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July 9, 2019

Mattress Certifications: What to Know

organicClimate change is a hot topic that is truly changing the way people shop. This means the bedding industry is coming out with economically friendly products. Consumers also want to know what their beds are being made out of, and the health benefits of sleeping on all natural and organic materials. This is creating a whole new market for specialty organic items. And giving mattress certifications more precedence than in the past.

With this rise brings a level of “green washing” to look out for. Green washing is a term for when companies are jumping on the eco friendly trend without truly changing their practices. These companies will make products that seem to be “organic” or “eco friendly” but underneath they haven’t made any real or significant changes. Therefore certifications can really helpful a consumer navigate these waters.

Third-party Mattress Certifications:

avocado certificationsThe most important type of certification you should look for are third part certifications. These are important because someone outside of the mattress or textile company is coming in and verifying the companies claims. This gives you ease of mind that their claims are more than just smoke and mirrors.

Look for mattress certifications on their website. If a company has acquired certifications, they are NOT going to keep it a secret from you. Check the “stats” of the mattress or even scan to the bottom of their page, often any certification icons will be clustered together. You can think of these sections of websites as the boy/girl scout vest for a company. These companies have to pay a third party to come out and give certifications. Therefore they wear their certification badges with pride.

TIP – Be curious, if something looks unfamiliar or even possibly suspicious, look into it. It could be a new certification you are not familiar with yet, or it could be a hoax. The more information you have, the better.

Does it need to be certified?

USDA Certification IconThere are many different types of certifications, but we are going to focus in on USDA Organic as an example. Technically a product could be organic without being USDA certified. The benefit to a certification is that you can find the exact standards they had to reach in order to achieve that certification. That third party has done all of the research for you, so you know exactly what you are buying.

USDA Organic follows the National Organic Program’s (NOP) standards for organic materials. NOP is the federal regulatory framework in the United States. They are responsible for administering and enforcing the regulatory framework. All of that to say, USDA Organic is the real deal. If a material or product is USDA certified, you know you it is legit.

Overall if a company is claiming to be organic, eco friendly, or natural the likelihood is that they are doing a much better job at creating a natural product than the majority of mattress companies. The purpose of certifications is to have a level that products and practices must reach. That way, when you see that certification, you know the level of organic, non-toxic, etc that the product reaches.

How to know if a product is certified:

CU codeIf a company claims to be organic or natural and they have no badges or certifications to be found on their website. This will make it difficult to be confident in their claims.

Customer service is another great way to get information you are looking for. If you are curious whether a company or particular mattress has a specific certification, you should ask. You can always email or call, however many companies have chat services on their web pages that are quick and easy to use. However you choose to contact them, you can specifically ask what certifications they have there.

You can also find certified products by visiting the certification companies website directly. Often times they will have a page dedicated to companies and products that they have certified.

It is unfortunate but when it comes to claims of being natural, non-toxic, organic etc. it is better to err on the side of suspicion. If a company has vague terms under their certification icons like “handmade” or “no formaldehyde” keep in mind that these terms are claims and not certifications. A product can be certified as made without the use of formaldehyde, however just having the words “no formaldehyde” under a certification section, does not necessarily mean a product is certified formaldehyde free. Look specifically for the certification company icons, and know what those company certify.

Types of certifications & what they mean:

There can be a certification for just about anything. There are certifications for being vegan or non-toxic to having economic factory standards and so many more. Some certification companies will even do a combination of many different things. Which is why it is important to know what they are certifying. Just because the latex is non-toxic, doesn’t necessarily mean the entire mattress is toxin free. The glues they use or covering materials may not be certified non-toxic as well. So make sure to do your research and know what the certification covers.

certification logosCertifications:

  • USDA Organic
  • Greenguard Certified
    – gold standard
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
  • OEKO-TEX Standard
  • Cradle to Cradle
  • Organic Content Standard
  • MADE SAFE nontoxic
  • CertiPUR
  • Fairtrade
  • Oregon Tilth Organic
  • Green America (Green business)
  • Certified Humane (Raised and handled humanly)
  • CarbonFree®
  • Vegan (Vegan.org)
  • Forest Stewardship Council®

Many certifications are given to specific materials, and not full products. Other certifications are given toward the entire company for their practices. A company that makes a mattress with an organic cotton topper is going to be different from an organic company that creates fully certified 100% organic mattresses. The second would mean you would be buying a mattress that is completely organic from top to bottom and everything in the middle.

For example, the certification that Green America gives is toward the company as a whole. They certify that a company is using economically friendly practices. While OEKO-TEX gives classification for individual materials used to create a product.

Neither of these versions of classifications is better than the other, it is just good information to have and be aware of while shopping.

Certification Companies:

  • fairtrade cottonControl Union
  • Oregon Tilth
  • Tuv Rheinland
  • Eco Institute
  • CertiPUR-USA
  • Fairtrade America
  • Oregon Tilth
  • NSF International
  • Vegan.org
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Mattresses with Certified Organic Materials:

Bellow are some of our favorite companies that have certified organic options. Keep in mind, many of these companies have many other certifications as well and go way beyond being just organic. We think they are worth checking out.

Notice our phrasing on this “Mattresses with Certified Organic Materials” not “Organic Mattresses”. This is because there is really only one mattress on this list that is certified organic through and through, the Avocado. They also have a certified Vegan mattress as well, that is why they are the first on our list.

Click here to check out our review on the Avocado Mattress

Not a “certification” but pretty cool:

  • peta approved veganPETA approved products
    PETA does not give any certifications, however there are products that they will sign off their approval on.
  • DoneGood brands
    This is company sheds light on brands that give back through charity and/or aim to have economical, ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Councils
    Lots of companies will join councils that join companies together that are working toward the same goals. Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) is a popular one.

Mattress Certifications Overview:

certified organicCertifications are a great tool for you to use as a consumer to know the standards specific products and companies adhere to.

If you have your heart set on getting a bed that is Organic, Vegan, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly and/or anything else a mattress can be certified as, it is important to look for these certifications. All so you know what you are buying is really made the way you would like it to be.

For more content like this, check out some of our favorite natural mattress options.