The Best Organic & Non-Toxic Mattress Protectors

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

Updated:

Mattress protectors are a good idea for every mattress, new or old. These simple accessories can add 5-10 years of life to a mattress and keep things clean, hygienic, and comfortable. The trouble is, most are made with toxic chemicals and synthetic materials.

LeafScore mattress protector
The Essential Mattress Protector by LeafScore Essentials.
Table of Contents
  1. The best types of mattress protectors
  2. Our top picks
  3. The Best Pure Organic Cotton Mattress Protectors
  4. The Best Water-Resistant Wool Mattress Protectors

I have distinct memories of losing sleep as a child thanks to noisy, crunchy, sweaty mattress protectors. These plastic monstrosities were made with PVC and always made for a poor night’s sleep.

Thankfully, there are much better options for safeguarding your mattress these days. Many of our favorite mattress and bedding companies offer GOTS organic certified protectors made without PVC and harmful chemicals. There are also fully natural and organic options that, while not fully waterproof, can protect against minor spills and leaks.

The best types of mattress protectors

  • Avoid polyurethane. Which is a waterproof but porous synthetic material. Because water vapor can pass through it but liquids can’t, polyurethane is breathable and highly protective. Polyurethane can even protect mattresses against dust mites and bed bugs (if a full encasement is used). Polyurethane is a petroleum-derived synthetic material, though, and there are many toxic chemicals involved in its production. The good news is that thin membranes of polyurethane as used in protectors are made in a different way to polyurethane foam (such as is found in many mattresses). As such, these membranes don’t off-gas and don’t leach toxic chemicals.
  • Choose wool or cotton. For the most natural water-resistant mattress protector, wool or cotton is your best bet. This requires more care but is the next best thing to plastic for protecting your mattress from more serious leaks and spills.
  • For better waterproofing. If you need more serious waterproofing for your mattress, go for a protector that pairs a thin polyurethane or bioplastic membrane with a natural fiber or fibers such as cotton or wool. Look for GOTS certification for the whole product as this ensures it is free of chemicals that can harm health.
  • Finally, it’s worth noting that no mattress protector is foolproof. For best performance, check your protector regularly for any wear, tear, or punctures. Follow the care instructions (see our tips here) and replace your protector when necessary. A good quality mattress protector could last several years with proper care.

Our top picks

The mattress protectors below are the most sustainable, non-toxic options currently available. To help you find what you need, I’ve separated out the fully waterproof protectors from those that are either water-resistant or absorbent but not totally waterproof.

1

Essential Mattress Protector

LeafScore mattress protector

Highlights: Made in America, Fair Trade, 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton mattress protector. Has an earthy, natural feel, with a fitted, lightweight, waterproof pad. Machine-washable, with reliable protection against accidents large and small.

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Use code LEAFSCOREREADER to take 10% off any bedding item in the LeafScore online store.

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton (100%), thin layer of PU laminate for waterproofing (<1%)

Certifications: GOTS, Organic Cotton Standard, Fair Trade Certified

Cost: $149-$219

Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King

100% organic cotton mattress protector

It’s hard to find an inexpensive, organic, reliable waterproof mattress protector. After searching high and low, the Leaf Score team created one itself!

The result is a 100% organic cotton, GOTS and Fair Trade-certified mattress protector made in the USA.

This mattress protector is fully waterproof, thanks to a very thin layer of polyurethane (PU) laminate. This is sandwiched between layers of organic cotton and doesn’t off-gas or come into contact with skin. The protector is fully machine washable, for easy clean-up.

We were so impressed with this organic cotton mattress protector, we added it to our online store, LeafScore Essentials.

2

Avocado Green Waterproof Mattress Protector

Highlights: Certified organic mattress protector that is waterproof, breathable, non-sweaty, non-toxic, and sustainable. Climate neutral, GOTS and MadeSafe certified, and made by a fantastic B Corp.

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What we like

  • GOTS certified organic
  • MadeSafe certified
  • Fully waterproof
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Noiseless and breathable
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried
  • Safe and sustainable
  • Made in the U.S. by a heavily certified sustainable B Corp
  • 100-night trial and 1-year warranty

What could be better

  • Contains polyurethane
  • Not a full mattress encasement

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton (95%), polyurethane membrane (<5%)

Certifications: GOTS, PETA certified vegan, 1% for the Planet, B Corp, MadeSafe, FSC, Climate Neutral Certified, Greenguard Gold

Cost: $149-$199

Sizes available: Twin, Twin Xl, Full, Queen, King, Cali King

Depths: Standard fits 6-16-inch deep mattresses, Deep Pocket fits up to 22-inch deep mattresses

The Avocado Green Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector Pad is a fantastic organic waterproof mattress protector. It can guard against spills and leaks big and small, as well as safeguarding your mattress from the daily insults of sweat and body oils.

Avocado is one of our favorite sustainable Benefit Corporations (B Corps) and makes this protector in California in a GOTS certified factory. The protector is one of only a handful of mattress protectors with MadeSafe certification and is also climate neutral and certified vegan.


3Staff Tested

Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Mattress Protector Pad

Highlights: Certified organic mattress protector pad made of organic cotton jersey and a thin layer of hardwearing TPU. Breathable, non-sweaty, noiseless, and sustainably packaged by a company committed to a non-toxic, sustainable world.

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What we like

  • GOTS certified organic and MadeSafe certified
  • Very affordable
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Stretchy organic cotton jersey fabric for snug fit
  • Noiseless, breathable, and no off-gassing
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried
  • Non-toxic and sustainable
  • Made in a GOTS factory
  • 30-night money back, free returns, 1-year warranty
  • Sustainable family-run company that uses green energy

What could be better

  • Contains TPU
  • Not a full mattress encasement
  • Only fits 9-16-inch mattress depths

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton jersey, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)

Certifications: GOTS, MadeSafe, 1% for the Planet, Greenguard Gold, Formaldehyde-Free UL

Cost: $109-$179

Sizes available: Twin, Twin Xl, Full, Queen, King, Cali King

Depths: Fits 9-16-inch deep mattresses

Naturepedic is a GOTS certified fully waterproof mattress protector comprising organic cotton jersey stretch fabric on top and bottom and a thin TPU layer between.

This breathable protector is also MadeSafe, Greenguard Gold, and Formaldehyde-Free by UL certified. We love it because it is super affordable, made by a family run company that offers excellent customer service, and mostly uses sustainable, plastic-free packaging. We have also reviewed Naturepedic crib mattresses, mattresses, and several other items, like pads.

Our experience with Naturepedic's Mattress Protector

My Naturepedic Waterproof Mattress Protector arrived alongside some new Naturepedic Pillows, mostly in sustainable packaging, though with some disappointingly unnecessary plastic around the protector. The drawstring organic cotton bag containing the protector is generously sized, though, and makes for a great reusable bag for laundry or other uses. It is also conveniently labeled, so you can easily find the right size protector in your linen closet.

The protector itself had a very slight new plastic smell but this was undetectable in under an hour of laying it out on the bed. As I’m quite sensitive to smells, I doubt anyone would have much of an issue with this protector after doing the same.

The protector fits snugly on my Queen size guest mattress, with no excess of material (unlike the Avocado protector). The corners and edges are robust and durable and even with a lot of toddler jumping, this mattress protector shows no signs of rips or cracks that would compromise the waterproofing.

I’ve been sleeping on this protector for several months, through nights hot and cold, and even when sick with a fever, and I can safely say it is not sweaty and is very breathable.

Naturepedic-organic-waterproof-protector-pad
Naturepedic-organic-cotton-waterproof-mattress-protector-pad-packaging

4

Turmerry Wool Waterproof Mattress Protector

turmerry-natural-washable-wool-waterproof-mattress-protector-pad-cover

Highlights: Mostly natural mattress protector pad made with wool fiber fill, polyurethane membrane, and a cotton cover. Truly waterproof, breathable, non-sweaty, and non-toxic.

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What we like

  • Waterproof, water-resistant, and absorbent
  • Adds extra cushioning
  • Noiseless and breathable
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried
  • Not bulky (0.25-inch thick)
  • Safe and sustainable
  • Oeko-Tex certified and made in a GOTS factory
  • 120-day return policy (unopened)
  • Free same-day U.S. shipping (sustainable packaging)
  • 1-year warranty

What could be better

  • Contains polyurethane
  • Not vegan
  • Not certified organic
  • Not a full mattress encasement
  • Made in China

At a glance:

Materials: Cotton, wool, polyurethane membrane

Certifications: Oeko-Tex, GOTS facility

Cost: $139-$199

Sizes available: Crib, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King, Split Cali King

Depths: Fits 18-inch deep mattresses

Turmerry’s Wool Mattress Protector combines the benefits of wool for restorative sleep and water-resistance with the full waterproof capabilities of polyurethane. And thanks to a 270 thread count percale cotton cover, this mattress protector is breathable, soft, cooling, and comfortable.


5

Happsy Organic Waterproof Mattress Protector Pad

Highlights: Made with the same materials as the Naturepedic pad but at a much lower price. Fully GOTS certified, with organic cotton on top and polyurethane membrane below. Organic cotton sides.

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What we like

  • Super affordable but still GOTS organic!
  • Fully waterproof
  • Non-toxic, safe, sustainable
  • Sustainably packaged
  • Machine washable in hot water

What could be better

  • Contains polyurethane
  • Only fits mattresses up to 15-inch deep
  • No split sizes

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton, polyurethane membrane

Certifications: GOTS

Cost: $79-$139

Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King

Depths: Fits 15-inch deep mattresses

Happsy is a subsidiary of Naturepedic and uses the same supply chains and many of the same materials and designs. The big difference is that Happsy aims at a different demographic and only offers a handful of products compared to the wide range at Naturepedic.

That said, the Happsy mattress protector pad is fully GOTS certified and waterproof but at a fraction of the cost of Naturepedic’s protector.

This one only has polyurethane on the top and has stretch jersey organic cotton sides with an elastic trim for a snug fit. It’s sized generously, so wash before first use to shrink to fit.


6

PlushBeds Organic Mattress Protector

Highlights: Made with a top layer of GOTS certified organic cotton and a thin layer of polyurethane. Fully waterproof, with stretch jersey cotton for a snug fit. Noiseless, non-sweaty, lightweight, and breathable.

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What we like

  • Made with organic cotton and GOTS certified
  • Fully waterproof
  • Stretch jersey for a snug fit
  • Wide size range including sofa bed sizes!
  • Comes in biodegradable packaging
  • Lighter than some other (three-layer) protectors

What could be better

  • Contains polyurethane
  • No MadeSafe, Oeko-Tex, Greenguard, or eco-INSTITUT certification as non-toxic
  • Expensive (but often on sale!)
  • Two layers (not PU sandwiched between organic cotton)
  • Only fits mattresses up to 15-inches deep
  • May not be as durable as three-layer protectors

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton, polyurethane membrane

Certifications: GOTS

Cost: $136-$288

Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King, Split Queen, Split King, Split Cali King, Sofa Bed Twin, Sofa Bed Full, Sofa Bed Queen

Depths: Fits 15-inch deep mattresses

If you need a waterproof mattress protector for your sofa bed, this is the one to go for. Fully waterproof and made with certified organic cotton, this protector is lightweight, noiseless, breathable, and ships sustainably.

Note that unlike many of the protectors on our list, this one only has two layers: organic cotton on top; polyurethane below. That means this protector is slightly lighter than most others, and will dry faster after washing. However, the polyurethane layer might not be quite as durable, which is a shame considering the cost.

PlushBeds offers another, much cheaper, waterproof mattress protector, but this is made with polyester. It also has a waterproof wool mattress protector, made with cotton, wool, and microfiber. If you like the company, then, this organic waterproof protector is your best option, and the company often offers a hefty discount if you buy it alongside a new PlushBeds mattress (we love the Botanical Bliss!).


The Best Pure Organic Cotton Mattress Protectors

Staff Tested

Avocado Green Mattress Cover & Pad Protector

Highlights: Certified organic mattress protector that is absorbent, breathable, non-sweaty, non-toxic, and sustainable. Climate neutral, GOTS and MadeSafe certified, and made by a fantastic B Corp.

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What we like

  • GOTS certified organic
  • MadeSafe certified
  • No plastic
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Noiseless and breathable
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried
  • Non-toxic and sustainable
  • Made in the U.S. by a heavily certified sustainable B Corp
  • 100-night trial and 1-year warranty

What could be better

  • Not waterproof
  • Not a full mattress encasement
  • Expensive

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton

Certifications: GOTS, PETA certified vegan, 1% for the Planet, B Corp, MadeSafe, FSC, Climate Neutral Certified, Greenguard Gold, Formaldehyde-Free UL, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Fair Trade

Cost: $239-$399

Sizes available: Twin, Twin Xl, Full, Queen, King, Cali King

Depths: Standard fits 6-16-inch deep mattresses, Deep Pocket fits up to 22-inch deep mattresses

The Avocado Green Organic Cotton Mattress Cover and Pad Protector comprises organic cotton through and through. This absorbent mattress protector has a 400 thread count sateen cover and organic cotton batting beneath to help soak up and hold onto minor spills, sweat, and body oils.

If you want a totally breathable, totally organic, plastic-free mattress protector, this is the best. It won’t protect your mattress against all liquids but it will buy you some time and keep your mattress clean and hygienic for years to come.

I also love that this mattress protector is machine washable and generously sized, with a deep pocket option to fit mattresses up to 22-inches deep.

My experience with the Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Cover & Protector

We’ve been sleeping on the Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Cover & Protector for a while now and I mostly forget it’s even there. That is, until a spill happened and I was deeply grateful for it!

Thankfully, we’ve only had water spill so far and the cover was easy to lift and air-dry without need for more serious intervention. It did its job well, though, and kept the mattress surface dry even with a whole glass of water tipped onto the bed.

This protector pad adds a small amount of plushness to the mattress surface but is otherwise unnoticeable. I found it a little tricky to get onto the mattress initially as there’s no clear labelling of top and sides. I was also somewhat perplexed by seams in the middle of the sides that looked like corner seams. Once I got this straightened out, though, the fully elasticated cover went on easily and has stayed put perfectly.

The protector definitely runs a little large and will likely fit my Queen size mattress more snugly after another wash.


Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Highlights: GOTS certified organic cotton mattress pad that absorbs spills and sweat but isn’t waterproof. Made in a Fair Trade factory. Features some spandex on the sides. Available in flex and split sizes!

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What we like

  • GOTS certified organic
  • Available in wide size range including split and flex sizes
  • No plastic
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Noiseless and breathable
  • Machine washable and can be tumble dried

What could be better

  • Not waterproof
  • Not a full mattress encasement
  • Expensive
  • Company is not focused on sustainable, non-toxic products
  • Spandex in the sides

At a glance:

Materials: Organic cotton

Certifications: GOTS, Fair Trade factory

Cost: $195-$390

Sizes available: Twin, Twin Xl, Full, Queen, Upper Flex Queen, King, Cali King, Split King, Upper Flex King

Depths: Fits up to a 16-inch deep mattress

Saatva’s diamond-quilted organic mattress pad offers a plush layer of absorbent protection to keep your mattress safe from sweat, body oils, and minor spills and accidents.

This organic cotton protector pad can fit mattresses up to 16-inches deep and has 4% spandex incorporated into the organic cotton side panels for a snug fit. It also has silicone-elastic corners to fit like a fitted sheet and is machine washable.

It would be great to see Saatva focus more on organic and non-toxic bedding and mattresses in the future. For now, though, we’ve gone with a ⅘ for the presence of spandex in this product and for the company’s overall lack of serious sustainability.

Discounts available!

If you’re currently in the (U.S.) military, or are a veteran, first responder, government employee, nurse, teacher, senior citizen or student, Saatva offers a year-round $225 discount off orders of $1,000 or more.


The Best Water-Resistant Wool Mattress Protectors

Staff Tested

Shepherd’s Dream Washable Wool Mattress Protector

Highlights: Water-resistant washable wool mattress protector made with EcoWool sourced from Pacific Northwest farms using humane, organic, sustainable practices. Totally non-toxic and natural. Supports thermoregulation and restorative sleep.

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What we like

  • Made solely of U.S. EcoWool
  • Water-resistant without chemicals
  • Washable!
  • Very effective
  • Uses wool from sheep who are well cared for
  • Great for adults, kids, and babies
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Sustainably packaged
  • Made by a sustainable, family-run, caring company

What could be better

  • Not organic certified (but arguably better!)
  • Not fully waterproof
  • Sits on top of mattress with elastic corner loops (no side protection)

At a glance:

Materials: Wool

Certifications: EcoWool, Fibershed, Green America Business, Handmade, Sustainable Furnishings Council

Cost: $215-$390

Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King (crib protector also available without elastic loops),

Shepherd’s Dream offers a wide range of sizes for its washable wool mattress protectors, including crib mattress protectors I’ve used with success for several years. And I got those wool puddle pads and protectors from a friend who had also used them for many years prior!

Put simply, these gorgeous wool mattress protectors are incredibly durable and effective. They’re super sustainable, from the source of the wool through manufacture, to end of life.

Shepherd’s Dream is a small, family-run company that is committed to a more sustainable, circular approach to business. It has a zero-waste policy, makes everything by hand using traditional methods, and cares about materials, sourcing, packaging, and disposal at end of life.

If you’re looking for more protection for your mattress than cotton but don’t want TPU or polyurethane, wool is your best bet. This incredible fiber supports thermoregulation and is moisture-wicking and water-resistant. Wool has also been seen to support restful deep sleep, and it can even help to reduce motion transfer if your mattress is a little on the bouncy, soft side.

My experience with the Shepherd's Dream Wool Puddle Pad Protectors

A friend gave me a Shepherd’s Dream Wool Puddle Pad and a Crib Mattress Protector when I was pregnant and I absolutely love them (the friend and the pads). The puddle pad was perfect for the change table and the mattress protector has saved our crib mattress several times over from spit-up, cloth diaper leakage, and various other insults.

Water and other liquids just bead on top of the wool, at least at first. If you’re quick, this makes for easy clean-up; sometimes all you need is to dab at the spill to soak it up and leave the pad totally clean and dry. If you’re not so quick to catch the spill or leak, the wool will soak up some liquids and will need spot-cleaning and air-drying.

My only advice is to have at least two crib mattress protectors as it doesn’t feel great to strip the mattress and have no protector while the pad air dries.

Note that while my crib mattress protector has corner elastics, Shepherd’s Dream no longer includes elastics on its crib size protector (for safety reasons), just on larger sizes. Without the elastics, the pad still works just fine as it drapes nicely over the whole of the mattress, with a little fold over at the edges, and is held in place by the crib sheet.

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