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Can’t Afford a Natural Mattress? Buy a Natural Mattress Topper Instead

Posted Jul 17 2009 12:50am

Natural Mattress Pad There is no way on god’s green earth that our family can afford an organic mattress. Just…no way.

Conventional mattresses, though? Yikes! Mother Jones writes about the petrochemicals, formaldehyde, and flame retardants that conventional mattresses are chock-full of. And you don’t have to only be interested in living a chemical-free life to be freaked out–you know how new conventional mattresses smell funky? Off-gassing–if you smell it, you’re breathing it in.

Again, yikes.

The mattress that our girls sleep on is much too old to off-gass, but, although it’s still in pretty good condition, it’s certainly exceeded its reported mattress lifespan, and thus now we get to worry about gradual deterioration releasing even more chemicals into our daughters’ lungs and open pores while they sleep for ten hours at a time.

So when one wayward spring poked through the most jumped-upon corner of the mattress, I decided to buy SOMETHING new. My goals:

  • Keep any more springs from poking me in the butt
  • Keep unfriendly chemicals away from our bodies
  • Spend less than one month’s Montessori tuition
  • A little more comfy, please?

And that’s how we ended up with a three-inch thick natural latex mattress topper and a case for our old mattress. The case basically seals the mattress away, keeping out dust mites and whatever allergens live inside mattresses. Some cases are made of organic cotton or other natural materials, but we chose a synthetic case for its effectiveness as a barrier, and we’re relying on the thickness of the natural mattress pad that sits on top of that for a complete defense against sleeping on synthetics.

We’re not sensitive to latex around here, so our mattress topper is made from natural latex. We don’t use wool, but if you do, organic wool is another viable option for a mattress pad. Our natural latex mattress pad is thick and comfy, and even without that mattress case (which we’re actually thinking about moving to our bed, frankly) it’s solid enough to be a good barrier both against chemicals and wayward springs.

A natural latex mattress topper is thick, however, and is also meant to be placed UNDER your mattress cover. I sew my own mattress covers so I can easily modify my elastic to accomodate the extra depth of a three-inch mattress topper , but if you don’t know anyone crafty, you may have to spring for the mattress cover that these places also sell.

It’s our goal the next time we move to pony up for a whole, entire natural mattress for me and my partner (and the occasional night-traveling child). Of course, we may have to sell the car to pay for it.

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