Creating a chemical-free sanctuary in the bedroom
By Jessica Goldblatt Barber
Sleep is a time for our bodies to heal, renew, and rejuvenate and if you’re going to make one room in the house as chemical-free as possible, make it your bedroom.
Start by clearing your bedroom of clutter and unwanted goods. No workspaces, electronics or exercise equipment in view— a bedroom is for rest and rejuvenation.
When redecorating, paint with natural paints or clay plasters—they have a wonderful feel, are easy to work with, and actually improve indoor air quality. Use natural fiber curtains such as cotton, hemp, wool or silk. If replacing floors keep in mind that many carpets off-gas chemicals. Some better choices are natural fiber carpets, wood, cork, and stone. Avoid the plastics and vinyl that many floors are made of.
Now, let’s talk about where you snuggle up to get your zzzzzs. An organic mattress can significantly make a difference in reducing your overall chemical exposure. In addition, they offer a superior sleep surface, so it is little wonder that organic mattresses are the fastest growing sector in the mattress industry.
There are two main types of organic mattress options: organic cotton and wool innerspring and natural latex foam.
Natural latex foam mattresses are similar in performance and price to a Temper-pedic mattress, but unlike their synthetic, chemical-laden counterpart, are made from naturally occurring, sustainably harvested sap from rubber trees. Natural latex is mold-, mildew-, dust mite- and bed bug-resistant. It is perfect for those with allergies, pressure-point problems, or sensitivities. Latex mattresses are often recommended by chiropractors for persons with back and sleep issues as they gently give and cradle the body, for people who love a super soft mattress there are choices of toppers to create a pillow-like top. Transfer of motion (when the person next to you moves around) is very limited so they are really wonderful for couples if one is a light sleeper and wakes up with motion.
Organic innerspring mattresses are constructed like conventional mattresses, but without the chemicals that are typically used in one non-organic mattress. They are made with organic cotton or wool. Organic cotton is chemical free, and looks and feels wonderful. Wool is naturally flame retardant, meeting the strictest California standards. It is antibacterial, dust mite-resistant, regulates your body temperature – keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I
Additionally, most organic mattresses are still very much ‘cottage industry’ and often made in small factories in the USA, using USDA organic cotton or organic USA-produced wool. While it may not be the deciding factor in choosing an organic mattress, purchasing USA-made goods benefits our economy as well.
The facts are readily available, yet despite what we know about the harmful effects of chemicals, standard industry practices and laws to protect us remain slow to change. Do a bit of research before purchasing things for your home, and when possible, select the safer alternative. Safer, greener alternatives become more available as consumers demand them, and more affordable as supply and competition grows. We can create a healthier home and planet, one smart choice at a time!
If you have any questions on this article, or for more info on organic mattresses, please feel free to contact Jessica at Interiors Green: 603-616-6499
Jessica Goldblatt Barber is the owner of Interiors Green — The Home & Living Store, located on Main Street in Bethlehem NH.