When most Americans are looking for a new mattress, consumers flock to trusted furniture stores to find the right fit. But what many don’t realize is that conventional mattresses often contain dangerous toxins and chemicals.
Bed and Wood was started by husband and wife team, Sid and Padmashree Kamath, in 2016. The Kamath family’s struggle to adjust to the laboratory-made mattresses when they first arrived to the United States from Kerala, India, helped inspire the creation of their company.
“Most Asians sleep on cotton mattresses or a mixture of cotton and other sleeping fibers,” says Kamath. “We experienced significant back issues when using foam-based mattresses that had ingredients that were never present with cotton mattress. The hidden aspect is that cotton is plant based fiber while most of the popularly available mattress fillers, besides latex, are made from petrochemicals or steel.”
Bed and Wood specializes in offering customers organic cotton or natural latex mattresses as an alternative to the foam-based mattresses Kamath describes, which contain toxic materials. Polyurethrane, a chemical compound and common foam mattress ingredient, is a skin and respiratory irritant. And formaldehyde, which is used as a mattress adhesive, has been linked to asthma and lung, nose and throat cancers according to Mother Jones.
Kamath notes that noxious fumes, radiation from springs, and back pain are byproducts of many foam mattresses. To curb exposure to these hazards, Bed and Wood’s organic cotton and natural latex mattresses are made with minimal or no chemical ingredients. Bed and Wood’s organic and latex products have USDA Organic, Global Organic Latex Standard, and Non-GMO Cotton, Latex and Wool certification. If you’re wondering what the difference is between organic and natural latex or cotton, Sid Kamath says they are separated only by how rubber trees are farmed.
“Organic does not mean zero chemicals. It means there are certain additives that can be used and only up to a certain percent. The process for both organic and natural latex is the same once the rubber is tapped. The key difference is the farm and its use of chemicals,” says Kamath.
While Bed and Wood’s offices are located in Oakton, Virginia, its products are made in the Northwest. Kamath says parents looking for natural mattresses for their children, new home movers, and people of Asian cultural backgrounds are some of Bed and Wood’s biggest customers. The Bed and Wood website also features the Mattress Reads blog which aims to educate consumers about natural bedding.
“The vision for the blog resides in the fact that consumers are not just looking for products that suit their needs but also reliable research that goes into an educated decision. We do not need a lot of literature in this modern day barrage of constant media through multiple sources, hence we veer on the side of on the side of quality and not frequency on our blogs,” says Kamath.
The major benefits to a natural or organic mattresses, in addition to the protectors and pillows Bed and Wood also provides, is less exposure to harmful chemicals and increased back and neck support. As human beings continue to spend one-third of our lives sound asleep, making the best mattress choice is essential to our overall health and allows us to rest a bit easier.