Friday, March 15, 2013


My mattress is terrible, and needs to be replaced. In fact, it has needed replacement for more than 2+ years. Several things have prevented me from doing so, however.

The biggest barrier has been what to use as a replacement. Mattresses are not cheap, and most are composed of metal coils, often plastic coated, encased in fabric and padding. As a result of their materials and manufacturing, they also contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and chemical fire retardants that will off-gas over time. And, with a price tag of over $350 for a full size mattress, this option isn’t particularly economical. 

However, there is such a thing as eco-friendly and organic mattresses. These usually contain organic cotton or wool, non-toxic fire retardants, natural latex rubber, and recycled metal springs. But with an even heftier price tag of around $1000 for a full size mattress, this isn’t really an option for me at all.

Another consideration I have is the toll on the landfills of all our used mattresses. 

Then today, Mrs. Homegrown @ root simple posted a piece about homemade mattresses and it really inspired me to consider several alternatives.

After all, I am always in favor of re-cycling, re-using, and whatever else we can do to help mitigate the destruction we heap on this lovely blue planet we call home.

There is a lovely older couple in the next county south of here who raise pastured sheep, and I buy my lamb from them. I know she collects wool and weaves, but otherwise my knowledge of wool is rather limited. Our farmer's market opens for the season tomorrow, and if she's there I intend to pick her brain about wool for a mattress. 

Mrs. Homegrown also mentioned mattresses of buckwheat shells. I have a neck pillow (somewhere) that is filled with buckwheat but I no longer remember if it's just hulls or actual buckwheat. I should find it!

Years ago I had a friend who made eye shades (for sleeping) that were just a soft fabric filled with flax seeds. The seeds were cheap, and slick and shiny enough to move and adjust to any body configuration. I wonder if they'd make a good mattress filling?


  1. I'd think the flax might be a bug hazard...seems like something would want to munch on it. On the other hand, my SO had a millet pillow that was really millet. Buckwheat pillows are made out of the sterilized hulls. Heavy, but not bug food. Personally, the sound of the hulls shifting under my head drove me nuts, but that's just me. ;-)

    We just got a new mega-bucks mattress; they hauled our old one off & said it was still in good enough shape to donate to charity. They have a place in their warehouse where they put the good used ones & let charities come get them. So at least ours didn't go directly to the landfill.

    And boy, are we sleeping better.

  2. Since you are very handy with tools and if you had the materials, you could build a platform for a mattress and not buy the box spring. It would reduce the cost.

  3. Wow! Organic cotton or wool for a mattress? This sounds really interesting to me. I have come along this tutorial on how to make a handmade wool mattress, and I can say that I’m fairly intrigued. I love soft mattresses, so I am convinced that this would suit me just great. Not only that, we get to help this lovely blue planet we call home. Nice one, brother!

    Dante Storey

    1. Dante, I don't usually post comments made by commercial companies, but making an exception in this case.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this information about mattress. I will share this also to my friends so that they can get also an information about in your post. Thank you for sharing! By the way, if you want to have a more info of Sleepys Credit Card, check us here.

  5. The biggest barrier has been what to use as a replacement. Mattresses are not cheap, and most are composed of metal coils, often plastic coated, encased in fabric and padding


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