When it comes to choosing the best mattress in South Africa, there are many factors to consider. Typically, the most obvious and sought-after features are comfort, support, and durability; however, we believe that these should be standard benefits! After all, who is really in the market for an uncomfortable bed that’s only going to last 5 years?!
Unfortunately, most “big name brands” disguise the fact that they make mattresses out of materials that wear out so quickly that they need to be replaced every 5 – 7 years. This is known as “planned obsolescence” where products are purposely created with a limited lifespan, thus encouraging consumers to buy new products more frequently to increase sales (we’ll explore obsolescence in more detail later in this post).
The Healthiest Mattress in South Africa
Many people forget to prioritise their health when choosing a new bed. This is often because we are not always informed about the adverse health risks associated with the materials involved with the processing and manufacturing of household furniture.
Fortunately, we’re here to let you know that you do not need to sacrifice your health at the expense of a superior night’s sleep!
We say that the best mattress in South Africa should not only be the most comfortable, supportive, and durable – it should also be the healthiest sleeping surface in the country. And that is why we at Naturelle Beds know that our mattresses are the best in South Africa!
By choosing a Naturelle mattress, you’re investing in a premium-quality sleeping surface that’s designed to last more than 25 years. Furthermore, the health and environmental benefits will have you sleeping soundly in no time.
This is thanks to two incredible natural materials that stand out for their comfort, support, and durability – organic latex and pure wool.
In fact, all the components that go into making a Naturelle bed are free from chemicals. This includes our adhesives and even the cotton used to cover the bottom of the base of our beds – in contrast to stitch bond – a synthetic polyester fibre made from petroleum products which is used by almost all other manufacturers.
Do You Really Know What’s in the Mattress You’re Buying?
Mattress manufacturers easily hide toxic materials in their beds in a number of ways. One common method is to use vague or misleading language on product labels and marketing materials. For example, a mattress can be labelled as “natural” or “non-toxic,” even though it contains synthetic materials or harmful chemicals (which are commonly found in memory foam).
Another way that mattress manufacturers hide toxic materials is by using proprietary blends. These blends are often made up of a variety of different materials, and the manufacturer is not always required to disclose the exact composition of the blend because they’re hiding behind their so-called intellectual property. This makes it difficult for consumers to know what chemicals they are being exposed to.
Paying More for a Mattress Doesn’t Guarantee That It’s Better for Your Health!
Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is a chemical compound that is used to make polyurethane foam, which is the main ingredient in memory foam mattresses. TDI is a strong irritant and can cause allergic reactions in some people.
The reason why all memory foam mattresses, no matter the price, contain TDI is because it is a necessary ingredient in the manufacturing process.
TDI reacts with other chemicals to create the unique properties of memory foam, such as its ability to conform to the body which supposedly provides pressure relief (at least maybe for the first year or so that you sleep on it). Over a short period of time, you’ll start noticing that the foam doesn’t bounce back as your mattress develops that dreaded body-shaped impression.
Knowing this, would you still spend thousands on a high-end new bed if you knew you would be sleeping on a different one in 5 years?
When, for a similar amount, you could have the perfect sleep environment by choosing a mattress that:
- Will last at least five times longer than a memory foam mattress.
- Regulates your temperature when you sleep.
- Wicks away moisture to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- Repels dust mites, mould, and other common allergens.
With Naturelle, you can enjoy all these benefits in a single mattress!
What is The Functional Obsolescence of Memory Foam?
This occurs when a product is no longer able to perform its intended function.
With memory foam, this can happen anywhere between a year and a half to seven years, on average.
Memory foam mattresses are designed to conform to the shape of the body, providing pressure relief and support; however, heat released by your body causes the breakdown of the foam. Meaning it quickly loses its ability to conform while essentially reducing the material to plastic. This can make the mattress uncomfortable and may even cause long-term back and spinal problems.
Manufacturers will not acknowledge that they are creating an inferior product; instead, they will lead you to believe that the longevity of their mattresses is directly related to how much you rotate and flip it!
Is Wool Safe to Sleep On?
Do not assume that wool reduces your exposure to chemicals. Wool is typically preserved in formaldehyde during transportation. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that’s harmful to human health and linked to cancer.
Our wool is unique because we do not use any solvents, formaldehyde, preservatives, or flame retardants.
We scour our wool in warm water seven times, and by washing and combing it, we remove all the impurities.
After this process, our wool is lightly needle-punched into a bat and rolled up for transportation in a perfectly dry state.
In fact, you can rely on a simple smell test to confirm that our wool is not exposed to formaldehyde because you’ll quickly notice the pleasant aroma of lanolin. This is the reason why we use the term “pure wool”.
Next time you’re shopping for a high-quality wool duvet, or a mattress containing wool consider how it was processed. Ask the manufacturer for proof of its purity to ensure you aren’t being exposed to chemicals while you sleep.
Advocating Transparency & Accountability in The Mattress Industry
You have the right to know what you’re exposing yourself and your family to while you sleep. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, thanks to misleading marketing and false claims about natural materials.
That’s why we’re exposing the truth about what’s happening in the industry, and the risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals.
We’re transparent when it comes to Naturelle. We’ll gladly answer any questions you may have about any materials commonly found in mattresses (be it our own products or our competitors’).
Always remember to read product labels carefully and ask questions about the materials used in the manufacturing process.
We advise you to dig deeper into guarantees and warranties. Read the fine print to understand the terms and conditions, including the length of coverage.
What About Gel and Hybrid Mattresses?
Just like memory foam, we can say for certain that gel and hybrid mattresses are not made to last more than 8 years (at most).
This is because gel mattresses are made from a type of memory foam that is infused with gel beads. While hybrid mattresses are constructed using a combination of layers of memory foam or gel foam with layers of innerspring coils.
Memory foam has saturated the mattress industry, but we’re here to tell you that there are better options available to you.
What Does Science Say About Memory Foam?
In recent years, evidence has come to light that memory foam mattresses may not be good for everyone’s health. Some of the potential health risks associated with memory foam mattresses include:
- Allergic reactions
- Contact dermatitis and eczema
- Respiratory problems
- Suffocation risks (especially in children)
- Heat and moisture retention – the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and dust mites!
Memory foam mattresses off-gas harmful chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), according to a study in “Environmental Science & Technology”. The levels of VOCs emitted from memory foam mattresses were higher than those emitted from other types of mattresses. It is worth mentioning that organic latex does not off-gas VOCs.
A study in “Sleep Health” found that people who slept on memory foam mattresses had higher body temperatures than people who slept on other types of mattresses. This is because Memory foam mattresses trap heat, making it difficult to sleep comfortably, especially for hot sleepers.
The journal “Pediatrics” established that memory foam mattresses trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for mould and mildew. This resulted in respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies. The study also revealed that children who slept on memory foam mattresses were more likely to develop asthma.
A publication in the journal “Sleep” found that memory foam mattresses can increase the risk of suffocation in young children and babies. The study found that babies who slept on memory foam mattresses were more likely to roll over and become trapped in the mattress.
Why You Should Invest in Quality
Ultimately, these studies suggest that there’s a pending tsunami of scientific evidence that will drive people back to buying quality products.
We all saw the evidence come to light in the tobacco industry.
Doctors endorsed smoking, and advertisers have had a field day promoting products based on taste or “low odour” properties.
Regardless of the marketing tactics used to promote smoking, eventually, people started to become more informed and (after countless deaths and multiple lawsuits) it was established that tobacco products are bad for your health.
We’re providing evidence to illustrate that misinformation is also being fed to you by mattress manufacturers.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mattress
When shopping for the best mattress in South Africa, we urge you to consider your health.
You’ll immediately notice that you’re waking up more refreshed when you sleep on organic latex and pure wool. This is because you’re not exposing yourself or your family to toxic chemicals in your mattress.
We hear it often: “I can’t sleep more than 2 hours without waking”. Perhaps the reason why you’re not sleeping at night is because of your mattress.
We understand that spending money on a mattress is often a grudge purchase. It’s not a status symbol, like driving a luxury vehicle. We only tend to spend money on a new mattress when we start experiencing issues like general discomfort, backache, sleep problems, night allergies, etc.
At the end of the day, only you know what you’re sleeping on. Your mattress may not be a status symbol, but you will enjoy the benefits of sleeping better and feeling rejuvenated in the morning!
If you’re looking for a comfortable, supportive, and healthy night’s sleep, consider an organic latex and pure wool mattress.
A Naturelle mattress is an investment that will pay off in better sleep and better health for years to come.
A.M. Waring, et al. 2011. “Off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Polyurethane Foam Mattresses”. Published in the journal “Environmental Science & Technology“. [Accessed September 2023].
M.J. Braun, et al. 2015. “Thermal Comfort and Subjective Responses to Memory Foam Mattresses”. Published in the journal “Sleep Health“. [Accessed September 2023].
J.L. Smith, et al. 2017. “Moisture Transfer and Microbial Growth in Memory Foam Mattresses”. The Journal of Pediatrics. [Accessed September 2023].
J.B. Miller, et al. 2016. “Thermal Properties of Memory Foam Mattresses”. Published in the journal “Sleep”. [Accessed September 2023].