What Is a Vegan Mattress?
Veganism has been on the rise globally for years now. Studies show that the last 15 years have seen a 30-fold increase in veganism in the U.S. alone! There are good reasons for this. After all, avoiding animal-derived foods has been proven to benefit your health and sleep and be eco-friendly.
However, veganism goes beyond food. Being vegan today often means generally avoiding all kinds of products that have any animal-derived ingredients in them be it clothing, furniture, or other everyday items.
If this is a lifestyle you’re exploring, you may be wondering if there's such a thing as a vegan mattress—and if there is, what does it mean strictly for a mattress to be labeled as "vegan."
What is a vegan mattress?
What makes a mattress vegan? A vegan mattress is, first of all, a mattress that’s made without any animal-derived materials such as wool, feathers, horse hair, or silk.
But it's not just that. If a mattress is labeled vegan, it also means that it didn’t come into contact with any animal-derived materials during the manufacturing process and that none of the materials in it have been tested on animals.
Vegan mattresses vs. organic mattresses: What’s the difference?
Both vegan mattresses and organic mattresses sound like they can be good for your health and for the environment. But the two aren't the same. A mattress can be vegan without being made with organic materials, and vice versa.
Certain animal-derived materials can be certified organic without being vegan—for example, wool and silk. On the other hand, plant-based materials like cotton and latex are vegan and can also be certified organic.
Keep in mind that while synthetic materials may be considered vegan, they may not be the best option for your health because they can be made with toxic chemicals and tend to sleep hot.
So, in general, even if you’re in the market for a vegan mattress, try to stick with natural materials in your mattress as much as possible. Luckily, organic vegan mattresses do exist—but you have to do your research to find those.
What certifications should you look for to find a vegan mattress?
If you want to make sure that you’re buying an eco-friendly vegan mattress, look for these certifications:
PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and is the largest animal rights organization in the world. A PETA-Approved Vegan logo on your mattress guarantees that it was made without animal products or without any contact with animal products.
If you're looking for a vegan mattress, cotton is your best friend. That's because cotton is a naturally breathable plant-based fiber. To go a step further, look for the GOTS certification. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and ensures that the cotton in your mattress has been grown and harvested organically, namely without the use of harmful chemicals and in the safest and healthiest way possible.
GOLS is the certification you're looking for if you want to buy an organic latex mattress. Latex is derived from the sap of rubber trees and is therefore a 100% vegan material.
Synthetic latex, however, is a totally different beast—and while technically still vegan, it can be made with toxic materials that are harmful to your health and the environment.
So look for 100% natural latex mattresses. Even better, look for GOLS-certified latex mattresses. GOLS stands for "Global Organic Latex Standard" and ensures that the latex in your mattress is not only natural but is 100% organic.
What are the benefits of a vegan mattress?
The main benefit of sleeping on a vegan mattress is the guarantee that you're using a cruelty-free product. Sleeping on an organic vegan mattress also assures that your quality sleep has been achieved with minimal harm to the environment.
If your vegan mattress is made with organic cotton and/or natural latex, it will have a very low risk of chemical off-gassing, which can often be a problem with new mattresses that come in a box and can cause breathing problems for some people.
Keep in mind, however, that a mattress can still be healthy and sustainable without being vegan, so long as it uses natural materials and is manufactured in an eco-friendly way.
Are mattresses vegan?
Most mattresses aren't vegan due to the inclusion of animal-derived products such as wool or feathers. Some mattresses are intentionally made vegan but you’ll have to do your research to find those.
What are vegan mattresses made of?
Vegan mattresses can be made of a variety of materials with the requirement that none of them are derived from animals, have been in contact with animal products, or have been tested on animals.
Remember that vegan doesn’t automatically mean healthy or sustainable. Some mattresses that are considered vegan may include synthetic materials that are harmful to your health and the environment. If you want an eco-friendly vegan mattress, look for materials such as certified organic cotton and certified organic natural latex.
Want to be more eco-friendly in the bedroom? Here are eco-friendly design tips to try.