The Big Sofa Challenge

There is absolutely no reason for me to currently want to purchase a new sofa. I know it's a really large investment and we shouldn't even be considering it, but my brain doesn't work that way. Ideally, I would love a modular sectional, something that can be configured any way we see fit. It would be fantastic for apartment living, and it's awesome because you can just add more pieces down the line if needed.

My first pick is the Connect Sofa by Mutto. I love how easy it is to specify exactly what modules you need to create the ideal sofa shape for your space, the low profile, and of course, it's chunky base. For what we would want, this would set up back around $10,000. Not a cheap sofa by any means, but I'm a big believer in buying something that you love once, and hopefully never having to buy it again.

My second choice is the Mags Sofa by Hay. Also modular, it allows you to configure the set up based on your needs. It looks so comfy, sturdy, and the ultimate spot to lounge out on after a long day. In terms of pricing, it comes in a tad lower than the Connect Sofa above, but again, there's not exactly a deal here.

Lastly, I'm also kind of digging the Mix, the new modular sofa system by Gus Modern. Like all the above, the Mix let you mix and match components and fabrics to build a custom sectional, so you end up with whatever shape best fits your space. Plus Gus Modern is a Canadian design company based out of Toronto, and it's always nice to support local businesses that actually make awesome products. Price wise, you have to contact the store directly in order to get a quote, so I'm not quite sure what we would be looking at here.

While I love all of the above options, I was really dismayed to learn that the Connect Sofa is made from cold foam and the Mags Sofa is made out of polyurethane foam. Seeing as how these are two Scandinavian brands that I really adore, who I hoped would care about using only natural materials in their products, it's a total bummer, especially when you factor in the high price tags.

At least the Mix Sofa from Gus Modern is manufactured to meet California TB117-2013 fire safety standards without the use of flame retardant additives in upholstery foam, however, they still use some kind of foam, made from chemicals, so while they have made a step in the right direction, they definitely have a ways to go. And while the brand is open to using a different filler for their upholstery, they suggested soy foam or recycled plastic bottles as an alternative, these options are not exactly healthy or green, even though it's easy to think they can be.

It's crazy to me that in almost 2016 (less than two months away!), most people are still sitting on and breathing in some incredibly toxic substances, mostly found in sofa cushions and mattresses. Is it for a lack of information? There have been so many studies done about this, and yet it's almost as if people don't want to believe it. These toxic substances are contributing to our failing health, leaching into our bodies and making us sick.  We made the switch to an organic latex mattress this summer (scroll down if you want to read my review - spoiler alert, it's one of the best decisions we ever made), and now I'm faced with the really difficult challenge of finding a organic latex sofa.

I know there are a few companies who specialize in making natural products in the US, like Ekla and Green Sofas, but unfortunately, here in Canada, our options are sadly pretty much non existent. The closet I got was Cisco Brothers,  who retail through Elte, and make all of their products available for purchase using their green technology. The company states "Cisco’s Inside Green technology is our smart, healthy, responsible, alternative method of building furniture made entirely from Natural Latex, organic wool, organic goose feathers and down. These natural materials are not only superior in terms of comfort and lifespan, but are inherently flame retardant and hypo-allergenic. Every product in the Cisco line can be ordered using Inside Green technology." I only wish I wanted one of their sectionals. Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful, just not what I am looking for.

For now, the search continues. But if I can't find what I want, I'm going to see if I can at least switch out our current sofa cushions for organic latex versions, if I can track down a Canadian supplier willing to cut custom sizes. Again, there is a company doing it in the US called Foam to Order, but the shipping fees would be killer. If anybody knows where to look or has any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

So you don't like sleeping on chemicals either? Great.

I've always had a crush on Hästens mattresses. The checkered pattern, the luxurious natural fabrics and materials made of horse hair and carefully selected Swedish pine, the unbelievable craftsmanship, and of course, the promise of the ultimate sleep experience.

These mattresses are the stuff dreams are made of, literally, if you have a kidney to sell or a 5% down payment on a house in the GTA. If only I wasn't so squeamish about selling off that one kidney...but I am, and I would like to keep growing that down payment for a house that I still probably will not be able to afford in Toronto. And yet my husband and I desperately needed a new mattress - ours is uncomfortable, sad, and pathetic - and so the search began.

We looked (and by we I do mean me) for months online to find a natural, safe, non toxic mattress that wouldn't cost us and arm and a leg. This was a tough search. I read countless comments on websites, any reviews I could get my hands on, articles with any mentions, forums, you name it. So many companies make claims to being "natural", or "organic", and the reality is that most of these claims are well, kind of fake. So how do you wade through these murky waters to find a mattresses that will actually be good for you and your family? I wish I could give you the perfect answer, but until these companies are actually held liable like other industries for making specific claims, it's really up to you to do the most research that you can and go with what feels right at the end of the day.

What I can tell you is that I finally narrowed it down to three choices - Obasan, Essentia, and Dormio.

While they were all good contenders, in the end we ended up going with Dormio mattresses, and we settled on their Premium collection. I loved the addition of the cloud like wool pillow top that makes you feel like you are basically sleeping on a comfy duvet. Their beds are made of organic latex (don't confuse this with the disgusting memory foam you will find in other mattresses - organic latex comes from the rubber tree and it is 100% natural), organic wool, and organic cotton.

They have many different mattresses at many different price points - you just have to find the one that works for you. And while some might think our mattresses was a definite splurge, to us it's more of an investment in our health and our future. We sleep in our bed 8 hours a day (if we are lucky), and this mattresses will last us for a good 20 years. It's completely customizable, and we can actually make changes to it as we grow. It's like a living and breathing thing that will adapt to our lifestyle for many years to come.

Also, the service that we received at this store was exceptional. Never once did I feel pushed into making a purchase, and my husband and I spent almost two hours testing out and learning more about their products. All of these mattresses are Canadian made, and we even purchased two wool pillows (they also have alpaca, kapok, buckwheat, and latex as well), a wool duvet, and some organic sheets to complete our new mattress set. Everything is being delivered in a few weeks and we absolutely cannot wait.

And just so everyone knows, this is NOT a paid advertisement. I actually liked the company so much, that I asked if they had a referral system, and they offered any of my clients or readers an extra 10% off on all of their products. So go now, while they still have sales!