The Best Organic Mattresses
Going All-Natural in Bed
Consumers have become increasingly aware of the materials that make up the products they purchase and the impact these have on health and the environment. It’s no surprise, then, that many are gravitating toward more natural mattresses. After all, we spend a lot of time in close contact with our mattresses!
Finding the perfect mattress is daunting enough, but trying to sort through marketing claims to find one that’s truly natural can be downright overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll run through our top picks for organic mattresses in five categories. Then we’ll break down the benefits of organic mattresses, what to look for when choosing one and how different mattress types stack up in terms of natural materials and impact.
Best Organic Mattress Reviews
Best Overall: Zenhaven
Zenhaven by Saatva offers a 10” mattress made from all-natural Talalay latex. The mattress has a flippable design, meaning it has different comfort layers on each side of the mattress. The Luxury Plush side has a medium-soft feel while the Gentle Firm side feels more like medium-firm. Both comfort layers feature Zenhaven’s “5-Zone” design—different densities support different parts of your body to promote spinal alignment. Between the comfort layers is a support core also made from Talalay latex.
The flippable design means that the mattress is likely a good fit for a variety of sleepers. Side sleepers or lighter individuals might prefer the soft side of the mattress, while heavier individuals might like the firm side better. The Talalay used in the Zenhaven is all made in America, which is good news for those who want a mattress with a smaller carbon footprint.
Zenhaven also uses a blend of New Zealand organic wool and non-toxic materials as its flame barrier instead of chemical flame retardants and has an organic cotton cover. Zenhaven is certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Saatva is part of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC).
Best Plush Pick: PlushBeds Botanical Bliss
Botanical Bliss by PlushBeds is a latex mattress that’s available in 9”, 10” or 12” designs. It starts with a 6” support core made from GOLS-certified ARPICO organic latex. Organic latex is denser than Talalay, meaning this core provides ample support for the comfort layer on top. The comfort layer itself is made from natural Talalay latex, and the thickness depends on the chosen design. The 9” has a 2” comfort layer, the 10” has a 3” and the 12” has a 2” plus a 3”. The Botanical Bliss uses 10 pounds of New Zealand wool for its fire barrier. An organic cotton cover encases the mattress, and it’s non-woven to promote breathability and moisture control.
This model comes in multiple firmness options, but we like the soft mattress. The feel varies depending on the mattress thickness you choose, with the 10” and 12” feeling especially plush. The Botanical Bliss in soft is especially ideal for side sleepers because it’s excellent at eliminating pressure points. Sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds may also like the plush feel of this mattress as it will allow them to sink in. The Botanical Bliss is GreenGuard Gold-certified.
Best Firm Pick: Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic
The Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic is a 13” hybrid mattress and the firmest of those in Keetsa’s collection. Its support core is composed of 7.5” of “iCoil” pocket coils. The comfort layer has five elements: a half-inch base of high-density polyfoam, three layers (3.5”) of standard polyfoam and a top layer of 1” memory foam. The cover features a hemp blend with polyester and wool padding.
The Tea Leaf Classic has a thick comfort layer, but because it only has 1” of memory foam, the mattress conforms but not very deeply. That makes it a great fit for heavier individuals who need support as well as those who sleep on their backs. It may be a bit too firm for side sleepers.
The Tea Leaf Classic is not a 100 percent natural mattress, but the company has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint and use healthier materials. The mattress utilizes Bio-foam™ memory foam, which replaces 12% of the petroleum in traditional memory foam with castor bean oil. The fire barrier is also made of cotton treated with PBDE-free fire retardants.
Budget Pick: Sleep On Latex Pure Green
Sleep on Latex offers a quality natural latex mattress for a fraction of the cost of most latex mattresses. The mattress comes in a 9” or 7” design. Both contain a 6” support core made of natural Dunlop latex. The 7” has a 1” comfort layer of quilted GOTS-certified organic New Zealand wool, which provides cushioning and non-chemical fire barrier. The 9” has this plus an additional 2” of softer Dunlop latex. The mattress cover is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton.
The Pure Green comes in three different firmness levels: soft, medium and firm. While most sleepers would probably like the medium, the soft would work well for side sleepers or those under 130 pounds. Heavier individuals would likely prefer the support of the firm. The 9” also offers more cushioning than the 7”, so keep that in mind if you like a more conforming mattress.
The Pure Green does not feature organic latex, which probably keeps the cost down, but its latex is all-natural and not blended with synthetic latex. It’s also certified by OEKO-TEX 100 and the Eco-Institut. This mattress is a great pick for those who want a greener option but can’t afford to splurge.
Luxury Pick: Essentia Stratami
The Stratami mattress by Essentia is an 8” latex mattress that utilizes premium materials. It starts with a 5” support core of GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex. Atop that sits a 3” comfort layer of softer GOLS-certified organic latex. This layer has a dome-shaped pattern to aid in pressure point relief and air flow. A “Bucaneve Wrap” sits between the comfort layer and cover to reduce wear from friction. The mattress comes with a removable organic cotton cover.
The Stratami is a medium-firm mattress, meaning it will probably be a good fit for most sleepers. Essentia produces its latex in its own factory outside of Montreal, meaning it has complete oversight of materials and processes. The factory is also GOLS- and GOTS-certified, and Essentia has OEKO-TEX 100 certification.
Customers should be aware that Essentia only offers a 60-night sleep trial (compared to at least 100 for most online retailers). The company also deducts 9 percent of the purchase price as a return fee if you decide to return the mattress. Still, if you’re looking for a high-quality organic mattress, the Stratami may be worth the investment.
Why Choose an Organic Mattress?
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so our sleep surfaces matter. Not only do we seek comfort and support, but increasingly more people want mattresses made of materials that are healthier—either for themselves, the environment or both. For the concerned shopper, manufacturers are beginning to utilize more natural or organic materials that have a smaller environmental footprint.
In addition to how mattress components are produced, there is concern about chemicals present in mattresses themselves. These might include petrochemicals, adhesives, dyes or flame retardants. Not all chemicals are dangerous, but consumers may want to watch out for flame retardants, especially polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). All new mattresses are required to meet federal standards for fire prevention. While you want your mattress to be fire resistant, PBDE has been linked to health issues. A truly organic mattress utilizes other materials as fire retardants.
Some shoppers gravitate toward natural mattresses because they tend to be made from premium materials. Natural materials, like natural latex, often last longer than synthetic materials. While you may spend more on an organic mattress, it’s likely to be more durable.
Following are additional benefits of natural or organic mattresses:
Instead of relying on chemical flame retardants, organic mattresses use fire barriers made from natural materials. Wool and thistle are commonly used, or manufacturers add a fire sock made from silica. Kevlar is another good alternative because it doesn’t need to be treated with chemicals. Natural mattresses are also free of other chemicals, like dyes, perfumes or adhesives.
More Sustainable Production
There is a long chain of production involved in creating a mattress, with opportunities to impact the environment along the way. Companies that offer natural mattresses may choose more sustainable practices at any point on this chain, from raw materials to finishing. For example, they may utilize organic cotton rather than conventionally-grown cotton or natural latex instead of synthetic. The manufacturing of the mattress itself can also be a target area, with more factories moving toward processes that are less carbon-intensive and produce less waste. Companies are also becoming directly involved in raw materials harvesting and/or manufacturing so they can have more oversight into practices.
Some chemicals used in traditional mattresses can cause allergic reactions or skin irritations. Not only do natural mattresses avoid this issue, some materials are naturally hypoallergenic. Natural latex is hypoallergenic and resistant to mold, microbes and dust mites, making latex mattresses ideal for allergy sufferers.
Organic Mattress Certifications
Not all natural or organic mattresses are created equal in terms of sustainability. In fact, the term “organic” only technically applies to mattresses that meet specific qualifications.
It can be helpful to think of mattress sustainability as a spectrum. There is no 100 percent natural or organic mattress, but most fall within a range of 60 to 95 percent. On the lower end of the spectrum are mattresses that use healthier materials and fewer chemicals. As we move up the spectrum, manufacturers may replace man-made materials with natural ones. The most sustainable mattresses tend to be those that contain not just natural materials, but certified-organic ones. As a general rule, the higher up the spectrum you move, the more expensive the mattress will be.
So how does a person determine how organic a mattress is? Moreover, how do you sort through misleading marketing claims? While there is no regulatory body that fact-checks green claims for mattress makers, there are a variety of certifications that can provide guidance:
- CertiPUR-US focuses on poly and memory foams. It certifies that mattresses are free from harmful materials and emissions, like ozone depleters, PBDEs, lead, formaldehyde and other substances.
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 was developed by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology (OEKO-TEX). The protocol tests for harmful substances and emissions within products.
- OEKO-TEX MADE IN GREEN goes beyond the Standard 100 to look at the sustainability of production, not just the end product.
- Eco-Institut is an accreditation organization in Germany that tests for harmful substances and emissions in building materials and textiles. Within the mattress industry, it’s primarily focused on latex.
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a certification for organic textiles, which includes both raw materials and end products. To achieve certification, mattresses must be made of 95 percent organic materials, and the remaining 5 percent cannot contain polyfoam or formaldehyde.
- GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) is similar to GOTS, but is specifically for latex mattresses that are made of 95 percent organic latex.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) certifies that raw materials are grown without the use of chemical pesticides.
- GreenGuard evaluates mattresses to ensure minimal VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.
- Cradle to Cradle looks at a variety of sustainability measures associated with a specific material, including carbon emissions, water conservation and ecological impact. Within the mattress industry, it applies to latex, cotton and wool.
What Mattress Types Are Organic?
We now know what it takes to be a natural or organic mattress, but how does each mattress type measure up?
- Memory foam is a polyurethane foam that is viscoelastic, meaning that it changes shape when pressure is applied.
- Memory foam and other polyfoams are eligible for CertiPUR-US certification, signaling they’re free of harmful substances.
- By design, memory foam is made from petrochemicals, so a memory foam mattress can never be 100 percent natural or organic.
- Some mattress makers have begun to incorporate plant-based memory foam, which is made from a blend of petroleum and plant oils.
- Petroleum-based foam is still more durable than plant-based so no manufacturer has so far switched to a complete plant-based memory foam mattress.
- Memory foam is more affordable than latex, so choosing a plant-based memory foam mattress might be a good fit for those on a budget who still want a mattress with a lower impact.
Best Organic Mattress Picks
|Best Plush Pick||PlushBeds Botanical Bliss||$1,599-$2,199|
|Best Firm Pick||Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic||$1,465|
|Budget Pick||Sleep On Latex Pure Green||$775-$795|
|Best Luxury||Essentia Tatami||$2,771|