10 Easy Pieces: Natural, Non-Toxic Mattresses

We sleep on our mattresses approximately 3,000 hours per year. We’d rather not spend those restorative hours slumbering amid a cocktail of petrochemicals, flame-retardants, carcinogens, and formaldehyde-containing adhesives. In the past, options for a natural, non-toxic mattress were a little grim: a lumpy cotton futon, limited options in terms of comfort, or a rather unaffordable (although we did include this in our list) handmade horse hair mattress fit for royals. Today, more companies are turning their efforts toward natural, non-toxic materials and receiving certifications from reputable third-party organizations. Our findings are cross referenced with research done in our latest book, Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home, and agencies like the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Safer Mattress Materials

  • Wool
  • Natural Latex
  • Cotton
  • Coconut Fiber
  • Polylactide
  • Kapok
  • Linen
  • Horsehair
  • Buckwheat

Less Safe Mattress Materials

  • Polyurethane
  • Polyethylene
  • Biofoam or soy foam
  • Rayon

Third-Party Certifications from Trusted Nonprofits

CertiPUR-US: A certification that applies only to polyurethane foam mattresses to guarantee the materials are free of formaldehyde, flame retardants, prohibited phthalates, and heavy metals and contain low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Note that CertiPUR-US applies only to the foam portion of the mattress.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): benchmark in organic latex that is 95 percent or more organic

Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS): leading processing standard for organic textiles and fibers that are 95 percent or more organic and meet stringent environmental standards

MADE SAFE: a seal for products passing the rigorous screening of over 6,500 known or probable harmful substances

[Editor’s note: While we’ve done our best to research the issue using credible sources, we are not scientists, doctors, or environmental toxicity experts. Details on certifications and materials used within mattresses change often and may have changed since this article’s publication date. We welcome any additional constructive insight in our comments section below.]

naturepedic was founded in 2003 by environmental engineer barry a. cik who con 12
Above: Naturepedic was founded in 2003 by environmental engineer Barry A. Cik who continues to manufacture Naturepedic mattresses with the full slate of certifications and endorsements. The mattresses are certified with GOTS, GOLS, FSC, MADE SAFE, UL/GREENGUARD (formaldehyde and VOC-free), Organic Content Standard, Organic Trade Association, Green America, Health Product Declaration, Certified Vegan, and PETA-Approved Vegan. The Concerto Organic Pillow Top Mattress is a latex hybrid mattress made of cotton, wool, latex, encased support coils, and high-density microcoils; $2,799 at Naturepedic.
happsy presents a non toxic mattress that is manufactured by naturepedic at a m 13
Above: Happsy presents a non-toxic mattress that is manufactured by Naturepedic at a more affordable cost and ships as a bed-in-a-box. The mattress is entirely certified organic and made of wool batting, latex, cotton, and pocketed springs. The mattress is certified with Organic Content Standard 100 (OCS), GOTS, MADE SAFE, GOLS, FSC, GREENGUARD, Green America, and Zero Toxics. The Happsy Organic Mattress is $1,399.
seattle based soaring heart offers handmade mattresses on site made of organic  14
Above: Seattle-based Soaring Heart offers handmade mattresses on-site made of organic latex with wool mattress toppers. The mattresses are USDA Organic and certified with GOLS, GOTS, and Organic Trade Association. The Tamarack Bed, shown here, is a natural latex mattress with a wool topper; $4,127 at Soaring Heart.