In recent years, people have been making an effort to go green and buy healthier, organic products. Many people are becoming concerned with how products they buy affect the environment, and now even the bedroom is going green with eco-friendly mattress options.
In response, mattress companies have been following suit and releasing beds with all-natural organic materials and modifying manufacturing processes to reduce their carbon footprint.
However, finding the best organic eco-friendly mattress for your own sleep needs isn’t always easy.
What’s the Best Eco-Friendly Mattress?
Whether you’re looking for a memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattress, we have a recommendation for you. In this section, we’ll be talking about our three favorite eco-friendly beds on the market right now, breaking down the materials used in each bed and explaining why we chose them for this list.
1. Amerisleep AS3 – Best Eco-Friendly Memory Foam Mattress
Our Editors recommend the Amerisleep AS3 as the best eco-friendly memory foam mattress.
We chose to feature Amerisleep in this article because they are one of the only memory foam mattress brands that use plant-based memory foam instead of traditional foams.
Plus, they meet all of our criteria when looking for a green company: they make their beds here in the US, they are CertiPUR-US® certified, they use environmentally-conscious packaging, and they offer transparent information about their manufacturing process on their website.
Amerisleep uses Variable Pressure Foaming, or VPF, to make their beds. This foam creation process produces zero emissions and exceeds the standards for the Clean Air Act. The closed chamber design of VPF prevents air from escaping into the atmosphere. Before air leaves the chamber, it passes through carbon filters. These carbon filters remove harmful chemicals, making the air cleaner than what it was when entering the VPF chamber. This process is thought to be the most eco-friendly way to make foam.
The first layer of every Amerisleep mattress is their proprietary Bio-Pur®, a plant-based memory foam. During the creation of this foam, Amerisleep replaces a large portion of petroleum oil (used to make traditional memory foam) with castor oil.
Doing this reduces the number of harsh petrochemicals needed to make foam, diminishes the chance of these beds off-gassing, and makes them healthier to sleep on each night. Bio-Pur® is five times more breathable than traditional memory foam, too— another perk to using an eco-friendly alternative.
Amerisleep also uses a GreenGuard certified fire sock in their beds to act as a flame barrier, eliminating the need to use chemical fire guards.
When shopping with them, consider their AS3 bed. The AS3 is their medium mattress, designed to contour to and support a variety of body types. Its adaptability makes it comfortable for a majority of sleepers. Plus, their beds come with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty, allowing you to shop in confidence.
If you buy an Amerisleep bed and decide during your sleep trial it’s not the best fit for you, they’ll arrange to have your unwanted mattress donated in your local area, instead of asking you to return it back to them. If they’re unable to find a donation center in your area, they’ll have the mattress recycled responsibly, further reducing their carbon footprint.
2. Plushbeds Botanical Bliss® Organic – Best Eco-Friendly Latex Mattress
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly latex mattress, look no further than Plushbeds’ Botanical Bliss® bed. This 100% natural latex mattress has been awarded numerous certifications, guaranteeing its safe for even babies.
There are multiple benefits to sleeping on latex, including its anti-microbial, hypo-allergenic, dust mite resistant, toxin-free, and sleeps cooler than foam.
In their Botanical Bliss® mattress, Plushbeds uses three main materials: organic cotton, organic New Zealand wool, and Dunlop latex. Their bed is free from mercury, lead, heavy metals, chlorofluorocarbons, chloroform, cyanide, and PBDE flame retardants.
On their site, they mention the Botanical Bliss® has been recommended by both chiropractors and orthopedic specialists. Overall, it receives a 4.9-star rating from customer reviews. Below, we’ll look at the materials in this bed and what specific certifications they’ve received.
The cover of this bed is GOTS and USDA Organic certified cotton, sourced from the USA. Next, is GOTS and USDA Organic New Zealand wool; this layer also acts as a natural fire barrier, eliminating the need to use other flame guards. Below is layers of latex, the number of layers depends on how tall your mattress is.
These layers of latex are GOLS and USDA Organic certified, GreenGuard Gold certified, eco-INSTITUT certified, and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Their latex is sourced from Arpico and is made to be the cleanest and purest.
This mattress is also Control Union and Forest Stewartship Council certified. Control Union Certification ensures Plushbeds only uses eco-friendly materials, while Forest Stewartship Council verifies they’re sourcing their materials from sustainable forests.
When you buy Plushbeds’ Botanical Bliss®, it comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 25-year warranty. You have the option to choose between a Medium and Medium-Firm mattress; however, because Plushbeds’ does not glue their latex layers together, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the layers to change how firm the bed feels.
If you end up deciding the Botanical Bliss® bed is suitable for you, Plushbeds’ also offers free returns, and will arrange for your mattress to be picked up from your home.
3. Avocado Green – Best Eco-Friendly Hybrid Mattress
The Avocado Green mattress combines the perks of latex with the bouncy responsiveness of innerspring coils. We believe Avocado is one of the most transparent brands when it comes to disclosing exactly how their beds are made. They use 100% organic latex, wool, and cotton, as well as recycled steel coils in their support layer.
Their organic latex is sourced from Heavea Brasiliensis trees in Asia and manufactured via the Dunlop method. Meaning, liquid latex is poured into a mold, steamed and cleaned, creating a “green” material. Avocado’s latex is GOLS and eco-INSTITUT certified, ensuring these beds are free of VOCs and unhealthy chemicals.
The wool and cotton used in these beds are both GOTS certified, safe, and non-toxic. Additionally, the wool is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified. Both the wool and the cotton in the Avocado Green wicks away moisture while you sleep, keeping you cool, and is also anti-microbial and dust mite resistant. Additionally, wool acts as a natural flame retardant.
The bottom layer of this bed is recycled-steel pocketed support coils, arranged in three zones to offer enhanced support to your back and torso. These coils also offer reinforced edge support to the rest of the layers and sleeper above. It’s important to note these beds are also GreenGUARD Gold certified.
Every Avocado Green mattress is made in California and shipped free throughout the US. These beds also come with a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. When shopping with Avocado, you can be confident your bed is made with state-of-the-art eco-friendly materials.
Why Regular Beds Are Not Environmentally Friendly?
Traditional mattresses are created using a wide range of chemicals and glues which are bad for both your health and the environment. Synthetic foam was created at a time when latex was requisitioned for war purposes.
While synthetic foams are cheap and often more comfortable than an innerspring mattress, they use up natural non-renewable resources. In addition the chemicals used to create the foam are released into the environment via the air and water. The glues and chemicals in traditional mattresses leech contaminants into your home as well, and some have been linked with side effects ranging from respiratory discomfort and allergies to cancer and endocrine disruption.
Here are the top reasons traditional memory foam, synthetic latex, and innerspring mattresses are NOT environmentally friendly:
- Synthetic Fabrics
- Non-Recyclable, Non-Biodegradable
- Uses Non-Renewable Resources
- Manufacturing Pollutes Environment
- Chemicals Pollute Indoor Air Quality
- Long-Distance & Inefficient Shipping
How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Mattress?
Sleeping on a healthy mattress made of natural products and sustainable practices provide benefits not only to the sleeper but also the environment.
Anyone shopping for a new bed knows just how many products, brands and claims there are to sift through, so how do you really know if a bed is good for the environment or not?
Here, we’ll examine what factors make a mattress eco-friendly and the top options for green mattresses.
Type of Mattresses
While there is no specific definition of eco-friendly, most of use understand this to mean the product does not harm the environment or minimizes impact relative to an alternative product. When it comes to an eco-friendly mattress, you would want to look for the following traits:
- No VOCs
- Zero-Emissions Manufacturing
- Made of Renewable Resources
- Natural and Organic Materials
- Durable to Reduce Waste
- Efficient Shipping Methods
Currently, there are a few eco-friendly mattress options on the market: 100% natural latex, plant-based memory foam and improved innersprings. There are several differences between the types in terms of cost, longevity and price and we will examine these factors. The fabrics and other materials used in beds also have an impact, with naturally-derived textiles proving more desirable.
Natural Latex Mattresses
All-natural latex is derived the hevea brasiliensis tree, and minimally treated to produce the foam material used in latex mattresses. This type of bed continues to be a favorite among green aficionados as manufacturers utilize renewable harvesting processes and low-impact manufacturing. Ideally, the latex liquid can be harvested for 25 years or so while the tree continues growing and benefiting the atmosphere. All the while, subsequent generations are growing and old trees become eco-friendly wood products. As long as the material is made in with no toxic additives and fillers, natural latex is very healthy, VOC free, highly durable and biodegradable. Latex can be a little more expensive then other types of beds, but the tradeoff is that this material holds its shape and can last 20 or more years. In addition to being healthy, latex also proves comfortable, ranking second behind memory foam with satisfaction averages around 80%.
Eco-Friendly Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam made from plant-based ingredients is our second choice for eco-friendly mattress options. While not made of 100% sustainable ingredients, plant-based memory foam qualifies as eco-friendly because it replaces a significant amount of oil-based products with sustainable plant-derived ingredients. For those who dislike the feel of latex or need a more affordable option, plant-based memory foam can be made without VOCs and with zero emissions to further reduce impact. These types of beds also last considerably longer than most mattresses, and their comfort advantages can encourage people on the fence about eco-friendly beds to make the switch.
Our Recommendation: For plant-based memory foam, we prefer Amerisleep’s collection of mattresses made with BioPur, starting at $649. Their beds are made in the US and utilize a zero-emissions manufacturing process and are free of harmful VOCs. The mattresses also have covers made with highly sustainable bamboo and ship compressed to reduce fuel use.
Eco-Friendly Innerspring Mattresses
Innerspring mattresses can be made more environmentally friendly by replacing the synthetic foams with latex or plant-based memory foam, and by replacing the fabrics and chemical fire barriers with natural materials. However, these beds are not biodegradable, cannot be compressed for shipping, and do not last as long as quality foam mattresses. Additionally, innerspring eco-friendly mattress options can be hard to find and somewhat expensive.
A variety of mattress covers are also available in these products which are sustainable and healthier than synthetics. In addition to not releasing chemicals, they also prove to be more breathable than synthetic products such as polyester, and wick away moisture while you are sleeping.
Cotton: Organic cotton is perhaps one of the best fabrics for mattresses as it is highly breathable, hypoallergenic, and sustainable. Standard cotton can contain a host of toxic pesticides, so opt for certified organic when possible.
Bamboo: Bamboo is rapidly growing, highly renewable plant-resource that makes luxurious fabrics fabrics.
Wool: Natural wool offers excellent heat and moisture wicking properties, and is also renewable since it comes from living sheep. Wool can also be used as a natural flame retardant in some mattresses.
When searching for an eco-friendly mattress, you want to look beyond the claims and see what’s actually in the bed. Make sure the materials, manufacturing and shipping process minimize negative consequences to the earth, while still providing comfort and value. Depending on where you live, local options may be limited, but there are retailers online that specialize in eco-friendly mattresses and often offer better deals than big name brands. Choosing an eco-friendly mattress for your bedroom will offer you peace of mind without compromising values or comfort.
We hope this guide has helped you learn what to look for when shopping for the most suitable bed for your sleep needs. Remember to read the fine print about the materials and manufacturing processes of different beds, and ask questions when you can’t find the information you’re looking for. Having an understanding of the different eco-certifications can help you understand just how safe your potential new bed is. Plus, choosing to buy a bed free from unhealthy chemicals is better for you in the short and long-term. Making the investment in better sleep now can pay off years down the line in good health and restful sleep.