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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

How to Catch Some Green ZZZ’s

Goldilocks didn’t have to concern herself with poisonous chemicals in any of the three mattresses she tried out. In her storybook world, all the beds were naturally perfect. The good news for us is that, with today’s certified organic mattresses, all sleepers can appreciate a night of sound, simple, healthy rest.

Whether it’s to bolster the human equivalents of Papa Bear, Mama Bear, or their precious Baby Bear, the bedding on which we spend one-third of our lives should not contain any of the 30 or more chemicals typically found in traditional mattresses. For example, U.S. government mattress construction regulations allow the use of about a pound of boric acid, a flame-retardant pesticide used to kill roaches.

Consumers have shown increasing interest in purchasing certified organic mattresses, which are constructed using only natural latex, organic wool and organic cotton. These green sleep systems have been emerging as the first choice of shoppers in search of an alternative to traditional mattresses, constructed of mostly synthetic materials, such as polyurethane foam and vinyl.

"It’s been more challenging to keep up with the demand since 2007, when Time Magazine carried ‘Sleep Goes Green’, an article on organic sleep systems," says Lee Hornick, co-owner of The Organic Mattress Store, a retail outlet located in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. She reports that prior to 2007, organic sleep systems were a niche market, and most people who were interested in buying them were those who also made regular purchases in health food stores.

Although these mattresses are now in the mainstream, Hornick cautions that organic sleep systems consist of labor-intensive components that require careful planting, harvesting and processing. "Organic rubber, cotton, and wool are not factory-made. Few plantations have enough sheep and cotton fields, for instance, to match the needs of the environmentally-safe mattress industry," advises Hornick.

Despite this challenge, Goldilocks and her bears can rest easy. It so happens that The Organic Mattress Store can come to their rescue with the most popular organic sleep systems, such as Royal-Pedic, Vivetique, and Green Sleep’s Vimala, as well as its own private label. Other affordable green options include Lifekind, Cozypure, EcoChoices and Keetsa.

A list of overall benefits of green sleep systems begins with the facts that pure wool is naturally flame-retardant, while natural rubber is anti-microbial and mold- and mildew-resistant. Neither rubber nor wool attract dust mites, an added benefit for anyone suffering from allergies.

Many products may be referred to as organic, but it’s still necessary to look for the proper certification, a shopper’s assurance that a purchase is truly organic, not organically produced in one place and artificially processed in another. Stringent standards for organic certification are established at local levels, by private organizations. Certification serves as an industry "watchdog" seal of approval, and is not the same as government regulation. Certificates of Sustainable Textiles specify that no pesticides be allowed in fields where cotton grows or where sheep graze.

A night spent enjoying the support and softness of a natural rubber mattress topped with natural wool and cotton is the next best thing to sleeping on a cloud. This type of restful sleep provides a heavenly rest that only angels enjoy—or the occasional Bear family and their sleepy, bold, blonde-headed guest.

For more information on organic sleep systems, visit,,,,,, or

Source: Lisa Pencraft

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