What is a Vegan Mattress and How Can I Buy One?

Nov 1, 2023 | Sleep & Wellbeing

It’s World Vegan Month, and if you are in the market for a mattress that doesn’t directly contain animal by-products, here’s your go-to guide to buying a vegan-friendly mattress.

Non-vegan mattress materials to avoid

Many mattresses, often at the more expensive end, contain natural fillings that are by-products from animals. These materials can include silk, cashmere, mohair, and other fine natural fibres used for additional luxury and insulation properties. Wool is used for its fire retardancy properties and hair for its natural spring.

Materials to look out for

The good news for vegans is, not all mattresses contain animal by-products. Polyester is a synthetic material with good recovery properties that can be easily recycled (these days much of the polyester used in mattresses is already made from recycled plastics, such as plastic bottles). Mattresses also use cotton near the surface for its softness, ability to breathe, and absorb moisture, although it’s important to ensure the cotton is responsibly and carefully sourced. 

Hemp is ncreasingly being used as a mattress fillingHemp is also increasingly being used as a mattress filling, while coir fibre pads, made from coconut fibre, are generally used next to the spring to insulate and stop it from being felt. Synthetic ones are also available. Bamboo is being used more and more as a fibre in the fabrics for mattress covers too.

Mattresses use different types of foam for their cushioning effect, including latex, polyurethane (PU) and visco-elastic (memory foam).
Read more about these different types of foam and other fillings.

Does a mattress being vegan make it sustainable?

Concerns around sustainability and the environment can also come with veganism. Just because it doesn’t contain animal products doesn’t mean it is the kindest option for the planet. More and more bed manufacturers and component suppliers are examining their use of foam as a mattress filling and considering going PU-free. Plant-based foams exist and even materials that blend plant fibres with latex to make it 100% plastic-free and recyclable.

Buying a bed that meets your needs

Currently, Vogue Beds is the only UK bed manufacturer that is NBF-approved to have a product that has been certified by The Vegan Society. Vogue’s Essential Vegan Mattress and Vegan Helix Mattress can be fully recycled at the end of its life and uses recycled fillings. However, there are lots of other mattresses that could still be classed as vegan and contain no animal products, so do your research and use our product finder tool to help narrow down your choices.

If you are struggling to decide on a bed that meets your needs, consider other factors such as how recyclable it is, if it contains recycled materials, and how the manufacturer tackles the growing concern of sustainability.  Find out more about how to recycle your mattress.

First published 1.11.21, updated 1.11.23


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