Lifekind Organic Mattress Profile: The Combo Natural Rubber Latex / Innerspring

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The Combo organic mattress is often the best choice for people who prefer the traditional “bouncy” feel of an innerspring mattress yet want the cushiony comfort of natural rubber latex. It’s also ideal for sleepers of different weights and statures who share a bed.

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Lifekind Combo Organic Mattress cutaway

Available in two versions, the one-sided, non-flippable Combo has a two-inch layer of natural rubber added to the top of the innerspring core, and the two-sided, flippable Combo has two inches of natural rubber added to both sides.
Either version of the Combo can be supported by a boxspring for added “give” and softness, or by a wood-slat foundation or platform- style bed for a firmer, more stable feel.

Click here to view more details and pricing: http://goo.gl/YmokOa

As always, Lifekind’s Product Specialists are happy to answer all your product questions or help you decipher which firmness or type of mattress is best for your personal needs, and can be reached between 7:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday Pacific time at 800-284-4983. Give us a call!

Our independent third-party certifications are shown below:

GOLS •  Certified to the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

 

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•  20-year limited warranty, and meets the GREENGUARD® product emission standard

 

 

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• GOTS prohibits the use of ingredients like formaldehyde, GMOs, heavy metals, copper, fumigants, fluorocarbons, aromatic solvents, and chlorophenols in any part of the production process. Raw materials known to be toxic (to the earth, the ozone layer, or any living organism) are also prohibited. Additionally, GOTS explicitly requires that organic materials do not come in contact with non–organic materials.

Pulling the Wool Over Your Eyes – It is possible to pass the open-flame mattress flammability test without chemicals

This great blog from our sister company OMI, (who manufacturers all of Lifekind‘s mattresses), touches on a “hot topic in the organic mattress industry.  Since we don’t use any chemical flame retardants, customers often ask how we can pass the flammability requirements with just wool.  Well, we worked hard to make it possible.  Be sure to watch the video below, which is of one our mattresses during an actual open-flame mattress flammability test (which we pass with flying colors!)

Although we know how important it is to reduce your chemical exposure during sleep (since you spend 1/3 of your life in bed), most of the country doesn’t understand the risks associated with sleeping on a traditional mattress.

As is the case with most specialty products, there is a fairly limited customer base of people who are aware of, and ready to purchase, an organic mattress.  This means that there are companies out there that will say anything in order to take a mattress sale from their competitors.

Since we opened our doors, we have been fighting an uphill battle against greenwashing.  Other mattress companies have thrown in a handful of eco-friendly ingredients and called their products “natural,” trying to charge a premium for something that isn’t much better than mainstream.

Now that the country is becoming more aware of the greenwashing epidemic, we have seen mattress companies telling flat-out lies and mistruths, with the hope of seducing a customer with promises they can’t back up.

One fallacy that you will see promoted is that wool alone can’t be used to pass flammability tests. This argument is often used in a company’s justification for using chemical fire retardants because it is “the only option.”

I am here today to tell you “yes.”  Yes, wool can be used as the sole fire retardant for a mattress to meet federal flammability requirements.  And that, in fact, we have been using wool (without any chemical treatments) as our only fire retardant for years.

The purpose of a flammability test on a mattress is to make sure that the mattress doesn’t flame up in the event of a domestic fire.  We don’t claim to make fireproof mattresses (I can’t even imagine the kinds of chemicals that would go in to that!) We make mattresses that won’t turn into a six-foot fireball if your house catches fire.

Our competitors have shown photos of a piece of wool yarn that is set to fire, and predictably, the fire travels up and burns the piece of wool yarn.

As seen on strobel.com, spreading misinformation about wool used in mattresses.

Well, of course it is going to burn.  It is a natural material that has been shaped into a “wick” and a flame has been set to it.

Of course, you don’t have to just take my word for it.  The video below is an actual open-flame flammability test of one of our mattresses, which shows just how well our chemical-free design works.

The only raw materials used to make this mattress (or any of our mattresses) are organic cotton, wool, and 100%-natural rubber.  The mattress is sitting on a wood-slat foundation.  Both pieces are built in our organic mattress Eco-Factory™ and are GREENGUARD® certified.  There are no added chemicals, no silica barrier, or any other methods employed to assist in the flame test.

So there you have it: It is possible to pass the open-flame mattress flammability test without chemicals.  And we do it every day.

Made in the USA

Local is the new global. When you think about it, the more energy that goes into something, the more it grows. It is inevitable that the more $$$ we spend in the US, the more it benefits our economy, and Americans in turn. Every American has heard this, and it’s time we put our money where our mouth is…and make change.

Lifekind has long adhered to these principles, and produces useful, healthy products made in the USA. Our Eco-Factory™ is located in Northern California, and produces many of the items we provide while paying workers a fair wage. Most of the other items in our catalog and web-store are also made in America!

To read more about Lifekind’s Eco-Factory™: http://bit.ly/1977uX0

 

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With Lifekind you get:

  • Better-quality products, made with your health in mind!!
  • Amazing value on truly organic mattresses!!
  • Peace of mind, knowing you’re supporting our economy!!
  • Friendly, personal customer service with real people who care!!

 

Check out this link for a fresh perspective on “stuff”: http://bit.ly/1cpjhDV

It’s a blog by Amelia Urry at Grist featuring an Annie Leonard video.

Which mattress pad should I use?

It’s a question we’re frequently asked by customers: Which should I choose to protect my (or my child’s) mattress, the Flannel Mattress Pad or the Wool Moisture Protector?
It depends on the situation.

If you’re looking to protect a mattress from a heavily-perspiring sleeper or the occasional accidents that can occur with young children or pets, the Wool Moisture Protector is the one. The natural oils in our California-grown Naturally Safer® wool keep mattresses dry and comfortable in case of even major accidents, especially when layered under the Flannel Mattress Pad. (Doubling up the protection is the best way to make sure nothing gets through to the mattress surface, and you’ll spend less time hand-rinsing and air-drying the wool pad, because the machine-washable flannel pad will be enough protection in most cases.)

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If the mattress getting wet isn’t a concern, the Flannel Mattress Pad alone should be sufficient. Its thick, substantial layers of U.S.-grown certified-organic cotton quilted flannel will keep any mattress looking new for years, and it’s machine washable and dryable for easy care.
Whichever is right for you, choosing a U.S.-grown-and-made organic mattress pad from Lifekind is the best way to protect your investment AND make sure your family is avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals. It’s the one accessory no mattress should be without!

Behind the Scenes: Where in the World is Lifekind?

Here at Lifekind, we’re blessed to be able to work in a beautiful part of the world. Our little town of Grass Valley is located in Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s part of the “gold country,” or Mother Lode, region to which thousands of people came from all over the world during the 1849 Gold Rush. Grass Valley was the richest town in all the Mother Lode — at least if you talk to local historians. The Empire, its most profitable mine, operated until 1957, and is now a popular state park.

Most of the mining is over now, but vestiges remain. The Lifekind offices are located on the site of the Crown Point Mine, and rusted mining equipment and remnants of an old stone wall overlook our parking area. Our corporate offices are here, along with our warehouse, from which we send out smaller items such as sheets, pillows, and personal-care products. (Mattresses, pillow tops, and other made-to-order items are sent from our factory, in Yuba City, 40 miles away.)

Stone wall behind Lifekind’s office

 

Grass Valley’s Victorian downtown, oak-covered hills, river canyons, and vibrant arts and cultural scene are major tourist draws, but there’s a fair amount of manufacturing here, too – especially high-tech and video-systems equipment. We’re surrounded by Tahoe National Forest, and our more cosmopolitan neighbor, Nevada City, is right next door. We can leave in the morning and be in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, or Yosemite by lunch. It’s a good place to live.

 

All that AND being able to work at an organic company that’s truly making a difference in the world. What’s not to love?     🙂

Positive Change Reduces Methyl Bromide Use

 

After reading an article from one of our local news services, I was inspired to share what appears to be a positive change about alternatives to using the highly controversial chemical methyl bromide for fumigating imported goods.

I was happy to learn that one alternative to the use of methyl bromide and other fumigants when importing fruits and vegetables is a technique called “controlled atmospheres,” which regulates temperature and atmosphere levels inside sealed shipping containers. Controlled-atmosphere technology is relatively inexpensive, highly effective, environmentally benign, and even improves the quality of shipped produce.

Methyl bromide (MeBr) is an odorless, colorless gas used as a soil fumigant and structural fumigant to control agricultural pests, and is the most widely used fumigant for quarantine purposes. Here at Lifekind we are well aware of the dangers of methyl bromide, and it’s one of the reasons why we do not import our cotton and wool from overseas. Most people do not realize that the cargo ships transporting raw materials are routinely fumigated with dangerous chemicals like methyl bromide.

There is confirmed scientific proof that the use of methyl bromide is one of the culprits contributing to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, and after recent damage to the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy, global warming is once again in the forefront of our national discussion. It’s important for people to know how much of an impact the emissions of methyl bromide have on the ozone layer. The ozone acts as a shield protecting life on Earth from damaging ultraviolet rays, which can cause sunburns, skin cancer, and cataracts. The rays can also harm marine life, and in the past two years, ozone holes larger than Europe have opened over the Antarctic Ocean.

I definitely recommend you read the article to learn about the changes that are helping to combat planetary ozone depletion.

 

FTC Revises Green Guides

Since we opened our doors, we have always been committed to being as organic and pure as we can be.  We know that it sometimes costs more money to make sure that the raw materials we use are sourced from organic and American sources.  We spend extra on our raw materials to make sure that they have the certifications to prove their purity, and we even spend money to test our finished products to make sure that we maintain the level of purity that our customers expect of us.  Because we go to these lengths to show that we are doing what we say, it has always miffed us a little bit to see new companies popping up with these great claims of organic purity, being “all-natural” or environmentally friendly, without any way to back up these claims.

We were happy to read today that the revised Green Guides have been released.

“In terms of furniture and bedding, I think there are still a lot of general claims being made by the industry and the updated green guides are very loud and clear (that) there should not be unsubstantiated claims made.”

We feel especially proud since Walt, our president/CEO advised on the new green guides.  The revisions are written to make sure that marketers are not making any deceptive or misleading claims about the purity of their products. To see the full text of the revised green guides visit the FTC’s website where you can read about the changes and download the full guide.

Blog originally posted on omimattress.com, our sister company and the manufacturer of all of Lifekind’s mattresses and bedding.

Thirteen Scary Facts about Conventional Mattresses

It makes sense that an organic mattress would use organic cotton, but beyond that, most people may not be aware of many reasons that organic mattresses really are so much better than conventional mattresses. Lucky for you, we are experts in this area, and can break it down for you.

Warning: If you’re unsettled by things that are creepy, crawly, or contaminated, do not read before going to bed!


1. Bed bugs, dust mites, mold, and germs love your mattress
Bed-bugs and dust mites love to live in the dank, dark inside of a mattress online new balance shoes
. The environment also provides the perfect environment for molds & fungi to thrive in, along with bacteria, viruses, and contagious diseases. Because conventional mattresses are typically made with man-made materials like polyurethane foam, they don’t have the inherent dust-mite resistance that is a feature of the 100%-natural rubber latex used in the organic mattresses we make at Lifekind.

2.Your new mattress may not be new
Conventional mattresses can be sold, used, returned, and then resold as “factory seconds” or “refurbished.”  Even when they are “sterilized” with chemicals, many nasty things can be left behind.  A Dateline investigative report found bed bugs in all stages of life and death, blood, numerous forms of fungi and mold, and occasional traces of urine and fecal matter in refurbished mattresses that were in the same factory and sales-floors as new mattresses old new balance shoes
.  Only 26 states have laws on selling refurbished mattresses, and the government isn’t setting a standard on proper sterilization, which means it’s up to the mattress builder to determine whether or not a mattress is sterilized.  In the Dateline report, all of the mattresses tested were contaminated.

3. It’s pumped full of hazardous chemicals
Even if your mattress is brand new and uncontaminated, you’re not in the clear yet.  Did you realize that formaldehyde and boric acid are just two of the chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of conventional mattresses?  When Walt Bader, our CEO, was writing his book Toxic Bedrooms, he had a memory foam mattress tested by an independent lab and it emitted 61 VOC chemicals?  The chemicals used in your new mattress can aggravate allergies, cause respiratory irritation or bronchitis, affect your hormone levels, and even limit the amount of oxygen your body is able to absorb. Some chemicals are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxins, with warning labels advising “Caution – do not inhale,” “Use in a well-ventilated area,” “Can cause irritation,” or “Avoid contact with skin.”

4.   It can adversely affect the quality of your sleep and health
Cellular repair, rejuvenation, growth and healing all take place while you sleep. The chemicals that are used in the manufacture of conventional mattresses can cause all kinds of discomfort, and even illness. The range of symptoms can be as varied as the people affected, but one thing is for sure: If you’re sleeping on a toxic mattress, you’re not experiencing optimal health. For more details about the effects of sleeping on a toxic mattress, check out chem-tox.com

5. The bed you sleep in can harm future generations through inherited toxicity
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones that are totally unaffected and have children who sleep well without allergies or complaints, you can be certain that your grandchildren will show detectable amounts of harmful chemicals – even before birth!  Scientists have confirmed that chemical fire retardants, such as those used in conventional mattresses, have been measured in pregnant mothers and passed through the placenta to their unborn babies air max cheap shoes
.  The danger of these chemicals is that they build up and remain in fatty tissue for years, waiting to be shared with your growing baby. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, there’s no way to know how three generations of built-up toxic chemicals will affect your grandchildren.

6. Suspected to contribute to SIDS
A toxic crib mattress is definitely not what you want your brand new baby to start life on. Many of the chemicals used to manufacture crib mattresses, including chemical flame-retardants, are suspected to contribute to SIDS – a logical assumption. Taking into consideration that babies have less mass overall, breathe faster, sleep more, and can’t communicate sources of irritation except by crying, they are by default more sensitive to toxic chemicals. Although research supporting this fact is shunned in general by the mattress and medical communities, common sense and anecdotal evidence from astute parents should not be ignored.  Besides, how many mothers wouldn’t rather be safe than sorry?

7.  Not actually built to last…
It only makes sense that in order to stay in business, a company must sell more product.  Unfortunately, many mattress manufacturers prey on their best customers by employing a trick called “built in obsolescence”.  They basically build a product that is meant to wear out at a certain time interval (often using cheaper materials that will break down more quickly), which forces the customer to pay good money to purchase another mattress from them. (So how do we stay in business?  We focus our marketing on consumers that don’t yet know the benefits of organic mattresses, and we use the best salespeople on the planet: customers who love their organic mattress are always sending their friends and family our way!)

8.  …Except that they last FOR-EV-ER
And not in the “super plush and comfy for a hundred years” kind of forever (see Scary Fact #7), but they will last forever in our landfills.  Even with mattress recycling being fairly effective, there are only 11 mattress recycling facilities in the entire country cheap white nike air max
.  This means that most mattresses end up in the landfills (to the tune of 10 million mattresses a year!)  The polyurethane foams and synthetic materials and fibers that are used in the construction of conventional mattresses are not biodegradable, which means that they will be polluting our Earth for generations to come.

9. Damaging to our natural resources
Commercially grown cotton is a huge offender in polluting the natural world, as are the toxic components used in polyurethane foam and the petrochemical, plastic-based fillers commonly found in, and on, conventional mattresses.  Many people are unaware that cotton is treated with substances such as formaldehyde even before flame retardants come into play, not to mention the harm that GMO crops and pesticides cause the environment.  The production and processing of conventional products is known to cause harm to the environment, and is thought to contribute to global warming.

10. The chemicals can cause irreparable harm to wildlife
The chemicals used in conventional mattress construction that can harm human health are also harmful to wildlife and pets.  Many people recall how the harmful pesticide DDT was an effective bug killer, but that it was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds and fish that ate the poisoned bugs, prior to being banned in the 70s.  Clearly our precious wildlife doesn’t have the option to choose organic, nor do they have the option to relocate beyond nature.

11.  Built with sweatshop labor and shipped halfway across the world
Laborers in third world countries build thousands of mattresses daily, working for wages that are a fraction of what a U.S.-based company, paying fair wages, pays their workers.  The finished mattresses are then shipped halfway across the world, subject to fumigation, and sold in American stores.  Basic economics has taught us that price is a huge reason why we choose to purchase an item in the first place, so companies will go to great lengths to make the cheapest product possible.  More often than not, products imported from overseas are sold for a fraction of what a U.S.-based company paying fair wages is able to sell its products for, which is great for the guy profiting off of these mattresses. Even when mattresses are made in the U.S., it’s important to be sure the raw materials are U.S.-grown also – otherwise you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve your own economy.

12.  Every “vote” for conventional mattresses perpetuates the problem
Beyond economics and financial support, it’s important to realize that every dollar spent makes a difference. You wouldn’t cast a ballot in favor of increasing pollution, or to support foreign labor or poor health. However, that’s what happens when you vote with your dollars and purchase mattresses made with conventional methods new balance casual shoes
.  Every dollar that goes towards the conventional mattress industry encourages their practices, strengthens their lobbying power and keeps the public uninformed and in a potentially dangerous position.  Every time a consumer selects a more healthful choice, we can chip away at the old-boys club that is the mattress industry.

13. We don’t know what we don’t know…
Even all of this information is just the tip of the iceberg, a scattered few facts that reflect the limited tests and research that have been done concerning conventional mattresses.  Most of the chemicals used have been deemed safe by default, since they are already in products, but lack the research to show what the long-term or more immediate effects are.  Mattresses are today, where cigarettes were 50 years ago.  As our knowledge increases about the chemicals used in conventional mattresses, we are sure to learn even more dangerous effects they could have on consumers.

It’s a scary thought that your mattress, which should be a safe-haven in your home, could actually be bad for you.

Washed Away

Imagine seeing an advertisement in the paper for a new Corvette, at the cost of a generic sedan. Pretty exciting, right? Like most people, you’d probably be tempted to go check it out. When you arrive at the car lot, however, the salesperson shows you what actually appears to be a shiny new Honda Civic. While there’s nothing wrong with a Civic, it certainly isn’t comparable to a Corvette. This particular Civic has Corvette brake lights, and is therefore being advertised as “Corvette Certified.” You, my disappointed friend, have just been a victim of carwashing.

Ok, I made that term up. Greenwashing, however, a similar concept that’s frighteningly popular in the mattress world, is very real.

As a Product Specialist, part of my job is to research and be informed about our competition so I can better assist customers who have questions about those companies and how they compare with Lifekind. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no one else who does what Lifekind does. There are imitators and companies that come close, along with those who blatantly lie to make themselves look like they come close, but I wouldn’t want to trust “close imitation” or “blatant lies” with my sleep.

As a consumer, it can be daunting to sift through the marketing baloney and find the real thing. There are “organic” mattress companies who post logos of trusted certifiers on their website because one of the many ingredients they use might pass that standard, even though the final product does not. Others display logos of “certifiers” that in fact do no such thing, but are merely membership organizations. (I’ve seen, for instance, companies claiming to be “National Geographic Certified,” even though National Geographic is merely the parent company for The Green Guide, a consumer organization that doesn’t certify materials, finished products, or anything else.)

I’m personally vexed by companies that make what I like to call “natural-lite” products, such as the “20% natural-core” mattress I saw advertised the other day. While it’s commendable that someone is making a product with 20% natural ingredients, what exactly is the other 80% made of?

Be cautious and ask questions. I have seen companies use a GOTS logo to infer that their manufacturing plants and products are GOTS certified, when in fact just one raw material component is able to boast GOTS certification. GOTS certification for a facility is not obtained easily; they are very, very strict about their standards, and they conduct random inspections, so there is virtually no room for error. We conduct business in accordance with their standards because we want to be able to show that we make the purest mattress, not that it’s just our opinion that we make the purest mattress.

Many companies claim to support American industry, but outsource the production of anywhere from one to all of their raw materials to other countries. This not only takes away potential green American jobs, but also risks contamination of the raw materials by fumigation when they are imported to the U.S. Add this to the uncertainty about organic standards from country to country, and there is ample room for doubt in exactly how pure outsourced materials really are.

On a similar note, beware of companies that use words like “Organic” or “Natural” in their company names to make them seem purer than they actually are. Without certification to back up the name, it’s simply the name of a company, like Bob’s Mattress Factory.

The moral of this story is to look before you leap into that new bed. Ask the tough questions of companies who want your business. Ask where their raw materials come from, who certifies them, and what has been added. Ask about their manufacturing processes and who certifies the final product.

Ask as many questions as you can, because an educated consumer base is the best defense against greenwashing.

Walt and the Mattress Factory

A few weeks ago I visited the factory where the mattresses are made for both Lifekind and our sister company, OMI (Organic Mattresses Incorporated). I felt like Charlie going to the Chocolate Factory. I have to admit that the enthusiasm Walt has for the company he has built from the ground up is reminiscent of Willie Wonka. However, I would like to continue to be employed at Lifekind, and will therefore stop comparing my boss to a slightly deranged, socially awkward candy fanatic.

As a recent college graduate with a degree in marketing, I came into the workforce with a jaded view of the way business is done in the world. I’ve studied companies and business practices that would make the average consumer ill. I’ll never forget being told by a reputable professor of finance that financial calculations are “more of an art than a science,” then watching the financial collapse of companies “too big to fail” caused by their “artistic” financial practices; learning that perceived value is more important than actual value; that it pays to outsource labor to make a cheaper product. Please don’t get me wrong; I feel proud to hold a business degree because of the broadened horizons and knowledge it has given me. I also feel fortunate to work for a company that has gone against such misguided principles and been extremely successful because of it.

I thought about all I had learned about how to run a business and as I watched Walt explain each aspect of his immaculately clean factory and machinery, encouraging us to notice the purity of the raw materials and the quality of the stitching in the fabric. Walt was also a marketing professor for 13 years, and has run successful businesses for 40 years, so he’s no stranger to the principles of marketing; he’s just trying to run a business in accordance with his personal principles as well.

The resulting companies, Lifekind and OMI, are run in a way that limits our impact on the environment. In the entire factory there is only one traditionally sized trash can. Almost all waste from production is recycled. This was incredibly impressive to me. We also make a product that makes absolutely no compromise on quality or purity. Any cotton or wool that falls on the floor is not used, even though the floor is so clean it would put my kitchen counters to shame. Employees don’t smoke or wear fragrance and, even more importantly, they’re happy and respected.
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Long story short, I came back from the factory wanting to purchase everything Lifekind has ever offered, because I have absolute faith that it’s the best available, and that makes me feel good about recommending those products to my customers.