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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi parents. I'm starting the big search for a non-toxic, fire retardant-free, organic, twin mattress for my son's first bed. Due to changes in California legislation we should be starting to see more on the market to choose from but getting information is not as easy as it would seem. If you have already researched or are doing it right now, lets compare notes here!

  1. What brands of mattresses have you researched?
  2. Which ones did you find least toxic?
  3. Which ones do you feel might be a case of "green-washing"?
  4. If you settled on one, which did you choose and why?

Feel free to add some questions too and share articles you found helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You might want to look at Plush Beds Natural Bliss Wool-Free, All Natural Latex Mattress
Thanks! I just checked that out. Is this what you purchased? Tell me more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What brands of mattresses have you researched?

Intellibed
Plush Beds
Keetsa
Organicpedic
Savvy Rest
Naturpedic
Eco-Cloud

Which ones did you find least toxic?

They all make big claims but the ones I felt were the best options (though often the most pricy) were:

Eco-Cloud
Savvy Rest

But the rest of the list are all quite good too and offer more price points.

Which ones do you feel might be a case of "green-washing"?

Intellibed - creepy website, unsure of their gel layer
Keetsa - I have their Green Tea mattress which is really comfortable but I only just realized that it is not as natural as I was led to believe when I bought it

If you settled on one, which did you choose and why?

My top two picks are the most expensive. I think budget-wise I might end up with a Naturpedic. But I'm still researching and open to more options!
 

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This has been my favorite source, hands down:

http://www.themattressunderground.com/

There's a forum where you can read, read, read and ask questions.

I bought a queen 100% Dunlop latex mattress (8") this past fall and my relief over not having chemicals in our bed anymore is HUGE.

There's concern about metal coils/springs & EMFs too, so I figured I'd go straight to the most natural material I could find.

There are often sales and if you're a member of the website, most places offer discounts.

Twin latex mattresses can usually be found for around $500-ish, give or take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks @Metasequoia!

I have finally made our decision. We visited the factory store for Eco Cloud which is based right in my neighbourhood so it made sense to hit them up first. I had no idea that they actually have a little twin starter mattress with wool and organic cotton and coils for $500 which is under budget. They also had a latex version for $700. So that's where I found my happy budget and happy planet balance. Now we have two beds down... two couches to go before I've rid the house of the worst fire retardant offenders.
 

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Thanks @Metasequoia !

I have finally made our decision. We visited the factory store for Eco Cloud which is based right in my neighbourhood so it made sense to hit them up first. I had no idea that they actually have a little twin starter mattress with wool and organic cotton and coils for $500 which is under budget. They also had a latex version for $700. So that's where I found my happy budget and happy planet balance. Now we have two beds down... two couches to go before I've rid the house of the worst fire retardant offenders.
Congratulations!! It's such a great feeling knowing you've gotten those nasty chemicals out of your house, isn't it? Did you go for the latex twin or the other one?

I need to focus on the couch now...waiting for retailers to get their acts together before I go in and drill them with questions. Let some other poor soul be the first to press them. :lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Congratulations!! It's such a great feeling knowing you've gotten those nasty chemicals out of your house, isn't it? Did you go for the latex twin or the other one?

I need to focus on the couch now...waiting for retailers to get their acts together before I go in and drill them with questions. Let some other poor soul be the first to press them. :lol
Crazy thing happened. The night before we were going to pick out mattresses we had a huge storm here that took out two fences and did $$$$s of damage to the property and sadly I decided to be more thrifty and do the spring mattress. For his next one, (they say he'll need a new one in 10 years) I'll do latex. He'll weigh a little more at that point and will probably appreciate it all the more too.

I started research on sofas not long ago. There were very few companies that came forward and committed to eradicating chemicals from sofas starting early 2015. The only one that makes anything even remotely affordable is Crate and Barrel (and that's not really cheap either) and their kids company Land of Nod. Their line of sofas is now 90% free of fire retardant and the last 10% of the old stock sofas are being sold off right now so they'll soon be 100%. So don't buy a current sale couch there. They are being dumped for a reason. You can chat online with sales staff and they will double check anything you are shopping for. In Land of Nod their furniture is 100% fire retardant free BUT they sell conventional mattresses for the beds so they aren't really 100% across the brand. I am coveting a sofa there right now... The good news is, later this year the sofas on sale will be the ones that are safe.
 

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I need to focus on the couch now...waiting for retailers to get their acts together before I go in and drill them with questions. Let some other poor soul be the first to press them. :lol
I need a couch too but haven't had much luck finding a somewhat inexpensive one that simply doesn't use the flame retardant. I've only been able to find the all organic ones that cost thousands of dollars. Anyone know of some run of the mill companies that are voluntarily complying with tb2013 and removing the flame retardants ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I need a couch too but haven't had much luck finding a somewhat inexpensive one that simply doesn't use the flame retardant. I've only been able to find the all organic ones that cost thousands of dollars. Anyone know of some run of the mill companies that are voluntarily complying with tb2013 and removing the flame retardants ?
Well on the DIY side of things you can buy natural fill (cotton or natural latex) and re-stuff sofa cushions. I know some people in the blogs I have been reading did that. Natural latex pieces are still pricy though. I think the cheapest thing is doing a cotton fill futon couch. I've looked at a few mission style futon couches (that don't pull out into beds) with the cotton fill cushions on the wooden frame bench. Doesn't really suit my house all that well but will work while kiddos are little and I'm unable to imagine putting an expensive couch in here for them to draw on with markers (and it's always the Sharpies. WHY is it always the Sharpies?). Honestly the minute Ikea gets on board with this stuff I'm going to throw myself a party. ;)
 

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Well on the DIY side of things you can buy natural fill (cotton or natural latex) and re-stuff sofa cushions. I know some people in the blogs I have been reading did that. Natural latex pieces are still pricy though. I think the cheapest thing is doing a cotton fill futon couch. I've looked at a few mission style futon couches (that don't pull out into beds) with the cotton fill cushions on the wooden frame bench. Doesn't really suit my house all that well but will work while kiddos are little and I'm unable to imagine putting an expensive couch in here for them to draw on with markers (and it's always the Sharpies. WHY is it always the Sharpies?). Honestly the minute Ikea gets on board with this stuff I'm going to throw myself a party. ;)
Haha,oh i cannot agree more about ikea getting on board! We have the most mix matched hand me down furniture ever! I absolutly cannot wait to buy my first furniture as an adult lol. Just can't justify spending the money until they get the flame retardants out. Ive also looked into diy latex coushins and am just in that wierd limbo between diy and waiting for retailers to start stocking. Thanks for the comment though, it's appreciated 😊
 

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We bought the kids' mattresses and our living room furniture from the Futon Shop. I don't remember the exact price but they were expensive. :( But worth it for the peace of mind. We ended up buying the wool-stuffed ones (apparently wool is naturally flame retardant? so they don't have to add anything to it) but even in the cheaper options where they do use a flame retardant, it's sodium borate which is relatively benign from a toxicology standpoint (you don't want to eat it obviously) and I would have been totally comfortable with that. We ended up going with the wool because my husband is an all-or-nothing kind of guy.

I'm not sure how a wool-stuffed mattress would do under adult weight. Our oldest is five and after a couple of years her mattress is a little flattened in the middle, though the mattress does have a zipper so we can probably redistribute and refluff if it becomes a major problem.

(I'm sort of confused as to why more commercial manufacturers don't use borate as a flame retardant given it's cheap, effective, and nontoxic.)
 

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(I'm sort of confused as to why more commercial manufacturers don't use borate as a flame retardant given it's cheap, effective, and nontoxic.)
Im sure there's so much lobbying and public relations campaigns from the chemical companies to get manufacturers to use their patented product. Borate, being of the mineral boron, might not be patentable,or have different patent lengths. I remember reading about plants not being patentable unless they're gmo i.e. altered natural state. Same reason natural supplements or marihuana, things of nature,which are not man-made cannot be patented. I'm just not certain how a boron compound fits into that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Has anyone looked closely at the co-sleepers out there? I know some say "organic" but in my experience this is just marketing jargon and nothing more than the cotton covers are organic.
 

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Im sure there's so much lobbying and public relations campaigns from the chemical companies to get manufacturers to use their patented product. Borate, being of the mineral boron, might not be patentable,or have different patent lengths.
That's a really good point!
 

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Our mattress is from Organic Grace & I love it. Great customer service, too! We also have flame retardant free furniture from EcoSelect.
 

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I found a good article on 5 companies offering flame-retardant free couches but even more interesting was a comment below the article.

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/03/five-couches-without-flame-retardants-you-can-buy-right-now

The comment:

It is, of course, wonderful that the State of California has revised their antique law requiring flame retardants in furniture. But shame on the Environmental Working Group for failing to point out the many other components of sofas which are impacting our health! Of the five sofas mentioned, West Elm stands out as giving no information at all on the components - a sure sign of concern. Of the remaining four, all use polyurethane for cushioning (Crate and Barrel tries to up the ante by using "soy-based polyurethane foam", one of Terrachoice's greenwashing sins); Room & Board and Ikea both use "engineered hardwood" (i.e., glulam or other manufactured wood glued together) and Ikea uses fiberboard. And none offer an Oeko-Tex or GOTS certified fabric! And for your health, that means:

FRAME:
· If you have chosen a sofa which uses "engineered hardwood" or fiberboard, then you will also be living with formaldehyde emissions. See our blog post: https://oecotextiles.wordpress...
· The hardwood is not FSC certified (despite Crate and Barrel's use of "USA certified sustainable hardwood - by not mentioning the certification by name I assume it is self-certified). That means you've chipped away at your children's inheritance of this Earth by supporting practices which don't support healthy forests, which are critical to maintaining life: forests filter pollutants from the air, purify the water we drink, and help stabilize the global climate by absorbing carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. See our blog post about the importance of FSC certified wood: https://oecotextiles.wordpress…

CUSHIONS:
· Even high density polyurethane foam - as well as soy foam, the new media darling - emits methyloxirane, which causes cancer and genetic mutations, and toluene, a neurotoxin, as well as other chemicals. Polyurethane/soy foams oxidize over time, sending these chemicals into the air, where you can breathe them in. Highly poisonous, even in small amounts, these compounds can disrupt hormonal and reproductive systems, and are toxic to the immune system. Early life exposure has been shown to disrupt brain development. See our blog post about soy based foam: https://oecotextiles.wordpress…

DECORATIVE FABRIC:
· Produced without regard to the kinds of chemicals used in dyestuffs, processing or finishes - because none of these sofas offer Oeko-Tex or GOTS certified fabrics. Fabrics are, by weight, about 25% synthetic chemicals, and textile processing uses some of the most dangerously toxic chemicals known - among
them, lead, mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, Bisphenol A (BPA), PFOA. There are no requirements that manufacturers disclose the chemicals used in processing - chemicals which remain in the finished fabrics. Often the chemicals are used under trade names, or are protected by legislation as "trade secrets" in food and drug articles - but fabrics don't even have a federal code to define what
can/cannot be used - because fabrics are totally unregulated in the
U.S., except in terms of fire retardancy or intended use. See one (of many) blog posts on the subject: https://oecotextiles.wordpress…

GLUE, VARNISH, PAINT
· Finally,glues, varnishes, paint all contribute to the toxic load of evaporating chemicals if conventional products have been used on the sofa.
 
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