Contents of Article
- What’s So Bad About My Conventional Mattress?
- What Does Organic Even Mean?
- How Do I Choose An Organic Mattress?
- What Are The Benefits of Organic?
- What Are The Downsides?
- What Else Should I Look For?
- The List
- Final Thoughts
Do you know what kinds of chemicals in your mattress? You probably do, or you wouldn’t be here. Mattresses can be a breeding ground for allergies and harmful toxins. They can wreak havoc on the environment, both in production and in the disposal.
Organic mattresses take away some of the substantial cost to your health and the environment. “Organic” can be tricky because the threshold to label something organic varies, and companies sometimes greenwash their products (aka use “organic” as a marketing tactic).
Let’s look at our top five picks for the best organic mattress, and answer a few questions you may have about how to pick the right organic mattress. Organic, here we come.
|Quick Look : 2021 Best Organic Mattresses|
What’s So Bad About My Conventional Mattress?
Mattress materials are full of chemicals. Here are just a few:
Flame Retardants – Back in the 1970s, new laws required that fabrics and materials be flame retardant to slow fires and prevent deaths from conventional materials like candles or cigarettes. The new wave of flame retardant materials included things like polyurethane foam.
When these materials break down, they release polybrominated-diphenyl-ethers or PBDE’s. These are toxic and can stay in your system for a long time. Although use is significantly reduced with modern household furniture, there are still some products that contain them.
Formaldehyde – Some of the strongest off-gassing in mattresses comes from formaldehyde. It’s used in some glues and adhesives in conventional mattresses. When your mattress arrives in plastic, gasses have built up inside causing some of the caustic odors you experience. It’s known to cause asthma, skin damage, and long-term issues such as liver toxicity and some cancers.
Antimony – Antimony is heat resistant, so it’s also used for flame retardant. However, it’s heavy metal properties can cause severe damage to the heart and liver. It’s also linked to some SIDS cases when used in infant mattresses.
What Does Organic Even Mean?
Components of organic mattresses use no pesticides, no formaldehyde, no polyurethane based foams, and have no VOC off-gassing. Each material is made from sustainable components usually certified by an independent organization such as GreenGuard or CertiPur US.
The words “natural” or “eco” don’t necessarily mean organic, however. Companies frequently use greenwashing to sell products. Their mattresses might be loosely “eco,” containing fewer chemicals but by far not zero. They’re hoping you’ll be fooled by the vocabulary and not investigate further.
How Do I Choose An Organic Mattress?
Look for mattresses made of materials like 100% natural latex, organic cotton, and organic wool. These are natural materials grown without pesticides and don’t use synthetic, man-made materials.
You can also look for multiple certifications. GreenGuard tests for emissions. GreenGuard Gold is the highest certification from this company.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) both certify materials for organic, nontoxic content. They’re both some of the most stringent certifications available.
OEKO-TEX certifies organic textiles. CertiPur certifies that materials produce zero to very few VOCs. MadeSafe certifies that a product uses no materials known to cause damage to the human body. UL environment certification checks for formaldehyde.
What Are The Benefits of Organic?
Organic mattresses don’t contain materials with VOC, the main suspect in off-gassing. VOC’s can make allergies worse, cause skin damage if it’s strong enough or there isn’t enough ventilation, and possibly cause long-term health issues. An organic mattress should give you some relief from your allergy symptoms and shouldn’t bother anyone with a sensitive nose.
Materials like wool may help reduce back pain. We are pretty sure that natural materials cut down on tossing and turning, so you’re less likely to pull a muscle moving around.
The mattress is also more comfortable to dispose of at the end of its life. Landfills are full of old mattresses slowly breaking down and releasing their toxins directly back to the earth. Organic mattresses can break down more quickly, and there’s less harm to the environment when they do.
What Are The Downsides?
One significant downside is the price. Organic certifications require capital to happen, so companies often have to pass that cost to the consumer.
However, we would never discourage you from spending money on your health and well being. It’s a factor that you should consider, however. If you’re used to going to a showroom, the extra cost may not be all that shocking to you. If you’ve been researching mattresses from online companies, you might get a slight sticker shock.
What Else Should I Look For?
Comfort! Your bed should still provide the right contouring and support based on your sleep position and any pain.
If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll need a slightly softer mattress so that your broadest areas have plenty of room to sink in. Back and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to make sure the spine stays straight and supported.
If you toss and turn, you may find that it happens less with the right organic, supportive mattress. Fewer movements through the night help you get quality sleep and prevent pain from sore muscles the next day.
Here are our top picks for organic mattresses. Each has multiple certifications in its corner and provides excellent contouring and support.
Zenhaven – Top Pick
Zenhaven is an offshoot of Saatva. It’s a 100% natural latex mattress with two firmness options within the same flippable mattress.
All layers of Zenhaven use Talalay latex, a natural latex extraction that produces a buoyant latex. The top layer is a zoned support latex that gives way underneath your shoulders and hips while remaining more supportive under your waist and legs. It feels cushiony and gives you a plush sleep experience.
The dense support layer is more Talalay but in a much firmer version. It pushes back against your body to prevent you from sinking too far into the bed. Latex fills in around your curves, and your spine stays aligned.
The soft side has the five zone support layer while the firmer side puts the stable support latex closer to you. The cover materials are organic cotton and naturally flame retardant wool on both sides. The luxury plush side rates about a five on the ten point firmness scale while the gentle firm side is about a seven and a half.
The mattress is naturally microbe, dust mite, and bedbug resistant. The mattress is certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Saatva company is part of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.
Zenhaven gives you 120 nights to try the mattress out, but make sure you sleep on it for at least 30 nights before deciding. You’re covered by a 20-year warranty against mattress defects and abnormal wear and tear. Your mattress must be supported appropriately to maintain the warranty.
Zenhaven cannot compress Talalay latex without compromising its integrity, so they offer free White Glove delivery to get your mattress to you. A delivery person brings the bed to you at a prearranged time and helps you get everything set up. After, he or she hauls off your old mattress and all packing materials.
Happsy – Runner-Up
Happsy’s organic mattress does away with chemicals, foams, and conventional adhesives for a cleaner mattress that ships in a box.
The cover materials are organic cotton with no pesticides and organic wool for a natural fire barrier. Underneath, a two-inch layer of latex foam provides contouring to relieve pressure and pain on common pressure points. It’s 100% organic and highly breathable.
Underneath, pocketed springs provide support and push back against your body weight to prevent your spine from overextending. The springs have organic cotton filling on the bottom to help with motion isolation and to complete the structure of the mattress.
The mattress is certified by GOTS and GOLS, two of the gold standards for USDA organic products. It’s certified formaldehyde free, acknowledged by MadeSafe, and GreenGuard Gold.
You have 120 nights to try the mattress out to see if the organic hybrid construction is the right one for you. If you decide it isn’t, just return it before the trial period is up, but make sure you give it some time to break in.
You’re covered by a 10-year warranty against defects. Be sure your mattress is correctly supported and used for its intended purpose.
Happsy delivers your mattress compressed in a box. The delivery person won’t be able to assist with set up, so make sure you have an alternative if you need it. Otherwise, just unpack the box and allow it to inflate. It should be ready in about an hour.
Here are a few recommendations for specific situations. If you fall into one of these scenarios, you might consider one of these mattresses.
Avocado – Best Vegan Option
If you practice veganism as a lifestyle, you’ll be happy to know that Avocado has an option that doesn’t use wool as a flame retardant.
The Avocado original is a 100% natural latex and coil hybrid that provides contouring with Dunlop style latex and support through individually pocketed coils. It offers excellent medium-firm support and is suitable for combination sleepers or partners with different sleep preferences. It has an optional pillow top that changes the firmness rating from a seven to a six on a ten point firmness scale.
The vegan option uses natural cotton and naturally hydrated silica instead of wool. You get the same flame retardant products with no animal byproducts anywhere. The mattress exceeds federal safety standards.
Avocado is certified by many organizations including GOTS. The latex is certified by Eco-Institut as free of volatile compounds. The mattress uses no ozone depleting materials, no foams, and no formaldehyde and is GreenGuard Gold certified.
You have 100 nights to try the mattress out before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Your Avocado mattress ships carbon neutral and compressed in a box. Unpack it, and you’re ready to go. Be sure to sleep on the mattress for at least 100 nights, so you have time to adjust.
The 25-year warranty covers a full replacement for defects within the first ten years and prorated limited coverage for after that period. Make sure your mattress is adequately supported, so you don’t accidentally void the warranty.
Saatva – Best Dual Coil Option
Saatva is the parent company of our number one pick, Zenhaven. The Saatva mattress is a blend of contouring materials and Euro top padding with a double layer of support coils.
The memory foam contouring materials are CertiPur certified to produce fewer amounts of VOC’s and off-gassing. The first layer of coils are micro-coils that provide response and ease your body to the support layer. They’re some of the most comfortable springs on the market.
The bottom layer is full sized individually pocketed coils surrounded by a layer of edge support coil for structural integrity. It has increased durability throughout the life of the mattress. They’re constructed from recycled steel.
Saatva’s mattress is covered with organic cotton material. The flame-retardant layer is natural thistle. The entire bed is breathable and highly responsive without the strain of conventional coil mattresses.
You can try the mattress for 120 days before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Just return it within the trial period for a full refund if you decide that it isn’t. You’re covered by a 15-year warranty against mattress defects. Make sure that your mattress is properly supported, so you don’t accidentally void the warranty.
Saatva offers free white glove delivery. Your delivery person brings your mattress at an arranged time and sets things up for you. He or she will remove all the old packaging and your old mattress so that the transition is seamless.
NaturePedic – Biggest Variety/Most Options
You may know NaturePedic from their crib mattresses, but they make mattresses for the whole family. They have a wide variety of options from crib to child to adult. If you need to redo everyone’s sleep situation, it may be easier to get mattresses all from the same place.
NaturePedic’s mattresses for adults are mostly latex and coil options. These hybrids offer contouring and support without losing durability or breathability. The company is certified by a lot of different organizations including GreenGuard Gold, GOTS and GOLS, and the Organic Exchange. They’ve also been certified formaldehyde free.
Baby products come with a 30-day money back guarantee. This gives you a few weeks to decide if the mattress is the right one for your new addition. For adult mattresses, Chorus and Serenade options have 30 days while the EOS and Luxury series have 90.
We’re fans of EOS series. Its zippered design actually lets you customize your layers and swap out ones that don’t work for you. You can even customize each side of the bed for different sleepers. The materials ship in separate boxes and require some assembly, but optional white glove delivery can help you get things together if you aren’t able to do it yourself.
Some of the layer options include latex contouring, PLA comfort layer (a plant-based material) organic cotton filling and wool batting, micro-coils and full coils.
The warranty will depend on the individual bed, but the EOS, for example, comes with a 20-year warranty against defects and irregular wear and tear. Your mattress must be adequately supported to take full advantage of the warranty.
Once you handle your bedroom needs, you can move on to a range of children’s beds with the same materials and certifications as adult beds. Any new additions to the family are also covered by the same guarantees as the rest of the family. You can swap out everyone’s beds, everyone’s pillows and linens, and virtually eliminate toxic chemicals and allergens from your beds.
If you’re experiencing allergies, it might be a good idea to go ahead and upgrade to an organic mattress. While none of these is necessarily a budget option, you still come out way under showroom prices for conventional mattresses.
Even though the organic label can be confusing, understanding what certifications to look for can help clear a few things up. It’s not enough that a mattress says “natural” somewhere in the title. It must be verified independently by outside organizations. Look for a few of those, and you’re probably ok (especially if it’s GOTS or GOLS certified).
You’ll need a few weeks for latex to break in, especially if you go with Dunlop latex. It’s a bit firmer than Talalay or conventional memory foam, so your body will need time to adjust, and the latex will need time to soften a bit. Give it some time even if you think it’s too firm in the beginning, so you don’t return a mattress that would actually work well for you.
Otherwise, we think you’ll be happy with any of the mattresses on the list, but our current reigning favorite is the Zenhaven. We like that you can flip the bed for different firmness levels, but it’s a little simpler than Naturepedic’s switchable layers. Regardless, get rid of the chemicals and sleep better.