Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by The Filtery


You want the best for your kids. There’s obviously a lot that goes into that, but today we’re focused on one main thing: finding an organic kids mattress that works for you!

Unfortunately, conventional mattresses are filled with a lot of petroleum-based synthetics like polyurethane foam, along with mystery additives and treatments. Buying a non-toxic mattress that’s made with materials like organic cotton and natural latex is a big way you can give your child a healthier sleep environment.

In this article, we’re going to give you our recommendations for the best organic mattress brands for kids, along with more info about different materials so you know what to look for.

RELATED:

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. As always, all of our recommendations are genuine and meet our safety standards.

Featured Image Credit: Avocado

Best Organic & Non-Toxic Kids’ Mattresses AT A GLANCE:

Best Overall: Naturepedic 2-in-1

Most Affordable Organic Kids Mattress: Avocado

Best for Kid to Adult Transition: My Green Mattress Kiwi

Organic Mattresses for Bunk Beds and/or Trundle Beds: Naturepedic 2-in-1, Avocado Eco Organic Kids, and My Green Mattress Kiwi Bunk Bed Mattress

+ more organic twin mattress brands below

Do Kids Need an Organic Mattress?

The short answer is: If your resources allow, then yes, it’s better for kids to have an organic and non-toxic mattress in order to foster a safe and healthy sleeping environment.

Kids are more susceptible to the negative effects of toxic chemicals than adults for several reasons:

  1. They are still developing, and therefore, changes in things like hormone function (which can be caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals) can alter the trajectory of a child’s short and/or long-term health.
  2. Pound for pound, children breathe more air, eat more food, and drink more liquids. This means the ratio of chemicals to body mass that they ingest is greater than it is for adults.
  3. Kids tend to put their mouths on everything, which means there is greater likelihood that chemicals from household products will make their way into their bodies.
  4. Depending on their age, kids may also spend more time in bed compared to adults.

For these reasons, you’ll want to choose a mattress that’s made out of organic, natural, and non-toxic materials and is free from things like polyurethane foam, flame retardants, and other harsh chemicals. (More info on mattress materials and chemicals is at the bottom of this article.)

All of that being said, try not to let yourself stress out if your situation doesn’t allow you to buy an organic mattress for your child. I don’t have to tell you that there are SO many things that go into raising a child, and choice of mattress is just one thing to worry about. If you can’t afford to swap out your kids’ mattress or if you need to go with a secondhand mattress or a cheaper mattress, you’re not a bad parent. Just do what you can do, and make sure your child knows they’re safe and loved — that’s what’s most important!

But Aren’t Kids’ Products Tested For Safety Before They Hit the Market?

Sadly, no. I believe they certainly should be. But in most places, we do not take a “precautionary approach” to chemical regulation. Instead, companies basically just invent chemicals and products and put them on the market, and then it’s not until decades later (after scientific evidence of harm has built up and significant activism has been done) that governments even start to regulate or ban them.

Natural Materials = More Airflow

Another benefit to choosing an organic kids mattress is that it will naturally have more airflow than a conventional memory foam mattress. Polyurethane foam doesn’t allow for much airflow at all; instead, it traps heat. Alternatively, air can freely pass through natural materials like cotton and wool.

When buying a crib mattress, airflow can be important in preventing SIDS. Although that’s not so much of an issue anymore as your child moves into the toddler and big kid years, proper airflow is still essential for temperature regulation. Therefore, natural materials can keep your little one cool throughout the night, which can help them get better sleep overall.

Can You Just Use a Regular Organic Twin Mattress?

As you transition your child out of a crib and into their first big kid bed, you might wonder whether you really need to get a mattress that’s specifically made for kids or if you can go with just a standard twin mattress.

You can totally use a regular organic twin mattress, and that is a great way to save money in the long run because it’s more likely to last your child into their teen years.

However, if you will be using the mattress for a bunk bed or trundle bed, a standard twin mattress will not work for that. You’ll need to get a low-profile mattress in order to ensure proper safety and fit with the bed frame.

Standard Twin vs. Low-Profile Mattress

If you will be using the mattress for a bunk or trundle bed, you’ll want to get a low-profile mattress, which is not as thick as a standard twin-sized mattress. The height of a normal twin mattress usually ranges anywhere from 10 to 16 inches, whereas the height of a low-profile mattress is usually between 6 and 8 inches.

Most low-profile mattresses are versatile enough to fit into a regular bed frame if you wish to do that. However, because they are thinner, they can’t usually bear heavier body weight over a long period of time. Therefore, these mattresses probably won’t be a good fit for growing teens or adults (unless you’re just using it as a guest mattress that people won’t be sleeping on night after night).

How To Choose an Organic Mattress

There are several things you’ll want to think about when picking out the best mattress for you:

  • Materials and certifications (lots more info on this at the bottom of this article)
  • Budget
  • Mattress firmness (Most kids need to a medium-firm to firm mattress to support their growing bodies in a variety of sleeping and sitting positions.)
  • How many kids? (Do you need to buy multiple mattresses? Will siblings be sharing a room? Will you be able to make the mattress last longer by using it for multiple kids?)
  • What type of bed frame will you be using (standard twin, bunk bed, trundle, etc.)
  • How long do you want your child to be able to use the mattress? (Some options have a relatively low weight limit, whereas other options such as the Kiwi from My Green Mattress can last your child all the way through their teen years and even into adulthood.)
  • Is your child still potty training and/or do they wet the bed? (Some options such as Naturepedic’s 2-in-1 mattress are waterproof and others offer organic waterproof protectors.)

P.S. If you want to dive deeper into the materials to look for (and the ones to avoid) as you shop for your child’s big kid bed, scroll down!

The Best Organic & Non-Toxic Kids Mattresses

There are three brands that make exceptional mattresses especially for kids: Naturepedic, Avocado, and My Green Mattress. These brands carry both standard kids’ mattresses as well as options for bunk beds and trundle beds. If you’re looking for even more brands that carry standard organic twin mattresses, just scroll down.

Naturepedic

Types: 2-in-1 (bunk beds, platform beds, and trundles), Verse (standard kids’ bed), + a collection of regular organic twin mattresses
Price: $699+
Mattress Firmness: Firm
Extras: Waterproof, 100-night sleep trial, 25-year warranty, free shipping and returns, financing available through Affirm, made in the USA

Naturepedic is one of the best brands for organic mattresses. In addition to their adult mattresses (which come in twin sizes), Naturepedic carries two kid-specific organic mattresses: the 2-in-1 and the Verse.

The 2-in-1 bed is a great choice for your child’s first “grown-up” bed. It has a waterproof side to help with potty training (the waterproof layer is made with sugarcane and without any toxic PFAS). After potty training is over, you can flip it to the other side, which is quilted for more long-term comfort. This is also a great option for those with multiple young kids because this mattress can be used for bunk beds and trundle beds, too.

The Verse is more of a “standard” organic kids’ mattress. It’s larger than the 2-in-1 and can last through your child’s teen years.

These mattresses are made out Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton and are completely free from things like glues, adhesives, flame retardants, other synthetic chemical additives, or animal products. They’re made in the USA, too. Naturepedic’s mattresses also come with a lot of third-party certifications, including MADE SAFE, GOTS, GREENGUARD Gold, and 1% for the Planet.

In addition to mattresses, Naturepedic also carries the necessary bedding accessories, including organic sheets, mattress protectors, and pillows.

Shop Naturepedic’s Organic Kids’ Mattresses


Avocado

Types: Eco Organic Kids Mattress + a collection of regular organic twin mattresses
Price: $649+
Mattress Firmness: Medium (5 out of 10)
Extras: Low-profile design, 100-night trial, 10-year warranty, free shipping & returns, financing available though Affirm, made in the USA

Starting at $649 for a twin, Avocado offers one of the most affordable organic mattresses for kids. This versatile mattress can be used on a regular twin bed, on bunk beds, or on a trundle bed. (They actually have a trundle bed frame you can get to go with it if you want.) It’s made for kids under 115 pounds, so it’s a great first “real” bed that can last your kid(s) through their pre-teen years.

The Eco Organic Kids’ Avocado Mattress is made using healthy materials like organic cotton, latex, and wool. (Most of the organic materials are sourced from their own sustainable farms!) Of course, it’s completely free from things like flame retardants, fiberglass, adhesives, or polyurethane foams.

Like the rest of Avocado’s mattresses, their non-toxic kids’ mattress comes with a handful of third-party certifications, including GOTS, GOLS, GREENGUARD Gold, MADE SAFE, Climate Neutral, 1% for the Planet, and B Corp.

In addition to the mattress and trundle bed frame, Avocado also carries organic toddler pillows and other bedding accessories.

Shop Avocado’s Organic Kids’ Mattress & Bed


My Green Mattress

Types: Kiwi, Kiwi Bunk Bed, + a collection of regular organic twin mattresses
Price: $554+ (with coupon code)
Mattress Firmness: Firm
Extras: 120-night sleep trial, free shipping, 20-year warranty, made in the USA

My Green Mattress is another really great option for affordable organic and non-toxic mattresses for the whole family. They have two options that are specifically made for kids:

Their Kiwi Mattress is their flagship kids’ mattress, which is suitable for growing kids all the way up to adulthood. You have the option of getting a 1-sided or 2-sided mattress, which can be flipped over to extend the life of the mattress.

The Kiwi Bunk Bed Mattress is comparable to the Kiwi in support and feel, but it’s got a lower profile (8 inches) so it works for bunk beds and trundle beds.

Both of these are hybrid mattresses that are made using GOTS certified organic cotton and wool combined with GOLS and OEKO-TEX certified Dunlop latex. Just like the above mattresses, these ones are also free from harmful chemicals like flame retardants, adhesives, and synthetic foams.

Even though these mattresses technically start at $679, you can get a good discount with our promo code, which will bring the price down to $554 for the Kiwi Bunk Bed Mattress and $624 for the (1-sided) Kiwi. Just use the code THEFILTERY at checkout to get your discount.

Shop My Green Mattress Organic Kids’ Mattresses and use the code THEFILTERY for a discount.


Birch

organic kids mattress from birch

Types: 2-sided Birch Kids Natural Mattress (+ a few other standard twin sized mattresses)
Price: $1,199
Mattress Firmness: Firm on one side; less firm on the other
Extras: 2-sided flippable, free shipping, 100-night trial, financing available through Klarna

The Birch Kids Mattress is flippable: it has a firmer side for kids ages 3 to 7, and then a less firm side for kids ages 8 to 12. Both sides have an organic cotton cover followed by a layer of organic wool (a natural flame retardant), then natural latex and steel coils. Everything is stitched together without any glues or adhesives.

This mattress comes with several certifications, including GOTS organic, GREENGUARD Gold, Fair Trade, and eco-INSTITUT.

Shop the Birch Kids Mattress


Nolah

nolah non-toxic kids mattress

Types: Nolah Nurture 10″ (a standard organic kids mattress) + Nolah Natural 11″ (an adult natural mattress that can be ordered in a twin size)
Price: $1,499+
Mattress Firmness: “Luxury-Firm” (5-6 out of 10)
Extras: 2-sided flippable, free shipping, (optional) 120-night warranty, financing available through Affirm, limited lifetime warranty, made in the USA

Nolah gets an honorable mention because even though it’s not quite as great as the other options, it’s still a good choice. (It’s also more expensive than the others.)

The Nolah Nurture 10″ is a premium kids’ mattress that’s made out of natural Talalay latex and GOTS certified organic cotton and wool. (The Talalay is not certified organic.) The mattress as a whole comes with the OEKO-TEX certification, which means the finished product has been verified to be free from a list of toxic chemicals.

This one is double-sided, flippable, and durable. Even though it’s more expensive, it should last you quite a while—even through your child’s teen years.

Nolah also carries a selection of other mattresses as well, but the only other one we really recommend is the Nolah Natural 11″ (the others are made out of synthetic foams).

Shop the Nolah Nurture Mattress


Even More Organic & Non-Toxic Twin Mattresses

You may decide to just get a standard twin mattress for your kids’ first big kid bed. If that’s the case, there are a lot more non-toxic mattress brands to choose from. You can check out this article to learn more about each of these brands, but here is a quick list of brands that offer organic twin mattresses that vary in firmness, price, customizability, and more.

What About ________ Brand?

There are probably some other kid mattress brands you might be wondering about. Here are some of the common kids’ mattress brands and why they didn’t quite make our list:

  • 5 Little Monkeys: Even though the cover of their kids mattress is made with OEKO-TEX certified organic cotton, that’s basically where the pros stop. The rest of the mattress is made with CertiPUR-US® PU foam. (You can read more about why CertiPUR foam is not ideal below.) And the price is comparable to the organic mattresses recommended above, so you wouldn’t really be saving any money.
  • Bear: The Bear Cub Mattress is made with CertiPUR and GREENGUARD Gold foam, but it’s still made with all synthetic materials and lacks transparency about what exactly those materials are.
  • Helix Kids: This one really lacks transparency. It has a TENCEL layer on the outside, which is fine, and it’s made with PU foam. Furthermore, it contains multiple “stain-resistant,” “water-resistant,” and “flame retardant” layers, and it’s unclear what those layers are actually made of. They say it features “RUCO®-DRY BIO NPE, an eco-friendly and plant-based durable water-repellent finish,” but what does that actually mean? Plus, it’s actually a bit more expensive than some of the organic mattresses. Pass!
  • IKEA: IKEA’s kids’ mattresses are also made primarily of synthetic materials such as foam (plus conventional cotton), but the biggest difference is that IKEA’s mattress are actually affordable (starting at around $80). IKEA also has relatively strict chemical policies in place compared to other big retailers (for example, they banned PFAS back in 1991!). You can read more about IKEA in our full breakdown here.
  • Leesa: Leesa’s kids’ mattresses come with CertiPUR and GREENGUARD certifications, but like 5 Little Monkeys, they’re still made entirely out of PU foam and are in the same price range as the organic alternatives.
  • Nest: Even though some of Nest’s mattress options are better than others in terms of natural/organic materials used, both of their kids’ mattresses include synthetic foam.
  • Purple: Their kids’ mattress is made entirely of synthetic materials and even comes with a CA Prop 65 warning. Pass.
  • Saatva: This one uses organic cotton for the top layer, combined with CertiPUR foam and steel coils for the inside, but it’s also treated with multiple kinds of water-resistant and anti-microbial finishes and it’s unclear what they’re actually made out of.

Organic Waterproof Mattress Protectors

Potty training and bed wetting is something you may need to consider when picking out your child’s mattress and accessories. Most waterproof mattress protectors are made using synthetic materials, which is not ideal… But you also have to be careful about PFAS (a.k.a. “forever chemicals”) which are often added to water- and stain-resistant products. (These chemicals are almost never listed on a label, so you wouldn’t really be able to check before buying.)

Your best bet for a safer option usually involves multiple laters of organic cotton combined with a thin layer of a semi-synthetic waterproof layer in between—for example, sugarcane PLA or corn-based polyurethane.

Here are some good options to choose from:

  • Naturepedic: Their 2-in-1 mattress mentioned above as a waterproof side to it, and they also offer an additional organic cotton cover which has a waterproof layer made out of sugarcane PLA.
  • My Green Mattress has an organic cotton cover that includes a thin layer of polyurethane that’s made mostly of non-GMO corn.
  • Savvy Rest and Happsy also offer waterproof mattress protectors which are made primarily of organic cotton. They both have a waterproof layer in the middle, but it’s unclear what exactly that layer is made out of.

What is the Best Mattress Material for Kids?

The main materials you’ll want to look for in an organic kids mattress are:

Certified Organic Cotton

Pretty much all non-toxic mattresses utilize organic cotton. The outer coverings are made out of organic cotton fabric, and at least some of the filling uses organic cotton as well.

Not only is conventional cotton grown using harsh pesticides, but it also requires a lot of water and strips the soil of vital nutrients, making it a not-so-eco-friendly choice in the long run. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is grown without toxic synthetic pesticides, uses less water, and is less harmful to the soil.

You’ll notice that most of our recommended brands use organic cotton that comes with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) label. This third-party certification lets you know that the manufacturer has met a certain set of standards in terms of the growing and sourcing process.

Certified Organic Wool

Many organic and non-toxic mattress companies combine organic cotton with organic wool, which can also come with the GOTS certification.

Not only is wool good for padding, temperature regulation, and moisture-wicking, but it’s also a great natural flame retardant. Wool layers allow mattress manufacturers to meet federal flame retardant standards without the use of any harmful chemicals. (More on chemical flame retardants below.)

For mattresses, the wool is almost always in an enclosed layer, so you don’t have to worry about being next to your child’s skin and causing itchiness.

Organic Latex

Organic and natural latex is a great alternative to polyurethane memory foam. It provides a good amount of support while also being flexible enough to conform to your child’s body.

Just like organic cotton and wool are usually certified by GOTS, organic latex is certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard, a.k.a. GOLS.

Steel Coils

Many conventional and organic mattress brands use steel coils in their mattress structures. Coils provide support while fostering more airflow for the mattress as a whole. They also make for a much lighter weight mattress compared to one that’s all memory foam, so it’s easier to move.

Materials to Avoid When Possible in Kids Mattresses

Now let’s get to the materials you’ll want to avoid if possible as you shop for your kids mattress:

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam, a.k.a. PU foam, is one of the most commonly used materials in mattresses for both kids and adults. Memory foam mattresses are made almost entirely from polyurethane foam, but conventional hybrid mattresses almost always contain a layer (or several) or PU foam as well.

The first thing to know about polyurethane foam is that it’s a petroleum derivative, which means it’s not eco-friendly or sustainable. It’s made from fossil fuels and it can’t biodegrade when you’re finished with it.

The second thing to know is that polyurethane foam emits harmful chemicals like 2,4-toluene diisocyanate (a carcinogen), hydrogen cyanide (which can cause various problems), methylene chloride (also a carcinogen), and hydrochloric acid (an irritant).

There’s a common misconception that memory foam goes through an initial “off-gassing” period when you first purchase your memory foam mattress (or other piece of furniture), and then it essentially stops emitting these chemicals. However, the truth is that PU foam actually emits more of these toxins as time goes on and the material starts to break down.

But What About CertiPUR Certified Foam?

These days, almost all memory foam mattresses are made with CertiPUR certified PU foam… Which is a good thing, right?

Kinda.

CertiPUR foams are free from:

  • Certain flame retardants like PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”)
  • Certain heavy metals like mercury and lead
  • Formaldehyde
  • Certain phthalates
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone depleters
  • And it also means the foam is “low VOC” at less than 0.5 parts per million

We certainly don’t want any of those things in your child’s bed, so on one hand, you could say that a CertiPUR certified mattress is better than nothing…

But on the other hand, we recommend taking the CertiPUR certification with a grain of salt. The conventional mattress industry commonly uses this label to lead consumers to think their mattresses are completely non-toxic, which is not really the case.

Here are some things to keep in mind about CertiPUR:

  • It bans certain chemical flame retardants (but not all).
  • It only bans eight phthalates (the ones regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission), but not all.
  • It does not indicate that the foam is made from natural or organic materials (it’s still made from polyurethane).
  • This certification only certifies the foam, nothing about the rest of the mattress. So just because a mattress is made with CertiPUR foam does not mean it’s non-toxic. For example, even though the foam itself may be free from formaldehyde, that says absolutely nothing about the formaldehyde in the glues and adhesives used to hold the mattress together. CertiPUR mattresses can also contain fiberglass (more on that below). This is one reason why we want to look for multiple third-party certifications.

So while mattresses made with CertiPUR foam are better than nothing, there’s unfortunately a lot of greenwashing that goes on with this label. A mattress made with CertiPUR foam does not mean the mattress is non-toxic and/or natural.

You can read more about this in our main non-toxic mattresses guide.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (also called VOCs) can be found in PU foam (chemicals such as 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, which we talked about above), but they can also be found in the glues and adhesives that hold the mattress together. This is why almost all of the organic mattresses we recommend use things like hand tufting to to assemble the mattresses, avoiding adhesives altogether.

Exposure to VOCs can increase the risk of all sorts of health issues, from short-term problems like headaches and dizziness to more longterm concerns like cancer and nervous system damage. Vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and those with health conditions like asthma or chronic illness are more susceptible to the potential negative effects of VOCs.

To make matters worse, at least one study showed that sleeping on a mattress can actually make VOC off-gassing even worse because the heat of your body increases emissions.

Other Synthetics

You’ll find plenty of other synthetic materials in conventional mattresses, including fabrics like polyester and rayon. Just like with PU foam, most of these kinds of materials are plastics and/or they are processed using harsh chemicals. Although they’re not as concerning as PU foam, they can still be contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals such as BPA, as we’ve been seeing more often with polyester fabrics.

The only time I would say to use a mattress that is made out of synthetic materials is for budget reasons. If you can’t afford an organic mattress or are using a hand-me-down, try not to be hard on yourself about it. But if you’re doing to spend $500+ on a new mattress for your little one, there’s really no reason to go for one of those foam ones from the popular conventional mattress companies when you can get a much healthier organic one for the same or similar price.

Fiberglass

As toxic flame retardant chemicals have been removed from mattresses (more on that below), fiberglass has been added as an alternative. Fiberglass basically consists of tiny pieces of glass and plastic. The main problem with fiberglass is that those tiny pieces can actually be inhaled as one sleeps, causing irritation of the throat and lungs (and even the skin and eyes).

Mystery Chemical Additives

You’ll also want to watch out for additives and treatments that are added to mattresses. These will usually be water- or stain-resistant treatments or antimicrobial treatments.

Most of the time, you won’t be able to find out anything about what’s actually in these kinds of treatments. Many times they come with fancy made-up trademarked names and their formulations are protected as “proprietary information.” And there aren’t any laws in the U.S. (or most places at this time) that require companies to tell you what’s actually in those kinds of things.

Many times, water- and stain-resistant treatments use toxic PFAS chemicals. Just because a mattress is waterproof/resistant doesn’t automatically mean it contains PFAS or that it’s toxic, but the problem is that it’s practically impossible to know. We believe that consumers have the right to know what’s actually in the products they buy, especially when it comes to their little ones! This is why we recommend being careful about additives and treatments as you shop for a toddler bed.

Do Kids’ Mattresses Contain Flame Retardants? (Some Good News!)

Chemical flame retardants used to be used for all kinds of products, from mattresses to upholstered furniture to pajamas and more.

One of the reasons they were added to polyurethane foam mattresses was because PU foam was so flammable (being basically made from oil!). So buying a mattress that’s free from PU foam can decrease flammability in and of itself because the materials are just naturally less flammable.

These days, fire retardant chemicals are barely ever used in mattresses and upholstered furniture anymore (at least in the US). This is in large part because of how incredibly toxic they are, but also because they don’t even work.

A California law that went into effect in 2020 banned all toxic flame retardants in kids’ products, mattresses, and upholstered furniture at levels above 1,000 parts per million. Since all companies want to be able to sell their products in California, this legislation was very effective in getting these fire retardant chemicals out of mattresses and upholstered furniture. Even before the law went into place, most furniture and mattress companies had “voluntarily” taken them out of their products.

These products are still required to have a certain level of flame resistance by law, which is why many memory foam mattresses now employ fiberglass instead (see above). But natural mattress brands can meet these standards by not including petroleum-based materials in their mattresses and instead adding a couple layers of flame-resistant wool.

TL;DR on How to Find the Best Organic Mattresses for Kids

As you shop for an organic kids mattress, try to avoid getting a polyurethane foam mattress if you can, and instead choose natural materials like organic wool, cotton, and natural latex. This can help foster healthy sleep for your little one by increasing airflow and regulating temperature, while also decreasing exposure to the toxic chemicals in polyurethane foam.

If you’d like updates, news, tips and more delivered to your inbox each week, sign up for Filtered Fridays!