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Organic Mattress under $1000

THE single most common question I get is “What is the safest organic mattress?”.  That is an excellent question but it also carries a hefty price tag of at least $3,000.  If a mattress you are considering costs less, there is probably a reason.  Some or several components are either toxic, known to off-gas or are soaked in carcinogenic flame retardants.  To read why conventional mattresses are toxic and an incredibly budget friendly solution for an inexpensive, solid wood crib bed frame and an all organic crib mattress and/or toddler bed, click here!

A cheap, budget friendly twin/queen/king size certified organic mattress for under $1,000?  It simply does not exist in the marketplace.  However, if you get creative, my process can be repeated for a twin size bed and even an adult size bed with slight modifications.

$600 Twin size organic latex mattress

OR

$800 Queen or King size organic latex mattress

The reality is, kids like to snuggle with mom, so the adult bed should probably also be organic and non-toxic!

 This is the ‘interior’ of the $3,799 Savvy Rest Serenity king size mattress that I have in my home, it consists of a cotton/wool ‘case’ with a zipper closure and three layers of latex:

how to make cheap certified organic latex mattress

That is a hefty price tag but true quality products cost a lot of money.  When the budget is tight, we often have to think outside the box.  I recently needed a temporary organic crib bed frame and a mattress for an extended trip but did not want to compromise on the safety.  So I came up with an an incredible alternative – $229 untreated, solid wood Crib AND an organic latex mattress…   This process can be applied to any size bed.  Sure, it will involve some elbow grease but it is a low price to pay for the unbelievable savings.

A typical latex mattress consists of a cotton/wool “case” that holds three layers of latex slabs.  For a twin or a queen/king bed, you would need at least two layers for the mattress to be comfortable.  You will also most likely need to go to a home improvement store to purchase solid wood, unfinished, untreated planks to be used as a ‘base’ or foundation for the bed frame.  Choose solid wood, not MDF or plywood as those may off-gas formaldehyde or other toxic glues.  These planks need to be 1” – 1.5” apart to allow for ventilation and to offer support for a latex mattress.

We do not use a store-bought foundation for several reasons.  First, a good quality foundation alone will cost at least $900 from a reputable place, however, if you feel a foundation is necessary, consider purchasing this one.  It is a fraction of the cost and is all solid wood (throw out the case that it comes with and invest in a non-toxic bed skirt).  My girlfriend bought this foundation several months ago and it is working just great!  Secondly, having a foundation elevates the mattress to an unsafe height.  My kids come and go from our bed and should they roll off the bed, the distance to the floor without a foundation is much safer.

If you choose to forego the foundation, solid wood planks from a local home improvement store work just fine.  Make sure to get untreated solid wood and leave an inch or so between each plank for ventilation.  We did not bother nailing them down, they do shift slightly only when you place the mattress on top but it is not a problem.

cheap solid wood mattress base for cheap organic latex mattress

The latex slabs are very expensive, an alternative is to use doggie beds to make full size latex labs.  Gasp, doggie beds!?  Yes!  Doggie Beds!

The Savvy Rest doggie beds are made of latex, wrapped in certified organic cotton.  Same materials human mattresses are made with.

The latex is very “rubbery” so it does not slip – if you stack two pieces on top of each other, the top will not slide off.  If it feels ‘naked’ putting the latex slabs onto the wooden planks, consider getting two fitted sheets; place the latex slabs into one of fitted sheets, place a thick blanket on top over the slabs and cover with another fitted sheet.  Viola, a home made mattress case.  If you choose to go organic, the best price on organic sheets is Target’s organic cotton sheets.

Twin

$149 each,  4 Savvy Rest Large Doggie Bed (Formed Latex, Large 37” x 47”) I chose Natural Color

Very sharp scissors

Optional:

Organic Cotton Yarn

Yarn Needle

Unwrap the 4 latex pieces and place on top of the foundation (store-bought or home-made).  Measure, measure measure!  A typical twin size mattress is 38″ by 75″.  There are two options; Place the longer 47″ latex side length-wise (and cut off the extra on the side) or place the longer 47″ latex side height wise (and cut off the extra on the bottom).  I prefer the first option – in this case, you will have 1″ gap on the bottom but it is easily filled by a 1″ cut-off from the discarded latex.  In addition, if you do not use a foundation there may be a much larger gap – depending on how your bed frame is made, although not likely with a twin size bed.

“Try on” the second option, place the longer 47″ latex side height-wise into the frame, you may or may not have a half an inch gap on each side.  If you do not, congratulations, less cutting for you!  If you do, go back to the first option or try to wrap the latex in a blanket and cover with a fitted sheet – this extra fabric may lessen or eliminate the gap.

TWIN SIZE CHEAP ORGANIC LATEX MATTRESS DIAGRAM HOW TO MAKE

Cut the latex to fit and stack on top each other.  I would probably run the organic yarn through the pieces where they come together in the middle so the pieces do not move.  This step may or may not be necessary.  Latex is very ‘rubbery’ and does not move easily; it is up to you to determine if running yarn through it in the middle is necessary.  Do not worry about the sides, even in a store-bought mattress layers are simply placed on top of each other.  The only thing that holds it together is the case.  A fitted sheet would act very similarly.

Throw a blanket on top, cover with a fitted sheet and you have a cheap, twin size certified organic latex mattress under $600!!! Not bad!

Queen

$149 each,  8 Savvy Rest Large Doggie Bed (Formed Latex, Large 37” x 47”) I chose Natural Color

Very sharp scissors

Optional:

Organic Cotton Yarn

Yarn Needle

Unwrap the 8 latex pieces and place on top of the foundation (store-bought or home-made) for a “try-on”.

*If you are using a  home-made “foundation” made out of solid wood planks, you will most likely have a larger gap either by headboard or by the foot board then what is drawn on the diagram.  The diagram is for a typical queen size mattress measuring 60″ by 80″.  If you remove the foundation, you will notice that even with a conventional mattress, the act of removing the foundation and placing the mattress on planks will create a roughly 6″ gap either by headboard or the foot board.  In our case, we chose to push the mattress against the head board and stuff the gap with extra pillows near the foot board of the bed.  The planks are cut longer than necessary and provide support for the pillows.

Measure, measure measure!  A typical queen size mattress is 60″ by 80″.  Place the longer 47″ side of the latex height-wise and make sure the two pieces meet in the middle (where usually nobody sleeps).  Do not be alarmed, this “coming together” of the latex pieces in the middle usually goes unnoticed.  Allow an extra two-three inches on the sides so you “push” the latex pieces together and they are less likely to come apart.  In this case however, I would run some organic yarn through the pieces in the middle to keep them together.

Depending on how your bed frame is made, you may get lucky and may be able to just “tuck” the sides into the bed frame with no cutting involved.  If this arrangement does not work, scroll down to the king size diagram to see if placing the long 47″ latex side length-wise may work better.

QUEEN SIZE CHEAP ORGANIC MATTRESS DIAGRAM HOW TO MAKE

Throw a thick blanket on top, cover with a fitted sheet and you have a cheap $800 fully certified organic queen mattress!

King

$149 each,  8 Savvy Rest Large Doggie Bed (Formed Latex, Large 37” x 47”) I chose Natural Color

Very sharp scissors

Optional:

Organic Cotton Yarn

Yarn Needle

Unwrap the 8 latex pieces and place on top of the foundation (store-bought or home-made) for a “try-on”.

*If you are using a  home-made “foundation” made out of solid wood planks, you will most likely have a larger gap either by headboard or by the foot board then what is drawn on the diagram.  The diagram is for a typical queen size mattress measuring 60″ by 80″.  If you remove the foundation, you will notice that even with a conventional mattress, the act of removing the foundation and placing the mattress on planks will create a roughly 6″ gap either by headboard or the foot board.  In our case, we chose to push the mattress against the head board and stuff the gap with extra pillows near the foot board of the bed.  The planks are cut longer than necessary and provide support for the pillows.

Measure, measure measure!  A typical king size mattress is 76″ by 80″.  There are two options in constructing a king size mattress.  Place the longer 47″ side of the latex height-wise and make sure the two pieces meet in the middle (where usually nobody sleeps).  Do not be alarmed, this “coming together” of the latex pieces usually goes unnoticed – even a true Savvy Rest store-bought latex mattress will have “twin” slabs of latex that are placed next to each other to create a king.  Allow an extra two-three inches on the sides so you “push” the latex pieces together and they are less likely to come apart.  You may consider running some organic yarn through the pieces in the middle to keep them together.  However, give it a try without “sewing” the latex together – we sleep on two slabs of latex pushed next to each other and do not feel the line where they meet at all.

king SIZE CHEAP certified ORGANIC latex MATTRESS DIAGRAM HOW TO MAKE

Throw a thick blanket on top, cover with a fitted sheet and you have a cheap $800 fully certified organic queen/king size mattress!

Bedding

The most budget friendly unbleached bedding I have found: GOTS Organic Cotton Sheets, GOTS Organic Cotton Blankets.  Target’s organic sheets are OK too on the tightest of budgets as well.

Almost no budget?

Nothing can be done to prevent the flame retardants leaching unfortunately.  The only option is to not have them.

A good quality polyethylene mattress cover will protect from off-gassing as mattresses can off-gas for years.  No-Chem Bed Solutions is made of 5.5 mil food grade polyethylene.  Although not tested as the BabeSafe cover for cribs, it may be a good option.  When we travel I take our No-Chem mattress wrap and throw it over the hotel bed.  Cover it with my own sheet and viola, I have a somewhat non-toxic bed for me and my children to sleep on temporarily.  If this was my only option at home, I would buy an organic topper for comfort to go over the plastic wrap.   It does get uncomfortable to sleep on after a while with the constant crinkling.

Another option is polyethylene sheeting available in rolls at home improvement stores, usually in the Paint section.  Choose the 6 mil version.  I will disclose that I have not looked at the quality.  Although it is polyethylene, please contact the manufacturer to see if it is ‘food grade’ and is pure, 100% polyethylene.

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