If you’ve ever been to Europe, you know the beds are something to swoon over. So, when we heard that European Bedding do natural organic mattresses, we knew we had to jump into bed with them.
European Bedding has shops in Singapore and Hong Kong that sell only one kind of mattress – a premium natural latex mattress. However, they make them in every size and every feeling. Also, they are proud that they rely less on marketing gimmicks that offer an intimidating number of products. This is because they believe that a natural latex mattress is the best. Why? Because it provides an organic environment for the bed in which you spend about 1/3 of your life.
Stefan Magnus, the founder of European Bedding, told us there are four critical things to consider when shopping for a mattress. They are the mattress, the base, the pillow and, of course, your partner. He also enlightened us on a lot of other stuff we didn’t know. For instance, the dangers of EMF radiation and off-gassing in the bedroom. Did you know that the presence of radiation of electrical appliances in the bedroom can disturb our sleep? Neither did we, but if you have metal springs in your mattress, they can amplify that radiation even more.
Here is everything you didn’t know about your mattress and European Bedding…
GITNB: Why is latex so unique?
Stefan Magnus: Latex is a natural product that comes from a tree called Heveya brasiliensis; this why our brand is called Heveya. It’s also very different from other foams, which are petroleum-based. Latex has elasticity which is essential in a mattress because it gives you and your back support. With other foams, you sink in, which is like sleeping on quicksand with no support.
How many different types of fabrics are there to making a mattress?
There are three types of mattresses. Some mattresses use metal springs and we don’t want any metal in our beds. Then, some mattresses use foam or polyfoam which is a derivative of petroleum. However, we don’t want any plastic or chemicals in there either. That’s why we only use organic and natural latex that comes from a plantation that is certified organic. We also don’t use any glue in our mattresses either. Instead, they’re made of components that allow men and women to have a different feel. Upwards, we have various components that will enable progressive support, which is very important for good sleep.
What is the biggest problem you’re trying to solve?
First of all, there is a problem with the mattress business at the moment. Most manufacturers make too many different types of mattresses. So, this confuses people about the difference between a very expensive and a cheap mattress. Hence, we want to focus on just on one type of mattress, which is a natural latex mattress. Yet, in that, we offer all different kinds of sizes and feels.
Secondly, we offer only natural and organic latex because we feel it’s essential to live and sleep in a natural environment. Our company also focuses heavily on sustainability, so our suppliers and our partners need to live in the same spirit. For example, our suppliers are carbon neutral certified, the plantation in Sir Lanka is organic, and they also have a fair choice certificate – similar to a fair trade certificate. We also sponsor sustainable projects at the Green School when they need financial support.
Can you tell us more about the latex tree?
We like to use latex is because the latex tree is a very environmentally friendly tree. In fact, it is almost at the same level as a rainforest tree. One tree absorbs about 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. So, all the latex plantations in the world will absorb about 90 million tons of carbon dioxide.
What was the big moment that got you interested in sleep solutions?
I’ve been working in the B2B mattress business for 15 years. When I visited all the manufacturers, I saw that they had a problem making mattresses. Rather than tackle the problem, they just came up with stories about marketing. So, I found potential in having a very authentic and excellent mattress without all the marketing thrills. Just a regular but natural latex mattress for all sizes and feels at a very reasonable price – that’s how we differentiate. We don’t have all the marketing gimmicks or 25 different models.
How does the process of getting latex from the tree actually work?
We make latex from latex trees. On the tree, we hang a small pot, and the latex drips from a tree into the pot. Then, we turn it into foam. You have different kinds of latex, like synthetic or natural, but we only use natural latex for our mattresses. There is also rubber latex, which is used for tires or gloves.
It’s also a very sustainable tree because it lasts a lifetime. After that, the wood can be used for other purposes like timber. So, the tree does not need to be killed and replanted all the time. In our covers, we use bamboo, which is also very sustainable because it’s grass, it grows very easily in developing countries, and it gives a fantastic fibre with a soft touch and fresh feel. So, from the latex to the bamboo, we have a completely natural organic mattress.
Are there any common misconceptions with mattresses?
In the mattress business, there are people who claim that they make natural mattresses from polyurethane foam. This is because a small percentage of the mattress uses vegetable oil to make. However, the rest of it still requires petroleum. Instead, a natural product should be made of 100% natural materials, like ours.
What does the future of latex hold?
The future for latex is still huge because it’s not only natural and sustainable, but it’s also the best product there is for sleeping comfort. Its natural elasticity gives you unparalleled support when compared to any other product, and it also lasts longer than other products. It also ventilates and has an open cell structure compared to polyurethane, which has a closed cell structure.
What are your plans for the future?
My hope is that there will be more businesses that care about the environment and sustainability and I’m happy if I can combine business and sustainability to do good for the world and have a successful business at the same time. If they can go hand in hand, then there is a beautiful future.
If you had the power to change the world, what would you do?
I would change all the laws so that they were pushing people to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. There would be no more plastic bags, no more burning of garbage, and no more burning of rice fields. Also, everybody would have to focus on being sustainable on whatever you do in business.
If you need sustainable bedsheets and linen to go along with the bed, check out Sunday Bedding.