OMI Mattresses

by Ms. S on December 10, 2009

Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.

After lengthy conversations about mattresses with two informed retailers (one from ABC Home and one from GreenCradle.com), I felt comfortable that OMI mattresses were my mattress of choice.  Each retailer (one from California and one from NYC) had the highest regards for OMI, in terms of quality, integrity, and dedication to purity.

Since having to purchase a second — OMI — crib mattress  for our summer rental, I have been able to compare it to the “organic” mattress that we purchased from Babies R’ Us immediately after our daughter was born.  To me, I notice a huge difference.  OMI is far superior.  It’s seems much more comfortable and I can see what the comfort would be longer lasting.  The springs of the Babies R’ Us organic mattress poke more.

Organic mattresses are pricer.  The OMI crib mattress was approximately $550 and the Babies R’ Us organic mattress was about $450.

Below are notes I took on the OMI mattresses, when I was trying to figure out whether it was worth spending the higher price on OMI.  I also wrote a Post about what I learned about mattresses and how it led me to OMI (I have no affiliation with OMI and do not benefit from recommending them).

  • No Synthetic Materials. Unlike other mattress companies claiming to be organic or all-natural, OMI uses no synthetic materials, such as Kevlar or Tyvek, (manufactured by huge chemical companies). Companies may secretly used such materials while claiming to make 100% organic mattresses (and unless the consumer knows what to ask for, he will never be told about these components by these companies). Our mattresses also contain no blue plastic mesh like you would find if you autopsied some of the mattresses on the market claiming to be organic, including in baby mattresses.
  • The rubber in our mattresses is 100% natural, and is never blended with synthetic rubber, another trick used in so-called organic mattresses to make them cheaper. Our mattresses contain high grade certified organic cotton, meaning cotton grown without toxic pesticide chemicals and not treated with harmful VOC chemicals, such as formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Unlike other so-called organic mattresses, no green cotton, conventionally-grown cotton, or synthetic fabrics like rayon are used in our mattresses (green cotton means grown with chemicals, as only ‘organic’ cotton satisfies USDA federal law). OMI uses no petroleum or petro-chemicals, which are not only non-renewable resources, but also toxic and known to contain carcinogenic impurities from production. Nearly every mattress on the market today is made from the dirty petroleum leftover from gasoline production – ours is not.
  • Talalay Rubber:
    OMI’s natural rubber mattresses are made entirely out of the finest Talalay rubber, and not Dunlop rubber. The Talalay rubber is tapped like a maple syrup from rubber trees, which are sustainably grown. In fact, the Talalay rubber is biodegradable and made from renewable natural resources, meaning rubber trees.
    Talalay is a superior process for making natural rubber mattresses, and requires a sophisticated, six step eco-friendly process that distinguishes it from the less sophisticated Dunlop process. In the Talalay process the rubber is poured into a mold and the air is then vacuum-extracted out to create a consistent, even structure to the mattress core. The rubber is then flash frozen, CO2 is used to turn it into a gel, and it is then heated. The mattress is then washed several times to insure its purity, before being dried. Vacuuming out the air pockets in the Talalay process makes for a more even, consistent surface.
    Dunlop rubber is a less expensive process that does not extract air bubbles and thus lacks the evenness and consistency of a Talalay rubber. Dunlop rubber is exclusively manufactured abroad in foreign factories. Only Talalay rubber is made in the United States. The Dunlop process is also known to typically use sodium silicofluoride, a highly toxic chemical, as a geling agent. Talalay rubber mattresses instead are flash frozen and use CO2.
    Because of the vacuum extraction, Talalay rubber has a much lower compression rate than Dunlop, which means the Dunlop mattress is actually more apt to sag. OMI’s Talalay only compresses about 3% in 7 years. Dunlop’s compression rates are many times higher, between 129%-279% more compression, which means a Dunlop mattress is considerably more likely to leave a body impression over time. Talalay rubber is also more twice to three times more durable than Dunlop.
The Benefits of Natural Rubber:
1) Naturally Hypoallergenic: Organic Rubber Mattresses are naturally mold, mildew, bacteria and dust-mite resistant. The mattresses are, thus, naturally hypoallergenic for allergy sufferers, including those with asthma, eczema and multiple chemical sensitivities.
2) Fewer Pressure Points: Natural rubber mattresses also create fewer pressure points than either innerspring or conventional memory-foam mattresses. Natural rubber mattresses have been found to provide 30% more pressure relief than synthetic memory foam. Pressure points cut off blood circulation and thus interrupt the vital flow of oxygen to your legs, arms and head, leading to discomfort and restlessness that may cause you to be unable to sleep soundly and comfortably. Less pressure points can mean a deeper, more refreshing sleep, and less pains in the spine and back in the morning.
3) Contours to the Body: Natural rubber also is unique in that it contours to the body immediately, and, thus, you don’t need to wait for body heat to melt the mattress and conform to your shape, like you would with a synthetic memory-foam mattress. Memory foam is made from the leftovers from gasoline production, a non-renewable resource. Natural rubber is renewable. Tests have shown that memory foam can have the highest VOC chemical content of any mattress on the market. Paradoxically, memory foam mattresses can be the most expensive mattresses to purchase, while also carrying the greatest load of toxic chemicals.
4) Reduced Motion Transfer: Natural rubber also reduces motion transfer so sleepers are less likely to be disturbed by their partners – this means that a person moving on one side of the bed is less apt to bother someone peacefully sleeping on the other side.
5) Heat/Breathability: Natural rubber is actually 4 times more breathable than polyurethane, memory foam or Dunlop rubber. This means that a Talalay mattress will not absorb as much heat. Many people complain that their mattress is too hot, because synthetic materials, like polyurethane and polyester are actually heat magnets that do not breathe. Air does not circulate in these synthetic mattresses and, thus, a sleeper’s body temperature and discomfort level increase as a result. An uncomfortable sleeper is a bad sleeper. Natural rubber, not to mention organic wool, actually help to regulate body temperature, and thus, decreases the heat in a bed. While people typically think that wool in a bed would seem hot, in fact, wool radiates out heat, and thus actually keeps you cooler and more comfortable year-round. Heart rates have actually been shown to decrease when wool is used in a sleep surface.
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