Is an organic mattress worth the money – A Peek Inside Mattresses

It’s no secret that Lifekind® is big on purity. It’s also no secret that other mattress makers claim to be big on purity too, so when consumers are searching for the purest mattress they can find, it quickly becomes a matter of sleuthing out the truth.

From the outside, most mattresses look about the same. I totally understand why people will see a mattress that claims to be “natural” or “organic” for a fraction of what a Lifekind mattress costs, and they purchase it.

Naturally, comfort is a big part of why people purchase the mattresses they do. But if you’ve found Lifekind, you’re most likely also interested in what goes into making our certified organic mattresses — what you will be sleeping on for the next 20 years. Let’s dig a little deeper and look inside a few different mattresses.

This first picture (below) shows a conventional synthetic foam rubber mattress, much like the ones you will find in mattress showrooms around the world. It looks pretty on the outside, nice and fluffy, and just begs you to climb into bed.

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But once you look inside, you see something completely different.

The first layer is the cover material. Then there are several layers of conventional synthetic foam (notorious for offgassing, not to mention the petroleum it contains and the hardship it puts on the Earth to produce), bleached and highly processed cotton, more foam, and then a base layer that is made from cotton scraps.

CompetitorMattressInterior

This second picture is of a popular “organic” mattress brand that specializes in crib mattresses. Underneath the “food-grade” polyethylene mattress cover (made entirely from petrochemicals), you can see bleached cotton. The blue layer is a Tyvek-like material. Then cotton that is of an unknown grade (the specks you see in there are debris – stems from the cotton plant, along with other unknown detritus), then a plastic mesh layer. The cotton filling they use is most likely organic, but other than that, this mattress does not contain organic materials. Yet it is selling every day because the manufacturer touts the benefits of its “organic” mattresses, misleading consumers into believing that they are purchasing a pure, organic mattress without offering any clue about what is going on inside the mattress.  Naturally, most consumers won’t cut open a new mattress, so there is no way for them to know.

The third picture shows the inside of a GOTS-certified organic Lifekind mattress.  Looking at the layers from the top down, you can see our organic quilting, which includes only certified organic wool and organic cotton cover material. Sandwiched between layers of certified organic cotton canvas is high-quality, certified organic cotton padding. No silica, Tyvek, or other synthetic, non-organic materials are included in its construction.  The innersprings used in the mattress are made of untreated virgin steel, wrapped in four layers of certified organic cotton.

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Dad’s Tofu Tacos

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents who not only believed in an organic and holistic lifestyle, but lived one as well. My sister and I grew up without jarred baby food or baby formula. My parents would use a hand grinder wherever they went, and we would eat straight from their plates. Goat’s milk and kefir were staples, as well as tofu and homemade bread. My parents shopped for organic produce at the local co-op or grew it themselves. We hand-raised pigs, and bought a steer from a local farmer each year. It was a healthy, sustainable childhood.

My upbringing taught me to believe in a natural and organic lifestyle. I eat organically, use natural remedies, and always recycle. One area I never thought about until I started working at Lifekind, however, was my bedroom. I never knew the potential hazards of something so seemingly trustworthy as a mattress. I’ve learned so much at Lifekind, and have unearthed a new dimension in my strive for purity.

My goal is to have an organic mattress made without chemicals as soon as possible, but in the meantime I’ll work my way up through pillows and mattress toppers till the money tree can shake a branch free. This in turn has prompted me to start trying harder in the areas of my life I already consider to be organic, and where better to start then to re-create some of my parents’ dinnertime dishes from when I was growing up?

One of my father’s most notorious and loved dinner recipes is for Tofu Tacos. Not only is it a great option for vegetarians (a.k.a. my sister Ashley), but it’s also a much leaner choice than typical beef tacos. Hopefully sharing this recipe will show how easy it is to make a small change to a healthier lifestyle.

Ingredients:
1 or 2 packages of firm tofu (I like to use two for leftover taco salad)
1 small yellow onion
Salt and pepper
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Paprika
Grated Pepper jack and/or cheddar cheese
Sliced olives
Chopped tomatoes
Cilantro
Chopped lettuce (Romaine is best)
Avocado
Sour cream
Corn tortillas

Drain tofu and squeeze out excess moisture, then chop into roughly 1/4-inch squares. Coat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and turn the heat to med-high; add tofu. Meanwhile, dice the onion and add it to the tofu. Once the tofu begins to brown, you can add the seasoning: a healthy dose of garlic powder and chili powder, then a lighter dusting of paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn down the heat and continue cooking until the tofu is crispy on the outside.

While the tofu and onions are cooking, prep the rest of the fixings: Chop the lettuce, dice the tomatoes, pick the cilantro leaves, peel and slice the avocado, drain the olives, and grate the cheese. Fill a small skillet with about ½” of vegetable oil; turn to med-high heat until the oil is hot. Place corn tortillas one at a time in the oil for 10-15 seconds, then using tongs, fold in half into a taco shape. Cook on each side about 30 seconds, or until the shell turns golden brown, and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

For extra “yum” factor, dust the tortilla shells with parmesan cheese while they’re still hot. Build your taco with all the fixings you prefer, and you’ll have Dad’s Tofu Tacos.

Enjoy!

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.

Investing in your health!

Organic mattresses aren’t just a fad. Why? Most people are concerned about their health, and it makes sense to avoid unnecessary chemical exposure. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in the bedroom. Why would you want to poison your body with chemicals, flame retardants, other toxic ingredients if you didn’t have to?

Our opinion is that if you’re going to invest in a nontoxic mattress, you should invest in the best. Here at Lifekind®, we’re setting the purity standard for our industry.

No regulations monitor the manufacturing, marketing, and advertising of organic mattresses. This means that an “organic” mattress found on a website may contain a percentage of organic ingredients, but also a plethora of undisclosed synthetic ingredients — Tyvek®, recycled newspaper, polyester, boric acid, and formaldehyde. This tactic is known as “greenwashing.” Even if a mattress does contain mostly organic ingredients, the components can be very low grade. (We’ve dissected quite a few “organic” mattresses to find cotton fibers that look similar to what you’d find in the lint screen of your clothes dryer.)

Lifekind is different. You’ll never find undisclosed ingredients in our mattresses, and our Purity Promise guarantees that if you can find a purer mattress, we’ll give you ours for free.

We hope you’ll take us up on it. Your body will thank you.

Rowena, Product Specialist

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