Toxicant-free 🛏 Mattress and Bedding Guide

Updated September 2023

This guide contains mattresses at all price points. Because you spend ⅓ of your life in bed, this should be a priority to have it be as non toxic as possible! The best way to avoid toxicants is getting a certified organic mattress.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH CONVENTIONAL MATTRESSES

1. Formaldehyde–this chemical is found in fabrics, adhesives, and foams. It off-gasses from the adhesives used and the petroleum-based polyurethane foam. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen.

2. Flame Retardants–these chemicals off-gas for years after the mattress is sold and are harsh endocrine disruptors and possible carcinogens. One of the most common ones was PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), which increases the risk of breast cancer and disrupts normal thyroid functions, among other things. The good news is that in newer mattresses (starting after 2007), these are becoming much less common.

3. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)–Health effects range from headaches & dizziness to cancers and central nervous system problems. VOCs also bond to ozone in your home creating smog in the sunlight.

4. Polyurethane foam and polyester are synthetic (petroleum based). Another reason to purchase an organic mattress is that polyurethane foam is incredibly flammable. Polyurethane foam is also referred to as “gasoline” by firefighters because it’s made of petroleum and catches fire very quickly. So if you have a conventional mattress, fires are more of a problem. This is the reason why they have to add chemical flame retardants to the mattress to protect you.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ORGANIC MATTRESS

The entire mattress should have a GOTS organic certificate, not just its parts. And the certificates should have the manufacturer’s name on it, not just their suppliers. GOLS is another certification for organic latex. OEKO-Tex 100 is a lower level certification that is a good step but not as good as an organic certification.

Some brands claim they are organic, but sometimes that doesn’t mean the entire mattress. The be can search for the name of the company in the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) database here. If you don’t find that brand, most likely that means that neither the whole mattress nor the facility is certified, which means we can’t be sure that the mattress is totally free of petroleum-based materials or flame-retardant chemicals.

I recommend organic Dunlop (not talalay) latex with no coils. You don’t know for certain what is in talalay because there are no regulations and no certifications.

Remember that latex mattresses can last 20 years, so consider it an investment! I am not an affiliate for any mattress companies, but many offer sales and discount offers. Other things to consider are shipping charges, and return policies.

There’s a ton of green washing/ misleading claims around mattresses, so beware of marketing claims. Regulations for using terms like “natural” or “organic” don’t exist the way they do for food products, so if you ever see a non-food product claim to be organic without a certification, there’s a good chance it is not organic at all. IKEA (isn’t even cheap for a “natural latex” one) and Tuft and Needle (a better choice for foam, if you have to get foam) are just two of many that are not non toxic as claimed.

Look closely at the materials; often mattresses, pillows, etc that claim to be organic really just have an organic cover (and possibly not even truly organic), but the latex or inner materials are not organic .

WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD A BEST OPTION OR REPLACING MINE AT ALL?

I used to think it was possible to wrap conventional mattresses in a protective encasement, but it’s unlikely to prevent exposure to off gassing. You could wrap in thick plastic, but it would be crinkly and pose a mold risk. You’d also then be laying close to plastic, which is not non-toxic. I’ve seen this recommended for baby mattresses and I find it appalling.

If you can’t afford a better option, the best thing you can do to mitigate a toxic mattress is having a high quality air purifier in your room. Here is my post about air purifiers.

BEST ORGANIC MATTRESS OPTIONS

#MyTopPicks: Based on everything I’ve read, the very best truly non- toxic organic mattresses I recommend are:

Soaring Heart (starting at $1,899).

-Naturepedic

-OMI (or Lifekind/ Metta/ Nest, their cheaper versions, which starts at $1,299.)

I personally have bought Soaring Heart and Naturepedic (for a crib).

#MoneySavingTip: If you don’t want to spend the money for one do the top three choices, the lowest cost option I’d recommend is trying one 3” latex topper or stacking three 2” latex toppers (about $500 total) plus an $89 Magnolia encasement or DIY Natural Bedding (but see concern with them below) to put them in to avoid shifting around. When I looked at toppers a couple years ago, Happsy was the best price and a recommended brand. Each one comes covered in organic cotton fabric, not sure if that makes it easier or not to stack, but you could always cut off the cover. Amazon affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3ACz54o

Or these (Amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/35m8tcg) but there’s not the same kind of brand recognition with this option: Organic 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper – Includes Organic Cover – Medium Firmness – 2″ King Size – GOLS & GOTS Certified. You can cut a king size 3” topper in half to make a “6 twin!

BETTER ORGANIC MATTRESSES

These are lower cost organic options, but they aren’t quite best because often the certification is through the supplier only, and/or they use coils, poly in the cover, use hydrated silica, etc). I looked up prices for twin size, cheapest option available:

-Happsy is organic and almost totally non toxic (and is an offshoot of Naturepedic), is made of safe materials, but contains metal coil springs. $899 and up. Amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3IAMA7u

-My Green Mattress is organic and recommended in some of my groups. The used to use some polyester in the cover but no longer do, but one of the guides below had some concerns. $599 and up but all contain coils. They upgraded to full certification of GOLS and GOTS. You might want to see if they share details on the source of their latex.

-Avocado starts at $799 (all have coils) They upgraded to full certification of GOLS and GOTS. As of Spring 2023 there is a class action lawsuit against Avocado mattresses. However, I think we should wait until is more is known/ decided before we over-react and refuse to buy from the company. Here is more information.

-Metta mattress $1,299 (no coils) GOLS from start to finish.

-Saavy Rest $999 and up; has coils. Non-coil options available). GOLS from start to finish.

-Obasan- GOLS and GOTS certified latex mattress from start to finish. Starting at $1,199.00.

-Eco Cloud $1000 (coils) $1500 (no coils).

-Essentia $1,791 and up.

-Nest Bedding (linked with OMI) $1,899 and up.

-Awara $699 and up; all have coils), certification may be lacking.

-Mountain air organic beds $1,699.00 and up.

-Saatva Latex hybrid (has coils) $1,199 (may have certification issues, and the cover just says “made with organic cotton”).

-Cozy Pure. No coils. GOLS certified organic but I haven’t looked deeply into if the final products are certified $2,619.

-Turmerry looks good from what they have written on their site, but it’s a newer company so I’d look further into it. $799 for a twin kids mattress. They state they are a GOLS and GOTS certified facility and that the two major organic certification bodies, GOLS and GOTS, issue their certifications directly to their company.

-Sleep EZ. Starting at $1,199.00 for their organic latex (no coils) mattress made with both Dunlop and Talalay latex. Do note that they have cheaper mattresses but they aren’t organic. Read the fine print carefully. For the organic latex mattress, at one point it says the Dunlop is organic, but other times it is described as “natural” and only Oeko Tex certification is mentioned, rather than organic certification.

-Brentwood Home – odd language describing certifications that danced around the finished product having other certifications but never mentioned GOTS.

NON-ORGANIC (BUT CHEAPER) OPTIONS

OEKO TEX:

-Brooklyn Bedding $479.

-Zenhaven $1,299 (no coils).

NOT ORGANIC OR OEKO TEX:

-Birch uses natural, but not organic Talalay latex. $799 for a Childrens mattress.

-Coco-Mat $1,400?

-Eco Terra $649.

-Ikea natural latex 799.

-Relaxation Products on Etsy: Wool and cotton mattresses. $250.

-Sleep on Latex $595 (no coils). Their layers of latex are fused together with latex based adhesive to create one solid piece of latex (not individual layers). I would be concerned about this because of the mysterious nature of adhesive ingredients.

-Biosleep uses natural latex but it isn’t organic. In some descriptions they claim organic latex but on their certificate page it doesn’t list gols or gots, but I couldn’t download the actual certificates.

FOAM (not recommended but if you’re going to do foam, these might be “better” options):

If you are going to get foam, try to see if there’s one that has Oeko-Tex certification on the mattress (make sure it’s not just for the covering). I haven’t looked into it so I’m not sure it even exists, but that would be most ideal. I recently looked in “Sunrising” brand and their answers were sketchy!

-Tuft and Needle $290. This has a bunch of lower certifications but not oeko tex.

-Loom and Leaf $749.

-Juniper from Costco $219. Has some certifications.

-IKEA conventional (not latex), may contain small amounts of flame retardant around the stitching.

NOT RECOMMENDED:

-Mattresses from DIY Natural Bedding (this brand doesn’t share supplier info).

-5 Little Monkeys. It’s certipur, memory foam, gel, etc. just covered with oeko organic cotton.

-The Futon Shop. There have been reports of mold in their warehouses.

BOX SPRINGS/ BED FRAMES

To prevent mold growth, it’s recommended not to put the mattresses directly on the floor. Wood slats are available from companies like soaring heart, or a natural wood frame such as this: https://sleepez.com/products/natural-wood-foundation/. I hear Naturepedic might have some options too. KD Frames may be another.

A coconut coir pad can also be an option, such as from Avocado brand or the Futon Shop.

CRIB MATTRESSES

The brands I listed under my top picks (and some of the less expensive organic brands as well) make baby mattresses. After researching, I personally felt most confident about Naturepedic and that’s what I bought for my baby. I am not an affiliate of this company but I can provide an Amazon associates link: https://amzn.to/3nUWb0G

SHEETS AND BEDDING

Here’s a few I have. For other options, Look for GOTS certified organic cotton. Target Threshold organic is a great #MoneySavingTip option! For a higher thread count, Magnolia Organics is another that I have (amazon affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3fUDar1). I have also bought organic sheets from Pottery Barn Kids but check the description carefully to see that it says GOTS CERTIFIED.

This brand I have comes packaged without plastic, in cardboard and tissue: (Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3AtRgsG)

I have an organic duvet cover from West Elm and the cheapest all-organic cotton duvet insert (also works as a comforter on its own) I could find is from Coyuchi. Burts Bees makes affordable crib and bassinet sheets. Amazon Affiliates link to one I used: https://amzn.to/3IzoxFT

PILLOWS

Many of the brands above make pillows as well. I tried organic cotton (amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3IyubrU or kapok from Magnolia Organics, but wasn’t a fan. My husband and daughter use them though. I like my latex pillow from Happsy. Amazon affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3Iyv8jN. I like a little more height though so I put a folded organic towel underneath. I also use an organic cotton body pillow from Lifekind. That pillow taught me never to try to wash an organic cotton pillow! It will soak up a ton of water. It can be put in the dryer to kill germs instead. I also use these pillow protectors (amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3ArahMB)

Beware of deceptive advertising about things like pillows and mattress pads. Sometimes, just the cover will be organic cotton, but the filling will be polyester, so be sure to check.

If you are looking into making your own or adding more stuffing, here is a source of certified organic cotton fill.

MATTRESS PROTECTORS AND PADS

There are a few brands that make waterproof protectors, including Naturepedic and Happsy. Here’s one that uses TPU instead of polyurethane, though it’s tough to say which is better. If you’re looking for the cheapest, Vekkia claims to be GOTS certified but I haven’t verified that (Amazon associates link https://amzn.to/3OgyqMr). Here’s a guide to mattress protectors with even more.

I hear Holy Lamb, Coyuchi, or Soaring Heart have mattress pads but haven’t looked into them. Or this has a waterproof backing and is GOTS certified (amazon affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3AuL1oG).

Other mattress pad/ protector options are wool puddle pads but I haven’t looked into any.

MATTRESS GUIDES FROM OTHER BLOGGERS

The first two contradict on a few so I recommend reading both.

1. Good guide organized by price point. Her top recommendation is soaring heart. This was from Gimme the Good Stuff; the last time I tried this link it didn’t work but maybe you can find it on her site.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/gimmethegoodstuff.org/september-detox-your-mattress/amp

2. This is the most recent one. She calls into question the certifications of My Green Mattress, but that may have been sorted out. She had not heard of Soaring Heart (probably because it’s a smaller company), which is what I own and definitely a best choice, according to other guides as well (but expensive). She does a good job explaining certifications and issues with traditional mattresses.

https://www.mamavation.com/product-investigations/organic-mattresses.html.

3. This one is biased towards Happsy, but is fantastic for explaining the intricacies of what to look for in organic mattress certifications. https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/affordable-non-toxic-mattresses-happsy/?ck_subscriber_id=205303281

4. Natural Baby Mama blog. Her top recommendation is Soaring Heart. https://thenaturalbabymama.com/baby/non-toxic-crib-mattress/

Also check out my post about sleep/ insomnia tips.

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***Thank you for visiting Clean Green Toxicant Free! I started this site simply because I want to help people and share information. I dig deep and seek the most truly non-toxic products, without bias. I am not paid to write anything and I don’t sell anything. In 2022 I became an Amazon Associate, which does NOT bias my recommendations. I may earn small dividends from purchases made after clicking my clearly labeled amazon affiliate links (even if you don’t buy those specific items), which helps cover the costs I pay to maintain this site, at no cost to you. More info is on the About This Website page.***

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