30 days on adult accessories.

Save 15% on any of their EOS Organic Latex Mattresses. This includes their:

  • Classic (available extra firm to plush)
  • Pillowtop (this is what I have, available from firm to ultra-plush)
  • Trilux (available extra-firm to plush)

You can save from $449.85 (Classic Queen) to $719.85 (Pillowtop King). Naturepedic will throw in free shipping, too.

Use the code hormonesbalance15 at checkout for your discount.

If you decide to get one of these mattresses, I hope you love it and find it as transformative to your wellbeing as I have.

Please note that this is a sponsored post, meaning I do receive a small percentage of sales, but all opinions are my own.

Resources

  1. Sharma, A. et al. Hazardous Effects of Petrochemical Industries: A Review. Recent Advances in PetroChemical Science. September 2017.
  2. Tassin, P. Tempur-Pedic Mattress Consumers Denied Class Certification. Top Class Actions website. October 4, 2016.
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 4,4′-Methylenedianiline | Public Health Statement. ATSDR. Reviewed February 2021. 
  4. World Health Organization IPCS. 4,4′-Methylenedianiline and its Dihydrochloride (IARC Summary & Evaluation). International Peer Reviewed Chemical Safety Information (INCHEM). 1986.
  5. Oxy Chemical. METHYL CHLORIDE HANDBOOK. Oxy.com. November 2014. 
  6. Environmental Working Group. What is FORMALDEHYDE. EWG Skin Deep® website. n.d.
  7. Vojdani, A. A Potential Link between Environmental Triggers and Autoimmunity. Hindawi. February 2014. 
  8. Wentz, I. The Thyroid-Formaldehyde Connection. Thyroid Pharmacist. June 2018. 
  9. Hipkiss, J. R. Depression, Diabetes and Dementia: Formaldehyde May Be a Common Causal Agent; Could Carnosine, a Pluripotent Peptide, Be Protective? Aging & Diseases. April 2017. 
  10. Staff. MF. Georgia-Pacific Chemicals. 2019. 
  11. SleepAdvisor. Toxic Materials in Foam Mattresses? Are We Safe? SleepAdvisor.org. June 2020. 
  12. Centers for Disease Control. Illness Associated with Exposure to Naphthalene in Mothballs — Indiana. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). January 1983.
  13. CU Boulder Today. CU-Boulder Team May Have Solved Mystery Of Carcinogenic Mothballs. University of Colorado website. June 2006.
  14. Yarahmadi, Z. et al. Effects of Naphthalene on Plasma Cortisol and Thyroid Levels in Immature and Mature Female Klunzingeri Mulet, Liza klunzingeri. Iranian Journal of Toxicology. July 2015.
  15. Environmental Working Group. What is STYRENE/ BUTADIENE COPOLYMER. EWG Skin Deep® website. n.d.
  16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chloroprene. EPA.gov. December 2015. 
  17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI) Action Plan. EPA.gov. April 2011. 
  18. Environmental Working Group. What is POLYVINYL ACETATE. EWG Skin Deep® website. n.d.
  19. Environmental Working Group. Borax: Not the green alternative it’s cracked up to be. EWG News & Insights. February 2011. 
  20. Winship, K. A. Toxicity of antimony and its compounds. Adverse Drug React Acute Poisoning Review. Summer 1987.
  21. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6366, Vinylidene chloride. PubChem. Updated July 2021.
  22. McDonald, T. A. A perspective on the potential health risks of PBDEs. Chemosphere. 2002.
  23. Costa, Lucio G et al. A mechanistic view of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) developmental neurotoxicity. Toxicology letters. 2014.
  24. Harley, Kim G et al. PBDE Concentrations in Women’s Serum and Fecundability. Environmental health perspectives. 2010.
  25. Szabo, David T et al. Effects of Perinatal PBDE Exposure on Hepatic Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and Deiodinase 1 Gene Expression Involved in Thyroid Hormone Metabolism in Male Rat Pups. Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology. 2009. 
  26. Environmental Working Group. What is DIBUTYL PHTHALATE. EWG Skin Deep® website. N.d.
  27. Patisaul, H. B., et al. Accumulation and Endocrine Disrupting Effects of the Flame Retardant Mixture Firemaster 550 in Rats: An Exploratory Assessment. Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology. 2012. 
  28. Killilea, David W et al. Flame retardant tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP) toxicity is attenuated by N-acetylcysteine in human kidney cells. Toxicology reports. May 2017.
  29. Green Science Policy. Selected Bibliography: Furniture Flame Retardants, Toxicity and Health. June 2013. 
  30. Global Standard. GOTS the leading organic textile standard – GOTS. 2021.
  31. Control Union. GOLS – Global Organic Latex Standard – Certifications. 2021.
  32. GREENGUARD. SPOT – UL. 2021.
  33. OEKO-TEX®. Certification according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.  2021.
  34. Gong, Chang Yang et al. Acute toxicity evaluation of biodegradable in situ gel-forming controlled drug delivery system based on thermosensitive PEG-PCL-PEG hydrogel. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials. 2009.
  35. Sheppard, J. Has the Cause of Crib Death (SIDS) Been Found? Healthy Child. 2021.

Other resources

67 Comments to How to Pick a Safe and Quality Mattress

  1. Our organic latex is in layers. And you can change layers to firmness you want. Meaning it can easily be replaced as the top layer if it breaks down. Had over 4 years and doing great. Ours has a 20 year watrenty.. And is very easy to move as has 4 layers you roll up and move. Love it! Called Sleeping organic and has store in CHS you can visit or buy online.

    • Hi Sherri, The Intellibed offer does not expire, but the bonus Sleep Pack from Hormones Balance Nutritionals, valued at over $100, does expire on Nov 8th. ~ Astrid HB team

  2. You didn’t discuss the toxicity concerns for the innerspring mattressses (only cons you mentioned are that they sag over time and pressure point and motion issues). Do these innerspring mattresses also have toxicity issues? If so what are they? I’m pretty happy with mine. Thanks for any insight you have.

    • Hi Alexandra,

      As far as toxicity concerns, they would be the same for an inner spring mattress if the materials used inside contain toxic chemicals. Some inner spring mattresses use memory foam or other cheap and toxic materials. Others use natural materials. It would depend on your particular mattress, and it is a good idea to find out from the manufacturer.

      ~ Astrid HB team

    • I have purchased several beds from DIY natural bedding. You order the firmness of the latex and the cover to put them in. Simple to put together and good value. Deborah is very good to work with. I also ordered a wool topper from Home of Wool on Etsy. Also wonderful people to work with from Bulgaria. Excellent quality.( all wool beds and toppers need to be rotated and flipped to keep the wool even) I see that there was some info added to the article regarding EMF’s and the coils. I am not convinced and would rather be safe than sorry. There are so many unknowns with EMF exposure.

      • Also, EMF exposure is not just from wifi. It helps greatly to turn it off at night but if you live in the modern world you are exposed to it 24/7. It comes from electricity, cell towers, radio towers, your neighbors wifi…so many sources so I will continue to try and lower my levels of exposure including no bed with coils. 🙂

  3. One huge aspect of one’s decision to purchase a natural mattress is the environmental impact. What happens when you dump the synthetic Intellibed in 15 years or so? The Avocado mattress and similar at least have a chance of biodegrading within a more reasonable amount of time without dumping pollutants in the environment. Therefore, I am willing take the risk that my organic mattress might start sagging earlier and deal with this problem as it occurs.

    • Hi Antoniya, If you have no postural issues and are happy with your Avocado mattress, then it is the right choice for you. But if you wake up sore and aching, as many people do, then Intellibed will improve your comfort and health. It is a very personal decision, and that is why Magdalena shared her criteria for evaluating mattresses, so that people can benefit from her research and decide what works for them. ~ Astrid HB Team.

    • For others like me who, at age 70+, cannot “invest” in an expensive mattress, Antoniya makes a good point. There are natural latex mattresses available online at severely lower cost that have GOLS, GOTS, and more certifications. I have been sleeping on latex and no coils for years with no pain from lack of postural support, etc. I just purchased another less-expensive latex mattress with all the above certifications for less than $1500 for use in another room. Don’t be discouraged if you need a less expensive option.

      • Hi Emjay!

        I am happy to hear you found what works for you. Thanks for sharing.

        Healthy Regards,
        Taylor

  4. Thank you…a fantastic article and much needed! Curious on your thoughts on the avocado mattress.

    • Hi Sheetal, As I said in my reply above to Antonia….. If you have no postural issues and are happy with your Avocado mattress, then it is the right choice for you. But if you wake up sore and aching, as many people do, then Intellibed will improve your comfort and health. It is a very personal decision, and that is why Magdalena shared her criteria for evaluating mattresses, so that people can benefit from her research and decide what works for them. ~ Astrid HB Team.

  5. Can this mattress be used in an articulating bed like most elderly and chronic immobile people & patients in hospitals and nursing homes need?

    • Hi Rose,

      That is a good question that you will have to ask Intellibed directly. I do do see that they carry an adjustable base in all sizes on their website.

      ~Astrid HB team

  6. I have been considering purchasing the Purple mattress. Did you research it? Isn’t it very similar in composition to the Intelligel? If you did research it, why did you choose Intelligel over Purple? The Purple is about half the cost.

    • Hi Kathy, I am afraid we cannot comment on your specific mattress. You can see from Magdalena’s article that she employed a number of specific criteria to evaluate the mattresses. You may also want to check out the references that she listed for additional info.
      ~ Jeanne HB Team

  7. Thanks for a carefully researched article. Wonderful info. I thought I had decided on Essentia, until I dug deeper. Essentia makes fraudulent claims. Pure deception. Even their claim of “natural memory foam” is pure bs. As is their statement that wool harbors dust mites,

    For those looking for comfort & support, I highly recommend the Cuddle Ewe wool mattress topper. Had mine for 20 years. It’s beautifully crafted, high quality.. Cool in the summer & warm in the winter. Best money I’ve ever spent.

  8. Please write something concerning the metal coils in the mattress, as I’ve read over and over about the EMFs being attracted to the metal and conducted right into your body as you sleep.

    • Melissa ~ thank you for sharing your concern. When it comes to EMF exposure, regardless of a mattress having metal coils or not, it’s more important to be aware of the location of the WiFi router. The bed could have no springs at all, but still measure high for EMF depending on where the main electrical cord is coming in to the house or where the router is located. If you are sensitive to EMF, and have trouble sleeping, you might consider turning off your WiFi at night and see if that helps. ~ Jeanne HB Team

  9. Bought a Avavado mattress for my son. Can you tell me if it is something we can or return? He is still in his trial days. TIA.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      They appear to have a 100 day risk-free return policy. You will need to get in contact with them.
      ~ Astrid HB team

    • Hi Stephanie, Intellibed is willing to stand by their product to take it back if it does not work for you. The return policy is 90 days. (The initial shipping is non-refundable. Also, sheets, pillows, and protector are non-refundable. Intellibed will pay to have the bed shipped back.) ~ Jeanne HB Team

  10. Hi Karen, The Intellibed comes with a 20 year warranty. With the group buy discount it comes to about $200 per year. That does not sound ridiculous. Especially when an organic mattress generally lasts only 4-5 years and can cost about the same. We spend 30% of our lives in bed, so when you think about it, it is a bargain.
    ~Astrid HB Team

  11. Regarding the testimonial against the 10 year old ‘Tempurpedic’. It says that they gave it to charity, “and bought the ‘Avacado’ mattress when we finally bought a new house. ”
    Are you talking about the same product? There is a brand called ‘Avacado’. Is it a different naming of the same INTELLIbed product?

    • Hi Chris, that quote was from someone who had a Tempur-Pedic bed and acquired health issues and reactions from it. She then purchased the Avocado mattress, which is different from Intellibed. Please note Magdalena’s response under that quote; “If you are suspecting that your mattress is making you sick and you are ready to upgrade your current mattress, consider the offer we received from Intellibed.” I hope this helps clarify for you:) ~ Jeanne HB Team

  12. I bought and Intellibed 3 years ago after much research. Luckily, at the time there was an actual brick and mortar store in my city and I was able to test out all the options.
    While expensive, to date it is the best investment I have made, not to mention the best sleep ever!!

    Well worth it.

    • Sandra ~ Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, we really appreciate it! Jeanne ~ HB Team

    • We bought our Intellibed about 5 years ago and noticed a difference in our sleeping patterns right away. I have had back issues for years and although I can’t say my back quit hurting right after sleeping on the Intellibed it has hurt less. To deal with the EMF issues I use an Earthing sheet that provides grounding and we turn off all Wi Fi and unplug all cords in our bedroom every night. My Intellibed is very comfortable, had no off gassing smell, and it’s well worth the expense.

      • Sharon ~

        Thank you for commenting as I am seriously considering this mattress. Where did you get your earthing sheet?

        I have been looking for a larger one then just the earthing pads that I have seen.

        Any company names or a website would be greatly appreciated!

    • Sandra ~ Thank you for your comment. I am researching this mattress and seriously considering buying it – so it helps to hear from someone who has been sleeping on it already for a while!

    • Susan ~ thank you for your support! We are happy to hear you enjoyed reading the article. Jeanne ~ HB Team

  13. I’m currently in the process of buying a new mattress but the price of this mattress is out of my price range….any more affordable recommendations? Thank you

    • Hi Jane,

      Magdalena has included her 8 evaluation criteria above to assist others in making their own mattress decisions themselves.

      ~Astrid HB team

      • I agree! I’d love to have a #2 rating in what would be suggested with the 8 criteria as I don’t have a lot of time to continue researching for hours on end. A 2nd or 3rd option with a declining price comparison would be greatly helpful!!

  14. i thank you for this information because I’ve been reserching on what mattress to buy. I will be purchasing from this company for sure! I would really like to know about your bed frame, where is it from?

    • Hi Kelly, the bed frame is from Wayfair, but was purchased a while ago, so they may not have it any longer. ~ Jennifer HB Support

  15. What an informative article thank you so much for sharing all of this amazing information, research, and your own experience. I will be looking for a mattress in the near future and this is incredible helpful. I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin in looking for the right one so thank you again!

  16. What are your favorite non-toxic mattresses for toddlers who are looking to switch to a big bed. We will also use this bed for guests when they stay at our home.

    • Great question Joelle! I just noticed my usual go to on this is getting a makeover http://www.healthychild.org, I would search for toddler beds, and then use the same 8 step criteria that Magdalena did in her article to sort out which would be best. You would definitely want one free of chemicals for your little. ~ Jennifer HB Support

  17. Susiejo, thank you for sharing your experience, we really appreciate it:) ~ Jeanne HB Team

    • Hi Margaret, I am afraid Magdalena cannot comment on every specific mattress. You can see from her article that she employed a number of specific criteria to evaluate the mattresses. You may also want to check out the references that she listed for additional info. ~ Jeanne HB Team

  18. Hi there! So I just ordered the bed and am so hopeful! Just thought I would let you know that they told me there was only one color options for sheets since they were organic. Just thought I would mention it since the post says they will call and ask for a preference 🙂

  19. What about pillows! I’m a side sleeper, tending to sleep on the edge of the pillow. I just can’t seem to find one I love, any suggestions? Thanks

    • Hi Jen,

      At this time, Magdalena does not have specific pillow recommendations.

      But I personally have the pillo1, and I am a back and side sleeper and I love it. The down side is that is loses its firmness over time and should be replaced every couple years. But it really works for me.

  20. Now I’m rethinking about my mattress. It’s been 5 yrs since I bought mine I will consider what’s on your list when I plan to buy one.

    • Hi Bianca, we are happy to hear you enjoyed reading the article and have found the information helpful:) ~ Jeanne HB Team

  21. I understand that the investment in Intellibed is a significant one. If you decide to invest in an Intellibed please note that it comes with a 20-year warranty, which equals out to about $200 per year. Also, the return policy is 90 days and Intellibed will pay to have the bed shipped back, if you find it is not the right fit for you. Finally, Intellibed makers have partnered with financial providers to facilitate a loan if you need one.

    At the end of the day, if you chose that this bed is not the best fit for you, we recommend that you consider the following eight criteria when picking a brand and manufacturer:

    1. Non-toxic (includes no off-gassing) and hypoallergenic
    2. Support for hips and shoulders
    3. Temperature control
    4. Durability and warranty
    5. Ability to try and return
    6. Customer support
    7. Founders’ commitment
    8. Price and value

    Finally, you may be interested in checking out this article on sleep strategies.
    https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/11-sleep-strategies-help-hormones-waistline-mood-cravings-part-1/

    I hope this helps!
    HB Team

  22. I love your articles and find them helpful. I’m in Canada ND am wondering if there is a similar product to the bed you are recommended accessible in the Toronto area.

  23. While I firmly agree that one should do a lot of research before buying a mattress to find one that won’t harm your health, there definitely are options online for purchasing such less-expensive natural latex from reputable companies offering GOLS, GOTS and more certification. My 70+ body has been sleeping soundly on natural latex with no coils for several years now with no aches and pains. I could be an exception, but I strongly discourage the notion that ONLY ONE mattress is the best choice for you.

  24. Hello,
    This is so wonderful post for me. Some great points here. It actually helped me a lot for choosing safe quality mattress. I loved to read this informative article. Everything has represented in a pretty good way. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up. I recommend https://bestduvets.co.uk/best-duvets-for-menopause, hope this helps to all readers. Must read.
    Thanks again.

  25. Wow, that is a lot of information and a lot to process! We’re right about to transition to a floor bed I suppose with a little help of sleep training with this amazing book: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/toddler-sleep-training. And I was thinking picking a mattress will be the easiest part of that but as I can see now – it is also a lot of work to be sure! Since it’s for a kid it must be super-safe…

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