6 Best Organic Mattresses: A Definitive Guide for 2020

by Scott Jeffrey

OVERVIEW: A comprehensive mattress guide that provides you with everything you need to know to select the best organic mattresses.

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Sleep research continues to reveal how important a restful sleep is to our biological and brain functioning.

Our quality sleep influences every area of our lives including emotional regulation, cognitive performance, and immunity.

Yet, how much thought do most of us put into selecting our mattresses—our primary apparatus for sleep?

A few years back, I personally would have answered, “very little.”

In this in-depth review, we’ll explore why you should consider organic mattresses, what to look for, and the best brands I’ve discovered through my research.

Before we get started, here are my top 6 picks:

The Six Best Organic Mattress

Here are the best organic mattresses I review below:

  1. The Avocado Green Mattress (best overall organic mattress)
  2. The Awara Mattress (best value)
  3. Birch Mattress (best cooling mattress)
  4. The Happsy Mattress (best medium-soft organic mattress)
  5. PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Mattress (best organic latex mattress)
  6. Naturepedic’s Chorus Mattress (best innerspring organic mattress)

Want to jump right to the organic mattresses review? Click here >>

A Quick Note from the Author

First up, if you just arrived at this page from a web search, this is not one of the hundreds of mattress review websites.

CEOsage is a resource for individuals interested in self-actualization and psychological development.

So why did I write a review of the best organic mattresses?

While our internal terrain is essential for self-development, the right external support certainly helps too.

And while things like emotional regulation, mind training, and grounding can support a rejuvenating night’s rest, sleeping on a highly toxic mattress works against us.

After investing an untold number of hours researching what seemed like endless options, I’ve put together what I believe to be a straightforward organic mattress guide.

The purpose of this guide is to help you narrow down your options so you can select the best organic mattress for you.

Why You Should Consider Organic Mattresses

Just as commercially-grown fruits and vegetables contain chemicals that calcify our organs and poison our blood, the average commercial mattress is a toxic stew.

And when you’re sleeping on this toxic stew, your inhaling and digesting these harmful chemicals.

Here’s a list of the toxins found in most commercial mattresses:

  • Mercury: can cause headaches, mood swings, breathing difficulties and more.
  • Lead: can cause cognitive problems, especially in children.
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): can cause headaches, dizziness, and skin irritation.
  • Chloroform: is linked to depression, liver damage, and a weakened immune system.
  • Cyanide: can cause dizziness, eye and skin irritation, and overall weakness.
  • PBDE Flame Retardants: can cause thyroid issues and damage the endocrine system.

(Flame retardants are already banned throughout Canada, Europe, and a select few states in the United States.)

Many of the most popular mattresses on the market are constructed with memory foam, which is made from polyurethane.

A recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology showed how our sleeping environments are ideal conditions for releasing these toxic chemicals (called Volatile Organic Compounds) in these mattresses while we sleep.1Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Polyurethane Mattresses under Variable Environmental Conditions. Kira Oz, Bareket Merav, Sabach Sara, and Dubowski Yael. Environmental Science & Technology 2019 53 (15), 9171-9180 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01557

There are also environmental reasons to purchase an organic mattress as, in most cases, these products have less ecological impact since most organic mattresses are biodegradable.

But from a pure health perspective, when you understand how toxic the average mattress is, going organic simply makes logical sense for you and your family.

The downside? You may pay a little extra—sometimes, and usually not by much!

Inside the Best Non-Toxic, Organic Mattresses

Most mattresses are constructed from various synthetic materials (often derived from petroleum), which makes it difficult to determine exactly what you’re sleeping on.

With organic mattresses, it’s pretty straightforward.

Virtually all of the organic mattresses on the market are made from a combination of:

  1. Natural latex
  2. Organic cotton
  3. Organic wool

With cotton and wool, you’re looking for “GOTS certified.” GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. (We’ll discuss GOTS below.)

With latex, you need to be a little more cautious…

What is “Natural Latex”?

Standard latex is a product of petroleum, which is part of the reason why the average mattresses made with latex (think “memory foam”) is so toxic.

In contrast, what’s called “natural latex” is generally sourced from rubber trees, which grow mainly in South America.

The material is actually made from the sap of this type of tree.

It is said that this production process (which is manually intensive) is not harmful to trees when it’s harvested in an ecological manner. But I haven’t done sufficient research to confirm this.

Here’s a brief video that highlights how natural rubber is made:

Regardless, with natural rubber latex, you shouldn’t have the off-gassing that is produced by non-organic mattresses.

When you’re reviewing natural latex mattresses, you’ll come across two different types:

  1. Talalay Latex: generally made from 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic latex (but not always)
  2. Dunlop Latex: can be made of 100% natural latex

Talalay and Dunlop are terms for two different manufacturing processes for latex.

For organic mattresses, you’re looking for:

  • “100% natural latex”
  • “100% organic latex”
  • “100% Natural Dunlop” (that’s GOLS certified)
  • “100% Natural Talalay” (that’s GOLS certified)

Otherwise, you’re likely getting a synthetic mixture with toxic chemicals in your mattress.

What Certifications Really Matter

Here’s where things get complicated. The amount of available “green” certifications that exist in the mattress industry is almost amusing.

GOTS certified organic mattresses

GOLS Certified organic latex mattress

Made Safe non toxic mattress

These certifications include:

  • Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS): Certifies that cotton used is free of pesticides and GMOs.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): Certifies that latex is pesticide-free and without harmful chemicals.
  • GOTS Wool Certificate: Same as above, but for wool.
  • Made Safe Certification: Certifies that no harmful chemicals are used in production.
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification: Certifies that materials are free of pesticides, heavy metals, allergenic dyes, and formaldehyde.
  • GreenGuard Gold Certification: Certifies that the product has low chemical emissions (free from PBDE flame retardants, chlorofluorocarbons, and other toxins).
  • Eco Institute Certification: Similar to OEKO-TEX; certifies the mattress is free of pollutants.
  • Forest Stewardship Council: Certifies wood-based products are produced in sustainable ways.
  • Rainforest Alliance Certification: Certifies that workers and wildlife are treated well.

Each of these certifications focuses on different areas of product and production. But from my research, when it comes to the highest standard when shopping for an organic mattress, GOTS and GOLS are the most important.

But here’s where things get tricky. If you search the GOTS database for mattresses made in the United States, you’ll only find about five mattress brands listed—even though many more claim to have GOTS certified materials.

Why? Because you can have certified organic cotton used in your mattress, but that doesn’t mean the entire mattress is certified through production. It takes years to go through the GOTS certification process and not many brands have gone through it.

Don’t worry. I list which organic mattresses are GOTS-certified in my review below. Avocado Green, Birch, Happsy, and Naturepedic all make the list.

These three brands are also Made Safe certified to have no ingredients believed to be harmful to human health.

5 Basic Types of Non-Toxic, Organic Mattresses 

To make the selection process of your organic mattress more confusing, you’ll encounter numerous types of constructions:

  1. Latex-Only: purely latex construction without any cotton or wool; sometimes without even a cover around the natural latex.
  2. Innerspring Coil: this the original mattress construction with various types of metal innerspring coils (usually individually wrapped) embedded into either cotton or wool.
  3. Hybrid: a combination of latex, cotton/wool, and spring coils. (Hybrids have become very popular.)
  4. Pillowtop: any of the above mattress types may come with a pillow-top layer for a softer and more “luxurious” feel.
  5. Vegan: several manufacturers offer vegan options, which translates to no wool being used in the mattress.

While pillow-tops are definitely an excellent feature in many organic mattresses, you also have the option of purchasing a separate organic topper that can provide a similar experience.

How to Select Your Next Organic Mattress 

Selecting a nontoxic, organic mattress online can be a daunting task. Not only are there many options, but there’s also a lot of misleading information.

Plus, how can you pick your mattress without laying on it first!

Thankfully, most organic mattress companies offer sleep trials that are generally about 100 days.

Several brands, including Avocado Green and Awara, offer full-year sleep trials. (Only the Naturepedic option below doesn’t offer a trial period, but they do have a 30-day return policy.)

At the time of publication, all of these organic mattress brands offer free shipping and returns too.

I’ve done my part to highlight what I believe are the best organic mattresses to choose from. My criteria were mainly the:

  • Quality of material used (organic certifications, etc),
  • Transparency on the websites and with customer support, and
  • Overall reviews of each brand.

All of these organic mattresses are made in the United States.

Four Main Criteria in Making Your Selection

Since all of the mattresses below use comparable quality materials, there are four main criteria to consider:

1) Construction: Springs or no springs? Latex or no latex? Cotton and/or wool? Or all of the above (hybrid)? For most sleepers, construction is secondary to the overall comfort (criteria #4 below).

2) Pricing: If you’re price-conscious, Awara is the most competitively-priced mattress, followed by Avocado Green and Happsy, which offer the best value with the highest-quality certified organic materials.

3) Thickness: While the average organic mattress is 10-inch in thickness, Avocado Green Mattress and Plushbeds offer different thicknesses to choose from. Awara comes in at a 13-inch thickness.

4) Comfort: Comfort is obviously the most subjective criterion for a mattress.

Let’s take a closer look at the comfort factor…

Three Factors in a Comfortable Mattress

Mattress comfort comes down to three primary factors:

  1. Level of firmness,
  2. Coolness, and
  3. Your dominant sleeping position.

Mattress firmness is often quoted on a comfort scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is the most firm.

Generally speaking, if you sleep on your back, you’re better off going with a firm mattress. (It’s better for back health too.)

If you mainly sleep on your sides, go for a medium-firm mattress.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll probably prefer a soft-medium mattress.

And finally, if you sleep in a variety of positions, your safest bet is a medium-firm mattress (around a 7 rating).

The next factor is coolness. In the body’s REM cycle, your temperature rises.

If your body gets too hot, it can lead to restlessness.

Mattress cooling occurs via airflow circulating through the mattress.

With organic mattresses, there are two materials used to promote air circulation:

  1. Individually-wrapped coils and springs
  2. Organic latex (which doesn’t conduct heat well)

Organic mattress manufacturers use various techniques to maximize airflow using both of these materials.

A Quick Note on Pricing

I’ve noticed that mattress brands often change their prices and offer various seasonal promotions.

So instead of including a pricing chart for each organic mattress, I’ve included only the Queen price for comparison.

All of the mattresses listed below are between $999 – $1,999 for a Queen size.

You can click the links to each mattress for current prices.

(Disclaimer: there are affiliate links below. When you purchase a mattress through these links, I earn a small commission. This doesn’t affect your prices in any way.)

6 Best Organic Mattresses (Quick Review)

Here’s my quick review of the 6 best organic mattresses. I’ve included the same details for each so it will be easier for you to compare your options.

Avocado green mattress review best organic

The Avocado Green Mattress (Best Overall)

Intelligent, thoughtful, and ecologically constructed, Avocado Green Mattress covers all your bases.

The Avocado Green Mattress is a high-quality, hybrid construction made with all-natural, non-toxic, organic materials that are ecologically sourced. You won’t have any off-gassing.

This handcrafted mattress has zoned support for pressure point relief. It’s an all-around, solid organic mattress.

The Details:

  • Construction: Hybrid
  • Material: Organic cotton cover, organic wool, Dunlop natural latex, 1,414 steel coils
  • Price: $1,399 for Queen size (add $400 for pillow-top version)
  • Firmness: 7 ratings (medium-firm)
  • Origin: Made in the USA
  • Certified: GOTS, eco-INSTITUT, Greenguard Gold and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, Made-Safe certified
  • Size: 11 and 13-inch height options
  • Options: Pillow-top and vegan
  • Warranty: Unlimited 10-year; limited 25 year
  • Sleep trial: 365 nights
  • Features: Free “Carbon Neutral” Shipping & Returns

Sleeping experience (based on customer reviews):

  • Sleeps cool
  • No sinking sensation even under heavy weight
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Ideal firmness level (especially for active lifestyles)

Potential Downsides:

  • Latex can be firm without the pillowtop option (but this is subjective)
  • May feel the handcrafted buttons on the pillowtop version

Bottom line:

For anyone shopping for organic mattresses, you’re unlikely to find a better all-around option than Avocado Green. This is probably my top pick!

Check Prices

Save $150 on Avocado with code CEOSAGE150


natural latex mattress review

The Awara Mattress (Most Affordable) 

Awara is another excellent, hybrid organic mattress option that uses mostly organic and natural materials.

Awara is the most affordable option on the list and offers a full-year sleep trial.

The Details:

  • Construction: Hybrid
  • Material: Organic cotton cover, certified organic wool, Dunlop latex rubber, individually-wrapped pocket coil system
  • Price: $999 (for Queen size)
  • Firmness: “Medium Firm” (about a 6 on the 1 to 10 comfort scale)
  • Origin: Made in the USA
  • Certified: Rainforest Alliance Certified Dunlop, fire retardant free
  • Size: 13-inch height
  • Options: None
  • Warranty: Unlimited 10-year; “limited forever warranty”
  • Sleep trial: 365 nights
  • Features: Free shipping and returns

Sleeping experience (based on customer reviews):

  • Sleeps cool for most people
  • Body-contouring and pressure-point support
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Comfortable for back, side, and stomach sleepers

Potential Downsides:

  • Awara states that it uses organic materials, but in the certifications page, I didn’t see any GOTS certifications

Bottom line:

With the lower price point and a full-year sleep trial, Awara makes it easy to test out their organic mattress. It may not have the highest standard for organic materials, but if price is a major factor for you, Awara is an excellent choice.

Check Prices

Save $200 on Awara with code CEOSAGE200


Birch Organic Mattress review

Birch Natural Mattress

Birch by Helix has a similar construction as other hybrids in this class of mattresses. Under the organic cotton cover is a layer of fire-retardant wool followed by another, thicker layer of Birch wool. (Wool is known to be an excellent temperature regulator in that it helps keep your mattress cool as you sleep.) There are six layers of natural materials in total.

Birch is another excellent certified organic mattress with a pillow-top option.

The Details:

  • Construction: Hybrid
  • Material: Organic cotton cover, New Zealand Birch wool, Talalay latex rubber, individually-wrapped pocket coil system
  • Price: $1,499 (for Queen size)
  • Firmness: “Medium Soft” (probably about 6 on the 1 – 10 firmness scale)
  • Origin: Made in the USA
  • Certified: GOTS, OEKO-TEX, Greenguard Gold, Rainforest Alliance certifications
  • Size: 11-inch height
  • Options: Pillowtop
  • Warranty: 25 year
  • Sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Features: Free shipping and returns

Sleeping experience (based on customer reviews):

  • Sleeps cool
  • Body-contouring and pressure-point support
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Comfortable for most sleepers
  • Pillow top adds a luxury feel

Potential Downsides:

  • Not many unless you’re vegan since Birch relies on wool for 3 of the 6 layers of material.
  • The price is also slightly higher than several competitors on this organic mattress list (but the discount below helps)

Bottom line:

Birch is a certified GOTS organic mattress that’s thoughtfully designed for comfort, durability, and eco-friendliness.

Check Prices

Save $200 on Birch with code CEOSAGE200


Organic cotton mattress review

The Happsy Mattress (Best Medium-Soft Organic)

Happsy offers perhaps the most straightforward, 100%-certified organic cotton and wool mattress with no fire retardants or harmful chemicals.

It’s one of only three mattress brands certified by MadeSafe.org to have no ingredients believed to be harmful to human health.

The Details:

  • Construction: Hybrid
  • Material:  Organic cotton cover, organic wool, organic latex, and innerspring coils
  • Price: $1,399 for Queen size (10-inch version)
  • Firmness: None available, but reviewers rank it between 5.5 – 6
  • Origin: Made in the USA (handsewn by Amish craftsmen)
  • Certified: GOTS, eco-INSTITUT, Greenguard Gold and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, Made-Safe certified
  • Size: 10 thickness
  • Options: None, but organic mattress topper is available
  • Warranty: Limited 20 year
  • Sleep trial: 120 nights
  • Features: Free shipping and free returns

Sleeping Experience (based on customer reviews)

An all-around comfortable, cool sleep. I noticed from many reviews that a lot of people who rate the mattress with 5-stars purchased Happsy’s organic mattress topper as well.

Potential Downsides:

  • Although Happsy has over 800 5-star reviews on its website, on Amazon it fairs less well. It seems like they occasional quality-control issues with this mattress, although many customers do love it.
  • Several customers say that can feel the coils while they sleep.

Bottom line:

Happsy is another contender. Although I think Avocado Green is a superior mattress, if you’re looking for a softer organic mattress, Happsy might be the better choice for you.

Check Prices

Save $225 on Happsy with code CEOSAGE225


organic mattresses botanical bliss

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Mattress (Best Organic Latex)

The Plushbeds Botanical Bliss mattress has three layers of organic latex, topped with organic New Zealand wool and covered in an organic cotton cover.

Plushbeds Botanical Bliss is another popular organic latex mattress with almost every “green” certification a mattress manufacturer can have.

The Details:

  • Construction: Organic latex and wool construction (no innersprings)
  • Material: Organic cotton, organic New Zealand wool, certified organic Dunlop latex, innerspring coils
  • Price: $1,899 for Queen size (10-inch version)
  • Firmness: Comes in Medium and Medium-Firm (most sleepers choose Medium)
  • Origin: Made in the USA
  • Certified: GOLS certified, eco-INSTITUT, Greenguard Gold, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified (and about 5 more!)
  • Size: 9, 10, and 12-inch thickness options
  • Options: Select your desired height and firmness
  • Warranty: Limited 25 year
  • Sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Features: Free shipping and free returns

Sleeping experience (based on customer reviews):

The core latex layers are designed to cradle around the body for comfort while still providing support for targeted pressure points. This mattress has mostly raving reviews.

Potential Downsides:

  • Due to solid construction with multiple layers of thick, natural latex, this mattress can be difficult to maneuver. The 10-inch Queen version weighs in at 129 pounds. The 12-inch weighs 179 pounds!
  • The Botanical Bliss is a pricier option compared to most alternatives, but the sheer volume of quality organic latex is certainly a reason for this extra cost.
  • Should be flipped and/or rotated periodically.
  • The cotton used in Plushbeds’ mattresses is not GOTS certified.

Bottom line:

If you’re looking for a pure organic latex mattress (without springs), you’re not going to find one superior to Plushbeds Botanical Bliss.

Check Prices

Save $50 on Plushbeds Organic Latex mattress with code CEOSAGE50


Organic cotton mattress review

Chorus Certified Organic Mattress (Best Luxury)

Naturepedic is definitely one of the top brands in the organic mattress industry. They offer a number of different organic mattress options, but their Chorus mattress is their most popular.

Naturepedic mattresses, in general, are priced higher than most competitors, but they make high-quality organic mattresses and other products.

If you’re shopping for a high-end “luxury” organic mattress, check out their EOS Series.

The Details:

  • Construction: Spring coil technology
  • Material: Organic cotton cover, organic wool, PLA batting, innerspring coils
  • Price: $1,999 for Queen size (add $599 for the foundation)
  • Firmness: Level II: Cushion-Firm (probably around a 7)
  • Origin: Made in the USA
  • Certified: GOTS, Greenguard Gold, Made-Safe certified, Non-GMO verified, Formaldehyde Free Verified
  • Size: 10 thickness
  • Options: None on the Chorus, but they do offer a Vegan mattress
  • Warranty: Limited 10 year
  • Sleep trial: None, but they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you order the Chorus directly through them
  • Features: Free shipping and free returns

Sleep experience:

While some customers complain about the mattress being too firm, the vast majority of customers love the experience of sleeping on the Chorus. Over 90% of customers would recommend it. They say the mattress is well-constructed, supportive, and comfortable.

Potential drawbacks:

  • Most expensive option in the category
  • PLA batting? (see comments below)

The only question mark for me is the PLA batting used in the construction. PLA is apparently a polyester material derived from starchy plants (as opposed to petroleum). Their website says that their PLA is “made from non-GMO sugarcane and doesn’t contain or off-gas harmful chemicals.”

Bottom line:

The Chorus mattress is constructed in the USA from high-quality organic materials. Chorus is another excellent choice, but be aware that they only have a 30-day return policy (which is much less than competing brands).

Check Prices


Which Organic Mattress is the Most Eco-Friendly?

When it comes to mattresses, eco-friendliness is determined by a set of factors. The importance of these factors varies from individual to individual based on your values.

There are at least four factors that determine eco-friendliness including (in no particular order):

  1. Biodegradability of materials used
  2. Sustainability of the materials used
  3. Human rights related to the harvesting of materials
  4. Animal rights

Biodegradability

In terms of biodegradability, all of the above mattresses are made from naturally occurring substances, so they all score high in this department.

Sustainability

In terms of sustainability, the Forest Stewardship Council verifies the responsible management of forests used in the harvesting of rubber trees for natural latex.

The rubber trees used by Plushbeds, Naturepedic, and Avocado are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Rainforest Alliance Certification ensures that workers and wildlife aren’t harmed in the production of natural rubber.

Birch and Naturepedic Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Human and Animal Rights

The Rainforest Alliance Certification covers this area, to a degree.

In terms of animal rights in relation to organic mattresses, here the question comes down to whether or not the mattress uses wool.

Wool is used in most organic mattresses for numerous reasons:

  • Wool is a natural temperature regulator that keeps the mattress cool
  • Wool retains its shape with added elasticity
  • Wool is a naturally flame retardant

But for those concerned about the welfare of animals and try to avoid products that contain animal products of any kind, you have one great option: Avocado Green’s Vegan Mattress

The Best Non-toxic Mattresses: Which One Should You Buy?

Obviously, there’s no “right” answer to this. For the value (price) and quality, the Avocado Green Mattress and Happsy are on par with each other.

The primary difference between them is firmness: Avocado Green may be slightly more firm than Happsy. And of the two, based on the reviews, my sense is that Avocado Green has better construction and quality control.

Also, Avocado offers more options in terms of mattress heights and a pillow-top version while Happsy does not.

So, if I was going to pick only one from this list, I recommend going with Avocado Green Mattress.

Which Mattress Did I Choose? (Two Months Later)

My decision came down to Avocado and Happsy, and I’m sure I would have been content with either one.

I purchased an Avocado Green mattress mainly because it was slightly firmer than Happsy.

On the first night, I was already confident in my decision. Two months later, I have no complaint. It’s an excellent mattress that sleeps cool with limited motion transfer. For me, it’s just the right amount of firmness.

One downside I will note: I could feel the hand-tufted buttons on the top of the mattress. Adding a thin blanket on top of the mattress resolved the issue. A mattress topper is another solution.

Be sure to check out my review of the best organic toppers too.

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What Do You Think?

Share your experiences with these organic mattresses and others below: