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Mattress companies may claim their product is all natural, environmentally friendly, or organic, but those claims aren’t worth much without certifications to back up their assertions. It’s important as a consumer that you consider the truth behind their claims and verify their certifications.
Parts of the mattress can be environmentally certified, such as USDA Organic certified latex or cotton. The entire mattress can be certified as well, such as Certi-PUR US, which tests and certifies for VOCs.
Independent Mattress Certifications
Independent, third-party mattress certifications are the most reliable. With third-party certifications, the certifying organization has no relationship with the manufacturer and tends to be transparent and fair.
Second or first party certifications can be problematic. Second party certifications, such as those from an industry association, are more credible. However, they are not independent and may not be fully transparent.
First party labels, which are created by the manufacturer, should not be used to evaluate a product. These are dubious, typically not tested or verified independently, and are usually thinly veiled marketing tactics.
Typically, third-party mattress certifications identify the impact of human health risks and environmental impacts. With certification, you can find out whether a product meets acceptable standards for quality. It’s important that you consider which certifications each mattress meets, and verify their certification status before buying a new mattress.
Environmental Impact Certifications
These certifications consider the environmental impact of mattress production:
- GreenGuard: GreenGuard and GreenGuard Gold test mattresses for VOCs.
- USDA Organic: The USDA Organic certification indicates whether materials used in the production of the mattress were grown organically, such as the rubber tree sap used to make latex mattresses or the cotton used for a mattress cover.
- OEKO-TEX MADE IN GREEN: Similar to the OEKO-TEX Standard 100, the OEKO-TEX MADE IN GREEN certifies the sustainable processes used to create a mattress.
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): GOTS certified mattresses must have at least 95 percent organic materials, and the remaining 5 percent or less of materials can’t contain specific harmful substances including formaldehyde and polyfoam.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): GOLS certifies latex products, requiring that latex must be at least 95 percent organic.
Human Health Risk Certifications
These certifications offer insight into whether a mattress poses significant health risks or not:
- CertiPUR-US: CertiPUR-US tests for emissions from foam and materials including PBDEs and lead.
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100: This certification ensures that mattresses don’t exceed emission limits for harmful chemicals including PBDEs, allergy-triggering dyes, formaldehyde, and VOCs.
- Eco-Institut: Eco-Institut typically certifies latex mattresses for hazardous emissions and chemical substances.