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Best organic mattresses

BEST ORGANIC MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 11.05.2021 5.5 Min.

Buying a new mattress can be a complicated task, and it’s especially difficult if you’re in the market for something unique like a natural or organic mattress.

Many people can be shocked to hear that mattresses may contain harsh chemicals, and thus would like to make the jump towards organic, natural, or eco-friendly mattresses.

But what exactly is an organic mattress? Does an eco-friendly mattress count? And is a 100% natural latex mattress organic?

We’ll answer all of these questions and more in our guide on the best organic mattresses available in the UK.

best organic mattresses
  • Overview
  • What is an organic mattress?
  • Advantages
  • Biological components
  • Are natural latex mattresses a good choice?
  • Mattress certifications
  • Flammability standards
  • Organic cot mattresses
  • Conclusion

What is an organic mattress?

First thing’s first, what exactly is an organic mattress?

If you see a mattress for sale that has been classified as organic, then you know this mattress has been certified as organic by independent testing authorities.

Marketing terms like organic, natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly are thrown around a lot but it’s difficult to ascertain what these actually mean.

And just because a mattress is advertised as such does not necessarily mean that it is 100% natural.

It is thus vitally important to look at certifications (more on these below) to ascertain the quality of a mattress and whether or not it is actually organic and natural.

Advantages of an organic mattress

Before we dive into the technicalities behind what is and what isn’t organic, let’s consider the advantages of an organic mattress.

Why would you move from your standard mattress to an organic, natural, or eco-friendly mattress?

There is a growing awareness of the dangers of chemicals and chemical treatments, and more people are discovering that mattresses may be made or treated with chemical substances that can be harmful.

This isn’t necessarily the case, and many good non-organic mattresses are certified that they don’t contain any toxic substances.

That said, worldwide, there’s still been a move towards more natural products.

Buying a certified organic mattress has many advantages.

For one, it ensures that you have a ‘healthy’ mattress that doesn’t contain chemicals or toxic substances.

Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful side effects of dangerous chemicals.

Choosing an organic children’s mattress helps to limit exposure and protects your child.

In addition to the obvious health benefits of avoiding chemicals, organic mattresses are also usually designed with more care.

Manufacturers are more likely to focus on sustainable, high-quality materials, which help to ensure optimal comfort.

natural mattresses for babies

Biological components

Organic mattresses are composed of biological materials.

There are only a limited number of certified organic materials that can be used in mattresses.

Most standard mattresses contain a synthetic filling, such as polyurethane, which is present in many foam and spring mattresses.

This filling needs to be replaced by a biological alternative, such as organic cotton or wool.

Cotton has the added advantage that it absorbs moisture quite well, making it a great material to use in mattresses.

In order to really ascertain the quality of a material, though, it is recommended to check both the origin and the way in which it was cultivated. This affects the eco-friendliness of the product.

Besides organic cotton and organic wool, other materials that are certified organic and often included in organic mattresses include linen, hemp, silk, and horsehair.

Horsehair has excellent ventilation and is often used in conjunction with natural latex to create a high-quality mattress.

Many mattresses also use Certi-PUR-certified foams. This indicates that the foams used do not contain certain chemicals and harmful substances.

Both the Emma and the Eve mattresses are Certi-PUR certified. These mattresses still provide a ‘healthy’ sleeping surface, even though they are not certified organic.

Are natural latex mattresses a good choice?

A 100% natural latex mattress is not necessarily organic.

This is because manufacturers can term their mattresses 100% natural latex, even if they only contain 85% natural latex. The difference is made up of synthetic latex or certain mattress fillers.

To ensure that you have a 100% natural and organic latex mattress, you will have to take a closer look at the product and ask the manufacturer for details of each layer.

In the absence of proof, there is a good chance that a 100% natural mattress is not entirely natural.

That said, of all the mattresses currently available on the market, the 100% natural latex mattress remains one of the most ecological mattresses that offers optimal sleeping comfort.

Firm and dense, it is ideal for people of a larger build and is a great choice if you suffer from back pain. Natural latex mattresses are also anti-bacterial and anti-mite and offer excellent thermoregulation.

Mattress certifications

As mentioned, certifications are vitally important when considering organic mattresses.

If you buy a certified organic mattress, then you are guaranteed to be getting a natural, organic and eco-friendly mattress.

The most popular certifications are:

  • CertiPUR is a North American quality certification for foams. Certified foams have been independently tested in laboratories and certified as safe and responsible products.
  • Certified GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) latex is produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes meet strict global organic standards.
  • Oeko-Tex standard 100 is a label that guarantees textiles are free of toxic products. This includes toxins for the body and for the environment.
  • Certified GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) materials are materials produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes adhere to strict global organic standards.

Mattresses can be Certi-PUR-certified and meet the Oeko-Tex standards but this does not necessarily mean that they are natural or organic mattresses. It simply suggests that they do not contain any harmful chemicals or substances.

If you’re looking for a certified organic or 100% natural mattress, then it’s important to consider the GOLS and GOTS certifications.

Do organic mattresses meet flammability standards?

Mattresses need to meet certain flammability standards.

In the past, this was often achieved through one of two methods.

Firstly, the surface of the mattress is sprayed or soaked in flame-retardant chemicals.

Secondly, flame-retardant foams are used, but this method also often relies on PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), chemicals, and other hazardous materials.

Both of these methods involve toxic chemicals.

The method used by most manufacturers today (natural and standard) is using fibre or fabric barriers to surround the inside of the mattress, where most of the combustible materials are located.

A silica base that wraps around the mattress (between the foam and the mattress cover) is the most common. It melts in case of fire, smothering the flames.

Thistle and wool are more natural alternatives, both of which prevent fires in the same way.

Natural mattresses

Organic cot mattresses

While choosing an organic mattress may be an important choice for you, it's possible even more important for babies and toddlers.

Here are some recommended organic cot mattresses.

Conclusion

It can be complicated to find a truly organic mattress.

Most certified organic mattresses rely on cotton, wool, horsehair, flax, silk, and hemp as fillings.

It’s also important to distinguish between natural, organic, eco-friendly and healthy products.

A mattress may not be organic or natural, but it can still be healthier than many other mattresses on the market.

There are numerous niche organic mattress manufacturers in the UK but you'll get the best deal on organic mattresses on Amazon.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the advantages of choosing an organic mattress?

    Organic mattresses contain minimal or no chemicals or toxins.

    They are also made of very high-quality materials.

    This means that, by choosing an organic mattress, you're making a healthier choice for a mattress that is likely to last a very long time.

  • What is meant by the term 'organic' mattress?

    A proper organic mattress will be certified organic by independent testing authorities. 

    Be aware, though, that even an organic mattress may contain some chemicals, depending on how the materials are sourced.

    Always ensure that you choose a mattress with proper certifications and full details of where materials come from and how the manufacturing process works. 

  • How much do organic mattresses cost?

    While there are dozens of organic and natural mattresses available at different price points, they are generally more expensive than regular mattresses.

    But since most organic mattresses are also made of very high-quality materials, they offer unparalleled comfort.

    They are also far healthier and you can rest assured that you're making a good choice for both yourself and your family. 

    In the long term, the higher price may just be worth it. 

  • What certifications should I look out for?

    There are several certifications that will help you in your purchasing decisions.

    If you're after a high-quality product that doesn't contain harmful toxins or chemicals and/or is certified organic, then look out for the following certifications:

    • CertiPUR
    • GOLS certified latex
    • OEKO-STANDARD 100
    • GOTS certified materials

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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