is memory foam vegan

Is Memory Foam Vegan? (A Helpful Guide)

Today, we will find out if memory foam is vegan. Nowadays, people often prefer to buy vegan products. Not only food but also clothing and even sleep accessories like mattresses should be vegan. With the rise of memory foam as a standard mattress and pillow substitute, this question just has to arise.

You’re in the right spot! We’ll answer whether memory foam is vegan (and much more) in this article.

To do so, I’ll give my best to find out each and every single content of memory foam. And then we’ll find out where these contents come from. In the end, we’ll have a sure answer whether memory foam is vegan or not. If you are in a hurry, here’s a quick outline.

Question: Is Memory Foam Vegan?

Answer: Yes, memory foam consists mainly of polyurethane, which is 100% vegan. However, the mattress protector or pillowcase covering the memory foam isn’t necessarily. They can be made of materials such as satin, down, flannel or silk, which are not vegan.

Later in this post, you’ll find tables on the different mattress protectors and pillowcase materials to check whether your pillowcase is vegan.

Let’s take a look at how we got to this answer.

What is inside memory foam?

Memory foam consists mainly of polyurethane, an organic polymer chemical, that people commonly use to produce all kinds of spongy materials. Memory foam is one of them.

Additionally, memory foam often contains certain extracts like aloe vera, green tea and sometimes even charcoal with the goal to additionally provide aromatherapy and possibly to reduce the natural odors of polyurethane after unboxing it.

Also, some memory foam mattresses and pillows contain rayon, a fiber that you can make from wood and other natural agricultural products that imitates the feeling of wool. When it’s you mix it with memory foam, it adds a natural feeling and improves moisture absorption.

Pure polyurethane would probably feel too artificial without these additional contents.

Are these memory foam contents vegan?

Yes, polyurethane (PU), the main content of memory foam is 100% vegan. It is completely artificial and its production harms no animals. Many vegan products actually use polyurethane. For example, artificial vegan leather is often made entirely of polyurethane. Therefore, you can stop worrying about it.

The other materials contained in memory foam are vegan as well. Green tea extract and aloe vera, obviously, are out of question. They are plant products and 100% vegan.

Rayon, the material that is responsible for a more natural feel of memory foam, is vegan as well. It is entirely made from cellulose (plant fiber) by treating it with certain chemicals. Many vegan websites list it as an animal-friendly substitute for other fibers.

Are mattress protectors and pillowcases vegan?

While memory foam itself is vegan, we don’t know much about the pillowcases from memory foam pillows and the mattress protectors yet. So, let’s take a look at them in more detail.

Mattress Protector Materials

Memory foam mattresses never come as a brick of foam alone. They are always coated with a mattress protector that makes the memory foam more durable and comfortable. Additionally, a mattress protector protects you from bacteria and allergens inside your mattress. A Norwegian study found that foam mattresses are 4-8 times more likely to contain mites than regular spring mattresses. That’s why it’s mandatory for memory foam mattresses to have such a protector.

But are these memory foam mattress protectors vegan?

Most mattress protectors consist of materials such as

MaterialIs it vegan?Is it natural?
down not vegannatural

As you can see, all materials, except for down, are vegan. Additionally, I listed which materials are natural. As you can see, if you are a vegan and you want to stick to natural materials, cotton is your best choice.

Cotton is both natural and vegan. If you want to buy a memory foam mattress, make sure you get a cotton mattress protector.

cotton is the best suited memory foam protector material

Pillowcase Materials

Pillowcases are usually made of

MaterialIs it vegan?Is it natural?
satinsometimes vegannatural or artificial
flannelnot veganmostly natural
velvetsometimes vegannatural or artificial
silknot vegannatural

Satin is not always vegan because it can be made from silk (not vegan) or rayon (vegan). Similarly, velvet can be made either from silk (usually expensive) or from other products. Mostly, if you get a cheap velvet, it is vegan, because it does not contain silk.

If you want to make sure you get a vegan and natural product, the best choice for you would be a cotton pillowcase or a linen pillowcase.

How to use the material lookup tables

When you want to get a new pillow or mattress, take a look at the materials it is made of and check whether they are vegan using the tables. You’ll find that you have a sure-fire tool to find vegan sleep products (pillows, pillowcases, blankets,…) even though they are not declared as vegan.

Products that are not declared as vegan often are more affordable. So, now you have an easy and helpful strategy to distinguish vegan products from non-vegan products.

But don’t worry, I’ve already done the research for you. Below, you’ll find a small list of vegan mattresses and pillowcases you should check out.

Vegan Memory Foam Products worth checking out

Here’s a small list of memory foam products that I totally recommend for vegans:

Memory foam mattress:


Is there organic memory foam?

As a vegan, you don’t just worry about whether something is based on animal products. You often care about our ecosystem as well. That means you prefer organic and natural products over artificial, man-made ones.

Question: Is memory foam natural?

Answer: No, memory foam is never natural. It’s an artificial, man-made product that is heavily chemically treated. Memory foam matresses declared as natural are often just added natural, organic extracts like charcoal and aloe vera to cover the chemical smell.

is memory foam vegan or organic?

But if a memory foam mattress is never organic, what should you do now?

Here’s what you need to think of:

Think about whether “just” a vegan memory foam mattress is enough for you. Do you need your mattress to be organic? If you, for example, need a memory foam mattress for back issues, is it worth it to look after another product that is organic?

Let’s assume you absolutely need a vegan and organic product. Then, a memory foam mattress is the wrong choice.

Organic and vegan alternatives to memory foam

For clean, chemical-free and vegan sleeping, here’s the only mattress with a reasonable price you can find online.

Because it doesn’t contain chemicals, it is a good choice for everyone who cares for the environment, sensitive children and allergy sufferers.

Most other mattresses that I’ve found (like this one: click me) have an even better rating and are even Greenguard Gold certified, but sadly they are not vegan, because they use a mix of cotton and wool as a stuffing.

If you tolerate wool production, you can consider getting the second mattress (because the rating is much better).

Does the mattress make a big difference in sleep?

Absolutely. Mattresses are total game changers when it comes to sleep. They make you fall asleep better, ensure you sleep in a healthy sleeping position and therefore also protect you against neck pain in the morning.

But not only mattresses are important for falling asleep. There are so many other things you can do. And: Nearly all of them are vegan.

To fall asleep better as a vegan I suggest you take a look at this complete list of 47 Natural Sleep Remedies. It is a compilation of healthy foods, herbs, and fruit that you can eat before going to bed. I explained how each of them works in an easy-to-understand description (with studies and a little bit of easy-to-understand science).

Also, you have to take a look at the article Do Pillows make a Difference in Sleep?. It is a complete guide on how to chose the best pillow for you to make sure you maximize your sleep quality and to ensure you fall asleep like a baby. Additionally, I listed 3 things you have to look out for when choosing a pillow.

Is memory foam vegan? – Conclusion

Yes, memory foam is a vegan material. However, the stuff protecting the memory foam (mattress protectors, pillowcases, …) isn’t necessarily vegan as well.

In this post, you learned how to distinguish vegan from non-vegan products. And you also learned a little about the materials you need to produce memory foam. Memory foam is never a 100% organic product.

Here’s what you should check out next: 5 Reasons You’re Too Tired to Wake Up (And how to fix them!)