Non-toxic Mattress: A Complete Guide

8 min read
8 min read

Today, non-toxic products are in demand because consumers want to curb any unnecessary exposure to chemicals. Right from non-toxic cleaning supplies to even beauty products, natural alternatives are what the customers are looking for. But what about our mattresses?

We spend a major chunk of our lives on the mattress, for more than just sleep. And due to the increasing demand for cleaner and greener products, several mattress brands have come up with a variety of non-toxic mattresses. However, shopping for a non-toxic mattress is easier said than done. 

Buying a non-toxic mattress can be an overwhelming chore with several alien-sounding terminologies that can leave you bewildered. But worry not, we are here for you. Our non-toxic mattress guide will ensure that you can choose the right non-toxic bed and understand all the claims attached to it. Read ahead.

What is a Non-toxic Mattress?

A non-toxic mattress is created without the use of any harmful chemicals that can adversely affect your health. While some non-toxic mattresses are called organic, some are known as eco-friendly or green. Now, don’t be confused. Let’s break them down one at a time.

Non-toxic/Chemical free 

Today, you will find manufacturers who bring you non-toxic or chemical-free mattresses. However, when hunting for the right mattress, understand why it is considered chemical-free. The claim can be verified if the mattress is curated using natural ingredients or made with organic material. So, always cross-check and see the reason behind it being called non-toxic. 

Eco-friendly 

An eco-friendly mattress means a mattress that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t cause any pollution or harm the planet. So, when the mattress is eco-friendly, it is usually made of organic or non-toxic materials, which is also good for you. 

Organic 

This is one term that’s attached to almost everything these days. The term here means the mattress is made of organic material, such as latex, wool, or cotton. However, always check if all the components are organic or if it is just one of the elements, like the cover or the foam. Also, ensure you verify all the certifications, just to be sure. 

Green

Now, if a brand claims to be green, there can be several reasons for saying so. Maybe it is because of the eco-friendly way it is constructed, or perhaps they use organic products for the same. So, check if the mattress is an all-natural green mattress.

Benefits of Non-toxic mattress

One of the reasons why non-toxic mattresses are in demand is because of the several benefits they bring you. Some of them are;

Reduce Allergies 

The best non-toxic mattress can provide relief from severe allergies because usually eco-friendly or non-toxic mattresses are hypoallergenic. And since the VOC or the Volatile Organic Compound release is extremely low, your mattress will not irritate the lungs. 

More Breathable 

Natural materials are generally more breathable and can wick away any heat. This is true in natural latex or plant-based foam mattresses.

Environmental Impact 

Non-toxic mattresses are sustainable and don’t release any harmful chemicals into the environment. This has a positive impact on the environment.

Longer Lifespan of Mattress 

Another significant benefit of a non-toxic mattress is that they tend to last longer when compared to a chemical-infused one. For instance, a natural latex mattress can last for more than 12 years. 

Other Health Benefits

Synthetic material or polyurethane foam is associated with respiratory issues like asthma. Therefore, switching to a non-toxic mattress is suitable for your respiratory health, especially in children.

Best Non-toxic mattress materials

Now that you are well-familiar with all the benefits of a non-toxic mattress, let’s understand which is the best non-toxic mattress material. 

Plant-Based Memory Foam 

One of the most popular features of a memory foam mattress is the contouring it offers. However, since some memory foam mattresses are curated with the help of petroleum chemicals, they can be harmful to you. But, don’t worry. If you are a fan of memory foam mattresses, you can always opt for plant-based memory foam. 

When you go for a plant-based memory foam mattress, it is free of toxins and minimal VOC emissions. And another advantage, plant-based memory foam mattresses are more durable than standard foam mattresses because of the quality of the material used. However, you may not find a complete organic memory foam mattress but a plant-based memory foam, which is non-toxic memory foam.

Natural Latex Foam 

Dunlop or Talalay are great options for natural latex mattresses where the rubber is harvested from the sap of a rubber tree. Latex is also an eco-friendly option. While synthetic latex mattresses are also available, they are not a chemical-free option. Also, natural latex is antimicrobial, biodegradable, and also contains anti-mold properties. You can check out organic certifications from GOLS if you want a pesticide-free foam. They are some of the best non-toxic mattresses available.

Organic Cotton 

Cotton is one of the most popular materials and is used to make almost everything from clothes to mattresses. However, since they are so much in demand, the use of pesticides is also high. Therefore, look for organic cotton. Cotton mattresses are breathable, durable, and super soft. Organic cotton is also non-toxic crib mattresses. 

Organic Wool 

Wool is a natural flame retardant and can wick away any heat. This means you can enjoy a deep slumber without any uncomfortable humidity. Now, when you opt for organic wool, the sheep are not given any synthetic hormones, nor do they graze on land that is infused with pesticides. Finally, organic wool is not treated with any chemicals. 

Coils 

Coils are made of metals, and metals don’t lead to health risks in humans. Today, you will find a coil base in innerspring and hybrid mattresses. A hybrid, when combined with a natural latex ensures an organic non-toxic mattress.

Flammability Standards

The chemicals used to pass the flammability standards can be harmful to you. For instance, PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers were once used as flame retardants, which are harmful and are associated with thyroid problems and neurological disorders. Therefore, we bring you a list of harmful and safe flame retardants below. 

Harmful Flame Retardants 

Some of the below-mentioned flame retardants are deemed unhealthy by the National Institute of Health and can pose a health risk; 

  • PBDEs 

Since 2007, PBDEs have been banned as they can cause hyperactivity and lead to disabilities. 

  • TCEP 

Also known as a carcinogen, this substance is linked to infertility issues and can also cause hormonal imbalance and neurotoxicity. 

  • TDCPP (Chlorinated Tris) 

This chemical can hamper the hormone levels and can also be the cause of certain types of cancers and infertility. 

  • Brominated Flame Retardants 

Today, you will also find mattresses with brominated flame retardants; they are harmful to you and can cause endocrine disruptors. 

  • Antimony 

Antimony in the air is not good for you! From causing irritation in the eyes, heart, and lungs can also lead to stomach aches and diarrhea. And when you are exposed to this chemical for a long, the severity of the disorder goes up. 

  • V6 

This chemical is dangerous for humans and can lead to reproductive issues and impaired liver function. 

  • Boric Acid 

Boric acid can be sprayed within the mattress layers or on the cover. It can lead to mild to severe eye irritation and also cause respiratory issues. 

Safe Flame Retardants 

You now know all about the harmful flame retardants. It’s time to take a sneak peek into the flame retardants that are safe for you. 

  • Pure Wool 

Wool isn’t treated with any chemicals, especially so when you opt for organic wool and which are natural flame retardants. This is best for a non-toxic baby mattress.

  • Silica 

This is a naturally occurring mineral that is usually found in water, soil, and even plants. When silica is dehydrated, it acts as a natural flame retardant, which is safe for you. 

  • Kevlar

This is made of durable plastic fiber and it is not treated with any harmful chemicals

9 Potentially Dangerous Mattress Additives

While a few flame retardants are extremely harmful to human health, you must also avoid mattresses with these additives. 

  • Ozone depleters 

Ozone depleters, such as CFC are not only harmful to you but also adversely affect the planet. Today, several ozone depleters are banned in the US, however, they are still found when manufactured in other countries. Exposure to ozone depleters can cause severe respiratory disorders. 

  • Mercury, lead, or heavy metals 

These ingredients can be found in some foam mattresses as they are added during the manufacturing process. They can be extremely harmful to kidney and brain health. 

  • Phthalates 

This chemical is usually used to soften PVC and can lead to kidney, liver, and reproductive complications. 

  • Formaldehyde 

This chemical, although found commonly in furniture, when comes directly in contact can cause throat and nasal irritation.

  • Pesticides 

Pesticides are not good for the human body as it is linked to cancer and are even said to cause organ failure. 

  • Benzene 

When you are exposed to benzen long-term, it can reduce red blood cell count and even hamper bone marrow function. 

  • Toluene

When inhaled, this chemical can cause headaches, nausea, and even dizziness. 

Now, you know a mattress without flame retardant that is harmful is what is good for you!

Certifications for Non-Toxic Mattresses

Take a look at the certifications a non-toxic mattress must have and its meaning. 

CertiPUR-US

A non-toxic mattress with CertiPUR-US certification means it is free of any ozone-depleting chemicals and this test is conducted for polyurethane mattress foams. It also means that the non-toxic mattress is free from PBDEs, TDCPP, TCEP, mercury, lead, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

GreenGuard

This certification shows that your non-toxic mattress has very little or no VOC emissions and can be brought inside the house. 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

This certification shows that the fabric used in the mattress is at least 70% organic. 

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

This certifies that your latex foam is at least 95% organic. 

OEKO-TEX Standard 100

A total of 100 certification tests are conducted here for every material used in the mattress and ensure that no chemical that poses a threat to human health is used in the making of this mattress. 

Eco-Institut

This test ensures that no VOC, formaldehyde, or acetaldehyde is present in the mattress. 

Made Safe

When a mattress is Made Safe, it means the material used doesn’t risk human or environmental health.

How to Choose A Right Mattress

Here are a few tips on how you can choose the right non-toxic mattress. 

Certification 

Now that you know all about the certifications, you know what to look for. The right certification will prove that it is a chemical-free mattress. 

Size 

Once you have checked all the certifications of your non-toxic mattress, the next important factor is the size. For instance, if you share a bed with your partner, a queen can be the right size.

Materials and fills 

Check if the material and fills used in the mattress of your choice are non-toxic. Once that decision is made, make sure it offers optimal comfort. 

Budget 

Of course, the most important factor is the budget. Make a checklist of all the qualities you need in a mattress and then make sure you include the varieties offering all the qualities you need. You can then see which seamlessly fits your budget.

Firmness 

Soft? Plush? Firm? There are several firmness options available today. You must make a decision based on your personal preference and your sleeping position. For instance, if you are a side sleeper, medium-firm chemical-free beds can be good for you as it offers pressure point relief. 

Sleep Trials 

Today, there are several popular brands that offer vast trial nights and this can be helpful for you as if you don’t like the mattress at the end of the day, you can return it for a full refund. 

Warranties and Return Policies

Make sure you read the warranty and return policy carefully and it is something that you are okay with because you never go in thinking about returning your mattress. But to be on the safe side, a proper warranty and return policy are always helpful. 

When it comes to a mattress, choose wisely. Because your choice will not only affect your health, but the wrong choice can also adversely affect the planet.

The best toxic-free mattress is an all-natural green mattress that has all the right certifications. Read the above blog for complete information.

Most non-toxic mattresses are also eco-friendly.

Foam made using petroleum chemicals releases toxins.

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

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Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by healh experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

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www.sleepauthority.com is brought to you by Resident. Our company sells Nectar, DreamCloud, Awara, Level Sleep, and Home Well Designed. While we intend for this site to be an educational and useful resource for consumers interested in sleep-related topics, we also promote our family of brands – brands that we believe in – on this website. Where we have commissioned independent research and/or articles to support our content, we will state as such in the sub-heading of the article. Where we compare our brands and products against others, we will provide the review criteria as well as state our basis for choosing the “best” or “top” product in a link accompanying the comparison. Our aim is to assist consumers in choosing the best solution for getting restful and comfortable sleep and it is our belief that there is a Resident product that meets any sleeper’s needs.

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians