The quest for cleaner living doesn’t end with your daytime activities; man-made chemical ingredients lurk in your bed, too. Upgrading to an organic mattress contributes to a healthier lifestyle, even as you sleep.
Traditional mattresses use synthetic materials often treated with harmful dyes, adhesives, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are bad for your health and bad for the planet.
The best organic mattresses are made of materials that don’t harm you or the environment: These mattresses use organic padding, fabric, and latex, all of which are nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and free of high volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful substances. They keep you breathing clean air and your skin touching hypoallergenic surfaces while you sleep.
Read on to learn about why the mattresses below are some of the top performers.
- BEST OVERALL: Birch Natural Mattress
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sunrising Bedding 8” Natural Latex Queen Mattress
- BEST FOR SIDE SLEEPERS: Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress
- BEST FOR BACK SLEEPERS: Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress
- BEST FOR STOMACH SLEEPERS: My Green Mattress Pure Echo
- BEST COOLING: Avocado Green Mattress
- BEST VEGAN: Avocado Vegan Mattress
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Organic Mattress
It’s important to understand what the terms “organic” and “natural” mean when applied to a mattress. Manufacturers can say their products are organic even if the materials are not certified as organic. Sometimes companies say “organic” to mean their mattresses are made with plant-based materials instead of synthetic ones. To find the best organic mattress, look for one made of eco-friendly materials that offer the comfort and support you need to get the best sleep. Here are some additional considerations when selecting the best organic mattress.
The common sizes for mattresses in North America include:
- Single twin measuring 39 inches by 75 inches
- Double (full) measuring 54 inches by 75 inches
- Queen measuring 60 inches by 80 inches
- King measuring 76 inches by 80 inches
Organic mattresses use a combination of green products produced without pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. Common organic mattress materials include organic cotton, organic wool, and natural latex.
- Organic cotton is a hypoallergenic material commonly used in mattress covers and padding.
- Organic wool is commonly used for padding. This material is flame retardant, resists mildew, and is hypoallergenic for most people.
- Natural latex is a renewable material sourced from rubber tree sap used as a foam layer. It’s resistant to mold and dust mites.
Purchasing a mattress protector keeps an organic mattress safe from spills and helps it remain in peak condition for a longer time.
Organic vs. Vegan
Materials used in mattresses may be labeled organic or vegan. Here’s what those labels mean.
- Organic products are grown and processed without toxins, chemical dyes, and pesticides. These are natural materials like cotton or wool that are not treated with harmful chemicals during the mattress manufacturing process.
- Vegan products are made without harm to animals. Vegan products can still include synthetic materials or be manufactured with dyes or pesticides, as long as the means of production do not use animal products, test on animals, or cause harm to animals. Wool comes from sheep, so mattresses using wool are not vegan.
For a mattress to be officially classified as organic, it requires third-party certification. There are two important certifications:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) confirms 95 percent of materials in the mattress are certified organic. GOTS is the leading textile standard for organic fiber certification for wool and cotton.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) ensures latex mattresses are made with a minimum of 95 percent organic latex.
The following certifications indicate a mattress has healthier materials than standard, but may not certify a mattress as meeting legal standards for being organic.
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 ensures a mattress falls below the limits for the emission of harmful chemicals and VOCs.
- CertiPUR-US certifies that polyurethane foam in the mattress does not use flame retardants or other chemicals that can be harmful.
- GREENGUARD testing certifies a mattress meets emission limits for formaldehyde and other VOCs.
Mattresses use a firmness scale ranging from 1 to 10, with lower numbers indicating a softer mattress and higher numbers a firmer one.
- Extra-soft mattresses have a firmness of 1 to 2. These mattresses are plush with deep cushioning and may not provide proper support for the spine.
- Soft mattresses are level 3 to 4. They provide enough cushion for side sleepers but may be too soft for stomach or back sleepers.
- Medium mattresses are 5 to 6 on the firmness scale and suit most sleeping positions.
- Hard mattresses fall around 7 to 8 on the scale. They’re firm, but still have a bit of softness to them.
- Extra-hard mattresses have level 9 to 10 firmness. Very few people desire a mattress this hard.
Proper firmness helps relieve pressure points in the body, which contributes to the overall support of the mattress.
A mattress with proper support keeps your spine in alignment, no matter your preferred sleeping position. Some organic mattresses use natural foam for support while others use coils— individual steel springs that contour around the sleeper—for support. Hybrid organic mattresses combine foam and innersprings, similar to regular hybrid mattresses. Proper mattress support minimizes motion disturbance to avoid waking a sleeping partner when you move at night.
Your preferred sleeping position influences which product is the best organic mattress for you.
- Stomach sleepers need a medium-firm mattress that supports the unique curves of the stomach.
- Side sleepers need softer mattresses between 3 to 6 on the firmness scale that can ease tension that occurs on hips and shoulders when lying on your side.
- Back sleepers need a less firm mattress, between 4 and 8 on the scale, to provide alignment to the spine to sleep better.
Choose an organic mattress designed to regulate temperature so you don’t get too cold or too hot while you sleep. Organic mattresses do a good job of maintaining temperature because their natural, breathable materials draw heat from the body and allow air circulation. When air flows better, your body heat disperses around you and keeps you at a comfortable temperature.
Our Top Picks
Keeping the previous shopping considerations in mind, here are some of the best organic mattresses.
Birch gives a supportive and cool night of slumber thanks to hundreds of individual steel coils beneath layers of natural latex, cotton, and wool. The coil system distributes body weight, contours to the body, and limits motion transfer. The organic cotton cover adds breathability and softness, the wool layer regulates temperature, and a pressure-relief layer of latex cushions pressure points and offers additional support. Instead of fire retardant, Birch uses wool to increase the safety of the mattress. The mattress has GOTS, GREENGUARD, OEKO-TEX, eco-INSTITUT, and Rainforest Alliance certifications, so it’s both organic and healthy.
Sunrising’s green mattress offers clean sleep at a wallet-friendly cost. While not certified organic, it uses a healthy manufacturing process and natural materials. There’s a layer of natural latex on top that gives the mattress coolness and comfort, a cashmere wool cover that’s OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, and a nontoxic cotton layer for fire protection. It has 852 independent pocket springs that cradle the back, waist, and shoulders comfortably and alleviate motion disturbance from a partner. Those steel coils have a larger gauge around the edges of the mattress for additional support.
Side sleepers need a mattress with a lot of support, and Awara’s organic mattress delivers. It’s 13 inches thick with a 6.5 firmness rating, giving side sleepers the support and comfort they need for a good night’s sleep. This hybrid mattress has individually wrapped 9-inch coils that cradle the sleeper, align the spine, and relieve pressure on the body. Its top layer is made of New Zealand wool and organic cotton, so it’s soft, breathable, and minimizes night sweats. The next layer is 4 inches of Sri Lankan natural latex foam that adds a layer of comfort and support. This mattress holds Rainforest Alliance certifications and meets CertiPUR-US standards for material, emissions, and durability.
Sleep On Latex’s organic mattress is medium firm, so it’s a good choice for back sleepers. It has a 6-inch thick organic latex foam base layer for strong support and durability and a 2-inch layer of organic latex foam within the mattress that supports the back and keeps the spine aligned. A layer of wool padding tops the mattress for additional comfort and fire resistance, and its quilted cover is made of organic cotton and organic New Zealand wool. The mattress is certified GOLS, GOTS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and UL Greenguard Gold.
Stomach sleepers need a mattress that will support their spine, because sleeping facedown flattens the natural curve of the back. My Green Mattress delivers with steel spring coils for firm support and a layer of organic cotton batting that offers pressure relief. Unlike other mattresses with latex in their designs, My Green Mattress has organic cotton batting for its comfort layer, so it’s a good option for those with latex sensitivities. The coils are individually encased in fabric for independent movement and minimal motion disturbance. The mattress is GOTS certified, and the layers of the mattress are secured with a button-tufted technique instead of chemical adhesives that off-gas VOCs.
The Avocado Green Mattress uses natural latex and organic wool and cotton to create a natural cooling system that offers better temperature control than standard memory foam. It has a firmness level of 7 with individual temper steel coils that can support back and stomach sleepers. The coils create ergonomic zones that support the hips, back, and shoulders and create a reinforced perimeter at the mattress edge. Its layers are constructed with hand-tufting instead of adhesives to keep it environmentally friendly. The Avocado is certified by GOLS, GOTS, GREENGUARD Gold, and OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which means the entire manufacturing process meets strict standards and is certified organic.
Avocado swaps out the wool used in traditional mattresses with organic cotton, so no animals are affected by its manufacture. This vegan mattress uses up to 1,414 pocketed support coils (depending on the mattress size) in five zones that can support even the most active sleepers. It has a 3-inch layer of organic latex rubber foam and an internal pressure point system for superior back support and durability. A layer of organic cotton wicks moisture, keeping sleepers cool through the night. It has a level 7 firmness rating so it’s best for back and stomach sleepers. Side sleepers can add a mattress topper to make it more comfy. This mattress is vegan certified and also has certifications from GOTS, GOLS, and GREENGUARD Gold. It’s also approved by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
FAQs About Organic Mattresses
Still have questions about how to choose the best organic mattress? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you decide.
Q. What is a natural mattress?
Unlike traditional mattresses that emit VOCs, natural mattresses are made with materials that do not emit VOCs or contain flame retardants, giving you a healthier sleep.
Q. What makes a mattress vegan?
A vegan mattress does not use animal products or byproducts in its manufacturing. It also does not test on animals in the manufacture of the mattress.
Q. What should I look for in an organic mattress?
Choose a mattress with GOLS or GOTS certification. Also consider the firmness and support you need for your preferred sleeping position.
Q. How do I set up my new organic mattress?
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many organic mattresses come in a box, compressed for easy delivery. Remove the plastic wrap and let the mattress unroll. You may need to flip the mattress after it expands.
Q. How long do organic mattresses last?
Organic mattresses can last seven to eight years on average.