Mattress Shopping Sucks

After sleeping for years on a $400 imitation memory foam mattress from The Dump, it was time to get a new mattress. It was never really great, and we began to realize that the mattress was increasing the temperature in the room, leading to night sweats that woke us in a fury rage. We decided to go with a Tempurpedic mattress. We got one of the most expensive, firm ones available. While my husband claimed to like it, I was completely miserable. During our 120-day trial from Sleep Experts, I began “internet researching” other options, top reviews/ratings, and harmful chemical emissions known to come from new mattresses.

We really did experience the notorious chemical smell (perhaps the flame retardants) for weeks. The first few nights we both woke up with headaches. My sensitive respiratory system picked up irritation. I had irritated, itchy eyes for a few days.

Apparently this is initial off-gassing but we didn’t have the luxury of letting it off-gas elsewhere before sticking it in our room. It seemed our room smelled for the entire 2 months we had it and I read that mattresses continue to off-gas (though in lesser quantities) for years.

Aside from the off-gassing, some of my other complaints were identical to what I found online after personally experiencing them.

1. The bed and room became so HOT, causing us have night sweats, to turn on the fan and air conditioner, and open the doors.

2. Somehow my back-sleeper spouse loved the firm memory foam feel but I had horrible aches and pains in my hips/thighs and my shoulders pressure points. My arm and hand was falling asleep almost every night.

3. That memory foam “sunken in” effect was like trapping me in the bed and I couldn’t easily just turn over to change positions. It actually became kind of a task to get out of bed.

4. No bounce.

5. Even though, ironically, I love the smell of synthetic foams and memory foams (we all like something thats bad for us), I was discovering that I was sleeping on a harmful VOC/chemical factory and there were better options out there.

I love Tempurpedic pillows however, despite the toxic nature of memory foams – “a petroleum based product”.

We were also shopping for seat cushions for our hard dining chairs. So I bought a Purple brand “Royal Cushion” (formerly WonderGel) to experience the material. Maybe it would give me an idea of what the Purple and Intellibed mattress would feel like. I would like to be able to sit in my bed too without tailbone pain.

After deciding that we want a low-VOC and chemical emissions mattress (particularly for the health of our newborn and my own respiratory irritation) we began looking for “Organic mattresses” and found a store that carried only mattresses that didn’t use any chemical flame retardants. The Latex mattress brands we checked out were Pure Talalay Bliss, Posh + Lavish, as well as the cleaner OrganicPedic and SavvyRest. Though I loved the SavvyRest clean option with its interchangeable layers and healthier materials, the outer covering material was just not comfortable and had restricted movement. Some with Organicpedic. Posh + Lavish seemed to be the way to go, making the compromise for a few more VOCs.

While trying to avoid mainstream toxic mattress brands after our experience with Tempurpedic, some of the Mattresses I looked into at first included Casper, Purple, Tuft & Needle, Intellibed, Sleep Number, Loom & Leaf. Then there were some cheap organic brands I’d never heard of which I was willing to bet would not meet our standards.

Then we layed on an Aireloom which was nice with a ridiculous price tag and no trial/exchange/return options. We also layed on a Latex mattress comparable to the Casper which is when I confirmed a Latex mattress would be a better option for me than memory foam.

So we went with a Dunlop and Talalay Blended Organic Latex mattress by Posh + Lavish that seemed to offer the right balance of specs we were looking for after all that “internet research” and laying on lots of mattresses in the stores. It was a hard (and rather expensive) decision but ultimately we have been very pleased with our ultra-comfy, new latex mattress. We also bought a “100% non-toxic, Okeo-Tex certified, coco coir crib mattress” (Pure) by Babyletto for our newborn.


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