Marketed as “The World’s Only Natural Memory Foam Mattress,” Essentia mattresses are made with natural latex and essentials oils rather than petroleum products and harsh chemicals. Using a proprietary process, Essentia create genuinely plant-based foam mattresses that offer excellent cushioning and support without the off-gassing, sweatiness, and environmental degradation inherent to other memory foam mattresses.
Essentia’s mattresses are also made in a GOLS, GOTS, and ISO certified factory in Canada, which means you can be confident these mattresses are genuinely eco-friendly and free from undesirable chemicals. This also offers reassurance of decent workers’ rights and adherence to robust manufacturing and environmental safety standards.
Essentia offer four categories of mattress, all of which get five leaves from us!:
- Hybrid Crossovers
We’ll look more closely at these below, but first let’s take a look at what makes Essentia different to conventional memory foam mattresses and why they’re a great fit for any eco-minded, safety conscious consumer looking for a good night’s sleep. Curious about how we rate products? Click here to view our methodology, which at its core, is about voting with our dollars to fight climate change.
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- Essentia Versus Conventional Memory Foam
- A Closer Look at Essentia’s ‘6 Key Elements’
- What is an Essentia Mattress Made Of?
- How to Choose the Right Essentia Mattress for Your Needs
- The Pros and Cons of Essentia Mattresses
- Essentia Mattress Certifications
- Final Thoughts on Essentia Mattresses
Essentia Versus Conventional Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses are basically petroleum products mixed with blowing agents (often toxic chemicals) to create a spongy, springy ‘cake’ of foam that conforms to your body. Originally designed to cushion astronauts’ bodies when hurtling off into space at high speed, memory foam was released by NASA for commercial use in the 1970s and memory foam mattresses became popular from the 1980s onwards.
Most memory foam mattresses are an environmental nightmare, however. They require large amounts of petroleum products and energy inputs and use dangerous blowing agents to create the ‘foam,’ and because they’re essentially made of fuel, companies have to douse them in chemical flame retardants to get through fire safety tests. All of these chemicals off-gas from the mattresses, causing indoor air pollution and a range of health effects.
Memory foam mattresses are also a poor choice for many people who sleep warm, especially for anyone going through menopause, as they cause heat to pool between your skin and the mattress, leading to overheating and sweatiness that can disrupt sleep.
To try to overcome these issues, some conventional memory foam mattress companies have started touting ‘green’ memory foam mattresses made with soy or other plant-based materials. The truth, though, is that this is a perfect example of greenwashing. These mattresses still rely on petroleum products for the bulk of the mattress and only have a small percentage of ingredients replaced with soy or essential oils.
In contrast, Essentia’s mattresses are genuinely green. They only use plant-derived materials, with the bulk of the mattress made with natural latex foam derived from Hevea milk, i.e., the sap of rubber trees. They add essential oils to help create the memory foam mix and don’t use any chemical flame retardants. Even when they ship to the US, Essential use a tight-weave Kevlar mattress cover to ensure the mattress meets fire safety standards.
The result of this process is a natural memory foam mattress that is healthier for you and the environment. It sleeps cooler, does not off-gas harmful chemicals, and provides a safer experience for you and the workers making the product.
Essentia’s Lifestyle collection offers allergy friendly, clean air mattresses as a baseline. Moving up, they offer Performance and Wholebody Recovery mattresses for superior cushioning and support when living with or recovering from injury or illness.
A Closer Look at Essentia’s ‘6 Key Elements’
Essential proudly proclaims success in six key areas for healthy sleep:
- Temperature control
- Allergy friendly
- Accelerated recovery
- Optimized sleep
- Organically clean
- Proper posture
Unlike other memory foam mattresses, Essentia mattresses don’t lead to an uncomfortably hot and sweaty sleep environment. Instead, the natural latex helps body heat disperse, so you can stay cool for a deeper, more restorative sleep. Essentia claim that their mattresses allow you to seep “on average 7 degrees cooler* than your body temperature over an 8 hour time lapse thus promoting ‘micro-hibernation’.” That asterisk is because the temperature drop varies between mattress types.
Essentia mattresses are made with continuous layers of latex, meaning they are impervious to dust mites. The company also claims that the mattresses don’t contain latex proteins that may trigger allergies, and the mattresses are also free from fiber batting that could house dust mites.
The natural latex foam of an Essentia mattress offers exemplary relief on pressure points while you sleep. This supportive surface also helps promote healthy circulation and avoids pressure on nerves that can lead to numbness and soreness.
Thanks to a high-density natural memory foam comfort layer, Essentia’s Wholebody Recovery mattresses react quickly to natural movements. This means fewer sleep interruptions and a deeper, more restorative sleep. And, if you’re sleeping beside someone else, this also helps reduce motion transfer and any associated disruption to sleep.
Because Essentia mattresses are made with certified organic materials in a certified organic factory, these mattresses do not expose you to harmful volatile organic compounds off-gassing from your sleep surface. And, happily, better sleep means a greater capacity to handle other sources of chemical pollutants that you can’t avoid so easily!
Essentia design their mattresses with a supportive core to provide good support for your back. This means your spine stays in proper alignment and you don’t wake up with any additional aches, pains, and strains.
What is an Essentia Mattress Made Of?
Essentia use Hevea milk as the base for all their mattresses. This is the sap of the rubber tree, which they mix with essential oils such as grapefruit seed, jasmine, and coneflower as well as other plant extracts such as hydrolyzed corn and water to create the desired foam consistency. That’s basically it. No harsh chemicals, no petroleum products, and no VOCs to spoil the air in your bedroom.
The rubber sap is sourced in Indonesia, collected from rubber plantations that are third-party audited to ensure fair working conditions and no child labor. The Lifestyle collection of organic mattresses is made with GOLS certified organic latex, and many Essentia mattresses also feature the denser natural Dunlop latex for the support core.
Every Essentia mattress has an organic cotton cover, using certified GOTS organic cotton grown without chemicals, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This means safer products for you, safer working conditions for cotton farmers, pickers, and processors, reduced water consumption and a cleaner, healthier environment for all. This cover is also removable and washable, which is a huge plus compared to most other mattresses.
To make their mattresses, Essentia have two types of molds. The first is a layer mold, used to make a thick ‘cake’ of natural latex memory foam. This is baked and cured, then sliced into pieces 1, 2, and 3 inches thick for use in different mattress configurations. These layers are usually used as the comfort layer in their Classic and Energie Opus models.
The second mold is created using a patented process and results in the WholeBody™ Recovery mattresses. This mold takes a layer of natural Dunlop latex and a slice of the layer mold and stacks them before using a foaming machine to pour more high-density natural memory foam over the stack. Like frosting a cake on all sides, this mold is then baked and cured to create a seamless latex mattress with added core support.
The curing process has two stages, with 7 days for the initial cooling and curing as the foam cell structure settles. In the second phase, Essentia inspects and test every mattress, including ILD (indentation load deflection) testing to determine firmness, stiffness, or load-bearing capacity.
Because Essentia source the latex and create the molds, they have complete control over the manufacturing process. Most mattress companies can’t say as much, with just a handful of conventional memory foam manufacturers providing the same exact petroleum-based foam mattresses to hundreds of brands.
And when it’s time to ship your mattress, Essentia use special machinery to compress, roll and pack the dense, heavy mattresses. This means almost all Essentia products can be delivered via UPS or FedEx, which saves on shipping costs. The roll-packing also means Essentia mattresses take up 75% less space in a truck and require 75% less packaging. The packing boxes are made from 100% recycled paper (99% post-consumer, 1% post-industrial) too, so these are far more eco-friendly than most mattresses in shipping alone!
How to Choose the Right Essentia Mattress for Your Needs
Essentia make four types of mattress, all of which are 8-inches thick but made with different top and core layers in different shapes and configurations for varying degrees of support and luxury. The current mattress collections are:
- Wholebody Recovery™
- Hybrid Crossovers
The Lifestyle mattress is the baseline mattress from Essentia. All of the other mattresses share the benefits of the Lifestyle line, including organic and natural materials, no wool or fiber batting to harbor dust mites, and durable, comfortable construction for a good night’s rest.
The Tatami mattress is the most affordable of the Essentia latex mattresses and starts at $1,999. It is a firmer model with a 1-inch layer of memory foam latex for comfort on top and 7-inches of firmer Dunlop latex for support beneath. If you like a firmer mattress but want a bit more support than a conventional innerspring or cotton/wool mattress, this might be the one for you. If you weigh more than about 230 lbs. though, you might want an even firmer mattress.
The Stratami Lifestyle mattress is a mid-contour model starting at $2,399 and has been rated the top foam mattress for several years running by Consumer Reports. It has a 3-inch dome-shaped natural latex foam layer for comfort and a 5-inch natural support foam core that supports proper spinal alignment.
Taking things up a notch, Essentia’s Performance mattresses offer greater postural support and spinal support, with greater cooling potential and help with pressure redistribution and circulatory support.
The Classic 8 is an 8-inch mid-contour model offering medium firm support and starts at $2,799. It has 2 inches of molded high-density Natural Memory Foam on top and 6 inches of natural support foam below, allowing for consistent comfort and support.
The Energie Opus is a deep-contour model, meaning it provides greater pressure relief that supports your neck, back, hips, knees, and more. This mattress starts at $3,499 and has a 3-inch memory foam layer on top of a 5-inch Dunlop core. The thicker top layer makes this a great fit for side sleepers and anyone with a more pronounced back arch.
The Eluxe is a ‘luxe-contour’ mattress meaning it is ultra-adaptive and super supportive. If you move around a lot at night and struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position due to aches and pains, this is a great choice as the latex foam is denser and more elastic than in other models. The Eluxe starts at $4,299 and has a 4-inch high-density natural memory foam top layer above a 4-inch natural support foam core.
Wholebody Recovery Mattresses
If you’re looking for a more supportive mattress to help you manage a chronic health concern or recover from an injury or illness, an Essentia Wholebody Recovery mattress could be just the ticket. These mattresses offer all 6 of Essentia’s key elements and are frequently used in wellness clinics and health institutions to support recovery. They are also a great choice if you tend to sleep hot and want a mattress that can help you stay cool while supporting your spine, offering pressure relief akin to zero-gravity! These models are available in the standard 8-inch and can be upgraded to a 10-inch model if desired.
The Beausommet starts at $4,299 and is a mid-contour model offering a firmer sleep surface with great elasticity and pressure relief. Available in the standard 8-inch model and as an extra luxurious 10-inch model, the Beausommet combines elastic support at the shoulders with enhanced lumbar support for anyone with a less pronounced lower back arch or straighter posture. This mattress cradles your body to relieve pressure points while maintaining spinal alignment without ‘hammocking.’
The Dormeuse is a popular model starting at $4,399 and offers extreme support, making it a fantastic option for professional athletes and anyone else recovering from injury or serious physical exertion. It has two layers of 2-inch high-density molded Natural Memory Foam layer that respond quickly to movement and position changes to minimize sleep disruption and motion transfer. Below is a 4-inch natural support foam core that supports proper spinal alignment. This mattress is a great choice if you have pronounced spinal curvature and are looking to balance support and comfort for a faster recovery after injury.
The Dormeuse Fior is another popular model, this time with high-density latex foam for the greatest comfort and support for your whole body. This model starts at $4,999 and is Essentia’s most luxurious mattress. It has a 3-inch Fior formula high-density molded natural memory foam layer on top for responsiveness to movement, a cooler sleep, and support during recovery. Below is a 2-inch high-density natural memory foam layer and a 3-inch natural hevea latex support foam core. Together, these layers provide “pronounced adaptive contouring” especially at the shoulders and hips, and the Dormeuse Fior is a great choice if you have a pronounced spinal curve or want your mattress to cradle your body without any space between.
If you’re struggling to decide between a full latex mattress and an innerspring mattress, Essentia’s Hybrid range might be the perfect thing. These 11-inch mattresses have individual pocketed innerspring coils paired with a latex foam core and offers extra support but a familiar feel in terms of firmness and motion. They’re also a bit lighter and less expensive than a straight-up latex mattress and are made, as always, using GOLS and GOTS certified materials in the Essentia certified factory.
The Tatami Hybrid is a mid-contour mattress with innersprings and Essentia’s patented natural memory foam and starts at $1,899. This model features an 8-inch layer of individually pocketed support coils made of recycled steel for zoned ergonomic support. This means less motion transfer and greater edge support that won’t bottom out.
The Stratami Hybrid offers the deep-contour of the fully latex Stratami but with innersprings to lighten the load and create a familiar innerspring feel with reduced motion transfer. Prices start at $2,199 and this one features a comfort layer of 2-inch active latex comfort foam on top of 1 inch patented natural memory foam and an 8-inch layer of individually pocketed support coils made of recycled steel for zoned ergonomic support with edge support.
The Pros and Cons of Essentia Mattresses
Essentia mattresses are some of the most eco-friendly and non-toxic mattresses around and are a great choice if you really want a memory foam mattress but can’t bear to bring those chemicals into your home. They offer a 20-year warranty and a 120-night sleep trial with free shipping across North America.
The main downside of Essentia mattresses is the cost. You get what you pay for and with Essentia that means superior quality and comfort for a higher price than other off-the-shelf mattresses. For a queen size mattress, you’re looking at a starting price of about $2,499, rising to $6,500 for some models (unless you go for a hybrid crossover which is a bit more affordable).
All in all, if you have the budget for an Essentia mattress it’s a great choice. If not, check out Avocado or one of our other top picks for eco-friendly mattresses.
Essentia Mattress Certifications
Essentia is up front about their certification, with links on their website to all current certificates held by the company. These include:
- GOTS 4.0 factory certification (Essentia organic sheets are also GOTS certified)
- GOLS certification
- Oeko Tex 100 Class 100 certified for latex
- Green America Gold as a socially and environmentally responsible business.
- EuroLatex ECO-Standards (for all Dunlop latex used in Essentia mattresses)
- ISO Certified (for a quality management system specific to the medical devices industry)
- GREENGUARD Certified adhesives (solvent-free, GREENGUARD Gold Certified® water-based adhesives only).
Because Essentia use latex that is certified GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) this means you can be sure the latex is healthy and eco-friendly from plantation to product. This certification also includes a degree of assurance around fair trade practices and ensures all materials and products are properly tracked and traceable.
The EuroLatex ECO-Standard is administered by the TFI (Deutsches Teppich-Forschungs Institut in Aachen) in Germany and tests for the maximum acceptable limits for substances that are considered harmful to health. Substances tested for include: Heavy metals, nitrosamines, pesticides, solvents, and volatile organic components. All Dunlop latex used in Essentia mattresses meet EuroLatex ECO-Standards.
Essentia mattresses are also eco-friendly in another way. Because they import the sap and not the foam, then make the foam on-site, this dramatically cuts down on transport costs. Essentia claims that importing the rubber sap requires 80% less space than importing finished latex foam. And because the mattresses are manufactured and distributed from a single common location, just outside Montreal in Quebec, Canada, this helps to reduce fuel consumption in transportation. This also makes their mattresses more affordable and helps support the North American economy.
Essentia have had their mattresses independently tested by at least two labs in the past decade. In 2013, they used Exova Labs to test for VOC emissions. These tests determined that Essentia mattresses met the standards for highest Indoor Air Quality Product Certifications for OEM Materials and Bedding (and their processes and materials haven’t changed significantly since).
Final Thoughts on Essentia Mattresses
If you’re ready to take the plunge and upgrade to an Essentia mattress, you’ll be happy to hear that the company is so confident in their products that they offer a 20-year warranty! Unlike conventional foam mattresses that can lose a third of their density within just a few years (meaning all those chemicals have become household dust), Essentia mattresses lose very little in height over a 10-year period (less than a quarter inch). They tested this by passing a 250 lb. hexagonal shape roller over the mattress 200,000 times.
If/when you do need to dispose of your mattress, though, Essentia’s natural materials mean the (non-innerspring) mattress will biodegrade in just three years if fully exposed to sun, rain, and wind. The hybrid mattresses can be taken apart to recycle the steel coils and the rest is fully biodegradable.
All in all, Essentia mattresses are eco-friendly, incredibly well designed, and are available in a wide variety of models, so there’s sure to be one that suits your needs to a tee.