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Chemical-free & Organic Mattresses

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Need excellent new mattress with no odor

Dec 2011

We need a new mattress and would like to know your recent experience with purchasing a mattress. (The archive messages are at least 3 years old.) The last time we bought a mattress--some years ago--we had to return two mattresses because sleeping on them was like sleeping in a garbage dump. They smelled ghastly. Finally a manager at Sears, who had had the same experience, recommended a mattress which did not smell. So...

1. Have you bought a mattress recently that did not have a odor and if so, what was the brand?

2. Any suggestions for a really good mattress would be appreciated! (We know about European Sleepworks and will look there.)

3. Has anyone used a European Sleepworks mattress without their slat system and has that been comfortable?

Thanks! Wants a good night's sleep

We bought our kids' bunk bed mattresses from Room and Board. They are made in Minnesota by Restwell and are non-toxic. I even called the manufacturer directly and asked them about their manufacturing process to be sure the mattresses don't have fire retardants, etc. (They used other materials that meet fire retardant standards naturally.)

The mattresses don't smell and are amazingly comfortable. The company supplies a lot of different types of mattresses at a wide price range to Room and Board. Wish my kids' mattresses were my own!

We have a queen-sized European Sleepworks mattress without the adjustable slat system and it is very comfortable. --happy sleeper
Try McRoskey in San Francisco ( They make high quality mattresses right there in their own factory, use all non-toxic materials, and there is no chemical smell. We've had our mattress for several years and have been very happy with it. laura
Try a sleep number bed. They are the ones that are inflatable w/two chambers so that two people can have different firmness on each side of bed. We have two (one at home, one at vacation home) and love it! It is much sturdier than your basic inflatable and we never noticed any smell. And it can't wear out since it is air! We bought the bottom of the line model - absolutely nothing fancy. sweet dreams
We purchased a Simmons Natural Care latex mattress. It was fairly pricey (1600 for Eastern King) but we love it. No stink at all. Worth checking them out. We purchased ours from Mattress Discounters on Shattuck downtown. anon
The Natural Bed Company, based in Bay Area, mattresses made locally. Check out the (rave) reviews on yelp. We tried out mattresses at the Walnut Creek branch. (Also tried out Eurooean sleep works). I suggest you go smell for yourself. I LOVE the mattress we chose. Like climbing into heaven at night. Well-rested

Chemical free mattress?

Sept 2011

Hello, We are overdue for a new bed. Anybody have a recommendation for a chemical free/organic mattress that won't break the bank? Thank you! Becky

We've had a European Sleepworks mattress for many years now and it is great. They use ony natural latex. --sleeping soundly
We love our European Sleep Works mattress. It is chemical free and made from high quality materials. We were surprised by how competitively they are priced.
Amy at The Wooden Duck has thoroughly researched mattresses that they now stock. You have mulitple choices, thoughtful in regards to materials and comfort; cheaper to high end. If nothing else, educational. happy sleeping

Non-toxic mattresses and couches

May 2010

Hi. I'm interested in replacing our fire-retardant-filled mattresses and couches with something more natural and less toxic. Two questions about this:

1. I found a nice kids' cotton-and-wool mattress at Earthsake, but then read on their website that this should be used with their very expensive box spring. Has anyone tried just buying the MATTRESS (the ''Sky'' one, in this case) and putting it on a bed frame without the box spring? I have trouble believing my kids will be able to tell the difference.

2. There seem to be various stores selling all-natural mattresses, but what about COUCHES? If anyone knows of a local store selling couches not infused with fire- retardant additives, please let me know!

Many thanks. Anonymous

I don't know about Earthsake but European Sleepworks in Berkeley has a completely natural non-toxic child's mattress for around $400 that you don't have to use with a boxspring. They use organic cotton, natural latex and wool to make it fire retardant - no chemicals. We have a queen bed from them with their slat system and love it! big fan

Green mattress for daughter's new bed

Oct 2008

I'm looking to transition my daughter from a crib to a real bed and am shopping for a new mattress. I'm interested in one used with organic materials and less chemicals. Does anyone have experience buying a green mattress? The ones I've found so far are very expensive ($2,000). Is this typical? anon

You might check out Keetsa (, store on University Ave in Berkeley) -- they're not as green as some of the high-end mattresses, but they're better than standard mattresses, I think. JP
European sleepworks still offers a non-toxic twin mattress for kids that is around $350, although they don't advertise it on their website. Call them, since sometimes they sell out. Vali
we just bought a bed from keesta, it was inexpensive (650 for queen) and uses recycled materials. and it's comfortable. they are in Berkeley, University @ 4th St just before you get on the freeway. geraldine
I bought a crib mattress last year from a company in Ohio that I am very happy with. It was a handmade by the Amish using all natural materials and was under $200 with shipping. They also make twin sizes and larger starting I believe around $600.
A Natural Home
109 N Main St
Fredericktown, OH 43019
Store phone: 740.694.2222
I bought chemical-free, organic mattresses for my kids from European Sleepworks. I bought the Alpine, which is their low end model, and I think they were about $1,000 each for the twin size. I did not buy the underlying slat system because my kids' beds have slats on them already. I wanted something that will last until they go off to college (they are currently 4 and 7), and they said the Alpine will do that. They also offer a latex mattress appropriate for kids (also chemical free) that was about $500 but it was neither as durable (I think it is designed to last about five years) nor as comfortable (at least to me; my kids probably would not have noticed). I also looked at McCroskey but preferred European Sleepworks comfort-wise. And I tried to look at Earthsake mattresses but the salespeople were so lame I gave up. I really like the Alpine mattress and sleep in my kid's beds when either one of them is not home since I haven't yet saved up the chunk of cash to sprin! g for one for my bed. Trixie

"healthy" mattress for 3-year-old

August 2008

I am looking to buy a ''healthy'' twin mattress for our 3 yr old, without spending an arm and a leg. All of the green mattresses I've seen cost around $700, which seems excessive. I've looked at futons, but I'm not sure which thickness is most appropriate for a 35 lb toddler. Also, it would need to fit into our pre-exitsting twin bedframe. Any recommendations would be appreciated. anon

We just a bought a healthy twin mattress at Earthsake on 4th street during their sale for a little over 1/2 of what you're seeing them for. A friend also mentioned there is another store that has good healthy mattresses over by the art store at University and 6th, so you might want to check them out, too. anon
European Sleepworks in Berkeley sells wool mattresses without nasty chemicals or flame retardants. They have two twin-sized mattresses for children that are cheaper than their other mattresses but they do not advertise these anywhere. (They say they couldn't keep up with the demand if they did.) One costs around $360 and the other around $500. The cheaper one (coil?) is actually a better and more comfortable mattress. We have two for our kids' bunk beds, and they are so comfortable that I could sleep on them. Andi
I have purchase all my organic bedding (mattresses to sheets) from LifeKind. Their website is - they're located in Grass Valley, CA so their shipping takes only one or two days. For my children, I ordered their all organic cotton ''Maton'' bed which has a natural rubber core and have been very satisfied. They have a range of mattresses (types & materials): I have an innerspring mattress from them for myself. I've seen the merch at Earthsake and Lifekind's products are comparable. They also have significant sales periodically which you should ask them about. healthy & comfy sleeping family

Non-toxic bed and mattress for child

May 2007

I've heard some bad stuff both about mattresses and about wooden bed frames themselves. I think it relates to off-gassing in both. It's impossible to be totally environmentally PC in every aspect of my child's life, I know, but it seems like when it comes to the place she spends about 11 hours a day, I'd like it to be non-toxic. Am looking for recs of places to find organic mattresses and bed frames that don't off-gas. Thanks for any and all ideas! concerned mama

we found the best prices at European Sleepworks (better than Earthsake for I think comparable products). they have a kids' twin mattress that they don't advertise there for a much lower price than the adult (several hundred), it just supports a lower body weight but they guarantee it for some years, I forget how many. can't help you with a frame except to suggest a solid wood one, which they have at the Berkeley Kids' Room. good for you! happy parent of healthy kid

Best brand of organic mattress for co-sleeping

May 2007

Sadly, out of misinformed fear, I didn't begin co-sleeping with my babies (5 month old son and daughter) until they were 3 months old. I currently have a full size futon which is becoming too small! I'd like to purchase a new king size bed...and want one that is very firm and made of organic materials. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best brand (and web address of the company)? Thank you so very much! Tamara

I looked at soaring heart futon company based in Seattle, which looks to be a good one, but eventually bought a 100% latex (natural rubber) at a local futon shop due to allergies and wanting a very firm mattress. I would suggest medium firmness if you do get latex and normally like extra firm- I got ''firm'' and it is actually too firm (like extra extra extra firm in a mattress.)Also European sleepworks has some. If you are up for a little road trip I would also suggest a trip to the Coyuchi Organic bedding outlet, open weekends in the town of Pt. Reyes Station (closer than Pt. Reyes) for lovely organic sheets, etc. Target also now has organic sheet sets which is great- though I imagine the smaller company brands have more integrity in the manufacturing process, etc. chris
I've been looking at organic mattresses since I need to replace mine soon. It's a bit confusing since many of the manufacturers seem to private brand their stuff. Vivetique appears to be a reputatable name in organic mattresses and they have a wide selection. Their website is Cynthia

Buying Lower Cost Chemical-Free Mattress - Where?

March 2007

I have read the archives on this issue, but they are not up to date since a law change in 2005.

In short, for those who do not know about this issue and want to -- in 2005 California enacted a stricter law to require that all new mattresses sold in the state pass a 30-minute open- flame test so that mattresses would be less flammable in a house fire. Sounds good on the surface, but to pass the test, most traditional mattress manufacturers now are having to use much higher levels of chemical flame retardants which, I have read, continue to off-gas for years. While the known carcinogens that were used for years and years have recently been banned (or will be by 2008), chemicals which have not yet been thoroughly tested are still being used. The chemicals used on mattresses are particularly problematic due to the direct and prolonged exposure of sleeping on them for hours every night and children seem to be more susceptible to carrying higher levels of these chemicals in their bodies. (See 2006 series in the Oakland Tribune by Douglas Fischer)

There is an exception to this 2005 law that, supposedly, allows anyone to buy a chemical flame retardant-free mattress if you have a doctor's prescription for one. My 4 and 2 year olds both have allergies so I got prescriptions from their pediatrician. However, I am not having any luck getting a regular retailer or manufacturer to special order or sell two chemical-free twin mattresses to me. I suppose economically it does not work for them. So far I have tried IKEA (yes, all of their mattresses do have chemical flame retardants although they stopped using the very worst ones), Mattress Discounters, and also contacted the Sealy Manufacturing plant in Richmond on the advice of the salesperson at Mattress Discounters. All said they could not help me even with the prescriptions.

While there are naturally flame retardant or organic mattresses available at several retailers around here such as Earthsake or European Sleepworks -- at a cost of $800 to $1500 per twin mattress, the cost of two mattresses is unaffordable for my family right now. I'm sure a custom place like McRoskey would be able to honor the prescriptions, but their twin mattress prices also start at around $1,900.

So my question is has anyone gotten farther than me in this search? Are there any regular retailers or manufacturers of twin mattresses at or under $500 each who will actually sell a chemical flame retardant-free mattress to a consumer with a prescription? Or has anyone found a chemical-free, naturally flame-retardant mattress anywhere in twin size for around or under $500?

I have spent hours on this and seem to be getting nowhere. Thank you for your help. Whitney

try we are happy with our crib sized mattress from them. cust service was great too when I emailed with questions. simply happier
European sleepworks doesn't advertise these, but they have two twin mattresses for kids that sell for around $350 and $450 (something like that). They only use word of mouth advertising for these. We just bought a twin-sized coil mattress for our son there and we love it. No chemicals! They use wool to pass the flame-retardant tests. Andi
we have a latex mattress, from foam creations on solono ave, albany. i'm pretty sure latex isn't treated with chemicals, but if i'm wrong, perhaps a BPNer will correct me. we got medium firm, with a 1'' medium topper, and have been quite comfortable. latex fan

Good, affordable mattress without chemicals

Feb 2006

I am wondering if anyone knows where to get a healthy mattress without a lot of chemicals in it, that is also not too expensive and is comfortable. wanting nice bed

Look at the archived discussions of this. I still stand by my recommendation of McCroskey Airflex mattresses made in San Francisco. Our first mattress lasted 18 years. As far as cheap, they are not, but you get what you pay for, and you end up spending that anyway replacing them more often if you buy a cheaper one. Only pure egyptian cotton goes into an Airflex and there is a 15 year warranty against sagging. Go test drive them at their showroom at Market St. & Gough. McCroskey is still going strong
We bought our daughter a chemical free mattress from Earthsake on 4th Street in Berkeley. It's very comfortable and better quality that the ones we tired out a Ikea. We also lucked out and were able to buy it in sale. Another option: Other people that I've talked to have bought futons. Coleen
I bought an organic futon crib mattress for my baby at One Thousand Cranes on 4th Street. My daughter loves it and we figure we could use it as a play futon when she grows out of the crib. It was reasonably priced as well compared to other organic products. Angela

Non-toxic mattress & bedding for toddler

Dec 2004

We are looking for a twin bed for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. We want to be sure to find one that is comfortable, doesn't off-gas, and is affordable! We had bought her an all cotton futon about 8 months ago, but it isn't comfortable and she doesn't sleep well and when I have to spend a few hours (or more) in bed with her at night I'm in a lot of pain. I looked at the previous postings but I'm hoping someone might have something more to offer/suggest. We have a european sleepworks bed for ourselves which I love, but a twin mattress alone is $700 and an all latex twin from Mancini is $600! It's just a bit too much for me. Any tips on how I can get her a comfortable (fairly soft) mattress that is safe to sleep on but won't break the bank? --Sleepless in Berkeley

I am looking for natural bedding (mattress pad, fitted sheet, etc.) for a standard size crib. If anyone has suggestions on where to find good products at a reasonable price, I would appreciate it. Input on coil vs. foam mattress and where to purchase a mattress is also welcome and appreciated. Thanks! Yael
Try Ikea - a friend of mine ran into the same problem and was told Ikea manufacturers their mattresses to meet European standards (ie no chemicals) I am not sure about their bedding but you can do an on-line search for bedding and try e-bay, type in organic bedding and see what comes up. I know they have organic clothes on ebay so why not bedding. ALso, a used mattress of one year or more has ''off-gassed'' most of their chemicals making it safer for the little one.
For all natural baby bedding and mattresses (and lots of other great baby items) I bought my son's mattress from For an adult mattress you could try the very expensive but fabulous With Royal-pedic you can get organic cotton, wool, latex or some combination of that and lots of custom options. They are extremely well-made and pricey. Last I checked you had to go to a furniture store Marin to find them but you can order from them directly or they'll tell you who carries their mattresses locally. Organic Mama
You can get a cotton futon mattress with innersprings that may be more comfortable for you. We got one several years ago and it was under $200 (queen size), but I can't remember where. Fortunately there are a million futon shops around here, so you can call around.

I think any futon shop can provide a cotton crib futon. When I checked last summer, most stores needed a week or so to order one, but the futon shop on 4th St. (Thousand Cranes?) had some in stock in various thicknesses.

Crib futons are treated with boric acid as a fire retardant. This is not a chemical I would worry about, but you can get a chemical-free futon with a doctor's prescription. A crib futon should be around $60-100.

If you want to spend a good bit more, Earthsake on 4th St. has a more elaborate selection of crib mattresses made of various combinations of wool, cotton, and possibly latex, and I think some have organic ingredients. David

Latex, wool or cotton mattresses w/out fire retardants

June 2005

i was wondering if any of you have purchased an organic mattress and/or have any recommendations for dealers or stores in the bay area.

it is my understanding that i have a choice of: 1. natural latex mattresses (don't require fire retardants by US law) 2. wool mattresses with organic cotton covers (don't require fire retardants by US law) 3. all organic cotton mattresses (don't meet fire retardant law and therefore require a doctor's perscription for purchase)

i am interested in hearing about any of your experiences purchasing any of these three types of mattresses and, especially, if any of you have chosen the all cotton type, how your doctor reacted to your request for a perscription.

any advice is appreciated! jennifer

I have been sleeping on a pure cotton mattress for 20 years and never heard of needing a Dr.s prescription! No matter what type of mattress you decide on, please, please, go visit the McCrosky Airflex showroom in San Francisco at Market and Gough. They are one of the very few independent mattress makers left in the whole country, a family business, and have been making the same kind of mattress using pure Egyptian staple cotton for 80 (? I forget) years. Almost every other commercial mattress (Sealy, Certa, Simmons, etc.) are made from petrochemicals in one giant plant, then just have different pillow tops/fabrics that make the mattress unique to that brand. That said, the McCroskey carries a 15 yr warranty against sagging. I find them incredibly comfortable, as you can choose the type of firmness in their factory by lying on each bed. You can also exchange it in a certain amount of time if you get it home and its too firm or soft. The mattresses are a big secret among home designers, and they have a 5-or-10 mattress purchase limit per person per year as designers from all over the U.S. order them. Pro athletes also like the Airflex, as they custom make various sizes and firmnesses to accomodate big guys with arthritis. I am on my second Airflex, and love it. They are sorta pricey, but if you consider how much time you spend in bed, it's worth it! And you only have to buy a new one every 15-20 years! If you plan to use the mattress on a platform bed, it won't hold up as long as if you buy one with box springs, but they make a mattress intended for a platform bed, which is what we have. Good luck. I don't have experience with latex mattresses, but I know that for pillows, they break down rather quickly. Love to get into my Airflex
We bought ours on-line without a Dr's note. I am pretty sure that the mattress is a mix of organic cotton and wool. I know the outside of the mattress is definitely cotton. And then we got a wool cover to put on it (under the fitted sheet). There are all sorts of places to buy on-line (you can price shop). Just type ''organic crib mattress'' in Google. I don't recall where we purchased ours now, but I know it was all pretty simple, its a nice mattress, and it cost around $300-350. Definitely less expensive than buying from some of the stores in Berkeley. Seemed like a lot at the time, but we are so glad today that we haven't exposed our son to that awful/dangerous flame retardant coating! Only organic for us!

Twin size mattresses made with natural materials?

June 2004

Where can I buy twin size mattresses that are made with natural materials? Lee

Try Earthsake on 4th St. or European Sleepworks on Adeline near Ashby (both in Berkeley). Expect to pay more than for run-of-the-mill foam mattresses. David

Chemical-free mattress for son's twin bed

June 2004

hi, all. We need to buy a matress for our son's twin bed. i've heard random things about off-gassing from new matresses. european sleepworks advertises that their matresses are already free of some chemical that will be phased out in the u.s. in the next several years. i probably can't wait that long before getting my son in a big-boy bed. should we buy a used matress (so it's already off-gassed)? what chemicals should i be asking about? the hygene issues of used matresses trouble me, but should I get over that? the european sleepworks matresses are incredibly expensive. is there a cheaper alternative? i'm also interested in a thinner matress than the new, really fat ones because it's going in a loft bed. surely someone on the list serve has researched this!! also, advice about where to buy is welcome. thanks, anne

We had similar concerns and just bought our toddler an all cotton futon (no foam). A twin sized futon will cost a little over $100 and it is easy to find used frames. Inexpensive and no concern with chemicals. The chemicals they put in foam and other mattress products are not healthy and we too hated the idea of her sleeping on it. BTW we have for ourselves a European Sleepworks mattress -- which is unbelievably comfortable and in our opinion (so far) worth every penny! healthy sleeping
There may be other chemicals out there that are a problem but, after going through this whole process a few months ago trying to buy a bed for our daughter, I found that the chemicals to avoid (or at least the ones getting th emost press right now) are PBDEs. (I can't recall the entire name.) Basically they are put in mattresses and anything with foam (including the foam on your furniture, in the seats of your cars, under your carpeting, etc...) as a flame retardent. tell The main problem is that because the PBDEs are an additive, not integral to the foam itself, as the foam disintegrates the PBDEs are released into the environment. If you spend 8 plus hours sleeping on them...well, probably not a great idea. The good news is that as of 2002 IKEA completely phased out PBDEs from their furniture and mattresses. So any mattress you buy there now (and they are very reasonably priced) are PBDE free.

If you want to make sure yourself - I found the IKEA customer service people (on the phone) to be extremely helpful - they looked up PBDEs and told me the entire schedule for the phase out. sleeping well on IKEA mattress

Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants are put in some foam mattresses and will be phased out only in CA (so far). you might try a cotton futon mattress. some even have springs. there are many shops in Berkeley with good prices. Anon.

Chemical-free king mattress - cotton or wool?

Nov 2004

Does anyone have a recommedation for a chemical free, natural mattress (king size). Is cotton best or a combination of cotton/wool. A new mattress is warrented for allergies and to be ''earth friendly.'' I hesitate to buy off the internet without testing it out first. Are there any stores anyone knows about around (Berkeley Area) that sell directly to customers? thanks.

Earthsake sells mattresses, but I don't like them. They seemed fine in the store, but the one that was delivered smelled bad, and they charged us a stocking fee when we decided to return it. They are on Fourth Street in Berkeley.

You might want to try A Happy Planet in San Francisco: 415/552-6265

Or Nirvana Safe Haven in Walnut Creek: 800/968-9355

Mattress for chemically sensitive sleeper

September 2002

I am extremely chemically sensitive and need to buy a chemical- free mattress. There are a number of companies out there that sell them, but I was hoping to get a recommendation (or advice on companies to avoid) since it is such a big financial investment. Has anyone researched or bought a chemcial-free mattress? Elizabeth

We've had our McRosky mattress for many years now and still really like it. It doesn't sag, etc. but more importantly for your query, is made mostly of cotton (and metal for the springs of course) and while there is some polyester apparently in the batting, some of it is also cotton and the ticking is 100% cotton, so you might want to check them out. The factory is local and the showroom is in San Francisco, on Market St right where Valencia St begins. The showroom is a kick because it's kind of old fashioned (at least it was) and our mattress came with a 20 year guarantee (!) Otherwise did you check Earthsake, down on 4th St? Jocelyn
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