Mattresses Made With Organic Materials (Certified)
More than ever, people are stepping away from traditional products in
favor of organically grown and sustainably produced items. Though many
people associate organic shopping only with food, an increasing number
of ‘green mattresses’ are being introduced as well. If you are
exploring the possibility of an organic or natural mattress, here are
some things you ought to know.
Why buy an organic mattress?
As with other organic products, the benefits of an organic mattress
extend both to the environment at large and to its owner more directly.
The construction of an organic mattress begins with more natural
materials, such as simple wool and cotton, and then uses a less
energy-intensive production process, all of which results in a smaller
carbon footprint relative to a traditional mattress. Moreover, organic
mattresses are designed to decompose more thoroughly when discarded,
which in turn reduces their long-term waste and pollution. This is
especially important since nearly 40 million mattresses are discarded
each year, with the average queen size mattress weighing more than 60
pounds and occupying over 20 cubic feet of landfill space.
Along the way, in addition to the satisfaction of having minimized
their impact on the environment, owners of green mattresses receive more
direct benefits as well. Fewer chemicals used in the production of an
organic mattress translate into fewer chemicals to which they are
exposed every night. Also, many natural materials have the added
advantage of being inherently hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and
breathable, in addition to providing excellent moisture absorption.
How are organic mattresses different?
Much of what makes a mattress green comes down to the materials that
go into it. Most commonly, organic mattresses use natural latex,
organic cotton, and special techniques for meeting fire-resistance
standards. To ensure that certain conditions are met, the USDA monitors
production of mattresses that claim to be organic. In order to use the
“organic” label, a mattress must meet the same USDA standards required
for other organic products – and not every mattress marketed as
“natural” is truly organic. If you’re interested in buying an organic
mattress, here are a few qualities to look for.
Natural latex. Natural latex, known for its
softness and elasticity, as well as its biodegradability and inherent
resistance to allergens, is perhaps the most popular core material for
organic mattresses. That said, be aware that not all latex mattresses
are organic. Natural latex, the material used in organic mattresses,
is produced from the sap of rubber trees grown under organic conditions.
Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is made through a chemical process
using petroleum-based materials, and ‘blended latex’ is made from a
combination of natural and synthetic latex. Neither synthetic nor
blended latex would be considered truly organic.
Organic cotton. Real organic cotton is grown without
pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, in soil containing no
chemical fertilizers. It is also processed without bleaches or
artificial dyes. Cotton must come from a field that has not been
treated with these chemicals for three years in order to be listed as
organic. Many natural mattresses have ticking and other upholstery layers made from organic cotton.
Special flame-resistance techniques. Since 2007,
federal law has required that mattresses sold in the United States meet
certain standards for flame-resistance. In traditional mattresses, this
is typically achieved through the use of fire-retardant chemicals in
the outer layers of the mattress. Owners of organic mattresses are
frequently concerned about exposure to these chemicals, which are
believed to emit dangerous toxins that can be inhaled or absorbed into
Organic mattress manufacturers have devised several ways to offer a
more natural product while still complying with federal fire safety
regulations. In some mattresses, the fire retardant chemicals are
placed in a separate cover that can be removed by consumers who may be
more concerned about long-term exposure to harmful chemicals than they
are about fire risk (of course, any decision to remove the protective
cover is entirely up to the consumer, and is not necessarily encouraged
or recommended). Other models use a layer of organic wool that is
sufficiently fire-resistant to meet fire safety standards without being
treated with chemicals. Still other mattresses avoid fire safety
requirements altogether, through a loophole that allows consumers with a
prescription from a doctor to purchase a mattress that does not meet
the fire safety regulations. Naturally, this exception is designed for
consumers that have a medical reason for avoiding fire-retardant
chemicals (eg, an allergic reaction). That said, it is also worth
noting a potential bonus of this last approach – since the product has
been prescribed by a physician and is not otherwise available to the
general public, it may not require sales tax.
Other organic materials. Due to the nascent
popularity of green mattresses, organic mattress manufacturers are still
exploring a host of other natural materials. For example, certain
manufacturers are experimenting with foams made partially from soybean
oil. Coir fiber mats, made from shredded coconut shells that have been
grown and processed organically, are a durable alternative to
non-organic cloth. Other popular materials used in organic bedding
include silk, bamboo, hemp, sustainable wood, natural oils, and organic
What should I look for when buying an organic mattress?
When shopping for an organic mattress, be aware that the organic
mattress industry is still in its very early stages. Consequently, just
as with many other organic products, standard definitions and
conventions have yet to be established, which has important implications
for you as a mattress shopper.
First, given the lack of widely accepted standards for organic
mattresses, manufacturers and retailers will tend to stretch the
definition of terms like ‘organic,’ 'eco-friendly,' ‘natural,’ and
‘green’ as far as they are allowed. For example, some manufacturers
will label their mattresses “natural” if they contain a blend of natural
and synthetic latex. In this case, these mattresses may indeed be more
‘green’ than traditional mattresses, but if you are seeking a mattress
that is truly organic, you should make sure that 100% of the latex in
the mattress is natural.
Second, not all organic mattresses are created equal. Mattresses
advertised as natural or green can vary widely in the quality and
quantity of their organic materials. A given model may have some
features that are genuinely organic and others that are not. Look for
as many of the features described above as possible, and be sure to ask
questions about those aspects of the mattress that are not explicitly
described as organic. In addition, be aware that the types of materials
used in organic mattresses are likely to change over time – while some
organic mattress materials, such as latex, are well-established and
proven, others are much newer, and their long-term suitability is less
well-known. Find out how long the manufacturer has been using these
materials in their mattresses, and look for consumer reviews to
understand how such materials have fared over time.
Finally, organic mattresses are not yet as easy to find as typical
commercial mattresses. However, as demand grows, they are likely to
become more common. If you are interested in purchasing an organic
mattress, GoodBed provides a wealth of information that can help you
decide which product to buy and where to buy it.
Organic Mattress Brands
Given the rising popularity of 'green' and organic products, it is
not surprising that many mattress manufacturers now offer mattresses
containing natural and/or eco-friendly features. To find the right
organic mattress for you, start your search by browsing our extensive
list of manufacturers and product lines below. While each of these
mattress brands seems to emphasize 'green' features in its products,
please note that they may vary widely in their actual use of natural
materials and environmentally friendly business practices, and that
GoodBed does not research claims made by manufacturers or retailers in
this regard. As such, we encourage you to research these brands
yourself in order to draw your own conclusions, and to focus your
research on those companies that are willing to provide the most
information to substantiate their positioning.
Posted by Amanda (
from Potwin, KS
on July 4, 2014
Since there are no local Essentia stores near me (Portland, OR), I ordered my Queen-sized Tatami, by phone, from their Seattle store. It was a big leap of faith on my part (especially for the price point), and since this is the only non-toxic 100% latex memory foam mattress available ...
Posted by Maria B
from Venice, CA
on June 27, 2014
We are THRILLED to talk about our daughter's new mattress and sheets from Naturepedic. First of all, it took a few nights for our daughter to transition from her crib to her new room and mattress but from the day that she slept in her new bed she has never ...
Posted by dorothy
from Anchorage, AK
on February 20, 2014
I have had this mattress for over 24 years. I fell on the ice up here and hurt a nerve in my lower back that the docs said they could not fix..so I bought one of your original mattresses. years later, when when it started to leak air the mfg ...
Posted by Stacey R
from Escondido, CA
on January 6, 2014
Let me say first that I would never jump straight to a scathing review without first trying to work things out with the company. However, I have tried over the course of months to resolve issues to no avail, so I think it is important that people know what they're ...
Posted by Deb K
from Deadwood, SD
on December 27, 2013
DO NOT even think about getting one of these beds. We got our bed Jan. 2013 and the trial time was near and my husband said lets just try it a little more. And so a few months later I called to see why this bed was so hard and ...
Posted by Cecily G
from Fountain Valley, CA
on August 15, 2013
Dormeo does not stand behind its product, and they don't care about their customers. My husband and I purchased an Octaspring in April of 2013. Just after the 90-day warranty ran out, my husband and I started waking up with backaches. Thanks, Murphy's Law! We went back to Sit 'n ...
Posted by zeebed b
from Raleigh, NC
on April 5, 2013
I purchased the Zedbed because my husband liked memory foam. We had had a MF topper on our bed before and we both liked it. I began to learn about off gassing and that was a concern for us. The store we purchased the bed from told us repeatedly there ...
Posted by Carey L
from Athens, TN
on February 14, 2013
Very comfortable. I can finally sleep on my side without pain in my shoulders and hips. I toss and turn much less than on a standard spring type mattress. And when my husband turns over, there is little movement on my side of the bed.
Posted by Heinz K
from High Point, NC
on February 7, 2013
A very comfortable mattress at a reasonable price. We bought one for each of our children to help with their allergies. Our children have slept much better on the Invigo than traditional coil mattresses.
Posted by T B
from Pensacola, FL
on February 6, 2013
It is on guest room queen bed and our guests ( 8 since we installed it) have been consistently enthusiastic about the big improvement. We tried it ourselves and found that it is every bit as comfortable as our much heavier, much more costly but very comfortable mattress. It also ...
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