In times gone by, mattresses were stuffed with feathers, cotton, wool, horsehair, and even straw. Although many of these could be uncomfortable, not to mention aggravating allergies, at least they did not contain some of the harmful chemicals to be found in mattresses today.
What harmful toxins could be in my mattress?
Now, most mattresses are made with a mix of polyurethane foam, synthetic latex, and conventional cotton, all of which present their own special kind of trouble. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to potentially harmful chemicals in mattresses is halogenated flame retardants. These retardants act directly on flames, interfering with the chemistry of the flame to prevent fire. Chlorine (chlorinated) and bromine (brominated) are both used as flame retardants, but brominated retardants are the most effective.
Many of these chemicals are present in a variety of household products, not only in mattresses, and environmental studies have shown high concentrations of especially the toxic flame retardants in household dust, in food, and even in breastmilk.
The most main reason why non-toxic mattresses are important is because they reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions like asthma, allergies, and cancer.
Some people may think that the price of non-toxic mattresses is too high but this is not always the case. It's worth it to spend a little more money on a mattress that will last longer and will reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.
Why Are Non-Toxic Mattresses So Important?
At Monkey Bunks we share your concern over toxicity in mattresses, and as parents, we want to do what is best for our children. We stock a range of mattresses that are certified organic, certified to be non-toxic, and which carry an environmental top score.
There are natural materials such as hemp, wool, and flax that are flame retardants. But even a mattress that is completely organic can come with its own set of problems. Some kids are allergic to natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and even cotton. Apart from respiratory problems like blocked noses and difficulty breathing, some of these fibers can cause contact dermatitis, a painful skin rash.
Mattresses are a breeding ground for dust mites. These are microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin cells and can cause allergies in people who are sensitive to them.
Non-Toxic Mattresses Share Some Issues with Regular Mattresses
But all mattresses, regardless of whether they are made from natural or synthetic materials have the problem of collecting dust mites, mold, mildew, and just plain ‘ole dust. All of which can trigger allergies. So, whether your child is prone to allergies or not, it is essential to clean all bedding regularly—also your own—to minimize the risk of allergies.
As a parent, you will know best whether your child is prone to allergic reactions, and what materials and substances trigger their allergies. At Monkey Bunks we can give you a full breakdown of exactly what materials have been used in a particular mattress, and in the event that any of those materials are ones your child is sensitive to, we can help you find something that’s just right through a list of manufacturers of organic, natural, or hypoallergenic bedding, including bed linens.
Mattresses are not the only culprits of allergies. Other household items like pillows, carpets, and upholstery have also been found to be the cause of allergies in some people.
Don't Forget to Clean Your Non-Toxic Mattress Safely at Home or with Professional Cleaning Services
One of the problems with mattresses made from organic and natural materials is that they are not all waterproof, which can lead to the growth of mold or fungus that can be just as problematic. Combine this with allergies to natural fibers and you’re really only left with two options when it comes to your child’s mattress. Either find a manufacturer that uses a natural, non-toxic material to waterproof a mattress, or clean your child’s organic mattress regularly. At Monkey Bunks we can give you a number of really good tips on how to clean a mattress without the use of toxic chemicals—but that’s a topic for another blog post!
Shop Organic Mattresses and Non-Toxic Mattresses
A company called Naturepedic produces children’s mattresses with a waterproof cover made from sugarcane, and there is a growing interest in developing safe, natural waterproofing materials, such as natural latex, which is made from the sap of the rubber tree.
We also sell certified non-toxic mattresses from Moonlight Slumber, which come in crib, twin and full sizes. Then you would also be wondering about mattress sizes. U.S. mattress sizes range from small twin, twin XL, full, full XL, Queen, King, and California King. Find references to these mattress sizes in inches by checking our our U.S. mattress size guide, so you can choose the correct size for your child’s bed, and of course, make sure the bed and mattress fit well into the size of the room you intend to put it in!