Best Non Toxic Mattresses of 2018

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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.

UPDATED: December 2017

Top Nontoxic Mattresses

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

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

"Best Overall"

2

"Most Affordable"

3

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, you will have to go with a coil free option. Out of our top 3, Naturepedic and Lifekind offer coil free options.

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.

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!​

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 3 picks, Naturepedic and Lifekind 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. For example, total VOC emissions must be below 500 µg/m3.
  • 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. For example, total VOC emissions must be below 220 µg/m3.
  • 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.

Be Careful!! Some companies claim they have these certifications, but when you look closer at the certification itself, you see that it is not actually issued to that company or that company's product.

It may just be issued to a piece of the supply chain, which means it was only certified up until that point in the manufacturing process. Once that material gets to the company itself, other things could then happen to it to cause it to be more toxic.

Therefore, a certification issued directly to the company selling you the product, is more valuable that a certification issued to a supplier of one of the materials.

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 Nontoxic Mattresses...Reviewed

Without further ado, here are our top nontoxic mattresses!

Happy shopping!

Rating

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

"Best Overall"

2

"Most Affordable"

3

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 carries 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 GOTS and GOLS 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)

New in 2018 update!

Happsy

"Most Affordable"

Price

$

Our Rating

Happsy is a new brand that just recently became available and I am so excited about it! I have had soooo many readers ask me for a more affordable non toxic option and, while I could give recommendations for okay options, Happsy is the first affordable, mattress in a box that I can fully get behind. I may actually be ordering one for myself soon!

Happsy mattresses are made with individually pocketed springs, certified organic cotton, certified organic wool, and certified organic latex with leading industry certifications, such as GOTS and GOLS. As far as I am aware, as of the time of this write up, Happsy is the only "mattress in a box" that has all certified organic textiles.

Before, Naturepedic was the only mattress brand to carry both the GreenGuard Gold certification and the Made Safe Certification. I am happy to report that Happsy also has both certifications! 

Happsy mattresses have a 10 year warranty - this is pretty typical for the mattress in a box space. Their return policy is the best I have seen at 120 days! The highest I had ever seen before adding this brand was 100 days. Nice!

The only real downside to Happsy is they offer no real customization of their mattresses. They really only carry one mattress option, and it contains wool, cotton, latex, and coils - so if you were hoping to skip any of those materials, you will not have that option with Happsy. They do offer a pillow top mattress topper that they sell separately.

PROS

  • 10 year warranty
  • 120 Day Returns Allowed
  • Very affordable for a fully organic mattress
  • Whole mattress certified with GreenGuard Gold and Made Safe
  • Certified GOTS and GOLS Organic Cotton, Wool, and Latex materials

CONS

  • No customization options (except pillow top mattress topper that Happsy sells separately)

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 GOTS and GOLS 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)

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.

52 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!

    • Hi Maria!

      I have actually been trying to search for a solution for you that comes from within Europe and I must admit I am having trouble! I am finding many mattress companies that have lots of “natural,” “organic,” or “nontoxic” claims, but don’t have the proof on their websites to back them up, so I hesitate to recommend any of them. I will keep looking and will certainly return here with an update if I can find something!

      Essentia does ship to Europe. Here is what their website says: “The cost of shipping a mattress to Europe is usually $450-$550 USD. Mattress models and sizes do vary shipping charges.” The shipping costs still stink but they are better than $1700!

      Sleep on Latex says they might be able to ship to other countries upon request. White Lotus also says they can ship internationally and their website quotes the following: “International buyers may request a shipping quote by email prior to placing an order. We can be reached by email at [email protected].”

      Once again, I will try to keep my eyes open for other solutions!

  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!

  5. Just recently, a polyurethane foam brand mattress, Tuft and Needle just had their entire mattress oeko tex 100 and greenguard Certified. What are your thoughts on that? Seems like there are a lot of fears involving polyurethane, but yet they were able to garner two great certifications somehow.

    • Hello Matt!

      Thank you so much for pointing out that Tuft and Needle has received these certifications! I just did some quick research and it looks like they earned them in June 2017. When I was writing this article, all they had was the Certi-PUR.

      At a glance they look pretty good, and I put a lot of value in the Greenguard Gold and Oeko Tex 100 certifications since they do actual testing.

      As you can see from my research on polyurethane foam in the article, the jury is still out on it in general – but if Tuft and Needle was able to prove low emissions of their mattress as a whole through actual testing, then it looks like this company is potentially a good option, especially if you are looking for something more affordable! I also don’t see any other major red flags at first glance as long as you are indeed ok with the polyurethane foam.

      I will do a little more research soon and will possible include them in a future post update! Thanks again for pointing this out! I am sure a lot of people would like to know about another more affordable option. 🙂

      • Thank you~I was just about to ask you about them ~ that’s what I bought last year for myself and two daughters after months of research ~they were the only affordable nontoxic-ish ones I could find ~ but if you find any info please keep me posted:)!! Thank you for your information!!!

        • Also Tuft & Needle has an amazing money back guarantee! 100 night guarantee and if you aren’t satisfied you can donate to a charity send them a picture of the donation receipt and they refund your money! Love that!!

    • Also Tuft & Needle has an amazing money back guarantee! 100 night guarantee and if you aren’t satisfied you can donate to a charity send them a picture of the donation receipt and they refund your money! Love that!!

  6. Thank you so much for your article on non-toxic mattresses. You included a lot of very helpful information. Buy any way have you heard of or researched the Avacado brand mattress? I understand it is a relatively new company. I am in the market for a new mattress and considering it. Thank you!

    • Hello Pam,

      Thank you for your kind words! I am so glad you pointed this brand out. I did some quick research and they look pretty good. They have a Greenguard Gold Certification, as well as OEKO Tex 100 and GOTs for their wool and cotton. In addition, their prices look very reasonable, they have 100 day return policy and a 10 year warranty. It does look like all of their mattresses have coils, so if this is a concern for you personally, that would be the only thing (see my section on coils above – it is a personal choice).

      Honestly – at first glance, I think this brand looks decent! I will see once I do a little more in depth research on their certifications and such. 🙂

      Thanks again!

  7. Thank you for this! Can you check a company I found called sleeping organic? They offer organic latex for an extra charge and they seem to be good but they have certifications you did not mention. They seem to be pretty reasonably priced. I am trying to find the best brand with comfort, quality, and price (can be a mid range) with NO coils…

  8. Can you give me any information on Oliver Smith mattresses and Zinus mattress. I am on an extremely tight budget, and can not afford any of the mattresses you have listed. Oliver Smith claims to be Green Foam certified. I can’t seem to find that to be an actual certification. I am also unable to find a phone number or address for the company. Please let me know if you have any information on these companies. I would really appreciate any advice you have.

  9. Ashley – I am very impressed with your research abilities. I was a little disappointed that the mattress I am interested in was not listed. Perhaps, you have some data on Zenhaven by Saatva – I would really appreciate it if you did that you would share this with me/us. Thanks. Gerry

  10. I’m not sure how Savvy Rest and Essentia and Sleep on Latex got listed in your top 5. Their certifications fall far behind your top 2 and several others not listed.

    • Hello Johhny,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. You will be happy to hear I actually just did a major update and after much research, have decided to scale back to my “top 3” brands, as I feel that these 3 are the best of the best in terms of materials, certifications, etc. I may still include some of the other brands in an “other” section for those looking for more options, but as of now, I really feel Naturepedic, Happsy, and Lifekind are the gold standard. Thanks again!!

  11. Hi, thanks so much for your research!!! Very helpful. I looked at this about a month ago and felt like sleep on latex would be a good option for me. I see you have taken it off the list. Can you share a bit about that?

    • Hi Katie!

      Thank you for your kind words! It is so nice to hear that all this research is helpful to some!

      I am in the middle of really updating this post now and have decided to scale back to what I feel are the best of the best top 3 recommendations. I still think Sleep on Latex is a good next level option, just not as good as Naturepedic, Happsy, and Lifekind. In addition, when I originally wrote this post, Happsy was not available, which I do think edges out Sleep on Latex for an affordable option. Happsy is organic in ALL of their textiles and also received the Made Safe certification and a recommendation from Debra Lynn Dadd – 2 additional nontoxic resources I value greatly. I am still working through my post update, and may include another section that still shows Sleep on Latex as another possible option, I just didn’t feel that it could make it into my top 3 any longer with Happsy on the market.

      It would be great to hear what you decide!

      Thanks!

  12. Hi Ashley, Thanks so much for your help! I have a question not about mattresses – I wonder if you could help me. I am moving into an apt that has recently had the floors refinished and the smell was quite strong when i looked at it a few weeks ago. Do you have a sense of how long the polyuerothane takes to outgas? Should i just not get this apartment? Any suggestions or information?

    Thanks!

    • Hello again Katie,

      Hmm…the answer to your question is going to vary greatly depending on what type of finish was used. Do you know what was used? The worst time for any finish would be the first few days after application when the product is drying until it can “cure,” and then it will be less significant, but possibly still there in small quanitities. Varnish and Lacquer are going to be the worst – they can off gas for months or years (once again, in small amounts, depending on how much was used, how much ventilation there is in the apartment, etc. If they used something water based or with natural oils, they would still have some off gassing, but much less severe – their VOC output is much less.

      Hope this helps!
      Ashley

  13. Thank you Ashley for doing the research on this topic and sharing it, it’s extremely helpful! Have you reviewed Zen Haven mattresses by Saavta? My sister-in-law just got one and loves it. I was all set to get one too but wanted to do further research. I came across your article and have looked into your recommendations but am curious how Zen Haven stacks up on your opinion. They are OEKO Tex 100 certified.
    Thank you! Hilary

  14. Hello Ashley,
    Thanks for this article! I have been reading about the Purple mattress – it is relatively new to the market. Can you tell me if you’ve done any research on this mattress yet? If you have, can you share your findings?
    Thanks,
    Pam

  15. Hi, I’m transitioning into healthier alternatives and can easily get mislead by the mattress marketing tactics. I see that nector matress brand says its free of chemicals but im no pro at this, any thoughts on this brand seen all over tv and internet?

  16. Hi Ashley,
    Thank you so much for the thorough article on the best non-toxic mattresses. I have spent countless hours researching and contacting various mattress manufactures including some of the ones listed in the comments regarding flame retardants. If only I had found your article sooner, I wouldn’t have spent so many hours researching ;-). I’ve discovered many manufactures are using a ‘flame sock’ aka fiberglass as opposed to a chemical flame retardant. It seems the verdict is still out as to whether or not it’s toxic. However, there have been a number of reports of this sock breaking down and being inhaled and/or causing body rashes. This ‘sock’ is in fact used on some of the mattresses listed in the comments. This has thrown a curve ball into my buying a non-toxic mattress for my 2 boys. Unfortunately, the top 3 picks in the article are out of our price range. Have you any other suggestions on buying a non-toxic mattress? Do you know if the flame sock can be removed? Thank you for reading!!

    Kind regards,
    Leann

  17. Hi Ashley,

    You were mentioning Sleep On Latex as a next level option to one of the other commenters. I see that Latex for Less is priced a bit cheaper, and is 2 in 1 for firmness. Do you have an opinion on the Latex For Less mattress? The website is http://www.latexforless.com. I didn’t know if you had some insight on it that you could share with me. They tout single-origin as being important. Does that make a big difference in your opinion?

  18. Wow very detailed article Ashley. And a lot of your points align very well with what I have read during my research!
    My husband and I bought a bed from Swiss Dream Beds (their website is http://www.swissdreambeds.com if you want to check them out). Them being from Canada made out decision easier because they don’t have such strict regulation on flame retardants and such other chemicals up there.
    We have been very happy with our bed. When the latex mattress arrived closed up in a bag, we were very happy that when we opened the bag all we could smell was something like vanilla (I am not sure how else to describe the latex smell) That was great because we could use it right away and did need to wait until the nasty chemical smell had passed away like I hear so often!
    Comfort is great as well and it did not cost us an arm and a leg.

    Thanks for your super article and keep up the good work. Looking forward for more!

  19. Where is the list of your “next set of recommendations” beyond the three mattresses you list? Thank you!

    Do you have an opinion of Brooklyn Signature?

    • Hi Jan,

      I am still in the process of making my “next level recommendations.” I am hoping to capture most of the brands that people have asked about in the comments. Unfortunately, to do the thorough research required takes time! I will keep plugging away at many of these brands and make a post update as soon as I can. 🙂

      Best,
      Ashley

      • Thanks Ashley….I will watch for your updates! Tried out the Tuft and Needle at the store and was favorably imposed. If i understand correctly, they have the Gots and Gols certification.

        • Hi Jan,

          Tuft and Needle is another wool free option for you. They have the OEKO TEX Standard 100 and Greenguard Gold certifications for their mattress (I am actually still verifying with the company exactly what their OEKO TEX certification covers – their website says the whole mattress in some places and just the cover in other places). However, they have a lot of materials I would consider questionable. As far as I am aware, they do not have GOTs, or GOLS, but please let me know if I am wrong! I think they are potentially a good affordable option for people who aren’t necessarily concerned about all the materials in their mattress, but are looking for something that has been shown to be somewhat safe overall (hence, the 2 certifications).

          Thanks!
          Ashley

  20. Hello
    I forgot to mention, I’m allergic to wool. Do you have any non-toxic recommendations with that requirement? Thank you!

    • Finding a wool free non toxic mattress is no easy task since wool is typically used as the natural flame retardant. With that being said, I think Essentia is a good option for those with a wool allergy. They will be included in my next update. 🙂

  21. Hi Ashley-

    I didn’t know that most beds were made with wool….. My son & I are both allergic to wool clothing, however, we have been sleeping on regular mattresses sold by regular store. I have since been researching nontoxic mattresses and wanting to replace our. With that being said, would you say we probably are safe to buy any of the mattresses on your list? And no worry about our wool allergies.

    • Hi Aimee,

      Most organic or non toxic mattresses have wool because it is a natural flame retardant and allows the mattresses to pass a flammability test without chemical flame retardants. Essentia and Tuft & Needle both offer wool free mattresses that you can check out – see my previous comment about Tuft & Needle.

      All of the 3 top mattresses I suggest in my article have wool in them. So, of course, I cannot make you any guarantees that you are safe and will not aggravate your wool allergy. However, I believe most mattresses have their cotton layer on the outside covering their wool layer on the inside (please confirm this with whatever specific mattress you look at). That, along with any mattress protector, sheets, etc that you use, should theoretically put some layers between you and the wool. So if your wool allergy is aggravated by touch, that might help – once again, I can’t make any guarantees

      Hope this helps!
      Ashley

  22. Ashley, do you have any suggestions on baby crib mattresses that are nontoxic? Came across your website and I am saving it saving it in my favorites! Great info!

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