How to choose a vegan mattress

Vegan Mattress Buying Guide

Vegan mattresses are not a trend but a way of life which should be taken seriously. Therefore it is important that people are told the truth about man-made and natural products so they can make an informed choice.

Many mattress manufacturers now offer so called vegan foam or natural ‘plant based’ vegan mattresses. Be aware: whilst they may not contain animal products such as wool, manufacturers can use glues from animal derivatives.

There is a hidden concern - the kilos of flame retardant chemicals in vegan mattresses, which are skin permeable, harmful to human health and toxic to the environment. Choosing organic may limit your pesticide intake, but food isn’t the only place you can be exposed to these chemicals. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), Chlorinated Tris, and Organophosphates - there are kilos of these types of chemicals within natural or organic latex or foam, and on many outer cover materials including cotton, in order to pass the UK Furniture Fire Regulations.

Vegan Mattress Guide Information

You do not need to compromise on comfort and luxury in your search for a healthy, environmentally friendly vegan mattress. If you’re looking for an entirely animal-free and hypoallergenic vegan mattress, you have come to the trusted and ethical specialists. Cottonsafe® were the first company to be accredited by the Vegan Society and are Trading Standards Approved. We have a number of vegan mattress options to suit your family, including pillows and toppers without an animal fibre or toxic chemical in sight!

How to choose a Vegan Mattress

  1. What should I look for in a vegan mattress?
  2. Vegan mattress materials
  3. Plant based or Man-made Vegan alternatives to animal fibres
  4. Cottonsafe® Hypoallergenic Vegan mattresses
  5. What to avoid when buying a Vegan mattresses
  6. What are the environmental benefits of our polyester vegan-friendly mattresses 

1. What should I look for in a Vegan mattress?

A top quality Vegan mattress will be reflected in the following features:

  • A fabulously comfortable mattress -

This means that the mattress offers the correct level of support for your individual needs and contains lashings of top quality fillings. This type of mattress will have a long warranty period as the manufacturer will be confident in their products durability. Non-turn mattresses tend to be cheaper to produce as there is only fillings on one side of the spring and this is likely to affect its longevity.

  • Free from any animal products (including adhesives) with Vegan Society Accreditation for peace of mind.
  • Free from flame-retardant chemicals and no residues that can be inhaled or absorbed. Foam, natural latex and cotton covered mattresses need to be avoided as they will have to be chemically treated to meet the Fire Laws.
  • Truly environmentally friendly. This means Stockholm Convention Compliant for recycling and labelled as such, not just made of recycled plastic bottles and then covered in toxic persistent organic polluting chemicals!
100% Natural Vegan Mattress Company


2. Vegan Mattress materials

It’s not possible to say natural is good, man-made is bad….unless you are trying to influence a market! Every material has both advantages and disadvantages. Most plant-based upholstery will NOT pass the Fire Regulations without using chemicals. At Cottonsafe® Vegan Mattress, we do not bend the Fire Regulations. We are the leading champions for chemical free mattresses, even lobbying the government. (About Us) We make fire safe mattresses with fibres which naturally meet them.

  • Coir (Coconut Husk) is often blended with latex to create a very firm core (Cocoloc)
  • Natural/Organic latex has to be treated with chemicals or mixed with graphite to pass the legal requirements, as it is highly flammable.
  • Bamboo fibre is a super-soft luxury fibre used in the top comfort layers
  • Hemp can be used as a trampoline as it is durable and a temperature regulator
  • Pure Cotton matts and flattens so polyester is blended to keep the loft and increase air flow.
  • Polyester, used in mattresses, is inherently fire retardant, highly breathable and does not contribute to plastic (microfibre) pollution as it’s not washed.

3. Plant based or Man-made Vegan alternatives to animal fibres

Unfortunately many plant-based upholstery fibres and fillings cannot be used to make a chemical free Vegan mattress. Why? Because they won’t pass the strict UK Furniture Fire Regulations without the flame retardant chemicals.
Natural/Organic Latex and foam is highly flammable and have to pass the fire tests as a mattress filling.

The perfect solution is man-made fibres which pull away from a flame. Information on the internet about the polyester used in mattresses is misleading. It makes customers believe that ‘natural’ products are far superior to the synthetic alternatives and is not based on fact.

Are you aware that foam or plant based Vegan mattresses are treated with toxic fire retardants which cannot be recycled?

Vegan Mattress Reviews

4. Cottonsafe® Hypoallergenic Vegan mattresses

All our products are completely chemical free. We use no fire retardant chemicals, foams, bleaches or adhesives. Polyester’s hypoallergenic properties mean it is the recommended material for people with chemical sensitivity. We use Active Support Technology® heat treated pocket springs in our Vegan bed mattresses. These springs are in individual polyester pockets which allows the mattress to adjust independently to your body weight. Calico pockets are far less durable.

Polyester is a fantastic material for mattresses as it can be a closed loop fabric; which means it can be retrieved at end of life and re-vitalised into new fabric with the same performance as the original. If are looking for a breathable fibre that evaporates moisture quickly, then polyester is ideal.

Polyester sometimes has a bad press because it is a man-made fibre – but polyester is incredibly strong and gives great longevity! Furthermore it has a carbon footprint of about 3.8 Kg CO2e/Kg. This is about 40% less than that of cotton. So polyester has a lower environmental impact, is 100% recyclable and Stockholm Convention compliant. No foam, natural latex or chemically flame retardant treated Vegan mattress can be safely recycled.

If you don’t want springs, we also offer a Vegan futon-style fibre only bed mattress called a Vegan Futomat.

5. What to avoid when buying a Vegan mattresses

Many rolled and boxed memory foam mattresses state they are suitable for Vegans. Made on vast production lines in USA, Canada or China, they are assembled using glues and adhesives, which may contain animal derivatives.

Latex and foam, have to be treated with flame retardant chemicals or graphite (it becomes a grey colour) as they are highly flammable. These chemicals leak into your house dust and are inhaled and absorbed by the skin. Latex allergy is also quite common and can increase with greater surface contact.

Vegan guide for mattress buyers

Foam and latex are good insulators making mattresses incredibly hot. They actively retain heat meaning that your bed can soon become a furnace in the warmer months as they are not breathable. You may notice that some latex mattresses have drilled holes in the latex - this is to attempt to increase ventilation.

Foam mattresses are notoriously known for their unpleasant pungency when they first arrive. In terms of comfort, natural latex and foam also degrades and cause dipping especially in areas of high use.

At Vegan Mattress we offer a number of plant-based fillings in our Futomat choices – Cocoloc and Graphite latex. Safety is our first concern, so we ensure materials are fire safe as well as being a healthy and environmentally sound choice. Cotton or damask covers MUST be treated with chemicals to meet regulations.

BUT BEWARE: The Advertising Standards Agency Allow manufacturers to claim their products are chemical free despite using fire retardants. It is a so-called ‘safety issue.'

6. What are the environmental benefits of our polyester vegan-friendly mattresses?

We have considered academic research into the impact of polyester on the Circular Economy. This includes human health, on the ecosystem, and on resources/climate change. To read our report see here:

Today we understand how important the Circular Economy is. No mattress containing flame retardant chemicals can be responsibly recycled or placed in landfill. The Stockholm Convention for recycling states that these mattresses must be destroyed by high temperature incineration. Recycling is key. Most Natural Fibres can only be recycled once, mainly made into a felt. That is why many natural fibres have a higher carbon footprint. In addition, Vegan Natural Fibre mattress are saturated in chemical fire retardants so they can’t be safely recycled and end up in high temperature incineration. Polyester can be recycled indefinitely…. so that is why polyester is a right choice .


As a maker and not simply a retailer, we believe in giving you the facts and the information that we use to inform our own manufacturing decisions. It is then up to you to make an educated decision on the materials you want in your own home, without being influenced by commercial opinions, which are often put online without research or evidence. We simply make good, honest chemical free Vegan mattresses, with nothing to hide. We hope this article has helped to provide you with the knowledge about polyester you need to sleep with peace of mind. You deserve the best.

Vegan Mattress Buyer Guide

If you would like further help to source a Vegan mattress to suit your whole family, why not get in touch with Megan or Jessica who look forward to receiving your call.

Call us on 01395 239832 or email your questions to:

See our verified Customer Reviews for honest feedback.

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