How To Find An Affordable Natural Organic Mattress

4 tips for buying the best non-toxic bedding for a healthier night's sleep.

February 24, 2017
shopping for organic mattresses
Tanya Constantine/getty

Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Your synthetic-latex mattress may be to blame. As comfortable as a memory foam mattresses may be, their chief component is polyurethane, a combustible petrochemical. That means to meet safety standards, companies need to add flame retardants—such as barrier materials made from synthetic fibers, which give off a distinct smell of chemicals. That comes from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in those fibers giving off gas, or “off-gassing.” (Read more about how your mattress might be making you sick.)

While it’s essentially impossible to get rid of synthetic chemicals in mattresses completely, organic latex mattresses are a good, affordable alternative. They’re sourced from responsibly grown rubber trees and cotton, and limit VOC off-gassing for a healthier night’s sleep. Read on for 4 ways to become a savvy organic mattress shopper. 

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get clever kitchen tricks, gardening secrets, and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

organic mattress
koosen/getty
Know What Mattresses Are Made Of

When shopping for a chemical-free mattress, it’s helpful to understand how mattresses are constructed, and what they’re typically made of:

Ticking

This is the thick, tightly woven fabric that covers your mattress and is the part that’s closest to your body. Look for certified organic and wool blends.

Top layer

Focus on this component when you’re looking for a particular feel in your mattress. This is what you will actually feel when you lay down. Want something soft? Go for a softer foam top layer or a quilted pillow top.

Structural support layers

Two layers of firmer foam that support the top layer and provide an overall structure for the mattress. You can mix up the firmness of these structural layers to obtain the desired feel. Using a soft foam layer on top, then a medium-firm, and then a firm layer is the “most common configuration for side sleepers,” says Deborah Benton, owner of DIY Natural Bedding.

synthetic mattress foam
Pannonia/getty
Understand the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Latex

Organic foam mattresses 

Typically made from natural latex, which comes from rubber trees. It can come in a variety of densities to adjust the firmness.

Synthetic latex foam mattresses

Made from a compound that’s very similar to natural rubber, styrene-butadiene, but which can cause irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs.

Related: 11 Everyday Household Items You Aren't Buying Organic—But Should

Advertisement
Advertisement
 
GOTS
Photograph courtesy of Organic Trade Association
Look for These Labels

A lot of companies throw around the terms “green” and “natural”. Ignore them. Look instead for these 3 labels, which are third-party regulated and represent the most stringent standards for organic, non-toxic mattresses.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

One of the more stringent standards for mattresses, GOTS certification requires that at least 95 percent of the materials in the mattress are certified organic.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

In GOLS certification, at least 95 percent of the mattress must be made from certified organic latex materials.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100

This sets limits for chemical emissions such as formaldehyde and VOCs that could cause pollution and health problems. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 also bans certain chemical flame retardants and dyes that could cause allergies. 

organic mattress
Vstock LLC/getty
Check Out These Organic Mattress-Makers

You can find third-party certified organic mattresses from a range of mattress companies, but may have to sort through a lot of competing, non-organic offerings. Get started on your search for chemical-free bedding with the companies below, who specialize in sustainable, non-toxic mattresses.

Savvy Rest

GOLS-certified Dunlop latex is sourced from rubber plantations in Kerala, India, which are certified organic to USDA standards. Savvy Rest uses organic cotton and wool fabric and offers three-layer organic latex mattresses that can be customized for firmness preferences.

Lifekind And OMI

Lifekind's Texas-grown organic cotton and GOTS and GOLS-certified fibers are assembled into mattresses in its Northern California Eco-Factory. In the process, they don’t use chemical flame-retardants, formaldehyde, or anti-fungicides. 

Naturepedic

The company started with a quest for a healthier crib mattress. Now, they’ve expanded to a  full line of organic mattress sizes made from GOLS and GOTS-certified materials. The company produces both pure latex foam mattresses, and mattresses that combine encased coils with foam layers, all covered by organic cotton ticking.