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What Is An "Organic" Mattress

An “organic” mattress is made up of a fabric cover, a comfort layer and a support layer constructed with fabric, textiles and upholstery that are bio-based or derived from nature. These materials are not composed of chemicals and toxins harmful to humans.  This is best summarized as a healthier and safer mattress with “no harmful chemicals.”


In order to refer to a mattress as an organic mattress, it requires third party certification. The most widely recognized and accepted worldwide certification for mattresses is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  Since 2011 the GOTS standard has been recognized by the US Department of Agriculture, National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) via a Memorandum of Understanding between GOTS and the USDA-NOP. The Organic Trade Association (OTA), the leading organic advocate organization in the US, has also recognized and worked with GOTS as the primary textile standard for both textile components and finished products.


Under the GOTS standard a manufacturer follows strict guidelines that pertain to the manufacturing processes, which ensures that the company is making products with clean, eco-friendly equipment and processes. This specifically includes certification of the entire textile supply chain. Additionally, social criteria based on the key norms of the International Labour Organization (ILO) must be met by all processors, suppliers and manufacturers. This ensures that fair trade labor and wage standards are met by manufacturers who are GOTS certified.


Something to consider when evaluating a certified organic mattress: a GOTS certified mattress may contain certain inert human made accessories that are allowable under the GOTS standard. This could include ingredients such as zippers, steel innerspring coils, vegetable-based bio fibers and certain human-made threads and textiles.  To be GOTS certified these accessories cannot contain toxic or hazardous chemicals as defined by the GOTS criterion of acceptable ingredients and materials.


Perhaps the major, primary concern about a new mattress is whether the ingredients used such as conventional flame retardant chemicals or polyurethane foams will off gas and pose an airborne threat by entering our respiratory system and then our bloodstream. Under the GOTS standard any ingredients or materials that contain or were exposed to such chemicals will disqualify them from being GOTS certified.


GOTS not only certifies specific textiles, but it also can certify the manufacturer that is making the mattress. Buying a “certified organic” mattress from a company that is also a GOTS certified manufacturing facility, gives you the greatest assurance of cleanliness and safety, ensuring that they have healthy manufacturing standards, equipment, materials and labor practices from the source to the finished mattress.


To learn more about the GOTS certification go to: / For a more detailed overview click on their description section.


This information sheet was authored by © 2017

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