The Search for the Best Mattress

The Search for the best mattress

I shared in my last post about our choice for sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and as it turns out lots of people are curious about different options that exist apart from the traditional mattresses that sheep in commercials tell us will give us a good nights sleep. We have put a lot of research into what makes for the best mattress, and while the answer will vary just as our bodies vary, there are SO many alternatives I decided to share about some of what we have learned and the ideal mattress we have our eyes on for down the road.

There are many options, but not necessarily easy options when it comes to those mattress alternatives. It seems that the non-conventional mattress options aren’t being sold on showroom floors where you can walk in and test them out. They don’t have the big budgets and the clever marketing. In fact, many of the ones I have looked at are being run by small, passionate businesses that cannot offer returns because shipping costs are prohibitive. So it kind of makes sense why everyone basically has the same mattress as everyone else – it’s scary to step out and do different. Especially when it involves your precious nights sleep. And money. But sometimes those risks are exactly the things we need to do to change our lives.

Here is something else I am learning about mattresses – the materials they are made of can have detrimental affects on our health. I had heard about organic mattresses in the past but had never given them much thought about what that meant. Then we started dealing with some serious health issues and our mattress was one of the things we considered and were wondering if it was causing the health issues. Turns out it was not our issue, but my eyes were open and it was one more step in our being educated about bed mattresses.

Open Your Eyes Bedding

In our bed journey I came across Open Your Eyes Bedding (how’s that for a totally appropriate name?!) and love Lynne’s products and vision. I had mentioned in my past post that her buckwheat hull mattress is our dream mattress right now – it has a minimalist profile, and you build it yourself and know exactly what’s inside of what you are sleeping on.
Since my last post Lynne and I have chatted a bit and she very kindly sent me a sample pod for us to check out (and then turn into a pillow … more on that in a follow up post!) Above you can see what the buckwheat hull filled mattress pods look like put together as a mattress. This is what the buckwheat hull filled mattress pod sample looks like on its own:

Depending on the size of the mattress you want to build, you would take the recommended pods and tie them together – sample pods are available to purchase so that you can get an idea of what you’re getting into before fully committing. (Sample pods available here.)

Here are the details on the sample pod, which is identical to what would be the mattress pod.

The sample pod is the exact same size as a mattress pod.
The sample pod contains buckwheat hulls taken only from our certified organic stock.
The knit fabric is made custom for us in the US.  The yarns are GOTS certified organic.
The fabric does not contain any added formaldehyde, chemical treatments, bleach or flame retardants.
The fabric is machine washable following instructions on our site (See Fabric Care tab on main navigation bar).
The mattress is 100% compostable. This solves a huge problem that the disposing of a mattress creates (read more here).
The New Twist mattress ends up being 5 1/2 inches thick.
The benefit of a modular mattress means you don’t need to buy another mattress, just maintain it and replace materials as needed.  Spill something on your mattress?  Simply replace the affected pods with some you have made and ready.
Feel like going to a larger or smaller bed?  Just remove rows or add on, no need to buy a whole new mattress.  Tall customers can simply add on an existing row to make an extra long mattress.
Moving to a home with hard to navigate stairs?  Simply toss your pods bucket brocade style to their new location.

For a Queen Size Bed

We sleep on a queen bed, so if we wanted this buckwheat hull mattress to be the same size we would need 40 of these “pods”, which are tubular fabric made from 100% organic cotton yarn and filled with buckwheat hulls, and then 6 straps to tie them together. Seeing as I have not yet tried this I can only share the how-to that is available on the website, which you can read here.
I wanted to try to find a way to show the texture of this buckwheat hull filled pod – it is both firm and pliable. I thought to have my son step on it, so the next three pictures show the pod and camera not moving, and him stepping his full weight on it. You can see it sinks a bit, but not much. Just enough to contort to his foot. From all my reading on the buckwheat hull mattress this rings true – it will fit your body, like a hug. Our current mattress, which is little more than a padded mat on the floor, has taken care of all of our back issues, but this buckwheat hull mattress seems to have the added benefit of coziness, which our matt does not provide. And, this smells divine.
Since we were not ready to purchase the full mattress, and a single pod wouldn’t serve much of a purpose, I was able to turn the sample pod into the most luxurious buckwheat hull pillow. I’ve been sleeping on it for a few weeks now and want to give it a bit more time before sharing a review – but watch for that soon! It was the neatest thing to be able to make the pillow myself.
In closing I want to share this page from Lynn on the beginnings of Open Your Eyes Bedding and the flame and cigarette testing she went through. It is so interesting. You aren’t going to find many mattress makers who can tell you what the flame retardant they use on their mattress for the government regulated cigarette burning test tastes like. Check it out and your eyes will be open to the remarkable materials she has chosen to use in the mattress and the ingenuity in a DIY flame retardant for the cigarette test.
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