Organic Mattresses vs Non-Organic Mattresses

Buying a mattress isn’t just about getting a good night’s sleep anymore. Your decision could help save the earth.

With environmental awareness on the rise, companies have been able to push more organic mattresses. New options continue to hit the market, and more consumers can now get the benefits of organic without sacrificing comfort.

If you’re on the hunt for a new sleep experience, organic mattresses could be just what you need. Read on to learn the differences between organic and non-organic mattresses, and discover which one is best for you.

What Does “Organic Mattress” Mean?

Non-organic mattresses use synthetic materials for the comfort layers. You’ll find petroleum-based foam, formaldehyde, and several other chemical materials in the production. For many shoppers, the environmental and health risks are too much to ignore.

In an organic mattress, the comfort comes from natural materials. “Organic” means they don’t use any pesticides, herbicides, and synthetics in the production process. For the most part, they only use what nature provides.

The most common materials used in organic mattresses are cotton, wool, latex, and Tencel. These make up the assorted foam layers, batting, and mattress coverings.

Although a mattress may be organic, it’s unlikely that every piece is sourced organically. Innersprings, glues, and hardware are going to add some chemical quality.

This is just one bit of wiggle room that manufacturers have to mislead consumers with “natural” and “organic” claims. To tell the top mattresses from the fakers, you need to look for trusted industry labels.

The following certifications indicate that a mattress has met the criteria to be officially organic.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) 

A GOTS label is the best sign of a true organic mattress.

This label means that 70% of the fibers used are organic. A “certified organic” label shows that 95% are organic. In both cases, there are also restrictions on what can make up the remaining non-organic parts.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

The GOLS is similar to a GOTS label. This standard for latex mattresses indicates that 95% of the latex is certified organic.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100

This label shows that the mattress passed tests for chemicals like VOCs that create harmful emissions. It also limits or bans some flame retardants, dyes, and allergenic ingredients.


Like Oeko-Tex, Greenguard gives out certifications for meeting emission standards. Greenguard Gold is an even better label showing that a mattress met more rigid emission qualifications.

Types of Organic Mattresses

You will find some innerspring and memory foam mattresses being sold as organic. These can be misleading since coils usually involve some chemicals. Unless it has recycled coils, the mattress probably won’t meet organic standards.

Organic memory foam is an even more confusing, inaccurate label. Polyurethane memory foam is known for off-gassing. When it’s first used, a memory foam mattress releases chemicals as the cells activate. This gas often creates off-putting odors and can potentially cause health issues.

Some memory foam mattresses may have organic elements or have a CertiPUR-US certification. This is an important label for non-organic mattresses to show their limited emissions. However, they are still far from being as friendly to the environment as organic mattresses.

Latex Mattresses

Organic mattresses are almost always latex. Rubber trees naturally produce latex, which is extracted and processed into two types of foam — Dunlop and Talalay latex. Dunlop latex is a denser, firmer foam for heavy individuals while Talalay has a lighter, plusher feel.

Not all latex is natural. Manufacturers often introduce additives to organic latex during production. Value mattress brands also often use inferior artificial latex made entirely of synthetics.

Latex hybrids are also becoming popular for their wide range of comfort levels. These add organic comfort layers alongside the latex foam, using wool and cotton batting to boost the comfort. Coils usually include some chemicals, but there are still plenty of brands that meet organic standards.

Benefits of Going Organic

Every stage in an organic mattress’s life is more eco-friendly than a traditional mattress. To get their certifications, the farming and processing of raw materials into finished products need to be responsible.

Fire retardants and other treatments make regular spring and memory foam mattresses hazardous to the environment. When they’re thrown away, these mattresses don’t biodegrade like organic mattresses. Instead, they sit around allowing their emissions to contribute to the shrinking ozone layer.

Aside from the sustainability of organic mattresses, they also have impressive comfort features.

Latex is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and resistant to dust mites. All that plus the low amounts of off-gassing means you’ll get a much healthier and less irritating night of sleep.

Organic mattresses are also breathable, thanks to their natural fibers. Tencel covers and cottony fills help keep heat moving for a cooler night of sleep.

Latex, like most mattress foams, also provides good pressure relief. The conforming quality provides better relaxation and less motion transfer than innerspring options.

Finally, natural latex mattresses can last a long time, much longer than synthetic alternatives. An organic mattress can easily outlast the normal 8-year lifespan of the average mattress.

Benefits of Non-Organic Mattresses

As great as organic mattresses sound, they can be too expensive for a lot of consumers. Queens start around $1,500. For buyers who value comfort over anything, there are usually cheaper options that perform as well.

Still, when it comes to value, you can argue that a longer life justifies the higher price.

There is also a limit to how well latex keeps your spine in alignment and provides targeted support. Tempur-Pedic’s superior fit to a person’s weight, shape, and temperature is a good example of how experts have been able to engineer sleep. It’s difficult for natural latex mattresses to reach that level of comfort and support.

Find Your Organic Mattress at Nest Bedding

Organic mattresses are a great way to get better sleep and reduce your carbon footprint. Start improving your health — and the world in general — by shopping organic when you’re ready for your next mattress.

Are you searching for the perfect organic mattress? We fit every sleep style and budget with our huge selection of latex and hybrid mattresses. Check out our mattress collections to find the right comfort level for you!


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