5 Things to Know Before Buying a Natural & Organic Mattress

June 18, 2021

Choosing the Best Organic, Natural Mattress Options For You

If you’re doing it right, buying a mattress should be an upfront investment you make on a brand that will last you for thousands of sleeps over several years.

So why do so many people end up buying the wrong sleep products for their lifestyle?

Many individuals look for a mattress by only focusing on eliminating that one problem they have. It’s usually things like firmness level, because their current mattress is sagging, or size, because they need a queen.

They may want to make sure their mattress materials are GOTS and GOLS certified. And some sleepers allow price to hammer the gavel in their purchase decision.

But the way to choose the best organic mattress type for your home — and personal comfort — comes down to the union of all these factors — and more.

So, is finding the best memory foam mattresses like the search for the Holy Grail? It doesn’t have to be.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the best organic mattress type that suits your sleep position, budget, and other health considerations, so that you can make a well-rounded decision.

5 Tips for Choosing a Green Mattress

You want to make sure you are getting the best quality for your money and not sacrificing comfort. It can be challenging to know where to start.

Your first stop in the mattress browsing experience is this list of questions designed to help you narrow down the search and find the best natural organic mattress for you:

- What kind of sleeper are you? Some people prefer softer mattresses, while others need more support.
- What is your preference when it comes to the firmness of a mattress?
- Are you a hot or cold sleeper? As you sleep through the night, do you end up feeling too hot and kicking off the covers, or do you tend to find it’s a bit too cold when you sleep?
- What size bed would work best with your space? You don’t want to get a king when your bedroom only fits a queen.
- What’s the ideal price range you’d like to stay in for a new organic mattress?
- Are there any health issues or back sensitivities that affect how you sleep right now?

    The answers to these questions will make your shopping experience a much more well-informed one. No matter what type of mattress you go for -- whether it’s a natural latex mattress or a hybrid -- you should return to the answers in this list to make sure your chosen mattress offers these features.

    For example, buying a green mattress with organic materials is great, but there’s no point in picking something that doesn’t give you the pressure relief you also need when sleeping.  

    With these answers in mind, let’s take a look at five key considerations for an eco-friendly, green mattress.

    1) Go with Organic Fabrics

    Unless otherwise and explicitly stated, mattresses and bedding products are created from "standard" (aka synthetic) materials, including polyester fibers and chemical compounds.

    Yes, these mattresses are usually cheaper than natural ones, with some exceptions, but there’s a reason for that: They come with associated health risks.

    Look for mattress companies that use organic fabrics. These are materials like cotton grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, or natural rubber latex made from rubber trees, rather than latex blends that may include petroleum-based polyurethane.

    As an added bonus, organic materials are better at moisture-wicking than synthetic materials because they don't absorb as much liquid or sweat.

    2) Choose a Natural & Organic Latex Mattress

    Speaking of materials used in your mattress, you may want to think about choosing an all-natural and organic latex mattress foam. Materials used in these types of organic mattresses are dust mite-resistant, hypoallergenic, and can be easily cleaned with regular household cleaners.

    Furthermore, natural latex provides pressure relief and heals back pain that might spring from purely innerspring mattresses.

    3) Avoid Fiber Fill or Batting

    For those with allergies or sensitivities, certain bedding is just a no-go. Mattresses that use fiberfill or batting can trigger allergies, breathing issues like sensitivities, and even asthma flare-ups, due to the nature of synthetic “fill” materials.

    Fiber fill or batting is created from polyester, which shouldn’t be in your bed for a number of reasons:

    - Polyesters, like all synthetic bedding material, can cause respiratory problems
    - These materials can exacerbate skin conditions, often worsening bouts of eczema, rashes, itching, redness, and dermatitis
    - Polyester is just plain hard on the environment -- it takes 200 years to break down fully
    - Polyester can affect your immunity and fertility -- a 1993 study showed the definitive connection between polyester underwear and sperm count in men

     

    That’s enough to make the case for an eco friendly mattress, isn’t it?

    4) Avoid Spring Mattresses

    A spring mattress is a type of bed that has springs laid out in layers on top of each other. These springs are designed to bear the weight of an up-and-down motion. Initially, spring mattresses start off quite comfortable.

    But as it bears weight over time, spring coils make for uncomfortable sleep and interrupted sleep, especially if you happen to have sensitive back or joints. Sleeping on a purely innerspring mattress causes your body weight distribution to shift during the night unevenly.

    For sleepers who prefer the bounciness and firmness of a spring mattress, there’s a more well-rounded solution now available on the mattress market. Hybrid mattresses are the answer to maintaining the airiness and bounce of a spring mattress, coupled with the load bearing, deep sleep comfort of an organic latex foam.

    An example is Essentia Tatami Hybrid mattress, which combines organic latex foam with pocketed steel coils for superior support, durability, and breathability.

    5) Avoid Fire Retardants

    Using flame retardant chemicals in mattresses has adverse health effects on humans over time. This includes neurological problems and increased risk for certain types of cancers.

    Avoiding fire retardants is one of the most critical factors to look for as you are shopping around. This doesn't mean fire safety isn't necessary — it just means that in the case of your mattress (and other fabric furniture), you're better off creating a fire-safe environment rather than relying on flame-retardant chemicals.

    Materials Used in Essentia’s Latex Organic Mattresses

    Natural mattresses use organic and renewable materials without harmful, flame retardant chemicals. Every Essentia mattress is made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and natural wool, plus fresh essential oils and ethically-source hevea milk sap for our patented natural organic latex foam.

    What makes organic latex and cotton the superior choice for your mattress? Good question! They meet safety standards that you would expect anything you’re going to sleep on to do. To confirm, look for certifications that indicate a third-party organization has vetted the materials and the manufacturer. Both are intact in the case of an Essentia organic mattress.

    GOLS-Certified Organic Latex (Global Organic Latex Standard)

    When buying an organic mattress, it is important to purchase from a company that meets certain requirements. One of these requirements is that the rubber used in manufacturing has been organically grown on certified plantations.

    The GOLS qualification includes standards to control any harmful substances, emission test requirements, and polymer percentages. Rubber plantations as well as processing units are certified according to the certification, under which transactions take place from plantation to final retailer.

    Certified Organic latex mattresses are the best choice for people who have allergies to chemicals such as pesticides, flame retardants, and formaldehyde. This material is also naturally resistant to dust mites which could cause allergy symptoms in some individuals.

    For those with sensitive skin, eczema, or other conditions like itchy skin, organic latex mattress covers can provide relief because they are not harmful to inflamed skin. In addition, they are hypoallergenic and have no dyes or fragrances in them.

    GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton (Global Organic Textile Standard)

    GOTS, or the Global Organic Textile Standard, is the highest globally recognized standard for memory foam mattress brands.

    In textile processing, using it means that the materials are backed up by independent certification which includes ecological and social criteria. GOTS-certified products include fiber, yarns, fabrics, clothes, or mattresses, as well as food contact textiles and personal hygiene products.

    One common standard for organic products means textile processors and manufacturers can export their fabrics and garments with one organic certification that is accepted in all major markets. This transparency gives buyers power to choose truly organic products as well as the assurance of a sustainable source, reducing long-term environmental impacts.

    If you're looking for a new mattress that's both natural and healthy, then certified organic cotton is the way to go. It originates from plants grown without fertilizers or pesticides in sustainable practices, with no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) involved.

    A natural bed made of this material is comfy enough for sleepers who want their bedding as close to nature as possible — but it also has all sorts of other benefits too!

    Besides being free from synthetic chemicals which can cause allergies and asthma attacks, GOTS-certified organic cotton will help your joints feel better during those restless nights by providing some cozy support where it's needed.

    Note: Wool Isn't an Effective Flame Retardant

    Unfortunately, this myth has been debunked. Wool does not slow or stop a flame from spreading quickly and dangerously when it comes to heat sources like candles or lighters.

    Be Wary of “Fake” Organic Mattresses

    Even though industry certification like GOLS and GOTS standards exist, there’s no law that says you can’t advertise your mattress as “green” or “eco-friendly” without these tests. That’s why you may see many marketing tags and claims about organic materials that promote sustainability.

    The truth is that many of these manufacturers — and products — include the same harmful chemicals in new packaging.

    So, what should you look for when you come across these claims? Your first step is finding out if the mattress was made with polyurethane foam, which is known to have VOCs that cause chemical off-gassing, or natural latex. These materials have different health and safety ratings.

    A certified green company will always list their manufacturing process on their website, so it can't hurt to check this information before buying a new bed set from an unknown source.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to finding the best mattress for your home, there are plenty of factors that you should take into consideration. The five tips we've outlined will help you make a much more informed decision when purchasing a new mattress.

    In general, plan to avoid synthetic latex and fiberfill or batting at all costs as those materials can lead to increased levels of dust mites in your bedroom, which may result in allergies and other health problems.

    It’s also wise to be aware of what type of flame retardant comes with your mattresses. Wool isn't an effective flame retardant, so if this is a concern for your home, then certified organic cotton would be a better option.

    Doing some research into the materials that go into your mattress before you purchase is smart. Begin by asking yourself what you want out of your sleep experience. By following these tips when choosing new memory foam mattresses, you can ensure that both quality and comfort are top priorities in your bedroom furniture selection process.