Best Mattress Guides

Best Organic Mattresses

If you are starting to wonder how safe the materials in your mattress are, you are not alone. In this guide, learn all about what to look for in an organic mattress, and which is best for you.

By Jack Mitcham

Whether you prefer to buy products that are eco-friendly or your concern is that the mattress you buy is made with natural materials that are not toxic for you and your family, an organic, non-toxic mattress will achieve that goal. Luckily, manufacturers are recognizing the plea of consumers who want their beds to be easy on the environment, and safe to sleep in at night. 

There are a plethora of mattresses on the market made with organic materials that have a low environmental impact. If you are interested in purchasing one of these mattresses, it is first important to understand what exactly an organic mattress is. What makes it organic? What standard are they using to measure themselves as organic, “green,” or eco-friendly? 

We will answer all your questions about organic mattresses; what kinds of mattresses are organic, how to know if a mattress is truly 100% organic or just marketed as organic, why you should care about the materials in your mattress, and finally share eight mattresses that meet those criteria, are durable and comfortable and would make an excellent choice for your next bed! 

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

The Best Organic Mattresses of 2021

Editor’s Pick: Birch

Birch

Editor's Pick

Best For: Side and back sleepers & hot sleepers. 

Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable, all natural hybrid

The Birch is a hybrid natural mattress made of organic materials that are especially good at wicking away moisture and heat. It is built with a top layer of organic wool and the second layer of natural Talalay latex. Finally, it is completed with a support core of pocketed coils reinforced by a layer of natural wool batting. It comes in multiple sizes, is 11-inches thick, and is medium level in firmness. The Birch mattress comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 25-year warranty.

Read our full Birch mattress review to learn more.

Best Organic Mattress for Stomach Sleepers: Awara

Awara

Best Organic Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

Best For: All Sleep Positions & Hot Sleepers

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in firm and medium-firm options

Trial period

365 Days

Reason to buy

Temperature Neutral

Our pick for the best organic mattress for stomach sleepers is the Awara. This mattress is a hybrid mattress made with natural and organic materials. It is built with a comfort latex layer of GOLS(Global Organic Latex Standard)-certified organic latex, a GOTS(Global Organic Textile Standards)-certified cotton mattress cover, and a strong multi-gauge pocketed coil support core. It is polyurethane and toxic chemical-free, including silica-based fire retardant. Not only is the Awara eco-friendly with many green certifications, but it’s very affordable.

We recommend this organic mattress for stomach sleepers since it tends to be more firm in feel. If you are a stomach sleeper, you will typically want a firmer, more supportive mattress to help keep your spine aligned while you sleep. For stomach sleepers, if the mattress is too soft, then your hips will sink into the mattress, causing spinal misalignment which can lead to back pain.  It is available in several sizes and is 13-inches deep. Awara offers free shipping and free returns, a 365-night trial, and a forever warranty.

Read our full Awara Mattress Review for more details.

Best Eco-Friendly Latex Mattress: ZenHaven

Zenhaven

Best Eco-Friendly Latex

Best For: Side and back sleepers, hot sleepers & back pain sufferers.

Score
4.6 / 5.0
Firmness

Dual-Sided: Plush and Firm

Trial period

120 days

Reason to buy

Dual-sided firmness

The ZenHaven is a 100% pure Talalay latex mattress, making it our pick for the best eco-friendly mattress. It is constructed with two comfort layers that share a latex support core and an organic cotton cover. The eco-friendly Talalay latex improves spinal alignment and relieves pressure points. This organic mattress also uses a cooler material than many other types of foam. This mattress is dual-sided with one side being ‘Luxury Plush’ and the other side ‘Firm’, making it customizable for a wide variety of sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, then the Luxury Plush side of the mattress gives you extra pressure relief for your shoulders. If you are a stomach sleeper, the Firm side of the mattress gives you the extra support to help keep your spine aligned.  It comes in multiple sizes and is 11 inches deep. The ZenHaven comes with a 120-night trial period, free in-home set up and a 20-year warranty.

Read our full ZenHaven Mattress Review for more details!

Best Organic Mattress for Sleepers with Back Pain: Avocado Green

Avocado

Best for Back Pain

Best For: All sleep positions, hot sleepers, people with back pain & couples.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Good price point for an all-natural mattress

The Avocado mattress is a latex hybrid handmade in the USA. It’s comfort layers are made with 100% GOTS organic wool and natural Dunlop latex comfort layers. Avocado has met the excellence standards of being green guard gold certified, meaning it meets very strict emission and chemical standards. While it’s support core is constructed with more than 1,000 pocketed support coils. No polyester, polyurethane or toxic flame retardants are used in its construction. It comes in multiple sizes, is 11-13 inches thick depending on whether you add their luxury top pillow top. It also comes in two firmness options, ‘Medium’ and ‘ Medium Firm.”  The Avocado Mattresses come with free shipping and free returns as well as a one-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

Read our full Avocado Green Mattress Review to learn more!

Best All-Natural Latex Mattress: PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

Best All-Natural Latex

Best For: Side and back sleepers, hot sleepers & sleepers with back pain. 

Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in firm and medium-firm options

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Organic, Naturally Sourced Materials

The Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds is a 100% natural latex mattress. It is composed of a breathable organic cotton cover, a top layer of organic New Zealand wool that helps to regulate temperature, and a layer of organic latex that provides pressure relief. It has received numerous certifications to back up its claims. It comes in a wide variety of sizes and is available in 9, 10 or 12-inch height. It is offered in ‘Medium’ or ‘Medium-Firm’ firmness levels. Plushbeds offers free shipping and free returns, a 100-night trial, and a 25 year warranty and is also usda certified organic.

Read our full PlushBeds Mattress Review to learn more! 

Best Organic Mattress for Couples: Naturepedic

Naturepedic

Best for Couples

Best For: Every sleep position & families

Customer Rating
4.4 / 5
Firmness

Medium: 6/10

Trial

90-day comfort guarantee

Reason to Buy

Variety of models

Naturepedic mattresses are made with organic materials and come in certified latex and hybrid versions. All of their options are GOTS and GOLS certified and made with non-GMO materials. They have received a number of other notable certifications to validate their claims. The Naturepedic comes in an extensive selection of mattresses to suit every need, body type, and sleeping preferences. These mattresses come in multiple sizes and multiple firmness options.

Read our full Naturepedic Mattress Review for all the details.

Best Organic Hybrid Mattress: Joybed

JoyBed

Best Hybrid

Best For: All Sleep Positions, sleepers with back pain & hot sleepers.

Customer Rating
4.4 / 5
Firmness

Medium

Trial Period

365 nights

Reason to Buy

All-natural materials

The Joybed mattresses are hybrid models constructed with organic, eco-friendly materials. It’s comfort layers are made of plant fiber, organic cotton, and wool, as well as a and support core of pocketed coils, that provide active edge support. It has received numerous certifications to verify its organic materials. It comes in multiple sizes as well as an option for each firmness preference: plush, medium, and firm. The Joybed is 11 to 13 inches deep depending on which option you choose and comes with free delivery and free returns as well as a 120-night sleep trial.

Read our entire JoyBed Mattress Review for full details!

Why Organic Mattresses?

It is true that organic mattresses have become more popular in recent years, with more and more companies offering organic varieties of their already successful products. While there is no one reason why people are interested in organic mattresses, the origin of them can be traced back to 2007, when it was passed into law that a mattress must be flame resistant. We can all agree that it is important for our mattresses to be resistant to open flames, but this law led to some mattress companies utilizing toxic chemicals known as flame retardants to meet this new standard. Naturally, the inclusion of these highly toxic chemicals led to pushback, which led to wide public interest in organic, nontoxic mattresses that achieved flame resistance by healthier means.

But personal health is only one reason that consumers became interested in this type of product. As folks realized that some of these mattresses could have negative effects on their health, they also realized that the production of said mattresses could have negative effects on the environment. And so now we have two extremely worthwhile explanations for the popularity of organic mattresses: personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. 

What Makes A Mattress Organic?

An organic mattress is one that makes a low environmental impact during the manufacturing process and is constructed of natural, raw materials that are eco-friendly and are chemical-free. In most cases, since they are made with high-quality organic materials, they are naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and protect against dust mites. The materials used in organic mattresses are similar to that of non-organic mattresses; think memory foam mattress, latex, and pocketed coil (innerspring). The difference is in how the materials themselves are formulated. Is the mattress created with raw materials in their natural form? Or are they made from compounds that include chemicals and additives that may be harmful to users and the environment?

Some Examples of Materials You Might Find in an Organic Mattress Include:

  • 100% organic cotton and wool
  • 100% natural latex or organic latex
  • Certified organic cotton cover
  • Certified memory foam vs. traditional polyurethane foam
  • Plant-based materials

Organic Mattress Certifications

Be warned, any mattress companies can say that they are organic, “green,” or eco-friendly. So we are going to break down how you can tell if a mattress is truly 100% organic or just marketed as such.

To verify whether or not a mattress is organic, environmental and regulatory bodies provide unbiased third-party testing to verify that a mattress is in fact organic, and made of natural materials. This includes testing the mattress, as well as visiting the facilities where they are produced to make sure environmental safety standards are met. 

You can look at our article on toxic mattress chemicals for a comprehensive breakdown, but here is a quick overview of many of the common certifications and designations you will want to keep an eye out for when shopping for an organic bed:

CertiPUR US

CertiPUR-US is a certification that you may have seen on many mattresses, not just all-natural ones. In order to get the CertiPUR thumbs-up, a company’s mattress must be made without toxic flame retardants like PBPEs, or TDCPP, heavy metals like mercury and lead, formaldehyde, ozone depleters, and other harmful substances, as well as emitting a low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

OEKO-TEX Standard 100

Like the CertiPUR-US certification, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 measures textile products at all levels of processing, testing for things like harmful chemicals and banned colorants, and making sure that all products are aligned with the requirements of the European Chemicals and the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, specifically its regulations on lead. 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

The Global Organic Textile Standard is what’s going to help you identify mattresses that are truly organic. In order to get the GOTS ‘organic label’, a product must contain no less than 95% organic fibers. For the GOTS ‘made with organic’ label, a product must contain at least 70% organic fibers. If you come across a mattress that claims to be organic but does not make mention of the GOTS anywhere on its page, then the claim may be dubious.

Global Organic Latex Standard

The GOLS certification is managed by the same organization that handles the GOTS, but it is specific to latex products. The requirements are the same—in order to meet the requirements to be considered organic latex a product must contain 95% certified organic material.

The eco-INSTITUTE

The eco-INSTITUTE examines mattresses for toxic substances, odors, and emissions. While there is no legal requirement for mattresses in terms of these items, manufacturers can volunteer their product for testing of pollutants to prove they are environmentally friendly.

The eco-INSTITUT is an approved testing lab for a large number of national and international quality labels. Each certifier is responsible for awarding the quality labels after testing at the eco-INSTITUT.

In addition, the eco-INSTITUT offers its own quality label, which marks indoor products as being non-hazardous to health and the environment.

Organic vs. Sustainable Mattresses

Before we distinguish between designations of “organic” and “sustainable”, it’s important to note that both of these things are very much positive. As we’ve covered, a certified organic mattress is one that has been constructed in such a way that causes the minimal amount of harm to humans and nature. This is achieved through use of materials that contain no detrimental chemicals, as well as manufacturing processes that keep the overall health of the environment in mind.

A certified sustainable mattress does not have to meet quite as rigorous standards. Sustainability can mean many different things, but frequently it is applied to a mattress that was produced without depleting scarce resources or impacting global health in a meaningfully negative way. There might be elements of a sustainable mattress that keep it from being certified organic, but that does not mean it should be written off. Sustainability is an important factor in the overall wellbeing of the planet.

What Type of Mattresses Can Be Organic? 

While all of the major mattress types can be made organic to some extent, some are much better suited for it than others. Here we’ll breakdown what to look out for in each mattress type if you’re looking to get the most organic experience possible.

Memory Foam

Many shoppers gravitate towards memory foam for its contouring ability which creates a huggin feeling. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for 100% organic, you’re not going to find it with memory foam, as in order to be considered memory foam it must be made with polyurethane. That said, some companies replace a portion of the polyurethane with plant-derived oil. Maybe it isn’t entirely organic, but it’s closer. 

When shopping for memory foam you’ll also want to look out for the CertiPUR certification, as it is possible for memory foam to be free of harmful chemicals that CertiPUR tests for.

Related: Best Memory Foam Mattress

Innerspring

Like memory foam, you aren’t going to find innerspring mattresses that are all-natural. But also like memory foam, there are ways in which spring mattresses can achieve a certain percentage of organic makeup.

Innerspring mattresses are made with a durable base layer of coils, and comfort layers made of soft materials like cotton or foam. If this cotton or foam is all-natural or organic, then so too is a percentage of the mattress.

Related: Best Innerspring Mattress

Latex and Latex-Hybrid

To be a truly organic mattress, you’ll want to look for latex and latex-hybrid models. However, not all latex mattresses are entirely organic. When shopping, you’ll want to look for natural latex as opposed to synthetic latex. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap, while synthetic latex is petroleum based and made from a kind of rubber. 

There are two methods used to create natural latex: Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop is a block of latex that is created by pouring a large amount into a mold. Talalay is a smaller amount of latex that has air pumped into it, creating a lightweight sort of latex foam. Dunlop latex is a bit more solid and Talalay has a springy sort of feel. Which one you decide on should depend on personal preference. 

All-natural latex mattresses are by no means cheap, but if you feel strongly about going organic then, as you can see from our top picks, latex is the way to go. And if you want the full experience, take a look at our best latex pillows roundup.

Related: Best Latex Mattress

Benefits of Organic Mattresses

Non-toxic.  The main selling point of an organic mattress is that they use natural materials without harsh chemicals and toxic. A major benefit of not using these chemicals is that you are not going to experience the strong smell that typical bed in a box mattresses are known for giving off when you first open it. In addition, the lack of harsh chemicals also makes these mattresses safe for infants and children since they are much more sensitive to exposure to harsh chemicals.

Hypo-Allergenic. If you are someone who is prone to allergies, then you might want to consider picking an organic mattress. The chemicals and flame retardants in typical mattresses can potentially lead cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even respiratory problems in some cases. Organic mattresses do not have these add chemical substances, making them hypo-allergenic.

Eco-Friendly. If you are an environmentally conscious person, then you should consider picking up a non-toxic, organic mattress. The materials in an organic mattress are sustainable and biodegradable, making them much better for the environment. Most manufacturers of organic mattresses highlight their efforts in helping out the environment, so these brands are easy to get behind.

Why The Materials In Your Mattress Matter 

Now you might be thinking, “Why does any of this matter? Why should I care?” For starters, a pile of chemicals isn’t where you should want to sleep. Additionally, there is new research that suggests that our body heat could be triggering the release of potentially harmful chemicals from the material in our mattresses. 

We already know that mattresses are known to release small amounts of a chemical gas called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This occurs mostly with polyurethane foam mattresses but can also occur from the chemicals used in chemical flame retardants that are applied to mattresses. It appears as though our body heat is fueling the further emission of these VOCs from our mattresses. Often when you open a new mattress, there is a slight chemical smell. This is called off-gassing. While it is estimated that the doses still remain well below levels that can cause health effects in adults, there may be a concern for infants and young children that are exposed. An organic, eco-friendly mattress will have significantly less chemical smell when first opened. 

To reduce VOC emissions, you can make sure your home is well-ventilated, by opening your windows and turning on the fan. Similar to what you would do if you were painting an interior room. This is particularly important when you first take a foam bed-in-a-a-box, out of the box. Also, keep in mind that mattresses containing cotton, wool, and natural latex produce less of these emissions than a 100% polyurethane foam mattress.

See: Guide to Natural, Non-Toxic Bedroom Products

Conclusion

At this point, you should have a good understanding of what an organic mattress is, the types of materials used, and some excellent organic options available on the market. Also remember, as a consumer, you should never take the mattress brands word for it with organic products. Check for certifications and third-party testing from reputable sources. 

No matter what your reasons for wanting an organic mattress may be, you now know what is important when choosing a mattress based on its materials. Choosing responsibly sourced products can be a responsible choice for ourselves and the environment. 

Recap: Best Rated Organic Mattresses

Model Award  Nerd Score 
Birch Editor’s Pick 4.9/5
Awara Best Organic Mattress for Stomach Sleepers 4.7/5
ZenHaven Best Eco-Friendly Latex Mattress 4.8/5
Avocado Green Best for Sleepers with Back Pain 4.7/5
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Best All-Natural Latex Mattress 4.9/5
Naturepedic Best Organic Mattress for Couples 4.4/5
Joybed Best Organic Hybrid Mattress 4.4/5

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