Are All Organic Mattresses Non-Toxic?

Just under a quarter of Americans die in bed every year, 500 die from falling out of bed too! 

Fortunately, it’s not likely that you will die falling out of bed, but there is a chance that your bed might be killing you. 

And that’s because some mattresses are toxic. 

That is, they’re full of chemicals which are linked to cancer and other forms of ill-health.

But surely, just like the eco-conscious soul you are, buying an organic mattress means that you’re buying a non-toxic mattress, right?

Well, not so fast. 

Unfortunately, there are things you need to pay attention to, even if the label says “non-toxic”. 


The Bad News About Organic Mattresses

There is no legal definition of the word “organic”. 

We know what you mean by it, but there’s nothing compelling companies to use that meaning when they use “organic” in their product descriptions.

That means that the mattress industry is rife with “greenwashing”, which is the act of pretending to do good things for the planet while doing nothing of the sort. 

Mattresses can contain toxic chemicals and, in particular, they may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while you sleep. 

Unfortunately, VOCs are linked to ear, nose and throat irritation, as well as headaches and migraines and longer-term exposure has shown them to cause both organ damage and cancer!

Researchers tested a group of mattresses and found that if your mattress releases VOCs, it will always release them.

They had assumed that the effect would die down with time, but in a 6-month long study, they found no change in the volumes of VOCs released by a mattress which was in daily use!

It is worth noting that the exposure levels were below California’s emission requirements but is there any need to sleep in poisonous gas if you don’t have to?

We don’t think so. 

So, that means it’s important to find an organic mattress that hasn’t been greenwashed and isn’t leaking VOCs into your room as you rest. 


The Good News About Organic Mattresses

The good news is that there are some genuinely ethical players in the organic mattress market that truly care about your health and wellbeing as well as your comfort.

The companies on our best organic mattresses list and, indeed, those on our best organic mattress toppers list as well, are these kinds of companies.

organic mattress with blankets

In fact, whenever we recommend a product, we try to ensure that it’s non-toxic as a matter of course, we’d like you to live to a ripe old age and for you to enjoy every second of it. 

The best mattresses will be certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and/or the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLs), these two standards act as quality assurance in an “organic” market with no legal definition of organic. 


What Do You Do If You Have A Bad Mattress?

If you’ve already bought a mattress that might (or does) release VOCs and you can’t afford to replace it right now, the best thing to do is to ventilate the room as you sleep.

Researchers say that by opening the windows and turning on any fans that you might have, you will dramatically reduce your exposure level to VOCs. 


Final Thoughts On Are All Organic Mattresses Non-Toxic

Are all organic mattresses non-toxic? No, sadly they may not be as there is no legal standard for an “organic mattress”.

However, there are plenty of high quality, ethical organic mattresses manufacturers out there and if you shop around carefully, you shouldn’t need to breathe any VOCs while you sleep. 

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