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An eco-friendly mattress is a mattress that does not involve using materials or production methods that harm the environment.
This article looks at points to consider when choosing an eco-friendly mattress and some of the best options available.
An eco-friendly mattress is one that is not harmful to the environment. Materials and all aspects of the production, delivery, and life-cycle of the mattress have an environmental impact.
Although there are no scientific or governmental guidelines for making a mattress eco-friendly, independent organizations provide certifications with thorough testing and regulations.
People can look for the following certifications when choosing an eco-friendly mattress:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Products must contain 70-95% organic fibers, and production methods must meet specific environmental and social criteria.
- Greenguard: The product has met third-party rigorous chemical emissions standards.
- Greenguard Gold: Meets additional health-based criteria and requires a lower amount of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than a standard Greenguard certification.
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100: Ensures a textile product does not contain any substances that are harmful to human health.
- CertiPUR-US: Foam must not contain certain harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and VOC emissions must be less than 0.5 parts per million.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): The product must contain over 95% certified organic raw latex from certified organic plantations.
- eco-INSTITUT: The product has undergone testing to meet higher safety levels than is legally required for low emissions and pollution control.
- Made Safe: Screens products for any toxic chemicals.
People can look for mattresses that use natural, organic fibers and materials. Manufacturers or growers of non-organic materials may have used pesticides, which can be toxic to the environment.
Pesticides have a severe impact on the environment by contaminating ecosystems, polluting waterways, and endangering many animals species.
According to the Environmental Justice Foundation, organic certification means a product uses materials grown and manufactured without harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Investing in a longer-lasting mattress may help to minimize waste. A mattress that uses durable materials may last longer and avoid sagging. According to the Mattress Recycling Council, people discard over 50,000 mattresses in the United States every day.
Natural latex has better durability than foam containing petroleum and is very resistant to dust mites and mold.
People can also look at the company’s social responsibility to see if they are taking other steps to protect the environment. Some companies may support charities or give back to the community in some way.
To choose a genuinely eco-friendly mattress, people can avoid:
- greenwashing means a company uses inaccurate claims about their products’ environmental impact, meaning they may use terms, such as ‘eco,’ ‘natural,’ and ‘green,’ to imply an eco-friendly brand without needing any evidence to back them up
- polyurethane, which may contain harmful VOCs and toxic flame retardants
- products with first-party certifications, which means the company certified themselves as eco-friendly
Eco-friendly mattresses may provide greater health benefits.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), mattresses that contain conventional materials, such as polyurethane, vinyl, PVC, and chemical flame retardants, may be harmful. These substances have a link to:
- respiratory problems
- hormone disruption
- adversely affecting the immune system
- damaging developing reproductive systems
Polyurethane and synthetic latex foam may emit VOCs. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOCs may cause:
- irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
- liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage
Chemical flame retardants may lead to a wide range of severe health problems, including cancer, hormone disruption, and impaired neurological development.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Birch Natural Mattress
This mattress is Greenguard Gold and GOTS certified and contains no harsh chemicals or polyurethane.
According to the product website, the Birch mattress uses:
- natural, organic GOTS certified cotton
- natural wool fibers for fire retardant layer
- 100% natural, organic wool for comfort
- Natural Talalay latex, certified with OEKO-TEX, eco-INSTITUT, and Rainforest Alliance
- sustainable sourcing of latex, with close monitoring of plantations
- no emissions or VOCs
- hypoallergenic and antimicrobial
- 25-year warranty
According to the company, they donate 1% of all their sales to the National Forest Foundation to support reforestation.
Naturepedic Chorus Mattress
Naturepedic sell organic mattresses suitable for babies, children, and adults. They also offer vegan options. Certifications include:
- GOTs and GOLs organic certified
- Organic 100 content standard
- Made Safe
- Greenguard Gold
- Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance
- Green America certified business
- member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
The Chorus mattress contains coil springs with organic cotton and wool comfort layers. The mattress also uses PLA, a plant-based material, and contains no glue or adhesives.
Naturepedic are also involved in several environmental and charitable initiatives.
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress
PlushBeds have a wide range of environmental certifications. According to the company, the Organic Latex mattress has certification from:
- Greenguard Gold
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100
The mattress is Greenguard Gold certified and contains:
- GOTS certified organic cotton cover to absorb moisture and allow airflow
- GOTS certified organic wool to regulate temperature
- GOLS certified organic latex for comfort and pressure relief
PlushBeds also offer scholarships to students pursuing an ‘eco-degree’ and supports charitable organizations.
My Green Mattress Natural Escape
According to the product website, the Natural Escape mattress is medium-firm and suitable for all sleeping styles and body types. Features include:
- coil springs covered with GOLS certified organic Dunlop latex
- GOTS certified organic cotton and wool cover
- no use of adhesives
- 20-year warranty
My Green Mattress have a certified organic factory and also sell mattresses for children and cribs.
Brentwood Home Oceano Luxury Hybrid Mattress
Brentwood Home offer a range of sustainable mattress options. The Oceano is a medium-soft hybrid mattress. Features include:
- CentiPUR-US certified plant-based memory foam
- layers of sprung coils
- plant-based Tencel cover
- GOTS organic certified wool and cotton
- Greenguard Gold certified
- made in GOTS & GOLS organic certified factory
Brentwood Home also work with Relief Bed to provide mattresses to homeless people.
Avocado Green Mattress
The Avocado Green mattress is highly rated on various review sites and by customers on the Avocado website. The company ranks highly for green credentials, comfort, and customer service.
According to the product website, the Avocado Green mattress:
- is Greenguard Gold certified
- uses OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified materials
- uses 100% GOLS organic and eco-INSTITUT certified latex
- 100% GOTS certified organic wool
- 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
- Made Safe certified
- climate neutral certified
- carbon negative production and shipping
- green energy partner certified
- 25 year limited warranty
If people want an alternative to a mattress, options may include futons, hammocks, or pull-out beds that use eco-friendly materials and production methods. People can look for products using natural, organic fibers with the GOTs and GOLs certifications.
Full disclosure of the production and supply chain, social responsibility, and environmental certifications can help people choose a genuinely eco-friendly product.
Choosing an eco-friendly mattress can help prevent harm to the environment, waste and may offer health benefits.
People can choose an eco-friendly mattress by looking for organic, natural materials, third-party certifications, and the company’s environmental practices.