If you have spent any amount of time shopping for an organic mattress in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, you are very familiar with the term "organic" mattress. And you should be well-aware at this time that they are much higher in price than conventional mattresses. If you are reading this blog, it's likely you have done what millions are doing, and that is searching the internet for answers.
What is an organic mattress? In the strictest sense of the word, it doesn't exist. Its a marketing term when applied to mattresses. Organic is a food term and Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, [food] processors, retailers and restaurants.
Notice mattresses are not part of that certification process. Currently there is no certification process for certifying completed mattresses as organic. However, mattress can be constructed with textiles that emanate from the agricultural world, such as cotton, wool and other textiles. Latex is not currently certifiable. So, what you CAN buy is a mattress comprised of organic elements. What are some other things that factor into the mattress?
Where the mattress and the components are processed can affect the chemical exposure of a mattress. I personally know of a mattress operation here in the San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland/San Jose area who market their mattresses are pure and organic, yet elements of their mattresses are made right alongside non-organic mattresses, potentially exposing them to contaminants.
So, when you are shopping in the Bay Area, and checking out stores like Ergo, European Sleepworks, Essentia, Earthsake, Natural Mattress Store and others, remember to do your homework and shop around, read up on the internet and arm yourself with information so you don't fall for marketing messages and hype.