Published on October 28th, 2014 | by Mattress Journal0
Eco-Friendly Trends and the Rise of Organic Mattresses
Until recently, there was little concern about what was inside of mattresses, aside from whether or not they felt comfortable. In the past few years, however, there has been a significant and growing portion of shoppers who specifically seek out more natural options, even all organic mattresses.
In response to growing demand, several newer entrants to the mattress industry have seen success in the green sector. From greener memory foam to certified organic latex, a range of companies are now offering eco-friendly options.
Eco-Friendly and Organic Mattresses on the Rise
A Research and Markets memory foam report from earlier this year predicts rapid growth particularly in plant-based memory foams. TechNavio and Research and Markets both predict nearly 15% growth over the next four years in latex mattresses.
Contrast that with the mattress industry average of 1-5% growth, and it’s clear to see that greener products are making big waves in the mattress world.
Behind this shift is the growing number of consumers choosing organic and natural products. Their choices are based on concerns about pesticides, potentially harmful chemicals, allergies and desire to choose healthier products. Flame retardants remain a top issue for many, spurred by new federal regulations in 2007 requiring all mattresses to withstand open flame tests.
Others are also driven by environmental concerns, seeking options that create less pollution, waste or damage to the planet.
To meet this demand, several niche brands have popped up or switched over to organic and green alternatives that deliver comfort without the concerns. We looked into the top trends and brands within this sector.
Top Eco-Friendly Mattress Trends
Within the eco-mattress sector, the focus is on naturally-occurring materials and alternatives that have less ecological and chemical impact than traditional beds.
Conventionally-grown cotton is recognized as one of the dirtiest crops in the world, accounting for 25% of ALL insecticides and 10% of all pesticides used, according to the Organic Trade Assocation. Since these chemicals could wind up in trace amounts in the finished products, organic cotton has become a focal point of many eco-friendly and green beds.
Wool is another darling of the green industry. It is a natural fiber produced by sheep, can be harvested humanely, can be certified organic, and is said to be both moisture wicking and resistant to common allergens like dust mites. It is often seen in mattress padding layers or in fire barrier wrappings.
Latex foam made from natural latex rubber has been popular with the eco-friendly crowd for decades. Recently, it has become more widespread and also more affordable. Natural latex can mean anywhere from 30%-100% natural latex content however, so there is some variation here. Blended latex (with styrene butadiene rubber) contains some natural content making more eco-friendly than synthetic products, but not everyone considers this “green”.
Quite recently, the international Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) was established for certifying latex foam organic and this newer organic latex can be found in a few select brands. Organic latex foam must use organically-grown latex liquid and contain at least 95% organic raw ingredients. It also must be certified by a recognized agency. Right now, it appears that only Dunlop latex foams have met this standard.
Plant-based foams are another trending material. These foams use a percentage of plant-based oils to replace petroleum products, resulting in a product that is more environmentally friendly than traditional polyurethane and memory foams. Some manufacturers also take care to remove VOC-producing ingredients and chemicals that concern people in traditional foams. Plant-based foams have the advantage of being very affordable compared to latex.
Other Plant Materials
Other plant-based materials are also on the rise in mattresses. A few brands use fibers from coconuts or other plants in padding layers instead of foams, and fabrics like bamboo-derived rayon, natural silk, and even horse hair can be found in mattresses.
Current Organic Mattress Brands and Manufacturers
For those seeking the purest of the pure, organic mattresses are often considered ideal. Typically, mattresses advertising to be all-organic are innersprings with organic padding and fabrics or all-latex beds. There are a handful of brands currently offering these types of beds online and through limited retail outlets.
Latex mattress brands we found currently using Global Organic Latex Standard-certified latex foam in at least some models include Astrabeds, Lifekind, OMI, Naturepedic, and SavvyRest. All six brands use organic cotton, with Astrabeds and Naturepedic also using organic wool. Here’s an overview of each line with pricing on their entry-level models.
- Astrabeds: Four models with organic latex foam, organic wool, organic cotton. All have customizable firmness from soft to firm and options for dual firmness in queen and king. Prices for the 7” Sonoma model start at $1799 in queen. Offers 90 day layer exchange or return, and 25 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- Lifekind by OMI: Four models with organic latex foam, natural wool, organic cotton. Medium to firm firmness levels. Prices for the 7” Euro model start at $2495 in queen. Offers 90 day exchange, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- Organipedic by OMI: Eight models with organic latex foam, natural wool, organic cotton. Plush to firm firmness levels with some custom options. Prices for the 7” Midori model start at $2195 in queen. Offers no return/exchange policy, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- Naturepedic: One model with organic latex foam, organic wool, organic cotton. Plush to firm firmness levels. Prices for the 10” Adagio model start at $4499 in queen. Offers 120 day exchange for 50% of value, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- SavvyRest: Three models with organic latex foam, organic wool, organic cotton. All have customizable firmness from soft to firm and options for dual firmness in queen and king. Prices for the 10” Serenity model start at $2899 in queen. Offers 90 day exchange policy, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
Innerspring mattress brands with organic options include Lifekind, OMI and Naturepedic, which use organic cotton, organic or natural wool, and organic latex. Naturepedic also uses plant-fiber layers in some beds. Here’s an overview of each line with pricing on their entry-level models.
- Lifekind by OMI: Four models with bonnell springs, organic latex foam, natural wool and organic cotton. Medium to firm firmness levels. Prices for the 8” Traditional model start at $2995 in queen. Offers 90 day exchange, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- Organipedic by OMI: Two models with springs and organic latex foam and/or organic cotton. Medium-firm options. Prices for the 8” Classic model start at $2795 in queen. Offers no return/exchange policy, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
- Naturepedic: Seven core models with pocket coils, organic latex foam, organic wool, organic cotton and/or natural plant fiber. Plush to firm firmness levels. Prices for the 11” Essentials Genesis model start at $1999 in queen. Offers 120 day exchange for 50% of value, and 20 year limited warranty with 10 years full coverage.
Given current trends, it is likely that the organic and natural bedding trends will continue growing and expanding.
Several of the above brands just joined the organic market in the last couple of years, and in reviews and online, the healthier approach to mattresses appears to well-received.
Even mainstream brands like Sealy and Simmons have made moves toward plant-based foams and latex in select lines, with odor and chemicals rapidly becoming a major point of contention.
We expect to see increased demand for affordable organic mattress options in the coming years, as well as increased focus on transparency in materials, largely driven by online bloggers, review sites and consumers seeking to make more educated choices about their mattress purchases.
What do you think of organic trends? Are you thinking about a greener choice for your next mattress? Share with us in the poll and comments below.