The 6 Best Non-Toxic Mattresses of 2023, According to Sleep Experts
Warning: Harmful chemicals may be lurking in your bed. Find out if you're inadvertently putting yourself in danger every night—and discover the best non-toxic mattress for safer sleep.
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You may think a mattress is a mattress, right? But if you’re buying a new mattress, know that many beds are hiding a dark secret: Certain sleep surfaces consist of chemical components that could make you sick. That’s why finding the best non-toxic mattress is so important.
“Most mattresses typically contain polyurethane foam, which includes petroleum chemicals,” explains Tasha Stoiber, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “This foam can off-gas, or emit, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to health and have been linked to respiratory irritation and nervous system harm.”
But that’s not all. “Many mattresses also use flame-retardant chemicals that may cause adverse health effects, ranging from cancer and reproductive harm to learning disabilities and interference with the normal operation of hormones,” says Avinash Kar, a senior attorney and director of state health policy for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). While you might not notice the impact of sleeping on a toxic mattress immediately, the potential health consequences may be detrimental over time. “Many of the effects of toxic chemicals are long-term, and unless the chemical causes acute reactions or allergies, you may not see immediate symptoms,” warns Kar.
Ready for a completely clean slumber? Don’t lose sleep over the thousands of sustainable brands available. After all, when searching for the best mattress, there’s more to consider than just the materials—it should also be comfortable and cozy. We consulted sleep experts to confirm that these are the best non-toxic mattress options for every type of sleeper.
The best non-toxic mattresses
Best overall non-toxic mattress
Avocado Vegan Mattress
Everything this California-based company does is centered around eco-friendly initiatives, including offering a non-toxic mattress. Avocado’s goal is to be one of the world’s most sustainable brands—it even donates 1% of all revenue to environmental nonprofits. Plus, it implements ethical supply chain and manufacturing practices to safeguard consumer health.
The Avocado Green mattress is a fan- and editor-favorite, but the vegan mattress steps it up even more. Many organic mattresses consist of wool, but not this certified organic cotton and latex hybrid design. This best non-toxic mattress is so animal-friendly that it’s actually People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)-approved. It is nearly identical to their top-rated green mattress, except it replaces wool with cotton to make it entirely vegan.
“All Avocado mattresses come Made Safe certified, a rigorous scientific screening process,” says Mark Abrials, CMO and co-founder of Avocado. “The certification prohibits the use of more than 6,500 harmful substances—including flame retardants and fiberglass—everywhere within the mattress or material layers. Avocado is one of only three mattress brands in the world to meet this new gold standard of safety.”
Ideal for all types of sleepers, the Avocado vegan bed boasts 1,414 individually tuned, tempered steel coils, artfully arranged in five ergonomic zones for proper back support and extended durability.
- Vegan and GreenGuard Gold-certified
- Carbon-negative business
- Needle-tufted by hand without toxic adhesives
- 25-year warranty
- 365-night sleep trial
- Pillow top sold separately
Best value non-toxic mattress
Bear Pro Hybrid Mattress
The best non-toxic mattress brands aren’t cheap, but Bear proves you can still buy an eco-friendly bed at a price that won’t break the bank. Its Pro Hybrid is GreenGuard Gold certified, which means it’s scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous third-party standards for chemical exposures and pollutants. You’ll sleep more soundly knowing there are no traces of VOCs, formaldehyde, phthalates or other nasty toxins you can’t pronounce. It also uses CertiPUR-US certified foams and fiberglass-free fire protection.
And this best affordable non-toxic mattress pick doesn’t skimp on comfort. “This mattress uses premium hyper-soft cooling gel and individually wrapped coils to provide support and pressure-point relief, while also keeping you cool throughout the night,” says Abby Wood, a sleep health content associate at Mattress Nerd. An affordable, non-toxic cooling mattress? What more could you want?
- Eco-friendly features at a superb value
- Cooling features for hot sleepers
- Lifetime warranty
- 120-night sleep trial
- Free shipping and returns
- Only available in one firmness level (medium-firm)
Best latex non-toxic mattress
PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress
Each Botanical Bliss mattress from PlushBeds features about 10 pounds of organic New Zealand wool (about three times as much as even the typical best non-toxic mattress) for ample support and breathability. It consists of zero chemicals and all organic materials, including Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton and wool and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)-certified organic latex. Guaranteed to last a lifetime, this chemical-free mattress is about as hypoallergenic as it comes.
The organic mattress has two firmness options, three heights and nine sizes available to satisfy practically any sleeper. Another reason for earning our best non-toxic mattress status? The brand’s unique interchangeable layers let you easily adjust the bed’s firmness. “If the mattress doesn’t feel comfortable, unzip the cover and swap the layers to achieve a different feel. Also, get a free replacement layer within the first 100 nights of use if needed,” says Alex Savy, a certified sleep science coach and founder of SleepingOcean.
- Certified 100% pure organic latex
- Chemical-free fire barrier
- Circular knit design offers enhanced hip and shoulder pressure relief
- Lifetime warranty
- 100-night sleep trial
- $349 charge for in-home setup and old mattress removal
Best memory foam non-toxic mattress
Nectar Sleep Memory Foam Mattress
This Nectar Sleep pick is one of the best non-toxic memory foam mattress models, thanks to its five-layer design that provides the ideal balance of firm support and soft, cradling comfort. All of the foams meet CertiPUR-US standards for emissions and go through testing by independent labs for durability and safety.
This non-toxic bed ships efficiently inside a small box to reduce carbon emissions: Simply unroll it and set it on the bed frame, and it will be ready to sleep on within 24 hours. “For those who sleep with a partner who tosses and turns, the Nectar is one of the best motion-dampening mattresses on the market,” says Jackson Lindeke, a product expert at the Sleep Foundation.
Memory foam mattresses often trap heat. But, thanks to cooling gel foam and a moisture-wicking cooling cover, there’s nothing to sweat. For side sleepers or anyone who runs hot, upgrade to the Premier Copper version, which uses phase change materials for an even cooler sleep. It provides pain relief and it “felt like a hug,” according to our Deputy Shopping Editor, Reina Galhea, in her review after sleeping on the Premier Copper mattress for over a year.
- CertiPUR-US adaptive memory foams
- Cooling gel-infused foams keep you chill
- Forever warranty
- 365-night sleep trial
- Free shipping and returns and the brand will recycle any returned mattresses
- May have slight off-gassing smell
- Additional shipping costs to Alaska and Hawaii
Best hybrid non-toxic mattress
The DreamCloud Hybrid Mattress
As its name suggests, the DreamCloud mattress sleeps like, well, a dream. The premium seven-layer design combines the contouring comfort of foam with the sturdy support of coils. This best non-toxic hybrid mattress pick is like the Goldilocks of beds, managing to keep couples with different preferences happy. The targeted individually wrapped coils adapt to the shape of each person’s body, promising personalized relief on any pain points.
“It gives the proper amount of support under the hips, and it doesn’t feel like you sink in far,” explains Victoria Wildhorn, a sleep health specialist at Mattress Clarity. “It also has some useful cooling features with gel infusions and coils that promote airflow.” As a bonus, the cashmere topper is super plush and comfy.
Lindeke is also a fan. “The DreamCloud is a highly durable bed with fantastic, lasting support,” he says. “At its price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better mattress.” In terms of toxicity, you’re in the clear. The gel foam meets CertiPUR-US standards for content, emissions and durability. In fact, all DreamCloud mattresses are free of ozone-depleting compounds and flame retardants, including the editor-loved Premier Rest mattress.
- Seven layers of foam and coils
- CertiPUR-US gel foams
- Lifetime warranty
- 365-night sleep trial
- Free shipping and returns
- Extreme thickness means investing in deeper sheets
Best luxury non-toxic mattress
Saatva Zenhaven Mattress
Each side of this sustainably sourced natural latex, organic cotton and New Zealand wool mattress offers a different “comfort option” and support level. The Zenhaven mattress features two different firmness selections: luxury plush and gentle firm. Simply flip the mattress over to find the ideal feel. Five ergonomic zones give enhanced support and pressure relief. Plus, exclusive vented airflow channels allow better circulation throughout for superb breathability.
All of Saatva’s mattresses meet the highest safety standards, only using materials that are eco-friendly and non-toxic, meaning they’re good for the planet and your health. This specific model uses GOLS-certified organic natural latex that’s free of toxic chemicals, emissions and pollutants. Handmade in the U.S.A., the mattress is also made of organic wool, which offers a naturally flame-retardant barrier, rather than one created by chemical sprays.
This mattress is treated with a Guardin non-toxic botanical antimicrobial treatment, and it’s covered with the brand’s hypoallergenic organic cotton quilted cover. Together, they promote cooler, healthier sleep.
- Free white-glove in-room service and setup
- Made with GOLS-certified organic natural latex
- Old mattress and foundation removal for no extra cost
- Lifetime warranty
- 365-night sleep trial
- $99 return fee
What to look for when buying a non-toxic mattress
Many mattresses include warnings about the presence of carcinogens or chemicals that cause reproductive harm. However, not all manufacturers disclose this important information. “I would only purchase from a company that is transparent about the materials they use in and on their mattress,” says Stoiber. Don’t be afraid to be diligent about your shopping decision for a non-toxic bed. “The absence of warnings does not mean that the product does not contain chemicals of concern,” explains Kar. “Follow up with the brands and ask if the products contain any of the chemicals you are concerned about.”
While they might not be the most affordable mattresses, take into consideration that buying a chemical-free mattress doesn’t just benefit you—it also helps workers all along the supply chain avoid exposure to the chemicals, for starters. “What’s more, toxic chemicals don’t end up in the environment and put people and wildlife further at risk when discarding the products,” adds Kar.
Since most mattresses don’t easily biodegrade, they will continue to emit harmful chemicals as they sit in a landfill—another reason why recycling mattresses is so important. Along that same note, consider the company’s sustainability practices and commitment to ethical and responsible manufacturing.
Types of non-toxic mattresses
Every type of mattress, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid and latex, is available in non-toxic models. The best non-toxic mattress depends on your personal preferences, as comfort is subjective. But sleeping position, weight and health factors, like back pain, are a few things that will determine the type of mattress best suited for your needs.
Why you should trust us
It can be easy for a brand to slap a “non-toxic” label on their product and call it a day, which is why we went several steps further to ensure that what you’re shopping is truly a chemical-free mattress. Besides doing our due diligence of heavily researching the non-toxic mattresses and taking into consideration what real-life buyers have said, we consulted with seven experts—all bringing something a little different to the table—to say with certainty that these are the best non-toxic mattresses you can buy.
How we found the best non-toxic mattresses
It should come as no surprise that there are many, many mattresses on the market. To narrow down our search, we combed through the most popular models from well-known brands. We looked at their basic details, as well as features and prices, and real-world customer reviews to see if they’re among the best available. Then, we took them to our experts, including a certified sleep science coach and a director of state health policy, to get their seal of approval. Only the products that past these various tests became one of the six best non-toxic mattresses.
What is a non-toxic mattress?
There’s no universal definition, but in general, the best non-toxic mattress is free from potentially harmful chemicals. The EWG suggests seeking out the following qualities:
- Made with at least 95% organic cotton, wool or natural latex
- Certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
- No added flame-retardant chemicals
- For memory foam or polyurethane, certified low-VOC by an independent certification group, such as Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Greenguard Gold
- No scents or chemical antimicrobial treatments
- No glue or only water-based glue used in the construction
Are latex mattresses non-toxic?
Abrials says that while many companies may use natural elements, they often don’t disclose all of their materials—most of which often include toxic flame retardants or binding agents. “Look for trusted certifications that test products to validate they are free from toxins that are known to be harmful to humans and environmental health,” he says.
Natural latex is derived from the sap of rubber trees, and it’s a common material utilized by non-toxic mattress brands. However, some mattresses made with synthetic latex may contain harmful chemicals. When shopping for the best non-toxic mattress, look for one that has 100% natural latex that’s certified by an independent organization, such as the GOTS or GOLS. These certifications ensure that the latex is free from harmful chemicals and meets strict environmental and social standards. Also, check out the other materials used to ensure the mattress is actually non-toxic.
What materials are in a non-toxic mattress?
A non-toxic bed is typically made with natural, sustainably sourced, organic and eco-friendly materials that are free from harmful additives and toxins. Common materials include organic cotton, organic wool, plant-based foams, natural latex and other natural fibers like hemp.
About the experts
- Tasha Stoiber, PhD, is a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group. She researches contaminants in water, indoor air pollution and chemicals in consumer products.
- Avinash Kar is a senior attorney and director of state health policy for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). He works on toxics and food issues, covering toxics in consumer products, regulation of harmful chemicals, antibiotic use in livestock, hazardous air pollutants and California drinking water standards.
- Mark Abrials is the CMO and co-founder of Avocado.
- Abby Wood is a sleep health content associate at Mattress Nerd.
- Alex Savy is a certified sleep science coach and founder of SleepingOcean. He has written over 100 articles about sleep and sleep-related products.
- Jackson Lindeke is a product expert at the Sleep Foundation. He has spent over half a decade developing protocols to evaluate and measure the impacts of products on sleep quality.
- Victoria Wildhorn is a sleep health specialist at Mattress Clarity. She creates and shares sleep resources, especially for those with health conditions, to help improve their sleep.
With additional reporting by Karla Walsh.