In our world of excess, many of us are trying to make the right choices with regard to our overall impact on the environment. People are becoming wise to the idea that if we all collectively lower our carbon footprints that we will have a much healthier earth moving forward. That desire was first with things like cars and other major polluting parts of our lifestyle, but now the movement is much more comprehensive. From reusable straws to bag lunches, even to eco-friendly beds. That’s right, you heard me: eco-friendly beds. These are beds made out of renewable and sustainable materials that will eventually return to the earth instead of sitting dormant in a landfill for the next several thousand years.
Curious what’s out there? Let us show you:
We’ll start off the list with this candidate because it is pretty close to a conventional bed frame, the only difference is that no new steel was produced in its creation. This bed frame has all of the sturdiness and lightweight flair as any other steel bed frame with only a fraction of the environmental impact. The steel is either recovered from other beds or similar steel-made household items or more industrial uses like railroad steel. If you’re just starting to get your toes wet with sustainability, this is a great option that doesn’t require leaving your comfort zone. The best part? When you’re done with the frame, recycle it again!
Being more eco-friendly is invariably tied together to themes of nature and natural components. As far as natural components are concerned, bamboo is perhaps one of the best possible bed frame materials out there. What surprises most people about bamboo bed frames is just how durable they are. Bamboo is harder than oak, making it superbly strong. The eco-friendliness that comes with a bamboo bed is staggering, as well. Bamboo takes a mere five years to mature, allowing for 20 harvests every century. Compare this to an oak tree which matures in 70 years, putting it at nearly one and a half harvests per century. That makes bamboo quick, reliable, and extremely easy to replenish, even when less than ideal logging techniques are used.
No, not wood made of rubber, that’d be silly. Rubber wood is wood made from rubber trees which grow in tropical climates. Natural rubber is collected as a sap and then further refined into the rubber that goes into your tires and in your elastic bands. The thing is, for the longest time there wasn’t much use for the tree itself, just the economically significant sap within was taken. Now with our desire to reduce waste, after the latex production run has ended for a season some of the trees are felled and can then be turned into a brand new bed. What’s wonderful about rubber wood beds is that they are extremely inexpensive (usually around $200), so you don’t have to worry about shelling out any extra dough just to call yourself an environmentalist!
Sustainably Sourced Wood
Now wood in and of itself typically doesn’t qualify as being “eco-friendly”. That would be because the cutting & processing of the trees doesn’t always follow the proper guidelines. But, if you buy from the right manufacturers you’ll be supporting sustainable logging practices as opposed to haphazardly clear cutting entire forests. Look for beds that are made from “engineered” wood. All “engineered” means is that the wood yield from each tree is maximized so there’s very little wood that goes unused at the end of the day. Also, make sure that their wood comes from FSC certified forests or that it is made from FSC certified lumber. The FSC certification designates that the wood was harvested sustainably.
Any wood that is FSC recycled or reclaimed is also a great candidate for an eco-friendly addition to your home. This means that the wood has been reused so you’re giving it a second chance at life, effectively making that one tree’s contribution all the more valuable.
Chemical Free Beds
Another big driver of pollution would be our use of noxious chemicals to varnish, finish, or otherwise create a protective seal around a certain material. A normally eco-friendly bed might go straight into unhealthy territory by excessively using chemicals. Look for beds that have a non-toxic finish, or even no finish at all if you think you’ll be able to get by without scuffing up your bed too badly. Wood beds are the most notorious for these types of chemicals. Not only are they bad for the environment, they’re bad for you, too. See, these chemicals don’t stay entirely in the same place for their entire lifespan. Over time, some of these chemicals will be released into the air and chances are you’ll be sleeping right in their path without even realizing it. Other times these additives serve a purpose, such as flame retardation, so there’s really no way of telling what has chemicals and what doesn’t without asking the salesperson themselves. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and insist on a chemical-free bed, they exist and they aren’t necessarily a niche item: if a store doesn’t have any, find a new store. Part of the eco-friendliness movement is voting with your dollars, don’t support stores that don’t support the environment, full stop.
There you have it, the most sustainable beds money can buy. Surely this is one of the best ways to not lose sleep over your environmental footprint, literally. It can be difficult to properly track down manufacturers and retailers that will sell you these kinds of materials, and many manufacturers are using deceptive marketing to trick people into thinking they care about the environment more than they really do. Don’t be fooled by green stickers and attractive marketing, think clearly about where the materials must have come from and decide for yourself how sustainable it is. If the bed frames are made from wood, ensure that they are FSC certified. That way, comfort won’t come at the cost of our planet’s overall health.