Natural and organic mattresses are just what they sound like. The construction of some or most of the materials is made up of natural components such as wool and cotton. If you are prepared to make a sizable investment in a product that will feature some of the best quality materials in the industry, I’m excited to walk you through the various types of natural and organic mattresses on the market. There is a lot more to consider than meets the eye to help you find the best natural and organic mattress to meet your needs, so let’s jump right in!
The Best Organic Mattress Reviews
1. Avocado Green Mattress
Avocado mattress is a quality product featuring components you can count on. From its Joma® New Zealand Wool and 100% Dunlop latex to the 8 inch innerspring and final layer of high-density Dunlop latex, this product is able to offer the combination of motion isolation, edge support, heat transfer capabilities and off-gassing reduction I think you’ll enjoy. Avocado is eco-Institut certified.Should you choose this mattress, you’ll have the unique option to have the shipper set up the product for you in your home for an extra $99. The company stays in close contact with you to ensure you’ll be home during delivery, and this helps ensure you don’t show up after a long day at work to a mattress in your driveway.Their products are handcrafted in the USA without petroleum-based polyurethane foam, toxic flame retardants, or dangerous pesticides. You also get to take advantage of a 100 night sleep trial, providing you more than three months to decide whether or not the mattress will be right for your needs.
Avocado also features zoning which considers the ILD of the areas where your shoulders, lumbar, and pelvis will make contact with the bed. Since the small of your back is usually thinner, it’s important that the product is firm enough to properly conform. Therefore, the mattress is a little bit firmer in the middle to help offer optimal comfort. Together, the Dunlop latex and innerspring unit provide good bounce and responsiveness without becoming disruptive if you have a sleep partner.
2. Awara Sleep
If you switch sleep positions often, carry a lot of weight, and/or have mobility issues, the Awara mattress is worth a look. This product incorporates a strong innerspring unit and combines it with bouncy latex that provides excellent bounce and support. Since 2018, Awara has been providing their customers a 13-inch organic hybrid mattress that sources natural materials including latex and a cotton-wool blend intended to keep our planet vibrant for future generations. As well, it’s worth noting that these mattresses are 100% made in the U.S.
They’ve teamed up with ClimatePartner, an organization that plants a tree for every Awara mattress sold. If off-gassing bugs you, Awara is VOC free, so you won’t experience the smell you do with memory foam.
3. My Green Mattress Natural Escape
Another top contender is My Green Mattress.This product features both cotton and wool in the cover. Inside, you’ll find 100 percent natural Dunlop, and the mattress is supported by a quality pocketed coil spring system. The cotton and wool components of this product are GOTS certified. I personally felt like I was in good hands when I used this product since it was originally developed in response to the owner’s daughter suffering with eczema and allergies. He put in a lot of time and effort researching natural products and created a product that reflects his love for his daughter.
Now, while their wool is certified organically processed, it can’t be considered “certified organic.” This is because, to be considered certified organic, the sheep are restricted to a strict, organic diet that prevents them from open grazing. The staff at My Green Mattresses believes this decreases their quality of life. However, it is still stringently tested at the UC Davis Animal Toxicology Lab where they check it thoroughly for herbicides, pesticides, and naturally occurring heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Like Avocado, My Green Mattress also offers the zoning option with a higher firmness in the lumbar area. In the middle, you’ll find a coil gauge of 14.5 while the top and bottom of the mattress features a coil gauge of 15.5.
Most impressive of all was this mattresses ability to disperse heat. I laid on the mattress for 30 minutes in a temperature-controlled environment, and it only took 5 and a half minutes to cool back down. This is about five minutes faster than the average time it’s taken all the mattresses I’ve tested, so this is a great product to consider if you sleep hot.
4. Zenhaven Foam Mattress
Handcrafted in America, Zenhaven by Saatva is made of 100 percent natural Talalay latex, and it’s breathable, 100% organic New Zealand wool is wrapped in lush organic cotton. The combination is one that adds comfort and keeps the product from taking on moisture over time. While the investment in this product, for the queen-sized option, is right around $2,000, you can expect high durability as well as a 120-night sleep trial to ensure you are happy before you make that final commitment. This product is certified by Oeko-Tex and the Sustainable Furnishing Council, a non-profit industry organization focused on promoting sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.
5. Amerisleep – Natural Memory Foam Mattress
If you’ve always wanted to enjoy the visco-elastic properties of memory foam but shy away from the heavy chemicals typically used in the processing of these products, the Natural Memory Foam mattress from Amerisleep could offer the solution you’ve been looking for. They not only make efforts to use greener materials but also incorporate the use of more healthful ingredients and cleaner manufacturing processes. If you choose this product, you can rest assured that:
- Soy and castor are used in place of heavy petroleum
- Low off-gassing
- Use of techniques like the use of variable pressure foaming chambers to pressurize the foam without blowing agents that result in pollution
This mattress is 10 inches and offers a firm support system that’s great for back and stomach sleepers. The two-inch Bio-Pur™ memory foam cooling layer helps regulate heat, an aspect that’s important in memory foam as these types of products have a bad rap for sleeping hot. You can also benefit from the product’s 8″ Bio-Core™ sag-free support layer and Celliant®-infused cover clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You can also rest assured that Amerisleep is committed to compliance with fair trade practices.
Why the Popularity in Organic Mattresses?
When you make the investment in a sleep product, you’re essentially making an investment in your own health and well-being. Therefore, you want to ensure you can enjoy a quality product for as long as possible. When you choose a natural fiber mattress, you can expect both. These products are made without all of the petroleum and other highly-complex materials commonly used in other mattresses. Not only does this allow you to take advantage of the reduction in off-gassing, but you can rest assured that you’re doing what you can to help protect our environment for future generations to enjoy.
You want your mattress investment to last, and organic and natural products often feature the best durability in the industry. While a standard mattress will offer you around five to ten years of proper structure, they do wear out over time, and natural products can last much longer than this. Think about that for a moment. Yes, you will likely have to make a slightly larger initial investment. But, how much would it cost to replace a $500 mattress in five years? If your aren’t ready to make the purchase when the time comes, are you prepared to compromise on your sleep quality?
What Makes an Organic Bed?
When it comes to classifying an organic mattress, this means the product has passed certain certifications that allow them to qualify. This must be a recognized third-party organic certifying agent. A couple you can count on include the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS).
Common Organic Components
- Grown without fertilizers and pesticides
- Not genetically modified
- Unbleached cotton products further increase the natural qualities
- Helps keep your mattress cool
- Prevents moisture buildup using lanolin, a natural wax produced by sheep that keeps their hair dry and soft through harsh weather
Understanding the Manufacturing Process
As I mentioned, most natural products will feature some type of natural latex, and there are a couple of manufacturing processes that are followed in this production. It’s because of this that you’ll often come across products featuring 100% Dunlop or Talalay latex. These two processes are actually quite similar. First, liquid latex is extracted from trees, and this liquid is whipped up and placed into a mold. During Dunlop processing, the product is then placed in a vulcanization oven where it is set. When complete, the product is washed and heated to remove moisture.
The Talalay process is very similar, but there are a couple of differences worth noting. First, when the mold is poured, there is room made available that creates a vacuum which causes the expansion necessary to fill it up. This ultimately allows for carbon dioxide to release during the freezing process and create breathable airholes. For this reason, Talalay is often a good choice if you want a product that won’t sleep hot.
Adhesives, Flame Retardants, and Other Man-Made Materials You Won’t Find
A certified organic mattress will spare you a number of man-made products that can cause irritation for those who suffer from allergies and skin problems. The US fire retardant standards were applied to non-organic products in 2007 in order to ensure they properly protected consumers from the potential for their bed to set fire. To comply, many began spraying chemicals onto the mattress fibers. This is why it’s not uncommon for you to experience off-gassing when you open a new, non-organic product. Aside from flame retardants, just a few other common chemicals which are used include:
As you seek out the best organic mattress, you can take advantage of alternative fire retardant materials such as Kevlar, the fabric commonly used in fireproof vests. There are different ways in which the mattress can be made to meet the industry standards without exposing consumers to often controversial fire retardants such as:
- Boric acid
- Decabromodiphenyl oxide
- Antimony trioxide
Organic vs. Non-Organic vs. Eco-Friendly
Those in the mattress industry are very aware of the many features of top rated organic mattresses. However, there is additional overhead involved with their production. While there are ways they can try and make the product appear to be organic, it’s up to you to make sure they are as organic as you’re expecting. Just a few things you can be on the lookout for as you determine if a product is legitimate include:
- Look for the GOTS certification and its expiration date
- Watch out for labels claiming the product is:
- Soy foam
- This often indicates the manufacturer simply replaces a small portion of polyurethane foam with plant-based components and in no way indicates the entire mattress is organic.
- To avoid the use of fire retardants, look for products that feature organic wool without chemical treatments for a truly nontoxic mattress.
Pros and Cons of Organic Mattresses
Before you make a purchase, it’s worth taking a moment to remind yourself why you’re reading organic mattress reviews in the first place as well as the potential setbacks that may be cause for you to consider other options.
- Biodegradable, sustainable, and eco-friendly materials are used
- Products are free of chemicals and pesticide residues
- Nontoxic fire barriers are in place
- Can often be customized to best fit your needs
- You can do your part in reducing your carbon footprint
- Limited availability and options
- Can be confusing to buy
- Can be expensive
With so many different features and technical terms, it can be confusing to weigh your options. While this can be looked at negatively, with the power of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to learn what you need to get the best natural mattress for your needs. That’s why we’re here to help! Not only can we help you clear up confusion, but we can also open up a number of viable options for you to explore as the online experience can help you overcome the limited availability factor.
Types of Organic Mattresses
Latex is the sap that comes from a rubber tree. There are two procedures from which you can receive latex. The first method is the Dunlop process. This process starts with latex being stirred, molded, and then stem-baked. This latex is heterogeneous and comes out heavier, with a froth-like substance on its top. This latex is more often the support layer.
The second procedure is the Talalay process. Here sap is vacuum-sealed, frozen, and then baked. This will come out homogenous and lighter, better suited for the comfort layer.
On another note, just as there is no such thing as 100% organic, there is no such thing as 100% organic latex. The presence of chemicals when producing and treating the latex will be there.
Two foam types could be used, polyfoam and viscoelastic polyurethane foam, or better known as memory foam.
Polyfoam is regular foam, which has a lower lifespan than other materials and is usually used as a support layer. Memory foam is responsive to body heat and is more commonly found as the comfort layer.
Once again, 100% organic is not something that can be achieved, but there are ways to create plant-derived foam for a slightly more organic product. These products are not eligible for GOLS or GOTS certifications.
Innerspring mattresses are almost always hybrids since they obviously cannot be just coils. The support core of the mattress will always be coiled, while the comfort layer will be foam or cotton, or wool.
It’s harder to find innerspring mattresses that are organic since coils are not made in the most environmentally friendly manner. However, you can find mattresses that used recycled metals and materials to create their coils.
Finally, there is the option of hybrid mattresses. These mattresses are perhaps the hardest to find in a ‘green’ option. They combine memory foam, latex, and innerspring mattresses to make one better quality mattress.
While the whole mattress may not be constructed in the most eco-friendly manner, the individual parts and pieces can be. Organic covers such as cotton and wool, organic latex, memory foam, and even recycled coils can all come together to make the most possibly organic mattress there is to make.
Certifications for Organic Mattresses
Listed below are some certifications to keep an eye out for. These indicate that your mattress was tested and verified as an organic product:
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is a widely known certification that has testing institutes in Europe and Japan. They perform 18 different independent types of research to evaluate the level of emissions that come out of the mattress, ensuring that levels are not toxic or harmful in any way. Chemicals tested for are VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), formaldehyde, PBDE’s and flame retardants along with possible triggers to allergic reactions.
- CertiPUR-US Certifications test for emissions coming from polyurethane foam, PBDE’s and lead.
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) tests to see how much of the product is organic. The qualities the product must have to be certified are 1. 70% of the product are certified organic fibers such as cotton or wool and 2. The remainder of 30% of the product does not consist of any polyfoam or formaldehyde.
- This certification is strictly for latex. GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) only applies if 95% of the product is made from organically produced latex. The other 5% is irrelevant.
- The next certification is GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD. This assesses the VOC emissions from the mattress, only to a stricter extent than OEKO-TEX. It strives to achieve minimal VOC emissions from the products approved. This does not mean, however, that there will be no off-gassing when the product arrives.
- Finally, there is the Rainforest Alliance Certified, which only certifies latex that was sourced from forests which promote environmental conservation, the protection of endangered species and indigenous peoples, providing workers with living wages and that practice sustainable harvesting.
I’m a big fan of making a slightly larger investment in a quality product that will stand the test of time. While you may have to pay a little bit more in the beginning, you’ll soon find that it was an investment worth making as you’ll long enjoy the various features it has to offer.
I hope I have helped you make this big decision a little easier to make. When shopping for an affordable natural mattress, you’re sure to run across terminology and information you just don’t understand. If you still have questions or would like to make a comment, please do so below. We will get back with you quickly to help guide you toward the best product for your needs every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which organic mattress is the best?
The Avocado mattress is our top pick. Using only quality components, including Joma® New Zealand Wool, 100% Dunlop latex, 8 inch innerspring, and high-density Dunlop latex, the mattress offers edge support, motion isolation, and temperature regulation. The zoning features in this mattress ensure conforming support for your body to release pressure points and alleviate aches and pains. Handcrafted in the United States, the mattress is manufactured without petroleum-based polyurethane foam, toxic flame retardants, or dangerous pesticides. Further, it comes with an Eco-Institut certification, 100 days trial period, and 25 years warranty.
Are organic mattresses worth it?
Yes, made with higher quality materials that last longer and are better for your health, organic mattresses are definitely worth their price. They do not contain fire-retardants, petroleum-based materials, or other complex and toxic materials that grace most mattresses. This means that they face reduced off-gassing and aren’t just better for you but also for the environment. It is a fair argument that these advantages come at an additional cost. But, the fact that natural and organic mattresses last longer also means that you’ll be able to go for a long time without having to purchase another mattress.
What is an organic mattress made of?
100% organic mattress can be made with latex or natural fibers like cotton and wool. Produced using the sap from rubber tree, latex can be natural or synthetic. Synthetic latex is chemically treated with petroleum based products during processing and can be toxic. If a product is labelled as eco-friendly, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain synthetic latex. To be sure of the natural and organic nature of latex in a mattress, you’ll want to check for GOLS, Greenguard, OKEO-TEX, or Eco-Institut certifications. When it comes to natural fiber mattresses, you’ll want to check for Organic Exchange, CertiPUS-US, or USDA Organics certifications. These come at a higher cost but offer one of the healthiest surfaces for sleeping.
How do I choose an organic mattress?
When choosing an organic mattress, you’ll want to consider multiple factors, including those that relate to general requirements and those that relate to its organic nature. Sleeping position, pains and aches, budget, and personal preferences are all factors that you should keep in mind. Further, check the material used in its construction as well as the manufacturing process. Look for mattresses using organic wool without chemical treatments to ensure its truly non-toxic. Beware of labels like “Eco-friendly”, “Green”, “Bio-foam”, or “Soy foam” as these words simply mean that plant-based components have been used and not that the mattress is completely organic. Instead, you’ll want to evaluate the certifications of the product to determine whether it’s actually organic. As some companies have been known to use organic materials for their first batch and then move on to non-organic materials, you should also check the expiration date of the certification.