More and more, particularly here in the Berkeley Ca market, San Francisco Market and South Bay market, consumers are becoming aware of the serious concerns with waste, construction, off-gassing and country of origin of their sleep products. Pillows made with plastic bottle fibers, mattresses made with plastic foams and fabrics, sheets imported from China: Somewhere in the not so distant past consumers started trading value for price, convenience for quality, and were oblivious to product safety as companies used to be able to make unsubstantiated claims.
Fast forward to present day, and consumers are becoming more savvy, asking more questions and doing eye-opening research, arming themselves with information and facts before entering the marketplace. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have a great selection of natural mattress stores, and we have a few who like to think they are natural mattress stores. However, consumers are no longer blindly buying what some companies are selling, opting to consider more than just convenience and price when making a purchase. A few of those choices include:
- Country Of Origin - Where your mattress is coming from has become more and more an issue as more Americans are becoming aware of the issues involved with foreign made products, their lack of safety oversight, quality control and the environmental impact of shipping long distances. They are also becoming more sensitive to local labor and jobs as the recent elections brought that issue to the forefront of consumers.
- Toxicity and Allergens - More consumers are using this criteria as a major factor in selecting things they bring into their home. You can read more about VOC's in a past blog post as we like to educate our customers and encourage them to do lots of research. Plastic fabrics and foams are based in petrochemicals. Some retailers will say their foam is "plant-based" leading consumers to think the majority of the material is plant-based, when in fact it is less than 15%. Same goes for the materials they use to pass the FR Testing, or fire barrier. To say a product is safe is one thing, but a third party, US-based, legitimate testing party backing that claim should be the only way a company would make a health based claim. Any other way is playing games with consumer's health, which should be criminal.
- Waste and disposal - This is another area of concern as consumers start to shift their focus from the old "We haul off your old mattress" marketing. No, it doesn't magically disappear! The mattress company just takes it to the dump for you. And if you purchase one of the synthetic-based big box retailer mattresses you can expect it to last 5-7 years and end up in the landfill, where it will not decompose. In fact, both Sleep Train and Mancini's suggest that at the 5 year mark you get a new bed! That is wasteful! In the span of 20 years that is 4 mattresses! All that plastic and chemical sitting in a landfill. You take a population of 4 million people and do the math...we would fill up all our landfills if we prescribed to their advice!
At Nest Bedding, we take the designation of a natural mattress store very serious. We try to carry products that not only last longer but can be disposed of in an earth friendly manner. For example, we build all our Nest Organics mattresses with zippers and replaceable components so when the inevitable happens, you just replace the core instead of disposing of the whole bed. And the old core? Biodegradable.
Good luck in your mattress shopping! And if you are shopping for a natural mattress store in San Francisco, San Rafael, Oakland or Berkeley, give Nest Bedding a shot!