woman inspecting a non toxic mattress
Sleep Health

Best Non Toxic Mattress: Why Purple Is the Safest

    Last Updated
    November 7, 2019
    min read

    The mattress industry has not always been known for its commitment to consumer safety. Major concerns with mattress safety started in 2007 when new regulations actually encouraged manufacturers to add numerous chemicals to their beds.

    However, many wellness-conscious companies, such as Purple, are now taking steps to ensure their mattresses don’t include these added chemicals so their customers can rest easy.

    Is Purple a Non-Hazardous Mattress?

    • Purple Grid™ is made with food contact-grade material. No known toxins or allergens.
    • High-quality Knit Flame Barrier with no added chemicals.

    If you’re shopping for a new bed, get to know the materials you’ll be spending a third of your life on. Because sleeping soundly is about more than getting comfortable and inspiring deeper sleep, it’s about knowing you’ll truly wake up healthier in the morning and not having to wonder, “is my mattress safe?”

    No Harmful Chemicals

    In 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against a major memory foam mattress manufacturer. This lawsuit alleged that their products released volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can result in allergic reactions as well as possible long-term complications, and that the company was aware of the concerns but didn’t do anything to warn customers or eliminate the VOCs from their products.

    Green Memory Foam

    Additionally, although many memory foam products today are VOC-free and claim that odors will quickly dissipate, formaldehyde and other odors may continue to be released for months. This is called off-gassing and is a significant issue for many memory foam mattress owners, 15% of whom on average complain of off-gassing and odors.

    Conversely, Purple is a low VOC mattress and does not use any memory foam in any of our products.

    We care about the wellbeing and peace of mind of our customers, so we only use polyurethane foam that is certified by CertiPUR-US®, which is made without:

    • Formaldehyde
    • PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants
    • Mercury, lead and heavy metals
    • Phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

    Our polyurethane foam is:

    • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million)
    • No chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
    • Performance-tested
    • Durability-tested
    • Emissions-tested
    • Content-tested
    • Analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories
    • Meets CertiPUR-US®standards for content, emissions and durability, and are analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories

    Does Having a Non-Hazardous Mattress Flame Barrier Matter?

    Flame barriers became commonplace after fire marshals reported more individuals died or were injured from mattresses or upholstered furniture catching fire than any other type of fire.

    House On Fire With Firefighters

    This smart move, however, quickly became problematic for sleepers. Chemical fire retardants, such as PBDEs and Tris, can off-gas and cause reactions or negative side-effects.

    The founders of Purple were aware of this issue when they began inventing the perfect bed. The goal was to use a flame barrier that would protect customers in the event a fire occurs without using flame retardants that could harm them on a day-to-day basis.

    We decided not to use standard chemical flame retardant treatments, and instead found a special flame barrier fabric with unique non-toxic non-chemically treated fibers that naturally slow flames. We then got our flame barrier GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which means it meets the health standards for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities, to assure our customers that we hold ourselves to the highest safety standards.

    Is Purple an Allergen-Free Mattress?

    The Purple Mattress has no known allergens in its material components. Purple Mattresses are CertiPUR-US® Certified, meaning their mattresses are certified through the CertiPUR-US® program which meet rigorous standards for content, emissions, and durability, and are analyzed by accredited, independent laboratories.

    Common Mattress Allergens to Avoid


    Latex allergies are somewhat common. Many experience a reaction with latex gloves, latex balloons, or other protective products made of latex, but what about latex mattresses?

    Hand In Latex Glove

    Latex mattresses, especially dunlop latex and synthetic latex, have somewhat recently made their mark on the bed industry. Many latex mattress companies claim the proteins responsible for causing a reaction to latex have been washed out of their mattresses.

    While this may be true for most latex foam, there is no simple way for you to ensure that all the proteins have been removed. It’s recommended that If you have a latex allergy, it may be wise to not purchase a mattress with latex foam.

    Although few cases of adverse reactions to latex mattresses have been reported, it’s still worth doing ample research about the levels of proteins and processes used by latex mattress companies.


    When shopping for a non-toxic mattress, pay close attention to the materials in the cover on the mattress.

    If you do buy cotton products it’s best to look for cotton material that is organic and responsibly sourced. Anita Chester of the C&A Foundation reports, “cotton is still the fourth largest consumer of agricultural chemicals. Excessive use of pesticides, especially by smallholder farmers in underregulated countries, can have huge impacts on human health and the environment.”

    Cotton Field

    Purple created its own patent-pending cover to make it the most comfortable, safe, and sleek cover on any bed in the market (without cotton!).

    Our cover is 29 percent Viscose, 67 percent Polyester, and four percent Lycra (all +/- five percent). The non-slip bottom panel is also made of 100 percent polyester with a non-FR coating.

    Dust Mites

    Perhaps the largest offender when it comes to mattresses is dust mites. Prepare to be grossed out: Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in pillows, mattresses, blankets, carpets, and other soft materials. Although dust mites are a fact of life, studies have shown that foam mattress are usually more susceptible to dust mites than spring and coil mattresses.

    Mold and Mildew

    Both mold and mildew can develop in mattresses without good airflow. Although they may appear to be an affordable non-toxic mattress, bacteria and fungi can grow in foam with little to no airflow.

    Both mold and mildew can develop in mattresses in humid areas or if the mattress becomes wet — especially in foam mattresses that have little to no airflow. We recommend these tricks to help keep your mattress free of mold and mildew, especially if you live in a humid climate.

    • If you live in a humid climate, use a dehumidifier
    • Treat stains as soon as possible
    • Dry small spots with hair dryer
    • Use wet vac for larger spills/stains on mattress

    What’s the way to find a healthy mattress? Get a mattress with plenty of airflow, like a coil mattress.


    A common misconception is that wool is an allergen. Although case studies have found that due to the coarse nature of wool, it is often an irritant to the skin rather than an allergen. It’s probably best to avoid wool in your bed, mattress, and bed covers, just to reduce the chances skin irritation. If wool sweaters feel itchy to you, definitely don’t sleep on the same material!

    Dust Mites Up Close

    Organic Mattresses – What You Need to Know

    Organic mattresses are quickly becoming more popular in the mattress industry, with many mattress companies now touting a green mattress, an eco-friendly bed, or an organic mattress. How can you know which mattresses are really organic and eco-friendly? Look for these organic and low-environmental impact certifications: the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), CertiPUR US, GreenGuard, and the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Mattresses certified by these standards, such as an OEKO-TEX certified mattress, will be organic and mean you can sleep on an eco-friendly mattress every night. There are many organic and eco-friendly materials, such as organic wool, natural latex mattresses, some polyurethane foams, and eco-friendly memory foam. Purple actually uses CertiPUR-US certified foams, which are eco-friendly materials, so you can rest easy on Purple Mattress!

    Why You Should Choose Purple for a Non-Hazardous Mattress

    Purple works toward achieving its goal of helping people feel better by making safety a priority. Purple’s mattresses only use CertiPUR-US® Certified foam and Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ (the Purple Grid™) is made with mineral oil-based, food-contact grade materials with no known toxins.

    Purple’s flame barrier has no added chemicals and has no known toxins. Plus, it’s an extra barrier, in addition to the cover, between people and the non-toxic plastic powder coating we use to prepare our beds for packaging.

    Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material has no known allergens, along with our foam and cover. Purple continues to take every measure possible to produce safe, beneficial products for you to live your life on.

    Purple Workers Measuring Mattress

    Purple’s mission is to help people feel better. We try to achieve this in several ways: through our ridiculously comfortable Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ technology, through our high-quality polyurethane foam, through our knee-slapping videos, and through our commitment to living healthier, happier lives.

    Which is why we committed at the very beginning to produce safe products that help people feel better, not worse.

    Get a mattress that truly allows you to sleep easier and feel better.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Non Toxic Mattresses

    Do Purple Mattresses have fiberglass?

    Our mattresses are made of GelFlex Grid elastic polymer and high-quality polyurethane foam that are free of both toxins and added chemicals. They are certified by CertiPUR-US and undergo extensive testing to assure a high standard of safety and comfort.

    Are Purple mattresses safe?

    Purple mattresses are safe and undergo extensive testing to assure the highest standard of safety and comfort. Each mattress is made with a high-quality polyurethane foam that is free of harmful toxins or chemicals. Purple mattresses are certified by CertiPUR-US—a non-profit organization dedicated to safe and tested foam.

    Are Purple mattresses organic?

    Purple mattresses are not organic, but they are made with high-quality materials that are both safe and non toxic. Purple mattresses use CertiPUR-US certified foam and Hyper-Elastic Polymer. Each mattress has no known allergens and are tested for safety and comfort.

    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.