Are Serta Mattresses Toxic?

Written by:

John Goss


Naturepedic Verse Organic Kids Mattress from Gimme the Good Stuff 005

Updated: 03/21/2024

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Serta makes a wide variety of mattresses that use a wide variety of materials. This includes everything from polyurethane foam to memory foam to “natural” latex foam.

Serta’s products, while improved over their mattresses from 10 years ago, still are not what we’d call “Good Stuff.”

So, are Serta mattresses toxic? Let’s look into it.

What Serta Does Right

We always want to give credit where credit is due, and Serta has improved in recent years. It is now less toxic than it used to be for a couple of key reasons:

  1. Serta appears to have ditched chemical fire retardants in their mattresses. They now use a “proprietary blend of natural and synthetic fibers.” We never love “proprietary,” but it’s great that Serta mattresses aren’t treated with PBDEs. (It’s worth noting that Serta had a recall in 2022 for failing to meet flame retardant requirements!).
  2. Serta has obtained CertiPUR certification for the foam components of their mattresses. While this is not our favorite certification, it does mean that at least the foam in a Serta mattress is tested for heavy metals, certain phthalates, and formaldehyde.

There are a variety of reasons that we wouldn’t recommend Serta mattresses to our readers, but one in particular is the most important.

Serta Lacks the Best Certifications

It’s nearly impossible to trace every material in every component of a mattress, and claims like “natural” are all but meaningless. A stamp of approval from the right certifying body is the most important thing to look for when purchasing a mattress. Unfortunately, not all certifications provide the same amount of assurance.

Here are the four certifications you might see on a mattress. The brands we call the Good Stuff will have the first two.

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Mattresses with the GOTS certification have fabric components that are made of 95 percent organic material. The label also ensures that no chemical flame retardants or polyurethane were used in the manufacturing process.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). The GOLS certification ensures that the latex in a mattress is at least 95 percent organic. Like the GOTS, the GOLS label also ensures that no chemical flame retardants or polyurethane were used.
  • GreenGuard. A GreenGuard certification does not guarantee that no VOCs were used to make a mattress, but it does ensure that a mattress has low chemical emissions.
  • CertiPUR. CertiPur certification means that chemicals, such as formaldehyde and phthalates, were not used for the polyurethane that’s in a mattress, but it doesn’t cover any other materials in the mattress. As we mentioned, this is the certification that Serta foam has.

Some of Serta’s other claims are also dubious. For instance, their iComfortECO foam mattress contains a “natural latex” layer. Closer inspection of the materials in this mattress reveals that the latex is 20% natural, meaning the majority is synthetic. Unfortunately, synthetic latex is often made of carcinogenic styrene.

When you start looking deeply at Serta’s mattresses, you see that claims of non-toxicity or eco-friendliness are pretty thin.

Our Top Pick for a Mattress That Is Not Serta

Botton Line: Are Serta Mattresses Toxic?

In order to qualify as Good Stuff, mattress brands must be totally transparent about the sourcing of their materials. Serta fails to do this, and makes claims about sustainability and non-toxicity that aren’t backed up by the materials they use.

Serta has taken some steps towards making a safer mattress, including using foam with a CertiPUR certification. But they have a long way to go for us to consider them Good Stuff.

Check out our Mattress Shopping Guide to learn (much!) more about finding a truly toxin-free mattress.

John, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Note: This article contains affiliate links or sponsored content, which means that if you make a purchase, we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that meet our strict standards for non-toxicity and that we use (or want to use!) ourselves. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Good Stuff! 

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