Updated April 10, 2021If you put more thought into mattress materials while shopping, you can improve your health—many modern mattresses are made with chemicals that can get into the bloodstream through the skin, irritate the eyes, or cause lung inflammation.Today, people are more aware of the effects chemicals and pesticides have on their health. As a result, the public is looking for organic beds made with natural, chemical-free materials.This article discusses the difference between conventional and organic mattresses and the pros and cons of organic beds. We will also talk about certain mattress materials to avoid.Organic Mattresses vs. Traditional BedsIn this article, when we say traditional or conventional mattress, we mean beds made with synthetic materials (polyurethane foams, polyester fabrics, vinyl, and other fibers).Most companies make traditional mattresses with synthetic materials and treat them with dyes, adhesives, antimicrobials, flame retardants, and other chemicals, which contribute to off-gassing (the release of chemicals in the air).Most organic mattress options are innerspring beds with organic materials or natural latex mattresses.Organic mattresses’ fabric and padding often have GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) sourced wool and cotton or GOLS certified Dunlop latex.Flame Retardants and Other ChemicalsMattress fabrics and materials treated with flame retardants contain hazardous chemicals.Federal law has banned the use of strong chemical flame retardants in mattresses, although some companies still use other artificial flame retardants. Chemical flame retardants can off-gas or release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. If you’ve ever painted your room or smelled the “new car smell”, you’ve been exposed to off-gassing.VOCs include petroleum, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), formaldehyde, benzene, methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethane, naphthalene, and perfluorocarbons, which are potentially harmful chemicals.Organic mattress manufacturers construct their beds with flame-resistant, natural fibers to meet fire standard regulations. Most companies use wool as a natural fire retardant. Organic covers and comfort layers don’t off-gas, which preserves your bedroom’s air quality.Some companies use plant-based materials to create a safer memory foam alternative; however, they can still off-gas.Organic Mattress AdvantagesMore people are turning to organic products due to the positive impact on their health and the environment. Below, you will find some of the more common benefits.Fewer AllergensOrganic materials, such as latex and wool, deter dust mites and allergens. Wool and latex are antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, making them prime materials for those with allergies. Latex’s density doesn’t allow particles to penetrate its surface, much like memory foam.Because organic materials are grown without pesticides and aren’t chemically processed, they don’t emit toxic chemicals that may cause skin sensitivities, eye irritations, and upper respiratory inflammation.Customizable OptionsSome organic mattress companies give couples the option to customize their mattress’s firmness. Manufacturers often make organic mattresses to order, and several companies offer firmness customization for each side of the bed. Although, this is most common with organic latex mattresses.DurabilityDepending on the type of organic mattress (latex, innerspring, or hybrid), your bed could last between 7 and 10 years.Innerspring mattresses start to sag within 3 years because the coil support system wears quickly.Hybrid mattresses last about 6 years.All-latex mattresses generally last 10 years because the material is less susceptible to sagging.Organic mattresses contain high-quality materials, so they’re long-lasting. Low-quality materials wear out quickly and cause discomfort after a brief period.For companies to market their mattress as organic, the bed must undergo testing, consist of 95 percent organic materials, and meet USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) standards.As always, if you’re unsure of a mattress’s lifespan, you can look at the warranty, which gives you an estimate of how long the mattress manufacturer expects their product to last.ComfortOrganic mattresses should relieve pressure points and keep you cool by wicking away heat better than synthetic materials. Natural fibers have a cellulose structure, allowing moisture and air to easily pass through.Mattress TypesYou can get an organic mattress in all firmness levels. Depending on whether you get an innerspring, hybrid, or latex bed, the level of conformability and pressure relief can vary.Innerspring mattresses: An innerspring bed consists of a coil support core. Some coil mattresses have Euro or pillow tops, which are extra comfort layers that give the mattress a plushy feel. The coil system allows air to pass through the coils unhindered, making this mattress type an excellent option for hot sleepers.Hybrid mattresses: A hybrid bed has a coil support core and latex or memory foam comfort layer that’s 2 inches thick or more. An organic hybrid mattress cannot have memory foam in its construction because it’s not a natural material. Hybrid mattresses are more conforming. The foam comfort layers also keep motion at the point of impact, so you don’t feel your sleep partner’s movements.Latex Mattresses: An organic latex mattress consists of Dunlop latex support and comfort layers. If you’re allergic to latex, this organic mattress isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a firm sleep surface with conforming, pressure-relieving, and hypoallergenic qualities, an organic latex mattress is your best option.Organic CertificationOrganic materials such as GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified latex and GOTS certified wool and cotton are cultivated without the use of pesticides and manufactured without chemicals.To meet Environmental and Toxicological Standards, GOLS and GOTS certifications ensure the materials contain at least 70 percent organic fibers. Most organic mattresses are CertiPUR-US® and GREENGUARD Gold certified; however, all organic mattresses must meet Organic Content Standard 100 to label their beds as organic.CertiPUR-US®: The CertiPUR-US® certification tests foam to ensure it’s manufactured without ozone depleters, PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), TDCPP or TCEP, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, and minimal VOCs.GREENGUARD Gold: A third-party company tests the product for low chemical emissions to ensure people can use the product safely.Organic Content Standard 100: The certification verifies the presence of organic materials and ensures the product contains 95 to 100 percent organic fibers.OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: A third-party organization tests for harmful substances in the product’s textiles throughout the manufacturing process.Always check the organic certification expiration date as some companies buy certified materials for their first batch of mattresses and then switch to non-organic materials after the certification expires.Sustainable MaterialsOrganic mattress materials are renewable and have a low environmental impact when they decompose.To produce latex, rubber trees are tapped and the sap is extracted. This process is eco-friendly since there’s no need to cut the tree down. One tree can produce 30 years of sap before it’s cut down to be made into furniture. After that, rubber trees are replanted.Farmers use non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers to grow cotton, and federal regulations have outlawed engineered seeds to avoid genetically modified fibers. Cotton is also biodegradable.Ranchers shear the wool off sheep. Since sheep grow wool continually, it’s a sustainable resource.Organic Mattress DrawbacksWhile organic mattresses have many health benefits, their drawbacks relate to their limited availability and high costs.Limited AvailabilityFew storefronts sell organic mattresses, so you will probably have a hard time finding a showroom where you can try an organic bed. You will have an easier time finding an organic mattress online.Some online brands offer sleep trials allowing you to try their bed in your home risk-free. If you don’t like the mattress, you can send it back for a refund.More ExpensiveOrganic materials cost more to procure and are more limited than man-made materials. On top of production costs, certifying the mattress increases the price—organic mattresses can cost $2000 to $2500 compared to $1000 to $1500 for a traditional bed.Taking advantage of big sale days can help you get a high-quality organic mattress for a reduced price.Is A Green Mattress As Good As An Organic One?If you cannot afford an organic bed, you can compromise on a natural or eco-friendly mattress made with all-natural materials: natural fabrics, Talalay latex, and plant-based memory foam. Remember, natural bed materials may go through an eco-friendly, chemical process.Green mattresses are not regulated, so they’re not as restricted by certifications as organic mattresses. It’s critical to research a mattress’s manufacturing process and materials when shopping for a natural mattress.Since organic mattresses are regulated and have specific certifications to prove the company’s claim, you know you’re going to get the quality you want.Frequently Asked QuestionsAre organic mattresses worth it?Usually the investment in an organic bed is worth the money, as these materials are free from harmful chemicals, sleep-promoting, and long-lasting. If you’re a green shopper or need an organic mattress for a specific need, they’re definitely worth the cost. Ultimately, this depends upon your personal preferences.How do I choose an organic mattress?Look at materials and certifications, then find a mattress that’s compatible with your sleeping position and body type. Latex and organic hybrid mattresses are the go-to for green shoppers, and luckily, these beds come in a variety of firmness options to suit different sleepers. Finding the right bed just takes a little research.What mattresses have no chemicals?All mattresses have some chemicals, it’s more a matter of what chemicals and in what quantities. Organic mattresses are free from harmful chemicals, ozone depleters, and chemical-based fire barriers because they are not safe for all sleepers. Organic certifications will tell you more about how a bed was made and what chemicals it contains.Are memory foam mattresses safe?Yes, while some have concerns with these beds, all memory foam mattresses are safe. With that, some memory foam mattresses are safer than others. Look for beds with CertiPUR-US® certifications to ensure they’re low in VOCs and free from toxic chemicals.How long do organic mattresses last?It depends on the materials in the bed. Latex mattresses can last up to 20 years, although we recommend replacing them after 10 for hygenic reasons. Organic hybrids can last 6 to 7 years, while eco-friendly foam mattresses tend to like 7 to 9 years.ConclusionYour individual needs and your budget may influence whether you buy an organic mattress. An organic mattress may prevent off-gassing, preserve your home’s air quality, and help you avoid skin and lung irritations. Make sure your new mattress has a current certification proving its organic status, or you may not receive a truly organic bed.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. Find more articles by Kiera Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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