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What do you sleep on? Mattress Alternatives?

 
pollinator
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Thank you, Joseph. I could make my own then, maybe double layer, so I can just put comforter between layers for easy washing, hopefully it wouldn't slip around much, but I also could attach it with a few hand stitches, which  could take apart for the wash. Did you use upholstery thread or something like that since it has to hold lost of weight?
 
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Joy Oasis wrote:Did you use upholstery thread or something like that since it has to hold lost of weight?



Ha! You graciously over-estimate my sewing skills. Until this moment, I didn't even realize that something like upholstery thread even exists. I used the same generic unidentified thread  that I might use in any other sewing project.
 
Joy Oasis
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And it still holds whole body weight! Then maybe I am overcomplicating the whole thing...
 
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This is just a small thing, but I was really excited to give all of my children a pillow for Christmas this year made with the wool of my sheep. It is kind of like a Don't squeeze the Charmin. They are so comfortable and they are renewable for life.  You can always open them, re= fluff, clean, or add more wool to them. Now to make one for me. Some of my family doesn't sleep with pillows, but they are great to have for supporting the back when sitting and a thousand other reason it seems. ; )
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Joy Oasis wrote:And it still holds whole body weight! Then maybe I am overcomplicating the whole thing...



My hammock has held myself, a lady, and two kids. Perhaps 500 pounds. When I took the recent photo, I noticed a small rip in the fabric near the drawstring, so I mended it. It gets a lot of use.
 
Joy Oasis
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Great. Then I will be keeping my eyes open for some large pieces of the fabric.
 
Joy Oasis
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Liza Stallsmith wrote:This is just a small thing, but I was really excited to give all of my children a pillow for Christmas this year made with the wool of my sheep. It is kind of like a Don't squeeze the Charmin. They are so comfortable and they are renewable for life.  You can always open them, re= fluff, clean, or add more wool to them. Now to make one for me. Some of my family doesn't sleep with pillows, but they are great to have for supporting the back when sitting and a thousand other reason it seems. ; )



Liza, how do you make the pillows? I actually got a comforter with a wool inside, but it is so unbelievably heavy, that it is unpleasant to sleep under it, but it would work to sleep on it, so pillows must work great.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Joy Oasis wrote:Great. Then I will be keeping my eyes open for some large pieces of the fabric.



I got mine at the paint store. It was being sold as a drop-cloth. Much less expensive that way than at the fabric store.
 
Liza Stallsmith
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Joy Oasis, Sorry about not replying sooner. Everyone came home for Christmas and it became a blessed, busy, and confusing time.  I actually didn't make them. I didn't even know a wool pillow existed until I saw, felt, and hugged  one at a fiber show. I sent my wool to  http://www.zwool.com to have them made. Some of my friends were like why don't you make them. I believe that they could be made from wool batting, but knew that it would just be one more thing to get done for me. I tend to never see the end of the list that my family wants me to make them. lol Having someone else do it meant they would actually get it at Christmas! ( This Christmas not two or more yrs in the future. )

Sorry I wasn't much help on the how to end.
 
pollinator
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I have written up a review of my new buckwheat mattress
https://permies.com/t/84606/Open-Eyes-Bedding-DIY-Mattress#832743

So far, after 2 weeks, I'm loving it.
 
pollinator
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Interesting stuff
 
pollinator
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There are a few sites out there (not affiliated with any of them) that have tutorial videos, sell materials, and help you decide (mostly with pros only) if sleeping on a wool pillow is right for you.

Apparently they compress 30% over the first 6 months. You can add more material, or fluff and restuff.

Depending on whether you are a side or back/stomach sleeper they suggested different firmness/thickness.


https://www.satarahome.com/pages/natural-pillows-is-a-wool-pillow-right-for-you


https://www.ceceswool.com/blog/time-to-make-the-pillows/





This is a company that sells felted wool locally sourced, ticking and pillow cases. They also made one or more of the videos.
https://www.diynaturalbedding.com
 
Joy Oasis
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Since I took a photo of the Irene's photo of her garden as my wall hanging, I thought I will share this photo here too, because you can see my hammock sleep setup - I have down comforter hanging underneath, and I also use down comforter on top and sheepskin inside of my hammock. Now I sleep very cozily.
 
Liza Stallsmith
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My pillows are made from batting which would hold is shape much longer and stay nicer then just loose wool. Each to his own way though.
 
pollinator
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We sleep on 4 layers of natural felt. My wife was uncomfortable with it at first, then she became ok with it. After waking up sore in a super cushy mattress at her parents place, she likes our set-up.
 
master pollinator
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Has anyone tried out Open Your Eyes Bedding?

Staff note (Joylynn Hardesty) :

OOOH! Currently, PIE people get 15% off!

 
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Dan Boone wrote:I'd like to make a pitch here for a traditional solution: carefully chosen animal hides.

I grew up up sleeping on an unclipped, untanned (but well dried) caribou hide.  I had a "normal" mattress in the family cabin, but whenever we camped out wild (which was often, and includes a couple of five-month stints at mining camp) I was issued my caribou hide.  It had a distinctive but not unpleasant animal smell not unlike that of a clean dog (tanning would have prevented that) and was exceedingly warm and comfortable; plus, it was thick and cushy enough that even laid over a bed made from unpeeled poles, it was very comfy.  

Caribou of course are notorious for having thick hollow hair.  You might need a stack of cow hides (hair on) to get to the same comfort level.  However I've seen some sheep rugs (typically four tanned sheep backs sheared about an inch long and sewn together) that are every bit as thick and cushy as the caribou.  




Dan, thanks for this post. As a kid, my old man got us a "kaross" each which turns out to have many different meanings and I've never seen another one like it on the internet. It was a blanket made up of rabbit skins we were told, but they were brown, quite hairy and the underneath stitching was scratchy as hell. My old man lied a lot, so I am not sure whats what.

However, the top side of the kaross was very very soft and none of the hair fell out. Made me all nostalgic about it, when I recently started thinking about making a natural house/ bed/ furniture.


Are you in Canada? I am - and your thoughts inspired me to perhaps go on a Caribou hunt in the future. I'd have much to learn about permits and regulations here of course to do so.



Straw Pillow:


My pillow filled with straw is uncomfy due to the stiff stalks. I layered it inside 4 pillowcases, with some jean material and other well used t shirt material, and I like the firmness in one respect,but its still uncomfy.

I am allergic to grass and dust and used this as an additional tool to condition my body to learn that neither are poisons - so just relax! However, my reactions got so bad after 3-4 months of mindful persistence, that I stuck the whole thing in a washing machine a few times. I feel sorry for the machine - the water was like very liquidy brown cake batter in the beginning. I ran it several times till the water was clear and dried it out on the roof of my car in the sun (heat from above and the metal below as a refractory/ radiant source)


MOSS:

Has anyone ever dried out moss for a full sized mattress and used that to sleep on? I am wondering if this could be used to be an obviously natural, renewable mattress solution. One further benefit: the shape would not have to rectangular but anything your heart could dream up.
 
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I spent this morning reading this thread, then went out to weed and spread some wood chips on my paths. I like the cushion on a fresh laid path and it got me to wondering if it could work in combination with other natural materials in layers.
 
Michael Cox
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Has anyone tried out Open Your Eyes Bedding?



Yes, I recently made one of these beds and love it. My wife is less keen. We have compromised with a half and half bed. She has a normal memory foam mattress and I have buckwheat. It needs adjusting each evening before bed (60secs) but I sleep soundly and don’t wake in pain.

I posted a link to a review I did earlier in this thread.
 
steward
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I basically sleep on a plywood platform with a layer of Thai message mat and the thin layer of foam and a sleeping bag for a soft feel(its maybe 1 1/2" thick). I love it. Its like stretching all night :D
Ever since i spent time in Nepal for several months sleeping on a thin cotton made mattress which is about 1 inch thick, i have yet to go back to a normal bed. Often when i am at someones place for the night things like carpet rugs or some people have these 2 inch thick furry? carpet area rugs which are quite comfy.
Needless to say, i will not sleep in a "normal" mattress
This isnt my mattress though it gives you an idea of what i mean by thick furry area rug
Falmouth-Sapphire-Blue-Area-Rug.jpg
[Thumbnail for Falmouth-Sapphire-Blue-Area-Rug.jpg]
Example of thick furry rug which is comfy to sleep on for me
 
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Has anyone tried out Open Your Eyes Bedding?



Is the PIE discount still live? I'm wanting to make these mattresses for my family.
 
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mud bailey wrote:...hefty price tag for 350lbs, which is what we need to fill our two queen size mattresses.


Wow, those would be some hefty -- as in heavy -- mattresses! For several years of our early marriage, my wife and I slept on a double bed I built that used a 4-5" (I can't recall now) slab of firm foam as the mattress, with a covering of unbleached fabric my wife sewed up. If it was toxic, it wasn't enough to keep us from reaching well into our 70s in good health. (We've used store bought foam mattresses following that original one.)
 
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I enjoy sleeping on a king sized cotton, 2-3 inch mattress pad placed on the carpet. I enjoy the freedom to roll around, the support of the ground, and the company of the dogs on it.
 
pollinator
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BuckWheat Pods: anyone looking to going this route should ascertain they are not allergic/sensitive to buckwheat by investing in a pillow first; same goes for most "natural" materials (latex, straw, moss, hide, tree branches etc.) before investing time and energy into a mattress.

Secondly, as mentioned would not bugs be an issue long-term, or even rodents?  

As to the original question: would/could any of the "whole grain" products available at the feed store work? I have made 'rice bags' (microwavable, reusable) heating pads from WHOLE oats: others use rice, corn, wheat or barley. Again, I would go with a pillow first before purchasing a skid lot of grain!

Wool stuffed pods?  Sounds VERY interesting and doable (to me), especially is you HAVE sheep, or access to wool; old wool sweaters, purchased by the pound could easily be felted or 'chopped up' and placed in pods, I would think.

IF going with the pod method I would invest in a scale so that each pod was filled the to exact same weight. Over time you may discover 'zones' that require more or less firmness; starting with a set weight would make the adjustments easier almost a blueprint; 600 gms for head, neck and foot zones, 500 for 'shoulder' zone, 6-700 for mid zone, 400 for hips...you get it (numbers used are not real' just representative of the concept) - one could even write the weight on each bag for easy adjustment.

I see no one has mention SILK! Our ready made, (box store), silk comforters are magnificent, if not pricey ($250 CAN). Incredibly cozy and warm in winter, surprisingly cool in summer, and super light weight!

Not sure if this is an option for a mattress, but...

Do keep in mind, a mattress is only as good as what it rests on. Saggy slats, cold floor, rope, solid wood... All can cause issues if not fully and EVENLY supported, and may be the CAUSE of your choice of mattress failing you. For years I had a mag tire rim topped with 2x2 piece of plywood to deal with 'center sag'.

All mattress bases should also allow for excellent air circulation and easily 'dry' for lack of a better word - a 'damp' bed could mean mold spores and other nastiness!  As mentioned previously, all beds, regardless of type should NOT be 'made' upon rising; the opposite is true. You should pull back the covers for it to 'air out'; you would be amazed at the amount of fluid absorbed by mattresses, sheets and pillows. This is why med professionals recommend REPLACING pillows (or hot water wash/dry IF they can be laundered) EVERY 6mths; the amount of drool and other grossness the pillow absorbs (cased or not) is mind-boggling and explains the higher weight of an old pillow vs an identical 'new' pillow, UGH!

Sadly, sleeping "organic" generally means VERY labour intensive AND costly, so ensure you are using something you may have zero chance of 'sensitivity' or allergy to.

 
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We were kinda looking for something more natural or organic for sleeping. At 2600$+ for a queen its not going to happen. What really put the coffin nails in that idea of the naturalities that it was offering; was that apparently mold is a huge issue...they had some sort natural mat to put under the mattress of course for more.

Not knocking what they had to offer, but we don't have that kind income. That pod bed seems interesting.

I wonder too if sleeping on the floor might be just more beneficial. Not that I want to sleep on the floor where we are now...but there was a time when I think I was in HS when I slept on the floor for awhile. It was better than the bed I was on at the time I guess. I also wonder if having to climb up off the floor wouldn't help keep us more mobile in the long view. The whole use it or lose it mentality.

Why are beds being still so chemically treated? Fire retardant or not, are bed fires that prevalent with non smokers? Am I missing the bigger picture?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Fire retardants in mattresses, what's the deal and what are the alternatives.

"New US Mattress Regulation 16 CFR 1633 Taking Fire Out of Bedroom

The first new federal (US ) flammability regulation for mattresses in more than 30 years took effect on July 1st , 2007, when all mattresses manufactured and sold in the United States had to be resistant to open flame sources, such as candles, matches and cigarette lighters."
 https://www.flameretardants-online.com/news/archive?showid=17944

At least in Canada, the rules also apply to futons:
"Futons are Japanese-style mattresses that can be rolled up or folded. Futons manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada are subject to the CCPSA and the Mattresses Regulations.

Under section 2 of the Mattresses Regulations, when a mattress is tested in accordance with the Canadian General Standards Board standard CAN/CGSB-4.2 No. 27.7-2013, entitled Textile test methods — Combustion resistance of mattresses — Cigarette test, published in April 2013, the following must not be exhibited in more than one test specimen:   melting or charring of the surface that extends more than 50 mm in any horizontal direction from the nearest point of the original location of the test cigarette, or continuing combustion in the mattress assembly 10 minutes after the cigarette has extinguished.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/industry-professionals/guide-futon-flammability-requirements/document.html

"Choosing a Healthier Mattress
We, Essentia, have opted to incorporate a better quality fire retardant in all our mattresses.

By using Kevlar, the same fabric used in bulletproof vests, Essentia organic mattresses, and organic crib mattresses provide the same safety standards as other mattress brands without compromising its product integrity and its commitment to a healthier night's sleep. Since the Kevlar is a fabric sock for the mattress, we don't spray any harsh chemicals in our factory."
 https://myessentia.ca/blogs/mattress-101/fire-retardants-in-mattresses

Here is an alternative (at least in Canada).

"Safer Alternatives
Dormio Organic Beds sells latex mattresses made with 97% pure rubber tree milk stabilized with zinc oxide as its bonding agent. It’s covered with 100% certified organic cotton, with wool batting added for moisture control and its natural flame retardant properties. These mattresses start around $1,500 for a queen.

Wool has a unique structure where the scales get tangled with each other. This composition makes it highly resistant to burning. However, the fabric is breathable to keep you cool while you sleep.

Latex:  Another popular option is the natural latex mattress made from the sap of the rubber tree. Synthetic latex mattresses are available as well, so you need to read the label to make sure the one you’re getting is completely organic. Natural latex resists flame, so there is no need to apply chemicals to make it flame-retardant.

Organic mattresses are safer and more comfortable than ordinary mattresses. They may cost you more but will better protect your health in the long run."
 https://dormio.ca/are-fire-retardants-used-in-mattresses-sold-in-canada/

There is also this Co., but I don't know, this sounds like there may be no flame "retardant" but it does not exactly sound 'healthy'...  "At Naturepedic, we don't like harsh chemicals, and we certainly don't like fire retardant chemicals!  Through extensive research and creative product design, we've eliminated the need for fire retardant chemicals and flame retardant barriers in our products.

In particular, we use materials such as organic cotton fabric, organic cotton batting, plant-based non-GMO PLA batting, and steel innersprings in place of memory foam, other forms of polyurethane foam and synthetic fabrics that have much higher fuel loads. Our materials tend to smolder instead of bursting into flames with very high heat release. This unique and innovative approach provides a simple and elegant solution that meets all Federal and State flammability standards without the need for any fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers. After all, the safest fire retardant chemicals are none at all!  

We are very proud to be one of the only mattress companies in the United States that does not use flame retardants in mattresses or an added flame barrier!
  https://www.naturepedic.com/blog/2015/07/required-flame-retardants-mattresses

So if you have at least two grand, have at it, but I would still be cautious as some of this sounds JUST as dangerous as saving your money and risking the fire retardants.
 
gardener
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I've been really happy with this "mattress" I got. https://www.sagemeditation.com/thai-massage-mat-large/ It's basically a three inch thick futon. Everything except the cover is organic cotton, which is conventional cotton. I just washed it before sleeping on it and felt okay about that. Because it's a massage mat and not a "mattress", it doesn't have to have any flame retardant. I would highly recommend it!
Initially, I had just that on top of a wood slat bed frame my partner and I made. I have some musculoskeletal issues and was getting achy pressure points when I slept on my side, so we added a 3 inch natural latex topper underneath it. It's like sleeping on a cloud now! It was way more affordable than most of the natural and organic mattresses I was finding when searching as well. And sleeping on it feels like doing gentle yoga all night!
 
pollinator
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I grew up sleeping on a straw mattress. Never knew it until a seam came apart and there was nothing but straw inside. It's quite firm but I have no complaints. As an 'oldster' (as opposed to a 'youngster') I made a moss filled mattress and it would have been perfect if I didn't toss and turn so much in the night. My dad, who lays down and never moves until morning, would be perfect for such a mattress since it forms to your shape (less squishing and packing down under the small of your back and knees, more under butt and shoulders). It was quite the job to collect, clean and dry 15 pounds of the light-weight stuff but I did love the way it smelled and it was comfy until I tried turning over and it pushed my back all out of shape. But for a kid, straw is good and moss might be a possibility. BTW - I sprinkled a little diatomaceous earth in each cube (3 crosswise and 5 longwise) to deter any pests that might think it a good idea to take up residence.
 
pioneer
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A couple years ago when I started to think more about products in my environment, the idea of memory foam and other mystery synthetics around my body freaked me out enough to consult the amazon demons for replacements. Sadly I gave into economic pressure and settled for a questionable mattress. But I did find Bean pillows from Illinois. The sell organic cotton pillows filled with kapok. It is a supposedly hypo allergenic fiber from the fruit or nuts of a tree. Looks a bit like the fluff that comes out of milkweeds. It does not conform as nicely as an old feather pillow, but the support is nice. I imagine a full mattress of it would work well, but no idea how price would scale.

I'll hopefully have time next year to look more into some of the natural DIY options given here...
 
pollinator
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When camping in the summer, I use a hammock and wool blankets.

When Winter Camping I use a 8 inch deep pile of fir or birch branches, topped with hair-on deer hides 3 deep, and 3 wool blankets on top, in a lavvuu hot tent.

At home I sleep in an ordinary bed, or on a tatami mat if I'm lending my bed to a guest. The tatami mat folds and slides under my bed. It is very comfortable. I'm considering building a bed frame for it to raise it off the ground so I can use it more. I have a knee injury and it hurts to get up and down. I still get up and down regularly, but it does hurt.
 
pollinator
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Location: Australia
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home care building woodworking
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Hello,

I if trekking in bushland, I like to pile leaves or she oak needles into a bed and throw over it a towel, and cover my face with a hat.

 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:

Infect brains with permaculture! Give out gobs of the permaculture playing cards
richsoil.com/cards


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