Organic mattress – demystifying the term
If you ever looked at mattresses and came across the term “organic mattress”, you might wonder “what is an organic mattress”? You might wonder, yeah I know organic fruits and vegetables are grown without pesticides, what makes my unedible mattress an “organic mattress”?
Well it turns out that the definition given by the Global Organic Textile Standard, an international certification body, is pretty informative. First they define organic mattresses as being made of organic fibers. Then on their site they continue to describe organic fibers:
Organic fibres are natural fibres grown without the use of synthetic pesticides (such as insecticides), or herbicides and GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms) according to the principles of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture is a production process that sustains the health of ecosystems, soils and people.Global Organic Textile Standard (source)
So basically organic carries the same definition for mattresses as it does for agricultural products. Because cotton and latex rubber, two materials found in mattresses, are grown from plants, they can be organic like the fruits and plants that we consume as food.
What is an organic mattress?
Following the above, then it should be no surprise that the best definition of an organic mattress is one that a third party like GOTS will agree as being made with materials that are certified as organic by an independent third party. Organic mattresses usually have an outer layer of organic cotton and/or wool and an inner core of natural latex rubber. Some also have a layer of coir, horsehair, or other natural fibers in between the cotton and latex.
GOTS and GOLS are certification standards to define what is “organic”
The fillers in an organic mattress are what provide support and cushioning. Many materials can be used as fillers in an organic mattress, including natural latex rubber, wool, cotton, horsehair, bamboo, and soybeans. The most important thing to look for in an organic mattress is that it is certified as organic by a third party, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). There is an equivalent for latex, the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), which is a standard for labeling latex materials as organic.
As we mentioned early on, Global Organic Textiles Standard is an organization that certifies products as being organic. They set standards for what qualifies as organic and provide certification to products that meet their standards. The GOTS group originated from the International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standards, which was formed in 2002.
GOTS defines world-wide criteria for labeling mattresses as organic
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environment and social criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social and environmental criteria throughout the supply chain.
The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
“Organic” vs “Made with organic materials” – Not the same!
Products that are certified by the GOTS must contain a minimum of 95% organic fibers if they are labeled “organic”. A lower standard, “made with organic materials”, requires the product to contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers. So the first one has a higher organic fiber content requirement compared to the second. In order to be certified, products must go through a rigorous certification process that includes inspections and audits at every step of the supply chain.
Certification can be done by third-party certifiers that are accredited by the GOTS. The GOTS standards are widely recognized as the most rigorous and comprehensive standards for organic textile products. Many companies that produce organic textile products seek GOTS certification in order to demonstrate their commitment to producing high-quality, sustainable products. Certification by the GOTS can also help companies gain a competitive advantage.
How to choose an organic mattress – a few types
A mattress is an important part of our daily life. It provides comfort and support to our bodies while we sleep. It is a long-term investment because it can last for years with proper care. Different types of mattresses are available in the market, like memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses, innerspring mattresses, etc. You can choose any one of them according to your need and preference.
While using the mattress, body weight is evenly distributed on the surface. It helps to relieve pressure points and provides support to the spine. A good quality mattress can help to improve the quality of sleep. It is important to choose a mattress that is comfortable and offers proper support to the body.
There are many types of mattresses on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. An organic mattress is a great choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an organic mattress:
Certified Organic Materials:
Make sure that the mattress is made with certified organic materials. The materials have been grown and processed without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
Natural Latex Foam:
Many organic mattresses are made with layers of natural latex sourced from rubber trees. Natural latex is durable and bouncy, and it’s also a good choice for people with allergies since it’s naturally resistant to dust mites and mold.
Look for a mattress that has been manufactured using eco-friendly practices. This means that the factory uses renewable energy sources, and workers are paid fair wages. As far as we know, there’s no certification body for “eco-friendly” as there is for “organic”.
Choosing an organic mattress is a great way to support sustainable farming practices and get a good night’s sleep. Keep these factors in mind when shopping, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect mattress for you.
What about organic vs. eco-friendly mattresses?
Organic does not necessarily mean eco-friendly. Eco-friendly encompasses concepts of sustainability and low carbon intensity. That would mean the mattress is made of materials that underwent harvesting or processing that is less energy intensive than usual or generates less environmental damage. It could also mean using a mattress made of materials that are biodegradable, have low carbon emissions over its life cycle, and contribute less to carbon emissions and are gentler on the environment.
This website would rather a mattress be eco-friendly in order to reduce carbon emissions.
On the other hand organic simply means produced without pesticides. Even if the process involved no pesticides, it could be very energy and carbon intensive. Therefore we suggest you really get to understand the two terms, understand what you’re looking for, before making any purchasing decisions.
What is an eco-friendly memory foam mattress?
Eco-friendly memory foam mattresses are made from plant-based ingredients instead of petroleum-based chemicals. In addition, they are often made without the use of harmful fire retardants and other chemicals. As a result, eco-friendly memory foam mattresses are a potentially healthier option for you and the environment.
In addition to being made from safer materials, the memory foam aspect means they have the potential to be more comfortable than traditional matresses. This is because they contour your body to allow for better blood circulation and pressure relief. As a result, you can sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free. An eco-friendly memory foam mattress is a great option if you are looking for a good mattress for you and the planet.
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Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When she’s not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.