Friday, August 13, 2010

Eco-Friendly Mattresses

While Matt and I are busy trying to squirrel away more savings (for things like a midwife and doula, nursery, new couch, 12 weeks of UNPAID maternity leave, etc.), I keep adding to the list of things to buy. For example, I really want a new mattress.

Throughout my first trimester, I found sleeping to be pretty difficult on our uncomfortable bed. However, every time we traveled this summer, I had no problem falling asleep (usually on pillow-top, hotel mattresses). Plus, Matt has been hankering for us to upgrade from a queen to a king.

The thing is, if we buy a new mattress, I'm pretty convinced we should get an organic mattress. Regular mattresses are chock-full of disgusting chemicals that off-gas as soon as you bring them home. In general, I don't mind paying more for products that are healthier for us and the environment. Plus, I try to spend one third of my life in bed, so it's a worthwhile investment to me.

However, the folks over at Young House Love did lots of organic mattress research and settled on the Savvy Rest, which would cost us $3,000. Gulp! That is a serious financial commitment! Sheesh!

So what are our options?
  1. Postpone buying a new mattress until we can save up enough money. I really don't like this option because I agree that it would be nice to upgrade to a larger and more comfortable bed now, especially since I'll be heading into the third trimester in a couple months, and after that we'll be heading into serious sleep deprivation.
  2. Just go ahead and invest in an expensive, organic mattress. This option doesn't feel right either. So many other things are financial priorities right now!
  3. Upgrade to a quasi-eco-friendly mattress (like the ones at IKEA). This option feels like such a waste because we'll probably want to upgrade to a nicer mattress in a few years. Then again, we could probably resell it on Craiglist, which would keep it out of the landfill.
  4. Upgrade to a quasi-eco-friend mattress but invest in an organic mattress topper. Hmmm....this might be the way to go. That way, our faces would be pressed against something that is eco-friendly, while the rest of the mattress wouldn't be too terrible. Then again, if the total cost comes to something like $1,500, it might make more sense to just double it and go with quality from the very beginning.

Oy vey. It's moments like these that make me a twinge sad that Matt and I rake in non-profit salaries. (But just for a moment. Then I'm really happy that we managed to find jobs that we enjoy and that make the world better. I just wish they paid more!)

What are your thoughts? Are there other options I'm not considering?

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CABL said...

My husband and I recently bought a Keetsa Mattress. It's in the quasi ecofriendly category and it was affordable.

We bought it here >

And there's no need for a box spring (ie less money)- we bought a bed platform from walmart.

You can research Keetsa on their website but don't buy directly from them its more expensive.

TheBroad said...

I ended up with a mattress that's not pretty, but quite functional by ordering a hunk of queen-sized latex from They ship it in a zippered cover so the pieces don't slide all over, but it is A PAIN to move it around. There's no structure at all.

I think it cost around $600 or $800 with shipping. It's natural latex too, so there's no stink. I'd recommend the firm, even if you don't think you're a firm kind of person. I got the medium, and it's really squishy.

Heather said...

I like option #4. But for future reference, if you do a temporary upgrade only to upgrade later, it is illegal to sell used mattresses. You could legally give it to someone in need, but not sell it.

Marina said...

The money we spent on our mattress was some of the best money we ever spent. I mean, if you don't have the money you don't have the money and that's that, but if there's any way you can squeeze together the amount, it's really, really worth it. Every time we travel we start feeling homesick for our bed by a few days in, and one of the best parts of coming home is always that first time lying down on the bed. So worth it.

Plus, I figure with a king-size mattress we'll be able to co-sleep with multiple children if needed, so we could theoretically have the same mattress for quite a few years.

Jennie said...

We are in the exact same situation. We have our eyes (and hearts) on an organic mattress and boxspring set that we can't afford right now.

We ended up buying a pretty-much-new-but-technically-used set off of craigslist for $300. It's a pillow top and much, much more comfortable than our old bed. Plus, we scored a feathertop a while back on our local freecycle site - so add that in to the mix and we're in bed heaven!

Our old mattress is so terrible that it will have to go to the dump. But, when we're ready for the organic set, our current pillowtop will definitely be resold on craigslist.

I'm not sure about the legality of selling used mattresses. I've never heard of it being illegal. I've always bought and sold my beds on craigslist, and there are always tons for sale. Maybe it's just illegal in the US?

Rachel said...

unpaid maternity leave???

Anonymous said...

In Austin...

sk said...

We are in the same boat!

There should be some organic (or at least chemical free) mattresses out there for less than 3000 right? What about natural latex?

I haven't done much research yet, but I plan to work on that soon. If I were you I would try to hold out until you have the money for what you want. Perhaps you could get a cheaper chemical-free mattress and then top it with a nice organic pillow top or something like that....??

Elsa said...

Have you visited New Living to try some of their mattresses? They've got great "experts." In the state of TX you can save some cash on taxes when you get a note from any doctor recommending a new mattress for you. So that's a big help. There's also lots of mattress outlets around town that carry Danny Seo beds, which are absolutely amazing! J and I just bought a new mattress and were hoping to go green, but since we wanted an upgrade to a king size bed, something comfortable and affordable--we gave up our "green" mattress dreams. We instead got an organic pillow top and organic bedding--it was much more budget friendly and I love our bed.

Ingenue said...

We got a memory foam mattress on Ebay. It was new, made from no-fume-foam, so no stinky off-gassing. Memory foam is awesome because it's is uber supportive and it doesn't move like a mattress does - so when Matt turns over, you won't even feel it. We got a queen size, brand-spakin-new one for $300!!! It was shipped to us vacuum packed, and the seller on Ebay didn't charge for shipping, bonus! We couldn't be happier, we sleep really, really well and have little to no aches and pains, and we toss and turn less too - I think because the mattress is SO supportive. There are MANY memory foam mattress sellers on Ebay, and the foam comes in a variety of firmnesses. Usually, the memory foam is fused to a bottom layer of regular foam. The softness of the mattress depends on the thickness of the memory foam and the density of the base layer foam. Good luck!

Rachel said...

I have heard that mattress pads cannot prevent off-gassing, so you might want to look into that further. (I don't have any sources; I've just heard that.) You might want to keep in mind if you are planning to bed-share at all w/ your baby. We upgraded to a king mattress when I was pregnant w/ my first child, thinking it'd be nice to have a bigger bed for bed-sharing w/ baby. The bed that we chose was SO comfy during pregnancy. But then, baby arrived, and it was then that we realized it was SO soft and cushy that it wasn't a good firm surface for a newborn AT ALL. So, I ended up sleeping w/ baby on the old, firm queen afterall! (Glad we kept it around!) Also, here's a company I've heard of you could check out:

Ellie said...

One thing I have seen pregnant women do is sleep on an air mattress to deal with the discomfort - my friend has one that has adjustable hard/soft settings like a sleep number bed. They cost $100/150, you could put it on top of your current mattress, and it would give you a guest bed option later.

arihant matt said...

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Jordan Signer said...

I think today there are a lot more options for eco-friendly mattresses. Keetsa is a really good brand and they make some very affordable mattresses. Keetsa Eco-Friendly Mattress Review

Richard C. Lambert said...

While Matt and I are busy trying to squirrel away more savings (for things like a midwife and doula, nursery, new couch, 12 weeks of UNPAID maternity leave, etc.), I keep adding to the list of things to buy. For example, I really want a new mattress. Michael

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