Sunday, February 27, 2011

mattress purchase update: the east coast organic mattress company

This has been a sustainable homesteading weekend, for sure. Yesterday we attended a class on backyard chicken operations, in preparation for the long-discussed egg layers we want. (More on that later!) The class was an hour from home, and I figured since we were already so far from home, we might as well detour another hour to one of the only eco-friendly mattress stores in our region, The East Coast Organic Mattress Company.

Now, it must be said that we got a little bit of flack for this. We were called hippies by one friend, and got blank stares from others. Able-Bodied Boy got the obligatory pats on the back in sympathy. "Seriously?!!?! Organic mattresses? Dude, have fun with that."

Really people? I honestly don't understand how this can be so weird. You opt to buy the organic veggies in the market sometimes, right? The organic dairy products? And they aren't all that different from their regular counterparts; they don't taste extraordinarily different, or have different textures. They are a little more expensive, but are conveniently located next to their counterparts, and sometimes you decide it's worth it. You might even drive over to the natural foods store to buy more products like it.

It's the same with mattresses, I suppose. The end result is that you get a bed that is comfortable, feels the best for your body type and sleep patterns. You might pay a bit more, but you have decided it's worth it.

That being said, to be honest, I think Able-Bodied Boy and I were both a little skeptical about going to a store specializing in organic mattresses. I mean, what makes a mattress organic, and can the types of materials they use compare to standard materials, and what about the durability, or the variation in firmness? I had hopes that they would be worthy of the long trip, but felt a bit of everyone else's skepticism. What if it was all just lumpy organic-wool futon pads on top of sustainably-forested wood, sold by rabid hippies that smelled vaguely of patchouli? Eeee gads!

We were oh-so-pleasantly surprised! Leona, the owner, patiently led us to each bed, explained the materials, the density of the mattresses, waited for us to comment and ask questions, and even brought me a selection of organic pillows when I mentioned noticing they had quite a variety on all their beds. Anecdotally, they sounded very durable and worthy of consideration.

And the beds, oh they were so comfortable! Some were soft and quilty, some were very very firm. They had toppers and pads and multiple layers of different densities and they could even make each side different if you had two different sleep needs. They had foam mattresses and spring mattresses and a variety of foundations to match each mattress. Each mattress used a different combination of materials, but all organic (or we-can't-afford-the-certification-but-really-are-quite organic) and/or sustainably-sourced.

I won't detail all of their materials, how they are sourced, how they are made and put together, or even which ones we liked. A mattress purchase is personal, and I'm sure you'll learn everything you want/need to when it comes time.
photo from the East Coast Organic Mattress Store website
But I have to say I was really extraordinarily impressed with the East Coast Organic Mattress Store, and Leona. No stinky mattress fumes, and no patchouli :) We will definitely be considering our favorites from their store as we continue our search and decide which sort of mattress is best for us.

Have you ever gotten those skeptical looks before when you decide to try something a little outside the box? Was it worth it?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl



  1. Telling people you want to do a triathlon or run a marathon gets the same look. Totally worth it.

  2. I had a baby at a birth center & then one at home - I got a ton of those looks. Without question it was worth it.