Natural Mat is a respectable mattress company that passes strict US Fire Retardants standards without any use of toxic fire retardants. Right on! This is not easy to find. (Please beware of the “organic” label on mattresses unless you really know what you are looking for.)
Natural Mat is truly a safe, non-toxic, chemical-free crib mattress that we recommend. Natural Mat uses natural latex, cruelty-free wool and organic cotton in their mattresses. However, their Coco Mat is latex free.
‘Natural Latex’ was a topic we were feeling quite confused with, so Natural Mat helped clarify with us how their “natural” process works since they do use natural latex in their more expensive line of organic mattresses. Also, we cover the subject of potential allergies, and other important concerns in our exclusive interview below!
Natural Mat’s Coco Mat has an outer cotton layer that feels so cozy and comfortable compared to the traditional, thick plastic/pvc covered crib mattresses. I personally favor natural latex over inner spring because it has a denser feel to it than innerspring and feels more grounded! This is a mattress in their line that is LATEX FREE.
Natural Mat’s Coco Mat is firm and actually thicker than we thought it would be. It seems like it will be very durable over time. Also, Samantha (SafBaby co-founder) lives in a very humid climate, so it was important for her to know that a mattress like the Coco Mat regulates moisture and heat well, helping maintain a healthy and hygienic mattress. The Coco Mat is their most breathable mattress and the one we have personally tested.
I also love the organic cotton breathable mattress protector, it’s a 100% leak-proof. I tested it many times to help my little girl get off diapers at night – it never leaked! Washing and drying is hassle-free too!
Natural Mat Mattresses Are 100% Renewable and Biodegradable
We especially like that all natural fibers from Natural Mat come from renewable sources. Also, Natural Mat ensures that all of their suppliers comply with Fair Trade policies.
Unlike synthetic foam mattresses every element of their mattresses is biodegradable and compostable, so it can go from cot bed to flower bed. Truly a safe and green alternative to most mattresses available on the market today!
Q and A With Natural Mat
How do you pass fire regulations without using chemical fire retardants?
We use lots of wool which is a natural fire retardant and we also put two covers on all of our mattresses, the outer of which is made using a heavy weave of cotton. This combination allows us to meet all UK, EN and USA fire regulations without using any chemical FR additives or silica.
Wool and Latex are supposedly known allergens, especially for babies, why do use wool rather than organic cotton and latex instead of metal springs?
We have not found any evidence to suggest that wool might have any detrimental or harmful properties for babies.
There is a huge wealth of evidence that proves that wool is a far better insulator for babies than cotton. Cotton will absorb more moisture than wool, it will not wick away the moisture and will not be an effective insulator.
Babies need to be allowed to keep cool and dry and if you can achieve this you will ensure a much healthier environment. We know they cannot regulate their temperature easily and if you can keep them cool and dry they will have a much better chance of being comfortable.
A good comparison is to look at any “technical” sportswear layer that you wear next to your skin – you will not find anything made from cotton, but you will find a huge variety made from fine wool. If you do any research you will see that wool is a far superior material to use than cotton. Most people in the bedding industry use a cotton as it is widely available and a much cheaper natural ingredient than wool.
Latex allergy is related to skin touch. The latex in our mattresses does not come into contact with the skin, it is buried beneath two layers and two covers. There is no evidence that we have found that suggests that latex in a mattress can be harmful. Latex as a material has been used in mattresses since the 1930’s – if it was harmful, I think this practice would have been stopped by now.
There is a controversy about Natural Latex and how it can not be called ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ because apparently a lot of chemicals are used in the process to get the latex foam and there is no organic certification for latex?
We have visited the factory where our latex is made and it is very natural. The latex sap comes from a plantation that will be the first worldwide to get an organic production certificate from Controle Union (SKAL), the sap makes up 95 % of the raw material ingredients into our foam, the other 5 % are soaps that are added to the sap to make it foam when it is whisked before being cured. Once the foam has been broken from the moulds after curing it is washed in fresh water which removes the soaps.
Also, some claim that natural latex foam is as allergenic as ‘latex rubber gloves’ – is this true?
If this was true nobody would be sleeping on a latex mattress. It is widely accepted that there is a latex allergy related to touch, but there is no evidence to suggest that latex in a mattress could be harmful. We have consulted a leading immunologist on this.
Is the wool Naturalmat is using cruelty and ‘mulesing’ free (see http://www.savethesheep.com/animals.asp). If yes, where is your wool coming from?
Our wool comes from Soil Association certified farms in Devon and Dorset close to our factory (Devon). All the flocks are small and are tended for with good husbandry. In the UK we use a system called “dagging” where you cut away the wool from the sheep’s backside to keep it clean and therefore less prone to fly strike – I know all about this, I have 5 sheep and was doing this yesterday!!
We do not use wool from Australia and I can’t comment on the practices that are mentioned on the website you quote, but these practices would not be permitted under SA rules and as far as I am aware are not used in the UK.
What about claims of potential allergies to wool?
Lambswool has been used in the nursery industry for centuries and has been used by man since before 10,000 B.C. Lambswool is sheared from lambs up to 7 months old, this usually happens during Spring time. The wool fleece is then put through a process called â€˜scouring’ where the fleece is washed to remove all impurities such as dirt and grease. The wool is combed to straighten the fibers and then it is processed into pads to use in mattresses.
Unique benefits of lambswool:
- Lambswool is one of the most durable and flexible natural fibers.
- Natural disinfectant fiber, it resists development of bacteria.
- Excellent insulator and ventilator. Lambswool keeps you warm during the winter months and cool during the summer as it has the ability to absorb moisture without feeling wet or damp because it allows the air to circulate around the body.
- Lambswool gives good support with out compressing like most synthetic materials.
- It is naturally flame retardant and only smolders when it comes into contact with a naked flame.
Why are you not Green Guard Certified?
We have looked at Green Guard and do not believe that the tests that they perform are a worthwhile investment for us. They test for “offgassing”, which is basically identifying whether there are any harmful chemicals or heavy metals used in the raw material make up.
Our coir and our latex are already tested for all of the chemicals and heavy metals that Green Guard test against, (and our levels are much more stringent than Green Guard test to), our wool is also certified by SA, and our cotton by IMO, which also prohibit the use of any materials that Green Guard test against. Green Guard would charge approx 7000-8000 USD per mattress,and they would give us information that we already know – we do not see the point at this stage.
By whom is your organic cotton certified?
Our Cotton is certified by IVN to GOTS standard.
How do I clean the mattress if it’s dirty or wet?
You can wash the cover at 60 degrees C.
Is your Breathable Mattress Protector 100% leak proof?
What’s the average life span on a Natural Mat mattress?
We expect one to last 5 years, however, in the UK our nursery health body advises that for every baby you should buy a new mattress, so we do not discuss time frame beyond the life span of when the child will be in a crib.
Do I need to turn the mattress from time to time?
Yes this is always a good idea with natural fibers.
Where are your mattresses made?
Topsham, Devon UK
Are your mattresses available worldwide?
Why are you only selling the crib mattress in the USA?
This is the most popular size. In USA. We do custom order for another size mattresses.
What else makes your mattress unique and healthy?
Our natural anti dust-mite treatment that we put into our wool. More and more babies are suffering from allergies and asthma, and in order to give them better protection we use a unique lambswool that is treated with essential oils of lavender, lemon and eucalyptus. This provides certified allergy protection.
Our natural latex (which we use in the Latex Mat) is 100% hypo-allergenic and offers complete protection from house dust mites. Every mattress has a removable cover that can be machine washed at 60 degrees C (dust mites are killed at 57 degrees) which offers further allergy protection.
Natural Mat’s Organic Crib Mattresses
Natural Mat sells several types of crib and twin mattresses. They also make a Waterproof Organic Crib Mattress Protector and Organic Cotton Bedding that we highly recommend too.
For more information, please visit NaturalMatUsa.com.