Category Archives: mattresses
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.
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.
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, check out our previous blog, Our Dedicated Organic Factory.
Airing tonight on HBO is a documentary that explores the chemical-laden flame retardants contained in much of today’s furniture.
Here is an excerpt from the article, Should Americans Fear Their Furniture? by New York Times author Jane Margolies:
“The pet hairs and red wine stains on sofas across America, it turns out, should be the least of our concerns. The real issue is what is in the foam cushions we curl up on every day: up to two pounds of flame retardants.
In their HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” scheduled to be aired on Monday, the directors James Redford and Kirby Walker disclose that these chemicals, as used in home furnishings, do not stop fires. They do, however, whoosh out of seat cushions when we plop down, hitching a ride on airborne dust and ending up in our bodies. They have been linked to cancer and other health disorders.
The film explores how a 1975 California law requiring retardants (Technical Bulletin 117) became widely adopted. And it follows the firefighters, scientists, health advocates, state legislators and investigative journalists who brought attention to the chemicals, leading to a recent reform of the California mandate — which the directors, who spoke from their homes in the San Francisco area, applaud.”
For the full article click HERE.
This issue was previous explored in the OMI blog “Makers of Flame Retardants Manipulate Research Findings.”
We at OMI continue to use a safer system that allows us to use organic wool as our only flame retardant. As a result, our mattresses are able to pass federal flame tests without the use of toxic chemicals or silica barriers. To use any form of chemical flame retardant in our products would violate our ethical standards and integrity. We stand by our purity so you and your family can have a safer place to rest your heads at night.
To learn more about OMI and the certified products we offer, click HERE.
Here is an excerpt from the article “Are You Sleeping on an Oil Field?” by Channaly Philipp, about the health risks of traditional foam mattresses and the benefits of organic:
“If you sleep on a conventional mattress (like most people do), you’re spending a third of your life lying on toxic chemicals. If this little-known fact has you tossing and turning, read on.
Since the 1960s, mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a material derived from petroleum that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The popular memory foam mattresses are made from this material.
But VOCs are only part of the cocktail of chemicals in foam mattresses. Required to be flame-resistant, foam mattresses are imbued with flame-retardant chemicals that can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders.
Walt Bader, a sufferer of a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity and the author of “The Toxic Bedroom,” had several mattresses analyzed by a lab in Atlanta in 2005. One memory foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals.
The next year, he published the first definitive list of chemicals outgassing from memory foam mattresses.
“Nine of these chemicals are recognized as carcinogens by just about every significant health organization in the world,” Bader said on his website. “And do you know what has happened? Nothing.”
The outgassing is not only nefarious to people who suffer from respiratory issues, but some of the chemicals are also known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
As more people become educated about what they’re sleeping on, they are turning to organic mattresses and bedding in greater numbers.
….Organic mattresses, made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and rubber latex, present an alternative to conventional mattresses and are becoming increasingly popular.
Wool is a natural fire retardant, and is excellent for regulating temperature and air circulation—a boon for anyone suffering from night sweats. The natural materials are also resistant to dust mites, which are a trigger for asthma and allergies.”
For the full article, click HERE.
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.
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.
When buying a new bed, you might generally think about finding the right mattress, then dressing up your bed with new linens. Often the foundation for a mattress is completely overlooked. A foundation not only provides support, but can also help the mattress in other ways.
First, the foundation ensures proper air circulation, which helps lessen the chance of mold and mildew. Second, it provides fabric-to-fabric contact so the mattress does not rub against a rough surface such as the wood or metal of a frame. Lastly, it allows you to adjust the height of the mattress from the floor.
Natural rubber mattresses are recommended to be placed on wood-slat foundations, while innerspring mattresses should be placed on box-spring foundations.
OMI offers both types of foundation:
Our 8″ box-spring foundation is constructed with 2″-thick boards of cabinet-grade, untreated, kiln-dried fir. The heavy-duty steel springs (free of potential toxins from solvents and oils) are covered with a layer of durable organic cotton canvas, padded with organic cotton batting, then upholstered with the same organic quilting materials as our mattresses.
Our wood-slat foundation is made of cabinet-grade, untreated, kiln-dried fir. A layer of durable organic canvas is placed over the 2″-thick boards, padded with certified organic cotton and pure wool batting, and upholstered with the same organic quilting as our mattresses. Slats are spaced approximately 2.5″ apart. The wood-slat foundation is made in several different heights: 2”, 3.5”, 8”, 10”, and 12.”
You don’t need a foundation if you have a platform bed. The slats on the platform bed should be between 2” and 3” apart and between 2” and 3” wide. If your platform bed consists of a solid surface, the mattress will not ventilate properly and will be subject to mold or mildew. We recommend our Wool Underbed Pad to protect your mattress from rubbing on the slats and developing wear over time.
For more information about OMI or to find a retailer near you, click HERE.
Are you looking for a mattress that is low profile and firm, and can help with pressure point relief? The Cascade may be the perfect choice. It is also one of our fully certified organic mattresses, made with GOLS-certified organic Dunlop natural rubber.
100%-Natural Rubber Latex Mattress
The OrganicPedic® Cascade is a two-sided mattress made from a 7 ½” core of medium-firm 100%-natural rubber latex that has a sculpted top, covered with our signature OrganicPedic® knit quilting. The Cascade has a sculpted surface on one side and a flat surface on the other. Made with USDA-certified sap.
SURFACE: Sculpted FIRMNESS: Medium or Firm *DEPTH: 7 ½”
MSRP (mattress only): twin $2095 • full $2695 • queen $2995 • king $4295
Foundation sold separately*
For more information about the Cascade, visit the OMI website HERE or contact the OMI Sales office for questions or order inquiries at 800-951-9196.
Check out these great and unusual facts, compiled by List 25, that you may have never heard before.
If you do not have time to watch the video we have written them out for you:
25. The average human spends 6 years of his or her life dreaming.
24. Ancient Romans submitted their significant or unusual dreams to the Senate for interpretation.
23. The Beatty Papyrus is the oldest dream dictionary in existence. It was written around 1350 B.C.
22. Birth order influences the world of progression of dreams. Men generally dream about more violence, and first-born females tend to have more aggressive characters. On the other hand, first-born males tend to dream about themselves in a more positive light than their younger siblings.
21. People who grew up watching black-and-white TV when they were younger dream in more monochrome settings while people who grew up watching color TV have more vivid and colorful dreams.
20. Visually impaired people dream too. Those who lost their sight later in life can see visual images in their dreams, while blind people who don’t dream visually can dream in sound, smell, and touch.
19. We only dream of faces of real people we have encountered but might not remember, because people usually see hundreds of faces every day.
18. Between 18 – 38% of people say they have experienced at least one precognitive dream, and about 70% have experienced déjà vu.
17. Daydreaming, according to psychologists, may be related to dreams that occurred during sleep. However, they require different mental processes.
16. Within 5 minutes of waking up, half of dreams are forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% are forgotten. In just 10 minutes, however, people are more likely to remember their dreams when they are awakened during REM sleep.
15. Dreams of unpreparedness, falling, flying, and public humiliation come from common human anxieties and seem to transcend social and economic boundaries.
13. Falling dreams typically occur in the early stages of sleep. The muscle spasms of these dreams are called “myoclonic jerks.”
12. Even fetuses in the womb dream. Even with the lack of visual stimuli, scientists think their dreams come from sound and touch sensations.
11. Experienced by 40% of the population, sleep paralysis occurs when a sleeper awakens and recognizes his or her surroundings, but is unable to move for up to one minute.
10. Around 70% of characters in men’s dreams are other men, whereas women dream of an equal amount of men and women.
9. Plato believed that dreams originate in the organs of the belly. He described the liver as the “biological seed of the dreams.”
8. Research involving students suggests that waking someone up at the beginning of REM stage of sleep can cause irritability and hallucinations, and can eventually lead to psychosis.
7. William Shakespeare used dreams to help develop characters and advance the plot in many of his plays.
6. The Greeks regarded dreams as messages from the gods, and would sometimes sleep in sacred places to conjure significant dreams.
5. Children tend to have shorter dreams than adults do, and 40% of them are nightmares. Scientists believe this is because dreams act as a coping mechanism.
4. Studies have revealed that animals (mammals in particular) dream just like humans.
3. Known as “Dream Incorporation,” while sleeping you may include or incorporate sounds and stimuli from your surrounding environment into your dream. For example, if your brother is playing a loud guitar next door, you may dream you are at a concert.
2. The word “dream” is most related to the West Germanic “draugmus,” meaning “deception,” “illusion,” or “phantom.”
1. Toddlers do not appear in their own dreams until the age of 3 or 4.
Which fact did you find the most surprising? Comment below!