A Guide to Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) mattresses

Here at Snoozel Green our goal is to bring you the best, most environmentally friendly mattress for you and the planet. With no jargon, no filler, our mattresses are designed with the latest technology and following the most up to date sustainability processes. 

We’re here today to explain what’s behind the term Low Volatile Organic Compound AKA a VOC mattress. This is because some mattress brands will give their petroleum-based polyurethane and memory foam layers fancy names that make them sound natural or highly advanced. However, all it usually means is that they have added a few toxic chemicals to manipulate the foam or make it fire retardant despite these misleading names.

In a world of greenwashing, we’re here to clean it up, we can promise we have nothing to hide, we offer complete transparency about the materials used, production methods and transportation. So you can have the peace of mind that you have made the ethical, natural and healthy choice.  

First up - What is a Non-Toxic Mattress?

Non-toxic mattresses are constructed without the use of chemicals that pose a risk to human health. This means they aren’t toxic to have in the home, without any pesticides or plastics involved in the manufacturing process.

However Non-toxic is a loose term, and can often be used in misleading ways. Let us explain the true definition of non-toxic, as it also can encompass all of the below labels:

Eco-Friendly: In most cases, eco-conscious practices result in a bed that is also non-toxic and safer for us to sleep on. This involves manufacturing processes that look after the natural biodiversity of the surrounding areas. 

Organic: An organic mattress is made of natural, fully organic materials, such as cotton, wool, or latex. But, in most cases, mattresses are not 100 percent organic even when they claim to be. The cover may be the only organic component, while the rest of the bed is not. It’s important here to look and double check all of the materials.

Green: A brand claiming to produce a “green mattress” could suggest several different things. They may use organic materials, or they may rely on eco-friendly construction methods. If you see this claim, delve deeper to see their true green credentials as the term ‘green’ isn’t a specific technical definition.

What is plant-based memory foam?

Plant based memory foam is usually used as an alternative name for natural latex. The latex in our organic mattresses begins its life in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved groves in Sri Lanka. The latex is harvested from Hevea Brasiliensis rubber trees under the FSC framework which lays out strict rules which protect the water quality, prevents the harvest of rare, old-growth forest, reducing the unsustainable loss of trees and also the use of hazardous chemicals. Pure rubber is harvested every two to three days, always by hand. A small channel is carved in the bark for the sap to collect in bowls. Rest assured that no trees are harmed in this process. These trees yield rubber for up to 30 years.

Snoozel green process the latex for our organic mattresses using the Dunlop method. This process was developed in 1929 and consumes five times less energy than the modern Talalay process, which is much more complex and less sustainable.

What is the Dunlop process? It starts by mixing raw, liquid latex with water as well as some additional, natural materials which are required for turning the liquid latex into a solid form, which can then be used to make our organic mattresses. These materials include natural soaps, sulphur, vulcanisation and gelling agents. At this stage, natural graphite is added which makes our natural mattresses fire retardant without using toxic chemicals or sprays. When the latex mixture is ready we pump compressed air into it to make a foamy liquid. The foam is then poured into the mould and baked (vulcanised) for 50 minutes at 110 degrees. The finished, natural latex layer is then removed from the mould, washed and dried.

What is the healthiest mattress in terms of materials?

Natural is best, especially for sensitive skin and those who suffer from allergies.

All natural materials, such as the ones used in Snoozel Green products, are the best in terms of an overall healthy mattress. ​​If you suffer from asthma, or any other pulmonary function allergies it is highly important you are aware of what your mattress is made of. Most mattresses use synthetic materials and toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process, which isn’t best for us as humans or the environment. We can guarantee we use 100% natural latex, organic wool and cotton, this means you can be sure that there are no mysterious chemicals and toxins to be breathed in or absorbed by your skin, causing any irritations or allergies. So you can lie back, relax and slip into a deep sleep with ease.

The combination of natural latex paired with organic cotton and wool fibres promotes a naturally antibacterial environment. These materials are extremely effective at absorbing and desorbing moisture, depending on what the conditions dictate. This helps to create a dry sterile atmosphere within your natural mattress, stopping the growth of bacteria, moulds, dust mites and microbes.

Can you get a low VOC mattress topper?

Yes, our topper is a great low VOC option. Using the same materials as our mattresses, we are proud to say our topper offers a natural, safe sleep for everyone. Crafted from organic cotton the perfect material for our natural mattress topper. Our soft, natural cotton is durable, hypoallergenic and breathable. Like our mattresses, all of our natural latex toppers are made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. So you can rest assured that there are no harmful chemicals in our unbleached and un-dyed natural mattress toppers.

Did you know?

A safer, healthier natural mattress will have a longer lifespan than a conventional one. This is because chemical enhanced products tend to break down quickly. As a general rule, the more natural components the bed has, the longer it will last. Normal VOC mattresses usually last up to six years, whereas a high-quality natural latex mattress can last around 12 years. Offering more for your money.

We hope that helped clear up any questions you have regarding low volatile organic mattresses, if not please do get in contact and one of our team will be more than happy to help with your query. 

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