Cotton Mattress – Advantages and Disadvantages

Cotton may be one of the oldest material used for making mattresses. It has been used by different cultures around the world to stuff their beds and make their sleep more comfortable from ancient times. There are records to prove that cotton, horse hair and hay were used to make mattress by different civilizations in human history.

Many qualities of thecotton likesoftness, durability, and versatility made it the preferred type of mattress for the elite in the society during those times. But when monarchy failed, everything became available to everyone. Cotton mattresses may be one of the most desired items by common people.

Even though many types of mattresses flood the market today, cotton mattresses still remain the favorite kind for many.

Cleaning a Cotton Mattress

What Are Cotton Mattresses Made Of?

Cotton plant

These types of mattresses are made of layers of cotton which is a natural fiber. It is usually stuffed inside a fabric covering usually made of water proof material. This is the case of the pure cotton mattress.

Cotton is also used in some Hybrid mattress, innerspring mattress and so on to make the outer layer of the bed. This makes them more comfortable.

When Are Cotton Mattresses Best Used?

Cotton mattresses are very comfortable and are available at a reasonable price. Moreover, India is one of the largest producers of cotton in the world. So cotton is easily available in the country. These factors make them the most preferred type of mattress in India.

Also, the health benefits of using a 100% natural material like cotton overcome all the disadvantages of it and are preferred by those who avoid synthetic materials.

Are Cotton Mattresses Available in All Sizes?

Yes. Because of its popularity and high sales, cotton mattresses are made in all sizes in India. You can find a twin, double, queen and king sizes in almost all local stores. Modern versions of the mattress like hybrid mattress are not found everywhere but are available on online shops and big stores like IKEA.

How Much Does a Cotton Mattress Cost?

Cotton mattresses are not much costly compared to other types of beds available in India. The cost of the mattress depends on the brand of the manufacturer. But they are available from Rs 2000 onwards. Hence they are affordable to common people.

Is Cotton Mattress 100% Natural?

Cotton is a soft, fluffy fiber that grows in a protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is pure cellulose. It can be spun into thread to make textile. Good quality cotton is used to make most of the available mattresses in the market.  So mostly all beds are natural. But in some rare cases, synthetic materials are also used. So care should be taken to verify whether the bed that you choose is 100% natural or not. 

Cotton mattress

What Are the Pros of a Cotton Mattress?

Cotton mattresses have many advantages over other types of mattresses.


Cotton mattresses are very soft. They provide a good cushioning effect and which guarantees a comfortable and uninterrupted sleep. The comfort provided by the cotton mattress is one of the factors that make it a popular choice of the people.


Most mattresses available today are made of synthetic materials. The chemicals used in making these materials have different effects on different people. Many are not at all affected by them, but some become very allergic. Some allergic reactions can become very acute and damage a person’s health. Moreover, some synthetic mattresses like memory foam have the property of off-gassing by which they release Benzene, a cancer-causing chemical. Though researchers are yet to arrive at conclusive evidence, they can cause health problems to those using them.

Cotton mattresses, on the other hand, do not cause any of these problems as they are made of natural cotton.

Air Circulation

In a country with a hot and humid atmosphere like India, sleeping in some modern mattresses can be very uncomfortable. Many complain that they sweat profusely at night in the costly mattress that they have purchased. This is because they trap the body heat and does not dissipate it.

The cotton mattress does not exhibit this problem. As they are natural fiber material, they are highly breathable; meaning they permit air circulation. Thus the body heat doesn’t get trapped in the mattress and make your sleep uncomfortable.

Moisture Absorption

The breathability of the cotton mattress is not just the feature that makes it suitable for use in a hot and humid climate. They have a natural wicking property which absorbs the sweat of the sleeper. This helps to keep the skin dry which translates to a night of good comfortable sleep. The absorbed sweat does not cause any problem as it will dry off when the mattress is put in the sun for a few hours.

This property of the mattress is suitable for sweaty sleepers. So if you live in a hot climate or if you sweat too much, you will find cotton mattress best suited for you.


Many high costing mattresses lose their comfort after very few years of regular use. If you have children who love playing in their beds, the mattresses will get ruined much faster. Some mattresses like the inner spring exhibit the property of sagging by which the elasticity of the spring is lost and you feel like falling into a pit when lying down.

The cotton mattress does not have any of these problems. They are highly durable and normally have a life span of almost 15 years. Even when the cotton is displaced in the mattress due to aging, it can be refilled and used again. This avoids the dilemma people face when they have to purchase a new mattress every five or so years.

Low Motion Transfer

The bouncy mattresses are not suitable if you have a partner who tosses and turns at night. The waves created by the movement of your partner is transferred to you and disturbs your sleep. Cotton mattresses absorb this energy and do not transmit the waves. So you can sleep comfortably even if you have a restless partner at your side.

Kid on cotton mattress

What Are the Cons of a Cotton Mattress?

There are some disadvantages also for cotton mattresses.

Bed Bugs and Mites

Cotton mattresses are prone to dust mite and bed bug attacks. As cotton is a natural product, these insects are not repelled by it. Once the bed becomes infested with mites or bugs, it is very difficult to exterminate them. So constant care should be taken to protect the mattress from their attack.

Pressure points

These type of mattresses can sometimes cause pressure point pains to some people. This happens when the cotton layers become hard due to aging. Side sleepers are the ones who are most affected by this problem as they experience pain in their hip and shoulders. This makes the cotton mattress unsuitable for use in hospitals and other medical purposes.

Fire Hazard

Natural cotton can catch fire very easily. Hence cotton mattresses have very low resistance towards fire hazard. This is a dangerous problem especially if you have a toddler who experiments everything. If you are planning to buy a cotton mattress, make sure that you do not face any fire threats.

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