11 Best Organic Mattresses, Toppers, Bedding (2023): Nontoxic and Natural
Home/Technology / 11 Best Organic Mattresses, Toppers, Bedding (2023): Nontoxic and Natural
11 Best Organic Mattresses, Toppers, Bedding (2023): Nontoxic and Natural

You’re going to sleep on mattresses for roughly 23 solid years of your life (on average), so it makes sense to give some careful thought to what you’re lying on. Unfortunately, mattresses often have questionable materials in them. Everything from formaldehyde and TCEP (a flame retardant) to phthalates can end up in nonorganic mattresses. How much these substances impact you isn't scientifically settled, but one way to avoid possible harm is to get a mattress made from natural, organic materials. As a bonus, these mattresses are usually less ecologically harmful. Most eco-friendly mattresses are made of a combination of wool, natural latex, and cotton. The construction is similar to conventional mattresses but without the chemicals.

Members of the WIRED Gear team have been testing mattresses for several years, and we have slept on every mattress on this list. We are always testing more, but these are our favorites right now. In general, we recommend hybrid mattresses with a core of individually wrapped springs, because they feel more supportive and have better airflow, so they don't sleep as hot. You may also find our Best Mattresses guide helpful. All of the prices below are for queen-size models unless specified.

Updated August 2023: We've added the Saatva Zenhaven and Birch's new Luxe mattress. We also added new information about the lawsuit against Avocado. 

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The Avocado Green hybrid mattress is the only mattress my wife and I agree on. She likes a soft mattress, and I prefer a firm one. This model somehow manages to be both without being too much of either. After nearly two years of sleeping on it, there's zero sagging or other issues.

There's a one-year trial, a 25-year warranty, and free shipping available on all Avocado mattresses. Like other mattress-in-a-box options, the Avocado arrives compressed. If you prefer a soft feel, there's a pillow-top option, or you can add a mattress topper, like the company's luxurious (and sustainable) Alpaca fur mattress topper (see below). 

The Avocado Green is 11 inches thick and made from organic latex, organic wool, and organic cotton. It's also not toxic. It contains no polyurethane, fire retardants, memory foam, or chemical adhesives, according to the company. A class-action lawsuit was filed earlier this year against Avocado alleging that the company's mattresses do in fact contain toxic chemicals, but the suit was dismissed and, according to court documents, “individual claims in the case had been ‘fully resolved.’" Beyond that the details will probably never be known, but I would argue that perfection is the enemy of “better,” and all the mattresses on this page use fewer chemicals than conventional mattresses, which remains a good thing, for you and the ecological impact manufacturing incurs. 

Another Great Organic Mattress

The standard model from Birch has been our pick for side sleepers who want an organic mattress (see below). Birch's new higher-end Luxe model is, likewise, a great side-sleeping mattress—though its medium-firm feel and structured support should make it a solid pick for most sleeping styles. The Luxe is GOTS-certified organic and uses natural latex with no polyurethane-based foams.

This offering from Birch employs multiple layers of wool plus a layer of individually wrapped coils for support and cushioning. The Luxe adds a pillowy Euro top and an extra layer of blended cashmere, which gives it truly exceptional temperature regulation. The coils offer full lumbar support and are arranged to cradle your spine while maintaining a satisfyingly stiff edge on all four sides. WIRED reviewer Martin Cizmar's sleep rings have been spinning themselves closed during his month of testing this mattress. 

Best Flippable Mattress

It's assumed that most mattress shoppers are selecting between soft and firm, or trying to find a middle ground acceptable to partners with different preferences. But what if your tastes change with the seasons or how achy your muscles are after a long, active day? The Zenhaven lets you choose a side.

Saatva's Zenhaven is made of organic latex protected by an organic wool liner and an organic cotton cover. The two sides, labeled “Plush” and “Firm” don't vary as much as dedicated soft and firm mattresses, with the company claiming an 18% difference in the two, but it does offer a nice change of pace. Beyond that, the Zenhaven is pricey but extremely well-built (and heavy—this is not a mattress-in-a-box). It has great edge support, sleeps neither hot nor cool, and will last you years.

A More Affordable Organic Mattress

The Awara Mattress is also made from latex foam, organic wool, and individually wrapped springs. It wasn't as comfortable as the Birch, but it is significantly more affordable. Awara's mattress is supportive and bouncy, but the springs can be felt more readily than in other mattresses, while the edges are quite rigid. (A topper could help even things out.)

One win for Awara, according to WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe: Unwrapping the vacuum-sealed mattress once it arrived resulted in little odor—significantly less than with other brands. There's not much motion transfer, and the soft mattress fabric didn't run too hot or too cold. For a hybrid mattress that's easier on the budget, this is a solid pick.

My whole pursuit of an environmentally friendly mattress started with my kids. I care a lot more about what they're sleeping on than what I'm sleeping on. Still, as much as I love the Avocado Green mattress, it's not cheap. For my kids, I bought the more affordable Kiwi Mattress by My Green Mattress. The Kiwi is similar to the Avocado. It's a hybrid mattress with pocketed springs and natural materials: certified organic cotton, wool, and latex.

One nice twist that makes the Kiwi appealing for kids is the two-sided option. It costs a little more upfront but being able to flip it over extends its life, which is handy if your kids see think beds are actually trampolines in disguise.

My Green Mattress offers a 20-year warranty and a 120-night trial. The Kiwi is definitely a firmer mattress, but I think it's comfortable, and my children all say it's the most comfortable mattress they've slept on.

We still like the Avocado more, but this is a good alternative for side sleepers. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe says she sucks at sleeping. “I toss and turn all night. My blankets need to be arranged specifically. I can't deal with light, and I require a sound machine to run in the background. I didn't expect a mattress to change much, but this one from Birch pleasantly surprised me.” It's an eco-friendly mattress made by Helix, the maker of our other favorite bed.

The Birch is made of natural latex and wool, with individually wrapped coils that lend a plush and bouncy experience without feeling too squishy. It's great for stomach and side sleeping, and it's comfortable enough that Strampe could actually sleep on her back. A small, visible indented outline formed where she and her partner each slept, with a ridge between them, but after a year it was still bearable. If it's warm in your room at night or you're a hot sleeper, the Birch may not be for you.

Best Firm Mattress Topper

A new mattress is a huge investment, and sometimes all you need is a little refresh for your existing one. If your current bed isn't sagging, you might be able to get a whole new feel just by adding a mattress topper like this organic latex topper from My Green Mattress.

This topper is two inches of certified organic latex wrapped in an organic cotton cover, with a zipper so you can remove the latex pad (though I am not sure why you'd want to). It's lightweight but does a good job of staying in place even without any straps to hold it down.

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