Via Treehugger: How Astral Nature redesigns their bed to fit yök Casa + Cultura eco-criteria
yök Casa + Cultura is more than just a place to stay the night, but, at the end of the day, whether you are in Barcelona on holidays or for work, you want a good night’s sleep. We looked for the right bed for a while and found it, locally! Natural materials were essential as a great deal of effort was put into using VOC-free materials during the renovation, like the paint, wood fibre insulation and drywalls.
We had our eye on some of the luxury brands like Coco-mat, from Greece, and Naturalmat, from the UK. We also came across Ecomatalasser, a mattress maker that uses the traditional Catalan technique of the 14th century and locally grown materials like wool, algae, lavender and grain husks to make fully biodegradable mattresses. Since the two first brands were well over our budget, and had to be shipped over, and we weren’t too convinced about the comfort and maintenance of the ones from the Ecomatalasser, we were delighted when we found a local mattress maker that uses also all natural ingredients.
Astral Nature’s mattress layers are made from viscose fabric, silk, camel wool, cashmere, cotton, natural latex, and coconut fibre. We went for the Nerva model, a pocketed spring mattress. Apart from the various layers of natural materials, it has some springs, protected by fabric to make the bed last longer and not loose its shape over the years. Longevity and comfort, apart from eco materials and local production, are important to us. Astral Nature also has mattresses without springs, like the Arctic model.
All Astral Nature mattresses are manufactured based on carefully selected insulation and temperature control materials of natural origin which, as well as being more comfortable, preserve the body temperature and process moisture effectively.
Of course materials like silk and camel hair are not produced locally, but the mattress factory is located 2 hours by car from Barcelona. This made it convenient for us to redesign the bed base with Astral. We weren’t too keen on the bases, both because of their design and because they weren’t made from eco-friendly materials. Luckily, Astral was willing to make some alterations. We asked them to use an FSC-certified plywood instead of wood vinyl and MDF, which contains a high degree of resin, making it often toxic and/or non recyclable. Instead of covering up the wood with a synthetic upholstery, we asked them to leave the wood visible and simply protect it with a VOC-free varnish by Rubio Monocoat. The beds come with a storage space under the platform that holds the mattress, which we need to hide away duvets and blankets during the summer. The cover of the base that lifts up is 100% linen and the head rests are made from wooden doors that were left over after the renovation.
So far, our guests have commented very positively about the beds and we hope Astral will add our re-design to their catalogue. Our next goal is to design organic bedsheets, or, even better, find an eco-friendly hotel laundry that provides them to us. There’s a niche in the market here that needs to be filled… just hinting!