Monday, December 5, 2011

A Bed of Sweet (Green) Dreams

I decided earlier this year that it was time for me to invest in my first ever bed purchase. I was still sleeping on my university bed, which was uncomfortable foam and only 3/4 sized (so not even the size of a double!) I kept waking up feeling sore and grumpy and figured it was time I take a big step into being a grown-up at the ripe old age of 30.

The biggest decision I made regarding my bed was that I wanted it to be as green and organic as possible. As we humans spend a huge chunk of our time sleeping (about 1/3 of our lives!), I wanted to minimize any potential off-gassing from the mattress or bedding components. I definitely paid more for taking the green route, but the hopeful pay-off is a longer lasting bed and better sleep.

So here's the parts that make up my bed:

1) A Green Sleep Vimala Mattress and foundation. Mattress research is tedious and confusing. For every good review and testimonial on a certain mattress, I found another bad review and testimonial. The most glowing reviews came for latex, so I decided that was the material I would go with.

I found a Toronto based store called Soma that specializes in "green" sleep products. After trying out every bed there on two separate occasions, I decided the Vimala was the one for me. I liked that I could customize the layers and that the layers could eventually be replaced if needed. The mattress is a cover with individual pieces of latex inside.

I also ordered the matching foundation, as latex needs to breathe properly and also needs proper support.

Green Sleep Mattress and Bed Frame

2) I got a good deal on the Natura Wool Comforter when I ordered the bed. Wool is supposed to be the best year round, breathable substance you can have for a comforter. I have used it for almost a year now and have found it to be the perfect weight in my rather warm condo. I can't say how it would do in a chillier space.
Natura Wool Comforter

3) I decided on the West Elm Organic Matelasse Duvet Cover and Euro Shams as I liked the off white colouring and overall quilted look. It didn't hurt that while the duvet top side is matelasse, the underside is the softest cotton I have ever felt.

I love the weight and quality of this duvet cover. The only downside I have found is that it is very heavy. I have to wash it on its own and it needs quite a bit of dryer or air dry time.

West Elm Matelasse Duvet Cover

4) The next element I added to my bed were latex pillows, specifically the Z by Malouf Pillow (ordered from to our friends in the US). This is probably the least "green" element to go on my bed, even though it is latex. I decided on these pillows due to the outstanding reviews on Amazon, and the fact that I have ongoing neck and back pain.

I ordered a high loft, firm and high loft, plush as I am a side sleeper. I use the plush exclusively as I find the firm pushes my head too high and leaves my neck at an awkward angle. I like these pillows but can't say they have changed my life in the way that some people on Amazon gush about. One warning I would put out there is that they have an initial smell that does go away with time (contrary to my whole no out-gassing philosophy!)
Z by Malouf Latex Pillow

5) My most recent addition to my bed set-up are the Coyuchi Wisteria sheets and pillow cases.  I had looked at these sheets when I initially bought my mattress, but decided they were too much at over $100 for a single fitted sheet. So when they came up on clearance on HomeSav*, I quickly added them to my list of bed elements.

The jury is out on these sheets as I have only slept on them a few times. But, unfortunately, my first impression is that they are rough and not very comfortable (after washing them once). Visually they are attractive, but they don't really have that whole sliding into a comfy bed feel. I will update the review once I have owned them a little longer, but right now all I can say is that I would be annoyed if I had paid the full price on them, and my hunt for comfortable yet green/ organic sheets may yet continue.

Coyuchi Organic Wisteria Sheets
* Homesav is a Canadian flash sale home website, where you can get up to 80% off the retail price. I have been a member for months now but my Coyuchi sheets are the first purchase I have made, and I was very happy with my purchase (beyond the fact I find them scratchy!) The transaction was easy and the sheets arrived quickly. That said, I recommend doing due diligence on every item of interest and making sure the regular retail price is really accurate (so make sure you really are getting items for a good price).

In the interest of full transparency, the link I have posted is a referer link - if you join through that link, HomeSav will give me $15.00 dollars when you make your first purchase, and you will also get $10.00 off your purchase. It's basically a win-win. :)

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