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The Best Organic & Natural Mattress Brands For a Non-Toxic Bedroom

Staff Guide

Mar 31, 2021

The average human is supposed to sleep 8 hours a day—that's 30% of your life spent on a mattress, with your face and body smooshed up against it.

What you might be surprised to learn is that there are toxic chemicals lurking in mattresses.

The main culprits are chemical flame retardants, sprayed on the mattresses to make them resistant to fire, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—gasses released from the polyurethane, plastics and fire retardants.

Let's take a closer look at the world of mattresses, and the chemicals that make them sketchy.

(For info on crib mattresses, see our non-toxic crib mattress guide.)

The Flame Retardant Issue

The history of flame retardants is unpleasant, starting all the way back int the 1970s, when cigarettes were the leading cause of household fires. The tobacco industry managed to shift the blame onto the mattresses themselves rather than the lit cigarettes starting the fire. For this reason, the federal government mandated that all mattresses sold—both adult and infant—must meet fire safety standards.

The cheapest and simplest way to meet these requirements is by dousing the mattress is toxic flame retardant chemicals. What's worse is that companies are under no obligation to disclose these chemicals, so they never do.

Flame retardants are a cocktail of chemicals, with potential links to some serious negative health effects.

Possible Negative Health Impacts of Flame Retardants

Poorer social skills - A 2017 study linked exposure to flame retardants to poorer neurocognitive functioning in children, including reduced social skills in preschool-aged children.

Poorer memory and IQ - A 2017 study found a link between in utero exposure to flame retardant chemicals and a reduction in IQ and memory. A study on rats in 2011 also found a similar link.

Risk of thyroid dysregulation and cancer - A 2017 study found a possible link between exposure to flame retardant chemicals and thyroid function dysregulation and cancers.

Advanced puberty - A 2011 study found a possible link to earlier onset of puberty in girls for those exposed to flame retardant chemicals.

Cancer - The state of California banned a specific flame retardant (TDCPP) in 2011 for being known to cause cancer.

Mattresses Without Flame Retardants

It's possible to meed federal fire safety guidelines without the use of chemical flame retardants.

The use of materials like wool—which is more expensive, but naturally flame-resistant—can make the mattress safe without the use of chemical sprays.

All of the mattresses highlighted in this guide are free of chemical flame retardants.

Modern Mattress Companies

Forget about the old mattress companies you'd see TV commercials for 15 years ago.

These days, there are many modern mattress companies offering organic and safe mattresses in a new way.

  • Direct To Consumer: Cutting out the middle man, many new mattress startups are shipping direct to consumer. Not only does this (hopefully) make it cheaper for you, but lessens the amount of shipping the mattresses do to move around the country, giving them a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Eco-Friendly Production: Many modern companies keep production local and made in the USA, which greatly reduces the carbon footprint.
  • Organic Materials: Unlike most of the mattress giants of old, many modern companies offer organic materials.
  • At-Home Trials: Worried about spending a bunch of money on a mattress that's uncomfortable? Many companies allow 90-120 day at-home trials. If the mattress doesn't work for you, simply send it back and get a refund.

Certifications

Terms like "organic", "natural" and "non-toxic" are unregulated, meaning any manufacturer can put these on their mattress to mislead customers. Luckily, there are several certifications that aim to make it easier for consumers to find truly safe mattresses.

gots

GOTS is an international standard that covers the entire start to finish process, from spinning, knitting, weaving , dying and manufacturing.

It certifies that there are no harmful chemicals like formaldehyde or heavy metals used in the product, and it includes provisions that ban practices like child labor and genetic engineering.

gols

Similar to GOTS, this standard covers the latex in the mattress and insures that the rubber trees used for the latex are grown ethically, sustainably, and without pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals.

made-safe

This certification is one of the strictest on the market and verifies that the mattresses are made without known harmful carcinogens, behavioral, reproductive, and neuro toxins, hormone disruptors, heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, flame retardants, toxic solvents, or harmful VOCs.

This is a great certification to have, but again, it doesn't necessarily mean it's organic. But this certification, along with GOTS and GOLS certifications, is a great trio.

The USDA certifies agriculture products in a raw state. When cotton is harvested, it can still be USDA certified organic.

But once it's processed and turned into material, it's no longer considered an agriculture product, and the manufacturing processes used are beyond the scope of USDA certification.

Therefore, a USDA organic label alone doesn't guarantee that there are no harmful chemicals in the mattress.

This certification tests for a long list of chemicals, pesticides and phthalates, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds, or gasses). OEKO-Tex certification is completely voluntary and must be updated every year. While this is a great certification to have, it does not mean that the product is necessarily organic.

Certipur-US

This standard certifies that there are no PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ester) flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, or ozone depleters.

However, you should know that this certification is actually a registered trademark of Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Inc, a corporation whose board of directors consists entirely of members associated with the polyurethane foam industry.

This, in our opinion, makes this certification a bit sketchy. Could it be a marketing tool by the polyurethane industry to sell more mattresses?

While this isn't really a bad certification for a mattress to have, it certainly isn't good enough and it alone doesn't mean that it's organic.

GreenGuard

This certification evaluates mattresses for VOC emissions. To test the mattresses, they place them in a vacuum chamber and subject them to various testing. Another good certification but it's not good enough on its own.

7 Companies Offering Organic Mattresses

Each of these companies offers safe, high-quality mattresses made from organic, natural materials, no flame retardants, and at-home trials.

Compare the prices, features, and more and find the best organic mattress for you.

Avocado

Materials100% GOTS organic certified cotton & wool, 100% natural latex
Warranty25 year
Made InUSA
Mattress TypeLatex, Hybrid Latex/Wool, Vegan (No Wool)
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, & Cal King
Trial1 Year
Other FeaturesCertified vegan mattresses available
Price (Queen)$1,299 (Hybrid), $1,799 (Latex)

Avocado's aim is to make high-quality, handcrafted, and healthy mattresses and bedding available at an affordable price. 

They're carbon-negative and a certified B Corp with renewably powered factories which are approaching zero-waste status, and they even care for their own sheep. They’re firmly against any greenwashing, and use only the best non-toxic and organic materials to produce their mattresses. They are certified Climate Neutral, and also Forestry Stewardship Council approved.

Each mattress design is unique, featuring no-springs and hybrid designs as well as traditional spring-based mattresses, and PETA certified vegan mattresses are also available.

Awara

MaterialsCertified organic latex, 100% certified organic cotton & natural wool
WarrantyLifetime
Made InChina
Mattress TypeOrganic latex hybrid
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King & Cal King
Trial1 Year
Price (Queen)$1,199.00

Committed to keeping the planet vibrant for future generations, Awara’s mattress production uses a Rainforest Alliance Certified latex process, improving sustainability by creating durable, long-lasting mattresses to reduce waste. The company are also partnered with ClimatePartner, planting three trees for every mattress sold,

Each mattress features an individually wrapped pocket coil system that adjusts to your body’s curve and improves durability and comfort, as well as providing maximum breathability. Mattress covers are made of GOTS-certified wool and cotton, and each mattress features water-based adhesives and chemical-free fire retardants. To top it all off, each mattress is individually inspected prior to shipping to ensure quality and satisfaction.

Saatva

MaterialsCertified organic cotton, plant-based materials, all-natural latex, 100% organic New Zealand wool
Warranty15 year
Made InUSA
Mattress TypesInnerspring, Latex Hybrid, Memory Foam,
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, & Cal King
Trial6 Months
Price (Queen)$1,299.00 (Innerspring), $1,599 (Memory Foam, Latex Hybrid) $2,595 (Adjustable)

Founded with the intention of recovering the mattress industry’s reputation of sleazy salesmen and careless practices, Saatva decided to do things differently by focusing on creating high-quality mattresses which keep the customer’s and the environment’s well-being in mind.

As well as their eco-friendly credentials, Saatva is also very socially conscious. They work with charity PENCIL which provides mentorship to recent immigrant students in Queens, New York, and also co-ordinate with the Austin Housing Authority to provide quality mattresses to newly housed low-income families.

Each mattress is hypoallergenic and made with an anti-microbial organic cotton cover, as well as using a non-toxic flame barrier and CertiPUR-US foams. The mattress design also features a dedicated lumbar-support zone ensuring a healthier and more comfortable night’s sleep for you. They also offer free white-glove delivery with every order and allow monthly payments.

Birch

MaterialsOrganic cotton, natural wool fibers, natural latex
Warranty25 year
Made InUSA
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, & Cal King
Trial100 Days
Price (Queen)$1,299.00

Birch proudly proclaim that every one of their sleep products is Greenguard Gold certified, which means they have not only been tested for volatile organic compounds and harmful toxins but they have met the highest level of non-toxic testing and are considered absolutely healthy for even the most sensitive groups, such as children and the elderly. Birch also holds a range of other certifications including GOTS, Oekotext Standard 100, Eco Institute testing, and their factory is also Fair Trade certified.

They provide complete transparency about each of these certifications and their production processes on their website so the customer can be as informed as possible. One additional certification they hold is the Wool Integrity New Zealand certification, which means that the wool they use was sustainably sourced and that each farm is practicing internationally recognized animal welfare standards.

Each mattress is handmade in the USA, and all are exceptionally breathable and optimized to facilitate pressure relief, maximizing comfort and giving you a healthy sleeping environment

Brentwood Home

Materials100% GOLS certified organic latex, 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, 100% GOTS certified organic wool from New Zealand
Warranty25 year
Made InLos Angeles, US
Mattress TypesLuxury Hybrid, Natural Luxe, Hybrid Latex
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, & Cal King
Trial1 Year
Price (Queen)$1,099 (Hybrid Latex), $1,499 (Luxury Hybrid, Luxe)

Brentwood Home is committed to making sure all their materials and processes meet the Golden State standards of sustainability, which focus on improving public health standards and improving energy efficiency in California through increasing the use of renewable energy. 

Brentwood provides information on the sources of all of their materials on their website, helping the customer remain informed, and they are also a Carbonfund partner; Carbonfund is a nonprofit initiative focused on helping both individuals and businesses offset their carbon footprint by planting trees, amongst other initiatives. They are also socially conscious, working with Relief Beds to help provide portable and waterproof mattresses to the homeless and vulnerable.

They are Greenguard Gold, CertiPURS, Made Safe, GOTS and GOLS certified and their Crystal Cove and Yoga mattress collections are also certified vegan. Their website provides full and detailed information on what each of these certifications means for them and for the customer, helping you make an informed choice.

PlushBeds

Materials100% GOTS organic certified cotton & wool, 100% GOLS certified organic latex
Mattress TypeOrganic latex & memory foam options
Warranty25 year
Made InUSA
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King & Cal King
Trial100 Days
Price (Queen)$1699.00

Founded after discovering that a family member’s Parkinson’s diagnosis could have been linked to exposure to harmful chemicals found in common household objects such as mattresses, Plush beds was founded with a deep commitment to providing toxin-free, healthy sleeping products at an affordable price. Despite becoming one of America’s largest organic mattress manufacturers since their beginnings in 2008, Plushbeds have not taken on any outside investors as this allows them to continue to make decisions according to their values and beliefs.

Their factory is dually GOTS and GOLS certified, use CertiPUR certified foams, and all their raw materials are sourced only from providers they meet with personally and who share their principles of ethical practices and sustainable business. Plushbeds have a long and admirable list of ethical and eco-friendly certifications, including Greenguard Gold, Green America, and Rainforest Alliance.

Socially, Plushbeds are also committed to making an impact. They also run a scholarship program that funds college students pursuing a sustainability-related subject, and they provide funding and physical improvements such as school renovations to the village of Mange Bureh in Sierra Leone which was devastated by the 2015 Ebola outbreak. A portion of each sale also goes to charity, which you can find out more about on their website.

Each mattress is designed  with your health in mind, and as well as being toxin-free they come in a range of support levels so you can choose the mattress which best suits your needs.

Happsy

MaterialsCertified organic cotton, organic wool, organic latex
Mattress TypeOrganic latex & memory foam options
Warranty10 year
Made InUSA
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, & Cal King
Trial120 Days
Price (Queen)$1,399.00

Happsy decided that buying with your health in mind shouldn’t have to cost the earth and so they invented the world’s first fully certified organic bed in a box; it’s affordable, healthy, and good for the planet.

Happsy is a member of 1% for the planet which means that 1% of their proceeds go to environmental causes, and all their mattresses are created using GOTS/GOLS certified cotton, wool and latex at their certified organic factory. They are also the proud owners of Greenguard and Made Safe certifications, as well as being Forestry Stewardship Council Certified. Each mattress is made from start to finish by skilled, well-paid workers within the USA.

Happsy mattresses have a hybrid design for maximum comfort and breathability and minimum "movement transfer", meaning minimal disturbance when your bedmate rolls over or gets up. They also provide optimal back support and posture alignment.

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