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They go beyond ‘green’.
Published Jun 30, 2022 6:00 PM
Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit ‘add to cart.’ That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
If you’re wary about foams and fibers made from who-knows-what and nondescript sourcing in your search for a new mattress, you’re not alone. And while not all synthetic bedding is bad by default, it’s totally understandable that you might want to stick to natural materials you also seek out when it comes to sheets or clothing.
That’s where organic mattresses come in. Yep, organic like fruits and vegetables. Since these mattresses are made almost entirely of natural products (meaning, not created in a lab) like cotton, wool, and latex, they’re actually able to be certified organic, from the plants grown for the fibers to the production of the textiles and construction. According to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), “organic fibers are natural fibers grown without the use of synthetic pesticides (such as insecticides), or herbicides and Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs) according to the principles of organic agriculture.”
Since these mattresses don’t incorporate ultra-popular (and ultra-squishy) memory foam, they’re largely made with steel spring coils for support, latex and wool layers for cushion, and cotton covers. So if you prefer things on the firmer side of the spectrum, one of our picks might just be perfect for you. If this all sounds up your alley, read on for our picks of the best organic mattresses.
Outer material: Organic cotton and wool | Inner material: Latex and spring coil hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, CA king | Trial Period: 1 year | Warranty: Lifetime
What we like:
Why we chose it: Of all the organic mattresses we researched, this one combines multiple materials, like natural latex and organic cotton, for the most responsive bed.
Some organic mattresses are made with just spring coils, wool, and cotton, which is great if you’re looking for a traditional feel. But the inclusion of bouncy latex mimics fan-favorite memory foam without compromising on organic materials. Saatva sources GOTS-certified organic New Zealand wool, organic cotton, and latex that’s eco-INSTITUT and Greenguard Gold certified free of potentially harmful chemicals, emissions, and pollutants.
We love that this mattress is compatible with adjustable bases, and comes in a split king size for couples who sleep differently and want to pair it with a split base. It is on the firm side of mattresses, much like most other organic options, so keep this in mind if you’re used to a softer, pillowy bed. The good news is that the brand offers a 100-night trial to ensure you really love it, and a lifetime warranty—the longest of all the mattresses we chose.
Outer Material: Organic cotton and wool | Inner Material: Latex and spring coil hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA King | Trial Period: 90 nights | Warranty: 15 years
What we like:
Why we chose it: If you’re new to organic mattresses, this natural latex one is a luxe and high-quality product at a fair price.
There’s a reason memory foam beds-in-boxes are so popular: They’re quick to ship and pretty affordable, making them an ideal first mattress buy. But for someone who values investing in organic and sustainable materials, the Eco Terra Natural Latex Hybrid Mattress is a happy medium between price and quality. It’s made with spring coils, Oeko-Tex Standard latex sourced from sustainable growers, and GOTS-certified organic wool and cotton. And unlike some other latex mattresses, Eco Terra uses single-origin latex, which keeps all their mattresses consistent, since the material is harvested from the same grower. And while their 90-night trial period is shorter than the others on our list, you do have the choice between two firmness levels. Think of it like easing in if you’re unsure about switching to something less soft.
Outer Material: Organic cotton, wool, and polyester blend | Inner Material: Latex and spring coil hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king | Trial Period: 100 nights | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
Why we chose it: Time-tested layers and materials build a breathable bed that’s reminiscent of the best hotel sleep.
Traditional mattress lovers, rejoice: Boll & Branch’s mattress is constructed much the same as what you might find in a classy hotel room, before memory foam and gel entered the chat. The added bonus is that it’s made from organic cotton and wool, as well as plant-derived latex. Similar to the others, though, this mattress is on the firm side, but what it brings to the table is significant breathability. One of two the latex layers, in fact, is actually infused with graphite for added cooling properties, and they’re both perforated to promote airflow.
Outer Material: Organic cotton | Inner material: Wool and spring coils | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king | Trial Period: 100 nights | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
Why we chose it: For exceptional zoned support, this mattress combines organic wool layers with varied spring coils to properly cradle your body.
Much of the griping about spring coil mattresses of yore stems from lack of support, and it’s true—when you lay on a surface that is largely flat and doesn’t conform to your body, it’s not great for spinal alignment. This mattress defies the standard by combining firm middle coils and soft alternatives at the head and foot to literally cradle you throughout the night (say goodbye to tension in your neck, back, and hips). No latex layer means this mattress is a bit less “squishy” than others, but organic cotton and wool more than make up for the lack of it, thanks to an Integrity NZ-certified construction. There is an additional charge for white glove delivery, but the mattress ground ships in 1 to 3 business days; you’ll be set up in no time.
Outer material: Organic cotton and wool | Inner material: Latex and spring coil hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, CA king | Trial period: 100 nights | Warranty: 25 years
What we like:
Why we chose it: Need a mattress quickly but don’t want to compromise on materials? This one ships lightning-fast to your front door, and doesn’t require a scheduled delivery.
In an ideal world, we’d all have time to ponder and research our big purchases for months, making the most educated decision and preparing far ahead of the date we need something. But often that isn’t how it works, especially when furnishing a home. So we love that the Birch natural mattress ships in 3 to 7 business days and arrives on your doorstep without the need to schedule a delivery that brings someone indoors. It’s softer than the other mattresses in our lineup, which might not make it the choice for someone who prefers a firm bed, but is great for those that prefer a supple sleep. Bonus: you get two free pillows, too.
Outer material: Organic cotton and wool | Inner material: Latex and spring coil hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, CA king | Trial Period: 1 year | Warranty: 25 years
What we like:
Why we chose it: An organic mattress from a Domino-favorite B Corp committed to sustainable manufacturing? Sign us up.
Given that this mattress brand was founded with the idea of making a sustainable product (and not backing into the idea after the fact), it’s safe to say that you can sleep soundly if ethical manufacturing is at the top of your checklist. The mattress itself is made from 17 layers of GOLS-certified organic latex, organic wool, natural silk, organic hemp fiber, recycled steel coils, and organic cotton. The plush version (which is a whopping 17 inches thick) does cost extra and requires deep pocket sheets, but both options come with two free pillows. As a B Corporation, Avocado is required to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, consumer transparency, and accountability, with a portion of profits dedicated to these efforts. The brand also publishes a yearly impact report to break down their practices and continual efforts towards sustainability. We love to see it.
When shopping for bedding and mattresses, the market can feel super-saturated and overwhelming. And that’s especially true when you come across materials and marketing jargon. After extensive research, digging into brand stats, and talking with mattress pros, we pulled together our list of the best organic mattresses, prioritizing brands that balance style, high-quality manufacturing, and eco-conscious attributes—the later especially by making sure each of our picks met strict certification criteria for organic textiles and fair trade practices. Holly Saarie, a bedding buyer at Raymour & Flanigan, gave us insight into how these mattresses are constructed and compare to one another, and Jessica Harris, Living Spaces manager of production design, weighed in with her expertise on organic textiles.
Spring Coils: All of the organic mattresses we chose include spring coils, which were handed a bit of a bad reputation during the rise of memory foam mattresses. The truth is, spring coils are made from highly-durable (and recyclable!) steel, adding bounce and structure to a mattress and providing reliable support for spinal alignment,.
Latex: Some of the mattresses we chose include one or more latex layer. Natural latex (as opposed to synthetic latex) is made from the sap of rubber trees, which is extracted, whipped, baked, and washed to form a buoyant and breathable material. Latex is able to reach the Oeko-Tex Standard, which tests for harmful chemicals in textiles; be eco-INSTITUT certified, which means it’s free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and more; and GOLS-certified, meeting the Global Organic Latex Standard.
Wool: Every mattress on our list has one or more layers of wool, which is used for multiple reasons. Wool, according to Eco Terra, is naturally temperature-regulating, flame-resistant, and adds extra layers of cushion. Wool can be GOTS-certified, meeting strict fiber, ecological, and social standards, and compliant with Wool Integrity NZ, which ensures sustainable and ethical practices.
Cotton: Organic cotton is largely used to cover and protect mattresses, and is the final layer of all the mattresses we chose. Cotton is able to be GOTS-certified and beyond organic certifications, cotton can also be Fair Trade certified to ensure sustainable farming practices and that economic benefits are provided to those who harvest it.
Our list of the best organic mattresses fall on the firmer side—due to their spring coil, wool or cotton, and latex construction—especially compared to memory foam or gel. With that, you get a more traditional mattress feel, in that they’re bouncy, have great edge support (read: you won’t slide off when you sit down on the side), and there’s less of a sinking or stuck sensation. You feel like you’re on the mattress, not in it.
We found that the price differential between luxe memory foam mattresses and organic mattresses isn’t actually much different. Compared to a bed-in-a-box, these models are pricier, but they’re made with more sustainable and natural materials, so you can feel confident about what you’re bringing into your home.
“This is all about personal preference,” says Saarie, but she recommends a mattress “that is CertiPur-US Certified, which means the foam in the bedding has been tested to meet CertiPUR-US rigorous standards for emissions, content, performance, and durability.”
“Green” is a fuzzy term, and it’s difficult to really define, so we’d recommend you be wary of any brand who calls themselves “green” without any specific certifications. Typically, Harris says that “‘green’ means that a product is sustainably sourced and the company has made an effort to make its production less impactful on the planet. It can also mean that the materials are more natural and contain less chemicals.”
However, unlike something organic, “there are no standards or requirements that a company must meet in order to label their product ‘green.’ This means it’s important for consumers to look into the materials and the company’s reasoning for why a product is “green” to understand if it meets the environmental criteria they may be looking for.”
Among all the mattresses we chose, the Birch Natural Mattress is the cushiest. It’s also available with a plush topper for a bit extra, which makes this mattress even softer.
“Everybody is different,” Saarie says, but “what you’re looking for is proper support and spinal alignment, which can be provided by a firm or soft mattress.” She recommends trying out mattresses in store to see what you prefer. “We recommend firm for stomach and back sleepers, and soft for side sleepers. Soft mattresses contour more to your body, relieving pressure points in the shoulders & hips.”
“If you toss and turn a lot at night, or wake up with pain, this could mean your mattress is too hard,” says Saarie, but she also stresses that it will likely take you 30 days to break in a new mattress. “You may experience discomfort during this time,” but after about a month you can make a more educated decision about your mattress choice.
Most often, organic mattresses are made from layers of organic cotton, organic wool, natural latex, and steel spring coils. According to Harris, “this means they are sourced from materials that are naturally grown and meet the organic criteria for either the USDA or the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).”
“Sleeping on organic textiles varies in importance for each person,” Harris points out. “For example, a person with sensitive skin may require sleeping on organic textiles to avoid negative reactions. This is because of the fact that organic mattresses are made without harsh chemicals and detergents and are also made with natural materials rather than synthetic.”
The best organic mattresses are ones that meet strict environmental, social, and ethical standards for manufacturing, but are also exceedingly comfortable and luxurious. Our top pick is the Saatva Latex Hybrid, which combines natural latex, organic cotton, wool, and steel spring coils for a supportive and deep sleep.
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