The bedroom takes priority for me as the first room to become a healthy room. If you have to choose a room rather than do your whole home, choose your bedroom first. I spend at least 8 hours a day, one third of my entire life, in the bedroom. To put that into perspective, at my age I have spent 20 years in my bedroom. No other room has garnered that much of my time so the bedroom gets top billing.
Here is a list of things to do to make your bedroom a healthy room:
- Get the most comfortable, least toxic mattress and pillows you can
- Install non-toxic flooring
- Paint with zero VOC paint
- Move electrical/electronic items away from the bed
- Install energy efficient windows
- When buying furniture, only buy non-toxic furniture
- Get an air filter that remains on even when you are not in the room
Now that we have our list of things to do, let’s look at the first thing to consider.
Get the most comfortable, least toxic mattress and pillows you can
Most of the time spent in the bedroom is spent in your bed. If you don’t have a healthy mattress you may be having respiratory issues as well as physical and emotional challenges. If you’re not sleeping well, it will impact your mood, energy and general well being. Your pillow and mattress may be harboring mold, mildew and dust mites which can seriously affect your health. And recent regulations require mattress makers to add a fire retardant to all new mattresses. The cheapest and easiest way to comply with that regulation is for the manufacturer to add chemicals to their mattresses. To read some consumers’ testimonials about how they have been affected by chemical laden mattresses go to Chem-tox.com, a website created by a professor at the University of Florida.
What you need to look for when selecting a mattress is one that is made from the most natural chemical free materials available. My vote goes to Savvy Rest for using natural rubber for latex layers, organic cotton covers with organic wool batting. The wool acts as the required flame retardant so they don’t have to use chemicals. Their beds come in layers of different firmnesses so you can configure your mattress to your comfort. They use Talalay and Dupont latex with offer different firmness characteristics. I can guarantee you’ll feel the difference immediately. There are other companies who make healthy mattresses as well – Natura, Keetsa, FloBeds, and Ikea are a few. These companies have a range of products and not everything is as healthy as they could be.
Since your face is in your pillow for 7 to 8 hours at a time, a natural latex pillow is my recommendation. Natural latex in your pillows and mattress are inherently healthy because they don’t hold moisture and can’t harbor mold, mildew and dust mites. There are other natural pillows to try but be sure they are not treated with chemicals.
This a quick look at how to get your bedroom on its way to being eco-friendly and a safe haven of green. I’ll cover the other points in detail in future articles so stay tuned.