How to Detoxify your Home: Part Two

Continuing on my DIY healthy home conversion, part two of the detoxification series is dedicated to the next common  home contenders: mattresses and paint. Who would have ever thought that both mattresses and paint leech out so many harmful chemicals into the air? Until a few months ago, certainly not me.

Mother Jones said it best, “The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic.” After seeing that scary T word, I immediately rabbit holed into what potentially harmful chemicals existed in our super soft plush mattress we’ve had for five years.

I found out that since the mid- to late ’60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam-a petroleum-based material toxic foams, synthetic fabrics, and fire retardant barriers or chemicals. These chemicals can “off-gas”to expose your family to dangerous levels of toxins while they sleep. Off gassing is that “new product smell” we’ve all smelled after getting a new couch, car, anything newly manufactured, etc. Off gassing emits volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation…That immediately got me panicking – all of my life, I’ve slept on a toxic mattress and now my kid is too. Fak.

Even scarier was what I found out about common household paints. A typical bucket of paint contains chemicals, such as benzene, methylene chloride and others, that have been linked to cancer. VOCs are also the components of paint that cause you to develop a headache after painting.  Um holy crap right? Now it makes sense for why professional painters or paint companies  wear masks and don’t advise being “inside” when painting is done. However, after the job is complete and rooms are aired out doesn’t mean that it’s honestly safe to go back to living.

If you really want to get granular on the paint, imagine every varnish, paint, furniture coloring in your home, down to a kids table. I’m pretty sure whoever you bought those items from didn’t use non-toxic paint. We’ve been lucky to find unfinished furniture items like our dining room table, shelves, and our son’s play station (from Ikea) that haven’t used varnish or paint on them. Plus, unfinished items – at least from Ikea are cheaper. Once summer comes, we’ll varnish and paint those items ourselves outside, so we can ensure the toppings used are safe.

That brings me to the results of my research: companies that i’ve found that makes non-toxic mattresses and paints (these are not sponsored (but I sure wish they were)):

Non-Toxic Mattresses Companies:

Avocado Green mattress

Eco Terra (we ended up with this one because it was cheapest for a king-and LOVE it)

Plush Beds


Tuft and Needle


Non-Toxic Paint Brands:



Real Milk Paint

Green Planet Paints

Now mind you, switching to anything healthier is never cheap. Even buying organic food is way more expensive, so if you’re committed to detoxifying, my advice would be to buy new and safer items in waves. I mean who has thousands of dollars laying around? Not this girl. First, we bought our son a new non-toxic baby mattress, then ours. However, that was staying on top of holiday sales and keeping an eye on multiple sites for price comparison. Once we saved up for more items to switch out, we tackles the rugs and next on our list is paints, then new couches. Stay Tuned for Part Three of the Series.

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