How to Buy an Organic Mattress Online

Searching for the most comfortable mattress can be super challenging, whether you’re looking online or in stores or both. Make it an organic mattress search to avoid toxic chemicals like flame retardants and petrochemical foams, and you’ve got a multi-layered puzzle to solve.

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With so many companies advertising “natural” and “organic” mattresses, there’s the added challenge of sifting through false claims. Use the search terms “certified organic mattress” instead of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or even “organic mattress.”

Since Lifekind mattresses hold third-party organic certifications – GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) for our natural rubber latex mattresses, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for our innerspring mattresses – there’s no way toxic chemicals can be used in the growing or processing of the materials or be added to the finish product. So that makes them a natural choice for those seeking the purest mattresses available.

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Customers call us up and ask, “How can someone pick out a mattress over the phone?” The short answer is, “Have an in-depth consultation.” While there are a number of people who absolutely must try them in stores, most people feel very confident they’ve made the best choice after a 10-20 minute conversation with an organic-mattress product specialist. While we try our best to get it right the first time, we do offer a 90-night comfort exchange policy so you won’t end up stuck with a mattress that doesn’t fit your needs. Three months is a much better trial period than 5 or 10 minutes in a store!

Sylvia at Lifekind
Contact Lifekind

If you’re ready for a free, personal sleep consultation, or simply have questions, please call our friendly product specialists at 1-800-284-4983.

Gots Certified Products – Good News for Organic Shoppers

In the world we live in, sadly we can’t always take things at face value. Take, for example, the term “organic.” As you may have read in our recent blog about the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), technically only textiles that are certified organic can be called organic. But with the growing number of “natural” and “organic” products available, it is easy to become a little skeptical…after all, is anyone really holding all of these companies accountable?

It turns out, the answer is “yes.” A few months ago, in the US District Court of Virginia, GOTS won a civil action against a number of companies that were mislabeling and/or falsely advertising their products as “organic.” The case led to a permanent injunction that impedes the unauthorized use of the GOTS logo. Within a matter of weeks, GOTS had also filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to detail the prevalent misuse of the term “organic” in relation to textiles. You can read the full article here.

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This is good news, not only for manufacturers of truly organic products (like Lifekind), but also for consumers everywhere! As Herbert Ladwig, the GOTS Managing Director, put it: “The lawsuit and FTC complaint should send a clear message to the textile sector that unauthorized and unsubstantiated claims that textile products are ‘organic’ or GOTS-certified will not be tolerated.” This lack of tolerance for misleading claims means more transparency in textile marketing… and that should give consumers more confidence when shopping for things like organic clothing or bedding.

Of course, as a consumer, it is still a good idea to do your homework and to verify organic claims (especially with large purchases, like mattresses). Keep in mind that you can always search directly for producers and products in the public database on the GOTS website.

Happy organic shopping!

7 Mindful Shopping Practices

Twenty years ago organic food was not so popular, but I sought it out. People would ask me, a struggling single mother at the time, how I could afford organic groceries. The heart of my decision to shop organic was, and still is, the principle of it. I know I’m directly supporting the environmental movement every day, plain and simple.

Today organic groceries can be found in almost every grocery store in America. Healthier, organic food has become the norm for many, and there is more collective knowledge about what organic means.

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This message isn’t about healthy food. It’s about sustainable choices. We need to embrace change (yesterday!) and apply what we’ve learned about the food we eat to products we buy for everyday use. The chemicals used in conventional products and their manufacturing are just as dangerous as chemicals used in agriculture.

Observing the explosion of Whole Foods Market all over the map, it’s not hard to imagine a paradigm shift from “more for less” to “less is more.” Are you with me? Great! Read on for seven simple tips to help you keep your mind where your heart is while you’re shopping for everyday items.

1. Think quality, not quantity. Once you adopt a minimalist mentality, it is very difficult to go back. No more going to a dollar store for two items and ending up spending $20.

2. Support local. Read labels to find out where things are made. Unfortunately most items are made elsewhere, but it’s like striking gold when a surprise “Made in America” label is found. When you find products you love made in your region, state or country, latch on and don’t let go. Why not inform friends and neighbors, as well?

3. Disposables and planned obsolescence. Seek out longer lasting, recyclable, reusable or compostable alternatives to disposable or short-lived products you currently use, like diapers, razors, toothbrushes, feminine products, light bulbs, paper towels and napkins, paper plates, plasticware and cups, trash bags, sandwich & storage bags, and grocery bags. If you’re unsure where to find these alternatives, please leave a comment for us below.

 

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4.  Think about sources. What materials were used, using what chemicals in the process? For example, cotton fabric is made from soft plant fibers, so it’s perfect for textiles, but cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop involving tremendous amounts of pesticides, chemical treatments and water. Organic cotton is an excellent substitute, and as we continue buying more of it, more options will become available.

5.  Awaken your senses. Commercial household cleaning products and personal-care products are made with chemicals that are toxic to the people manufacturing them, the people using them, animals that come into contact with them, and the water systems where they end up. You can smell the pollution walking down the cleaning-products isle at conventional grocery stores. If it doesn’t smell like something from nature, don’t buy it. Tip: go to a health food store and sniff the pure essential oil samplers to get a better idea of what non-toxic scents from nature smell like.

6. Educate yourself and others. Tell people what you learn about consumerism, toxics, trash, and great alternatives. We have an opportunity to change the future for the better by educating children. To get my daughter to understand what clothes (something she has a genuine interest in) are made of, we made up a game I’ll call “animal, plant or other.” Her eyes lit up when she realized that the cotton shirt she was wearing was made from plant flowers. When I explained that rayon fabric is mostly made from wood pulp, she was like, “Whaaat?!” In a fun way, that forced her to think about material processes.

 

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7. Take it in stride. Don’t go out and replace everything all at once. I suggest you take it as it comes, which will give you time to research better options. When you need new sheets, buy organic cotton sheets. When you need new razors and toothbrushes, buy Preserve recyclables. And on and on.

 

“Change is the only constant.” –Heraclitus

 

 

 

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.