It’s the piece of furniture you use every single day. So you need to be sure you’re buying a non-toxic mattress! Here’s how to buy one
By Diane Small
You know, it’s funny. We’re often so careful when buying food and clothing. We consider the ingredients, the supply chain, and the working conditions of those who made our products or produce. But when it comes to furniture? Not so much. That’s a pity! And potentially even dangerous.
Why? Because the average mattress contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals and flame retardants. These can do profound harm to our endocrine, immune, reproductive, and nervous systems. What’s worse is that the off-gassing of these chemicals can linger in your home for months.
But it gets even worse. Over time, as your mattress’s protective outer layers erode, even more toxic carcinogens are released. All of which you breathe in while you’re sleeping, around 8 hours every single night.
So choosing an organic or non-toxic mattress is essential. Here’s how to buy a non toxic mattress.
There are basically three things you could consider when buying a non-toxic mattress. These are:
- Materials: Non-toxic materials used in mattresses include: natural latex, organic wool or cotton, and organic bamboo.
- Finishings: Often, mattresses are sprayed with anti-insect sprays or flame retardants. You should never accept a mattress with any such spray.
- Comfort: Obviously, your comfort is of top importance when buying a non toxic mattress.
- Ethics: Your ethical, sustainable mattress should be made locally and give back in some way.
Bad Stuff Found In Most Mattresses
Let’s take a deeper dive into the bad stuff that’s commonly found in most commercial mattresses, shall we?
Found in everything from candles and cleaning products to mattresses and air fresheners, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) leech from polyurethane foam used in mattress production and from flame retardants. And if you consider yourself to be a ‘hot’ sleeper, you should know this: they are more likely to do so when the heat from your body warms up the mattress.
VOCs can cause anything from asthma to irritation of the eyes and throat. And in more severe instances, they can even harm your nervous system and cause some forms of cancer.
Many flame retardants are really toxic. They’ve been known to cause everything from cancer to neurological damage.
Due to their toxicity, it isn’t great to be exposed to these chemicals at any level. But prolonged exposure, and by that, I mean sleeping in the same place every night, means your body is likely to build up toxicity levels pretty fast. In addition, of course fire retardants present a risk to those who are exposed to them daily in mattress production supply chains. And they also pose an environmental risk. In fact, flame retardants have been found in even the remotest areas, and are related to drops in wildlife reproduction.
This hard-to-spell word is a chemical that makes plastic softer. It’s often used to waterproof kids’ beds. Which is a really bad thing! Exposure to phthalates has been linked to cancers, asthma, behavioural issues and even low IQ and neurodevelopment problems. These toxins are also released in higher quantities when our beds heat up as we sleep.
Yipes, right? But don’t freak out! Here below, we have reviewed some of the best organic and non-toxic mattresses in the USA and UK. But many of these brands can be found around the world, too. Why not top them off with some eco friendly sheets?
The Best Places To Shop Non Toxic Mattresses
If the name reminds you of The Lion King, you’ll definitely rest like royalty on this mattress, equipped with a titanium alloy Aerocoil® spring layer. Basically, there are several tiny cones that create the upper comfort layer. They’re smaller and slimmer than the habitual ones and are made out of titanium alloy that provides the support you need without being invasive.
The Simba mattress compresses and extends with you, as the cones gently push air through the comfort layer, helping to keep you at just the right temperature. It’s like getting a massage in your sleep!
But there’s more! Too much heat at night can be utterly fastidious. That’s why the brand designed the Simbatex foam. This is an ‘open cell’ foam, which allows airflow and is infused with a naturally occurring mineral called graphite, that draws heat away from your body.
Last but not least: this is first UK-born sleep brand to be awarded certified B Corp™ status!
Price range: From £500 to £1000
Made of GOTS-certified organic cotton & wool, GOLS-certified organic latex, Avocado’s non toxic mattresses are tops! They offer every size of bed you could ask for. They also provide various levels of firmness, from soft to very firm.
Don’t take our word for it. Consumer Reports polled its users on over 100 mattress brands. And guess who came out as number 1? Avocado!
Each mattress is handmade in California and is GREENGUARD Gold certified for low emissions. The brand also offers a vegan-certified mattress, pillows, and duvets. They also sell organic cotton mattress pad protectors, and bedroom furniture, handmade from reclaimed or sustainably sourced wood.
And they give back, too! Namely via 1% for the Planet.
Price range: Around $800
Really picky sleeper? Then Awara is the best non toxic mattress for you! They offer a 365-night trial, as well as premium customer service, and a lifetime warranty.
Made of FSC certified organic latex, 100% certified organic cotton, 100% organic New Zealand wool, OEKO-TEX and GreenGuard Gold certified materials, Awara offers mattresses that are classified as medium firm. They come in all sizes, from twins to California king. Which is huge, my friends!
Price range: A queen starts at around $950.
The Plank Firm Natural is a hybrid mattress, that not only is firmer than traditional ones, but it is also eco-friendly, natural and built with long-lasting materials. It is layered with organic wool, organic cotton, and 100% Talalay latex to allow high breathability.
It is FSC Certified and temperature regulating, while providing natural shape retention for top-notch comfort. The structure includes a six inch core of individually wrapped coils for perfect pressure point relief and contouring support.
Another perk of this company is that it truly wants to satisfy your needs: you will get a 10-year warranty, following a 120-night comfort trial period!
Price range: Around $600
All the materials used in Birch mattresses come from Mother Nature, from the wool sustainably sheared in New Zealand to the latex tapped from trees. The eco-conscious label meets the Global Organic Textile Standard standards and is Greenguard Gold Certified.
Birch further has a terrific design that instills comfort in all sleeping positions. This NYC-based brand also plants one tree through the National Forest Foundation.
Could it get any better? Definitely, in your sleep, sweet dreams!
Price range: Around $1000
This brand produces mattresses made with organic latex, organic wool, and organic cotton. If you want a healthier option for your sleep you should definitely try Spindle.
The most pure, organic latex composes the mattress, without using synthetics or polyurethane. The organic cotton inside has been grown avoiding pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. Ultimately you’ll also find pure wool batting as a natural flame barrier. Hence there are none of those harmful chemical flame retardants.
You’ll be reconnecting with nature as you rest on this environment-friendly mattress. It will be a reality, not a dream, expect for the one you will have while sleeping here.
Price range: Around $1000
Looking for a seriously eco friendly mattress? Look no further! This brand uses 100% GOLS certified organic latex, 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, and 100% GOTS certified organic wool from New Zealand. They also boast Fair Trade Certifications, are Carbon Negative, and use OEKO-TEX Certified materials. Could it get any more natural?
From cribs to California king, you’ll find a size and firmness that’s perfect for you. The company has been around since 1987, and are well known for their high-quality non toxic mattresses.
Price range: From $500 to $1400
From their twins to California kings, DreamCloud offers only two kinds of hybrid mattresses. They are both made with latex, memory foam, and handcrafted cashmere – so they’re not suitable for vegans.
tufting, and coil technology. This brand seems to suit every type of sleeper (scour the reviews, and you’ll see). DreamCloud’s mattresses are CertiPur Certified and backed by an Everlong Warranty, plus a year-long sleep trial. DreamCloud is committed to ensuring your mattress is right for you. The fine-tuned firmness of this mattress is great for folks who often wake up stiff or uncomfortable, as studies show that medium firm mattresses offer the best relief for back pain.
Price range: From $665
This company is one of the world’s best known bed and mattress manufacturers worldwide, for its exquisite craftsmanship, innovative designs and superb quality. Sleepeezee has a long history that goes back to 1924, but has not failed to keep up with innovation.
A century later we can find foam mattresses from Sleepeezee, which will react to the shape of your body to offer supreme support for the perfect night’s sleep. The British wool fillings will help with temperature regulation, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summertime.
The brand uses high quality, environmentally friendly materials, with timber coming from sustainable, carefully managed forests. Since 2018 Sleepeezee has held a carbon neutral status, in recognition of its commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, and is also a proud member of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, which ensures its members adhere to environmental and corporate social responsibilities.
In 1963 they received the Royal Warrant of HM Queen Elizabeth II and in 1985 they were awarded the Royal Warrant to the Prince of Wales, an honour they’ve held ever since. Basically, Sleepeezee has the Royal stamp of approval!
Price range: From £300 to £800
10. Silent Night
The name is fitting! Because Silent Night is the way you’ll spend your nights if you get one of these non-toxic mattresses.
There are several sizes, firmness types and styles you can choose from. For example, you can select the version with its innovative microclimate sleep system, featuring EcoBreathe Fibre channels and Mirapocket springs. Or maybe you’d prefer the one with the Miracoil zoned spring system? It’s hypoallergenic and dust mite free, thanks to an all natural ozone process.
This is one of the UK’s most trusted sleep brands, and with good reason!
Price range: From £300