Best Natural Organic Mattress
Shopping for a new mattress can be a daunting task, and it’s especially difficult if you’re in the market for something unique like a natural or organic mattress. Searching for the best natural mattress is a task that many sleepers find challenging after learning about the dangers of harsh chemicals and fire retardants that may be in their bed.
It is my hope that after reading this guide, you will have all the tools you need to successfully pick the best natural or organic mattress.
Best Natural & Organic Mattresses of 2021 - Reviews & Buying Guide
Best Organic Mattress for Back Pain
Saatva Latex Hybrid
First up is my pick for the best organic mattress for back pain, the Saatva Latex Hybrid.
The Saatva Latex Hybrid is a really supportive mattress that’s great for those who suffer from back pain. Its layer of individually wrapped coils will help keep hips and shoulders aligned for a neutral spinal alignment, while its layer of all-natural Talalay latex, which will provide some nice pressure relief in the lumbar region.
The Saatva Latex Hybrid is made with organic cotton and wool, Talalay latex, and coils which make this mattress a more eco-friendly option than those produced with chemicals. Also, Talalay latex is more cooling than materials like memory foam, and the combination of latex and coils make this a breathable mattress that’s great for hot sleepers.
Best Organic Hybrid Mattress
WinkBeds EcoCloud Mattress
The hybrid WinkBeds EcoCloud Mattress is a bed in a box that features the simplest construction of all the mattresses on this list. It’s made with just two layers: one is all-natural Talalay Latex, and the other features pocketed coils. These layers are wrapped in an organic cotton cover. The Talalay Latex does a good job of dissipating body heat, so this mattress should work for people who don’t like to sleep hot.
The combination of Talalay Latex and coils results in a bouncy, responsive, and medium-firm feel. You shouldn’t feel “stuck” in this mattress, so it should be easy to change positions. This means it could be a good fit for combo sleepers, who change positions throughout the night. (Just note that you probably won’t want to spend a ton of time on your side, because the bouncy mattress doesn’t offer much body-contouring.)
Best Cooling Organic Mattress
If you’re in the market for an organic mattress and you’re prone to sleeping hot, check out the Avocado Green Mattress. It should keep you sleeping cool thanks to its breathable, organic cotton cover, and heat-dissipating, 100% natural latex. The mattress features an especially durable construction, so it should let you enjoy cool sleep for the foreseeable future.
But hot sleepers aren’t the only people who might appreciate this mattress. The Standard version should also be a good fit for back sleepers and combination sleepers. The taut, bouncy latex and pocketed coils offer firm support, which helps keep the spine in neutral alignment. The mattress’s bounciness also makes it easy to move around, so switching between positions shouldn’t be a hassle. (If you like the look of this mattress but prefer a more plush feel, you can invest in the Pillowtop version, which has an extra 2” of latex on top.)
Best Organic Mattress for Side Sleepers
Plushbeds Botanical Bliss Mattress
The Plushbeds Botanical Bliss uses layers of latex that make for a supportive mattress that still has a plush feel that side sleepers tend to prefer. The top layer of Talalay latex is softer and allows for nice pressure relief, while the Dunlop latex layer provides some firm support. The Botanical Bliss also sleeps cool, thanks to latex which is naturally more breathable than some other mattress materials like memory foam.
All the materials in the Botanical Bliss are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it’s free from harmful chemicals or volatile organic compounds. Each latex layer is 100% natural and its cover is made from organic cotton and wool. If you’re looking for an organic mattress that will provide soothing pressure relief while side sleeping, I’d recommend checking out the Plushbeds Botanical Bliss.
Why the Demand for Natural and Organic Mattresses?
It should be no surprise that the word “organic” is slowly creeping its way into the mattress market. It’s in the supermarkets up and down every aisle. It’s on your cereals, your produce, and even your milk and eggs. But what is the hype all about, and is it worth carrying your love for “organic” into the bedroom?
First off, let’s ask the question: Why the sudden push toward natural or organic mattresses?
In the 1970s, we saw the first required use of flame retardants in mattresses. This law was imposed to address fires caused by smoldering cigarettes, the leading cause of deadly mattress fires at the time. The turn of the century brought a decline in smokers but the need for a new law. In 2007, a law was passed that required mattresses to not only resist the smolder of a dying cigarette but also the open flame of a lighter, match, or candle. While this decreased the number of deadly mattress fires, it also opened the door to a new and dangerous threat: highly toxic flame retardants.
Flame retardants are extremely harsh chemicals that can have lasting effects on your body. The worst of them are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (also known as PBDEs). PBDEs are linked to decreased sperm count, thyroid problems, slow brain development in newborns, and even cancer. These particles can be released into the air and absorbed from products when TVs or computers heat up, while sleeping on a mattress, or when products degrade.
As the world began to explore fire retardant chemicals and barriers to satisfy the new regulation, people began to slowly wonder about the effect on their bodies from these chemicals, especially while they were sleeping. The result ended up being a strong push toward natural and organic mattresses.
The Organic, Natural, and Healthy Mattress Spectrum
In this guide, we’re going to talk through a number of different mattress recommendations, but it’s important to remember through all of this that all mattresses fall on a spectrum of organic, natural, and healthy.
It is true that some mattresses are 100% natural and organic from top to bottom. However, most fall somewhere along a spectrum from 0% organic/natural to 100% organic/natural.
Generally speaking, the closer to 100% organic, the more you’re going to pay. While having a 100% natural mattress is wonderful, it’s not always in the budget for many sleepers.
There are a number of quality mattresses that are 20-50% natural/organic but are still excellent mattresses because they are targeting the material components that come closest to sleepers. Loom & Leaf is a good example of this type of half-organic mattress. Loom & Leaf uses a natural thistle fire barrier, organic cotton cover, and some plant-based foams. Of course, some of the foams are not plant-based and the percentage of plant-based material is not tremendously high, but it is a good step in the right direction and quite affordable.
Also, I do think it’s important to note the distinction between natural/organic and healthy. A mattress may not be organic/natural, but the materials may still be healthier than those in many other mattresses on the market. There are many mattresses that use CertiPUR-certified foams (see below for more info), which indicates that the foams exclude a number of harmful chemicals and substances. These types of mattresses can still provide a healthy sleeping surface, even if they are not certified as organic or natural.
How Do Organic and Natural Mattresses Meet High Flammability Standards?
There are several different ways a mattress can meet the high standard set by the 2007 regulation. The first method is that the surface of the mattress can be sprayed or soaked with fire-retardant chemicals. However, this method is no longer permitted due to the obvious risk of coming in direct contact with these dangerous chemicals.
The second method involves the use of fire-retardant foams, but this method also uses PBDEs and other hazardous material. The first two methods obviously are not organic in any sense of the word.
The last method is the one that most manufacturers use today (natural and conventional), and that’s using fiber or fabric barriers to enclose the interior of the mattress, where most of the combustible material is found. Silica-based fire socks that encase the mattress (between the foams and the exterior mattress cover) are the most common. These fire socks melt in the event of a fire, smothering the flames. Thistle and wool are more natural alternatives; both of these prevent fires in a similar way.
What Is an Organic Mattress?
So what makes a mattress truly organic? Beyond the fact that it doesn’t contain harmful flame retardants and chemicals, are there other criteria it has to meet? Absolutely. To bear the label “organic,” a mattress must be tested by a USDA-approved third-party certifying agent and earn a special organic certification.
There are many different types of certifications a mattress can earn, but most of them mean that a large portion of the raw materials are organic and organic processes were used in manufacturing.
A mattress may be labeled as organic, but without a sticker of certification, that claim is empty and no one has verified it. Sadly, words like “organic” and “all-natural” are commonly tossed around, but without the certifications, I would advise taking them with a grain of salt. Here are some of the most popular certifications to look for:
- CertiPUR-US certified foams are made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, or TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead, other heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates as regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They also produce low VOC emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million).
- GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified latex is produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes to make latex adhere to strict and specific global organic standards.
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified materials are materials produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes to make textiles adhere to strict and specific global organic standards.
- Organic Exchange certified applies to products that have been properly tracked from the source as a raw material to the finished product, guaranteeing organic processes and manufacturing.
- GreenGuard certified applies to a mattress that has been tested to ensure that its chemical and particle emissions meet acceptable indoor-outdoor air quality pollutant guidelines (low emission).
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified latex has been tested for the presence of 100 known harmful substances.
- USDA Certified Organic applies to a mattress that has been produced without a prohibited method or substances; testing is regularly overseen by a USDA authorized certifying agent.
What Are the Benefits of a Natural or Organic Mattress?
- Fewer Chemicals: A natural or organic mattress’s biggest draw is going to be its lack of harsh chemicals and toxic, chemical flame retardants. Many organic materials are naturally flame retardant. This also means the off-gassing (smell after opening) of the mattress will not be as strong.
- Sustainable and Biodegradable: For the environmentally conscious sleeper, this can be a huge positive. The manufacturing and materials mean a smaller environmental footprint. Many companies highlight their efforts in these areas.
- Hypo-Allergenic: Chemicals and flame retardants can sometimes cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even respiratory problems. Sound familiar? With an organic mattress, the materials are processed without the addition of any of these dangerous substances all the way from the plantation to your bedroom.
- Kid-Approved: Infants and children as especially susceptible to the harsh effects of dangerous chemicals. Choosing an organic mattress helps limit their exposure to these chemicals.