I have a confession to make…my mattress is old, really old, over 15 years old in fact. I definitely need a new one, but because I am trying to live at least 80% cleaner, I want to make sure that what I do buy is non-toxic. What I didn’t want was to spend and arm and a leg to get one. I knew that buying an affordable non-toxic mattress would take a little bit of research, especially since I wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Dangers of Conventional Mattresses
What many people don’t even think about when shopping around for a mattress is that there are a lot of hidden chemicals that are lurking in there. Most conventional mattresses are made with a synthetic foam that is treated with dangerous flame retardants and then covered with PVC vinyl (read my post 5 Affordable Couches Without Flame Retardants to learn more about flame retardants in your furniture). What is not well known is that these chemicals can leach, or off-gas, out of your mattress for a long time, essentially giving you a dose of toxic chemical vapor, or VOCs, every time you go to bed. You may have heard of VOCs when people talk about low VOC paint. Same concept applies here. VOCs are associated with everything from allergies and asthma to reproductive problems and cancer. Not good all the way around.
What to Look for in an Affordable Non-Toxic Mattress
Since we spend a large amount of time sleeping and in our bedrooms in general, 1/3 of our life in fact, I knew that I was going to have to spend a decent amount, but I really didn’t want to have to break the bank. I also wanted a king size mattress, which was going to up the cost. I had my budget set at between $1,000 – 2,000. Other than cost, you will also want to make sure that you look for a few other key things:
- Made with organic and/or natural materials. There are a lot of materials certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) or CertiPUR-US (for foam mattresses). If you can’t find that, opt for natural/organic cotton, wool, eco foam, and/or latex, nothing synthetic.
- Made without flame retardants
- No polyurethane foam or PVC vinyl. Try eco foam or polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate instead.
- If these things are not available to you because of cost or location, let your new mattress off-gas in a well ventilated area as long as possible before you sleep on it. You can also consider a natural wool, cotton or latex topper to contain some of the VOC fumes.
Non-Toxic Mattress Brands
There are not a ton, but a good amount of non-toxic mattress brands popping up that I wanted to consider. Of them, I liked:
Because of the price point and ease of buying, I am leaning towards a Sleep on Latex or an Avocado mattress. Both brands allow me to buy right on Amazon with free shipping. I will, however be checking out Naturepedic and Savvy Rest retailers, simply because they have physical locations I can visit in person. Naturepedic has queen size versions and great crib mattresses (check out my post How to Create a Non-Toxic Nursery to learn more about a non-toxic crib mattress) on Amazon, but I’m really looking for a king.
So, there we have it, a (hopefully) clear and easy run-down of choosing an affordable non-toxic mattress. It really can be confusing, but once you sift through all the jargon and find something at a price point you can stand, it all feels worthwhile in the long run. Let me know if you’ve done any non-toxic mattress shopping and what you ended up with in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.