Understanding a GOTS Certified Mattress
Understanding a GOTS Certified Mattress
A GOTS certified mattress and an “Organic mattress” is a very specific term that can only be used in reference to mattresses made in a certified facility that meets a specific set of standards. There are very few mattress companies that actually meet these standards and are certified to call their products “organic mattress.”
Naturepedic is one of the few mattress makers certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) as a certified organic mattress manufacturer and facility. This provides assurance that the certified organic fiber-based products meet the GOTS organic and nontoxic standards.
You might see the GOTS logo on other mattress websites, but many of those websites do not have certified organic mattresses. Often only one part of the mattress—such as the cover fabric—is GOTS certified organic. So it’s important to read descriptions carefully and double-check the GOTS website at www.global-standard.org to make sure the GOTS logo is being used properly.
As a GOTS certified mattress manufacturer and facility, every part of every Naturepedic mattress is inspected and certified by GOTS, and each Naturepedic mattress is certified organic by GOTS as well. In other words, GOTS certifies the entire product, not just this or that component, as meeting their organic and non-toxic standard.
Here’s how a GOTS certified mattress works.
GOTS certifies fiber-based products. A fiber-based mattress can be certified by GOTS.
The fibers in a GOTS-certified product must be certified organic. However, in order to make this product, other materials are also needed. These other materials (called by GOTS “accessories”) are permitted as long as they are nontoxic per the GOTS standard.
GOTS divides the materials used to make a product into two piles:
1. The organic fiber (that qualifies the product for GOTS certification)
2. The accessories (things you have to include to make the product, which are not part of the organic fiber pile)
A manufacturer must meet the GOTS standard for organic fibers in the first pile. Then, as needed for the particular type of product, they may use nontoxic materials from the second pile (“accessories”) to create a consumer product, in this case a mattress.
Manufacturers are also required to show that these nontoxic accessory materials are needed for specific reasons.
Because of the need to use other materials that are not agricultural, to make a mattress, the GOTS “organic” certification is actually a combined organic and nontoxic certification. The fibers are organic, and any needed accessories are nontoxic.
Combining organic and nontoxic materials results in a safer product.
In particular, the organic fiber and fabrics must be made from certified organic materials that meet the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standard and are processed in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The fiber portion of the GOTS certified mattress must be 95% certified organic fibers and can be up to 5% nonorganic “additional materials.” All other accessory components must meet the stringent nontoxic standards.
GOTS is a standard. In order to be certified that this standard has been met, an inspector needs to go to the manufacturing facility and see that the manufacturer has complied with the GOTS requirement.
Naturepedic products have been inspected and certified organic to the GOTS standard by two certifying organizations:
- Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (see certificate here)
- Control Union (see certificate here)
But I have to say that Naturepedic doesn’t just meet the GOTS certified mattress standards.
Naturepedic goes way above and beyond:
- Naturepedic developed the patent on using food-grade polyethylene for waterproofing, instead of using vinyl or perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). Then, Naturepedic has gone yet another step further and is making its food-grade polyethylene from non-GMO sugarcane.
- Naturepedic uses food-grade polyethylene for its mattress cores, for those crib mattresses that do not use steel innersprings.
- Naturepedic also does not use latex (even if organic) in its baby products to avoid allergenic concerns.
- Naturepedic does not use any chemical flame barriers or any other flame retardant chemicals whatsoever. All Naturepedic products are designed to meet all flammability requirements without relying on chemical flame barriers or retardants.
- Naturepedic has purchased its own machine for making binding materials (aka “tape edge”) and is apparently now the only company that makes much of its binding from certified organic cotton.
- Naturepedic has purchased the last machines anywhere in the world that make encased coils with sewn certified organic cotton encasing for its Halcyon luxury adult line. (These are old German machines that are no longer being manufactured.) Virtually all encasing machines available today spray the encasings with glues, but Naturepedic refuses to use any glues/adhesives in any of its products.
In addition, Naturepedic products are almost entirely free of any petroleum-based materials or components. With the exception of small amounts of nontoxic polyester/polypropylene that are required to make a quality mattress, most materials used to make Naturepedic mattresses are petroleum-free.
In short, Naturepedic has become the gold standard for GOTS certified mattresses.
*Disclosure: Debra Lynn Dadd is a compensated Naturepedic partner, all views and opinions are her own.
About Debra Lynn Dadd:
Debra Lynn Dadd has more than thirty years experience finding nontoxic consumer products. She has been a leading consumer advocate since 1984, when she wrote the first book on toxic chemicals in consumer products and safer alternatives. Since, Debra has become the most prolific writer on the subject, with seven more published books and the largest website on nontoxic living on the internet at www.debralynndadd.com.