10 Tips on How to Sleep Green

Updated December 30, 2022

Joybed in a room with natural-looking decor and plants

Sleeping green is becoming more and more important to consumers as they become more aware of the potential health benefits and gain consideration for the environment.

First, here is a quick list. Then, we'll go more in-depth on each tip that we provide. Here are some steps you can take to sleep more green (natural and environmentally friendly):

  1. Buy a natural mattress

  2. Use natural bedding

  3. Turn down lights a couple of hours before bedtime and invest in eco-friendly lighting. Unplug your electronics that shine little lights.

  4. Use curtains to help manage room temperature

  5. Maintain air quality with an air purifier and by avoiding certain products

  6. Shop locally when you can and be aware of what the products you buy contain - for example, many people choose natural wax for candles over paraffin due to concerns that burning paraffin candles releases toxins. There is no clear research indicating whether this is a health hazard, but natural wax is shown to release lower amounts of chemicals

  7. Use only non-toxic, low VOC paints for bedroom

  8. Keep plants in your bedroom, they have a calming effect that could help you sleep better

  9. Use natural cleaning supplies and air fresheners (scented with essential oils rather than chemical fragrances)

  10. Open the windows

Now, obviously, this is a long list and can seem overwhelming. However, the point is not to go all the way, but to make small improvements over time. Eventually, your entire bedroom will serve your health with minimal environmental impact.

Breaking it down, here's how you can go about implementing some of these changes.

1. Natural Mattresses

One of the most important parts of your sleep space is your mattress, you'll be laying on it for about 8 hours a night (give or take). While most mattresses have safety certifications for their foams, more people are choosing to go the natural route.

Materials from the earth like cotton, wool, natural latex, and more are definitely not going to off-gas. There's no need to worry about any toxins or chemicals.

Related: Best Latex Mattress

Our Picks - Best Natural Mattresses


Joybed Mattress on a gray platform bed

The Joybed is foam-free and uses cotton and wool to add comfort. Once a mattress reaches the end of its life, these natural materials break down much faster than foam and plastics. This helps reduce landfill waste over time, and they're also not as harsh on the earth while breaking down.

This is a fairly affordable option, as most all-natural innerspring mattresses are considered luxury mattresses and are quite expensive. The Joybed mattresses ship conveniently in a box to your front door and come with a 120-night sleep trial.

Foam can retain heat and cause you to feel like you're heating up overnight. Breathable cotton allows air to circulate through, cooling you down without adding any chemicals to do this job.

Read the full Joybed brand review.

Shop Joybed »


Vispring mattress on a gray platform bed

As mentioned before, there are luxury natural mattresses out there, one brand that stands out is Vispring. These mattresses start off at several thousand dollars and go up into the tens of thousands. For this reason, they're not an option for everyone. If you can afford the high cost, they're an outstanding choice.

Using only the best natural materials, Vispring mattresses are built to last for decades, guaranteed by the 30-year warranty. This makes up for the high initial cost, as most mattresses only last about ten years.

The quilt is so tightly woven that dust mites and other contaminants cannot penetrate it, which maintains a healthy sleep environment and keeps the comfort materials intact.

Vispring mattresses are a worthy investment if you are looking to sleep on an all-natural luxury innerspring mattress.

Read our full review of the Vispring brand.

Shop Vispring »


White Talapedic mattress on a white platform bed

For a latex option, Talapedic is the way to go. They use natural Talalay latex, which has a ton of benefits. It's breathable, so you won't sleep hot. Sleeping on latex is excellent, it's responsive and provides some lift to your body while remaining pressure-relieving and comfortable. It's very supportive, keeping your spine aligned. These mattresses are incredibly durable, so much so that they come with a 15-year warranty. 

Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, which makes it a great choice for the health-conscious. It is a renewable resource, tapped from trees, and the materials are biodegradable. Talalay uses an eco-friendly production method that uses minimal resources and maintains the trees that are tapped. Read more about latex foam (and the difference between Dunlop latex and Talalay latex) in our mattress foams article.

Read the Talapedic mattress brand review.

Shop Talapedic »

There are other options out there, but these are some of the best that we know of. Make your choice based on what's important to you.

Related: Best Organic Mattress in a Box

Natural Mattress Toppers

Joybed natural mattress topper being placed on a Joybed by a woman and a man, in front of a brick wall

Can't afford an eco-friendly mattress, but want to start sleeping on a healthier surface now? You can check out natural mattress toppers. This is an easy way to adjust the comfort of your mattress as well. Joybed sells two natural toppers, an organic wool mattress topper and a vegan mattress topper made with cotton. 

The most common natural mattress toppers will be made with cotton, wool, down, or latex. Latex will likely add the most comfort and support, it's a great material if you're looking to make your mattress more comfortable. You have to be careful when buying latex if you want it to be truly natural, as many companies will add chemicals during the production process.

Down is very comfortable and lightweight, but can be very expensive and many people take issue with how it is harvested. You can find ethically harvested down, where they wait until the feathers naturally fall off of the birds. However, it's even more expensive, and can be difficult to know whether it's truly been harvested in the most ethical way. Down alternatives can be natural, though the label doesn't always make it clear. Natural down alternatives include eucalyptus, cotton, and other plant-based fills.

Shop Toppers »

2. Natural Bedding

Organic mattress cover on a bed in a room with pink decorations and a pink headboard

Similarly to mattresses, bedding is right against your skin all night every night. Natural bedding is made from cotton, linen, Tencel, silk, or bamboo. There may be some other types of natural fibers that are made into bedding as well. Cotton is one of the most common, as well as affordable, and there are a lot of types. You can buy organic cotton, which has some benefits over regular cotton. 

Natural bedding often feels nicer than synthetic fabrics and is usually very breathable. This provides a better sleep experience, as overheating will disturb your rest. It's also nice to know that when you wash your bedding, you're not sending microplastics into the water systems. 

You can get a natural pillow as well, and have your head resting on materials that will be more healthy. Often made with cotton, wool, latex, or bamboo, these pillows are a great alternative to memory foam or polyester fills. Shop pillows »

Shop Organic Bedding »

3. Turn down the lights

Turning the lights to low a couple of hours before bedtime has several benefits. It saves energy by using less electricity, which is good for the environment and for your bank account. It also helps you prepare for bed, allowing you to fall asleep quicker when you do lie down to go to sleep.

You can invest in more eco-friendly lighting if you want to take it to the next step. There are a few options for you to switch away from incandescent bulbs, including LED, CFL, and halogen light bulbs - however, LED lights are the most efficient at saving energy.

Another lighting tip is to minimize those little lights that shine from different electronics. Unplug what you can, this is the safest and reserves the most energy. If you must leave the electronic plugged in, cover the light or move it to another area so it doesn't affect your sleep. A dark room is most conducive to resting well, which is best for your health.

4. Use curtains to help manage room temperature

Using blackout curtains is the most effective, but any curtains will help with controlling the temperature and light levels in your bedroom. In the summer, curtains can block out some of the sun's rays and help you keep your home cooler.

This will lessen the load on your AC unit or help you keep a cool home without using air conditioning. In the winter, curtains can help keep out some of the cold winds that may otherwise penetrate your windows.

5. Maintain air quality

Using an air purifier can help improve the quality of the air in your home. Opening up the windows and ensuring good ventilation is another way to improve air quality.

Avoiding certain products, such as air fresheners with chemical fragrances can help maintain better air quality as well. If you're looking to add a nice smell to your home, use products that are scented with essential oils. If you have pets, make sure to research which ones are safe for them.

Another great way to make your home smell wonderful is to find a simmer pot recipe, these can be very powerful for sending a cozy scent throughout your home. Oil diffusers, naturally scented candles, and sprays made with essential oils are a few different options for you to scent your home naturally, without potentially harmful chemicals.

6. Shop locally and be aware of the products you buy

Shopping locally cuts down on the transportation of products, which is better for the environment. It also is a great way to know where your products are coming from and what's in them. When you can speak directly with the person you're buying from, it's easier to trust that you're getting a quality product.

Being aware of what you're buying means looking into the materials and how the product is made. You can make choices that are more natural and buy things that are made in a more eco-friendly way. This is a good way to also make sure that what you're buying isn't harmful to your health, such as with air fresheners as discussed in the previous tip.

7. Use only non-toxic, low-VOC paints

VOCs are volatile organic compounds. They often come from chemicals made by humans, frequently found in products such as paint, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and more. VOC levels are more concentrated indoors, so it becomes more important to be aware of them in your home. 

Natural paints have no VOCs, or you can buy low-VOC paints. This reduces the number of pollutants that would be introduced when painting your walls, helping to maintain better air quality.

8. Use natural cleaning supplies

As mentioned, cleaning supplies can contain VOCs. You can avoid this by choosing natural cleaning supplies. Vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils all have amazing uses as household cleaners. It often cuts costs to make your own cleaning supplies, there is a ton of information on the internet about how to do this.

Otherwise, there are a plethora of natural cleaning supplies companies out there now. Just read the labels to make sure that what they claim is accurate.

9. Keep plants in your bedroom

Plants are shown to provide a calming effect, making them a natural addition to your bedroom. There are several research studies that show the benefits of nature on our mood - improving concentration and reducing stress. Having plants is a great way to bring a bit of nature into your bedroom. The same effect can be achieved with fresh flowers as well as fake plants if you're not interested in plant care. Even lively fabrics or art featuring plants can give you a mood boost.

Reducing stress is very beneficial to your sleep, allowing you to fall asleep faster and rest more deeply. Try adding some plants to your home and see how your mood and sleep improve. This topic was discussed by Psychology Today.

Bedroom with plants, photos of plants on the wall, and a pillow with a leafy green pattern.

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg

10. Open the windows

Most VOCs are produced indoors, from activities such as cooking or different hobbies. Opening the windows from time to time and allowing the outside air to replace the indoor air is a great way to create a healthier environment.

Also, when trying to cool off, opening windows instead of using AC whenever possible is a good way to go. It saves energy and provides you with better air quality.


There are many ways to start creating a healthier, more natural environment for you to sleep in. Whether it's the products you buy, small daily habits, or more dramatic lifestyle changes, there's something for everyone. We hope these ten tips are helpful in getting started if you wish to sleep greener. 

Remember that it's best to take it slow and make small changes, or it can easily become overwhelming and unattainable. You can build up your natural choices over time and eventually they will become the norm for you. Or, you can just sprinkle them in when it works for you, you'll still see plenty of benefits.

Need Help Finding Natural Sleep Products?

If you still need assistance, feel free to contact our bedding experts at 800-455-1052, or open a chat with one of them. They'll know just how to help you find a natural mattress and bedding and can answer any remaining questions you have.

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