For the past 6 months, I’ve been sleeping on a non-toxic mattress that revolutionized my family’s sleep. It’s an IntelliBED. The non-toxic mattress is now the only bed I recommend to friends and loved ones.
With a name like IntelliBED, I initially expected some kind of gizmo or gadgetry. I expected the bed to somehow be “smart” the way a “smart TV” is. Maybe the mattress would come with sleep apps pre-installed.
Instead, I discovered a non-toxic mattress that, hands down, offers the most restorative sleep compared to any other brand of mattress I’ve ever used.
My Non-Toxic Mattress Journey
More than a decade ago, my husband and I invested in what promised to be a healthy, organic mattress. Made from compressed wool and organic cotton, the non-toxic mattress was as comfortable as any bed I’d ever slept on.
Then I got pregnant.
The newer, heavier me fit the bed differently, and within three years of purchase my non-toxic mattress was uncomfortable and almost useless. I’d worn pregnant-mother sized depressions into the all-natural materials, and every morning I’d wake up with sore hips and shoulders.
Around that time, someone generously gave us a top of the line memory foam mattress.
But so toxic.
I’d decided to sacrifice non-toxicity for comfort, and I’d come to believe that a comfortable, durable non-toxic mattress was a thing of myth.
So for nearly a decade, I slept on a toxic mattress. While I don’t believe I suffered any adverse health effects from sleeping on a mattress laden with various chemical flame retardants, I know many people who obviously do.
I think of them like canaries in coal mines.
Last year, after more than a year of trying to figure out how to get a good night’s sleep again, I knew it was time to address my biggest blindspot: my mattress.
Besides, my memory-foam mattress was nearing 10 years old. Time to replace it anyway. But this time, I wanted to make a wiser choice, one that might actually improve my sleep. And I knew I wanted to at least see what my current non-toxic mattress options were.
Maybe, just maybe, someone had brought a bed to the market that was:
- comfortable, AND
IntelliBED to the rescue!
IntelliBED met all three of my dream non-toxic mattress’s criteria. Here’s how.
IntelliBED is Non-Toxic
Most mattresses contain toxic chemicals that off-gas when you sleep. The most commonly used fire-retardants are antimony (studies show inhalation of antimony causes respiratory problems in humans and rats), boric acid (a pesticide that causes skin irritation), and melamine resin (which contains formaldehyde).
IntelliBED avoids these and other chemical toxins.
I had a lengthy phone call with IntelliBED’s representative and learned all kinds of nifty info about how they opt for the non-toxic choices at every step of their manufacturing process.
Here’s what’s inside an Intellibed mattress:
The bottom layer is steel springs, which provide the support of the mattress.
This is topped with a layer of non-offgassing polyurethane foam, an inert foam that is considered non-toxic so long as it’s not treated with fire-retardants or chemicals to transform it into memory foam. IntelliBED foam meets strict CertiPUR-US standards. Free of toxins like phthalates, formaldehyde, and heavy metals, CertiPUR-US foams are also low VOC.
Above this is the patented intelliGEL – a layer of pressure-relieving intelliGEL that’s so effective it’s used in hospitals for bed-ridden and burn patients to prevent bedsores and promote healing. IntelliGEL is made from mineral oil and is so non-toxic that it’s approved for use in baby-bottle nipples.
The IntelliBED is topped with layers of organic cotton and treated with natural silica, a fire-retardant mineral that’s arguably the safest option available that meets federal fire-retardant standards for mattresses.
IntelliBED is comfortable.
The key to restorative sleep is simple: you have to stay in the deep sleep parts of your sleep cycle long enough for your body to heal itself!
If your mattress distributes your body’s pressure in a way that cuts off circulation to certain tissues, you’re hard-wired to leave deep, restorative sleep just long enough to shift your body weight.
These “micro-arousals” may prevent or stop the release of human growth hormone during sleep, which can not only cause us to wake up feeling unrefreshed, but also cause the rest of our hormones to fall out of whack.
IntelliBED is made with the patented hypo-allergenic IntelliGEL (used by hospitals in the beds of trauma victims to prevent bed sores). They mapped the pressure points of the same person resting on 4 different mattresses. Anything over blue signifies enough pressure to cause an individual to need to move within five minutes.
As someone who’s slept on an IntelliBED for half a year, I can tell you that this kind of pressure distribution feels unreal.
It’s like sleeping on a firm cloud. Those of you who think you like firm mattresses will like IntelliBED because it’s so supportive, while those of you who think you like soft mattresses will like IntelliBED because it distributes your weight so evenly there’s no discomfort.
I can also attest to the fact that both my husband and I toss and turn far less than we used to, and our sleep is radically improved. In fact, my husband’s been known to fall asleep in one position then wake up 9 hours later in the same position — having felt no need to move at all throughout the night.
Watch this video to see how IntelliBED’s patented IntelliGEL works:
IntelliBED is durable.
Unlike my organic cotton and wool mattress, IntelliBED won’t wear out after a few years.
It won’t even wear out after thirty.
Not only does IntelliBED come with a thirty year guarantee (the longest permitted by federal law), but it’s wildly better than other mattresses that claim long-life.
For example, your Tempurpedic will soften with time, becoming less supportive as the years pass.
After a decade of use, IntelliBED mattresses have almost no measurable deterioration. For all intents and purposes, they perform just as well according to every measure as they did new.
Here’s a chart comparing the most popular mattress materials. Notice that the materials IntelliBED uses show less than 5% deterioration after a decade’s worth of load-testing, that’s anywhere from 3-4 times longer lasting than the nearest competitor.
Finally, Intellibed comes highly recommended.
Over 900 doctors, chiropractors, and orthopedic surgeons recommend the IntelliBED for their patients. They actually prescribe the bed as part of their patient’s recovery and therapy.
In the two minute video below, Dr. Robert Troell describes why he recommends IntelliBED for his patients who complain of back pain, arthritis, or have trouble sleeping:
You guys. Nothing else compares. Nothing.
(Click here to get a FREE Sleep Evaluation)
How to Try Intellibed Risk Free
Unlike a mattress store where you get to try your bed for 10 minutes before committing to a purchase, IntelliBED lets you try out their non-toxic mattress for 60 days!
When I got my bed, their customer service was top-notch. Not only did they “white-glove” deliver and set up the bed in my bed frame, but they also called me afterwards to make sure delivery had gone smoothly.
And then they called me AGAIN two weeks later to get feedback and answer my questions.
And finally they called me one last time as I neared the end of my 60 day trial just to make sure I was 100% satisfied. If I had said that I didn’t want the bed, they would have paid to ship it back to their warehouse for me.
I’m sharing all this to let you know that they take this 60 day trial period seriously. It’s not just marketing spin!
Save 10% on your IntelliBED order with the coupon code RenegadeSleep.
When I spoke with IntelliBED while researching the mattress, they offered a coupon all of you to save an extra 10% on your order.
That 10% is good on everything in their store — from non-toxic mattresses to IntelliGEL mattress toppers.
Plus because May is National Sleep Month, they’re also giving you a FREE Sleep Genius Sleep Phones Set worth $275 with your purchase of an IntelliBED mattress.
Sleep Genius is a pretty awesome sleep program developed to help NASA astronauts get good rest (since the lack of sun and daily rhythms messes with their sleep cycles). The Sleep Genius SleepPhones Set comes with the hi-fi Sleep Genius audio recordings pre-loaded onto an iPod Shuffle and the SleepPhones Sleep Headband.
(Click here to find out more.)
(top photo: BettaLiving, illustrations: IntelliBED)
My husband and I got our intellibed at the end of January after looking for many months and different options. My husband is built like a refrigerator (tall and broad, 6’5″ and 270 #) and our former bed had become seriously indented after four years, but we continued sleeping on it for another four, until we couldn’t take it anymore. After speaking to a representative he recommended a bed that isn’t even on the website. The posture perfect 660 (I think it has more springs) but is the same price as the other top of the line available. He warned me that it might take some getting used to, specifically for me since I am 5’5″ and 125#. I am not going to lie, neither of really knew how to feel about it and we like firm mattresses. I can definitely feel the squiggly lines of the intelligel so it doesn’t feel like a “normal” mattress, although it looks like one. I like to read in bed and sitting up does feel odd because my tush is so “supported.” However, my husband’s back pain went away and since January he has slept incredibly well, rarely waking up. We bed-share with our one-year old so I am “awake” nursing a couple times during the night. It was hard to convince my husband of the price, because he really felt like we could buy two “organic” mattresses for that price and was it worth it? I managed to convince him of it though reminding him of the fact that after THREE years ours was very uncomfortable. We were both feeling buyers remorse for a month after we bought it. After the 60 day trial, we really weren’t convinced it was worth it. The customer service is awesome and she gave us an additional 30 days risk-free. It helped that friends of ours spent $3500 on a bed that was similar but with only a ten year warranty. The fact that the warranty for a return is 100% in the first ten years with a .75″ indent is huge for us because of my husband’s size. My husband has slept better in the last three months than ever before. All that to say, it’s not necessarily a miracle-worker and I still am not sure how I feel about it, although I like it well enough. In the end, it’s just a bed, and for me, it’s definitely not like sleeping on a firm cloud. Comfortable, but not ridiculously so.
I wish bloggers would talk more REAL about the adjustment period instead of, oh this is the most amazing bed ever, you’ll never be the same! I appreciate that you waited six months to review it. That shows me you actually gave yourself time to sleep on it.
What kind did they send you to try? Did you have any adjustment period? Have you also tried the pillows?
Kristen Michaelis says
I have the IntelliBED 30 Deluxe. I didn’t have an adjustment period, although the IntelliBED sales rep warned me that there might be one.
I did go ahead and get the pillows, too because one of my friends (Daddypotamus, Heather @Mommypotamus’ husband) raved about them. I don’t usually use pillows at all. I sleep in a pillow-less re-wilding sleep position taught by Daniel Vitalis. (I’ve often wanted to write a post about the position, but can’t do it without better visuals. And I don’t want to film a video of me doing it because I’m shy like that, LOL). All this to say, I tried the pillow and mostly just shove it aside and out of the way since my most natural sleep position is pillow-less. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES his pillow.
I struggle to find words to describe what it’s like sleeping on it for those who’ve never done it. “Firm cloud” is what I’m going with right now because it’s fully supportive AND soft, and we’ve been taught that these are two OPPOSING sleep values that can’t go together. The point is, I feel no pressure points like I would on a super firm mattress, but I also feel like it’s super firm and supportive? It’s just weird and different and words are hard!
I agree! Words are hard to describe the mattress, but i don’t feel pressure points! And it may sound in my comment that I’m not happy with it, we are happy with it! We will be even more happy with it in a few years when we are getting a great night’s sleep still! We would buy it again and DO recommend them.
Did you ever consider an organic latex mattress? It doesn’t leave depressions from weight changes during pregnancy. It feels like the toxic foam mattresses but they are super healthy . No metal either. It seems strange that you didn’t try or compare a latex mattress before stating that this one is the best one around. We have had our latex mattress for 9 years now and it looks and feels brand new. No chemicals naturally flame retardant because it is wrapped in wool with an organic cotton cover and no metal inside.
Kristen Michaelis says
I did consider organic latex, but rejected it because load-testing showed they’re not that durable. I agree they’re super comfy, but I wanted something that would LAST. If you look at the load-test chart in the post above, you’ll see that latex loses about 23% of its density over the course of a decade — meaning it will be less supportive even while holding its shape. In fact, IntelliBED has a latex mattress option (a latex layer replaces the foam layer) that they recommend for those who need the softest possible bed, but they only recommend it in extreme cases because latex is known to gradually grow less supportive with time. I’m glad yours is holding up well after 9 years!
Beth @ Hooked on Health says
I am in the market for a new non-toxic bed and just checked out a latex one at IKEA because it is certainly in my price range right now. Do you have any information for me about that choice. I get that latex wears out but with dust mites and skin slough off I think that is probably ok with me.
Kristen Michaelis says
Well, as with everything you’ve got to balance what’s important to you. How long do you want this bed to last? How much are you willing to spend? Are you comfortable financing your bed if it means you get to keep it for thirty years? Before I got the IntelliBED for my husband and I, I purchased organic latex mattresses for my kids. I knew their beds would wear out in a decade or so (because they’re so light weight, the beds will last longer), but they’ll (mostly) be out of the house by then so it seemed like a well-timed, well-planned purchase. I didn’t buy the same bed for myself because I wanted something that wouldn’t wear out after just a few years of sleeping on it.
As for IKEA beds specifically, I don’t know much about their mattresses. Is it 100% organic or talalay processed latex? Or is there synthetic latex in there, too? What kind of flame retardant do they use? (I remember that as of just a few years ago, all of IKEA’s mattresses had the toxic kinds of chemical flame retardants on them, so even a “natural latex” mattress wasn’t really all that natural when chemically treated. The VOC levels when the mattress off-gassed were noticeably high.)
Oh Kristen! there are so many other reasons that we don’t sleep well besides what we are sleeping on!
While I’m glad this particular mattress is helping you, it’s important to realize that people sleep greatl all over the world on basic mattresses and less – and sleep terribly on amazingly high tech mattresses.
If you are having trouble sleeping have you considered that your body is trying to tell you it is out of balance?
Trouble falling asleep or waking and being unable to fall back asleep or even feeling like you never got a deep sleep are all signs of various deficiencies and imbalances in the body and have been effectively treated by herbal and food therapy for thousands of years. Working with an herbalist trained in traditional chinese medicine diagnosis would most likely have gotten you great results for a lot less $$ and gotten you a whole host of other benefits.
I’ve followed you for years and I would have thought that would have been more up your alley than this fancy mattress . . and would be something more attainable for most of your followers.
Like I said, I’m glad the mattress is helping you – but I think you’re missing the big picture here! Happy to chat with you further about it . . .
Please forgive me if I have offended you – just hoping to add another perspective to the conversation.
Kristen Michaelis says
Shelley, I realize that there’s more to good sleep than a good mattress. In fact, I’ve written about it several times already, including my most popular post on the subject (which I linked to in the above post). You can read it here: https://www.foodrenegade.com/how-get-good-nights-sleep/
As for attainability, this mattress *is* pretty attainable. IntelliBED offers a variety of payment plans/options, and they’re not priced anywhere near what I’d consider a luxury item (as in, their price is perfectly comparable with other non-toxic mattresses). If we’re talking unattainable, we can talk about the nearly $99,000 price tag of a handmade Vividus mattress!
She actually did cover the fact that she had tried many natural things and at first felt that the bad sleep was a result of an imbalance! Read the article!
The intellibed mattresses came to my notice a year ago now but sadly they are not for sale or shopping outside the US I was told 🙁
Do you have any advice for supporting the adrenals & hormones of someone still in the baby years? Our little guy sleeps well for a five month old, but I am missing my nine hours of uniterupted sleep!
Kristen Michaelis says
I have written quite a bit about adrenal support and health in the past. Here’s a quick site search for you to peruse: https://www.foodrenegade.com/?s=adrenal
We had planned to get an intellibed mattress. After watching all of the videos and reading all of their materials, I still had several questions.
I was routed from person to person then told the manager would contact me.
My concerns were about the soy foam, the latex, and the polyester in the top layer. I am allergic to both foam and latex.
I also checked Certi-pur which certified the foam as safe only to find they are owned by three chemical companies – Dow being one. They are the ones who make the foam.
There is no transparency in the mattress market anymore at all.
After all they said against using a petroleum product for foam – they use polyester in the top layer. Last I heard – polyester is a petroleum product. I have more concerns of the phoestrogenic effect of the soy. No one could say if it were GMO or not.
It took the manager three days to get back to me. All I was offered was links to the videos that I had already watched and to the other sales promotional materials.
I was so frustrated that I used a $100 off coupon and got the Costco mattress for 1/6 the price. It is a great, comfortable mattress that we are happy with. At least Costco tried to answer the questions – finding that some of the answers were considered propriatory information…..
Last time we needed a mattress, we were able to find out what was used or the fire retardants etc.
I would be interested in a response to this as well. The silica seems like something that needs to be discussed more…arguably the safest does not mean it is safe! We can get an organic cotton mattress with NO flame retartandants of any kind with a doctor’s prescription.
Kristen Michaelis says
Monica, natural silica is a mineral. It’s the primary mineral in quartz and the major constituent in sand (and hence, glass). The form of silica Intellibed uses are glass fiber strands (NOT fiberglass, but silica thread) woven into the organic cotton outer layers. Based on my research, it’s as safe as safe can be.
Kristen Michaelis says
Their foam is considered low-VOC and hypoallergenic. It is true that the CERTI-PUR standard is industry-implemented, but they use a standard for testing and analyzing emissions that’s the world-wide standard in every major country around the globe. I don’t see how that lacks transparency. It’s the opposite. It’s the industry itself voluntarily submitting to these testing methods, then only certifying products that meet those standards.
If your foam allergy is because of the off-gassing, this is the only foam in the world that’s likely to be safe for you…
If you don’t want to risk a foam allergy, then the latex foam option is available. Intellibed uses talaylay processed latex, which takes natural latex and removes the protein in it that is considered an allergen. It is therefore 100% safe for those with latex allergies.
As for using GMO soy to create the foam, I would need to ask them. I’ll call them and let you know when I get an answer for you!
Sara DeWulf via Facebook says
Kristen, will you and the others who have an Intellibed mattress comment on the temperature? Tempurpedic and memory foam and even latex mattresses tend to “sleep HOT”, to hold/reflect your body heat, despite what marketing says. We’ve been through so many mattress types and keep having this issue. Thank you.
Kristen Michaelis says
It’s COOL. No heat issues at all. That seems to be a pretty common testimony from gel mattresses, period. It holds true for Intellibed as well.
I’ve been looking at purchasing one of these mattresses ever since Heather @ Mommypotamus reviewed them awhile back, but I haven’t yet taken the plunge. You state in your review that they use organic cotton, however the description of the Intellibed 30 Deluxe, which is the one I’m considering, says the top layer is a cotton/poly blend. Have they changed the product since you purchased/received your mattress?