What makes a Mattress Organic?
Technically for an entire mattress to be consider organic the entire mattress must be assembled in a certified organic environment, as well as all the ingredients within must be certified organic. Third party companies such as the Control Union, or Oregon Tilt will inspect the factory to certify that there is no contamination between non organic and organic products being manufactured. When it comes to food products and the many ingredients (cooking) it is so important that the facility uses proper water, no chemical or flavor additives, sustainable waste procedures etc. When it comes to mattresses there are only a few companies who can claim their entire mattress is certified organic.
A company can create a mattress using all certified ingredients and it is exactly the same as a mattress with the same certified ingredients being made in a certified organic factory. The key here is the ingredients being certified organic. Most mattresses manufactures do not garnet their own wool or cotton, so they have to rely on a third party certification from the felting company. The Futon Shop and TFSleep are one of the only companies who manufacture mattresses with organic materials and garnet their own USDA Certified Organic Cotton and GOTS Certified Organic Wool.
Many companies today buy ready - made covers from China and abroad, buy organic latex and fill it up and call it an American Made Organic Mattress. The fact is nothing is made in America but it is assembled in the US in a sterile room that has been certified by a third party. It is very confusing for the consumer to know the difference, but the bottom line is making sure the products that are certified organic are truly supported with transactional certificates that show each piece has been certified by a third party.
The main organic ingredients in mattresses are the natural fibers such as wool (any animal hair), cotton, coconut, and latex. There is no polyurethane foam of any kind. If a mattress contains any foam component at all, it cannot be considered an organic mattress. This includes Hybrid foam, viscose foam, memory foam, and gel foam. No company in the world can make an organic piece of polyurethane foam because it must contain DPI’s which is a petroleum based byproduct of gasoline refining. There are companies that try to sell their mattresses as organic and they consist of 1 inch of latex (that may or may not be organic) on top of 8 inches of polyurethane foam!
The USDA has set up guidelines on the labelling of organic products by the creation of the National Organic Program. The USDA only certifies raw materials as organic, however, for finished materials, such as textiles, a separate standard has been estblished and is recognized by the USDA. Textiles that meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) may be sold as organic in the U.S. unless the finished product is certified to the USDA organic regulations, product labels may not state or imply that the finished product is USDA organic or use the USDA organic seal. You can read a great pdf highlighting all of this from the USDA here.
Click to watch a great video on Mattress Manufacturing highlighting how organic ingredients from the farms get assembled into mattresses for your bedroom.
Why organic cotton mattresses are better Bottom line, you need to learn about the ingredients used in your mattress before you can know if your mattress is truly organic
Chemical Free Mattresses (all are fire retardant free)
Futon MattressesFor Use On Futon Frames