Once upon a time, mattress shoppers called a 1-800 number, decided between firm or soft and had it delivered the next day. Well, times have changed. Companies like Hästens and Savoir ushered in the high-end mattress market with made-to-measure service, advanced spring technology and $50,000 price tags. Foam was left in the dust. The future of luxury mattresses demanded individually nested springs, natural fibers such as horsehair and a minimum of 60 hours to make by hand.
Into this world enters Coco-Mat, a Greek mattress company that’s as serious about fine mattress construction as it is about the healing power of sleep. Bringing the extravagance down to earth, the company has been producing sustainable bedding for two decades: “I am a devotee of natural life, and I wanted to recharge people’s batteries in a very effective and natural way,” Coco-Mat founder Paul Evmorfides says. His firm makes new products (like slippers) with excess materials and has a recycling rate of 96 percent.
But Coco-Mat’s primary distinction is its unique, metal-free design. There’s evidence that mattress coils act as an antenna, attracting cancerous radio frequencies from TV transmissions and the like. Instead of coils, Coco-Mat uses layer upon layer of natural material (to equal a stack of three mini-mattresses) set atop an ergonomic wood base. These nonmetal fillers each serves a supportive function: coco fibers for longevity and proper ventilation; goose down for softness and heat; natural rubber for firmness and elasticity; iodine-rich seaweed to help the respiratory system; cactus to absorb humidity.
The result is what Coco-Mat is proud to call a homeopathic bed. “For us a mattress is the predominant element of our holistic health. Therefore we create them differently: hygienic, natural and nonmetal,” Evmorfides says. This means that night after night, the bed makes minor positive adjustments to your health while you’re away in dreamland.
ABC Carpet & Home CEO and creative director Paulette Cole and her ecopioneering team are responsible for bringing Coco-Mat stateside (abchome.com), creating a large co-op shop for the brand in its bedding section, abcDream (otherwise known as a Sleep Wellness Destination, where everything from organic sheets to nontoxic baby cribs are available). The store even uses a special bicycle wagon, developed by Coco-Mat, to deliver these mattresses within Manhattan. “Paul is another magical being on the planet,” Cole says. “His social justice values are equally aligned with his principles for the environment and healthy living, and he’s using 360 degrees of consciousness to manifest that.”
Other inspired ideas from Evmorfides—who previously traveled the world and learned nine languages along the way—include equipping mattresses with a zipper. This way the cover is easily removed for machine washing, which eliminates harmful bacteria and that most frightful of pests: the bedbug (see “Nightmare Scenario”).
There’s also the bed-barter system the company has with certain hotels, such as the Chambers in New York. (“I have always been a fan of a well-placed and symbiotic barter,” its hotel manager, Ansell Hawkins, says.) For its part, Coco-Mat supplies the hotel with all-new mattresses at a discounted rate. The hotel must agree to allow potential mattress clients to have a free night’s stay to try out the goods. Thus we found ourselves at the Chambers, a swanky, modernist establishment near Central Park, for a test sleep.
We must say, the mattress exceeded our expectations. It’s equally firm and soft, not unlike a futon, but more pliable. The upper pillow gently fills in every space and forms to your body for total comfort, but not so much that it lacks support. The overwhelming feeling is one of balance. “What touches your body must be full with energy,” Evmorfides explained. “A bed mattress made with a whole lot of love is almost everything we need in order to be sparkling and enjoy life.
Mattresses start at $1,600. For more details, go to coco-mat.com.
Coco-Mat’s All-Natural Mattress: The Details
Instead of using metal coils, Coco-Mat believes in layering natural elements to provide elasticity and support.
Pillow: Equipped with a zipper so the filler (natural rubber flakes and/or goose down) may be modified to follow a rule of comfort: The more elastic the mattress, the thinner the pillow ought to be.
Topper: Made of pure goose down evenly distributed in small compartments, this superlight top layer caresses even the fingers and toes. It provides a sleeping-on-a-cloud aspect.
Top Mattress: Supporting the lighter parts of the body—unlike the mattress, which carries the heavier burden—this layer is made from natural rubber, which one may choose in layers or flakes.
Mattress: This portion comes in two pieces that are sewn together and united by the removable cover, which allows those sharing a bed to select different levels of firmness for their side.
Bed Mattress: Part bed frame, part mattress, this first layer contains rubber, coco fiber, wool, cotton and seaweed set atop a beech wood “ergo-base.” It is bottomless and therefore noiseless.
Vi-Spring: This is the UK’s premier mattress brand, and the first to introduce individually pocketed coils. vispring.co.uk.
Hästens: The tufted blue-and-white checker bed from Sweden has become synonymous with high-end sleep. hastens.com.
Savoir: Started in 1905 and previously owned by the Savoy Hotel, it now counts Madonna and Oprah as fans. savoirusa.com.