Are mattresses vegan?
Commonly, the definition of veganism is someone who doesn’t eat or use animal products, and becoming a vegan often requires you to think about aspects that go beyond food. This means you have to question the products you purchase, considering if there’s aspects of the manufacturing process that has used non-vegan materials.
A question arises: what aspects of a mattress could prevent it from being 100% vegan? Well, you first have to ask yourself what kind of mattress you have. Pocket sprung and open coil mattresses both contain metal for springs. It’s the fillings of these mattresses that you often have to look out for – synthetic materials such as polyester alongside chemically treated natural fibres – these are the aspects that will hinder the mattress being 100% vegan.
If you’ve seen ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘natural’ mattresses, it’s likely that they aren’t vegan. Mattresses like these often contain renewable materials such as wool and cotton, but you have to think beyond this if you want a mattress to be 100% vegan. What’s the likelihood that these materials are grown with the use of chemical fertilisers? For both materials, it’s very likely – to deter insects from cotton plants and to treat the land that sheep are raised on.
As for foam based mattresses, you can really see two opposite ends of the spectrum. To reach its comfy structure, memory foam is comprised of polyurethane foam that endure extensive chemical processes. Of course, you may feel this goes against vegan standards, which is why memory foam is out of the equation if you’re looking for a 100% vegan mattress.
By comparison, natural latex mattresses provide similar properties to that of memory foam. However the difference is that latex is extracted from rubber trees, often in a sustainable way. Unlike memory foam, natural latex can be manufactured into a mattress without chemical processes – although this shouldn’t be confused with synthetic latex – which involves these kinds of procedures.
Most vegan mattresses use latex as the core surrounded by sustainably and organically grown cotton. One of the biggest benefits of one of these mattresses is that it’s extremely durable, and can last anywhere up to 25 years! Although the cost is certainly higher, it can be worth it for how long it lasts.
If you’re looking for a mattress that provides this, it’s worth researching various brands and thoroughly looking through the mattress specifications. Below is a list of attributes that a vegan mattress will not contain:
- Polyurethane foams
- Synthetic foams
- Polyester or other synthetic materials
- Blend of fillings with polyester
- Latex blends
- Chemical flame retardants
- Use of chemicals such as adhesives in between layers
- Any use of an animal byproduct
And if all of these aspects are avoided in a mattress, it’s safe to say that they can claim to be 100% vegan!
Quick fire questions:
Is there any kind of mattress that definitely aren’t vegan?
Yes – memory foam mattresses do not fit the criteria to be vegan.
Wool is a natural fibre, why can’t it be incorporated in a vegan mattress?
Whilst wool is a renewable material, the conditions that it’s reaped may not fit the vegan standard. Sheep may be raised on land that is chemically treated, and we can never fully understand the conditions that the sheep are kept in.
Cotton: how do I know if it will fit the vegan standard?
It’s hard to tell with cotton whether it’s okay to be used in a vegan mattress. As it comes from a plant most people think it’s naturally vegan, however if it’s treated with chemicals then it goes against this. You can tell the cotton is vegan if the manufacturer states that it’s organically certified.
What are the benefits of using a vegan mattress?
- The mattress will be comprised entirely of organically source sustainable materials
- Qualities of these materials means the mattress is breathable, temperature regulating and absorbent
- The mattress could last anywhere up to 25 years
- When it comes to disposal it can be 100% recycled – so you can sleep better knowing it won’t be deteriorating in a landfill for years to come
Mattress disposal: how do I do this in an environmentally conscious way?
Mattresses that aren’t recycled can sit in a landfill forever waiting to deteriorate. Of course, this isn’t an environmentally friendly way to go about disposal. Check out AnyJunk’s blog post on how to get rid of your mattress in a sustainable way here.
Alternatively, if you purchase with Mattressman then we can recycle your mattress for you as we deliver your new one. We can remove old mattresses for £25 per item, sending them to specialist recycling plants, helping us maintain our zero-landfill policy.