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Safe mattress for Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

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29 May 2019 23:08 #1 by craftyruthie
Hi,

I have a challenge for you!!!

I have the disability of Environmental Sensitivities (ES)/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). This means I react to all chemicals that off-gas VOC's, including those found in most store-bought mattresses.

I am also sensitive to latex -- even if it's natural/organic -- and memory foam (both cause severe breathing problems, even when surrounded by other materials).

I cannot have metal springs in my mattress due to Electro-Magnetic Frequency Sensitivities.

I need to have a mattress that is firm (due to back problems), but is soft enough that it will not aggravate my "pressure points" (hips, knees, shoulders), since I also have Fibromyalgia.

I also have the challenge of NOT being able to go into a store that sells mattresses, to test them out (both for comfort OR to ensure the chemicals will not cause me any health problems/reactions), both because of all the chemicals found in these stores' products, as well as public transit not accommodating my disability of ES/MCS -- I have to walk wherever I need to get to, and there are no mattress stores near me.

Can you recommend a twin-sized mattress that is healthy/safe/chemical-free/VOC-free/latex-free, does not contain dangerous chemicals like pesticides/fire retardants; is as "natural" as possible; AND preferably sold in Canada, so that I don't have to pay extra costs for duties/taxes/border fees, since I'm on permanent disability, and can't afford to spend thousands of dollars?????? Is there such a mattress???

I know these are a lot of restrictions, but my health has deteriorated so much over the last year, and I don't want it to get worse from using a new product that I had hoped would HELP me get BETTER!!!

Thank you for your help!!!

craftyruthie

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30 May 2019 06:05 #2 by MFC
Hi craftyruthie,

Thank's for reaching out to us for your special requirements. Unfortunately, because of your list of sensitivities, we are only left with 1 choice. We can make a 100% organic cotton futon mattress that will be made entirely of organic cotton including the cover with a virgin wool wrap to regulate heat, humidity and act as a natural flamme retardant (we have to add this by law, but if you don't want one, you can get an exemption from Health Canada). This will give you a firm sleep surface, but will not be great for pressure points, as cotton compresses and becomes quite firm over time.

You could add a feather topper to help with pressure points, we don't carry them but they are available online.

Did I answer all your question?
Please let me know if you need any further information.

All the Best!

Mario

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30 May 2019 06:06 #3 by CBHWoodFurniture
Hi craftyruthie,
I am sorry to hear about all the sensitivities and ailments that have befallen you. I am always skeptical when I hear that somebody is allergic (sensitive) to natural latex. The reason that I am saying this is that in the 35 years that our partners from Switzerland have sold their beds, they may have had a handful of people who were allergic to the latex. Most people end up reacting to the chemicals that are mixed into the latex. I would suggest that you find a few companies that claim to produce all natural latex (If I am still up to date on then then 97% pure latex is the most that you can find. There are a few companies that carry that kind of latex in North America. This latex usually comes from Radium, Netherlands (vitatalalay) or there is another latex manufacturing plant in the Boston area (Does anybody know their name? It has escaped me) that offer latex at the same purity as Radium foam. Ask these companies to send you a sample of their latex and see if you can work with any of them. Also then consider that if a latex is fine to your nose and you only react to touch, these mattresses can be put inside of covers so that you don't actually have to touch them.
The reason I am suggesting this is that I don't see any other material being able to address your Fibromyalgia like latex would. Also it would provide better support for your back then most other materials would.

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30 May 2019 12:02 #4 by craftyruthie
Hi,

Thank you for your thoughts on latex allergies. I'm not sure if I have a "true" allergy to it, or if I'm just sensitive to the proteins in latex. I can touch latex gloves on my hands with no problem, but putting them up to my face (or putting my hands up to my face after I've had the gloves on) causes me to have severe breathing problems.

I have received samples or tried several products claiming to be "organic" and/or "natural" latex (including a Talalay latex pillow from Sleep Country, and a sample of latex from an Obasan mattress), but have still had breathing problems, even months after the foam was off-gassed in my home.

"Essentia" is the only place I've found, so far, that uses latex -- and removes the protein? -- where the samples didn't cause me to react, and where I could actually sleep with the samples beside my head. However, the mattress I looked at would have cost me $4,000 -- and that's way out of my budget.

I will try to get in touch with the companies you mentioned, and see if I can get samples sent to me.

And just to comment on your note about putting a cover over the latex so I don't have to touch them: for people with Environmental Sensitivities (ES)/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), this idea likely won't work (and hasn't worked for me in the past). When the body heats up the foam inside the cover, the chemicals in the foam (including the VOC's) leach through the material, and eventually do get absorbed into our bodies. Whenever I sit on public seating (doctor's offices, cabs, etc.), I have to place Mylar Emergency blankets down on the chairs first, so that the chemicals in the chair/people's scented laundry and personal products are not absorbed into my clothing and then into me. (I've actually considered wrapping a mattress in Mylar, but it's a flimsy material that would tear after a few nights' sleeping on it . . . and it won't allow the mattress to breathe.). ES/MCS is a difficult disability to manage . . . which is why I've come to the Experts here for help -- 'cause I'm out of ideas!!!

Thank you SO MUCH for your reply and your suggestions -- I will continue my research with what you have provided!!!

Ruth

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30 May 2019 12:09 #5 by craftyruthie
Hi Mario,

THANK YOU for your reply, and for your suggestions of a futon-type mattress.

Unfortunately, you are correct when you say that this all-cotton/wool mattress will not be so good for Fibromyalgia pressure points. I actually did have a futon at one point, but had to give it away for this very reason. It was still in excellent shape, but the cotton had compressed too much for me to be able to sit or sleep on it without being in a lot of pain.

You mentioned wrapping the cotton in wool. I'm wondering, does wool compress the same way cotton does? The closest I've come to using wool in anything is in hand-knit sweaters -- so I know I'm okay with organic wool, I just don't know how it would work in a mattress. If you could give me your opinion on this, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks so much for your reply. Take care, and have a great afternoon.

Ruth

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30 May 2019 13:07 #6 by MFC
Hi craftyruthie,

The wool used in our organic/natural cotton futons is only about 1.5" thick, and it too will compress and become firm over time. For pressure points you need something with some resilience that bounces back after use and is softer on pressure points than a compressed surface. The only material I'm aware of that is made of organic materials is the organic dunlop latex certified by GOLS.

Here is a great thread on latex mattress allergies and sensitivities :

Good luck in your search, and please keep us posted on what you find!

All the best
Mario

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30 May 2019 14:01 #7 by craftyruthie
THANK YOU for letting me know about the wool also compressing!!! Glad I didn't go that route, and be disappointed!!!

I did send a reply back to the person who posted about the latex allergy -- thank you for sending me that link.

Unfortunately, even Dunlop organic latex causes me severe breathing problems -- I couldn't even take one of those pillows home from the store when I tried them out many years ago.

I will keep checking, and hopefully something will work out. Thanks for all your help!!! Take care.

craftyruthie

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30 May 2019 14:07 #8 by craftyruthie
Hi Mario,

THANK YOU for letting me know about the wool also compressing!!! Glad I didn't go that route, and be disappointed!!!

I did send a reply back to the person who posted about the latex allergy -- thank you for sending me that link.

Unfortunately, even Dunlop organic latex causes me severe breathing problems -- I couldn't even take one of those pillows home from the store when I tried them out many years ago.

I will keep checking, and hopefully something will work out. Thanks for all your help!!! Take care.

craftyruthie

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25 Nov 2019 11:43 #9 by DevP
because i have multiple chemical sensitivity i have looked into a lot of options as well and the only thing i could think of that ive come across that might work for you is a buckwheat hull bed, possibly layered over a futon mattress, dont know if youve explored this option?

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