Little Girl is five. Up until last week she was still sleeping in a toddler bed. We ordered her made in the U.S.A. furniture from a local store, but were unsure what to do about a mattress. After all, we spend about a third of our lives lying on our mattresses. While we’re asleep we’re not just catching Zs, we’re also breathing in any fumes that seep out. And plenty of fumes are seeping out. MotherJones.com published a great story about what may be lurking in your mattress. I recommend giving it a read, but here’s a quick excerpt:
“Since the mid- to late ’60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that hold mattresses together, has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. And then there are cotton pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals, which can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders…A memory-foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals, including the carcinogens benzene and naphthalene.”
There’s plenty more in the article. Ugh. And more ugh. I didn’t want my little one to be breathing in that crap, but I did want her to be comfortable. (She says our memory foam mattress is a “magic bed” because it makes her fall right to sleep.) We did lots of research and decided we were going with a custom-made Dreamfoam bed that’s made right here in the States. It took several weeks to get here because they actually build it from scratch when you order it. The mattress is made of pure latex and comes with a wool and bamboo cover. The memory foam part of it is made of soy — it is not petroleum-based like traditional memory foam mattresses.
It arrived vacuum-sealed all rolled up in a box. We opened it up and within a few hours it had expanded to its ten-inch size. Since the new bed has slats that are very close together we didn’t need a box spring or a bunky board. We just tossed the new mattress on top of the slats, and pulled the sheets on.
First impressions: It doesn’t feel exactly like our traditional memory foam mattress, but — I found out later — that’s because my husband ordered an 8 on the softness scale. (The company asks you to customize your softness on a scale of 1 to ten with ten being the softest.) Still, my little one LOVES it. My husband said it’s exactly what he would order if he was buying something for us. If I was sleeping on it, I’d want it to be firmer but if she is happy, I am happy. The best part? No smell at all. At all. Our memory foam mattress stunk for months as it off-gassed. It still smells if your nose is close to it when the mattress pad and sheets are off.
Of course, once Big Girl spent a little time reading on the new bed she made it a point of telling us how her mattress squeaks and isn’t a BIT as comfortable as her little sister’s. Her mattress is about seven years old at this point. It’s probably time to get her a new one, too.