July 13, 2010

Buying a bed.

{A pretty bed from livingetc.}

I will begin by saying that Rudy and I are both over 6 feet tall. Rudy is 6'5'' and I'm 6'1''. We have been sharing a full sized bed since we got married three years ago. I like to tell people that this was the biggest adjustment for me when it came to being married and living with someone. One wouldn't think that sharing a bed would be that hard for a newly married young twenty-something! But it was!

Now that our baby is almost here (September!!) and we are planning on co-sleeping, I've been thinking a lot about biting the bullet and buying a bigger bed. Combine that with finding some money in a forgotten savings account (about enough to buy a quality mattress), and I'm ready to hit the showrooms!

A couple of nights ago I did an online search of how to shop for a mattress. Buying a new bed is such a big investment that I didn't want to go into a store only to be duped by a smooth sales pitch. I can now say that I am very well equipped with know-how on how to find the perfect bed at a great price. It's all about the "Thanks, but I'm just looking" and the "Wow, that price is pretty high" lines. I've never fancied myself to be much of a haggler (or one at all!), but I also feel that the sales people in the stores are taught to use enticing tactics and greasy sales techniques to sell me a bed at a higher price than it is worth; i.e. not being able to price compare because the exact same mattress is sold at different stores under different names.

Anywho, I got to the end of my research about what to look for, (coil count, coil gauge, firmness etc.), and then got lost lost lost in the world of organic mattresses. And why conventional mattresses are harmful for specifically pregnant women and their babies. Because the flame retardant chemical on all normal beds, PBDE, is absorbed into the body and passed on to the baby through blood as well as breast milk. Great. What expectant mother wants to read this at 11:30pm after a long day?

The next logical step was to research organic mattresses, made out of non-chemical soaked foam and naturally flame retardant wool, right? Wrong. Because organic mattresses cost 4 to 5 times more than what we are able to afford. This sent me into a spiral of angst over how I want to be able to do something right for not only our family, but also our environment (PBDE is also found in the blubber of Orca whales and seals because of dumping), but the cost is completely prohibitive. It just seems like you shouldn't have to be rich in order to make a change in how things work. Maybe just by writing this and raising awareness I am making a difference?

I finally came to the conclusion, after more research, that while we absolutely can't buy an organic mattress we can find a happy middle and buy a conventional one and put an organic wool cover on it which will keep the chemicals from reaching our bodies. Yes, we will be putting money into the hands of those making beds by less honorable means, but we can also contribute in a small way to making a change by buying a cover from an environmentally responsible company.


1 comment:

  1. I had this same dilemma when I was pregnant. I read, however,(in the Organic Baby book that I'm not sure I've given you yet) that after airing out for a while, the off-gassing of the normal beds stops. They suggest buying a normal mattress and letting it sit in the sun outside for a few days to air it out well. I like your idea of a organic cover! So soon! so excited!