An environmentally friendly mattress is made from organically-grown materials that have a low impact on the environment. Most mattresses contain some combination of latex, cotton, and wool. However, only eco-friendly mattresses contain organically-grown latex, cotton, and wool.
When you think about the fact that you spend a third of your life or more in bed, in close contact with all of these materials, it makes sense to look for a mattress that has no environmental poisons, no common allergens, and that is made of materials that will not deplete precious natural resources.
To be sure the mattress you choose really is eco-friendly and not just marketing, look for certifications such as OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and CertiPUR US.
Certifications that show that the mattress is made of materials with a low environmental impact include the Global Organic Textile Standard and Green Guard. Once you have established the mattress’ credentials, you can look for a mattress that meets your individual needs.
A standard innerspring mattress may seem like your best bet if economy and ease of purchase are your first concerns. If you are outfitting a cabin or spare room, an inexpensive standard innerspring mattress might be all you need or want.
However, if you care about the environment, consider the environmental impact of purchasing a standard innerspring mattress. With an average lifespan of eight years or less, some innerspring mattresses can wear out quickly.
What’s more, where will your innerspring mattress go when you are finished with it?
Standard innerspring mattresses usually require a box spring layer, and neither layer breaks down easily or quickly after it is discarded. Almost no one wants a used mattress anymore, so you can’t send it to a thrift store when you are finished with it. (Note: some mattress companies, like Saatva, offer free removal of your old mattress and will dispose of it properly for you.
Even if you only need the mattress for a guest room, consider the impact on children and guests with allergies. Why purchase a less comfortable, potentially toxic mattress when, for a bit more money, you can have a clean, biodegradable one?
Fire-retardant chemicals and pesticides have become an issue for people with allergies and people concerned about the earth’s very limited natural resources. If you fall into either or both of these categories, you should consider one.
Chemicals in furniture and paint get into the air indoors, and pesticides used in growing latex and cotton are no exception. If keeping your environment clean and fresh, both indoors and out, is important to you, consider an eco-friendly mattress.
Finally, they use natural materials to keep you comfortable. Wool is a natural insulator, which is why it is used for socks and outerwear in cold climates. Cool in summer, warm in winter, organic wool is used to keep elderly people and premature babies comfortable, cushioning delicate skin without harmful effects.
If sleeping like a newborn night after night sounds like an appealing prospect, you might be very happy. Natural comfort and socially responsible construction make eco-friendly mattresses a friend to the earth and the people who sleep here.