Americans are making a lot of progress on the sustainability front. Most importantly, they are willing to acknowledge the importance of green living. However, they also aren’t doing enough in other ways.
They aren’t doing enough to get away from gas powered vehicles. Pew Research shows that 95% of cars still run on gas. Fortunately, they are going green in other ways, such as using eco-friendly mattresses.
Eco-friendly Mattresses Become a Dominant Market Force
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has standards that say 95% of mattress materials need to be sustainable to be considered eco-friendly. A growing number of mattresses meet these requirements, but customers need to understand them to make informed decisions.
Trying to do your part to help the environment and go green where you can isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Just because something claims to be eco-friendly doesn’t mean it really is, and organic doesn’t always mean healthy. When it comes to buying an eco-friendly mattress, you should first find a reputable manufacturer.
Many stores that claim to sell natural mattresses are actually using toxic chemicals, in addition to the plant-based ingredients they need to include to call a product “natural.” Learning how to distinguish the true, eco-friendly mattresses from brands that are less reputable isn’t easy, but when it comes to your health, time spent researching the facts is well worth it.
These three truths about eco-friendly mattresses will guide you to the right organic mattress, letting you help the environment and your health.
Eco-Friendly Mattresses: Just the Facts
Because technology makes it possible to sell just about anything, anywhere, it’s easy to find yourself with a product that looked great online, when the reality was nowhere near the picture. The knock-off products and fakes aren’t limited to web sales, though. Even mattress stores will sell copycat items and mattresses with labels that claim organic or eco-friendly materials, even when they aren’t.
These three truths will lead you away from the fakes and to the incredible eco-friendly mattress that you want.
1. Your gut instinct is usually on target. If you are working with a mattress company that makes you feel uncomfortable, remember that you are not required to purchase from them. You should be able to trust the company you are buying your mattress from, as you may need to work closely with them in the future if there are any issues.
Find an honest company that puts the needs of their customers first. Since there are so many competitors for varying products and services, it’s not that hard to find a reputable company. And with customer satisfaction reviews on Yelp, Google, and social media, it is relatively easy to figure out which companies to stay away from and which have a trustworthy track record.
2. If it’s “natural” but has a chemical flame retardant, it’s not what you want. Because the materials that comprise conventional mattresses are so flammable, it’s necessary for manufacturers to use a flame retardant before their product can be sold, as dictated by the Code of Federal Regulations. For most companies, this is a chemical flame retardant that is inexpensive and made from toxic chemicals. These chemicals, however, don’t have to be listed for buyers to see; once the test is passed, the mattress meets the flame standard and can go on to be sold.
True eco-friendly mattresses don’t use a chemical retardant on top of their organic and plant-based components. You may have to pay a bit more for the mattress, but that is so the company can use better, safer ingredients.
3. Truly eco-friendly mattresses will have third party certifications. Organizations like the USDA and other third parties with expertise in the area will certify that a product meets a certain standard. A third-party certification is given voluntarily to a manufacturer whose products meet predetermined environmental standards. For eco-friendly mattresses, look for products that have been certified to be truly organic.
Although this is a completely voluntary practice, companies who want to earn the organic certification for their products must go through a rigorous process. Manufacturers need to know the associated standards for certification, including farming, storage, and transport of their ingredients. Their methods must be compliant with the third-party standards. They can’t use any suppliers that aren’t approved.
The manufacturers must also provide extensive documentation of every aspect of their product’s history and a plan for how they will continue to ensure their products are organic. They are subject to annual inspections and inspection fees. As this certification process is in-depth, earning the label of “organic” is, in itself, a testament to a company’s commitment to quality and safety.
To make sure a product’s organic label is authentic, ask to see the certification itself. Reputable companies will gladly show you theirs; they worked hard to earn it and are proud to brag about their accomplishments!
A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way
Trust your gut instinct and find a reputable company to work with. Once you do, you’ll see why eco-friendly mattresses are worth every penny. With better rest comes better health, and an organic mattress is a great investment to ensure that you get quality sleep.