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Category Archives: bedding accessories

The Dangers of the Foam Crib Mattresses

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Baby-sleep-comfort

During the in first years, infants and toddlers spend at least 50% of their time sleeping, so it is essential that the time is spent on a healthy and comfortable mattress. Here is a great article, “Keep Your Baby off that Foam Crib Mattress,” by Katherine Martinko from Green Home, that discusses the dangers of the foam used in many baby products such as crib mattresses, car seats and more.

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What do crib mattresses, cushioned car seats, and change tables all have in common? Yes, babies use them, but all of these items contain foam. This is problematic, since foam releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment. VOCs come from the variety of resins, catalysts, solvents, and adhesives that are used in the manufacturing process, and they continue to volatilize long after production.

Chronic exposures to low levels of VOCs have been linked in the past to infant allergies, asthma, and lung infections, but researchers have now done something different. They have measured the actual quantity of VOCs being emitted in a sleeping baby’s bedroom, and what they found is quite scary.

Researchers from the University of Texas, led by environmental engineer Brandon Boor, analyzed 20 new and used crib mattresses made from either polyurethane foam or polyester foam. In a bedroom-sized chamber with a heated steel cylinder to imitate the heat released by a sleeping infant’s body (which would speed up the release of VOCs), they compared measurements of VOCs within the room (10 feet away from the crib) and within the infant’s breathing zone (2.5 cm/1 in above the mattress).

According to Chemical & Engineering News, they found 30 different VOCs, including some that are classified as environmental pollutants and developmental disruptors. New mattresses released four times as many VOCs as old ones on average.

But most importantly, they found that VOCs were significantly higher in the infant’s breathing zone than in the middle of the room, which is serious when you consider that many infants sleep 12-14 hours a day in close proximity to foam.

The good news is that consumers don’t have to wait around for the industry to fix itself. There are alternative solutions that use latex, natural rubber, organic cotton, eucalyptus fibre, and/or coconut coir fillings, and are coated in organic cotton or wool, which are natural flame retardants. If you’re looking for a crib mattress, start by checking out this helpful list at Inhabitots. If you can’t afford a natural mattress, one of the study’s coauthors recommends setting aside a new mattress for six months before bringing it into the house, giving it time to off-gas sufficiently.

Check out our previous blog about OMI’s certified-organic crib mattresses, Providing a Safe Sleeping Environment.

For more OMI product information, click HERE

In Step With Our Carbon Footprint

blogphoto_earth_day_kids_earth_globe_hands-504x334 Bedroom Magazine recently posed the question, “What does your company do to reduce your carbon footprint?Below is the response to that question from OMI’s President, Walt Bader:

 “A carbon footprint is actually two footprints. The primary footprint is the total of all direct carbon dioxide emissions you personally produce or are responsible for. During our manufacturing process we produce zero. Even our forklift trucks are electric. Certainly, we contribute when we fly. We do not operate our own delivery services and we own no trucks. Secondarily, we source raw materials as close to our point of manufacturing as possible: wool from California, cotton from Texas, fabrics from the southern United States and all our packaging and materials are manufactured locally.

We completely recycled our scrap, and you would be hard pressed to find a garbage can on the floor. From the outset, OMI has been wholly dedicated to supporting America’s organic farmers, and thoroughly supports both the spirit and goals of reducing carbon footprints throughout the world.”

To learn more about the steps OMI takes to ensure our factory is as efficient as possible, visit our website HERE

Add A Little Softness To Your Life

As you are transitioning your bedding from summer to winter, think about adding a layer of comfort to the surface of your mattress with a natural rubber topper.

The Allura

Allura

This 2″-deep natural rubber topper offers surface softness without taking away the support of your mattress.  It’s made with a single core of USDA certified organic natural rubber latex sap, and covered with our signature OrganicPedic® knit quilting.

For more information about OMI pillow tops, click HERE.

 

Beat the Chill This Fall With New OMI Blankets

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As the hot nights of summer are coming to an end, fall is bringing cooler weather.  It may be time to think about adding a blanket to your bed.  Here are our new offerings for staying cozy and warm on chilly autumn nights:

Thermal Blanket  

CrepeWeave

Starting at $55 MSRP

Perfect for lightweight warmth or for layering in colder seasons. The pebbly textured fabric is 100% organic cotton in a crepe weave. Offered from crib to king sizes.

To learn more about how to dress your bed, check out our previous blogs “How Does Your Mattress Stack Up?” and “Mattress Protection: The OMI Mattress Pad Line”.

Four Ways to Help You Improve Your Sleep

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Four Ways for Improving Sleep

Environment can make a big difference in how well we sleep. One way to improve the quality of sleep is as simple as changing your bedroom. Sleep Junkie has some great tips to help make your nights more restful, including:

603967 Color matters…

The paint choice for your bedroom may seem like only a cosmetic preference, but it can really influence how well you sleep. Studies suggest that neutral colors are best for a bedroom because they provide a calming and relaxing vibe. Loud and harsh colors can actually distract and even irritate your eyes while you try to settle in for the night…If you want to redecorate, think about how the color might look or affect you as you drift off.

Darker is better for sleep…

It is important to make your room as dark as possible in order for most people to get a restful night’s sleep. To do this, you should use shades and curtains. If your room faces towards the sunrise and you don’t awake at the crack of dawn, than blackout drapes can help improve your shut eye, and eliminate pesky streetlights…The less light the more likely you are to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.”

Invest in a good, comfortable mattress…

The mattress that you choose is absolutely critical to how well you sleep… There is nothing more disturbing to your sleep than a lumpy and uncomfortable mattress.

Don’t forget the details…

There are a number of other extra things that you can incorporate into your bedroom to lull you to sleep. After you have selected a comfortable mattress be sure to include fresh sheets and a cozy comforter. All-cotton sheets keep your bed breathable and feel nice against your skin.

There are a number of things to consider when bettering your bedroom for a restful night’s sleep. Incorporating a few or all of these suggestions are sure to make your sleeping environment much more calming and relaxing.  While these things may take a few extra moments to transform your bedroom into a sleeping haven, it will be worth every minute once you realize how restful your sleep can actually be.

To read the article in full please click HERE.

Here at OMI, we can’t help rearrange your room, but we can help by providing comfortable mattresses, pillows, sheets and other accessories to help you achieve the best (and safest) night’s sleep.

Sleep Cool This Summer with a Wooly Pillowtop

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Most people would assume that wool is used only to keep you warm on cold winter’s nights.  They don’t realize how amazing wool is, and that it can actually help you keep cool in the summer.

When customers mention that they are getting too hot when they sleep, we often suggest either the Wooly pillowtop or the Wooly Lite.  Both these pillowtops are filled with plush layers of our organic Eco-Wool.  Wool is a great natural heat regulator, and actually wicks body heat and moisture away from you during warm nights.  (It also helps regulate your body temperature during the cold winter months, so it’s a great choice year-round.)  The Wooly is covered in certified-organic cotton sateen, and its feel closely resembles that of a feather bed, adding a nice, luxurious feel to any mattress.

The Wooly (3”)

Wooly

The 3″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly is well suited for sleepers who need a softer surface depth or who enjoy a bed with a “nesting” feel. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $575

The Wooly Lite (1.5″)

WoolyLite

The economical 1.5″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly Lite is perfectly suited for the sleeper who needs just a little extra surface cushioning. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $395

Contact your local retailer for more information; click HERE to find a store near you.

Add a little softness to you bed and beat the summer heat!

Aww Sheet

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As I threw my sheets in the washing machine last night, I caught myself wondering if I wash my sheets enough.  At once every two weeks it already feels like I am always changing my bedding, but I did a little research anyway on the recommended time between washing sheets anyway, to see what the world has to say on the subject.

 PF_ClothesLine

You wouldn’t think it would be a very hot topic, but everybody seems to have very different and (strong) views on washing sheets.  Some people are religious about washing them every week, while others don’t see the point in changing out bedding but once a month.  There are the fanatics out there that change their sheets several times a week, and studies have even found Western cultures in which changing the sheets only three times a year is the norm.

If you only wash your sheets once a month and you sleep an average of eight hours a night for 30 nights, that’s 240 hours on your sheets every month, or the equivalent of wearing the same clothes for 10 days straight (with fewer mustard stains, I would guess).

Your body, even straight out of the shower, will slough off dead skin cells (which attract dustmites), hair, dirt, oil, and sweat.  And when it comes off of you, that means it’s staying in your bed.  (Just writing that out makes me rethink my every-two-weeks sheet-changing regime.  A change to once a week is definitely in order!)

On mornings when you don’t change your sheets, pull your covers back when you get up and let your bed air out while you shower or eat breakfast.  And even though it may feel like just another thing to do in the morning, taking a couple of minutes to make your bed will make it that much sweeter to climb back into it at night, plus it will help keep dust and pet hair out.

I keep extra sheet sets in my linen closet to make for an easier change on sheet day.  I can pull the old sheets off and put the new ones on right away, so if I don’t get to laundry that day, it’s not a big deal. Avoid storing sheets in plastic containers, which can trap moisture and help with the growth of mildew.

Frequent washing will break down even the highest quality sheets. Replace them when you see obvious signs of aging, such as stains, faded patterns or fraying hems.

OrganicSheets

When you decide it is time for a new pair of sheets, check out the new set that OMI has added to our bedding collection! The Pearl Organic Sheet Set is a 300-thread-count beautiful sateen weave in GOTS-certified organic cotton. They come in a creamy ivory color, and all sets include pillowcase(s), one fitted sheet and one flat sheet. (Twin and Twin XL include one standard pillowcase, Full and Queen sizes receive two standard/queen pillowcases, and Eastern and California King sets include two king-size pillowcases.) Check out our previous blog Introducing the Pearl Organic Sheet Set, and for more information on how to purchase a set of our beautiful sheets find your nearest retailer HERE.

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