The Ultimate Guide to the Best Organic Mattress for Healthy Sleep

Learn how to choose the best organic mattress for your needs with this comprehensive mattress guide, so you can begin benefiting from a healthier sleep environment ASAP.

Best Organic Mattress Guide

Our mattress was a wedding gift. It served us well but after 20 years, our backs were telling us it was time for something new. Since I know a little bit more about mattresses than I knew 20 years ago, I knew I wanted a non-toxic, healthy mattress that was safe to sleep on and better for the planet too.

It took a lot of research to finally find a natural, organic mattress that we were comfortable with and that fit within our budget. As much as we wanted the best luxurious organic mattress on the market, we needed to find an affordable mattress that checked all the boxes but wouldn’t break the bank.

After lots of research, we finally found a healthy, eco-friendly but affordable mattress that was a perfect addition to our non-toxic bedroomSince we all have different criteria for purchasing mattresses, I put together this mattress guide to help YOU find the organic mattress that you’ve been dreaming of! 

I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure 

At Mindful Momma we only endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and honestly love. We may receive commissions from affiliate links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure

The Problem with Conventional Mattresses

First, let’s talk about what’s wrong with most conventional mattresses you’ll find on the market today.

A typical mattress is made with synthetic materials and petroleum based foam for padding. The foam is treated with chemical flame retardants and mattresses are often covered in PVC vinyl for waterproofing. In addition, toxic formaldehyde is commonly found in synthetic foam, as well as in the adhesives used to make the mattress. Ultimately this means that your mattress is releasing toxic fumes while you sleep. 

Those off-gassing fumes, known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs have been associated with a whole host of health disorders including thyroid, reproductive and behavioral problems, as well as cancer.

It’s hard to rest easy knowing you are sleeping in a bed of toxic chemicals – especially since we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives in bed. 


Non-Toxic Mattress Shopping Guide

What Should I Look for in a Healthy Mattress?

If you’ve ever shopped for a mattress you’ve probably noticed that the mattress industry is complicated and confusing. The number of options and differences between products is overwhelming and each mattress company has their own “proprietary” manufacturing process.

You’ll need to cut through the hype and the clutter to find the elements of a safe and healthy mattress that are important to you.

Here are the top things to look for in a healthy mattress:

  • ZERO chemical flame retardants – The chemicals in fire retardants are linked to neurological damage, hormone disruption, and cancer. These dangerous chemicals also bioaccumulate in humans, which can lead to long-term chronic health problems.
  • Natural materials and fabrics – Look for mattresses made with certified organic materials including an organic cotton cover and organic wool as a natural fire barrier, instead of synthetic materials like polyester, polyurethane foam and vinyl. 
  • Natural latex – If you want a cushy layer in your mattress, make sure it is natural talalay latex or dunlop latex made from rubber trees, and NOT petroleum-based polyurethane foams (as is used in memory foam mattresses).
  • No chemical adhesives – The healthiest mattresses use only non-toxic adhesives in the mattress assembly. 
  • Trusted certifications – Look for third-party certifications like MADESAFE, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) and others (learn more about certifications below.)
  • Safe waterproofing – If you need waterproof protection, look for food grade polyethylene or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) instead of PVC vinyl.
How to Buy a Non-Toxic Mattress


RELATED POST: 4 Good Reasons to Buy Natural, Non-Toxic Products for Your Home & Life


Natural & Organic Mattress Certifications

In a category as confusing as mattresses, third-party certifications are an important guide to the safety, quality and eco-friendly attributes of the mattress.

Let’s take a closer look at the non-toxic and organic certifications most commonly found on natural mattresses:

GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard 

GOTS is an internationally recognized organic standard for textiles including fabric used in clothes, home textiles, yarns, and in this case both the cotton and wool used in mattresses. GOTS ensures the organic status of textiles every step of the way – from the harvesting of raw materials to the processing, manufacturing and labeling of finished products. This is known as the toughest organic textile standard available.

Note: GOTS & GOLS certifications cover three levels – the factory, materials used, and finished product. Ideally both the factory and the finished product will be certified. You may have to do some digging on the company website to find this out.

GOLS – Global Organic Latex Standard

This standard monitors the natural rubber used to make organic latex and ensures that everything from the rubber plantation, to the manufacturing plant to the final product are in compliance with the standard. To be GOLS certified, a finished product must contain at least 95% certified organic raw material.

MADESAFE

When you see the MADESAFE label you know it has met rigorous standards to make sure it does not harm human health, animals or the environment. All certified products are screened for known behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, flame retardants, heavy metals, neurotoxins, high risk pesticides, reproductive toxins, toxic solvents, or harmful VOCs. Only a few mattress brands have met these strict standards.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 

An international, third-party certification program that tests for more than one hundred harmful substances, including formaldehyde, banned colorants and heavy metals.

GreenGuard Gold

This certification looks at air quality standards and assures that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits. Gold certification considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals, such as children and the elderly.

eco-INSTITUT 

An independent certification agency based in Germany that tests for pollutants and emissions. Products are evaluated for formaldehyde, VOCS (volatile organic compounds), heavy metals, pesticides, phthalates, and other potentially harmful chemicals.

CertiPUR-US 

CertiPUR-US is a certification for conventional polyurethane foam that ensures that it is low-VOC. It is free from the worst flame retardants (PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP- “Tris”) but not all flame retardants – so keep in mind that some chemical flame retardants may still be used. CertiPUR foam is also free from ozone depleters, formaldehyde, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals and phthalates. NOTE: This certification was developed by an association of foam manufacturers so it’s not perfect, but could be safer than traditional polyurethane foam.

organic mattress and bedding

Finding the Best Organic Mattress for Your Needs

A new mattress is a big investment so choosing the right mattress is a big deal! To avoid information overload, I recommend starting with some online research to learn as much as you can before you buy.

If possible, try to visit a small, local store that specializes in natural and organic mattresses (rather than a mega mattress store), where you can see the mattress in person and test it out. Of course, purchasing a mattress online has become quite common and with trial periods of up to 180 nights, this can be a very reasonable option. 

You’ll need to determine your top priorities for a mattress and then shop around until you find the best mattress that meets your needs. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new mattress:

  • Type of mattress – Do you want a latex mattress, an innerspring mattress or a hybrid mattress (both latex and coils or springs)? 
  • Feel of mattress – Do you want your mattress to be firm and supportive, soft and cushy, or somewhere in between? Most side sleepers prefer a medium mattress that provides support but also relieves pressure from the hips and shoulders. Most back and stomach sleepers prefer a firmer mattress that helps keep their spine in proper alignment. 
  • Price – An organic Queen size mattress starts at about $1000 and can go up to $5000 or more for a luxury model, with many options in the $1200 to $2000 range.
  • Shipping – Do they offer free shipping or is there an extra shipping or delivery charge? Will the company take away your old mattress for free or for a fee? 
  • Packaging – Does the mattress arrive compact or full size? Do you need a compact bed-in-a-box model in order to get it up the stairs?
  • Trial period – Do they have a Happiness Guarantee? Will they take the mattress back if you are not 100% happy with it? How long is the trial period?
  • Warranty – How long is the warranty period for the mattress? (typical range is 10 – 25 years)
Organic mattress

Non-Toxic Mattress Shopping Guide

Best Healthy Mattress Brands

We had a tight budget for our new mattress. While I was willing to spend extra to get a safe, organic mattress, I could not quite afford the ultimate green mattress I was dreaming of. We ended up buying a quilted, organic cotton innerspring mattress from Naturepedic (the exact model is no longer available but it is most similar to the Chorus Mattress). It is super comfy and we love it! Now that it is over 10 years old, we added an organic latex mattress topper from My Green Mattress just to add a little extra cush! 

After doing lots of research, here are a few of the best organic mattresses that stand up to my green & healthy scrutiny. I’ve personally tried Naturepedic, Happsy and Zen Haven and I’ve heard good reviews about the rest. 

(For even more detailed information about these mattress brands and more, check out my posts about my Top Non-Toxic Mattress Brands and Best Crib Mattresses.)

Naturepedic

Naturepedic has a variety of mattress styles ranging from a basic latex-free mattress, to a luxury, customized organic mattress (and crib mattresses as well.) All their mattresses are GOTS certified, MADE SAFE®  certified and GREENGUARD® Gold certified. Use code mindfulmomma15 for 15% off your order.

Happsy 

Happsy keeps it simple with just one mattress – a hybrid with both pocketed springs and a layer of cushy latex. The mattress is shipped compressed so it’s great for apartment living. The Happsy mattress is 

 GOTS certified, MADE SAFE®  certified and GREENGUARD® Gold certified. We have a twin sized Happsy mattress in our son’s room and he loves it! Use code Mindful225 for $225 off at checkout. 

(Read my full Happsy mattress review)

Avocado

Avocado has a number of mattress options including their popular Avocado Green Mattress and their affordable Eco Organic Mattress, as well as a vegan mattresskids mattresses and crib mattresses. Avocado mattresses are GOTS certified, MADE SAFE®  certified and GREENGUARD® Gold certified. Use code MINDFULMOMMA for the best pricing on all mattresses.

My Green Mattress

My Green Mattress is known for having the best value organic mattress – the Kiwi – but they have a couple other mattress styles to choose from, as well as the popular Emily crib mattress. Their mattresses are GOTS certified, MADE SAFE®  certified and GREENGUARD® Gold certified. Use code MindfulMicaela for the best pricing on all My Green Mattress mattresses.

Savvy Rest

Savvy Rest has something for everyone – from their flagship Serenity mattress to a simple innerspring mattress to a luxury pillowtop mattress. Savvy Rest mattresses are GOTS certified and GREENGUARD® Gold certified.

Zen Haven

The Zenhaven Natural Latex Mattress from Saatva is a dual-sided mattress made with organic natural latex mattress. The mattress can be flipped to the gentle firm side or the luxury plush side depending on your preferences. My youngest son has this mattress and he loves the plush side! The Zen Haven mattress is made with GOTS certified cotton and GOLS certified latex and is GREENGUARD® Gold certified.

Sleep on Latex

Sleep on Latex makes simple latex mattresses that are the least expensive organic mattress I’ve seen, but with fewer customization options (firm or medium only). They are made with GOTS certified cotton and GOLS certified latex and are GREENGUARD® Gold certified. Sleep on Latex mattresses are available on Amazon.

What If I Can’t Afford an Organic Mattress?

If a natural or organic mattress is simply not in your budget, here are a few things you can do to lessen the negative effects of a conventional mattress:

Are you in the market for an organic mattress? What are your most important criteria?

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature

41 Comments

  1. Do you know, is Temperpedic that bad?

  2. Great post, Micaela! So glad you have a good, local option. Great summary of what to look for in a mattress. I’m going to add a link to this post in my bed post. This is one of the toughest issues people deal with b/c of the cost.

  3. I found, when looking for an organic mattress, that it was challenging to find a retail store to touch and feel the mattresses. After much searching, I finally found a local shop where we could test out the beds before buying. I’m glad you had the same option. Your criteria are very helpful-buying bedding is overwhelming in general. Unfortunately organic bedding can be cost prohibitive. Hopefully with more consumer demand the price will come down over time.

  4. Hi Lisa – it is my understanding that Temperpedic mattresses are made from polyurethane foam – which unfortunately is highly flammable and must be treated with flame retardant chemicals.

  5. Thanks Besty. I agree – deciding on a mattress is a tough decision to make. I had a hard time spending the money but justified it knowing it was an investment in our health!

     

  6. Lori – good point – not everyone has a local store that carries natural mattresses. While you can certainly buy one online, it would be tough not to test it out first. Let's hope that prices come down – so more people can afford safe mattresses!

  7. We went on this journey in the spring, looking for a mattress for our toddler. I thought I knew it all and by the end of it I realized that no one knows it all. You have to ask, “Is this latex mattress 100% natural, chemical-free, free of petroleum, and non-blended? And is it made with the Talalay process?” Eventually with went with the Natura Starlight Organic for our toddler and the Naturepedic for our newborn. Luckily for us, the store Wildflower in Austin had mattresses to try out. If you don’t have a store to try out Naturepedic, your shipping is free. My write-up of everything is here, if you don’t mind me posting: http://therobynnest.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/my-head-is-going-to-explode/

  8. Great article! After researching mattresses for our children, I knew I needed to make a different choice for us when it was time to upgrade. Since I, too, live in Austin I will head to Wildflower. Thank you, TheRobynNest!
    Once you educate yourself on such matters, you cannot ignore the facts about how you are poisoning yourself with those toxins. Sometimes I wish I could.
    Lisa, I would challenge you do your research on the matter of Tempurpedic and the like. The headaches, endocrine disruption, etc. all seem pretty bad to me. Of course, you need to decide the pros and cons for yourself. The chemicals have more profound effects on some than on others.

  9. Hi Robyn – thanks so much for your insightful comments! Yes, the whole latex thing is tricky. I looked at Natura and was confused by all of the different choices and combinations of materials. I'm so glad that you found mattresses for your kids that you feel comfortable with!

     

  10. Hi SAHMmelier – you are so right that once you educate yourself about the problems with conventional mattresses, it's hard to go back. Good luck with your mattress shopping at Wildflower!

  11. Thanks for mentioning the Sustainable Furnishings Council Mary – it's a great resource!
     

  12. The Sustainable Furnishings Council was formed many years ago to help people find the best of products nearest them.

    I like that you listed a third party standard, GreenGuard, as one of the things to look for when making a decision.

  13. I always love finding people’s personal exerts on buying an organic mattress. It can be a real process, what with all the researching and then shopping! Overall, it’s a pretty big purchase, so you want to make sure you’re happy and healthy in the end.

    In regards to your “ultimate green mattress” – I’ve heard great things about the Savvy Rest Serenity organic mattress – http://www.savvyrest.com/products/organic-mattresses. It seems like the phrase “you get what you pay for” has never been more true!

  14. Hi Lindsay – The Saavy Rest mattress wasn't in my budget, but lucky to those who can afford it! I'm sure it's awesome!

     

  15. Great article! I recently decided on a Naturepedic for my son too. However, I also need a trundle and those are hard to find since they are shorter than a twin mattress. Would you ever buy a mattress that is GreenGuard certified, but not organic? I found one at PBK, but I’m not convinced it’s safe.

  16. Hi Jodi – Good question- the GreenGuard certification helps because you know it has met certain criteria. I would recommend asking a lot of questions about the mattress you are considering. Is it 100% organic or partially organic? What type of flame retardant materials are used? Does it contain synthetic foam? I hope you enjoy your Naturepedic mattress for your son!

     

  17. What about what happens to the old mattress? Do you know of an easy way to keep it out of the landfill? Companies that recycle them?

  18. Theresa – Good question about recycling – it's an important part of the equation. Some mattress stores and manufacturers will take back old mattresses for recycling – ask about it when you visit the stores. Also you can check Earth911.com for recycling options in your zip code.

     

  19. Julie – What a bummer you had so much trouble getting your mattress delivered! We didn't have any trouble at all. Ryan & Tina at Moss Envy are awesome, aren't they? I hope you are getting a good night's sleep on you new mattress!

  20. Micaela,

    My name is Andy and I work for a company called The Natural Sleep Store. I think you wrote a really great post that touches on a lot of things that are important when researching a new mattress purchase. I had a question for you, we just started carrying Naturepedic and it sounds like from your post that you really like your mattress. We value consumer feedback more than anything else and since Naturepedic is brand new for us I was wondering if you could give me any other feedback about your mattress.
    Thanks in advance for your time
    –Andy

  21. I agree with Andy Aust that you touch a lot of things that are important when researching a new matress purchase. We have our own store in the Netherlands and also want to introduce Naturepedic, maybe it’s an idea for a new article (your experiences with this brand?)

  22. Good info to know! I didn’t know these were all things to consider when purchasing a new mattress!

  23. What about a nector mattress ? Can you give me any info

    1. Hi Barbara – I’m afraid I don’t know about that one yet! Thanks for the head’s up.

  24. Hi, thanks so much for this post. Are you still satisfied with your naturepedic mattress? Thanks!

    1. Yes! Our Naturepedic mattress has held up great! I highly recommend it!

      1. Hi Micaela, did you notice odor from Naturapedic Mattress? Almost smells like spices? Not sure whether that’s the cotton smell, but I can definitely notice it in the room? Does that eventually disappear? Thank you!

        1. No we didn’t notice any odor at all. You should contact the company and ask them about it for sure!

  25. Hi are you still loving the naturepedic? What kind of boxspring do you use with this? We are looking for a full mattress for our 4 yr old! Please help. Any recommendations on exactly what mattress ..? They seem to have a few on naturepedic?! Also have you had a chance to checkout savvyrest yet? If so .. thoughts?! Great article.

    1. Hi Haili – Yes, we still love our Naturpedic. Not sure what brand of boxspring we have but it’s not anything special. I did try a Savvyrest at a store and it seems very comfortable!

  26. Have you heard of the Metta bed mattress? They are organic and use natural latex. Would they be good? Trying to decide between My Green Mattress and Metta bed. I like that Metta Bed uses latex instead of coils. Any thoughts would be very helpful!

    1. I’ve never heard of Metta mattresses – there are so many new companies popping up! It sure looks like a good one to me – certified organic materials – and very affordable! I have a mattress with coils and love it – it is very substantial – but this type could be great too!

  27. Hi there, I was wondering if you still like your mattress? I am looking at getting a Naturepedic used mattress that was bought in 2011. And I think your post dated back to 2011, and i would be interested in hearing if you still like your mattress? Thank you so much! Lily

    1. Hi Lily – YES! We still love our Naturepedic mattress! It’s still in excellent shape – no concerns at all!

  28. Dawn Mason says:

    Hi ,
    I’m looking to buy an organic non toxic mattress and just wanted to know which organic mattresses are made in the USA entirely.
    Thank you,
    Dawn

    1. I know that Naturepedic, Happsy and My Green Mattress are made entirely in the USA. Hope that helps!

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