Posted on by Patrick Gunther

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If you’re looking for a mattress that’s low in VOCs and other chemicals, you might want to consider a CertiPUR-US certified foam mattress.

What Is Certified Foam?

CertiPUR-US refers to a certification process that allows consumers to purchase foam products, such as memory foam mattresses, furniture, and home furnishings that contain flexible polyurethane foam that has been tested and certified for the following characteristics.

People concerned about indoor air quality and the chemicals and other artificial ingredients they expose their families to, should always check for CertiPUR-US certification when choosing mattresses, whether for adults, infants, home, or travel.

Why Is CertiPUR-US Certification Important?

The EPA has identified indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to health. The air quality inside the average home is filled with radon, allergens, VOCs, PBDEs, and more – all of these things are bad for your health and that of your family and guests.

While making the switch to furniture and mattresses made with CertiPUR-US Certified foam materials will not eliminate all the bad things in the air inside your home, it will help you avoid bringing more into your home.

For families already taking action to get them out, or who want to make progress, this is a great place to begin. For those who have already taken action to remove as many VOCs from the home as possible, this purchase helps you avoid the re-contamination of your home with harmful chemicals commonly found in mattresses.

To recap, people who purchase mattresses and other products made with CertiPUR-US foam, enjoy many benefits including the following:

  • Reduced VOCs within the home
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Eliminate PBDE flame retardants
  • Enjoy comfortable sleep
  • Guilt-free rest
  • Durability
  • Peace of mind
  • And more.

Why Purchase A Certipur-US Certified Mattresses?

Flexible polyurethane foam is often an issue from both a health and environmental perspective and this applies to memory foam as well as other formulations. During manufacture, certain chemicals are used that deplete the environment and certain chemicals, like VOCs and fire retardants, are linked to health effects and indoor air pollution once they're inside your home.

Mattress foam and pillows, bed frames and covers could emit various semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds, which include organophosphate flame retardants and phthalate plasticizers. Emission rates could increase because of localized elevations in moisture and surface temperature close to the bed due to close human body contact.

Not all foam, like certified foam, uses chemicals like these.

Certification provides you with certainty. With uncertified foams, you don't know whether it will contain chemicals or not. When foam mattresses do have chemicals, it's not ideal for the quality of your indoor air and it's definitely not good for your baby and children that are still developing and has certain vulnerabilities.

The big issue with uncertified foams is the uncertainty of whether or not they do contain chemicals. You get this certainty with certified foam. CertiPUR-US certified foam prohibits phthalates the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates, along with organophosphate FRs.

6 Benefits of CertiPur-US Certified Foam Mattresses?

  1. CertiPUR-US Foam Meets Stringent Criteria

When purchasing products with certified foam, you can feel confident they've been analyzed by an independent, accredited testing lab and they meet CertiPUR-US standards for durability,. content and emissions.

CertiPUR-US certified foam, in order to "become certified", must meet the following criteria:

  • Crafted Without Ozone Depleters: The presence of the ozone is essential in the upper atmosphere, where it offers a shield from the radiant energy of the sun. Adopted in 1987, the Montreal Protocol mandated industries do away with ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the time the year 2000 hit. Foam producers in the U.S. were ahead of the game in complying with this regulation. In certain parts of the world, unfortunately, CFCs are still being used for manufacturing foam. The CertiPUR-US label means the use of CFCs are prohibited as well as other ozone depleters throughout the foam manufacturing process.
  • Crafted Without TDCPP, PBDEs or TCEP ("Tris") Flame Retardants: Certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were used in foam for meeting specific state flammability requirements, however these PBDEs were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. in 2005. Other types of flame retardants that can't be used in certified foam are those the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) identified as substances that could cause genetic defects, cancer, or damage fertility or an unborn child. TCEP ("Tris") or TDCPP are among these FRs.
  • Crafted Without Lead, Mercury and Other Heavy Metals: While heavy metals aren't common foam chemistry components, heavy metals in the home (lead paint) and in food (mercury in fish) have made the whole heavy metal family concerning. CertiPUR-US lab testing subjects material that is extracted to molecular evaluation with the capability of detecting small traces of heavy metal content. Registered foams are verified by CertiPUR-US to be made without lead, mercury and other heavy metals.
  • Crafted Without Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde, like heavy metals, hasn't been used in foam as a raw material. It's been labeled as the culprit of poor indoor air quality. CertiPUR-US verifies there is no formaldehyde in the certified foam through the use of a small chamber emission test.
  • Crafted Without CPSC-Regulated Phthalates: Phthalates are primarily used in the manufacture of certain consumer products as a softening agent. The 2009 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act did away with the use of eight specific phthalates for use in child care items and children's toys. CertiPUR-US takes it one step further and requires a thorough lab analysis of foam extractions and prohibits CPSC-regulated phthalates use in all CertiPUR-US certified foams.
  1. Has Low VOC Indoor Air Quality Emissions

VOCs are a huge air pollution component. VOC emissions from certain types of household products are also an indoor air quality concern. CertiPUR-US certified foam is tested through the use of a small chamber test the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standardizes. In this test, samples of foam are conditioned for 72 hours and then total organic compound emissions are measured. CertiPUR-US compliant foam test results are then verified to have low indoor air quality emissions.

  1. The CertiPUR-US® Program is Strict About the Claims Companies Make

As consumers, it's simple to toss terms around such as:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Non-toxic
  • Chemical-free

For the most part, these terms are generally understood. However, the conversational use of terms like these aren't really all that accurate and in some cases, are downright incorrect.

A good example is "chemical-free." Even though something might seem environmentally-friendly due to using recycled materials, like PETE bottles, for instance, it might not actually be that much better for the environment than products that use raw materials.

  1. Is Healthier for Your Family

CertiPUR-US certified foam is a much better uncertified foam alternative. The CertiPUR-US® program prohibits fire retardants (FRs) that the GHS identifies as substances that could cause defects, cancer and such. Presently, CertiPUR-US certified foam is prohibited from using the following FRs:

  • Pentabromodiphenyl ether
  • Antimony
  • Chlorinated phenols (PCP, TeCP)
  • Tri-(2,3-dibromo-propyl)-phosphate (TRIS)
  • Octabromodiphenyl ether
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether
  • Nitrites
  • Dimethyl Methylphosphonate (DMMP)
  • Tris-(aziridinyl)-phosphinoxide (TEPA)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)
  • Tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)-phosphate (TDCPP)”
  • Tris-(2-chloroethyl)-phosphate (TCEP)
  • Polychlorinated Terphenyls (PCT)

Of course this list could change and while limits do exist to what the CertiPUR-US program tests for, they're set by the best evidence available and as science changes, they evolve.

  1. Independent Lab Tested

When you purchase products that contain certified foam, you can be rest assured the inside flexible polyurethane foam will meet CertiPUR-US standards for emissions, content and durability and that an independent accredited testing laboratory has analyzed them.

  1. Repeated Certification

Foam producers must go through the whole certification process every six months for the first year. Once the first year has passed, they must go through the process once a year in order to maintain certification for each type of foam they want certified. Also, random foam production on-site plant checks are made through the CertiPUR-US program.

  1. Helps Indoor Air Quality

The EPA has identified indoor air quality as being among the leading five environmental health concerns. The average house's indoor air quality is filled with things like:

  • VOCs
  • Radon
  • Allergens
  • PBDEs
  • And more

These are all bad for your family's health.

While switching your mattresses to those that hold the CertiPUR-US label won't eliminate all indoor air quality issues in your home, it will certainly keep more from entering your home.

If you already started getting rid of these contaminants from the air in your house and you're searching for a way to make progress, purchasing a mattress that holds the CertiPUR-US seal is a great start. If you've already eliminated these contaminants from your home, buying a CertiPUR-US certified foam mattress will help you prevent re-contaminating your house with harsh chemicals that you often find in mattresses.

FAQs on CertiPUR 

  1. What does CertiPUR US mean?

CertiPUR-US is the certification process that enables consumers to buy foam products like furniture, home furnishings and mattresses containing flexible polyurethane foam that's been certified and tested and crafted with no ozone depleters.

  1. Is CertiPUR-US safe?

CertiPUR-US approved foams are those crafted without:

  • TCEP ("Tris"), TDCPP or PBDEs flame retardants
  • Lead, mercury or other heavy metals
  • CPSC-regulated phthalates
  • Formaldehyde
  1. Is "No" emissions and "no" off-fassing better than "low" emissions?

Unless you're referring to extremely clean stainless steel, there aren't many things on the planet that don't "off gas" to a certain extent and this includes your body. When you purchase products with the CertiPUR-US label, you can feel rest assured the inside flexible polyurethane foam has been tested rigorously by an accredited laboratory so that it meets specific criteria for indoor emissions and content. Certified foam is low VOC emissions (less than 0.5 parts per million) for indoor quality.

  1. If it's certified foam, does this mean it's crafted without flame retardants?

Certified foam is crafted without certain FRs, but only the flexible polyurethane product manufacturer can tell you if the product is free of fire retardants, since the CertiPUR-US program only prohibits GHS-identified FRs (which are those substances that could cause cancer, damage to the unborn child or fertility or cause genetic defects).

  1. If I'm allergic to latex and I'm experiencing a reaction to a mattress containing certified foam, could it have latex in it?

Flexible polyurethane foam is only certified by the CertiPUR-US program for upholstered furniture and bedding products. Latex foam isn't within their certification scope. It's possible for a layer of latex to be included in a mattress containing certified polyurethane foam. For this instance, as long as it's certified flexible polyurethane, the manufacturer would have the ability of using the CertiPUR-US seal. Therefore, you'd want to ask the manufacturer if the particular model you bought contains latex.

  1. Does certified foam contain fiberglass?

There wouldn't be any fiberglass in certified foam used for upholstered furniture, mattresses or pillows. But, mattress manufacturers occasionally use barrier materials woven from fiberglass (glass fibers) in order to meet government mattress flammability standards. If the barrier material does use fiberglass, it's essential you don't remove the cover, even if there's a zipper.

What Does CertiPUR-US Have To Do With PlushBeds? 

CertiPUR-US foam is only one of the quality features you’ll find in several PlushBeds mattresses including the Eco Bliss Collection, all of our bedroom memory foam mattresses, 6” RV Mattresses, MobilePlush 8” Cool Gel RV Mattresses /Gel-Infused Memory Foam RV Mattresses, and MobilePlush 8” Deluxe RV Mattresses / Memory Foam RV Mattresses.

People who purchase PlushBeds mattresses with CertiPUR-US foam can buy with confidence that they’re enjoying all the benefits of this impressive certification along with the quality standards that are synonymous with the PlushBeds brand. We remain as committed today as ever to providing high quality mattresses that are made in the USA.

Don’t lose another night’s sleep worrying about your mattress and what it could be doing to harm your family, your home, and the planet. Make the switch today to the CertiPUR-US foam products PlushBeds has to offer, and enjoy an affordable, greener mattress option for your family.

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