Earlier this week I shared why we switched to non-toxic furniture. It’s been a very positive change for our family! When researching furniture, toxins, and indoor air quality in the home, I couldn’t help but ignore the research that led me to learn that conventional mattresses just aren’t safe to sleep on. Keep reading about why we switched to a non-toxic mattress.

Why We Switched To A Non-Toxic Mattress

I want to begin this post with a reminder that I have slept on mattresses since I was born. Now that I’m 29, we are finally making the switch to an organic mattress. It wasn’t something my family could afford as a child, and as newlyweds it wasn’t at the top of our priority list. Now that we have two young children (both of which sleep on our King-sized mattress too most nights) we decided it was time to make the switch. Here’s why.

01. Mattress contain harmful chemicals, foams, synthetic fabrics, and even chemical fire retardant. 

Yep. If you sleep on a conventional mattress (especially a new brand one) you’re breathing this stuff in. All night. It’s kind of scary to think about. I had a total panic attack when I first dove into researching mattresses. I’m hoping this post can give you some ideas on what to do if you are looking to make the switch to something safer!

So, first off, is the foam. Polyurethane foam, which is petroleum based, is what many foam mattresses are made of. It’s actually highly flammable too, so they have to add a flame retardant barrier (more chemicals) to the mattress in addition to the toxic foam.

Humans are breathing in this chemical cocktail of foam and the flame retardant every night. Additionally, some mattresses not made of foam are made with individually encased coils that have tons glue in them. This glue is highly toxic, and once again, gets breathed in for hours each night.


02. Children spend anywhere from 7-12 hours per day on a mattress.

Children are extremely susceptible to health problems due to chemical exposure in mattresses. They’re breathing in toxins and have a hard time eliminating them from their developing systems. It’s such a huge issue that truly isn’t talked about enough


03. Mattress companies are keeping these dirty secrets knowing that these chemicals can do us harm.

Of all my reasons to switch to an organic mattress, this one is important. Not only are these horrible things being made for us to sleep on. The companies that make money off of the products KNOW that they’re dangerous. Yet they do nothing about it and even continue to market them to us, shadily. For instance “no added flame retardant” simply means they didn’t add any to the mattress. There could already be flame retardant chemicals within the fabric/foam the mattress is made of. So it’s still there. None of it makes sense to me, but I definitely won’t ever spend my money on a conventional mattress after knowing what I know.

What to Look for In a Mattress?

When you’re shopping for a mattress, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, so many mattress companies think they can trick you by using words like “green” mattress, and “safe sleep” when really they’re conventional in their practices and use of chemicals. So I’ve created a quick and easy list of things to look for, and things to avoid!


-Organic cotton (this is usually on the outer part of the mattress!)

-Natural latex and/or fibers (Any synthetic fibers (latex, foam, etc.) are going to need chemicals. Make sure the products you have in your mattress are natural!)

-GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification (from the mattress company itself, not just the fabric manufacturer)

-Third party certifications like GreenGuard, Oeko-Tex, and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)


-any sort of foam – especially polyurethane foam (this means lots and lots of chemicals)

-synthetic fibers (for example, synthetic latex is carcinogenic, and not the same as natural latex)

-Greenwashing certifications to try and trick the consumer (one example is CertiPUR, from the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam. This certification means nothing. Find third party certs. from non-profits that have no financial interest. See my examples to look for above).

-Chemical retardants. (Any sort of foam mattress will require chemical flame retardant, so steer away from those! Look for this label: TB117-2013 to confirm the product was made without flame retardant.)

Which Mattress Brands Are Safe?

We recently got to try out the Avocado Mattress, and I’m 100% in love. Not only is it comfortable, but it’s made responsibly with materials that are safe for my family to sleep on! The Avocado Mattress is handmade in California from 100% natural materials like 100% organic natural latex, and 100%  organic cotton. They don’t use any foams, flame retardants, or dangerous adhesives in their mattresses. It’s truly a brand I can confidently support and recomemdn to you!

Medley has a wonderful organic mattress option made from natural latex, wool, and organic cotton! We love Medley’s non-toxic furniture. See my post about them here.

Lastly, the mattress we currently have in our little baby’s crib is a Nook sleep mattress. The mattress is made from Coconut Coir, Natural Latex, and Organic Cotton. They also have a changing pad that we use for my littlest as well! It’s a great option if you’re decorating a nursery and have no clue where to start as far as mattress research!

I also have heard wonderful things about the Naturepedic line of mattresses. Though I have no experience with them personally, I would 100% recommend their products after looking through their website. The materials they use are spot on with the “things to look for” in a mattress list I included above!

I hope this post about why we switched to our non-toxic mattress helps you. I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have! Thank you so much for reading!

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