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Ends 5/27: 50% off mattresses

What is the Ecological Impact of a Mattress?

What is the Ecological Impact of a Mattress?

You may be surprised to learn that mattresses, the very thing we all sleep on, actually have a significant ecological impact. In fact, mattresses can contribute to a greater list of environmental issues. The best way to become more environmentally conscious in your sleep space is to think about how you can create or maintain a more eco-friendly sleeping environment. Keep reading to learn more about the ecological effect of mattresses and how we, as a community, can minimize their negative impact on the Earth.

How Do Mattresses Affect the Environment?

Mattress Construction

The ecological impact of a mattress can begin from its very core – the mattress construction. That is why, at BedInABox®, we choose to manufacture the entirety of our mattresses in the United States, all under one roof. The sustainability issue with mattress construction often lies in the source of the materials and the processes used to build them. When materials are imported from international factories, there is no supervision over the quality of the materials used or how the materials are made. Imported materials can be low in quality, result in high carbon emissions and potentially pose a hazard to home health. By maintaining hands-on involvement in all of our manufacturing and distribution processes, we are able to constantly consider our environmental impact and be conscious about the nature of our materials, both in production and disposal.

Mattress Transportation

There is also an environmental cost when it comes to transport and delivery. You may want to consider the air quality and the number of miles crossed during the transportation of mattress materials and mattresses themselves. The transportation alone can emit fossil fuels and pollutants that contaminate the air. Cutting down on transit and delivery saves energy, making local manufacturing an eco-friendlier option.

Mattress Disposal

The disposal of old mattresses actually accounts for a large portion of the greater ecological impact that mattresses have on our environment. An estimated  20 million mattresses are thrown into landfills each year. This annual amount is equivalent to 132,000 square miles of landfill space. When you choose to dump your mattress instead of donating or recycling it, you are contributing to the carbon footprint. When materials used to construct mattresses that are not eco-friendly begin to break down and seep into the ground over time, they can cause soil and water pollution.

How to Mitigate the Ecological Effect of Mattresses

Before you order an inexpensive mattress made internationally or toss your old mattress into the landfill, there are several simple ways to help minimize the ecological impact of your mattress.

Invest in an Eco-Friendly Mattress, the BedInABox® Eco-Lux®

While a number of mattresses are constructed with potentially hazardous compounds, the CertiPUR-US® certification is a quick identifier for the memory foam mattresses that are not. Every BedInABox® mattress is made entirely in the United States, using only CertiPUR- US® certified memory foams to ensure safer, higher quality sleep that meets all standards for content, durability, and emissions. Our most sustainable product at BedInABox® is our Eco- Lux® mattress. Manufactured sustainably and constructed with only foams that meet the USDA Bio-Preferred® Certification program, our Eco-Lux® is the only green mattress on the market to hold the USDA Bio-Preferred® designation. Every component of our Eco-Lux® has also received the STANDARD 100 BY OEKO-TEX® certification, meaning your entire Eco-Lux® mattress, from the organic cotton cover to the 11” memory foam core constructed with renewable materials, has been tested and certified to be free of potentially harmful materials.

Consider How You Get Your New Mattress

Simply transporting or delivering a cumbersome mattress can leave a carbon footprint. To help reduce that footprint, you can opt for a new mattress in a box, which will be shipped directly to your door, ideally from local suppliers, in a box small enough for freight companies to deliver. By purchasing your new mattress from an American-made mattress company like BedInABox®, you can expect both a higher quality product and a smaller environmental impact compared to a mattress company who imports materials for their mattresses.

Are there Toxic Materials in Your Mattress?

Sleep is supposed to be a healthy and rejuvenating time of rest, making it crucial to verify that your mattress is free from harmful chemicals and emission such as flame retardants, formaldehyde, and phthalates.

Know Your Manufacturer and Mattress Materials

Before purchasing a new mattress, do some research on the manufacturer and check out customer reviews. Does the company clearly list all components of their mattresses? Are their products certified free from harmful chemicals? Are they easy to contact if you have a question about their mattress materials and production process?

If your mattress manufacturer is transparent about information like this, that is a great sign. In this way, you can get all your concerns resolved before choosing a mattress, so you know that you’ve chosen a product that is safe and sustainable.

Look for Certified Mattresses

Certifications such as CertiPUR-US®, OEKO-TEX®, and USDA Bio-Preferred® are excellent indicators that a mattress is free from toxic chemicals. While each of these certifications differs, in order to attain one, the mattress and its components must meet clear requirements. These requirements can relate to factors such as emissions, chemicals, and sustainability. As an example, the BedInABox® Eco-Lux® mattress holds all three of these certifications, meaning it has been tested and certified free from harmful chemicals, is made sustainably, and is constructed with foams that comply with strict safety requirements.

How to Take Care of Your Mattress to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways you can help extend the life of your mattress and reduce its environmental impact by delaying its disposal. By following these maintenance tips, you can not only ensure a longer lifespan of comfort and quality from your mattress, but you can also reduce your carbon footprint.

Clean Your Mattress

By maintaining your mattress with routine cleaning, you can extend its lifespan and therefore reduce your ecological impact. Most mattresses can be spot cleaned with a simple damp cloth and some dish soap, then air dried in a warm or sunny spot. For tougher stains, a stronger DIY or store-bought cleaner may be used. Avoid harsh chemicals on your mattress, as these are harmful for both your mattress and the environment. For more tips on how to clean your memory foam mattress, check out our full mattress cleaning guide.

Rotate Your Mattress

Rotating your mattress every 6-12 months helps limit wear and tear and prevents sagging in the places where you most commonly sleep. It’s a simple way to keep your mattress feeling new and lasting longer. While some mattresses can be both rotated and flipped, we only recommend rotating your BedInABox® mattress.

Use a Mattress Protector or Mattress Topper

Adding a mattress protector or mattress topper to an already high-quality mattress can help your mattress last longer and keep you more comfortable at night. Mattress protectors have been proven to prevent bacteria, dust, and bed bugs from accumulating, promoting an overall healthier sleep environment while also protecting your mattress from unwanted critters and natural wear and tear. Mattress toppers are a great compliment to mattress protectors, as they offer an additional layer against dirt and dust while providing a few extra inches of comfort at the same time.

How to Properly Dispose of Your Old Mattress

Mattresses become more of an ecological issue when they are thrown away, and those that are sent to landfills have long decomposition times that add to waste pollution. In fact, mattresses are not meant to be thrown in the trash because most of their components are recyclable or reusable. Luckily, it’s easy and affordable to sustainably dispose of your old mattress. Some ideas include upcycling, donating, or recycling your mattress.

Recycle Your Mattress
Generally speaking, around 90% of your mattress materials can be recycled. There are various recycling services, such as Bye-Bye Mattress or Earth 911, who will recycle your mattress for you or help you locate a local recycling center that will accept your old mattress.

Upcycle or Donate Your Mattress
If your old mattress is still in relatively good condition, you can choose to donate it to a non- profit organization, such as the Salvation Army, or create something new through upcycling. Even if you or a charity can’t use all components of the mattress, materials like foam and springs can be useful for other purposes, such as building other pieces of furniture or creating a comfy bed for a pet.

At the end of the day, the quality of your sleep, the quality of your sleep environment and the quality of our global environment are all equally important. We encourage our BedInABox® community to start considering the effect your mattress can have on the ecology, so that we can all take bigger steps to help reduce it. If you have any questions about our sustainability efforts at BedInABox® or the sustainability of our Eco-Lux® mattress, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team, who is always happy to help.

You may be surprised to learn how significantly a mattress in a box can impact our ecology. Keep reading to learn more about the ecological effect of mattresses and how, as a community, BedInABox® can minimize their negative impact on the Earth. What is the Ecological Impact of a Mattress?
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