Mattresses in the Healthy Beginnings Series (aka Healthy Kids Collection) by Yellowsprings, Ohio, bedding company Design Sleep, are conceived and designed to provide "Chemically Safe Beds for EVERYONE" from birth into adulthood. The range of models in this series covers babies, toddlers, children and youth (adolescents). Models in this organic mattress series include Healthy Baby, Healthy Toddler (Euro Toddler), Healthy Kids (Euro Kids), Healthy Latex, and Healthy Youth.
How do they do this? For starters, in meeting the requirements of the 2007 Federal law 16 CFR Part 1633, the standards for flammability in bedding and mattresses, the "open flame" test. Most manufacturers began using polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) as a fire retardant. It works, but the chemical itself is hazardous, contributing to many health problems, especially for developing children. For this reason, Canada does not have the same level of fire safety standards.
Instead of chemicals, several manufacturers are trying other methods of flame resistance, such as graphite flakes in foams and linings, modifed rayon infused with silica, and compressed wool batting. In all of their mattresses, Design Sleep uses tightly felted Merino wool. This is organic wool, shorn from sheep which have not been dipped in chemicals.
Being organic extends to processing the wool. Design Sleep says, "Our German-sourced wool is certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, a strict set of European environmental guidelines. And our supplier uses a natural soda bath washing process to achieve the cleanest wool." Residual soda in the wool would make it more flame resistant.
Healthy Beginnings mattresses also use 100% natural latex for cushioning. Made from natural rubber tree sap, this latex foam, processed in Holland, has no synthetic latex and no silica fillers. Washing latex after curing removes any remaining rubber sap proteins. Since these proteins are what trigger latex allergies, this washing makes the latex foam hypo-allergenic. Latex is also naturally resistant to molds and bacteria as well as to dust mites (carriers of allergens).
Latex foam (also known as foam rubber) is resilient. It is self-comforming to the shape of the user, for even support with no excess pressure on larger body parts. Naturally breathable, this latex foam is also perforated for greater ventilation to control moisture and temperature.
The support systems vary by model. Healthy Baby mattresses have a support core of coir; Healthy Toddlers, Healthy Kids and Healthy Youth are innerspring mattresses with parallel pocket coils; Healthy Latex has natural latex support. All models have organic cotton knit covers with Merino wool linings. The Toddlers and Kids mattresses can be upgraded to the next level with a topper.
The Healthy Baby crib mattress (27½"x52"x4½") is made of coir, coconut husk fibers in natural Talalay latex. The structure of the coir allows air to flow through, making it breathable. Coir is firm enough for needed support for the baby's skeleton. Also, this firmness does not let the baby's face be buried in the mattress. Its breathability keeps the mattress dry and not too warm.
The coir core is padded on both sides with thick layers of organic wool for cushioning. And the organic cotton cover is quilted to organic wool felt lining. A second cover of organic cotton is removable for cleaning.
Healthy Baby mattresses can be ordered online from any place in the United States. Design Sleep says, "Great News: We can ship anywhere in the US for $100."
The Healthy Toddler mattress is billed as "an affordable, healthy, safe choice for your child." It is available in Twin and Twin XL sizes. The Healthy Toddler mattress combines wool padding and latex foam with German-made pocket coils in a stretch-knit organic cotton cover.
The main support in the Healthy Toddler mattress is parallel pocket coils (parallel refers to the mthod of making and connecting the pockets). With 480 coils in Twin size, their independent response provides even support for the growing toddler. When the child has grown more, the mattress can be upgraded with a Design Sleep topper.
Like the Healthy Toddler, a Healthy Kids mattress has 480 German parallel pocket coils in Twin size. A 1" layer of natural latex foam tops the coils for cushioning. To this are added two layers of Merino wool. At least one of these wool layers is quilted to the organic cotton cover. It is also available in Twin XL.
Mike Kovelesky, owner of Design Sleep, calls this mattress his favorite.
The Healthy Latex model of Design Sleep's Healthy Beginnings Series is a two-sided latex mattress. Two 2" layers of all-natural latex are topped by a 1" layer. Each layer is pierced by hundreds of air channels for ventilation to cool the mattress and keep it dry.
On either side of this mattress is a ¾" organic Merino wool layer. The breathable wool adds cushioning, temperature moderation, and moisture wicking.
Like the Healthy Toddler, Healthy Kids can be upgraded with a topper. It is available in Twin and Twin XL sizes.
The Healthy Youth mattress was designed to serve youth through their teen years into early adulthood. It is available in four sizes: Twin, Full, Queen and King. In this time of a young person's life, a mattress has to be cushiony enough for the lightweight pre-teen/new teen, and supportive enough for the huskier young adult.
With 880 coils in Queen size, the coil density is greater in the Healthy Youth mattress than in the "younger" mattresses (480 in Twin).* With enough support for the heavier body, the German parallel pocket coils evenly distribute support for the whole body to relieve pressure and hold the spine in place.
* Queen (60x80)/Twin (39x75) = 1.64; 880/480 = 1.83.
A 2" layer of ventilated natural latex foam tops the parallel coil support core in the Healthy Youth model, followed by an organic Merino wool lining and an organic cotton cover.
The Healthy Baby mattress fits into a crib, which serves as its foundation. All the others are paired with European wood slat (ESW) bases. The firmnesses of these bases are adjustable by zone, so that the support of the slatted foundation can be customized for both size and proportions of the young person's body. As the child grows, so does the distance between shoulders and hips. With the ESW, the shape of the support can grow with the child, then the teen.
Healthy Beginning Series mattresses are covered by Design Sleep's 10-year warranty. Like all Design Sleep mattresses, they can be ordered online.
Design Sleep Healthy Beginnings Series (Healthy Kids Collection)
Design Sleep, 108 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, OH, 45387, United States, 937.767.7567, inio@DesignSleep.com
Coir, latex and innerspring
Coir and wool in Healthy Baby crib mattress. parallel pocket coils in Healthy Toddler, Kids and Youth models, latex foam in Healthy Latex model
Provided by the support core
Organic cotton quilted to wool
varies by model
European wood slats
All organic and natural, no chemicals or synthetics
Design Sleep will re-adjust the mattress and foundation
10 year warranty
U.S.A. with European materials
Keep in sanitary condition, and provide proper foundation