What Makes a Mattress Certified Organic?
For a complex finished textile product, such as a mattress, to be called "certified" organic it must be composed of a minimum of 95% third-party-certified raw materials. Then independently, the company manufacturing the mattress must also meet the requirements as listed in the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, and to subject its facility and finished products to an independent annual textile audit to standards such as GOTS, by a USDA-approved certifying agent.
Therefore, to call a mattress “organic” or to sell it as such, the company producing the mattress must earn independent organic status and be awarded an organic certificate annually in their name. This means that a mattress cannot be called "organic" simply because it is made up of one, some, or even all organic raw materials. It is the “certifying agent” that substantiates that the organic claim being made is actually true. It must be a USDA-approved certifying agent, who through an audit process can give a company legitimate claim or right to use the term “organic.”
We've worked hard to establish and maintain a comprehensive certified organic program. This ensures creation and assurance of certified organic goods.
Compare the purity and environmental impact of a Lifekind organic mattress to a mainstream, or “ chemical,” mattress...
A Lifekind certified organic mattress is made with GOTS-certified organic cotton (guaranteed to be grown without the use of pesticides and other processing chemicals) and our certified organic wool. Mattress cores are made with steel springs or GOLS-certified organic natural rubber, and pillowtops with certified organic wool and/or natural rubber. All our materials are from renewable resources that support sustainable agriculture.
In today's conventional mattresses, the most common materials used are man-made. They're derived from petrochemicals and from natural gas, which are nonrenewable resources. The list of ingredients can include polyester, polyurethane and memory foams, synthetic latex, Styrofoam™, nylon, and a host of other chemical derivatives.
Conventional mattresses are also likely to include cotton that has been treated with pesticides and other chemicals — definitely non-organic. On top of all that, such mattresses are treated with flame retardants and other chemical applications.
A certified organic mattress made by Lifekind is very different. Our mattresses are made with only organic raw materials (cotton, wool, and natural rubber — see below) by us at our own Eco factory™, located in Northern California. To keep our organic certification, our factory must annually be monitored by Oregon Tilth: the building itself, pest control, chemical content, and lot tracking of products from field to customer, our manufacturing processes, our record-keeping, production lines, purchasing of raw materials, and so much more. It's a crucial reason why we can say in our Purity Guarantee, "If you can find a purer mattress, we'll give you ours for FREE!"
Can a “chemical” mattress be harmful to my health?
Sleeping should be a time for nourishing and replenishing your body in a safe and pure environment. Given a choice, we would rather avoid the chemicals used in mainstream mattresses than absorb or inhale them.
Polyester's chemical origins include possible carcinogens that can potentially damage the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Polyurethane, synthetic latex, and other man-made foams may have all kinds of negative health effects, from headaches to serious allergic reactions. Chemical fabric treatments, artificial colors, dyes, and hazardous flame retardants can further add to the chemical “soup.”
In July 2003, researchers reported that significant levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are increasing significantly in human breast tissue, as well as in the environment. They have also been linked to the interruption of brain development in young children. PBDEs are used as fire retardants in polyurethane foam and textiles. In August 2003, the California legislature passed a bill banning these chemicals from all consumer products beginning in 2008.
Certified Organic Mattress Materials
Certified Organic Wool
Our GOTS-certified organic wool is from sheep that are reared organically without antibiotics, hormones, or other chemical treatments, following stringent guidelines that ensure no chemical contamination.
Wool has the ability to absorb large amounts of natural body moisture and then release it easily through evaporation. This attribute keeps you comfortable while you sleep by minimizing natural body-temperature fluctuations. (Synthetic fillings and coverings do not absorb moisture or dissipate body heat, often causing sleepers to wake perspiring and uncomfortable.) Wool is also resilient, and it discourages dust mites. Because of its high moisture content and the protein (keratin) that it contains, wool is also naturally flame resistant. We use no chemical fire retardants in our mattresses — ever.
Certified Organic Cotton
Lifekind sells only products made with 100% U.S.-grown certified organic cotton. “Certified” means that the grower or processor has met or exceeded defined organic standards. These farms and processing facilities, which are inspected annually, use only natural, non-chemical agricultural methods approved by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) and other nationally recognized certifying organizations. We will never sell cotton products described as “green,” “100% natural,” “undyed,” or “unbleached.” Such products are produced from cotton grown with pesticides and usually processed with dyes and toxic chemicals. Only cotton labeled “certified organic” is guaranteed (certified) to be grown and manufactured without potentially harmful chemicals.
Certified Organic Natural Rubber
The natural rubber latex used in our mattresses and pillows is harvested from rubber-tree farms, and the sap is USDA certified. Additionally, our cores been independently tested and certified to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 to test for the presence of harmful substances. Finally, the natural-rubber latex used in our mattresses and pillow tops has been third-party certified to GOLS, the Global Organic Latex Standard. The non-destructive harvesting process is very similar to the method used to tap maple trees for their sap. The natural rubber used in mattresses requires little fossil-fuel energy to convert the milky sap into safe, usable products. Natural rubber provides an almost motion-free sleeping experience, is exceptionally breathable and naturally hygienic, and will not house dust mites. In addition, infrared photography has shown that natural rubber reduces pressure-point pain up to 30% better than memory foam.