As a veteran of the mattress industry, I get asked questions all the time. Recently, on a website called GoodBed.com, a user posed the question, "Is there such a thing as a Certified Organic Mattress?"
This question touched off a bit of a debate, as I took a more antagonistic viewpoint, one that contends that there is no such thing as a truly organic mattress. The reason I contend that there is no truly organic mattress starts with what the definition of what "organic" is.
In the organic food realm, the food follows a chain of custody, from the farm to the store. That means that it has to be grown, harvested, transported and handled at the store level in a way that preserves its organic status. There are governing bodies that ensure the organic produce follows these procedures.
In the mattress business, there are governing bodies that oversee organic materials such as cotton, wool and latex. These materials are grown and harvested under specific regulations and governed by third party entities that ensure they are organic. There are even new certification bodies that oversee the mattress production process.
However, once the mattress leaves the factory, it is most usually placed on a common carrier, which is a trucking company hauling the mattress in a trailer. There are many times we receive products from our suppliers that ship common carrier, and we find the packages have been damaged through handling and forklifts, or damaged by stacking or shifting in the shipping process. Currently, there are no governing bodies that ensure your organic mattress is not subjected to damage, to damaged packaging that can expose the mattress to dirt, contaminants and chemicals. Common carriers haul many items along with your organic mattress, and there could be materials on the load that could potentially contaminate your organic mattress. Also, there is no governing body that ensures your new organic mattress is stored properly and then delivered in a way that guarantees there are no contaminates. All it would take would be to have your mattress packaging damaged to expose it to whatever is on that truck or damaged in the warehouse of the retailer.
Yes, those are likely rare occurrences, however, there is no guarantee it can't happen, and no governing body to ensure it doesn't happen. So how can any one company claim that their mattresses are organic? It is my opinion that it cannot.
How do we at Nest Bedding ship our natural mattresses? Nest Bedding has the latex, which is Oeko Tex Certified non-toxic, compressed and vacuum sealed to ensure it is pristine and unable to be exposed to caustic materials. Then, we ship it with the cover via FedEX or UPS. These companies do not handle caustic materials and do not use forklifts so there is little chance of the contents of the boxes being exposed or damaged. And since our latex is manufactured in the USA, there are not a lot of possibilities of the latex being damaged or exposed on a freighter coming from China, Europe or Malaysia.
The organic and natural mattress industry continues to evolve and change, and it is important, as a consumer, to ask questions about your potential new mattress purchase. Questions about how your mattress is made, where the materials come from, if there are glues used and what type, what certifications the materials or mattress carries, how the mattress is shipped and delivered. These are all factors involved in making, shipping and delivering your new natural mattress.