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normal VOCs vs Value

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11 Aug 2017 20:09 #1 by goofinky

I am looking to buy a twin mattress for my 4 year old son that I would like to last him into his teenage years. I find all-natural latex to be an attractive option due to the low/no VOCs. However, I also appreciate value. In my search, I've come down to two options (I'm open to others, but this is what I've picked):

SleepOnLatex Pure Green™ Natural Latex Mattress
Pros: natural latex, no chemical flame retardant
Cons: Price (over twice the cost of the Arizona Mattress)

Arizona Mattress Latex Beds for Kids
Pros: price (less than half the price of the SleepOnLatex), no chemical flame retardant (I think)
Cons: It is a blended latex with a majority being synthetic possibly resulting in VOCs

How nuts am I to worry about VOCs in the Arizona Mattress with a young child?

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12 Aug 2017 11:18 #2 by Phoenix

Hi goofinky,

Welcome to the forum! :)

I am looking to buy a twin mattress for my 4 year old son that I would like to last him into his teenage years. I find all-natural latex to be an attractive option due to the low/no VOCs. However, I also appreciate value. In my search, I've come down to two options (I'm open to others, but this is what I've picked):
SleepOnLatex Pure Green™ Natural Latex Mattress
Pros: natural latex, no chemical flame retardant
Cons: Price (over twice the cost of the Arizona Mattress)
Arizona Mattress Latex Beds for Kids
Pros: price (less than half the price of the SleepOnLatex), no chemical flame retardant (I think)
Cons: It is a blended latex with a majority being synthetic possibly resulting in VOCs


Both of the items you’re considering use good quality and durable materials, and their products possess good “safety certifications”, and as you’re probably aware both manufacturers are site members here, which means that I think highly of them and that I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, knowledge, and transparency.

There is more information in post #2 here and the topics it links to about mattresses and children and "suitable" and "safe" materials including a link to some general guidelines for children in post #2 here . It also includes a number of links to the better forum posts and topics about mattress and children as well which have more information about many good options children which would be well worth considering.

The only reliable way to assess the "safety" of different materials in more general terms is based on lab tests and the certifications they have for harmful substances and VOCs (regardless of whether they are organic or natural or synthetic) so that you have some assurance than the VOCs are below the testing limits for the certification. There is more about the different types of safety certifications such as Oeko-tex, Eco-Institut, Greenguard Gold, C2C, and CertiPUR-US in post #2 here and more about some of the differences between organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and there are also some comments in post #42 here that can help you decide whether an organic certification is important to you for environmental, social, or personal reasons or whether a "safety" certification is enough.

How nuts am I to worry about VOCs in the Arizona Mattress with a young child?


You’re not “nuts” at all to be concerned for the health of your child, although I know there is quite a bit of "fear mongering” online that may “drive you nuts” :blink: trying to decipher its validity.

All mattresses emit VOC's – it doesn’t matter if it is synthetic or natural or blended (even fruit emits VOC's,) so there is no such thing as a mattress foam that emits no VOC's that are the same as background levels. It's really a matter of whether the VOC's are harmful and if the foam is certified, at which point most people would be comfortable with the amount of VOC's that are emitted.

Also, there are no spray-on chemical flame retardants used in wither of the mattresses you are considering.

In the end, any mattress that uses materials that are durable enough and are in a suitable firmness range and that has a reliable safety certification and you consider to be safe enough would be a suitable choice for a child.

Phoenix


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.

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14 Aug 2017 14:17 #3 by goofinky

Phoenix,
Thank you for your lengthy response and the points to info!

As far as VOCs and certifications, you put it very well. I want to make sure I am not allowing myself to be fear mongered.

I hear you on the difference between organic and safety certifications. When I started my search I thought that the safety certs would help guide my decision until I realized that most companies have certifications for only part of their materials making the certification not all that relevant to the mattress as a whole. For example, this decision was going to be a no brainier with Arizona's value and Greenguard certification ... until I realized it was the glue that was Greenguard certified and not the whole product, which includes 70% synthetic latex. As far as I can tell, their Blended Talalay is not certified. I assume glue can be more toxic than the synthetic latex, but that leaves me wondering how much harmful VOCs are emitted from the mattress as a whole. Perhaps I should simply reach out to Arizona and ask.

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14 Aug 2017 16:42 #4 by Phoenix

Hi goofinky,

For example, this decision was going to be a no brainier with Arizona's value and Greenguard certification ... until I realized it was the glue that was Greenguard certified and not the whole product, which includes 70% synthetic latex. As far as I can tell, their Blended Talalay is not certified. I assume glue can be more toxic than the synthetic latex, but that leaves me wondering how much harmful VOCs are emitted from the mattress as a whole. Perhaps I should simply reach out to Arizona and ask.


Here is the certification page for the Talalay used by mattresses.net. You can see the Talalay is Oeko-Tex certified, Standard 100, Class I, for each producer.

And if you ever have a question, I do agree that a phone call is always the best way to get a quick and detailed answer. ;)

Phoenix


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.

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