Chemicals aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Oxygen and water, for instance, are vital to our existence.
But some mattress construction materials — like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — are less friendly, and people are understandably worried about potential exposure to hazardous materials.
The good news is that there are companies that take extra steps to make their mattresses earth- and people-friendly. We’ve compiled a list of those mattresses from reputable companies to help you pick a model that’s right for you.
Below, you’ll find descriptions of our top picks along with information on why and how to choose an organic mattress.
We stick to strict criteria when listing any products — mattresses included. Here’s what we looked for when choosing our top organic mattress picks:
- Certifications. Navigating the organic mattress market can be confusing, and brands might make claims about organic materials that aren’t true. We only included brands that have specific certifications that can verify these claims. If you’d like to read more about these certifications before learning more about each product, we included their descriptions below.
- Brand reputation and transparency. It’s always important to buy mattresses from reputable brands that prioritize their relationship with their customers. We only recommend brands that are known for creating high-quality products and engaging in ethical and transparent business practices.
- Company policies. It’s also important to buy from brands that have solid in-home trials, warranties, and return policies. That way you can be confident in your purchase and trust you can return it if it’s not working for you.
- Customer reviews. We also take into account how actual people who have purchased these products feel about them. We make sure to include the most loved and popular brands out there.
Mattress costs vary depending on size and brand, and most come in various sizes from twin to California king. Prices here are based on a standard queen size mattress.
- $ = under $1,000
- $$ = $1,000–$1,500
- $$$ = over $1,500
Best organic hybrid mattress
Saatva Latex Hybrid
- Price: $$$
- Type: Hybrid
- Height: 13 inches
The Saatva Latex Hybrid contains organic cotton, GOTs certified wool, and Talalay latex that’s certified by the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. It also bears the Rainforest Alliance and Cradle to Cradle Certified seal, meaning that it’s sourced sustainably and with regard for the natural environment and local communities. The interior coils are made from recycled materials, and the wool is sourced straight from New Zealand. Instead of harsh chemical treatments for the outer layer, Saatva uses Guardian, a natural antimicrobial treatment.
Hybrid models borrow elements from both traditional spring mattresses and foam mattresses — making them a great option for those who aren’t quite sure what type of mattress they prefer. This hybrid model’s latex foam and individually wrapped springs combine for a supportive mattress with a medium-firm feel.
Buy the Saatva Latex Hybrid online.
Best organic mattress for side sleepers
EcoCloud by Winkbeds
- Price: $$$
- Type: Hybrid
- Height: 12.5 inches
The EcoCloud falls right in the middle of the firmness scale at a 5, which makes it a great option for side sleepers because it has enough give to avoid putting too much pressure on your hips and shoulders. It’s also OEKO-TEX Class 1 certified, contains recycled steel coils, and features GOTS certified organic cotton, New Zealand wool, and Talalay latex. Reviewers say this a super comfy, durable, and high-quality latex mattress.
Buy the EcoCloud by Winkbeds online.
Best organic mattress for chemical sensitivities
Birch by Helix Birch Natural Mattress
- Price: $$
- Type: Hybrid
- Height: 11 inches
Birch Natural is Helix’s offering for the eco- and health-conscious consumer. The mattress is handmade in the United States and comes with a 25-year warranty. It’s Greenguard and GOTS certified — no polyurethane foams here — and features organic cotton, wool, and natural latex. It’s also built to help sleepers regulate their temperature, making it suitable for both hot and cold sleepers. The mattress latex is OEKO-TEX and eco-INSTITUT certified.
The company offers multiple financing options and multiple discounts for military, students, teachers, and first responders. Some reviewers have mixed feelings about the firmness, but most customers appreciate the organic, hypoallergenic construction.
Buy the Birch by Helix Birch Natural Mattress online.
Best rated organic mattress
Avocado Green Mattress
- Price: $$
- Type: Hybrid
- Height: 11 inches
The Avocado Green Mattress contains GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified wool and cotton. It’s free of synthetic polyurethane foams and is even available in a vegan version that’s wool-free. Avocado’s mattress is also Greenguard Gold and formaldehyde-free certified, and all the fiber contents have received OEKO-TEX Class 1 certification. On top of everything, Avocado also commits to being a carbon-negative business. The brand is really transparent about this information and makes it easily available on the product page.
Outside of its organic certifications, this mattress also gets top marks from reviewers and the American Chiropractic Association, which endorses the Green mattress through its independent review program.
This mattress is ideal for back sleepers because of its firmer feel. You can choose to add on a pillow top for a plusher feel, but this model might still be a little too firm if you like to sleep on your side.
Buy the Avocado Green Mattress online.
Best organic latex mattress
PlushBeds Organic Latex Mattress: The Botanical Bliss
- Price: $$$
- Type: Foam
- Height: 9–12 inches
This PushBeds Latex mattress is made from GOLS certified organic latex and GOTS certified organic cotton and wool, which together make for a breathable and pressure-relieving mattress that reviewers rave about. It’s also GreenGuard Gold, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and eco-INSTITUT certified — among many other certifications. You can choose between medium and firm for this mattress, which makes this a great option for all kinds of sleepers that love the feel of latex foam.
Buy the PlushBeds Organic Latex Mattress: The Botanical Bliss online.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for any mattress:
- Mattress type. While shopping, you’ll notice that there are all-foam, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses. If you’re not sure what you prefer, hybrid mattresses can be an awesome pick because they feature elements of foam and innerspring mattresses. They’re also great for all body types and sleep positions.
- Mattress performance. Between firmness, motion isolation, pressure relief, off-gassing, temperature regulation, and edge support, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a mattress. Take a moment to figure out what’s most important to you and look for mattresses that have those features. It’s also always helpful to check customer reviews to find out how a mattress truly performs, rather than just trusting the company’s description.
- Company reputation and policies. Pay attention to whether a company is reputable, transparent, and provides a generous warranty for their products — a good mattress should last you at least 10 years. The company should also give you an in-home trial and allow you to return it if it doesn’t work for you.
When selecting an organic mattress, in particular, there are a few other things to consider. Because a mattress is made up of multiple components — unlike, say, a wool sweater — it’s a bit tougher to claim it as certified organic.
In fact, according to a Consumer Reports article on organic mattresses, a mattress would need to contain 95 percent certified organic materials to qualify for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic seal. So how can you tell a mattress contains organic materials?
Certifications to look for
There are a lot of different kinds of certifications to watch for when looking for organic mattresses. Some of these certifications are organic-specific, which means they certify that materials were produced organically. But others certify that the mattress meets certain standards when it comes to potentially harmful chemicals.
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). A GOTS organic label is the gold standard because it requires that 95 percent of a mattress’s materials be certified organic. It also requires that the other 5 percent of materials not contain certain chemicals. Mattresses can also be given the “made with organic materials” label, which means the product contains 70 percent organic natural fibers.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). This certification only applies to products made with latex — and it means that the product contains at least 95 percent organic latex. To get this label, companies also have to follow social and environmental regulations.
- USDA Organic. This applies to agricultural products grown using organic standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A product that is certified organic contains 95 percent organic ingredients. In a mattress, fiber materials, like cotton or wool, may have this kind of certification.
- Organic Content Standard. This verifies the amount and presence of organic materials in nonfood products, including mattresses.
Other important certifications
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100. This means that the mattress is certified to not contain or release specific chemicals.
- CertiPUR-US. A certification for foam mattresses that states that polyurethane meets specific standards (e.g., no heavy metals and without certain kinds of flame retardants and phthalates).
- Greenguard and Greenguard Gold. This restricts products that emit high amounts of VOCs. Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) can also certify if products are formaldehyde-free.
- Intertek’s Indoor Air Quality Certification. This tests and certifies products for VOC emission compliance.
- eco-INSTITUT. This tests for hazardous chemicals and for odor testing (aka off-gassing), which is often a problem with mattresses.
You should also look for mattresses with organic cotton covers and accessories since cotton is a crop that’s often exposed to agricultural chemicals. If you can’t find a mattress that contains organic cotton, consider skipping cotton altogether.
Obviously, not every component in a mattress can be organic. Metal, for instance, isn’t something you grow. Instead, look for these components if you’re on the hunt for an organic mattress:
- organic wool
- natural latex
- organic cotton
Why buy an organic mattress? There are a few clear advantages to buying this type of mattress:
- No chemical smells. There’s no dealing with smelly, chemical odors from off-gassing.
- Safe. It’s safer for the environment and your health.
- Kid-friendly. It’s ideal for kids — especially infants.
- Fewer allergies. There are fewer chemicals, which is a bonus safety-wise and means you’re less likely to come into contact with potential allergens.
- Durability. Organic components tend to have a longer life span than synthetic materials.
The only difference between organic and sustainable agriculture is that organic agriculture requires growers to use only approved substances. Both have the same basic principles, such as they maintain biodiversity and protect the natural environment and resources.
A product that’s certified organic meets certain standards. Sustainable growing practices, though, are a little less straightforward to verify.
Don’t forget to consider the source and construction of what goes on your mattress. Choose organic bedding and pillows, too.
Recycling your mattress is another earth-friendly action you can take. Don’t dump your old mattress out on the curb. Call your local recycling center or donate it to charity. If it’s still in good condition, you can also pass it onto someone for free.
You can also do your best to buy from companies with ethical business practices.
Thankfully, you really only have to shop for a new mattress every decade or so. Still, mattress shopping can be a pain, especially if you’re on the hunt for an organic mattress.
Sussing out an organic mattress can be a bit of a challenge. However, there are helpful labels and certifications to make it easier for eco-conscious shoppers to spot mattresses that fit the bill.
Don’t be fooled by claims that a mattress is natural, a moniker with very little meaning. Always do your homework and verify that any claims are backed up by certifications.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.