The 8 Best Organic Mattresses of 2021

Catch your zzz's on these organic mattresses.

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Organic mattresses are a growing in popularity as more people have become interested in avoiding concerning synthetic chemicals for both environmental and personal health reasons. But what makes a mattress organic?

In the United States, not every part of the mattress needs to be certified to be considered organic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture "does not restrict the use of the term 'organic' in the labeling of textile products certified under third-party certification bodies such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) as long as all of the fibers identified as 'organic' in these textile products are produced and certified under the USDA regulations,” a USDA spokesperson told Treehugger. 

Similarly, the mattresses on this list all include some certified organic materials. That includes USDA certified organic wool and cotton, as well as other materials that are verified by other trustworthy sustainability standards. As you shop, you'll also want consider if you want a mattress with innersprings or one that's 100% natural latex.

We researched the market to find the best organic mattresses.

The Rundown
Avocado is carbon negative, and their bestselling organic mattress can be “test-rested” at experience centers in some cities.
Coconut fiber, natural latex, alpaca wool, and organic cotton topping come together in this luxe mattress.
Sleep on Latex mattresses come in a box so you do the installation yourself and you get a 100-day trial.
This made-in-Seattle mattress for babies is completely organic and chemical-free.
This vegan mattress is PETA-approved, and replaces wool with organic cotton.
Awara plants 10 trees for every bed it sells, and this mattress has a plush topper made from New Zealand Wool and organic cotton.
Made with certified non-toxic foam instead of latex, this has a thick layer of organic cotton to cozy into.
This topper is made with just two materials: Eco-wool and organic cotton.

Best Overall: Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado has been a carbon negative company since 2020, which is impressive considering the size of the company and its popularity. They offer three mattresses in seven sizes, but their Organic Mattress is a bestseller with very high ratings for a reason. It’s needle-tufted by hand (no glues are used), and the company keeps polyester, polyurethane foams, or toxic fire retardants. Instead they use 100% Dunlop latex from a company-owned farm in Kerala, India, and that latex is eco-INSTITUT certified and the whole thing is Greenguard Certified Gold, which means it won't off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Recycled steel coils, GOTS-certified organic cotton and wool are the other major materials in the mattress. Avocado gives customers 100 days to test out the mattress and it’s got a 25-year warranty.

Best Luxury: Brentwood Home Cedar Natural Luxe Mattress

Brentwood Home Cedar Natural Luxe Mattress

This hybrid mattress is 100% GOTS organic certified. Made in California, it includes organic latex certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), GOTS-certified organic wool and cotton, flax, and coconut fibers. It comes with an organic cotton cover, batting, and the cotton is also used as batting within the mattress, with the wool adding flame-retardancy and cooling properties.

A firm mattress, it can be made a bit softer with a certified organic mattress topper. This mattress is also GreenGuard certified, Oeko-Tex (meaning it's free of harmful substances), and Rainforest Alliance certified, so it doesn't contribute to deforestation.

Best Latex: Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress - Medium Firmness

Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

This company only makes latex mattresses (in six sizes), toppers, and pillows. The latex in the 8-inch thick mattress is harvested from Sri Lankan rubber trees and is GOLS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and eco-INSTITUT certified. Covering the latex is a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover and GOTS-certified wool batting via the sustainably run farmer-owned cooperative Wools of New Zealand. These globally sourced materials come together in Illinois where the beds are hand-sewn together.

Sleep on Latex mattresses come in a box so you do the installation yourself and you get a 100-day trial, with free ("No Questions Asked") returns, and a 10-year warranty.

Best Crib Mattress: Soaring Heart Organic Crib Mattress

Soaring Heart Organic Crib Mattresses

This made-in-Seattle mattress is completely organic. It includes GOLS certified, extra-firm Dunlop latex, organic New Zealand wool, and USDA certified organic cotton that’s grown in Texas. The needle-punched wool ensures a natural fire retardant layer that meets federal fire-safety standards. It comes with a 20-year warranty, so it makes a great hand-me-down, but note that a mattress cover is required because the mattress itself can't be easily cleaned.

Best Vegan: Avocado Green Vegan Mattress

Avocado Green Vegan Mattress

Avocado’s Vegan Certified, PETA-approved vegan mattress is similar to their popular non-vegan hybrid mattress and replaces wool with GOTS-certified organic cotton. The other main component is 100% GOLS organic certified Dunlop latex from a company-owned farm in Kerala, India. This latex is eco-INSTITUT certified.

The coils are made from recycled steel, and the entire mattress is Greenguard Certified Gold. You can test out your mattress for up to a year, and while most companies offer a 15-year warranty, Avocado’s is 25 years.

Best Hybrid: Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress

Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses include coils mixed with some kind of memory foam, and in Awara’s case, that’s made from Rainforest Alliance Certified 100% Dunlop latex from Sri Lanka (also used by Avocado Green). This is the only mattress made by Awara, which plants 10 trees for every bed it sells, and it has a plush topper made from New Zealand Wool and organic cotton.

You get a free trial of a full year, and if you want your old mattress taken away and the new one set up, there’s a white glove delivery service available for about $150.

Best Non-Latex: Saatva Classic Mattress

Saatva Classic Mattress

For those looking to avoid latex, the one option for soft yet stable support is an innerspring and foam combination like this one from Saatva. The foam, while not organic, is Certi-PUR US certified, which means it has been checked to ensure that it’s non-toxic. Made in the United States and available in three firmness options, this one has a thick organic cotton layer and recycled pocket coils for support.

It comes in eight sizes, and free mattress and foundation removal is available.

Best Mattress Topper: Soaring Heart Holy Lamb Fleece Wool Topper

Soaring Heart Holy Lamb Fleece Wool Topper

With an organic cotton knit yarn backing (instead of tanned skin) woven (not glued) to an eco-wool fleece, this mattress topper couldn’t be simpler. The fleece is milled and the organic cotton is woven in Massachusetts, and fleece is sourced in the United States too. At the end of life, this its is fully biodegradable.

The topper is available in seven sizes: California king, king, queen, full, extra-long twin (for dorm rooms), twin, and crib. However, note that this mattress topper cannot be washed in the washing machine and comes with special washing instructions.

Final Verdict

The Avocado mattress (view at Avocado) is our top pick for a reasonably priced organic mattress for most adults. If you’re on a tight budget, the Sleep on Latex (view at Amazon) is an affordable and organic all-latex option.

What to Look for in an Organic Mattress

Type

Most of the mattresses listed are hybrids—that means they include both innersprings and latex (or foam), in various combinations. If you want the equivalent of a memory-foam type mattress, look for a 100% latex one. If you don’t want latex, look for those made with a certified non-toxic foam. 

Certifications

Third-party certification is a must when shopping for organic products, but the mattresses on this list have earned a number of other eco-friendly seals as well. The following certifications are the most common in the mattresses listed here: 

USDA National Organic Program: The United States Department of Agriculture manages the USDA organic certification. It details the requirements for the types of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that are allowed to be used on crops that can be labelled USDA Organic. The program has an allowable list of these substances, as well as specific amounts and circumstances where they can be used.

“Raw natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, and flax, are agricultural products covered under the National Organic Program (NOP) crop and livestock production standards and can be USDA-certified organic,” according to a USDA spokesperson. 

The standard prohibits genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge. The seal is overseen by certifying agents authorized by the USDA National Organic Program. 

GreenGuard Gold certification means that certified products have lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that could offgas into the air, contributing to poor indoor air quality. The Gold level indicates the lowest levels according to the organization’s standards and especially formaldehyde offgassing. 

CertiPUR-US certified refers specifically to foam products, like those used in mattresses. It is an independent certifier that has standards for emissions, content, performance, and durability. Those foams certified by the organization are made without formaldehyde, ozone depleters, different types of flame retardants, phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission; mercury, lead, and heavy metals. Products with this seal are also certified low VOC for indoor air quality at 0.5 parts per million. 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): This is a textile standard, so it’s usually applied to the mattress cover. This widely used certification has two levels: Labelled organic for products that contain 95% or more organic material, and another for those that have 70% to 94% organic material, in which case they have to disclose the percentage on the GOTS label. The label certifies the entire process the material travels through, not just the final product. The entire supply chain, including processors, spinners, weavers, dyers, and other manufacturers, and textile traders must be certified.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): To achieve the standard, a product must contain more than 95% certified organic raw latex. Qualifying products may have other polymers and fillers, but the finished product is subject to emission tests and there are specific limits to harmful substances. Both rubber plantations, where organic latex is extracted from the trees, and processing units, including the final retailer of a product, can be certified. The standard tracks this via transaction certificates at every sales point along the supply chain. 

FAQs

What is natural latex?

Latex is the milky white fluid produced by the rubber tree, and it can be harvested without killing the tree. It is gathered, heated, and then whipped into a foam to create a latex foam rubber—that’s what latex beds are made from—using either the Talalay or Dunlop processes. Latex can also be made from synthetic rubber, but most mattress companies use natural latex from the tree and even specify the source and what process they use. 

What are the advantages to getting an organic mattress? Is it worth it? 

There are some very strong reasons to support organic products. The first is that it creates jobs and promotes economic opportunities in rural areas, both in the US and abroad. Consumer demand has led to an almost 9% growth in non-food organic products in the United State, something that benefits farmers by creating “entrepreneurial opportunities that choose to follow the required practices,” according to the USDA.

Organic also provides consumers with more choice, and helps producers and handlers receive premium prices for their products. "Research shows that organic farming practices can improve water quality, conserve energy, increase biodiversity, and contribute to soil health,” a USDA spokesperson told Treehugger. If those are things that you value, then yes, paying more for an organic mattress is worth it. 

Can an organic latex mattress be used on a slatted bed base?

Yes, but you’ll need to check and make sure that the slats are fairly close together. They should be close to 2 inches apart and not more than 2.5 inches apart. If your existing bed base has slats that are further apart, simply get some 0.5- to 0.75-inch plywood cut to size to fit over the slats in the correct size to match your bed. 

You can also purchase a product called a bunkie board from some furniture stores that functions the same way.

Why Trust Treehugger? 

To make this list, we researched the market to find the mattresses with robust organic certifications, along with other eco-friendly materials and practices. We also reached out to the USDA to provide insight into the agency's organic program.

Author Starre Vartan has been an environmental and science journalist for more than 15 years. She founded an award-winning eco-website and has written a book on living green.

View Article Sources
  1. "Mattresses." Environmental Working Group.

  2. "Why Become Certified?" USDA.