If you’re committed to sustainable living, choosing an eco-friendly mattress the next time you upgrade your bedroom may be a no-brainer.
But finding the right mattress for your sleep style and comfort needs may be a little more challenging — especially since there’s no standard definition of what “eco-friendly” means when it comes to mattresses.
Read on for our top picks and what to consider if you’re on a mission to find a safe, sustainable choice.
You’ll find the following types of mattresses on our list:
Hybrid: Made from steel coils and foam, hybrid mattresses are a comfy, supportive choice.
Memory foam: Memory foam has good motion isolation, so it can be a handy option for people who sleep with a partner or pets. It conforms to your body, so it may feel a little like you’re “sinking in” to the bed.
Latex: A natural type of foam made from rubber trees, latex is eco-friendly and soft without being as “sinky” as memory foam.
Company reputation: We looked at each brand’s Better Business Bureau profile and checked to make sure they didn’t have any pending lawsuits related to safety or business practices.
Materials and manufacturing processes: To make sure each mattress was truly eco-friendly, we looked for third-party materials certifications, natural and organic materials, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. We also searched for mattresses made in the United States for a smaller carbon footprint for U.S.-based consumers.
Trials and warranties: Each mattress on our list comes with a free in-home trial or guarantee as well as a warranty.
“When it comes to deciding a purchase of a mattress, many people have multiple factors on their buying list. The choice is sometimes a financial one and sometimes a moral one,” says Dr. Lisa Merritt of Weddington Chiropractic Wellness Center.
“Some are in the dilemma of organic versus nonorganic. Other priorities are if the mattress is a comfortable one. When choosing a mattress, all three must be considered for the decision to be justifiably made,” she says.
A little overwhelmed? Here are a few things you may want to consider to help you narrow down your choices.
Type and firmness
Generally, you can choose among hybrid, memory foam, or innerspring mattresses in a variety of firmness levels. But keep in mind that firmness ratings can be somewhat subjective.
“There are no set scales with which everyone can choose the perfect mattress, and every brand rates the firmness of its mattresses by its own terms,” says Dr. Robert Wagner of National Spine & Pain Centers.
As such, keep in mind that a good company will let you try before you buy. If you’re shopping online, look for a company that offers free in-home trials.
Whether you sleep on your stomach, side, back, or a combination of all the above matters.
Some mattresses will say which sleep style they’re designed for. You can also look at the reviews to see what customers that share your sleep style say about the comfort level.
“Before any decisions are made, review your sleeping habits. As a spine specialist, I do suggest a supportive mattress that allows the natural curves of the spine to be reinforced,” Merritt says.
“I suggest a firm foundation with a pillow topper. To prevent or decrease pain, the neuromusculoskeletal system needs a mattress that encourages and maintains the proper spinal curves,” she says.
Materials and manufacturing
Mattresses that use recycled or ethically sourced organic materials can go a long way in saving the planet. Look for companies that tell you exactly what’s in their mattresses and how they make them. You can also check for materials certifications.
If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, look for brands that manufacture and ship from a place near where you live. Some companies also purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon footprint.
Finally, some mattresses are certified vegan if you’re concerned about animal products.
There are many eco-friendly mattresses available, each with its own set of features and benefits. Check out brands like Saatva, Helix, and Brentwood Home, among others.
Are there biodegradable mattresses?
There are biodegradable mattresses, though they’re harder to come by than their non-biodegradable counterparts. Look for mattresses made with biodegradable materials like wool and certain foams.
How do you sustainably buy a mattress?
To sustainably buy a mattress, investigate the brand’s materials and manufacturing processes, including third-party materials certifications, natural, recycled and organic materials, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Consider locally made mattresses with locally sourced materials and ensure the manufacturers’ shipping processes and methods make the smallest carbon footprint possible.
An eco-friendly mattress is a great investment but may be a little hard to find.
Make sure you understand everything about the company’s sustainable practices and its mattresses before buying one. Doing so will guarantee that the mission of the company aligns with your practices and your comfort needs.
Robin Mosley is a Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in publications including Food and Wine and The Kitchn. Her work deals with food, gaming, or business connected to intersectional identities. You can keep up with her on Twitter or on her website.
Last medically reviewed on October 31, 2022
How we reviewed this article:
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Merritt L. (2020). Personal interview.
Wagner R. (2020). Personal interview.
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