Best Non Toxic Mattresses of 2017

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best nontoxic mattresses

If you were to only pick one item to switch in your journey for a nontoxic reboot, I would say that you should get a nontoxic mattress. Why? It by far has the most impact out of any other single item on reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals.

Think about it. How long do you spend laying on your bed?

One step further: How long do you spend inhaling any toxic chemicals that are being released from your mattress?

The average person will spend 227,468 hours sleeping. That is 26 years!

And you thought your dog slept a lot...​

I guarantee you won't use any other single item nearly that much.

This article is an in depth guide that will tell you all about the toxic crap that is rampant throughout the mattress industry and how you can avoid it.

Top 5 Nontoxic Matresses

Want to get right to it? Here are our top recommendations for the best nontoxic mattresses out there.

(Not all these are organic mattresses - I don't believe they have to be organic to be nontoxic. You can see which ones have all organic materials in their individual reviews towards the end of this post.)

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

"Best Overall"

Naturepedic

2

Lifekind

3

"Most Affordable"

Sleep On Latex

4

"Most Customizable"

Savvy Rest

5

"Natural Memory Foam"

Essentia

Conventional Mattresses

The mattress industry sucks.

Seriously.

Why? Like many industries out there, the chemicals used are not regulated for safety, and the manufacturers are not required to tell us what chemicals they have used.

In addition, there is a lot of "green washing" in the mattress industry. The sales teams use amazing marketing techniques to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a healthy, natural, wonderful mattress.

The terms "natural," "eco friendly," and "nontoxic" are not regulated terms, but they are used all the time.

They basically mean nothing.

The terms "natural," "eco friendly," and "nontoxic" are not regulated terms, and they basically mean nothing.

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A company can have some natural wool in its mattress. Then, they could add a bunch of other chemicals and fillers and still call it "natural" because it contains the natural wool.

Yikes!​

The term "organic" is a little better in that it needs to be certified to use the term.

OK, now we are getting somewhere.

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that one component of the mattress could be certified organic, but the rest of it could still contain a bunch of garbage​?

Crap.​

Yet, in either of these scenarios mattress companies are really good at marketing to make it sound like you are getting something healthy.​

Mattress companies are really good at marketing to make it sound like you are getting something healthy.

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Hmmmm...​puzzled yet?

Because of all of this, we have to be extra careful in choosing a mattress and ensure they have been independently tested and/or certified by third parties so we know the mattresses really are safe.

Unfortunately, there are very few manufacturers that actually pass our nontoxic test.

the average person will spend 227,468 hours sleeping. That is 26 years!

Why are toxic chemicals in mattresses bad?

Most of the mattresses out there ​contain toxic chemicals. That is just a fact.

The question for some people is, why is this bad? I mean, it is not like I plan on eating my mattress anytime soon.

Unfortunately, many of these nasty chemicals, ​can get into our bodies because they get released from the mattress (which is called off-gassing) and we either breathe them in directly through the air, or they settle in the dust and we are exposed to that dust.

In fact, flame retardants, one of the most prevalent and toxic components found in mattresses, are not chemically bound in the furniture they are in. Therefore, they are easily released into the air every time the furniture is disturbed (aka. when we move on it).

Furthermore, since mattresses tend to be in our homes for a very long time, any chemicals in the mattress at the time of its manufacturing can be accumulating in our homes and our bodies for years.

Not a pleasant thought.

What chemicals and materials are found in most mattresses?

Chemical or Material

Health Hazards

Safe to Use?

Flame Retardants

  • Decreased fecundity in women
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Disrupted hormone function
  • Genetic damage
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles

NO!

Spring Coils

  • Possible cancer due to increased radiation exposure

OK???

More research needed - We lean towards OK

Glues/Adhesives

  • Possible cancer
  • Severe nerve damage

Be Careful!!

Polyurethane Foam

  • Possible respiratory irritant
  • Possible carcinogenic

NO???

More research needed - We lean towards NO

Memory Foam

  • Possible respiratory irritant
  • Possible carcinogenic
  • Possible nervous system damage
  • Possible organ damage
  • Huge potential for more unknown chemical additives

NO!

Flame Retardants

Flame Retardants sound pretty self explanatory. They are supposed to reduce the chance of your furniture - in this case, your mattress - catching fire, and therefore help to save lives from fires run amuck. 

Unfortunately, this "protection" from a flammable mattress is accomplished by using not just chemicals, but toxic chemicals.

This news video does a pretty good job of summing up a lot ​of this flame retardant stuff in case you want to skip some reading. 🙂 

Although fire retardants have been used for years in mattresses, the industry really kicked it up a notch when new flammability standards for mattresses were set in the United States in 2007. These new standards, spearheaded by the US Consumer Protection Agency, required that all new mattresses must be able to pass an open flame test.

And of course, because all the mattress producers wanted to continue to sell their mattresses, they bumped up their use of flame retardant chemicals to ensure these standards were definitely met.

Oh yeah, but these chemicals are toxic. Crap...

Throughout the years, the furniture industries have jumped from one batch of flame retardant chemicals to another, only to find out that each one is inevitably proven to be toxic sooner or later.

They went through PCBs (banned in the US in 1977), PBDEs (being phased out in the US, but not completely banned; banned in Europe), BTP, Chlorinated Tris (identified in 2011 by California to cause cancer, also banned in children's pajamas in the 1970s). 

The most recent cocktail, Firemaster 550, is now being widely used in a variety of mattresses and products. However, 2013 research is already linking the chemical to endocrine disruption and extreme weight gain, as well as possible cardiovascular disease and early onset puberty.

And the cycle continues...

Flame retardants used in everyday furniture are linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, obesity, and more.

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Although science and studies have proven again and again that these chemicals are bad news bears, they are - surprise - still being used. The flame retardants still being used today (and guess what, there are many of them) are linked to decreased fecundity in women, increased risk of cancer, obesity, disrupted hormone function, genetic damage, and abnormal menstrual cycles.

And the evidence of more adverse health effects just keeps growing...

The Green Policy Institute even put together a list of ​291 studies as of 2013 that demonstrated the toxicity and health effects of flame retardants. That is a lot of studies!

Pro Tip:

Currently in the US, there are only 2 ways to obtain a mattress that doesn't have toxic flame retardants:

  1. Get a doctor's prescription that says you cannot have flame retardants in your mattress for a health reason.
  2. Find a mattress that meets the US flammability standard without the use of toxic chemicals - for example wool is a natural flame retardant material. Boom!

All of the mattresses recommended in this guide are free of toxic flame retardants.

Flame Retardant Controversy

So I won't linger on flame retardants forever, but I will tell you that there have been some very interesting controversies on this topic over the years. 1. Do flame retardants even work to slow down fires? and 2. Did tobacco companies play a major part in getting them into your home?

Intrigued? Check out this documentary that dives into this issue: Toxic Hot Seat. Or, see the Chicago Tribune series that busted this issue wide open.

Spring Coils

In 2010, an article came out about the possible negative effects of spring coils in mattresses and people have wondered if they are safe ever since.​

The article, based on a study in the journal Pathophysiology, suggested that the spring coils in our mattresses act as antennas that amplify FM/TV radiation. As we sleep on these "antennas," we are exposed to this radiation for prolonged periods of time, which increases our risk of cancer.

As of the time of this guide being written, I could not find any other evidence of this theory. Therefore, I think more research is needed to provide adequate proof of such a claim, and it is not something I am particularly concerned with at this time.

Pro Tip:

If you are concerned about coils in your mattress due to this potential radiation, all of the mattress companies in our Top 5 list either offer coil free options or don't use coils at all.

Polyurethane Foam​

Polyurethane foam is VERY common in many traditional mattresses. It is either put in mattresses just as polyurethane foam (most commonly as a top layer), or it has more compounds added to it and made into memory foam.

Polyurethane foam was introduced to the mattress industry in the 1950s and marketed as a way to add more softness and support to people's sleeping spaces. In reality, this foam is actually a cheaper material than the natural wool, horsehairs, and cotton materials that were being used at the time. This new synthetic foam allowed manufacturers to spend less money on their materials while also providing soft support, so it took off.

When searching for information about the health effects of polyurethane foam, the results are definitely a mixed bag.​

Evidence shows the materials used in mattress foam can cause cancer, skin irritations, and respiratory problems.

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Some claim that this petroleum based product off-gasses harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is a huge risk to health. This is mainly due to the known health hazards of some raw components (mainly isocyanates) of the foam. These are associated with cancerskin irritations and respiratory problems, including asthma and other lung problems. 

The EPA has even released emission standards for hazardous air pollutants that result from the production and manufacturing of polyurethane foam. These standards are intended to help protect workers from the known health effects ​of these polyurethane foam emissions. In the short term, these health effects include nose and throat irritation. In the long term, it adversely effects the central nervous system, and includes headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss.

Therefore, the health hazards of the manufacturing and production of polyurethane foam seems to be widely known and undisputed.​

However, what is disputed is whether the foam remains harmful by the time it is in a mattress and reaches the consumer.​

The Polyurethane Foam Association claims that the potentially harmful chemicals in the foam are actually cured or "finished" when they reach consumers and therefore inert and nontoxic. In other words, they are harmful in their raw form, but undergo a chemical chain of events that makes them safe. According to this line of thinking, they are only potentially toxic during manufacturing processes, or if the foam is later heated or "disturbed."

Then again, the Polyurethane Foam Association is extremely biased, and lobbies for the use of foam, which is a huge money making industry.​

In fact, the polyurethane foam market size was $46.05 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $74.24 billion by 2021. There is some definite interest by big industry leaders to keep the ball rolling on using this product.

The players in the industry even got together and formed the CERTIPUR certification. This certification is marketed as a "third party" non for profit certification that tests for VOC emissions in polyurethane foams to help ensure their safety. However, this is an extremely untrustworthy source, since it is not third party at all, and was formed by the same industry players that profit from the foams.

So what does the research say for polyurethane foam in mattresses?​

One study in 2000 tested a variety of different mattresses for emissions and their effects on mice. This study found that the largest airflow decreases in the mice occurred from emissions of a polyurethane foam pad covered with vinyl. 

The same study used spectrometry and they identified "respiratory irritants (e.g., styrene, isopropylbenzene, limonene) in the emissions of one of the polyurethane foam mattresses."

Yikes!​

Person sleeping in bed.

On the other hand, "organic cotton padding caused very different effects, evidenced by increases in both respiratory rate and tidal volume." This showed the organic cotton was clearly a better material.

With all of the evidence that the raw materials in polyurethane foam are harmful, especially to the workers involved in the manufacturing of them, and with some evidence (albeit not as much) of harmful respiratory irritants being emitted from the foam in the finished product,  I believe it is something that should be avoided for a more sure safety bet.

Why risk it?

Pro Tip:

Polyurethane foam is not used in any of the mattress brands recommended in this guide.

Memory Foam​

​As mentioned above, traditional memory foam is essentially polyurethane foam with some more chemicals and/or components added to it that gives it more viscosity and density.

We have already called into question the safety of the polyurethane foam, which automatically puts a negative light on memory foam as well, and long story short, I just wouldn't use it. 

​If anything, memory foam is potentially even less safe than just polyurethane foam alone. 

Why?

The fillers and chemicals that get added to the polyurethane foam to make memory foam are potentially harmful by themselves. Oh, and once again, manufacturers are not required to disclose all of the "ingredients" in their mattress products. In fact, many product formulas are protected under a "trade secret protection clause" so that other manufacturers don't get their secret formulas and copy their products.

How are we as consumers supposed to know if our products our safe when we don't even know what is in them?

TEMPUR-PEDIC is the brand that is generally known to have put memory foam on the map for wide consumer use back in the 1990s. "TEMPUR material" (their version of memory foam)​ is their trademark and is present in most of their products, including their bedding, mattresses, and pillows.

In 2014, a lawsuit was filed against TEMPUR-PEDIC for false advertising claims that their TEMPUR material is "formaldehyde free," "free of harmful (volatile organic compounds) VOCs," "allergen resistant," and "hypoallergenic."​

Not only did they make these claims without proof, but testing on their material has shown that formaldehyde and other potentially harmful VOCs are present both in the products and in the chemicals off-gassing from the products

Woops!​

Dog sleeping in bed.

As of 2015, the judge has ordered that the ingredients of their TEMPUR material be disclosed and are not protected by their trade secret clause because ​of their false advertising claims. 

So it was not the discovery of known harmful chemicals that did it (the dangers of formaldehyde are pretty well known at this point)...it was the false advertising that TEMPUR-PEDIC chose to do.

If they hadn't said those things in their advertising....there would be no problem with them giving us known harmful chemicals...

Hmmmm..​.twilight zone. But that is the way this stuff works.

The case is still ongoing pending further investigation, and TEMPUR-PEDIC, along with many other manufacturers are still selling their 'who knows what's in them' memory foam products.​

Some "recipes" of various memory foams have been known to contain: formaldehyde, acetone, ​methylene dianiline, vinilideine chloride, methyl benzene, dimethylformamide, or methylene chloride, to name a few chemicals. The known or suspected adverse health effects of these additives are cancer, eye and respiratory irritation, organ damage, and nervous system damage.

Suspected adverse health effects of additives in memory foam include cancer, nervous system damage, and organ damage.

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Once again, most of the studies done to show these adverse effects have been of the raw materials being manufactured and not in the finished product of the memory foam itself.

Since the VOC emissions that come from memory foams are lower than raw materials, it is more likely that if the chemicals have harmful effects, they would occur over a prolonged period of time. It is very difficult to test over such a long period AND control for all of the other potential causes of such health effects. 

To recap, memory foam contains polyurethane foam (which we have already decided to avoid), and usually contains many fillers that manufacturers are not required to disclose. In addition, some formulations have been shown to have VOC emissions of harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde.

I say it is a no go.

Pro Tip:

Traditional memory foams are not in any of the mattresses recommended in this guide. However, for those who love the comfort memory foam provides, there is one brand that patented a nontoxic latex based "memory foam" (see below).

Glues/Adhesives​

​I would not have even thought of the glues and adhesives existing in my mattress, let alone think they were toxic.

Until I did research...

It turns out, the adhesives used to glue together the components of mattresses (along with other types of furniture) have gone through a long saga of bad crap just like flame retardants.

Surprise! That crap is still being used. ​

Person sleeping on couch.

It started in the 1980s when the chemical 1,1,1-trichloroethane, or TCA, was used in these glues. That was quickly banned by the US as well as other countries because it was shown to damage the ozone layer.

Next came methylene chloride, which gained the nickname "methyl ethyl bad stuff" after it killed over 30 workers a year and made thousands more sick. OSHA then tightened standards on using the chemical, so once again, the search for an alternative ensued.

Which leads us to nPB, or n-propyl bromide, becoming widely used in glues for furniture in the 1990s. There were warnings about potential dangers from this chemical right from the start. Government officials stated that the chemical was being used at 10 to 200 times the level that was considered to be safe, and that was as early as 1999.

Yet, this chemical is still widely used in these adhesives today. And, guess what, the science backs up these danger warnings.

"Chemical safety scientists have concluded that nPB can cause severe nerve damage when inhaled even at low levels." There is also rising evidence that nPB is a carcinogen.

Do you think about glue? Today's glues in mattresses can cause severe nerve damage and cancer.

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What do these 3 components in these glues have in common? 

They are all solvents.

So, in a search for nontoxic alternatives to solvent based adhesives, many have turned to water based adhesives to see if they are any better.

Many of the producers of water based adhesives claim that they are nontoxic, but are they?

To be honest, I had a really hard time digging up conclusive ​evidence on water based adhesives. All of the adhesive companies and lobbyists say they are nontoxic. But then many "natural" furniture makers and some health bloggers claim it is a bit better than solvent based, but still pretty much the same thing, just watered down. 

Since I always try to base my conclusions on some impartial data and not just biased sources, this was proving to be quite the challenge.​

Therefore, I think the best thing to do is stick with mattresses that have been certified by a third party, such as Greenguard.​ Greenguard actually tests products for VOC emissions to see if they release toxic levels of crap. A product can only be Greenguard certified if it meets a safe emissions level.

That way, regardless of the adhesive used, you know that your mattress as a whole is safe for your household. I will explain more about various certifications further on in this guide.

Pro Tip:

It is hard to know if the glues used in mattresses are unsafe, or if they are being fully disclosed. Try to get a mattress that either has a certification or has had lab testing to show they are safe, regardless of the adhesive.

Nontoxic Mattresses

Person sleeping in field.

So now that you have learned a TON about some of the bad or questionable stuff in most mattresses​ sold on the market, you are probably wondering what is left to sleep on that is actually OK. 

No, you do not have to go out and sleep in the dirt. :)​

What materials usually make up nontoxic mattresses?

Wool​

Sheep in field.

As most of you probably already know, wool is the outer "hair," for lack of a better term, that is grown by sheep (it is not really hair, but you get the idea). 

Woven wool has been used as a textile in garments since around 5000 BC. ​

Properties of Wool:

  • Natural flame retardant
  • Natural moisture wicking material
  • Natural insulator - warm in the winter and cool in the summer

But what about my "wool allergy"...is this a myth?

In the past, a large proportion of people have claimed an allergy to lanolin, a naturally occurring "wax" secreted by wool bearing animals.

However, a further look at the history suggests that this claim might have been exaggerated by 5,000-6,000 times because it was taken out of context and misrepresented.

There is some evidence that what many people think is a wool allergy might actually just be itchiness from the scratchy nature of wool material on your skin.

2 new 2016 studies from the Queensland Institute of Dermatology and the Murdoch Children's Institute are currently in the process of being reviewed by dermatology journals for publication. They conclude that merino wool can actually benefit people with sensitive skin, such as eczema or dermatitis sufferers.

I do have to say, all the evidence I could find pointing to these claims seemed to be funded by wool industry players, so the jury is still out on a conclusion to this one.

However, it does raise an interesting theory to see if you really do have an allergy...

...or just a scratch.

One thing I do know for sure, lanolin has long been used and praised for its emollient properties, and is used in a plethora of modern day moisturizers, balms, and emollients to help with skin smoothing actions...so maybe there is something to that theory!​

For those looking to avoid wool due to an allergy, Essentia does not use wool in any of their mattresses.

Cotton​

Cotton field.

Cotton is a naturally occurring fiber that comes from a cotton plant and consists mostly of cellulose.

Like wool, fabric made of cotton dates back to around 5000 or 6000 BC.

Properties of Cotton:

  • Naturally absorbent and breathable, so it wicks and evaporates moisture
  • Naturally soft - great for outer layer next to skin
  • Rarely causes allergies

Latex​

Person extracting latex from rubber tree.

Latex foams have become a great way to still get a comfort layer in mattresses similar to a memory foam or polyurethane foam, but without toxic chemicals.​

Latex is a naturally occurring milky liquid that comes from a rubber tree, Heavea brasiliensis (very similar to how maple syrup is tapped from trees). It is then usually either produced into foam by the Dunlop or Talalay process.

A lot of manufacturers will take this natural latex and blend it with synthetic latex. Unfortunately, synthetic latex is filled with petrochemicals and other fillers, so that is something to stay away from as much as possible.

Dunlop Vs. Talalay​

Many people ask about the Dunlop vs. the Talalay process, and honestly, this is yet another thing in the mattress industry that gets very confusing. 

Why?

Depending on which process they use, manufacturers will say that one is better than the other, often even alluding that they have different materials. ​

The truth is, these terms refer to the method used to manufacture the foam, not to the materials used. Dunlop AND Talalay processes can be used for natural, blended, or synthetic latex.

I thought Sleeping Like a Log did a great job at explaining this:​

​Dunlop Process

"Dunlop refers to the traditional method of latex manufacturing which has been used since 1929. The latex sap is whipped into a froth, poured into a mold, covered and steam baked. The natural sediments in the mixture tend to settle on the bottom of the mold, which makes dunlop slightly firmer on the bottom side."

Talalay Process​

"Talalay is a newer method of preparing latex, which adds 2 additional steps to the process. The latex is whipped into a froth, injected into an aluminum pin-core mold, and is then vacuum sealed. The latex mold is then flash-frozen, which prevents the particles from settling and results in a more consistent cell structure. The latex foam is then baked to cure the foam. It is a more expensive production method, but generally results in a softer feel than Dunlop."

Which one is better? That is really for you to decide. They are just different, and one that is "better" is more a matter of opinion.

Latex Allergies​

Latex allergies result from a reaction to certain proteins in natural latex. Latex allergies occur in less than 1% of the general population. Some people can also develop latex allergies after being expose​d to latex over long periods of time, although this is much more common in health care workers due to their exposure to large amounts of latex materials, like gloves.

Many people are concerned that owning a latex mattress can either exacerbate an existing latex allergy, or actually cause a latex allergy.

So, of course, we had to dive into this issue!

A lot of latex mattress companies will claim that the proteins in latex that people are allergic to have been washed out or denatured during the manufacturing process and therefore are not present and not a concern.

However, it is difficult to find an unbiased source that fully confirms this. Most of the studies that have been done regarding latex allergies are about medical workers.

​After reviewing as much research as I could find on this issue, here are the conclusions I have drawn:

  • There is evidence that most protein allergens in latex extract are not present in latex mattresses. However, some are still present.
  • It does not seem likely that sleeping on a latex mattress would cause a latex allergy, but I only found one actual study that explored this issue and it was in children. This study concluded that latex mattresses did not seem to cause sensitization.
  • Since latex foam is usually an inner layer of the mattress and there is no direct exposure, I was curious to see if people that already had a latex allergy would have reactions to it. However, evidence was not found to conclude one way or the other. I would advise caution for latex sensitive individuals in getting a latex mattress, especially those with Type I sensitivity.

Out of our top 5 picks, Naturepedic, Lifekind, and Savvy Rest all offer latex free options in case of an allergy. Usually, microcoils are used for comfort as a substitute. 

Certifications​

Since the mattress industry is filled with green washing and false marketing, ​it can be very difficult to know if you are getting a mattress that truly has no toxic chemicals.

Furthermore, as has been demonstrated, mattress companies are not required to list all of the materials or chemicals they use when producing their mattresses.

Even "organic" mattresses or "natural" mattress may not be fully nontoxic. Some components may be organic, but there could still be other chemicals in the mattress.

Therefore, we must find and rely on unbiased, 3rd party certifications that we can trust to help us determine if there are toxins in the mattresses.

What are the best certifications for whole mattresses?

  • GreenGuard: Requires actual testing of whole products with low chemical, VOC, and particle emissions.
  • GreenGuard Gold: Similar to regular GreenGuard with actual testing, but with stricter emissions standards deemed suitable for environments that children and sensitive adults spend extended periods of time.
  • Made Safe: Scientists and/or advisors analyze the materials, ingredients and chemical components of a product (as obtained through required paper screening) to ensure it does not contain known harmful ingredients or release vapors, gases, or by-products that could impact human health.
  • Made Safe Nontoxic: In addition to getting a Made Safe certification, the product must go through actual lab testing to ensure the ingredient mixtures in the total product will not cause harm.

What are the best certifications for parts of mattresses?​

  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100: Requires actual testing of textile products to ensure they do not have harmful substances. This includes not only illegal substances, but substances known to be harmful that are not legally regulated.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): Requires on-site inspection of all the latex collection points, centrifuging, manufacturing and processing units, retailers and brand owners. Products with a minimum of 95% organic latex can be GOLS certified. The facilities and ingredients must also meet certain environmental criteria.
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Requires on-site inspection of processors, manufacturers, and traders of a textile product. Products with a minimum of 70% organic fibers can be GOTS certified. The facilities and ingredients must also meet certain environmental criteria.

What certifications should I avoid?

  • Certi-PUR: Certifies foams for safety. However, Certi-PUR was formed by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam - aka the polyurethane foam industry. Therefore it is a biased certification and, in my opinion, not trustworthy.

Top 5 Nontoxic Mattresses...Reviewed

Without further ado, here are our top 5 nontoxic mattresses!

Happy shopping!

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

"Best Overall"

Naturepedic

2

Lifekind

3

"Most Affordable"

Sleep On Latex

4

"Most Customizable"

Savvy Rest

5

"Natural Memory Foam"

Essentia

Naturepedic

"Best Overall"

Price

$$$

Our Rating

Most of the Naturepedic mattresses are made with steel inner springs, certified organic cotton, certified organic wool, and certified organic latex with leading industry certifications, such as GOTS and GOLS. They also offer latex free options (using micro coils for comfort instead) as well as 1 coil free option (which is all latex).

Naturepedic was the only mattress brand to carry not only the GreenGuard Gold certification, but also the Made Safe Certification.​ Also, its return and exchange policies, as well as its warranty policy, are all excellent.

They also offer fully customizable beds. With these, you can choose your comfort layers from extra firm to plush for each side of the bed in case you and your partner have different preferences.

PROS

  • 20 year warranty
  • 30 to 90 Day Returns Allowed
  • 90 Day Comfort Exchange
  • Whole mattress certified with GreenGuard Gold and Made Safe
  • Certified Organic Cotton, Wool, and Latex materials
  • Latex free options, Coil free option
  • Some models fully customizable on each side for materials and firmness/softness

CONS

  • A Bit Pricey (but no more then most of the organic brands)

Lifekind

Price

$$

Our Rating

Lifekind is very similar to Naturepedic in that all of its materials are certified organic and they offer a great warranty and comfort exchange program. They also offer latex free options and coil free options.

However, Lifekind does not provide quite as much customization - for example, you cannot customize the firmness per side on any of their mattresses. They also don't allow any returns.​ 

PROS

  • 20 year warranty
  • 90 Day Comfort Exchange
  • Whole mattress certified with GreenGuard Gold
  • Certified Organic Cotton, Wool, and Latex materials
  • Latex free options, Coil free options

CONS

  • No Returns for Mattresses
  • Less customization (but different models still have different firmness)

Sleep on Latex

"Most Affordable"

Price

$

Our Rating

Sleep on Latex does not offer a fully organic mattress like many of the others on this list. However, these mattresses offer a much more affordable option for those that don't like the prices of organic mattresses. Plus, their GreenGuard Gold certification still indicates their mattresses as a whole are safe. Their latex foam is also OEKO-TEX certified. In addition, Sleep on Latex had the best return policy of any other mattress that I reviewed - 100 days.

Another thing to note about Sleep on Latex is none of their mattresses have coils (they are latex, wool, and cotton only), so if you are concerned about the potential radiation from coils (see above note on this) and want an affordable option, this might be your best choice.

Their 10 year warranty falls a little shorter then most of the other brands on this list, but once again, the affordability may be worth it. 

PROS

  • ​100 Day Returns Allowed
  • Whole mattress certified with GreenGuard Gold
  • Certified Organic Cotton
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Wool and Latex not certified organic
  • Less customization (but still has different firmness options)

Savvy Rest

"Most Customizable"

Price

$$$$

Our Rating

Savvy Rest is another very good brand in the market of luxury organic mattresses. It probably offers the most in terms of customization out of any brand I have reviewed here, since they allow customization per side for firmness AND type of latex foam (Dunlop vs. Talalay).

Unfortunately, you pay for it. Savvy Rest is the most expensive out of the brands that round out the top 5. They also don't allow mattress returns AND be careful what your warranty policy is on the model you choose: some are only 30 days or 10 years instead of 20 years.

PROS

  • ​Some models 20 Year Warranty
  • 90 Day Comfort Exchange
  • Whole mattress certified with GreenGuard Gold
  • Certified Organic Cotton, Wool, and Latex Materials
  • Latex & Coil Free Options
  • Some models fully customizable on each side for materials, firmness/softness, & latex type

CONS

  • Some Models 30 day or 10 Year Warranty
  • No Returns for Mattresses
  • Very Pricey

Essentia

"Natural Memory Foam"

Price

$$$

Our Rating

Essentia's mattresses all have cotton and latex as their main materials. None of the models have wool or coils, so for those with a true wool allergy or who are concerned about potential coil radiation, this is a good option.

Essentia's claim to fame is their "natural memory foam." It is essentially a latex foam, but as far as I can tell, the difference is they have patented their own process (instead of Dunlop or Talalay) to make it more like a memory foam consistency. So for those that don't want to give up the awesome comfort of their memory foam when they go nontoxic, this might be your best bet!

Since Essentia does not use wool, which is a natural flame retardant used by most nontoxic mattresses, they had to come up with a different way to meet the mattress flammability law. They do this by using Kevlar which, after some research, looks to be a nontoxic plastic material.​ 

After reviewing the lab testing of Essentia's mattresses, I can confirm that there are no red flags and everything seems to check out as nontoxic. However, I would love to see them get an actual certification for their mattress as a whole in addition to the lab testing.

PROS

  • 20 year warranty
  • 60 Day Returns Allowed
  • Whole mattress tested by independent lab for low VOC emissions
  • Certified Organic Cotton and Latex materials used
  • Patented the world's only "natural memory foam"

CONS

  • ​No whole mattress 3rd party certification
  • Cannot confirm all of the latex and cotton used is organic - just some of it
  • Cannot customize per side, but still different firmness options for whole mattress

Honorable Mentions

These mattresses didn't quite make the cut of our top 5, but I thought they still deserved a shout out.

As a side note, none of these mattresses contained a 3rd party verification of their mattresses as a whole for safety.

However, I also didn't notice any big red flags for the materials they do contain and, after the research I have done, believe they are good products.

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

6

"All Cotton Mattresses"

White Lotus

7

"Organic Luxury"

Soaring Heart

8

"All Wool Mattresses"

Shepherd's Dream

Imposters

The below mattresses are often advertised as nontoxic. However, they are brands that definitely contain questionable or unknown materials, and I wouldn't recommend them as part of a nontoxic lifestyle.

Intellibed

  • Uses polyurethane foam
  • Uses mineral oil in gel- a petroleum product

Casper

  • Uses polyurethane foam
  • Uses synthetic latex blends in some layers with unconfirmed ingredients

Loom and Leaf

  • Uses polyurethane foam
  • Uses memory foam and other foams with unconfirmed ingredients 
  • Unconfirmed ingredients in gel layer

Keetsa

  • Uses polyurethane foam
  • Uses memory foam and other foams with unconfirmed ingredients 
  • Unconfirmed fire retardant agent used

Written by Ashley

Chief editor here at Nontoxic Reboot. I'm passionate about providing you with the best and easiest ways to make your world healthier and a little less toxic.

If you were to only pick one item to switch in your journey for a nontoxic reboot, I would say that you should get a nontoxic mattress. Why? It by far has the most impact out of any other single item on reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for such a detailed and great review! We had just received our Loom&Leaf mattress, however I am having second thoughts due to continuous slight odor after sleeping on it for 3 nights.
    I may just have to return it and get a Sleep on Latex mattress which has compatible pricing to L&L.
    Do you have any non toxic foundation recommendations to go with the beds you recommended?

    • I’m glad you liked the article! Yeah, I would definitely recommend checking out Sleep on Latex instead of Loom & Leaf. 🙂 In answer to your question, I actually reached out to Sleep on Latex about what foundation they recommend for their mattresses since they don’t sell any right now.

      This is the response I received: “Our mattress is best used a platform frame or slatted frame with slats that are less than 3″ apart. We are currently working on a very basic bed frame that we are hoping to introduce in the next few months. While I don’t have any specific suggestions of frames right now, my suggestion would be to look for Greenguard Gold or Oekotex certifications. This is the best assurance that the product does not emit any harmful substances.”

      So it sounds like they will be coming out with something soon! If you can’t wait, here is a great option from Naturepedic.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to look into this and getting back to me so quickly. I will be ordering Sleep on Latex this week and returning L&L.
    I’ll wait for the Sleep on Latex’s version of the foundation in the meantime 🙂
    I do love Naturepedic, but their foundation that would match our needs is out of our price range right now. Our kiddos happily sleep on their Naturepedic mattresses though, ansolutely no compromises on their health.

    Thanks again for creating such a great source of information here.

  3. Hi,

    Thank you for this article! I was hoping you could help me. I recently purchased a naturepedic mattress for my newborn and then I suddenly had to move continents and now find myself sitting in Malta with a 2 mo old while my naturepedic remains in Canada and would cost me 1700 to ship, which isn’t happening. So I was wondering if you could recommend any European company or point me in the right direction ? I’m lost but your article has helped me start the search. Thank you!

  4. Hi, thanks for all of your research and good information. Do you have any information or suggestions about hemp beds? conventional beds with memory foam give me headaches and I’m very sensitive/allergic to organic cotton. Thanks for any info?

    • Hmmm I haven’t done a lot of research on hemp beds. Have you found any hemp beds without organic cotton? I know Shepherd’s Dream does an all wool mattress if you want to try to check that out as well. I imagine avoiding the cotton is pretty tough!

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