When you purchase a mattress or bed for its ethical and environmentally-friendly qualities, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort. Here are a few tips to consider when you want to replace your traditional bed with something that’s still comfortable, but also lives up to your eco sensibilities.
1.) Do your homework
Surf the web for a number of “ethical”, “non-toxic” and “organic” manufacturers. Make a list of stores in your area, and a list of questions to cover with each seller. Don’t forget web sellers – but check into their overall ratings online (for example, by searching “(brand name) mattress review”).
2.) Beware of greenwashing
Ask plenty of questions and double check that the answers your get are fact, not assumption or market-speak. There are federal mandates on qualities like flame retardation that are hard to get by – so ask how they do that. Ask specifically what makes a particular bed non-toxic. Remember that “organic” and “non-toxic” are not the same thing!
3.) Ask about treating
Find out what the bed or mattress has been treated with. Insecticides, biocides and flame retardant chemicals are all very common in bedding. How does the material handle bugs and odour? How do they do this without toxins?
4.) Find what’s comfortable for YOU
Don’t get dragged into the “this is obviously more comfortable than that” argument. The only arbiter of comfort is YOU. Once you’ve determined that the bed passes your ethical standards, spend fifteen minutes laying on it. Five minutes on your side, five on your back, and five on your stomach. Take notes so you don’t get confused after trying out several beds.
5.) Consider the price of your comfort AND ethics
You’ll find there’s a great variation of price among your ethical choices. Try to make cost the last consideration, not the first. It’s okay to ask for a discount, but remember that you spend a third of your life on this piece of furniture – what is that worth to you?
6.) Protect your purchase
Ask about the store’s return and warranty policy. Pay close attention to any deductible you might have to pay if you get the bed home and discover it’s just not for you.
Once the bed is delivered, inspect for any damage. Note it on the packing list and don’t sign for anything serious. Take pictures.
If you do your homework, diligently go through your complete list of questions, and lay on every bed that interests you, you’ll make a good decision. A decision you can be happy about, and a decision that lets the environment off the hook for a change.
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Tags: doug stewart eco mattress shopping health sleep