The world is changing. More people are becoming aware of the environmental impact of many things we use in our everyday lives, and it’s not just to make ourselves feel better about being conscious consumers- it’s because these everyday actions have a dramatic effect on our planet. One area that has seen an increase in awareness is the mattresses industry. When you buy a new mattress, there are so many choices. But what do you really know about them? How environmentally friendly are they? What will happen to your old mattress when you’re done with it? In this post, I hope to give some insight into how manufacturing processes affect the environment and why organic mattresses should be your first choice for a sustainable sleep.

Firstly, let’s consider the production process for a mass-produced mattress. Most mattresses marketed as memory foam are produced using petrochemicals such as polyurethane and benzene. When these chemicals are mixed, the resulting foam is called polyol-formaldehyde which has been shown to cause cancer in animals as well as a number of respiratory issues including asthma.

The production process for mattresses also emits an excess amount of CO emissions into our atmosphere because it takes so much energy to produce them on such large scales. It’s estimated that in 2020, this accounted for over one billion tonnes per year.

What about post-production and disposal? A mass-produced mattress generally has a useful life of seven years, maximum. Have you ever considered what happens when you take an old mattress to be disposed of? Our landfill sites are full of junk and our seas groan with plastics. On average it will take around 450 years for a mattress to degrade. That’s an awful lot of space being taken up with one product that we only use on average for seven years.

So what is the alternative? Fortunately, there are some great alternatives to mass-produced mattresses. A mattress made from organic materials will be better for you and your environment, as it is free of synthetic chemicals that can actually cause health problems over time. Natural latex foam does not emit CO during the production process nor contribute to climate change afterwards because it comes from a renewable source – plantations rather than fossil fuel extraction or mining. It’s estimated that if we each slept on an organic cotton mattress every night, this would reduce our carbon footprint by one tonne per year.

Sleeping on an organic mattress doesn’t need to be at the detriment of comfort either. Using 100% natural latex will mean that your new mattress will be just as supportive and comfortable as a conventional one.

Organic wool and cotton have benefits too. Organic wool has an innate ability to ‘wick away’ moisture so is an ideal breathable alternative to conventional mattresses. Organic cotton is a sustainable material made from plants that have the same properties as linens and can be produced without heavy pesticide use or chemicals.

When looking into purchasing an organic mattress (like one from it is important you make sure it is both GOTS (The Global Organic Textile Standard) and GOLS (The Global Organic Latex Standard) certified. A mattress that has been made using organic materials but is not certified, may have some of the certifications and it should be checked before buying.

Finally, when it comes to price, the organic mattress market there is now often parity with conventional alternatives. Many of the household names spend millions of pounds on marketing and advertising whereas the organic mattress manufacturers often place that investment in their products.