In the Media

CertiPUR-US = Chemical Companies Certify Themselves

Certipur logo

Prepare for some serious upchucking…


In short, the chemical companies created a certification to let us know their chemicals are “safe”.

Polyurethane foams and fire retardants found in your mattress can be pretty unhealthy. Chemicals used to make these products emit chemical fumes (VOC’s).

Some unhappy customers have been experiencing nasty side effects from their new mattress “smell” and expressing themselves on the net.

Our bodies do their best to filter them but many accumulate within us. Even breast milk contains Fire Retardants.

People are sharing this information and it’s not good for business so the chemical companies are now trying to take control of public perception by regulating themselves. 

They created the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam with a certification called CertiPUR-US. Check out the HOT CREST. Sounds pretty legit right?


Their sponsors are…..wait…..it gets better….

Dow Chemical (#3 in the top 10 worst polluters)

ICL Industrial Products (fire retardant chemical manufacturer)

American Chemistry Council (The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry)


Aren’t you relieved? I know I am.
Standards are only as good as the company that sets them. The chemical companies thought their products were safe to begin with, now they created the crest to prove it.

Yes, they’re having third party labs testing the foams but how strict can they really be?

CertiPUR Standards

  • Essentia is what labs have tested our mattresses to be.
  • GreenGuard is what many organic and natural mattress companies certify their mattresses with.
  • ASHRAE is basically the new standard California adopted.
  • Certipur is next in line. Practically any polyurethane foam use in mattresses would pass Certipur standards.
  • Health Limit by Government – Anything over that you’d need protective equipment for.

Don’t forget about fire retardants. They’re in practically everything you own. In your computer plastics, TV plastics, couch foams, mattress foams, carpets, crib mattresses and even baby clothing.

Chemical companies spend millions annually  lobbying the government to make sure we’re all “protected”. In the USA, mattresses have to withstand a 2 foot wide blowtorch open flame for 70 seconds. Mmmmm chemicals….gatta love em.

Companies have been feeding us whatever they’ve wanted for years. The problem is their stronghold on government regulations to protect their multi-billion dollar industries is stronger than ever. But things are changing. The net is smartening people up. We vote with our $$$$.

The audacity.
Certification Purity USA. lol

If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress with the highest standards in the industry check us out.

This article has 19 comments

  1. Bob Luedeka

    Actually, CertiPUR and CertiPUR-US are third-party programs using outside European labs. The standards are very similar to the leading EH&S label programs in the EU. Obtaining certification requires examination of emissions (speciated and total), content analysis, and a set of physical tests to verify that the product will perform in a durable manner. Not all products pass. It’s a tough series of tests. Sponsors have no say in program administration, testing or validation. They simply provide funds to help build recognition. Their particupation helped kick off our validation sampling and testing process. CertiPUR-US is a good step on the path toward sustainability. I hope other industries follow this example and become more proactive. Send me an email if you’d like more information. And thanks for equal time.

    • Andrew

      Hi Bob,
      I’m not sure if you are still willing to discuss the certiPUR standards, but my wife and I are concerned about the scent of an new certipur certified mattress and would like further reassurance that the product we are sleeping on is safe.
      Thank you

  2. Meredith

    I think YOU are confused about where fire-retardants go in a mattress… They are not “usually” mixed in with the foam, although it can be layed within foam (unless the mattress itself is sprayed with chemicals as a fire retardant, then certainly it “gets in” the foam). But fire retardants in a mattress that contains a “natural fiber fire retardant pad” (that is almost all natural) PLUS the Certipur foam ARE INDEED far more healthier than previous polyfoam. No, it still isn’t perfect, but it’s MUCH better!

  3. Jason

    Mattresses are either covered or sprayed with the stuff. The Brits require the foam itself to pass the FR tests.

    They can say the big mac is healthier since they’ve reduced the sugar content in the secret sauce but who are kidding here?

    I guess it all comes down to standards. The EPA believes these chemicals to be safe so who am i to argue 😉

    It comes down to standards we set for ourselves.

  4. Doug Johnston

    It’s a major step in the right direction over previous foams. Most concerned parents will want to know that the foam contains no phthalates (banned by CPSIA in 2009), no formaldehyde, no ozone depleters, no heavy metals, no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), no PBDE’s, and no off-gassing which is what the Certi-Pur standard maintains.

  5. Jason

    Read their website more carefully.

    1) They say LOW VOC, NOT NO VOC. What is considered low to them? How strict can the chemical companies standards be??

    2) No PBDE’s. PBDE are used in Fire Retardants. They rarely include fire retardants in the foam itself, it’s always sprayed on afterwords.

    Just because it says there’s no formaldehyde doesn’t mean there is none. It’s just according to their standards.

    Chemical companies are like big tobacco. Why on earth would anyone trust anything they say?

    Read between the lines.

  6. Bob Luedeka, Executive Director

    These are good questions – I appreciate the opportunity to respond:
    “1) They say LOW VOC, NOT NO VOC. What is considered low to them? How strict can the chemical companies standards be??
    2) No PBDE’s. PBDE are used in Fire Retardants. They rarely include fire retardants in the foam itself, it’s always sprayed on afterwords.
    Just because says there’s no formaldehyde doesn’t mean there is none. It’s just according to their standards.
    Chemical companies are like big tobacco. Why on earth would anyone trust anything they say?
    Read between the lines.”

    Answer: 1- Low VOCs vs NO VOCs. Based on good business practices, there is not wiggle room for inaccuracies. We define low VOCs at a level to be in-synch with most independent environmental rating programs such as GreenGuard, EU Flower, Oeko-Tex, Blue Swan, IKEA and others. I can’t think of any product that doesn’t have some level of emissions. Emissions are a natural part of a product’s aging and decay process. Even fresh cut grass or hay has some level of emissions. The level of compliance set by the voluntary CertiPUR-US program is demanding, but it is not zero. Zero is unrealistic and likely unachievable with today’s science and finite testing capabilities.

    Answer 2: For starters, the PBDE that once was used as a fire retardant additive (never sprayed on) in the formualtion of certain types of flexible polyurethane foam – mainly to comply with California flammability requirements – is no longer available and has not been used in the US foam industry since 2005. Because it is possible that some types of discontinued PBDEs may still be manufactured in other countries, third-party testing for PBDEs is required by the CertiPUR-US program.
    – second part of 2 – answer: Formaldehyde has never been used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam. However, like VOCs, there is not a true zero. Part of the challenge in testing is to determine a diminimis (background level) for products that contain carbon and nitrogen content (like cotton, wood, kapok, trees in the forest, latex and polyurethane foam). The new FTC Green Guides Memorandum does not offer a solution to this, other than acknowledge that a diminimis level could be considered for communications purposes as “NO” content. In good faith, we simply state that CertiPUR-US approved foams are not manufactured using formaldehyde and then we require third-party testing to verify that no more than a background level exists.

    Lastly, although chemical companies have provided funding support to help establish the CertiPUR-US program, they have no voice on the board of directors, nor are they involved in setting the voluntary standards that are essential to the credibility of the program. The analytical and emissions testing labs that are used by program participants are completely independent of foam production and chemical supply. Bottom line, flexible polyurethane foam is intended to provide comfort – and comfort is more than a physical characteristic, it’s also a state-of-mind. CertiPUR-US addresses the need for comfort in a proactive and measurable way.

  7. Jason

    I appreciate your feedback Bob.

    Its simply a personal or company decision on how deep we draw the line.

    These standards offer no difference between a natural foam such as latex, to a polyurethane foam since the acceptable traces are set where both pass.

    It would be acurate to identify the standard (example 0.01PPM) or to simply state low _____.

    There isn’t any problem with the creating a certification but if practically all foam pass these standards, what’s the point? It’s just misleading the public into thinking the final product is safe.

  8. Bob Luedeka, Executive Director


    I’ve spoken to the chairman of the CertiPUR-US board and he approved providing CertiPUR-US VOC testing service if you would like to run a sample of your foam product through the small chamber emissions test. If you are interested in receiving an analysis report of possible VOC emissions, we will be happy to cover the cost. You would submit samples directly to your selection of one of the participating European labs (Hall Analytical, LGA or Eurofins) and we’ll send you the instructions for sample preparation.

    Please let me know if you would like to take advantage of this offer.

  9. Jason

    Thank you for the offer. However we are satisfied with our current testing at UCLA. Their test are performed to track traces of 0.000001PPM. With these tests we are able to determine the difference between natural foams like latex and polyurethane foams.

  10. lucy

    do you certify sleepys latex mattress ?

    do you know if their latex mattress is from a natural rubber plant or man made synthetic polyurethene ?? or both..?? if so, what percent is natural from the rubber plant botanical and what percent polyurethene?? need to know thanks

  11. Jason

    No Clue.

    If the salespeople don’t know or don’t have certifications to back up their claims…….run.

  12. jessica

    Low VOC is better than it used to be…I wish we could all have VOC free beds…However, the beds that are VOC free like yours cost an arm, a leg and your first born for the average person like me. So, I would rather have the certi pur bed than the average run of the mill no tested mattress..

  13. Sandy

    I just bought 2 Zedbeds and their foam has the certipur seal but mattresses do not. I thought they did. I wake up with headaches every morning I sleep in the mattress. I do not know what it is causing them, but when I sleep elsewhere in the house, I am fine. I am so disappointed because not only did I spend a lot of money but am unable to thus far get resolution. All I get back is that they have no to no vocs and they very rarely have had anyone complain of smell. I do not know what the certification means really. I am sure it is accurate and good for what ey test for, but in the end there could be other things in memory foam, not tested for that cause issues for some people.
    I wish I wasn’t led to believe there would be minimal to no off gassing, They call it a smell. I wish I didn’t get headaches in it. Because just like someone else posted….comfort is also a state of mind. I do not have a peace about the smell that has given me headaches.

    • Stanley

      ZEDBED has some the the strongest standards in the industry. You do know that even 100% organic mattress have certain smells associated with wool, latex…. My guess is that you just do not care for the smell it has. Also Mattresses are not Certi-pur certified, certi-pur is a polyurethane foam certification. Sorry you are having the headaches but you could be having the same issue on any mattress out there.

  14. green smoke promo codes

    Good help and also links. I’ve found a few things that i think will work. awsome job!!!!

  15. Sue

    Does all certipur-us memory foam MADE IN US?

  16. AbsolutelyOrganicBaby

    The problem with your mattress may not be the foam,(although IMO polyurethane foam is not a healthy product) you may be suffering from the fire retardant chemicals used to meet the federal flammability standards for all mattresses. :(

  17. OhMattress

    I see more and more mattress manufacturers use Certipur-US logo but many of them are low end memory foam. I question if the program is reliable and want to know who build it. Where did you find their sponsors? I don’t find them on Certipur-US website.

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