How to Find the Eco-Friendly, Organic Mattress of Your Dreams
Getting enough sleep is a challenge for many of us. In America, an estimated 40 percent of adults aren’t getting the recommended minimum of 7 hr per night. And because we know that sleep is so essential to our overall well-being (that’s why it’s one of my five pillars of wellness!), we’re always looking for ways to get more of it.
I don’t know about you, but I love reading and writing about new ways to hack my routine to promote maximum rest. I do my best to practice good sleep hygiene by leaving my phone out of the bedroom, keeping the room dark and cool, using relaxing essential oils, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon… the list goes on! We’ve chatted about many of these tips and tricks here on kriscarr.com, but there’s an important piece of the puzzle that we haven’t covered yet: what we’re sleeping on.
Whenever I post a new blog about sleep, I get lots of requests for more info finding the right mattress. And lately I’ve been getting more Qs about eco-friendly and organic mattresses: where to find them, what to look for, how to find trustworthy brands, etc. Well dear friends, I heard you loud and clear—that’s what today’s blog is all about!
Pssst! Before you continue, grab this little gift from me. It’s a free guided meditation that’ll help you melt stress in minutes and get in the mindset for sleep. Mwah!
Are you sleeping with toxins?
Did you know that many standard mattresses are filled with harmful toxins? They often contain chemical flame retardants, petroleum-based latex and foam, vinyl made with phthalates and heavy metals, and more. These materials don’t just sound scary—prolonged exposure to them can lead to serious health issues like certain cancers and damage to the central nervous system (read more in this article).
The gross chemicals and materials used to make mattresses aren’t just bad for our bodies—they’re also really bad for our planet. And the companies manufacturing them often don’t use sustainable practices, which means they end up seeping out into the environment and wreaking havoc on our precious planet.
We don’t tolerate this kind of crap in our food, so why should we allow it into our bedrooms? Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries—where we rest, dream, have sex, snuggle… That sacred environment should be free of nasty invaders (and I’m not just talkin’ about the dust bunnies hanging out under the bed!).
You might be thinking: “Ok, Kris, point taken! So how do I find a mattress I can actually feel good about?” Well tootsie, I’m just getting started!
Making sense of organic mattress labels
So you’ve decided to get a non-toxic mattress… now what? When you start your search, you might find that trying to decode the labels and info on mattress companies’ websites makes your head spin. For example, you’ll notice that there are a variety of certifications brands can get to show they use organic materials, maintain fair working conditions, have sustainable manufacturing practices, etc. As awesome as that is, it can be pretty hard to keep track of what all the they all mean—and which are truly impactful when it comes to protecting people, animals and our planet.
Here are a few tips for understanding certifications when shopping for an organic mattress:
- According to Consumer Reports, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) are the two most meaningful certifications for mattresses. GOTS means that at least 95 percent of the materials are certified organic and there are restrictions on the other 5 percent (no chemical flame retardants here!). If you’re getting a mattress made with latex, look for the GOLS certification to ensure that it’s 95 percent organic latex.
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is another good certification to look for in an organic mattress. It sets limits on the emission of harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process and bans the use of nasty dyes, flame retardants, etc. But here’s something to keep in mind: Just because a mattress has this certification doesn’t mean it’s made of organic fibers. Learn more about the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification here.
- Some other certifications you’ll see during your quest for the perfect organic mattress are: CertiPUR-US, Greenguard and Organic Standard 100. And while these certifications have value, they’re limited because they don’t cover raw materials.
- You might not think to check your mattress for animal products, but you should! Many contain wool, which is often far from cruelty-free (to learn more about the problems with the wool industry, check out my article about fast fashion). My team and I found a bunch of eco-friendly mattress companies that don’t use animal products, but very few that are Certified Vegan (learn more about what that means here). I hope this certification gets more attention from mattress companies in the future!
A few more eco-friendly mattress tips to keep in mind…
Here are some of the other details to take into account during your search for the perfect mattress:
- Just because a company says its mattresses are organic doesn’t necessarily mean they’re 100 percent organic. Some of the materials may be organic, but this term is often used freely and without much discretion. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and read up on the materials in any mattress you consider buying. Conscious consumption is the name of the game!
- And on that note, watch out for the word “natural.” That’s not to say it’s meaningless. But as is true for food labeling, there are no standard requirements a company needs to meet to slap that word all over its products.
- One exciting way the mattress market is changing is through the increasing popularity of a direct-to-consumer model. That means companies are cutting down on costs by selling directly to you (no furniture or mattress store in the middle). And they’re able to pass these savings on to you through better prices. Wahoo!
Organic mattress brands to check out!
My team and I found tons of eco-friendly, organic mattress brands. Here are a few that really stood out from the pack!
- Avocado handmakes non-toxic, organic mattresses in California. Their vegan-friendly option is made with organic cotton instead of wool, and I’ve just gotta give these guys an extra shout-out because theirs was the only Certified Vegan mattress we found. Love that!
- PlushBeds offers a vegan-friendly mattress made with natural latex, organic cotton and their proprietary Eco Fire Barrier, which is a flame-resistant layer derived from natural plant fibers. So cool… what CAN’T plants do?!
- Bear’s mattresses are designed to promote faster recovery and increased performance for athletes (of all levels and kinds—we’re not just talking about Olympians here!). One of their innovative materials, Celliant, helps regulate body temperature, enhances tissue oxygen levels and harnesses your body’s natural energy to speed up recovery time. Yes, please!
- You can get Tuft & Needle’s original queen mattress for $595. If you’ve ever shopped for a mattress before, then you know how much of a bargain that is—especially for one that’s high-quality and environmentally friendly. Plus, they’ve donated over $9 million in mattresses back to the community through their forward-thinking return policy. Three cheers (or should I say Zzzs?) for mattress companies that give back!
- Purple believes that life is too short to be uncomfortable, and I have to agree! Their innovative mattresses adapt to your body to give you the perfect level of support. They’re also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating and made in the US.
And that’s just to name a few! There are so many great brands out there doing their part to improve your sleep and protect the environment at the same time. In addition to those mentioned above, I recommend checking out Saatva, Loom & Leaf, Leesa, Brentwood Home, Nest and Nectar. I also found plenty of helpful resources out there to support your research, including this one and this one.
Sweet dreams, sweetheart!
The right mattress can be the difference between 8 hr of tossing and 8 hr of restorative snoozing. I hope these tips help you find an organic mattress that allows you to rest easy knowing it’s safe for you, your home, kids and fur kids, and the environment.
Your turn: Do you have other sleep-related challenges or questions you’d like me to write about? I’m always looking to add more to the growing library of sleep resources on kriscarr.com, so please share your ideas and Qs in the comments below!
Peace & mindful mattresses,
Meditation can help you quiet those racing thoughts and get into a restful mindset. My Self-Care for Busy People album has guided tracks to help you relax any time of day (including evening and sleep hygiene meditations!). Get the album here!