If you’re in the market for an organic mattress, you have your work cut out for you.
You’re probably surfing the ‘Net slogging through organic mattress jargon and wondering how you’ll ever be sure you’re getting the real deal. Here’s some insider info, hope it helps.
Organic food is regulated. The organic mattress industry is not. Most dealers can’t even agree on what the definition of an organic mattress, is. So I’ll take a crack at it.
To be truly organic, with the exception of an innerspring coil system, a mattress should be made with materials found in nature, not a chemical plant. These materials usually are produced organically without the use of pesticides or toxic processing treatments: cotton, wool, 100% natural rubber. Some high end models feature horsehair.
An organic mattress is free of chemical flame retardants; wool usually serves as the fire protection. To be truly “organic”, a mattress does not contain petrochemical-based synthetics, boron, borate, or boric acid, or other chemical treatments.
Here are four questions to ask your sales person:
- Is the outer cover made with certified organic cotton? Be sure it has not been treated with stain resistant chemicals like formaldehyde.
- How does the mattress meet the U.S. Fire Resistant Code #1633 that took effect on July 1, 2007? If the mattress is organic, in most cases a layer of organic or untreated wool is placed under the outer cover to pass the burn test. Wool self-extinguishes when exposed to a flame. Some manufacturers use non-chemical flame retardants like corn husks and baking soda; ask how these are processed to be sure they are truly toxin-free.
- Is the innerspring coil system sprayed with oils or a rust-proof treatment? An organic innerspring mattress system is untreated.
- Is the inner core of a latex mattress made with 100% natural rubber? If the sales person hedges, the latex core is probably a blend of 60/40 natural rubber and petrochemical-based synthetic. The percentage of natural rubber in the core of an organic mattress should be 90+%.
As you do your homework, keep in mind a .com website offers information to help sell their products. For objective opinions and reliable facts, do your research on sites that end in .org.
Look for third party reviews / certifications and buy from a reputable dealer. Steer clear of stores that recently opened, in this economy they could close just as quickly putting your warranty and your deposit at risk.
Don’t assume you’re getting an organic mattress when the brochure says it’s all natural, eco-friendly, green, or sustainable (a true organic mattress is all of these things). Remember, unless it’s called organic, it’s just marketing hype.
Let me know what you think.