Are you worried about your mattress containing harmful chemicals? There are so many different certifications which make different claims. This can make it difficult to determine if the mattress you’re about to purchase is partially or completely free of chemicals.
For example, some mattresses have labels which claim that the product is “all natural,” but a label like this could be meaningless if there are no certifications behind it. Also, a mattress which is labelled an “organic mattress,” may only have some certified organic materials in it. Certified organic materials must make up 95 percent of the materials in a mattress in order to truly be an “organic mattress” and there should not be any harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Therefore, when you’re shopping for a mattress, it’s important to understand the various mattress certifications, like GOLS, GOTS, OEKO-TEX and GreenGuard Gold. That way, you can be sure of what you are purchasing and whether it is free of harmful chemicals.
Here are some mattress certifications that you should consider when shopping for a new mattress for you and your family.
GOLS Certified Organic Latex:
Up until now, there weren’t any required minimum standards to label a product organic latex. However, when it comes to manufacturing products under a true organic latex label, GOLS or Global Organic Latex Standard, is the first of its kind.
Any organic latex product that carries GOLS Certified Organic Latex certification meets or exceeds definitive standards in the steps of processing and manufacturing.
Minimum standards for latex products that contained organic raw materials were thought to be important to Control Union Certifications. These standards affect a variety of aspects of the life cycle of latex that include:
The objective is to inspire businesses working with organic latex to use processing methods that are sustainable. This standard also focuses on how products and processing affect your safety, health, and welfare, as well as the planet.
Why These Standards are Essential
Consumers often decide to buy mattresses made with natural organic latex so they can make healthy choices that contribute to the welfare of the planet. Without minimum requirements or standards, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish one mattress from another, and that could lead to biased organic latex claims. Also, you wouldn’t really know if you were getting a mattress with 5 or 95 percent natural organic latex. With GOLS certified products, they must contain at least 95 percent certified organic raw materials.
What’s Actually Behind Certification?
There are two unique grading designations behind what GOLS offers. Latex products often carry a “contains organic” or “made with organic” label that signifies the products consist of a minimum of 95 percent certified organic material. Products with labels claiming “contain X% of organic” or “made with X% of organic” consists of other certified organic raw ingredients and 70 percent certified organic latex.
GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard:
GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard, and it is the top processing standard in the world for organic fibers and textiles, including social and ecological criteria and backed by the entire textile supply chain’s independent certification. Defining globally recognized requirements, and ensuring the organic status, are the goal of the standard. This ranges from harvesting raw materials through socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing to providing labels that ensure credibility to the consumers.
GOTS checks compliance through a dual system with relevant criteria that consists of residue testing and on-site auditing.
With the onset of the labeling and logo system, the GOTS is visible on natural textile shop shelves and by brand dealers and large-scale retailers as well. This is the turning point in strong acknowledgment and consumer recognition of GOTS’s reliable concept of quality assurance.
OEKO-TEX’s STANDARD 100 is the world’s independent and consistent testing and certification system for finished, semi-finished, and raw textile products at all levels of processing, including the accessory materials used. Some types of certifiable items include:
- Knitted and woven fabrics
- Raw and finished or dyed yarns
- Accessories (zip fasteners, buttons, labels and sewing threads)
- Garments of all types
- Ready-made items of different types
- Household and domestic textiles
- Terry products
- Bed Linen
- and much more
The OEKO-TEX Standard 100 has decades of experience, and therefore contributes to effective and high product safety from the point of view of consumers. Limit values and test criteria go way beyond international and applicable standards in many cases. Regular company audits and extensive product checks also show the industry’s responsible use of chemicals in a globally and sustainable way.
Product Classes and Laboratory Tests
The OEKO-TEX tests for substances that are potentially harmful and they are based on the specific purpose of materials and textiles. The more skin contact there is on a product and the more the skin is sensitive, the stricter the human-ecological requirements are and the more they need to be in compliance.
Because of this, below are 4 defined product classes:
- I Product Class: Items for toddlers and babies up to 3 years old (rompers, underwear, bed linen, clothing, terry products)
- II Product Class: Items you wear close to your skin (t-shirts, underwear, socks, bed linen)
- III Product Class: Items worn away from your skin (coats, jackets)
- IV Product Class: Furnishing and decoration materials (tablecloths, curtains, upholstery covers)
The certification precondition of products that conform to OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is that every part of an item meets required criteria, along with the outer fabric, such as inserts, sewing threads and prints, and non-textile accessories like zip fasteners, buttons, and rivets.
Other preconditions include the application and existence of operational quality assurance measures, the conformity declarations, and the legally binding signing by the applicant.
GreenGuard Gold equates to a white glove inspection with specific focus on emissions standards for the mattress industry. It’s also focuses on how these standards relate to the elderly and children. A rigorous series of standards and tests are involved and mattresses must either meet or exceed these standards, in order to receive the respected distinction of becoming a latex mattress with the Certified GreenGuard Gold label.
About the GreenGuard Gold Certification
In earlier days, GreenGuard Gold Certification was referred to as GreenGuard Children and Schools Certification, since its criteria for certification was very strict. These criteria focused on safety factors that had an impact on the elderly, children, and other sensitive members of the population.
Today, the purpose is very similar. The standards are high to make sure that products that bear the GreenGuard Gold certification are sufficient for use in healthcare facilities, schools, and similar places. They can claim the products are safe for places like these since they’ve gone through rigorous testing that includes advanced dynamic environmental chamber tests, and prove to have low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), low emissions, ozone, phthalates and formaldehyde.
The GreenGuard Gold Certification process involves individual emissions limit testing for over 360 distinct chemicals, establishing a total chemical emissions limit and setting a phthalate emissions limit.
Mattresses and other products that are safe enough to go through rigorous standards and emissions testing, and pass, offer lower risks of releasing harmful emissions and off-gassing into the air.
Who the GreenGuard Gold Certification Standards are Set by
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Environment handles the GreenGuard Gold Certification process. Their mission is to promote safety, environmental health, and global sustainability.
Why You Should Purchase Mattresses that Meet these Standards
Regardless if you’re buying a mattress for yourself, your aging parents, or your children, you want it to be as safe as possible since you typically spend between 6 to 8 hours (or more) in bed each night (children and teens spend more.)
When you choose a mattress with the GreenGuard Gold Certification label and/or the other certifications above, it serves as a seal of excellence that lets you know you’re providing yourself and the people you love a healthy mattress, which you can feel good about.
PlushBeds is proud to have our commitment to environmental excellence rewarded with the achievement of GreenGuard Gold certification for all of our mattresses. It’s a great honor to be one of the few singled out for this recognition, since less than one percent of all mattresses receive this prestigious certification.
PlushBeds Mattresses are tested and re-certified every 90 days against:
- PBDE Flame Retardants
- Prohibited Phthalates
- Mercury, Lead & Heavy Metals
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Methylene Chloride …and 10,000 other harmful chemicals!
At a GreenGuard Gold level certification, PlushBeds mattresses prove beneficial to everyone, but especially the elderly and children, as they minimize chemical exposure, reduce indoor air pollution, and create healthier indoor environments.
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