You know, I totally meant to spend some time on this blog writing about my search for a new eco-mattress, a search that I undertook in ... September. But then I got engaged in October, and then the holidays came up not long thereafter, and then I went to India, and pretty soon, it's January and I haven't started that set of posts.
But in a way it's a good thing because we've had ample time to break in our mattress so I can give a really full review on that. First things first, though, so I'm going to tell you a little bit more about our search. I'm not going to go into the specifics in terms of comfort (because that's so personal) but mostly focus on the eco-aspects of the different mattresses.
We are lucky living in the Bay Area, so we had a LOT of options for eco-mattress stores. No need to wander Mattress Discounters in search of their ONE eco-mattress. If you don't live in the Bay Area, finding a mattress might be slightly harder, but luckily, almost all of the places we looked at deliver, and they usually have a fairly decent return policy.
One of the first places we ended up looking was Keetsa. Keetsa came at the recommendation of a friend and their store is located not too far away in San Francisco itself. Though they have one full latex mattress, they are mostly known for their wide range of memory foam mattresses. (You may know memory foam by the brand name Tempur-pedic. Tempur-pedic mattresses are probably the most well known memory foam mattresses, but they aren't the only kind out there.)
Here is the good about Keetsa: their mattresses are reasonably affordable as far as eco-mattresses go. And while most memory foam mattresses often off-gas toxic levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Keetsa ran a test that shows that their mattresses do not emit VOCs, and they put that test up on their website.
Most memory foam mattresses are made with 100% petroleum, but Keetsa substitute 20% of the petroleum in their mattresses with castor bean oil. And -this is kind of fun- they stick their mattresses in a box so that you can fit your mattress in the back of your car saving time, energy, money, etc.
BUT, their memory foam mattresses are still 80% petroleum. And while they say they don't emit VOCs (and put up a test to prove it) I wasn't entirely convinced. Ideally, I'd like to see a third party independently conduct a test and see what they say.
The other thing that was slightly hilarious was how all the other green mattress stores really, really dislike Keetsa. When we went to one store, the proprietor told us that he had a mattress that came in a box and I immediately exclaimed, "Oh! Like Keetsa!" and he went really quiet and it was really clear that he did NOT LIKE the comparison at all because his eco-mattress was NOTHING like Keetsa even if it did come in a box. In another instance, a saleswoman basically cautioned us against green-washing and then said, "I mean they're affordable, but they only substitute 20% of the petroleum in their mattresses."
Which is fair enough. Keetsa is not a perfect option, but we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. They produce reasonably affordable mattresses, I do believe they strive to be as Earth-friendly as possible, and their mattresses appear not to emit VOCs. And according to Yelp, a lot of people find their mattresses really comfortable. Plus, you do always have the option of buying their natural latex mattress which is 100% latex and thus has no petroleum nor VOCs.
Ultimately, though, we decided to keep looking. More mattresses coming up later this week....