The current state of our environment is begging for people to change their habits and be a little more eco-conscious. As consumers, everything we purchase has an impact on the planet. Even the mattress we sleep on.
If it’s time for you to replace your mattress, consider one that’s eco-friendly. Getting rid of your old one is actually part of the problem—about 20 million mattresses end up in landfills every year.
This poses several issues for the environment. Traditional box spring and foam mattresses are petroleum-based. This means they are made from fossil fuels and plastic, which heavily contribute to climate change.
They also contain toxic chemicals. Therefore, when they end up in landfills, those chemicals can seep out and contaminate soil and waterways.
Not to mention the size of a mattress. They’re bulky and can take up to 28 cubic feet in a landfill. The U.S. alone throws up to 20 million tons of mattresses in landfills a year.
So before you get ready to throw yours out, try to donate it to someone who might need it or recycle it. The best thing we can do to be more eco-friendly is to reduce the amount of waste we create.
Want to go green with your next mattress purchase? Here, we’ll discuss everything that makes a mattress eco-friendly.
Sustainably Sourced Materials
Anything that is truly environmentally friendly takes into account the sourcing of materials. Sustainably sourced materials do not deplete natural resources or harm the environment.
This is critical in creating a product that contributes to a circular economy. Switching from petroleum-based and non-renewable to natural and organic materials helps produce products that are biodegradable and recyclable.
Below are the five main types of eco-friendly mattresses on the market today:
1. Organic Cotton
Conventional mattresses use non-organic materials, like non-organic cotton, for example. This means they contain harmful chemicals and additives like pesticides, flame retardants, heavy metals, dyes, and even bleach.
These are not only bad for the environment but your health as well. Choosing an organic cotton mattress ensures it does not contain harmful toxins.
But don’t just take anyone’s word for it—there’s a lot of greenwashing out there. This is when companies falsely claim and promote being eco-friendly but are really not.
The best way to ensure the validity of a business claiming to be organic is to check for certifications. Many organizations award certifications to businesses that meet certain standards across a variety of industries.
To identify a mattress that is truly organic, look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This certification ensures fibers are 70 to 90 percent organic.
2. Organic Natural Latex
An organic natural latex mattress is a prime example of a completely sustainable product. Natural latex is the milky sap found in Hevea Brasiliensis trees—rubber trees.
Sourcing this material is sustainable because no trees are cut down in the process. The certification that you want to look out for is the industry-leading Greenguard Gold certification.
Similar to the GOTS certification, it ensures the mattress is chemical-free. You also want to look for the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), which ensures 95 percent of the latex is certified organic.
Another benefit of the organic, natural latex mattress is its lifespan. This mattress can last anywhere from 15-40 years, while conventional mattresses only last about 5-10 years.
Best of all, this mattress is both recyclable and biodegradable. If for some reason a natural latex mattress ends up in a landfill, it will break down over time. Now that’s eco-friendly!
3. Organic Wool
Mattresses made from organic wool are similar to organic cotton mattresses. Not only do many contain organic cotton, but they are also chemical-free.
It’s important to note that organic wool refers to the sheep being organic from what it consumes and not the actual wool.
Although this is not a vegan mattress option, many companies use humanely sourced wool, which means the sheep are not harmed or abused during the process.
Another plus for this type of mattress is its breathability and the fact that it’s naturally fire-resistant. Like organic cotton mattresses, make sure you look for the GOTS certification.
Tencel is a sustainable fabric made from wood cellulose. It is comparable to bamboo and makes a great foam mattress.
Its eco-friendly components include its natural ability to biodegrade and the use of recyclable and non-toxic solvents to dissolve cellulose fibers. This material also uses much less water than cotton.
For a mattress that guarantees that Tencel Lyocell and Modal fibers do not contain harmful substances, look for the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.
5. Hybrid Mattresses
All of these materials—from organic cotton and organic wool to latex and Tencel—they can all be combined to make a hybrid eco-friendly mattress.
Who said you had to choose just one? Hybrids allow you to mix your favorite materials together to suit your sleep needs.
Most importantly is the ability to mix certifications. The more a mattress is certified, the more dedicated the company is to achieve sustainable goals.
Aside from the above-mentioned certifications, mattress companies can also achieve certifications that guarantee lower emissions and less pollution.
Get Your Eco-Friendly Mattress Today
If you’re ready to invest in a mattress that is not only natural and eco-friendly but able to offer you optimal comfort and sleep, then check out our list of customizable mattresses.
Search by affordability, certification, or even material. You too can go green and save the planet one mattress at a time!