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What is the Healthiest Mattress Material?

If you are looking for a new mattress that can offer you a luxurious sleep experience without toxic chemicals, there are several options you can consider.

As we spend a considerable part of our life sleeping, it makes sense to invest in high-quality bedding that provides comfort, while keeping us healthy.

An average mattress contains harmful chemicals, flame retardants, and synthetic materials that can cause off-gassing, and adversely affect a person's endocrine, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.

However, following the increasing trend of green living in individuals, the mattress industry has come out with toxin-free green mattresses made from natural, breathable materials.

What are Non-Toxic Mattresses?

If you want to buy a non-toxic mattress, but feel overwhelmed by terms like “green”, “organic”, or “eco-friendly”, fear not. They all talk about mattresses made from chemical-free, natural materials that are safe for your health.

Non-toxic mattresses can be considered the following:


The mattresses claimed to be chemical-free are usually made from natural materials like latex extracted from rubber trees. They are built without chemicals, dyes, or glues, giving you a healthy sleeping experience.


While all mattresses built from nature-based ingredients are non-toxic, organic mattresses are made from natural materials like latex, cotton, or wool that are harvested sustainably, without using chemicals and pesticides.

Raw materials termed as organic usually undergo stringent testing, and are certified by independent organizations for their purity and authenticity. For instance, organic cotton and wool are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, while organic latex is GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified in organic mattresses.

Organic mattresses also undergo minimal processing, and are manufactured using eco-friendly practices to ensure a chemical-free bed.


Green mattresses can have several features that make them eco-friendly or "green". They are most likely to use non-toxic mattress materials that follow sustainable business practices that are safe for people and the environment.

Benefits of a Chemical-Free Mattress

Mattresses that are free from toxic chemicals can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Mattresses made from natural, non-toxic materials can prevent diseases, keeping you healthy as you sleep.
  • Investing in a nature-based mattress can alleviate your symptoms if you are prone to allergies. Beds made from natural ingredients, like latex, are naturally hypoallergenic, blocking out dust mites and molds that can trigger your allergy symptoms.
  • Organic mattresses are made using sustainable practices, making them beneficial not only for you, but also for the environment.
  • Mattresses made from natural materials are more durable than those filled with chemicals. For instance, a latex mattress can easily last for 10 to 15 years, while a high-quality plant-based memory foam mattress can last for 8 to 10 years. In contrast, a traditional bed built using chemicals will probably fall apart in about 6 years.

Best Non-Toxic Mattresses

If you want to get a non-toxic new mattress, these are some options you can consider:

Latex Mattresses:

Latex is harvested from rubber trees, and is one of the most eco-friendly, natural, and breathable mattress materials available on the market. A latex mattress can be made from natural or synthetic latex.

Natural Latex Mattress:

Liquid latex, when extracted from rubber trees, is further processed to manufacture natural latex mattresses. Based on the manufacturing process, natural latex can be:

Dunlop Latex:

When natural latex foam is poured in one complete pour into the mattress mold, and the mold goes through the vulcanization process, Dunlop latex is made. Organic Dunlop latex is known for its denser texture, and is preferred to build firm mattress core layers.

Dunlop latex, because of its manufacturing process, has two distinct layers - a denser bottom layer, and a softer, non-porous comfort layer.

Talalay Latex:

When latex foam is poured halfway into the mattress mold, and then vacuum-sealed and flash frozen, the latex foam expands to fill up the mold, and is processed into natural Talalay latex.

Talalay latex has tiny pinholes on the surface that allows air passage, providing better temperature regulation. Because of its light, porous texture, Talalay latex is popularly used as the mattress's top layer.

Some mattress brands, like Latex For Less, offers 2-Sided Natural Latex Mattress for those who prefer to sleep on different firmness levels. The bed uses 100% natural latex, free from harsh chemicals. It is enveloped in a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton cover. The mattress also uses a 100% organic wool fire barrier that is a natural fire retardant, free from synthetic chemicals.

Organic Latex Mattress:

When natural latex mattress is made using the sap from rubber trees grown sustainably, without using pesticides, it turns into an organic latex mattress. Organic mattresses use minimal processing methods that are free from harmful chemicals, glues, and toxic dyes.

One of the popular organic mattresses is the Organic Latex Mattress from Latex For Less. The award-winning mattress contains 12 inches of GOLS-certified organic latex. It has a certified breathable organic cotton cover, and uses organic wool as a natural fire retardant.

Synthetic Latex Mattress:

Not all latex mattresses are natural. Some latex mattresses are made from synthetic substances that mimic the support and comfort of a natural latex mattress. They are usually preferred by mattress shoppers who like to get the experience of a latex mattress on a budget.

Synthetic latex mattresses are made in the lab, and are not as durable or healthy as their natural counterparts.

Blended Latex Mattress:

Unlike synthetic latex mattresses, blended latex mattresses usually have a small percentage of natural latex, combined with a proportion of synthetic latex. They are an affordable way of experiencing the comfort and support of a latex mattress.

Plant-Based Memory Foam Mattress:

Although traditional memory foam mattresses are made from polyurethane foam manufactured in the lab, mattress brands have come out with plant-based memory foam, made from ingredients like soybean, to make memory foam an eco-friendly and healthy sleeping option.

Plant-based memory foam provides a natural sleeping surface with the advantages of having superior pressure relief and motion isolation that comes with sleeping on a traditional memory foam mattress. In addition, unlike conventional memory foam, it is breathable, and avoids trapping body heat, allowing people to sleep cool.

Hybrid Mattresses:

Hybrid mattresses are often constructed using a combination of mattress materials providing multiple benefits. Hybrid Latex Mattresses from mattress brands like Latex For Less typically use GOLS-certified organic latex as the top layer, with a base layer of an innerspring mattress.

The hybrid mattress provides the breathability and comfort of organic latex with the bounce and support of innerspring mattresses; all offered at an unbeatable price.

Like all natural mattresses, the hybrid mattress is covered in a certified organic cotton cover that adds luxury and comfort to the bed. It also packs in organic wool fire retardant that replaces chemical fire retardants, making the mattress a perfect addition to your sleep routine.

Mattress Topper:

If you want to experience the safety and comfort of organic mattresses, but want to start small, you can get a natural latex mattress topper.

The Latex For Less mattress topper remains a perfect choice with its finest quality organic certified latex filling. The latex mattress topper uses GOLS-certified organic latex for its purity and authenticity.

The organic Dunlop latex mattress topper, when spread over your mattress, can provide you the comfort and support of an organic latex mattress, but at a much lower cost.

How to Choose Your Dream Mattress

Besides being eco-friendly and safe, your dream mattress must help you sleep comfortably, and provide the necessary pressure relief and support, preventing any health concerns.

Before shopping for a new mattress, make sure to consider the following:

Your Sleep Position:

Your sleep position is vital in the type of mattress you purchase. While side sleepers would do well to buy a softer, more yielding mattress, back and stomach sleepers and combination sleepers must go for a firmer and more supportive bed.

Your Health Concerns:

If you suffer from aches and pains, you need to invest in a mattress that provides adequate pressure relief to mitigate those issues. You can consider a latex mattress that provides the necessary support and pressure relief that can heal body pain issues.

Your Preferred Sleeping Temperature:

Are you a hot or cold sleeper? People have a unique response to temperature. Hot sleepers need mattresses that provide better ventilation that releases trapped body heat. In contrast, cold sleepers need soft mattresses that snuggle the body, keeping you warm.

Your Budgetary Issues:

We all have a specific budget in mind, especially when looking for big-ticket items like mattresses. Make sure to look for the highest quality mattress that you can afford.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Non-Toxic Mattresses

Not all mattresses are made equal. While conventional mattresses combine natural and synthetic materials, some premium mattress brands come with all-natural organic mattress certifications.

Whether you choose to invest in an affordable non-toxic mattress, or decide to get some green components to make your bed healthier, here are some things you need to consider:

Mattress Material:

It goes without saying that mattress filling is the most significant part of a mattress. A mattress with 100% natural or organic materials in its construction would be breathable and safe, without compromising comfort and support.

Non-Toxic Mattress Certifications:

Many third-party organizations test mattresses for their purity, and certify them before they are sold to the public. The organic certifications reassure people about the quality and authenticity of the materials used in mattress construction.

To make sure the new mattress you are buying is non-toxic, you need to check for organic certifications like:

GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard):

GOLS-certified organic latex is 95% organic, and has been extracted from rubber trees grown sustainably without pesticides.

GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard):

The certification guarantees that the fabric, whether organic cotton or wool, used in the mattress is at least 70% organic, and the mattress company uses a sustainable manufacturing process.


The certification is provided to mattresses that use polyurethane foams, including memory foam and other foam mattresses. The testing process ensures that the bed emits minimal volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.), and does not have ozone-depleting substances, toxic fire retardants, and other heavy metals.

GreenGuard Gold:

The certification ensures that the mattress emits little to no volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.), and is safe to use inside the home.

Safe Flammability Standards:

To make mattresses safe from fire hazards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created new flammability standards that ensure the mattresses sold in the U.S.A. are fireproof.

The chemical flame retardants used by conventional mattresses have been linked to liver and neurological disorders, and are banned in several states.

The mattress industry is now using safe and natural flame retardants, like organic wool, in its mattresses to avoid exposure to chemicals, and move towards green mattress products.

Pure organic wool is a natural fire retardant that does not need to be treated with chemicals. It makes the bed naturally fireproof, and keeps your family safe.

Use of Other Natural Materials:

While mattress filling is one of the essential things you need to consider to determine its non-toxicity, you must also check whether the other materials used are safe and eco-friendly in nature.

A green mattress would have the following natural materials in it:

Certified Organic Cotton Mattress Cover:

A green mattress must be enclosed in a certified organic cotton cover that is breathable and comfortable.

Certified Organic Wool Fire Retardant:

An eco-friendly mattress must have a non-toxic and natural fire retardant, like pure, organic New Zealand wool.

Steel Coils:

Where the bed has supportive innerspring coils, the coils must be safely encased in cotton coverings to prevent dust mites and other allergens from building inside the mattress.

While metal steel coils do not cause risk to the human body, it is better to opt for a hybrid bed with fabric-encased, supportive innerspring coils.

A Mattress Company with Transparent Policies

To be responsible, a green mattress company must be transparent about the materials used to build the mattresses. They must also be clear about where such materials are sourced, and how much processing the bed undergoes.

The mattress company must be clear about whether the beds are manufactured in the U.S.A., and whether they use recycled or minimal packaging to promote eco-friendly practices.

Also, it makes sense to spend a little more to buy from a premium mattress company like Latex For Less. The natural organic mattresses are made in the U.S.A., and are handcrafted by expert craftsmen.

The company sources the materials responsibly, directly from the farmers, and offers premium services, like free shipping, flexible return policies, and reassuring warranties.


Before you buy a natural organic mattress, verify the claims made by mattress companies regarding the bed's safety and toxicity levels.

Do not fall for "greenwashing" - a term used in marketing to identify mattresses that are falsely claimed to be green to boost sales.

Verify the non-toxicity claims, fire retardants, and certifications to ensure that your green mattress materials are genuinely safe and healthy.

Buying a green mattress benefits your health and the planet in general. You can sleep peacefully, knowing you are safe from harmful chemicals, and doing your best to protect the earth.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates,, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report,, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.