A green mattress is made of natural ingredients and not hazardous chemicals.
Barry Cik wanted a natural mattress for his new born grandson but couldn't find one.
As a board certified environmental engineer, Cik wanted a eco-friendly crib mattress for the birth of his first grandchild.
When he discovered that chemical-free mattresses were hard to find he decided to invent and manufacture his own using natural organic materials.
Many consumers are not fully aware of their exposure to toxins contained in their beds. This exposure is becoming an increasing concern because we spend a third of our lives sleeping.
It's also a concern because regulatory agencies have a difficult time keeping up with chemical science and determining "safe" exposure rates.
Synthetic foams contain polyurethane which emits harmful gases. Vinyl on mattress surfaces are made of polyvinyl chlorate which contain toxic phthalates. Mattress cores often contain glues and bonding agents that emit harmful "off-gases".
Toxic gas emitting chemicals such as boric acid or antimony trioxide are used as flame-retardants. The mattress covers may contain synthetics, stain resistant finishes, or dyes that emit gases like formaldehyde.
All these chemicals have been implicated as potential carcinogens and causes of endocrine and nervous system disorders.
Green mattresses and bedding use fabrics and batting made from animal or plant fibers that do not contain toxic chemicals.
Fabrics labeled as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), indicates that the fiber production was tracked to ensure that no pesticides, or other harmful chemicals are in the fabric.
Animal and plant fibers include such materials as wool, cotton, down, hemp, flax, alpaca, cashmere, silk, kapok, coconut husks and mohair.
Mattresses made from wool are inherently flame and mildew resistant. Mattresses made from corn-based materials, which use phosphorus salt as a flame-retardant, are alternatives to using chemical synthetics.
Organic cotton is a natural fill for mattresses and resembles the comfort (soft yet firm) of a traditional innerspring mattress.
Natural non-synthetic latex is a eco-friendly substitute for polyurethane foam cores because it is derived from Pará rubber trees. Natural latex is anti-microbial, hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
Bedding made from alpaca has pleasing natural colors so dyes are not used and it also insulates better than wool. Tussah and Dupoini silk fibers are dense, lightweight, and have the same insulating properties as wool.
Kapok is a fiber from the seedpods of the kopak tree, which is native to Central and South America. The fiber is harvested in rain forests without damaging the trees. It has the feel, comfort and insulating properties of down.
When businessman and inventor Jack Dell'Accio had a family member diagnosed with cancer his concern for environmental toxins motivated him to invent and patent a natural foam mattress.
"It has zero emissions and contains no adhesive or bonding agents," says Dell'Accio.
Green mattresses are not easily found in retail stores but many are available online usually with unconditional money-back guarantees.
Sources: National Geographic Green Guide