Updated December 2022
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
I recommend GOLS 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 can find you discount codes (that do NOT benefit me) for many companies. Other things to consider are shipping charges, coupon codes or sales, 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.
Some brands claim they are organic, but sometimes that doesn’t mean the entire mattress. You 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.
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, Naturepedic, and OMI (or Lifekind, their cheaper version. Also look into their offshoots, Metta and Nest beds).
#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 poly in the cover, use hydrated silica, etc). I looked up prices for twin size, cheapest option available:
-The cheapest brand that is organic and almost totally non toxic is Happsy (which is an offshoot of Naturepedic), is made of safe materials, but contains metal coil springs. $899. Amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3IAMA7u
-My Green Mattress (the Hope Latex has no coils) 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 (coils) 829 (no coils). They upgraded to full certification of GOLS and GOTS.
-Avocado 959 (coils) They upgraded to full certification of GOLS and GOTS.
-Metta mattress 899 (no coils) GOLS from start to finish.
-Saavy Rest 999 (coils. Non-coil options available). GOLS from start to finish.
-Obasan- GOLS and GOTS certified latex mattress from start to finish.
-Sleep EZ. 525 (no coils; only says oeko tex on their site but by email they say they have GOLS latex). This is the cheapest in this category.
-Eco Cloud 1000 (coils) 1500 (no coils)
-Nest Bedding (linked with OMI) 1,899
-Awara 699 (coils) – certification may be lacking.
-Mountain air organic beds 599 for DIY layers. 1400 for mattress.
-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
-Birch looks good at a glance but I recommend looking further into it to be sure. $799 for a Childrens mattress.
-Turmerry looks good at a glance but I recommend looking further into it to be sure. $799 for a twin mattress.
-Brentwood Home – odd language describing certifications that danced around the finished product having other certifications but never mentioned GOTS.
NON-ORGANIC (BUT CHEAPER) OPTIONS
-Sleep on Latex 595 (no coils)
-Brooklyn Bedding 479
-Zenhaven 1,299 (no coils)
NOT ORGANIC OR OEKO TEX:
-Eco Terra 649
-Ikea natural latex 799
-Relaxation Products on Etsy: Wool and cotton mattresses. 250
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.
-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.
BOX SPRINGS/ FOUNDATION
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.
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. Amazon affiliates 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).
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
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.
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 have and definitely a best choice, chosen personally by the other guides (but expensive). She does a good job explaining certifications and issues with traditional mattresses.
3. This one is fantastic for explaining the intricacies of what to look for in 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.
***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.***