Origin: Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam
What the CertiPUR seal tells you: The flexible polyurethane foam used in the mattress has been tested to meet specific criteria for performance, indoor emissions and environmental stewardship.
This is a voluntary testing, analysis and certification program developed by members of the global polyurethane foam industry. It was created by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, a trade association of polyurethane foam manufacturers and raw material producers. A mattress that carries this seal means the foam used has low emissions (VOCs, or volatile organic compounds) for indoor air quality and is made without: ozone depleters, PBDEs, mercury, lead and heavy metals, formaldehyde and prohibited phthalates. For more information visit: http://www.certipur.us.
Origin: OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association)
What the Certified Organic OCIA seal tells you: That the natural materials made from crops used in the mattress (such as cotton, flax or other crops) were grown without using pesticides or chemicals.
The OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association) International is a non-profit, member owned organic certification organization. It provides certification services to thousands of organic farmers, processors and handlers throughout the world, including North and South American, Asia and Europe. It is accredited in the U.S. by the USDA for the U.S. National Organic Program. The seal is also accredited by governmental agencies in Canada, Japan, and European Union countries. For more information visit: http://www.ocia.org.
Origin: International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard
What the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) seal tells you: Ensures that the textile contains a minimum of 70 percent organic fibers. The certification also carries an environmental and social responsibility standard for companies. GOTS was created by organizations in the U.S., Germany, U.K, and Japan to unify existing organic standards from the harvesting stage all the way to manufacturing of fiber and textiles. A product can only be certified and labeled with a GOTS seal as a whole. For mattresses, GOTS certification considers all the contents of the mattress and divides it into fiber and non-fiber components. To be given an "organic" label GOTS requires that 95 percent of the fiber in the mattress content come from USDA NOP certified organic fiber. If the fiber content of the mattress is at least 70 percent it gets a "made with organic fiber" label. The non-fiber parts of the mattress (such as the steel innersprings) must also be approved by the GOTS program. For more information visit: http://www.global-standard.org/
Origin: GREENGUARD Environmental Institute
What the GREENGUARD seal tells you: The mattress has a low (and safe) level of chemical and particle emissions.
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is a third-party organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification Program. The program sets standards for allowable emission levels. Mattresses that receive certification under the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification Program and/or the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification Program ensures consumers that certified mattresses and the products used to manufacture the mattresses (such as glues) will have low and safe chemical and particle emissions (including low volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) for indoor use. Products certified under this label meet stringent requirements and must undergo annual recertification and quarterly quality monitoring. For more information visit: http://www.greenguard.org
Origin: Oeko-Tex Association
What the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 seal tells you: That the textiles in the mattress have been evaluated to be "skin friendly," screened for any harmful substances and pose no risk whatsoever to health.
The International Oeko-Tex Association is a group of 15 renowned textile research and test institutes in Europe and Japan with offices in 50 countries worldwide. The group is responsible for conducting independent tests for harmful substances according to its standard it calls Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This includes tests for substances that are prohibited by law, such as carcinogenic dyes, and those regulated by law such as formaldehyde, softeners, heavy metals and pentachlorophenol. It also tests for substances that are harmful to health, but are not yet regulated or prohibited by law such as pesticides, allergy inducing dyes and tin-organic compounds. It also ensures that textiles that touch the human skin are colorfast and have a skin-friendly pH value. For more information visit: http://www.oeko-tex.com.
Origin: Organic Trade Association
What the Organic Trade Association member seal tells you: That the manufacturer of the mattress or the bedding retailer is a member of the Organic Trade Association, a leading advocate in protecting organic standards for consumers.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America with goals to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. Members include a wide range of businesses engaged in promoting, producing, certifying or distributing organic products. The website states that many members use the OTA member logo to promote their affiliation with the trade association, but the seal is "...simply an indication of OTA membership and does not in any way imply company/product endorsement or organic certification." For more information visit: http://www.ota.com.
Origin: Sustainable Furnishings Council
What the Sustainable Furnishings Council Member seal tells you: That the mattress company is dedicated to using overarching sustainable practices in its business. Members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council must agree to a number of sustainable practices in its business including the sourcing of renewable, sustainable and organic raw resources and avoidance of toxic substances in all phases of its business. They must also agree to recycle in its operations, purchase recycled content and create recyclable products. The agreement goes beyond the actual product and extends into other phases of business including providing living wages to its employees and a commitment to the economic and environmental health of its local and global communities. For more information visit: http://www.sustainablefurnishings.org.
Origin: USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
What the National Organic Program seal tells you: That the raw material(s) in the mattress complies with organic growing and handling standards established by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).
This governmental agency inspects and certifies organic farms as well as processors, distributors and retailers of organic food and fiber. Note that only raw materials that go into a mattress (for example, cotton or wool) can carry this seal. Final products made up of different raw materials, such as mattresses, cannot be, as a whole, USDA Certified Organic. For more information visit: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/
Origin: American Humane Association
What the American Humane Certified seal tells you: That the farm animals used to make a product (for example, sheep raised for their wool to make mattresses) were treated humanely according to the standards of the American Humane Association.
This certification program is voluntary and is audited by a third party to ensure that farm animals are raised and handled humanely according to scientific and rigorous standards set by the organization. For more information visit: http://www.americanhumane.org.