Frequently Asked Questions:
What about chemicals?
Our mattresses contain no harmful chemicals, no PBDEs, no formaldehyde, no dangerous residues that can be inhaled or absorbed. The textile components of our beds have been thoroughly tested and certified 100% clean and safe by Oekotex, an independent testing agency based in Europe.
Are your mattresses organic?
We feel it is important to not mix up the terms “natural” and “organic”.
Although our mattress cover is made from certified organic cotton we do not advertise our mattresses as being organic because we think this might mislead consumers to assume that the whole mattress is certified organic. When you check out “organic mattresses” ask the question which components exactly are certified organic – you will find that the only certified organic component is the outer cover material with all other materials at best being natural.
Is your latex organic?
To date there is only one small plantation in Sri Lanka that claims organic plantation status. However, it is impossible to make latex foam without additives (soap, sulphur, gelling agents etc.) which in our view would render any originally organic raw material non-organic at the end of the process – comparable to dying organic cotton with some artificial dye and still calling the end product organic. Ergo: organic latex foam does not exist.
We believe that 100% natural latex is superior to latex blends with regards to performance and longevity. It is crucial to buy latex from Oekotex certified manufacturers where the latex production process is tightly controlled and the latex thoroughly washed at the end of the cycle resulting in a pure product that is the best choice for a healthy, chemical-free sleep environment.
Is your latex fumigated?
No. Although we import our latex, it is not fumigated.
Only import containers containing untreated wood (mainly pallets) are subject to this law. Since fumigation is very expensive (think termite treatment of your home) every importer will request their suppliers use widely available heat treated and certified pallets instead.
Is your wool organic?
We buy our wool from Europe where the organic certification standards are stricter compared to the USA. To achieve certified organic wool standard, the sheep’s feed must be organic and therefore strictly controlled. Our wool comes from sheep that roam freely in their natural environment which we feel is preferable. Our wool is processed in Germany with natural methods and when tested for harmful chemicals the results for our natural wool compared to organically certified wool are the same.
How do you make your mattresses flame retardant?
We use pure sheep wool as a natural flame barrier in our mattress cover design to meet the standard. Wool (like any natural hair) burns cool, self extinguishes after a very short period and leaves a char layer that works as a very efficient heat insulator to protect the core from ignition. We do not use any chemical sprays or artificial flame barriers in any of our materials for mattresses or foundations. Wool is very expensive and this is not the most cost-effective, but the most natural and healthiest way to meet the flammability standard.
Our mattresses and mattress sets have been tested by the relevant government approved laboratories and passed the open flame test with a comfortable margin. The relevant information can be found on the law label and the Certification of Compliance issued for each delivery. .
Why don’t you use memory foam?
We believe (based on mainly German Sleep & Ergonomic research) that it is important for the sleeper to be able to move easily and being immediately supported in the new sleeping position. This can only be achieved by a very resilient foam or springs – not memory foam.
Why is the material of your pocketed coils not natural?
There are some natural producers who use cotton for their pocket coil material. Unfortunately cotton has several drawbacks when it comes to functionality, performance and health.
It is not quick drying and makes a crinkly noise when you move in bed and separation of the rows of coils is common because the hot-melt (non-solvent) adhesives have a hard time sticking to cotton (damp or not).
As with everything else in life the right balance has to be struck between natural and functional.
We believe that the earth is better served by a bed that has a long and well-performing life span compared to a 100% natural design where some components are of a lesser functionality and the bed has to be replaced in a much shorter time-span.
Our nonwoven polypropylene is a material that has been developed over 50 years ago and since been widely used for all kinds of everyday applications (food packaging, clothing, carpets, etc. (see Polypropylene for further info). It has been used for pocketed coils for decades and proven to work extremely well.
How about side-to-side bounce?
Not on a mattress from Berkeley Ergonomics. Because of the significantly higher number of compressed coils, the resiliency of the latex, the individual flexible slat suspension system, and the special quilting on the top pad, our mattresses have virtually no motion transfer.
How do I kow this will be right for me?
You don't really. Buying a mattress can be very difficult. It ranks highest in terms of consumer dissatisfaction. The problem is, because people only test a mattress briefly in the store, they don't realize the mattress is poorly designed or made with poor quality materials. Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses not only have superior components and design, but a huge advantage over other mattresses in that you can adjust and readjust them, giving you almost unlimited options after your purchase.
Will this fix my back/shoulder/hip problem?
That's a hard one to answer. Physical problems can have many sources. A bad mattress - bad support - can certainly aggravate a condition. And if you sleep on the right mattress, you may find the problem goes away or lessens. No mattress can be guaranteed as a "cure" for anything. But we do know that our mattresses provide excellent support and comfort.
What about allergies to the latex or the wool?
A very small percentage of people are allergic to latex. Usually they work around latex and directly handle it, such as health workers who developed an allergie to latex surgical gloves.The number of latex proteins found in foam latex is infinitesimal compared to latex gloves. If you don't have a diagnosed allergy to latex, you shouldn't worry about it. In fact, latex rubber usually eases a lot of other more common allergy problems which are due to mold, mildew and house dust mites. As for the light-weight wool in the mattress lining, there's no known allergy specific to wool. And the wool and latex in the mattress never directly contact the skin.
Will this bed sleep "hot"?
No. Synthetics and polyesters do because they don't allow moisture to evaporate; they retain moisture and lock the humidity in. Our mattresses have several elements that guard against that. There is a wool layer and wool is one of the best dissipaters of moisture, keeping sleeping temperatures comfortable. The cotton in the mattress covering also allows moisture to permeate and evaporate instead of trapping it. The pure 100% natural latex foam is constructed with "breathable" air holes to aid in thermal balance and the steel innersprings allow air to circulate while increased airflow beneath the mattress means greater hygiene.