Casper and Tuft & Needle are two of the biggest names in memory foam mattresses, but which brand is more eco-friendly? Here’s our take on these two mattress giants.
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Casper has been selling foam mattresses since 1995, while Tuft & Needle only got into the mattress game in 2012. Experience isn’t the only thing that separates these two brands, though; one is likely a little more eco-friendly than the other.
Casper vs. Tuft & Needle
Let’s put Casper and Tuft & Needle head-to-head.
|Casper||Tuft & Needle|
|Intertek Clean Air certification||X||Y|
The winner? Tuft & Needle.
Here’s a closer look at how the two compare.
What’s in a Casper mattress?
We discuss the question of whether Casper is non-toxic in more depth here. For now, suffice it to say that Casper mattresses are not eco-friendly.
Although the company isn’t completely transparent about its mattress materials, we know that Casper mattresses comprise, among other things:
- Synthetic polyfoam (CertiPUR)
- Fiberglass sock
- Recycled polyester
- Upcycled cotton
- Metal innersprings in plastic wrap.
There may be other materials and chemicals in Casper mattresses, but we don’t know for sure.
This is partly because Casper mattresses don’t carry any certifications other than CertiPUR for the foam.
What’s in a Tuft & Needle mattress?
Tuft & Needle is also not very transparent about its materials, but we can see that most of its mattresses comprise, among other things:
- A proprietary type of polyfoam (CertiPUR)
- ‘ceramic gel beads’
- Polyester, rayon, silica/salt
- A cover made with HeiQ NPJ03.
Tuft & Needle claims that the graphite and ceramic gel beads help to dissipate heat and create a cooling effect for better sleep. There’s no evidence to support this, however.
As for the ‘cozy knit cover’, this is a synthetic textile, and Tuft & Needle uses something (thankfully non-toxic) called HeiQ NPJ03 as an antimicrobial and anti-odor agent.
Also known as Viroblock, HeiQ NPJ03 is an antiviral textile technology that sees a tiny amount of recycled silver and fatty liposome vesicle components added during textile polymer manufacture. The technology is EU REACH and US FIFRA compliant, OEKOTEX® certified, and meets ZDHC and bluesign® standards.
HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is non-toxic, safe and sustainable, using cosmetic grade, bio-based, and recycled materials.
Certifications and off-gassing
Casper only carries CertiPUR certification for its foam. As we’ve said many times here at Leaf Score, CertiPUR is not a robust non-toxic or eco-friendly certification. Instead, it’s largely an attempt at greenwashing by the polyfoam industry (see below).
In contrast to Casper, Tuft & Needle mattresses (also made with CertiPUR foam) carry Greenguard Gold certification and Intertek’s Clean Air certification. This means that Tuft & Needle mattresses have been tested specifically for their effects on long-term indoor air quality and found to comply with LEED EQ Low-Emitting Materials credit standards.
This doesn’t however, mean that Tuft & Needle mattresses don’t off-gas.
In fact, the company itself notes that it can take two weeks for your Tuft & Needle mattress to ‘break in and air out’. This could mean sensitive customers find the initial off-gassing doesn’t dissipate to a manageable level for 14 days or longer after unwrapping the mattress.
Of the two, Tuft & Needle is the better certified, but neither is especially attractive.
Greenguard Gold versus CertiPUR
Greenguard Gold certification applies to the entire Tuft & Needle mattress, not just the foam. This certification shows the mattress has been screened for more than 10,000 harmful chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause indoor air pollution.
|Substance||CertiPUR Limit [microgram/m3]||Greenguard Gold limit [microgram/m3]|
Note that for everything but styrene, Greenguard Gold is significantly stricter when it comes to limits on VOCs.
Casper uses a knit fire sock made with continuous filament (single-strand) fiberglass. This is an effective fire safety solution but fiberglass makes the mattress harder (if not impossible) to recycle, doesn’t biodegrade in landfill, and is associated with air pollution when incinerated and during its initial production.
Tuft & Needle mattresses do not contain fiberglass as a fire barrier. Instead, the company uses a knit blend of polyester and cotton or rayon cellulose fiber treated with fine-grained sand (silica) or salt. While better, this kind of flame barrier relies on synthetic materials.
Most genuinely eco-friendly mattresses are made with a wool flame barrier or are designed to avoid the need for one in the first place.
Both Casper and Tuft & Needle go in for a bit of greenwashing.
Tuft & Needle states, for instance, that “this certification [CertiPUR] ensures that your mattress is free of any harmful chemicals.”
That’s just not true. CertiPUR certification only certifies a product as having no or low levels of certain harmful chemicals. It isn’t as robust as Ecolabel and pales in comparison to the MadeSafe™ certification (for which no CertiPUR product would be eligible).
Casper claims that its mattresses are “made with planet-friendly materials, and without harmful, and ozone-depleting chemicals.” Polyfoam is not planet-friendly, however you market it.
Leaf Score Verdict: Casper vs. Tuft & Needle
Neither Casper nor Tuft & Needle mattresses make the cut as eco-friendly, non-toxic mattresses we’d recommend at Leaf Score. That said, there are degrees of sustainability.
Our verdict is that of the two, Tuft & Needle is the more eco-friendly, safer choice, compared to Casper. Tuft & Needle mattresses are synthetic and greenwashed but likely contain fewer egregious chemicals and materials than Casper mattresses.
For a genuinely eco-friendly, non-toxic mattress, check out our top choices here.