Why You Should Trust Us
Our testing team includes a variety of sleepers with different body weights and preferred sleep positions. The top picks for the best organic mattresses are carefully selected by our experienced team after comparing many different models.
We put each mattress through a rigorous testing process to measure pressure buildup, response time, and other factors. These tests allow us to determine how each mattress stacks up against the competition.
What Do You Need to Know About Organic Mattresses?
Shopping for an organic mattress can be challenging. Many mattresses advertised as organic only contain a portion of organic materials. It’s important to understand what makes a mattress organic, the potential benefits, and how to know if the organic claims are justified.
What Is an Organic Mattress?
Organic mattresses use naturally sourced components free of GMOs and contain few to no harmful chemicals. A mattress may be fully organic, or it may have some non-organic components.
Organic Mattress Types
The most common types of organic mattresses are latex and hybrid models. Organic latex mattresses typically consist of several layers of natural Talalay or Dunlop latex. Hybrid models often contain a combination of latex and coils. Many organic models also incorporate other organic components, such as cotton and wool.
Why Sleep on an Organic Mattress?
Organic mattresses have a long list of potential advantages, including durability, comfort, and potential benefits for your health and the environment.
Organic Mattress Certifications
Several third-party organizations grant organic certifications to mattresses that meet rigorous environmental standards. These certifications provide transparency so that customers can more easily identify truly organic models.
What Makes a Mattress Organic?
Broadly speaking, an organic mattress is made using natural materials that have been certified by reliable third-party organizations as meeting stringent safety and environmental standards. Depending on the design, an organic mattress might have some non-organic components, such as steel coils. Other materials might not be fully organic because a small amount of chemicals is necessary for manufacturing, as is the case with latex. However, manufacturers who meet the required standards can market their mattresses as organic.
What Parts of a Mattress Are Organic?
Organic mattresses tend to contain natural fibers in the cover, organic latex in the comfort system, and coils or latex in the support core.
Organic mattress covers usually consist of breathable textiles, such as organic cotton or wool. It’s not uncommon to see hand-tufted covers in organic models. This design allows manufacturers to attach the layers without using chemical adhesives.
To meet federal standards, all mattresses must have a fire barrier. Whereas many manufacturers use chemical sprays to meet this obligation, organic mattress makers tend to insert a thicker layer of wool that acts as a natural flame barrier.
Comfort and Support Layers
Organic mattress comfort layers may include natural fibers such as cotton batting, wool, silk, or ethically sourced down. The comfort and support layers often contain natural latex produced from organically grown rubber trees.
Although the support core may consist of steel coils, which are not made from plant-based materials, companies may use recycled steel to minimize the ecological footprint of the mattress.
How Much Do Organic Mattresses Cost?
The average price of an organic mattress from a direct-to-consumer manufacturer ranges from about $1,500 to $3,000.
Compared to synthetic materials, organic materials are generally more expensive to produce. Additionally, they generally carry ethical or environmental certifications from third-party organizations. All of these factors contribute to the higher price-point.
On the flip side, natural and organic materials tend to outlast synthetic materials. Shoppers may consider the investment worthwhile if it means the mattress won’t need to be replaced as soon.
Why Would You Want an Organic Mattress?
Organic mattresses may appeal to shoppers with a slightly larger budget who are willing to invest more for a high-quality, chemical-free product. Some potential advantages of organic mattresses include:
Smaller Environmental Footprint: Organically sourced materials are less harmful to the environment because they are produced without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other potentially harmful chemicals. This also means that the workers involved in the manufacturing process are exposed to fewer toxins. Manufacturers of organic mattresses may also offset their carbon footprint or donate to socially responsible initiatives.
Benefits for Personal Health: If you have sensitivities to any of the synthetic components often used in mattresses, particularly memory foam or polyfoam, you may prefer an organic mattress. Organic mattresses are generally less likely to trigger allergies.
Durability: Most of the materials commonly used in organic mattresses are inherently durable, which can increase the mattress’ lifespan.
Comfort: Comfort is subjective, but those who are looking for a supportive mattress that facilitates ease of movement should find that many organic models fit the bill. Organic mattresses are also frequently naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, helping regulate temperatures.
What Types of Mattresses Are Organic?
Mattresses that are advertised as organic usually fall into the all-latex or the latex hybrid category. More rarely, a foam mattress may be made with some organic components. By design, a hybrid or memory foam mattress cannot be fully organic. However, hybrid or foam mattresses that contain organic components may be a suitable compromise for sleepers looking for specific features of these mattress types, such as close-conforming pressure relief.
Latex mattresses are durable, responsive models that contain latex in the comfort and support layers. Latex used in mattresses is often perforated with tiny holes that allow air to pass through and reduce heat retention.
Produced using a liquid tapped from a rubber tree, latex is considered organic if it contains at least 95% organic raw material. Dunlop latex often meets these criteria, whereas Talalay latex requires more chemical additives during the manufacturing process. However, latex models can come closer to being fully organic than other mattress types. Mattresses that combine organic latex with other organic materials, such as cotton or wool, may be almost 100% organic.
Hybrid mattresses contain a substantial comfort system paired with metal coils in the support core. These are typically made of steel. Although derived from natural materials, steel is fabricated with non-organic industrial processes. Mattress manufacturers may use recycled steel to minimize raw materials. When combined with an organic cover, a natural fire barrier, and organic materials in the comfort section, a hybrid mattress is usually considered fairly environmentally friendly. Hybrids tend to sleep cool and provide sturdy edge support.
Polyfoam and memory foam tend to provide good pressure relief and motion isolation. Memory foam in particular is known for its ability to contour closely and reduce pressure buildup in sensitive areas.
However, these foams are made using petrochemicals and are not considered organic. To appeal to eco-conscious shoppers who like the feel of memory foam, some mattress manufacturers replace a portion of the petrochemicals with plant-based materials. They may pair these foams with a cover and fire barrier made of organic cotton, wool, or similar natural fibers.
How Can I Tell if a Mattress Is Organic? Certifications to Look for
Certifications from third-party organizations help verify that a mattress is produced according to strict organic standards. Most organizations set criteria prohibiting the use of synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and other chemicals. They may also enforce standards for animal and social welfare.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows manufacturers to use the USDA organic seal if a product is made with at least 95% organic material. Those that use 100% organic materials can clarify this on the label. Products containing 70% organic materials can specify the organic materials from which they are made, but they cannot use the USDA organic seal.
GOTS and GOLS
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) label provides organic certification for finished textiles, such as cotton and wool. The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) provides similar certification for latex. To obtain these certifications, manufacturers must consent to inspections throughout the manufacturing process. The latex or textiles can be labeled organic if they contain at least 95% organic materials.
The OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label certifies that a product has been tested and found to be free of certain harmful substances. There is an optional add-on for cotton textiles that certifies a cotton textile as GMO-free. Cotton that passes this test can be labeled as organic.