Natural filling mattresses
Natural mattress fillings include cotton, wool, bamboo, mohair, Tencel, and latex foam, offering an alternative to polyurethane and polyester fibre fillings.
The most significant benefit to natural fillings is they contain no chemicals from manufacturing, except for anti-allergy coatings applied as a treatment in some cases. Also, natural mattresses can improve your sleep.
The most significant disadvantage is cost – natural fillings are more expensive than synthetic, and you can expect to pay around 30% more.
This article explores the pros and cons of natural filling mattresses, helping you decide if a natural mattress is the best choice.
Let’s jump in!
What is a natural mattress?
Natural mattresses are made from at least 90% raw materials, with the fillings made from 100% natural materials. In mattresses with 90% natural materials, synthetic materials comprise stitching and the bottom outer cover.
Natural mattress pros
Here are the main pros of natural filling mattresses:
Natural latex foam
Latex foam is the best material if you adore the comfort of foam. Natural latex foam compresses under your body to relieve pressure yet springs back immediately, giving you significantly more responsiveness than memory foam.
Latex foam provides fantastic comfort and support combined with a cotton/wool comfort layer. And while natural latex is a skin allergen, it won’t affect you since the foam is encapsulated inside the mattress.
No chemical smell
Mattresses with natural fillings do not have a harsh chemical smell because they are not made with residual chemicals. This means they experience no ‘off-gassing,’ a process where chemicals in the mattress evaporate after manufacturing.
A natural mattress is the best option if you don’t want a mattress that stinks of chemicals for several weeks or months.
Bamboo, cotton, Tencel (manufactured from the wood and cellulose of sustainably harvested Eucalyptus trees), and silk are hypoallergenic. These are used for a mattress’s outer cover (and sometimes the filling in cotton’s case).
Additionally, many natural mattresses have an anti-allergy coating, which slashes the risk of dust mites and mould taking hold.
When highly sensitive to certain synthetic materials, a mattress made from synthetic fibres and foams can interrupt sleep.
Natural mattresses are made from at least 90% raw materials, shunning synthetic fibres and foams for materials found in nature. These are hypoallergenic and will not trigger any of the allergies associated with chemicals.
Lower carbon footprint
Natural materials have a lower carbon footprint than synthetic materials because they are not oil-based and do not require manufacturing chemicals.
For example, polyester has two to three times more carbon emissions than cotton. Latex foam (made from rubber tree sap) has a carbon footprint around four times lower than polyurethane foams like memory foam.
Natural mattress cons
Here are the main cons of natural filling mattresses:
You’ll pay around 30% more for a natural mattress because the materials are more expensive to source.
This means a £400 mattress costs around £520, although many manufacturers are equalising the cost by sourcing materials close to home. For example, the Sleepeezee Strand 1400 uses natural materials from Britain.
No memory foam
Memory foam is the gold standard for comfort to many people. Unfortunately, memory foam is synthetic, so you won’t find it in any natural mattress, although you can get natural latex foam which offers body contouring.
Natural mattresses use no oil or chemical processes in their manufacture, so you are stuck with nature’s materials.
Fewer natural than synthetic mattresses are available because they are more expensive and complex. For example, hybrid mattresses have synthetic materials, and most cheap mattresses use synthetic materials.
Overall, natural mattresses are a compelling alternative to synthetic mattresses, especially if you are sensitive to chemicals.
If you enjoyed this article, check out these three naturally organic mattresses.