How to Select an Organic Mattress: What do the Certifications Really Mean?

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When you’re researching different organic mattresses on the market, you’ll come across many different certifications for the material used in production.


Here’s a list of the most common certifications and what they mean:


Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). GOLS is the materials and processing standard for organic latex and finished natural latex foam. GOLS also certifies that the production and manufacturing processes meet standards for human health and safety.


Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS certified means that the material used in the mattress is organic, meaning that no pesticides are used in the production of cotton. As with GOLS, they also can certify that no harmful chemicals are used in the production of the mattress itself. GOTS is the world’s primary processing standard for all organic textiles.


Made Safe Certification. Made safe certifies that there are no known harmful chemicals used in the production of the mattress. Only a select number of mattresses meet their criteria.


GOTS Wool Certificate. Same as the above, but for wool production.


GreenGuard Gold Certification. This certification is for low chemical emissions standards. It generally means the product is free from PBDE flame retardants, phthalates, chlorofluorocarbons, mercury, and other harmful toxins.


OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certification. This certifies that the materials used in production are free of pesticides, allergenic dyes, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and chlorinated phenols. It also confirms that the pH isn’t harmful to the skin, which is important if you’re prone to skin allergies.


Eco Institute Certification. This organization ensures that the mattress is free from pollutants. They also monitor for a similar list of chemicals as the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certification


Control Union Certification. This is the largest organic regulator in Europe.


Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This eco-friendly institution ensures that products are made in sustainable ways that do limited or no damage to the local environments.


Rainforest Alliance Certification. This certification ensures that workers and their families who work on the production of materials, like natural rubbers, are treated well and that the wildlife aren’t harmed during production.


CertiPUR-US Certified Foam. This seal means the mattress is certified by an independent laboratory to meet certain standards for indoor emissions, sustainability, and product performance.


As you can see, there are a wide range of certifications you might see in organic mattresses available online. For personal health, the GOTS certification for cotton and the GOLS certification for natural latex are arguably the most important. These certifications are also the most difficult to get.


Many of the others like Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance Certification are less about personal health and more about environmental sustainability.


So when you’re shopping for your next mattress, be sure to pay attention to which certifications each mattress brands have. And if you’re in the market for an organic mattress that doesn’t have any toxic chemicals, make sure the mattress if GOTS and GOLS certified.

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