Is Your Mattress Slowly Killing You?

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Articles, Lifestyle

I'll confess: I'm a total sleep princess.

I am that guy who curls up for a good, solid 8-9 hours of sleep with my sleep mask, my lavender essential oil, my low blue lights and everything else I talk about in my article “The Last Resource You’ll Ever Need To Get Better Sleep, Eliminate Insomnia, Beat Jet Lag and Master The Nap“.

When you consider that you spend 7-9 hours per night sleeping, that's over 2,500 hours per year that you spend on a bed. Your physical, mental and emotional performance is all directly correlated to the quality of that time spent in that bed…

…and a big, big part of that quality is the surface you're sleeping on: your mattress.

Unfortunately, your mattress could not only be acting as a cancer-causing radiation antenna, but can also be chock full of chemicals that disrupt your hormones, can cause insomnia, can destroy your muscles and joints, and can leave you waking up robbed of true, quality, deep sleep. So in this article, you're going to learn how your mattress may slowly be killing you, what you can do about it, and the exact style of mattress I personally sleep on.


Coil-Spring Mattresses and EMF

OK, OK – I do indeed realize that just a moment ago, you may have snickered at my “cancer causing antenna” line. But this article from Scientific American actually explains this phenomenon of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and coil-spring mattresses quite well:

“As we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation. Asleep on these antennas, our bodies are exposed to the amplified electromagnetic radiation for a third of our life spans. As we slumber on a metal coil-spring mattress, a wave of electromagnetic radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body's left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.

In other words, metal spring mattresses and box springs may act as giant in-home EMF antennas – not an appealing thought. But just in case you need more proof, check out this video that shows how a mattress interacts with the earth's magnetic field:

Not only that, but since it's a damp, dark area, the spring system in your mattress acts as an incubator for dust mites, mold and mildew. This is why spring mattresses double their weight after 10 years –  all that dead skin, dust mite, feces particles and dust has to accumulate somewhere, and the springs are the place to do it.Now I'm not suggesting that you go outside and sleep on the dirt, but if you have a choice between a metal coil-spring mattress and plain ol' dirt, the latter would be the way to go.

Fortunately, there are mattress that are not made with coil-springs, and instead use natural padding. More on that later.


Dangerous Chemicals In Your Mattress

As of July 1, 2007, all U.S. mattresses were required to be highly flame retardant, to the extent that they won’t catch on fire if exposed to a blow torch. But this meant that the manufacturers had to begin dousing all their mattresses with highly toxic flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, also known as PBDE.

PBDE, which has been banned in Canada, Europe and several states, accumulates in your body over time, and any of it that you absorb or inhale does not go away, and can instead cause issues such as brain and reproductive damage, decreased sperm quality, thyroid problems and even cancer. Not surprisingly, PBDE-based chemicals are now showing up in breast milk, blood tests and even umbilical-cord blood and livers of fetuses.

But it doesn't stop with PBDE.

Other flame-retardant chemicals currently approved for use in mattresses include:

-Boric acid, a toxic respiratory irritant often used to kill cockroaches

-Antimony, a metal that can be more toxic than mercury (a person sleeping on a chemically treated mattress will absorb .8 mg of antimony every night, an amount that is 27 times more than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is safe!)

-Formaldehyde, a potential carcinogenic

Dr. Doris Rapp, a board-certified environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist with an excellent website devoted to making your home a healthier place to live, sums it up this way:

“They have maybe a cup and a half or two cups of this material on the mattress. They sprinkle it over the top or they put it into some kind of a coating on the mattress. And this can make people very, very ill.”

Just think about it.

You spend multiple hours every night with your face in close proximity to your mattress, breathing in these chemicals. And if your children are anything like mine, they love to jump on your bed, and when that happens, or any other time you bounce on your mattress (heh, I can think of a time when that happens, baby), even more of these toxins can be released into your bedroom environment.


How Your Mattress Destroys Your Body And Performance

It may seem obvious, but it’s extremely important to properly support your spinal column during sleep, and just like there are proper biomechanics for working on your computer or deadlifting, there are proper biomechanics you must consider while sleeping.

The human body carries more weight in the hip and torso area, so this part of the body must be gently “pushed up” into alignment as you sleep. If your sleep surface doesn’t do this, it can become a major contributor to low back problems and poor movement patterns during the day while you're awake. So yes, this means poor alignment while you sleep can make you a crappy mover during your lunchtime run.

Unfortunately, the modern mattress has moved away from the mechanics of proper alignment support. The mattress your grandparents might have slept on was probably made of steel springs (which can push the hips up into alignment) and some cotton batting for cushioning of the hips and shoulders. These mattresses supported the body well and typically lasted a good 25 years.

But eventually, mattresses began to evolve. Beginning with the waterbed, and then moving on to the use of synthetic foams as a replacement for cotton (most of these poorly made synthetic foam mattresses lose their support in just a few short years) and in some cases elimination of a spring set altogether (good for EMF, bad for your body), there is nothing in most of these newfangled, modern mattresses to push your hips up into alignment to be level with your shoulders, so your hips “sag” and create tension on your low back as you sleep.

And that's not all – improper sleep biomechanics from most fancy foam mattresses, most water beds, and most modern spring mattresses affect pressure distribution during sleep, which is a huge issue too.

sleeping-pills-god-or-bad1Here's why…

…as you sleep, your body has a built-in defense mechanism to automatically move when pressure reaches a point where it cuts off the circulation you need. This is exactly why you toss and turn. Moving as you sleep relieves the pressure that can build up fro a bad mattress or a poor sleeping position to do things like prevent injuries, dead nerves and ulcers forming.

Unfortunately, when you toss and turn, you can instantly rip yourself out of deep sleep phases such as Stage 3 or Stage 4 sleep and shift into Stage 1 or 2 sleep (read more about sleep stages here). So this movement during sleep is more than simply a biomechanics or a comfort issue – it is literally fragmenting your sleep, lowering your sleep efficiency and robbing you of your ability to achieve the amount of sleep time necessary for nervous system repair, memory consolidation and immune system regeneration.

Unfortunately, even many of today’s nicer, more expensive mattresses use synthetic foams start off very supportive, but then degrade rapidly with use. So a mattress that supports and comforts you properly for a couple of years can quickly become a major contributor to poor sleep, improper back support, poor physical performance and daily pain.


3 Things To Look For In Your Mattress

So lets summarize what we've learned so far: we now know that if you're serious about nervous system and muscle repair, regulation of appetite hormones, deep sleep, and ideal physical and mental performance, then you need to look for three things on the sleeping surface that you're going to spend up to a third of your life on:

1) No crap-storing, EMF-producing springs, but the same biomechanical support as those old, steel-spring mattresses;

2) Organic, non-toxic materials that don't build up chemicals in you and your family's body;

3) The ability to last more than just a small handful of years before you have to throw it out and buy a new one;

In other words, you need an organic, non-spring mattresses that has a a bulletproof durable foam.


What's An Organic Mattress?

Yes, I said organic. Not that you're going to eat your mattress, but you still get some pretty massive health points if you own an organic mattress. So what exactly is an organic mattress?

It gets a bit complicated, so stick with me here.

organic-fabric-industryWhen it comes to mattresses, if you see the word “organic”, it always means certified organic, which indicates the mattress has been certified by a third party. If a mattress company is going to call their mattress organic, it must be certified by an some kind of a third party organization which certifies products to be organic. An agency called “Control Union” is the only company that actually certifies latex – the main component of foam in most modern mattresses – as organic under the Global Organic Latex Standards (or GOLS for short).

In contrast, terms such as “eco-friendly”, “environmentally friendly”, and “natural” are just nice-sounding claims, but don't mean a mattress is actually organic.

Now here's something important to understand: 100% organic mattresses simply do not exist. In reality, any mattress company claiming to have organic mattresses actually contains a mix of both organic materials and other natural components in their mattresses. However, a certified organic mattress does indeed actually mean that at least 95% of the latex used in that mattress is made from certified organic components. But most latex mattresses on the market are simply not organic because they're A) not certified organic and B) they don't meet those 95% standards.

For example, natural latex foam is a component you’ll typically find in many “healthy” mattresses. But given the cost, most companies include very little of the certified organic latex. For example, just 1 inch of the total 8 inches of a most natural latex mattresses is actually GOLS certified organic latex. That's a pretty small fraction – kind of like having an organic apple orchard, with just 1/8 of the trees actually being truly organic.

In addition to organic latex, organic cotton is also found in most organic mattresses. That means the cotton has been grown without synthetic chemicals like fertilizers or pesticides and is not genetically modified in any way. Unbleached organic cotton is even better than plain old organic cotton, since this ensures no harsh bleaches have been used on the cotton.

Finally, organic wool is another component you'll find in most organic mattresses. That's not necessarily a good thing though. There are both pros and cons to organic wool use.

-Pros – Wool is great at wicking away moisture and helping to you keep cool, since it contains a natural wax called lanolin, which is the greasy yellow wax produced by sheep which keeps their hairs dry and soft through harsh weather.

-Cons – Wool is an animal fiber, and that means a high-maintenance mattress. Wool, like any animal fiber, needs to be washed at least once a year. Many people are also allergic to wool, and you may also be amazed to find out what sheep goes through to actually get enough wool for a mattress. However, finding an organic mattress that doesn't contain wool is difficult.

In most cases, the cons out weight the pros when it comes to wool on your mattress.

So ultimately, most organic mattresses are made from non-organic latex foam as a support layer, and then topped with organic wool to soften the mattress up, and finally wrapped in organic cotton. For the reasons you've just learned, all this organic mumbo-jumbo does not necessarily mean an organic mattress is a safe, non-toxic mattress to sleep on, and you still have to be a little inquisitive when shopping for an organic mattress.

For example:

-Always ask if each component is as close to 100% natural as possible (remember: 100% natural doesn't really exist);

-Always ask whoever is selling you the mattress to explain each and every layer, especially if it's an organic toddler or organic crib mattress for your kid;

-Always ask what binds these layers together – specifically with regards to what type of glue or binding agent was used. You'd be surprised at the chemicals that can wind up in that too.

If your friendly mattress sales-person stumbles when answering any of these questions or cannot back up their claims with supporting documents, then run away fast.


The Problem With Organic Mattresses

Unfortunately, even if you do find a true certified organic mattress that doesn't have wool, glue chemicals, or synthetic latex, organic mattresses are still not known for their comfort. They're generally extremely firm and hard, and can leave you feeling like you slept on a slab of concrete all night. Waking up feeling like you slept on hard ground may feel ancestral, but if you do somehow manage to fall asleep, it can also leave you with significant joint pain the rest of the day, not to mention waking up frequently during the night with numb hands or legs, or simply tossing and turning like a zombie with insomnia.

Enter memory foam.

classic-8-imageDuring the 1970’s, memory foam material was developed for NASA to provide relief for astronauts undergoing gravity forces. Memory foam is a soft and heat sensitive material made from polyurethane – with some additives to increase its density. Memory foam regains (or “remember”) its normal shape when pressure is no longer applied. Today, it is the most popular segment in the mattress industry.

Memory foam mattresses are made of higher-density foams. This type of foam is more expensive, but provides excellent body support. Memory foam mattresses have the ability to form to your body, and this significantly reduces pressure points, improves blood circulation and provides an overall superior sleep.

Memory foam is sensitive to body temperature and molds itself to support all your body contours, it redistributes your body weight evenly and provides support to your neck, back, shoulders, knees and legs, and it improves circulation and reduces spinal pressure.

But just like all organic mattresses are not created equal, all memory foam mattresses are also not created equal.

Here are a few important things you need to know before buying a memory foam mattress:

-Many mattress companies boast a 5 pound memory foam but fail to specify that this dense foam only makes up the 1st inch of the mattress. The following layers are weak 2 or 3 pound density memory foams.

-mmHg is the unit of measurement used in determining a mattresses reaction against pressure. Blood circulation becomes an issue at roughly 30mmHg or more. According to the healthcare industry, a standard of 32mmHg or lower is considered pressure relieving. More pressure relief means less press points, which means less tossing and turning during the night. A low mmHg means better blood circulation, but this can be difficult or expensive for a mattress company to achieve.

-Many mattress companies inaccurately claim that their products are Made in Canada or Made in USA. But in reality, to cut costs, mattress components are actually imported from foreign countries and then assembled in Canada or the USA. However, tests are rarely performed on the imported mattress components, and there is absolutely no way of knowing which chemicals are used in the mattress composition. Any harsh chemical odors are masked prior to product exportation with industrial perfumes (or even green tea extracts – crazy, eh?)

-Most memory foam is a synthetic material, and traps in body heat similar to the way nylon and polyester fabrics do. Sleeping hot or heat discomfort, as well as chemical odors are the main complaints among memory foam mattress owners. This is all due to the chemical composition of synthetic memory foam. Regular memory foam, also known as visco-elastic memory foam or visco foam, is made with petroleum based chemicals.

So if you're going to go for a memory foam mattress, which I highly recommend, you want a memory foam with a good density through all layers of the mattress, a low mmHG, no imported ingredients and all-natural compounds.

Let's sum things up again. At this point, we know that you want a mattress with:

1) No springs, but the same support as those old, steel-spring mattresses;

2) Organic, non-toxic materials that don't build up chemicals in you and your family's body;

3) The ability to last more than just a small handful of years;

4) Certified organic latex, and organic cotton, but preferably not wool;

5) Natural memory foam – not synthetic memory foam.

Satisfy those five criteria, and you're guaranteed to sleep in comfort forever.


The Best Natural, Organic Mattress

OK, so now we get to the moment of truth: is there actually a durable, certified organic non-toxic mattress with no springs, no wool, organic cotton and natural memory foam?

Indeed, there is.

It's made by a company called “Essentia“, and I'm happy to say that I now own one.

And yes, in case you were wondering, it really is like sleeping on a soft, pillowy cloud of comfort. It is about as close as one can get to a nightly nirvana.

Essentia was founded by owner Jack Dell’Accio when a family member was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, his doctor made him aware of the amount of harmful toxins in household items, including mattresses. Jack, who came from no scientific background, invested nearly five years of his own time and money researching the mattress industry, and realizing the same thing you now know: mattresses are manufactured with poor quality components, filled with chemically derived foams treated with harsh chemicals and layered together with glue.

Over those years, Jack discovered a way to create a mattress that was toxin-free and healthy so that others wouldn’t have to suffer from health issues like his relative did. His determination finally led him to create, patent and invent a mattress that is handmade in Canada with the world’s only all-natural memory foam, composed of natural latex, plant extracts, essential oils and water.

In other words, Jack figured out how to manufacture the greenest, healthiest and most comfortable night's sleep you'll ever have.

And the ingredients used in this no-spring, no-wool mattress are unlike any you've ever seen, including:

heveaHevea Milk – the milky white “sap” of the rubber tree, collected much like maple tree sap. This milk is processed to make the Essentia natural memory foam, which is known for its durability, support qualities and purity…

Organic Essential Oils – a natural and healthy alternative to man-made oils or petroleum commonly used in other mattresses. Grapefruit seed, cone flower essence and jasmine essence all help achieve proper consistency in the Essentia natural memory foam while providing soothing and rejuvenating properties to your body…

Natural Plant Extracts – as a substitution to harsh toxic chemicals used in conventional memory foam, plant extracts such as hydrolyzed corn help Essentia achieve the proper consistency for their natural memory foam…

Certified Organic Cotton –
Every Essentia mattress is wrapped in 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified unbleached organic cotton, grown without any chemicals, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Rather than using toxic glue, they use a non-toxic adhesive made from liquid latex and acrylic resin to hold their natural memory foam layers together.

Of course, Essentia also has 5 pound density memory foam throughout, an extremely low mmHG (scroll up and read again if you need a reminder about why that's so important for your body and your recovery) and a 20-year warranty on the most durable memory foam on the face of the planet. So basically, you not just get the best sleep ever on an Essentia mattress, but you could probably even eat an Essentia mattress.

These mattresses are also held to the strictest of strict standards. As a matter of fact, here's an extensive list of all the rigorous tests and certifications the Essentia mattresses go through.

The end result is a completely guilt-free, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic sleeping experience unlike any you'll ever experience. You'll roll out of bed feeling ready to conquer the world, with zero pressure points or tossing and turning during the night. 


How To Get An Essentia Mattress Shipped To You

CH+D2Shipping mattresses around the world is no small feat.

But with a little help from UPS, FedEx and Essentia's special “Roll Pack Machine”, it all becomes possible.

See, it takes special machinery to compress, roll and pack some of the heaviest mattresses in the world.

The mattress industry had never compressed a product as dense as the Essentia mattress. However, upgrading compressors, motors and and a gentle re-tool of a custom Italian-made Roll-Pack Machine by Essentia made it possible. What does this kind of roll packing mean for the environment? It means the mattress takes 75% less space in a truck, and uses 75% less packaging. The Essentia boxes are made from 80% post consumer recycled paper as well.

So thanks to this, almost all Essentia products are delivered via UPS or FedEx.

You just visit the Essentia website, choose your mattress size and your mattress is made and shipped right to your door, along with a 20-year warranty, and a 60-Day money back guarantee.

Just go to That's it. Enjoy – and in case you want the same mattress I'm now using, I personally got a King Sized Dormeuse Mattress.



I hope this has really helped you learn why our mattress may be killing you, and what you can do about. It's certainly something to think about as you hit the sack tonight, and decide what kind of sleep you want to get for the rest of your life, and whether you want to experience what a truly powerful night of sleep really feels like.

From Dr. Oz (who recently named Essentia as his #1 product) to Rachael Ray to Anderson Live to Huffiington Post and professional athletes around the world (check out the shocking amount of press Essentia has gotten lately), these mattresses are a clear winner in the natural, organic mattress company. So if you're tired of sleeping on a mattress plagued with toxic glues, chemicals, dust-mites, allergens, bed bugs and a horribly unsupportive sleep surface, then visit the Essentia website, invest in your sleep, your nervous system, your recovery and your performance, and leave any of your questions or comments below!

P.S. After writing this, I learned that Delos – a company pioneering Wellness Real Estate  -recently introduced the Stay Well standard and Stay Well hotel rooms at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. They were on the hunt for a mattress to introduce with the program and did their own testing of many different mattress brands, Essentia included. Most of the testing was done by The Cleveland Clinic as well as The Mayo Clinic and Columbia University Medical Center. Essentia is the only mattress that qualified for the Well Standard and is already being featured in the Stay Well certified rooms at the MGM. But I'd rather have one in my bedroom than go all the way to the MGM.

P.P.S. If you really want performance luxury, Essentia also has an option called “ProCor”, in which they customize your mattress to your individual spinal deviations, muscular tensions and weight distribution. It's literally next level, customized sleep experience with personalized posture support designed to get you into slow-wave sleep (deep sleep) faster and keep you there longer.  Not cheap. But very cool. You have to e-mail them for this option.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

121 thoughts on “Is Your Mattress Slowly Killing You?

  1. Judy says:

    Hey Ben,

    Great Article, I also have a new blog like this.

    But, not having writing skills like you.


  2. skeicher says:

    options on this list, DreamCloud offers a 15-inch luxury hybrid mattress. With latex, memory foam, handcrafted cashmere, tufting, and coil technology, this mattress seems to suit every type of sleeper (scour the reviews, and you’ll see). A CertiPur Certified mattress, it’s backed by an Everlong Warranty, plus a year-long sleep trial. DreamCloud is committed to ensuring your mattress is right for you.

  3. Nik Michel says:

    Hello Ben! I have been following your content for some time and its helped me to live a healthier life, so thank you so much for that! that being said, I have been researching beds for a bit because with the spring mattress I have it causes back pain and tossing and turning. I noticed in one of your videos you had an Intellibed and that seemed like a great option. Do you think it has harmful chemicals or what are your thoughts on the Intellibed?

  4. Kris Hawkins says:

    Looks like the discount code doesn’t work anymore :(

    1. RaduBalan says:

      2021, still can confirm it doesn’t work. So bad because I wanted to buy this.

    2. MihaiLungu says:

      Yes, wanted to buy a model :(

  5. Aggie says:

    We have a bed by Swiss Dream Beds and love it! Highly recommend them!

  6. Julie Minahan says:

    Love to get your opinion on the Intellibed beds. Has there been more research on metal coils in a mattress regarding intensifying EMFs and if the mattress is truly toxic free? Since you starting endorsing Intellibed, are these springs different, are they grounded/protected from the EMF’s because of the gel and latax mattress surrounding the coils/metal? I Worried about the coils and toxicity. Its a lot of money for in a year or two more research comes out that coils are truly an antenna for EMFs and Intellibeds are bad. Thank you

  7. Taylor says:

    Any updates on the bed springs and emf? You mentioned you have some new info?

  8. Brian Lambert says:

    Is there a good brand of bed sheets?

    1. Krystal says:

      Hi Brian,I bought a bed sheets is good, I remembered it calls Vesgantti, Maybe you could have a try.

  9. Sonia Yageel says:

    You say no coils because of the electromagnetic radiation, some people have steel in their bodies because of certain surgeries that they may have needed.

  10. Jessica says:

    Essentia sounds like a pretty safe bet. One thing that I’d like clarification on: “all-natural memory foam, composed of natural latex, plant extracts, essential oils and water.” It sounds to me like it’s essentially latex rather than true memory foam. This doesn’t bother me, because I like the idea of natural latex, but I just don’t see why it’s being called natural memory foam, unless it’s just for marketing purposes. If it is basically natural latex, I wondered what you thought about Eco Terra. It’s made of latex, but the base part of it is coils. I’d get the feel of natural latex (natural memory foam, if you will), but not have to pay the hefty price tag of solid latex or solid natural memory foam if you want to call it that. The website is in case you aren’t familiar with it. I could probably only afford a hybrid like the Eco Terra, instead of a complete natural memory foam mattress. Darn, I would like to try the Essentia, because natural latex/natural memory foam sounds so good, but it’s just out of my price range ;-).

  11. Reece says:

    Ben, I must thank you. This article teached me a lot about mattress dangerous beyond the obvious ones like potential back pains if the mattress was old or no good – that metal spring mattress and compass thing was amazing and I didn’t know about that. Plus the chemicals in the mattress is something I wouldn’t even think as of something people manufacturing the mattresses could do.

    1. Slater says:

      Ben I am interested in your next article on with the updated research on how the coil spring mattress might be making a return to acceptable options. Can you compare the Essentia to the Intellibed mattress from a health perspective?

      Thanks for your research and great information.

      1. Amanda says:

        I’d love to see a comparison between the intellibed and the essentia as well.

  12. Rob T says:

    I will go ahead and throw Samina into the mix of beds to consider. My wife and I are in the market, and this article and everyone’s comments are very helpful.

  13. Marcus Paul says:

    Bought a Leesa king size, had it taken away after a few days due to constant off gassing, even after leaving it exposed to outdoor air. Tried a Casper- slight improvement over the Leesa, but still lingered, refunded. Still wanting to give memory foam a chance, stepped up to an Essentia Energie Opus after testing some onsite in Santa Monica and spent over $4K. It’s going back- for the same reason- unpleasant chemical off gassing smell- all three had the SAME EXACT SMELL- all too familiar, which tells me there’s a common material used in the memory foam that permeates all of these brands, irrespective of how ‘natural’ and/or organic they claim to be. I’m now convinced no memory foams beds can get around this issue. Even if the smell eventually were to completed fade away (which hasn’t for any of these three we’ve had- all for a minimum of 2 weeks), what other odorless chemicals might still be off gassing over time? It’s enough doubt to keep me from the peace of mind I need when hitting the sack each and every night. Anyone with chemical sensitivities or a strong sense of odors may want to stay away, or if you do, make sure it’s 100% money back guarantee refundable. I really love the feel and support of memory foam, which is why I tried 3 brands.. but not willing to live with the tradeoff, which is a shame.

    1. BCloud says:

      I also had the same experience with Leesa. I wonder how many returns they get! After recommendation from my acupuncturist, I went with Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic. The smell dissipated after a couple days and wasn’t as bad as Leesa because of the tea leaf component, I think? I think they talk about it on their website. Anyway, it’s still not the same as the traditional mattresses that I grew up using but I guess I feel better about using it because of the minimized impact on the environment and less chance of mites, etc etc etc – I’m sure they talk about all the pros on their website too. If you’re researching memory foam mattress options, then definitely include Keetsa on the list. Cheers!

      1. Bren Bramch says:

        You do know the green tea is used only to help dissipate the smell

        Sorry. Just wanted to tell you.

        1. Good to know. Thank you.

    2. Bren Bramch says:

      Marcus, what are you sleeping on now? Ibcannot find anything. My body is dyng when I get up in the morning from our memory foam sagging. Bug after reading the info about all the chemicals used in them, even the pain light he a blessing in disguise since it’s making me get rid of it.

      Reading about could being like radioactive wave antennas and that can cause a whole host of problems including cancer, those are out.

      I have a corn and a latex allergy. Can you believe they actually use corn oil in memory foam? I have seen corn in everything, no kidding . It is in our food, Most of those things you cannot pronounce in the ingredient list that end in Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium, Sodium and Choride. They are made from the different stages of a fermentation (or rotting) process of corn. And usually GMO’d corn. It is in our medicines as fillers, as coatings to help you swallow them better and the capsule may be made purely from corn starch. I used to live corn. But since it has been GMO’d, now I hate the word corn because I cannot avoid it anywhere.

      Corn is increasingly being added to

      more and more severe allergy lists. And it is because tgevsre Genetically altering the DNA content of it so that is no longer the healthy corn that God created as a food source.

      Wonder why someone won’t look into that? Oh, I know why. Because someone is padding their pockets while the consumers are paying the consequences of increases in allergies, increased sensitivities to chemicals and other products, rises in heart disease, diabetes, immune disorders, thyroid disease and cancers, among the top health problems.

      I hope you found a truly healthy mattress, but I doubt you did. These days we seem to be forced to choose the lesser of the evils.

      1. Kelly says:

        My son has a corn allergy and we are all recovering from living in a home with mold. Looking for a safe mattress. There are 6 of us so $$$ matters. Were you able to find anything?

    3. MCSlady says:

      I know the smell you speak of. I have MCS. In 2007, I purchased an organic Dunlop/Talalay latex bed. I thought I had found my bed. Within a month, however, I began having allergic reactions. So, the bed went back. Here’s what I’ve noticed since then.
      Anything that comes from that part of the world (India), has that smell and causes allergic reactions in me. I don’t know what it is, but I won’t be purchasing another latex OR foam mattress anytime soon. Still searching!

  14. JohnnyK says:

    You are all aware that this website is just an advertisement FOR essentia right?!?

    I’ve done my research.

    Also, any company that would use these tactics is not to be trusted or their claims.

    A proper mattress review would give options of other mattress at certain price points even though it may recommend one mattress as the best.

    1. Jeff says:

      Lol yes, Ben Greenfield’s entire website, which includes thousands of well-researched and written articles on countless topics is all a rouse by Essentia to sell mattresses. Good eye.

    2. Bren Bramch says:

      I agree with you JohnnyK.

  15. Angelica says:

    Hi Ben,

    We finally got one of this mattresses! My partner loves it, but I wake up sometimes with lower back pain. I sleep a lot on my back so I am not sure memory foam is the best for my back. Have you done any research as to what mattresses are the best for back sleepers? Should a memory foam mattress still be okay for me? I would really appreciate your advice.

    Thank you so much!


  16. Danen says:

    Hey Ben,

    Great article, very informative. Do you have any knowledge on the Loom and Leaf mattress by Saatva?

    1. I do not, sorry. Can you give me some insight?

  17. Roger in NY says:

    There is no such thing as “green” memory foam. The “green” versions have some plant based components that replace the polyurethane but only some. I think most still use 70-80% oil based chemicals. Certi-pur uh huh. The basically certify that you are laying on top of MOSTLY oil derivatives, but not 100% – Terrific, isn’t it?

    These “eco foams” also continue to use many of the secondary and tertiary chemical stabilizers. It’s all a scam. There is no such thing as “safe” or “eco” memory foam. Look guys, most of these web sites that lay praise on these companies are paid by the mattress companies to quietly advertise. Polyurethane foams and mattress fire retardants will become our generation’s lead paint or asbestos crises.

    If you want to know how to avoid the toxins in all of these (including Essentia and others) follow a few simple rules and stick with the basics as much as possible:

    a) steel coil springs b) untreated cotton c) untreated wool d) untreated pine/other wood frame e) only water based glues f) no chemical fire retardants of any kind

    Latex CAN be okay, but not necessarily. For those that love latex, make sure that you investigate! Dunlop is probably a “safer” process but it is less supple. If you go Talalay, ask which grade of latex they are using. Talalay Global is the manufacturer and they have a bunch of wonky blends PLUS 4 or 5 different grades. The only one that I think is safe from off gassing and the risk of other toxins is their 98% pure classic latex. It is about as good as it gets but it is still only 98% latex sap.. the other 2% is made of chemicals and additives required to form the latex.

    Sleeping is important and breathing in toxins for 7-8 hours/night will do long term damage. The basic innerspring beds are always a little stiff, but you would be shocked at how incredibly comfortable and supportive they are once you put an untreated wool/cotton topper on them, followed by some soft cotton sheets.

    Let me say this one more time, polyurethane foams and mattress fire retardants will become our generation’s lead paint or asbestos. Keep your children away from it and keep yourself away from it too!

    1. Rhett says:

      Roger, you’re generally correct about “green” memory foam mattresses, but not about Essentia. Essentia mattresses contain absolutely no petroleum. They are the most green, hypoallergenic (and comfortable) mattresses on the market. I recently did extensive research before settling on an Essential mattress, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it. (And I have no connection to any mattress company; I’m just an extremely conscientious and satisfied consumer.)

      1. Bren Bramch says:

        But they are made with hydrogenated corn oil, correct? Can you say 100% positively that your corn oil is not from Genetically Modified corn, Ben? And are you willing to back your answer up with infallible proof?

        1. Natural plant extracts, such as the corn oil, are the key ingredients Essentia uses as a substitution to harsh toxic chemicals used in conventional memory foam. These natural plant extracts helps to achieve the proper consistency of our natural memory foam.
          Essentia uses natural corn oil; however, they currently can't track if it is of a non-GMO source. This requires a different 3rd party audit trail that Essentia doesn't participate in.

    2. Christina says:

      If you don’t like memory foam… Are “advanced tempered steel” coils are okay?…

      1. Springs may not be as big an EMF issue as we once thought. I'm working on an article about this soon.

        1. Bren Bramch says:

          Ben did you not just post that they do?

          1. New research changes things… stay tuned

        2. Taylor says:

          Are you still working on this article?

        3. ~L says:

          Did you ever complete the update to this article on EMFs?? If you now feel its “not quite the issue you thought” the responsible reporting & credible thing to do would be AN UPDATE don’t ya think?

    3. Bren Bramch says:

      But which innerspring would you suggest, since it says they become antennas for radioactive FM waves plus they have fire retardents applied and have latex and memory foams in them and some memory foam has corn oil. I give up. Between all those problems and having a corn and a latex allergy, there is no option.

      1. I don't have a specific spring that I recommend at this point… I would just at least ensure that you have an organic, clean, toxin free mattress though.

  18. Jim says:

    What other organic non toxic mattress do you recommmend beside essentia because essentia is out of my budget?

    1. Look up this guy and tell them Ben Greenfield (Erik Schimek's friend) sent you:

      Best regards,
      Tony Kelemen
      Royal-Pedic Mattress Mfg.
      341 N. Robertson Blvd.
      Beverly Hills, Ca. 90211
      (800)487-6925 F(310)278-9596 <a href="” target=”_blank”>

      1. Christina says:

        It has coils though, what makes these ones acceptable?

        Thanks 😁

        1. Springs may not be as big an EMF issue as we once thought. I'm working on an article about this soon.

  19. sandy says:

    the email for [email protected] doesn’t work

  20. Sravanthi says:

    I have got a memory foam mattress which is infused with aloe vera gel, it is more healthy and natural than other mattresses that I have researched. Also, it is also best mattress for back pain.

  21. Deb says:

    How does it compare to the Layla bed?

    1. I've never tried the Layla bed, but I absolutely love this one!

  22. Samu says:

    Hi Ben, do you know any good mattresses on European market that would be comparable to Essentia? Shipping from the States and paying the taxes on top of that woul get very expensive.

    1. Hey Samu, unfortunately there isn't anything like this anywhere.. Essentia's proprietary and patented technology is the only one that scores best in all performance features that combined offers a whole approach to sleeping well. But the good news is, they might be able to offer you a price break that can absorb the costs for shipping and taxes. Please contact [email protected]

      1. Hi Ben,you are not right saying there is anything like Essentia anywhere.

        Do check this Manufacturer called Johann Malle They are based in the Czech Republic and are using nothing else then natural materials.Please have a look at their page.



        1. Ben Greenfield says:

          More deep sleep, better sleep cycles, more well rested and far more comfortable! And yes, I quantify everything with

        2. roni says:

          checked this out and couldn’t read- no english conversion

  23. Jake says:

    Ben, seems like the only problem with the spring loaded mattress is the electromagnetic field and the dead skin (which occumilates throughout years)

    The mattress you mentioned — that is Essentia — requires me to get a loan from the bank since it’s so expensive!

    You write very well. Thanks for your energy.

  24. Joan says:

    Great information.
    However, what if the essentia mattress is not in the budget.
    I have about 600 $ to buy a queen size mattress for a second home.

    Is there another alternative?

    I need to buy 3 beds, minimum.



    1. I'd say save up for one… we spend so much time in bed- we have to make it worth it. Sometimes, and this being one of them, you get what you pay for.

  25. Kristy says:

    My husband is not sure about Essentia mattresses due to the claims by the FTC in 2013 “According to the FTC: “Essentia made unsubstantiated claims that its mattresses do not contain VOCs, are chemical-free, have no chemical off-gassing or odor, and are made from 100 percent natural materials. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Essentia claimed that tests show that its memory foam is free of VOCs and formaldehyde when, in fact, tests do not support these claims.” Can you tell me your thoughts on this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kristy, if you read the comments above this is covered in them. Thanks

  26. TorQueMoD says:

    Essentia is not quite as natural as they claim.…

  27. Teresa says:

    It’s really sad that someone would promote a product like this to people, many of whom suffer with chronic pain and illness and some of whom are elderly or have small children and/ or new born infants.

  28. carolpalmer says:

    Hello Sleeping beauty,

    I too am very particular about sound sleep. This elaborate article gave me new info about the hazards of chemicals in our mattresses. A good sleep is directly proportional to our health and well being. If I am deprived of a sound sleep I would end up being zombie and with mood swings. Daytime sleepiness often interferes with one’s work, driving and social life. People are good at learning new skills if they are well rested. Choosing right mattress holds significance not just in determining our health but also our productivity. I have twin foam mattresses for all my bedrooms which I bought from Surplus Furniture & Mattresses for my new house exactly two years back for my new house. By the grace of God all are in good shape. Every time you are on to buy quality mattress ensure the flammability regulations, chemical levels and the type you are opting for according to your requirement.

    I found few informative articles on how to choose the right mattresses, also check out for the last article which share info on how to buy mattress when you have osteoporosis.

  29. Oneil S says:

    It just shocks me when people make uneducated statements. Wool is in fact resists dust mites and its been in mattresses and bedding for hundreds of years, latex of course resists dust mites as well and the only way that their mattress can make hypoallergenic claims is if their cover was dust mite proof which it is not. Also unless they have manufacturing where rubber tree plantations are all latex made outside of those areas have to be stabilized with ammonia or are blended with petro chemicals. There is a reason why essentia was busted by the FTC for making voc free claims in the past.

  30. Lemay says:

    Im sorry but myessentia does not have a good reputation online,

    Please take the time to read this post on a blog I’ve found and you will see that they have been misleading and making false claims…

  31. Cathy says:

    This is great, thank you. But, doesn’t acrylic have phthalates in it?

    I’m just wondering about the chemicals in the acrylic resin…I always though resins were bad. Also, if anyone has a latex allergy, I would assume the liquid latex is not good for them?

    Lastly, how is the mattress flame retardant? If it’s purely organic, my understanding is you need a script from your doctor, at least in the US.

    I know I will probably need to contact the manufacturer, but figured I’d ask here in case you can give a quicker answer.

    Thanks again!

    1. Essentia mattresses have actually been tested by Dr. Robert G. Hamilton at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his tests show that Essentia mattresses pose no risk to a person with a latex allergy. Moreover, you cannot develop a latex allergy by sleeping on an Essentia. You can read more about the results and the report here:… Also, Essentia uses a kevlar fabric which is one of the very few VOC free fire retardants on the market, the mattresses are not sprayed with chemical fire retardant. This also allows Essentia to keep the products hypo-allergenic, as wool and other natural fibers can serve as nesting grounds for dust mites etc. Essentia can make and ship a mattress without the Kevlar fabric if they have a doctor’s note on file. Hope this helps!

      1. Jamue says:

        Yes that is true. They told me that over the phone. I already had an essentia mattress so the said I can just cut off the Kevlar mesh from the foam which I did very easily. And any future beds can be ordered without it , just get a doctors note saying you have chemical sensitivity

  32. Aundrea says:

    Hi Ben,

    it’s hard to tell which mattresses are certified organic, since a company can sell both organic and not organic mattresses. It would be helpful if Essentia made this information available. Moreover, the material used to make their mattresses looks the same as the material to make all other latex mattresses – sap from the rubber tree plant. Regardless of how you bought your mattress, are you getting kickbacks from the company? this does seem like an ad, especially because you seem to have a negative attitude toward “certified organic” mattresses, whom I’ve been in recent contact with – as I need a certified organic product for health reasons.


  33. Brie says:

    Hi Ben. Thank you for writing this article. My question is if there’s a latex allergy or sensitivity could the latex in the Essentia cause a potential reaction? Again, thank you for writing the article!

    1. Great question! Essentia mattresses have actually been tested by Dr. Robert G. Hamilton at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his tests show that Essentia mattresses pose no risk to a person with a latex allergy. Moreover, you cannot develop a latex allergy by sleeping on an Essentia. You can read more about the results and the report here:…

  34. Nora says:

    Hi Ben,

    Essentia does not have a trundle matess available. Do you have any reccommendations? So it would be be a twin size at around 5 inches in height. Thanks,


    1. They do not make a specific trundle bed and I don’t have any brands that we would be able to recommend. I would imagine if you could find something at 5 inches that is a natural latex it would be your best bet.

  35. CrazyK says:

    Hi Ben,

    I am wondering what model of Essentia mattress is comparable to the Casper mattress…in terms of feel and firmness? Currently we have a Casper which is extremely comfortable but I am looking to switch to something that is less odorous…it has almost been 3 months since we bought the Casper and I can still smell that chemical smell. My husband thinks I’m crazy but the smell is quite strong in my opinion. Anyways…if we are to switch the bed, it needs to be the same as the Casper in order to keep my husband from going nuts…we haven’t had an easy time with finding a new bed we are both happy with. Because you have both beds, you might be the best to help me with this. Greatly appreciated.

    1. YOU get to choose the firmness. We use the most firm model of Essentia mattress. Obviously it's more expensive, but night and day compared to Casper.

  36. Mike says:

    Anytime someone offers a discount code, like the author, they are getting a kickback from the company. Therefore this is not in independent review as some people have said in the comments. This is essentially an ad.

    1. For the record, I bought this mattress with cold, hard cash.

  37. Ryan says:

    Does anyone know how the Casper mattress compares? I see this product everywhere!!!

    1. I own one in my guestroom. You get $50 off at with discount code ben. I like them. Not as stellar as Essentia, but for the price a good deal.

  38. VladislavLuk says:

    I have some back issues and uncomfortable sleep might ruin the whole day for me with the back pain. Does these memory foam mattrasses suit for people with sore back? Really soft matrasses are bad, while it gets better on hard ones (I used a board on my bed to make it harder) but it is still not enough, so I'm looking for any other solutions… I better throw some money on a good mattress once, rather than constantly throwing them for massuers and wasting time taking bath to release the pain…

    1. Yes, I'd highly recommend an Essentia mattress for you. If you call them, they can even walk you through a mattress that is right for you, and include any relevant discount codes from this article!

  39. Ben, Can you please contact me. I would like to talk to you about the mattress that you are promoting. I have some questions.

  40. Kathryn says:

    can Essentia mattresses be used on adjustable bases?

  41. vkareem says:

    Hi Ben, I recently purchased a eco-friendly memory foam mattress and it is not comfortable at all. I am within the sleep trial period. I am a little scared to try another memory foam. Can you take a look at their technology to see what might be the difference vs Essentia.

    thanks in advance

    1. I would suggest just going for Essentia – it's the only one I can vouch for.

    2. Response from Essentia: Off the get go, Amerisleep is assembling an eco-memory foam mattress. This is something that is readily found in most big box stores. Keep in mind an eco-foam is generally still 80% synthetics and is available for most companies to purchase and resell much like Amerisleep. That being said there isn’t much technology on their end compared to the product we offer.

      Essentia has patented natural memory foam as well as our patented molded technology. We produce our natural memory foam at our facility in Quebec. Given the natural and organic nature of the ingredients we use we are able to produce a mattress that far surpasses anything on the market. Think along the lines of features like naturally sleeping cooler, as our mattresses have been proven to be on average about 7 degrees cooler than your body temperature. Overall, the pressure relieving nature of our foam layered with the support of natural latex make our mattress one of the healthiest sleep surfaces.

  42. michaeljframpton says:

    We have a pure coconut fibre mattress with a bamboo cover for our baby… wish I could find a super-king size one! Has anyone seen such a product?

  43. Valdoria says:

    I am looking into replacing my old mattress and want to be sure to get something non-toxic since my work place is rather toxic with formaldehyde and PVC fumes leaching in. I need my home to be super clean since this is my only resting place for safe air.

    I don’t believe the coil and EMF correlation but do want a non toxic solution. However, I do not want to get a memory foam component to my bed. I tossed out a $800 memory foam topper a couple years ago because it made me sick so I definitely don’t want that to be part of my bed. Wool and cotton, well OK I can do that.

    What I am looking at purchasing now is My Green Mattress Pure Echo Organic Cotton Natural Mattress – has anyone had any experience with this?

    1. I have no Valdoria – I can only vouch for Essentia! But maybe someone else can chime in.

  44. mllover says:

    Love your article, thank you! This is the second independent blog post I've found touting Essentia as the best for a comfortable non-toxic sleep. I definitely want one now!

    I am desperately wondering: what do you use as a non-toxic organic mattress protector pad (waterproof)?

    Since there are limited showrooms to try out Essentia beds, did you buy online and happen to like the comfort level? I mean, how can I be sure which model I am going to like?


    1. I don't use one. At all. Just a sheet on the mattress. I believe it is organic cotton. My wife would know better. ;) and Yes, you can buy the Essentia's online after you go lay on them in the store, or you can just choose the firmness you think will work for you if buying online. If you call them on phone they are very helpful.

  45. Tina Lee says:

    Ben, you forgot to mention the fact that the FTC is investigating This mattress for lying to its customers, you also forgot to mention that Memory Foam CAN NOT BE MADE WITHOUT PETROLEUM- also, these mattresses are NOT ORGANIC- you should be ashamed for doing an article about a mattress you know nothing about- they are now being investigated by MANY government agencies.

    1. Hi Tina,

      MyEssentia are not being investigated by anyone that I know of, feel free to send through any info you have on this.

      Some time ago they referred to their products as VOC free since according to expert analysis their mattresses contained ambient VOC’s, meaning no more VOC’s than the room your’re currently sitting in. Since all zero VOC products do contain some VOCs they thought at the time it would be safe to refer to the product as zero VOC. As the FTC had not decided how many VOC's zero-VOC mattresses should have, they now don't want them to refer to the product as zero VOC. You can read more about it on their blog at:….

      At the end of the day I believe they are the most transparent mattress company out there. All of the certifications and actual test results are on their website at: They also have a full list of the ingredients that go in to their mattress on our website as well.

      1. James says:

        Hi Ben, It seems that they are…. here is the FTC website. I wish it weren’t true as I was hopeful reading your article that I’d found the perfect bed.…

        1. Scroll through the comments above. We've already had this discussion earlier.

  46. Fuzzy says:

    HI Ben,

    Great article. Only note i would say here is that it seems like an advert for Essentia. There are good natural beds out there. I would personally use wool over cotton because cotton tends to compress easily over time and has no where the same ability to be a natural moisture wick and temperature regulator. Cotton is a good material but is not a great fill. It is however, less expensive as an organic option to wool. There are pros and cons to both but in performance, wool dominates cotton. That is why wool is used extensively in the out door apparel world.

    There are quite a few bed makers out there and some are good and some are not. More research needs to be done. Essentially more journalists need to get involved and push the industry to get better and healthier by educating consumers. I like the article but Essentia is not the only one out there and more research from you would have exposed that not all the criteria you have here is completely true. It does set up the criteria for some one to buy Essentia.

    Thanks for the great article and keep up the good work.

  47. gottwins2000 says:

    Hi Ben-

    Not sure if you are staying active on these comments since they are a little older…but I am catching up with your podcasts and suggestions and have been inspired to get a new mattress to enhance our “healthier home”.

    I see you now have both a Casper and Essentia in your home. I also see that your preference is Essentia, if we can afford it.

    If we cannot afford it, would you say that the Casper is SAFE to buy for a healthy home?? From all of the reviews, it seems like it will be nice and comfortable, but I am equally concerned about TOXINS that could be disrupters like you mention in your articles.

    I am hoping since you allow it in your fabulous home, you would find the Casper “safe”, but I’d love to know your true thoughts.

    Thanks again for your time!!

    :-) :-)

    1. Casper is safe but not as safe in my opinion. It would be similar to a regular tomato that you wash really well when you get home (Casper). Works on a budget. That would be vs. an organic heirloom tomato for the farmer's market (Essentia). It's a question of how "far" you want to go/spend and if you asked me to buy the best mattress I could find *for the dollar*, I'd say Casper. Best mattress period? Essentia.

  48. DrWesleyK says:

    This is just wrong! People PLEASE use your heads, do your own research before you believe every claim that is opposing to the general rule of thought. How dare this author use fear mongering to perpetuate this garbage.

    The "article" from Scientific American referenced lends absolutely no credence to this claim. The "article" was actually a blog post, not an article in Scientific American nor supported by them. Read SA's disclaimer at the end of the BLOG post. – "The views expressed are those of the author and are not those of Scientific American."

    Radio waves are non-ionizing radiation and DO NOT CAUSE CANCER. You could teach a child the correlation between energy and cancer risk by showing them the electromagnetic spectrum and pointing out where UV, X-Ray, and Gamma lie in comparison to visible light and radio waves.

    In actuality (that's REAL LIFE), your mattrress and box spring are probably more likely to be EMF SHIELDS than they are antennae.

    1. COBRAKAI4EVER says:

      Scientific American is a web owned by another dude with 43,000 transnational corporations tied to him. Yes, this is why movies like Enemy show you a spider or bohemian grove mentions a web you weave. Hell, the internet is like this too. ONE WORLD ORDER. Bavarian/Illuminati/Globalists/the FED/Big oil and weapon manufacturers want you to not believe in this. Call it what you want, it’s a huge ponzi scheme scam. You can’t trust any mainstream site. They’re ENTERTAINING you. Enslaving you where you don’t see the chains still, and yes, fiefs or surfs… cattle.. americans… are hilarious. Stay asleep. This is why they put flouride in the water and there are chemtrails. This is why Rumsfeld was brought back after being let go and put aspartame on the market(in 85 I believe with Reagan)after so many years of doctors and scientists yelling that it was poison. Now suddenly, it’s harmless. Wonder why obesity is so bad in America. We work out more than we did in the 60’s. We diet more. It turns out that too much aspartame causes weight gain, seizures, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and ADD like behavior. Monsanto and his gang also did the round up poison for insects, and yes… splenda was also meant to be an insecticide. Use only Stevia or USA Grade B(not A)maple syrup or raw coconut oil. It’s depopulation folks. Get used to it.

      And with all the money spent to cure cancer… it’s been a long time… why has most the money on research gone to just test on innocent animals. New ways to give it to you. Sorry guy, grow up. Look who runs Snopes, behind the scenes. Look who runs wikipedia. Look who runs 97 percent of the sites. You can find out how much money these sites make, and they still ask for donations. Right. And don’t say that there are no conspiracies. Julius Caesar who was alive 560 years before Christ was victim to one. Napoleon was. Anyone who was really good and spoke up was taken out and branded a monster.

      While the mattress and box springs might actually act as decent EMF shields, they’re still poison and bad for you. AIR MATTRESSES ARE EVEN WORSE. You gotta figure this crap out on your own, and go okay… well, do I want to spend 2 grand for a crappy mattress that’s safe and I hate. Or will not hold up. Do I want to sleep on a bed of nails? The floor? Tatami or whatever(I do this), and girls laugh at me and think I’m insane. It also sucks. More comfortable in certain ways than a huge thick crappy mattress, and I’m healthy and lean and have no back problems. But I never feel like I get any sleep. So… roll the dice. I used to love firm mattresses, but now… I miss the old dangerous ones. Still… it’s all about what you care about. You gotta die of something, and I’d rather it be booze, accidental explosion or getting eaten by a shark.

  49. Elise says:


    What would be the best thing to sleep on if you can’t afford to by an Essentia mattress but are now worried about all of the problems with standard mattresses that you have just read about in this article?

    1. Elise, if you have a read through the comments section here there are some other options. Check out amazon also but just be weary of what's in them.

    2. Hal says:

      Elisa, some Essentia mattress are available in cheap rate, you can check around the web or your nearest store. I also recommended the Essentia mattress as it is the healthiest mattress in the world.

  50. Margo Tiede White says:


    We have purchased our Essentia mattress (it has not come and is on hold until we figure this problem out). The problem: we cannot figure out a suitable NON-TOXIC (w/o FR) “box spring” to go under the mattress and our bed requires one. We do not own a platform bed and after looking into them, they are way too modern to fit in our decor and after the expense of the mattress, we cannot afford to redecorate! Please help! We really would like to buy this Essentia mattress. So….we need a suitable box spring without fire retardant. The Essentia sales associate suggested a “Temporepedic” box spring which would bring all the toxins back into or bedroom.

    Please advise.

    Thank you!


    1. I have found that the best box spring is no box spring at all – Boom!

      1. Also, There are options available for a full wood, organic cotton cover foundation:………

        1. DesCow says:

          It seems that A Happy Planet has closed.

  51. Little_Mama says:

    Which particular mattress do you recommend for children? I'm looking for a mattress for my 2-yr-old, and ideally I would like to get one that would last throughout the childhood/teen years. Is there a particular model of Essential mattress that you think is best for a growing child's spine and overall sleep health?

    I have the Essentia Dormeuse also. We initially got the Classic model, but it was much too firm for us and we exchanged it for the Dormeuse. However, I've frequently wondered if I would actually prefer the softer Energie Opus. I still find myself wanting that more plush feel, to sort of sink into it a bit more. But I haven't been able to go to one of their stores to try it out in person, as I don't live near one. And we weren't keen on returning a mattress again. Did you by any chance get to try out the softer mattresses, and if so, could you describe how they felt, compared to your Dormeuse? I'm wondering *how much* softer they actually feel, and if they still feel supportive.

    Their contoured pillow is much too thick (tall) for me. I'm still in need of a comfortable, non-toxic pillow.

    1. When I was talking to Essentia, we went over some models that would be great for kids as well. They let me know the Tatami and Classic 8 would be great options if you wanted a mattress that your child could easily take into teen years. The Dormeuse was great because it was soft yet offered the contouring support that I was looking for. The Energie Opus is a softer feel in the sense that you sink down in to bed more and don't so much feel the "hug" that the Dormeuse offers.

  52. markuskloving says:

    I know what you mean Ben, I purchased an Organic mattress back in 2001, natural rubber core wrapped in wool and organic cotton. We just got rid of it this year because I would wake up with a back ache every morning. It just didn’t hold up. So I decided to research the memory foam mattresses and found a reasonably priced one by Memory Foam Solutions that is PURGreen Certified and Made in the USA using environmentally friendly processes. Know I know that some of those are just feel good words instead of solid certifications, but I would love to get your feed back on this one as a contender for a mid ranged priced mattress if someone can’t spend 2200 on a new mattress. Thanks for all the great info! Cheers!

    1. Never heard of the company but looked in to it, seems to be available on Amazon.

      Either way, there are a lot of “eco memory foams” out there if you do a quite search of the term on google you’ll see it. “Eco” memory foams are found in practically every mattress store in the US. Generally these foams use between 5% to 20% soy. That mean 80% of the mattress is still the gunky stuff that most people are trying to get away from. I’m thinking that is the case with this particular brand.

  53. Adam Jones says:

    We love our organic cotton, natural latex bed from Flo Beds. ( Pretty cool technology involved. Thanks for the post!

  54. Chuckfeerick says:

    Hey Ben, what firmness of a mattress would you recommend? Kelly Starrett has recommended a softer mattress so I wanted to hear your thoughts!

    1. I personally err towards the softer side – but I still take a nap every day on my extremely hard Biomat. A big part of that is personal preference…

  55. somniumbeds says:

    Ben, great article. We share you philosophies of sleeping on a healthy mattress! Our Somniums have non-metallic elastomer springs, we don’t use harmful chemicals like PBDE (we meet European standards) and our mattresses come with a 10-year warranty. Let us know if you’re interested in doing a review!

  56. Kate says:

    Great info. Thank you, Ben!

    What about pillows?

    1. Same issue. And you can get pillows from MyEssentia…the discount code will work!

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