But the humble cotton mattress has been a tradition for a long time and it continues to be an excellent choice.
However if you are an eco-conscious consumer the good news is that you have the ability to purchase organic cotton products, including a mattress.
The main benefits of organic cotton are not so much in the product itself, but rather in the influence your choice will have on the environment and the cotton industry.
Cotton is one of the world's dirtiest crops, but also one of the most important. So supporting the organic cotton industry is a hughe deal.
Cotton is widely regarded as an excellent choice when it comes to comfort. It is soft, smooth and feels amazing to the touch. People are rarely disappointed when it comes to comfort with cotton clothing, bedding or a cotton mattress.
Newer mattress types such as latex and memory foam offer different types of comfort but cotton is the best if you like the traditional mattress style.
Cheap cotton mattress might compress or go lumpy but not quality products. A good quality cotton mattress will be pre-compressed and hand tufted to ensure a consistent feel and genuine luxurious comfort.
Organic cotton is hypoallergenic because it hasn't been infused with toxins and chemicals in the production process.
This means none of those chemicals make their way into your bed, which is great news for those with asthma or allergies.
Other organic mattresses such as wool or latex are also hypoallergenic, but latex can cause an allergic reaction in some people, as can the lanolin in wool.
Most people aren't aware of just how much they sweat throughout the night. To keep you comfortable and to keep your bed healthy you need a material that is good at wicking moisture.
This means that it can absorb the moisture released by your body and then release that moisture into the air.
While not quite as effective at this as wool, organic cotton is very breathable and can effectively wick away moisture.
The benefits of organic cotton mattresses are not just in the quality of the product but also the positive effect on the environment.
Conventional cotton production accounts for 16% of global insecticide release, despite accounting for a mere 2.5% of global cropland.
A report by the Environmental Justic Foundation states that "the fact that cotton outstrips all other major crops in terms of insecticide applications supports the view that cotton has become the world's 'dirtiest' agricultural commodity." 1
By choosing organic you are supporting the move away from the chemical cotton industry and supporting the fledgling organic cotton industry.
It wouldn't be fair to just talk about the benefits of organic cotton without mentioning the downsides.
Hopefully these will give you enough information to help you decide whether a latex, wool or memory foam mattress might be a better choice for you.
Neither latex nor wool mattresses have an innerspring unit. Cotton does. This isn't a big deal, a quality innerspring unit with a high coil number will be a highly comfortable quality mattress. However some people justifiably have a concern with metal in their beds. In this case cotton isn't the best choice.
Another drawback to the innerspring unit is that it creates pressure points. When your body depresses the springs their natural reaction is to press back and try to regain their original shape. This isn't good for your body.
A top of the line cotton mattress will reduce the impact of pressure points, but nevertheless this is a problem that you wouldn't face with latex, wool or natural memory foam.
Innerspring units sag and lose their support over time, as do all mattresses. However this process is faster with a cotton innerspring than it is in latex or natural memory foam.
However premium mattresses with the best quality spring units will wear out much slower than mattresses with cheap spring units.
Out of latex, wool and cotton the latter is least effective at resisting dust mites.
Organic cotton is still highly resistant but it doesn't have the natural immunity that comes with latex and wool.
An organic cotton mattress isn't as modern and fancy as latex or memory foam.
Rather it is an organic version of a traditional classic. If that is what you like then cotton is probably the mattress for you.
The key benefits by going organic is that you get a better quality product as well as making a choice that is better for the environment.