FTC… Lets Just Talk it Over.


The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission, got in touch with us in 2012 regarding some of our ads.

They asked us for the science behind our claims that our products were VOC and chemical free, which we gave them. The FTC and Essentia disagreed on what claims Essentia could make based on that science.

We agreed to make some changes to our advertising. Nothing in or about our great products has changed.


The final testing shows that:

– Our natural foams have the same VOC levels as natural foams found in other organic mattresses and latex mattresses. (since VOC’s are found in all latex foam products)

– The air concentrations meet the Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Product Certification criteria.

– There is no health risk with any negligible amounts of VOCs found in our product.

– There is no risk of discomfort with any negligible amounts of VOCs found in our products.

See the test results..


The FTC however stayed firm in asking us to remove any terminology with the words “zero”, “no” or “free” when relating to VOCs and chemicals as it is virtually impossible to have zero or no chemicals or VOCs in any type of foam.

Thus, rather than fight with the FTC, we have changed the wording to “low” or “very low” than “free of” as the FTC requested.


This article has 8 comments

  1. Michelle

    Are there any petroleum based ingredients in your memory foam?

  2. admin

    Hi Michelle,

    Our products to not contain any petroleum. All foams (natural latex or synthetic) require foaming agents. Even Talalay Global confirms using the same foaming agents we use to make their 100% natural latex. You can’t make latex foam products without them.

    In the end VOC tests confirm that natural latex mattresses are a very healthy option. The only thing healthier would be a futon filled with untreated organic wool but then you’re looking at having to wash the wool 1-2 times per year for sanitary reasons.

  3. Michelle

    On this webpage http://www.ballantinesbiz.com/Essentia/Essentia_MemoryMatress_010311.html there is a quote about your company having “in-depth research at the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering concluded, “After performing toxicity tests on Essentia’s patented natural memory foam material through the UCLA Department of Material’s Science and Engineering, Essentia is proud to announce that the results support Essentia’s claims that it maintains the healthiest and greenest sleep surface in the World by offering a sleeping solution with no VOCs, no Semi-VOCs and no Formaldehyde.”

    Can you please provide a link to that study done at UCLA? Thanks

  4. admin

    Hi Michelle,

    UCLA tested our products in consideration for other applications and possible development. We have updated testing specific for air quality analysis which can be found at the following URL under Exova http://www.myessentia.com/company/certifications



  5. julia

    this is interesting as we were all set to buy an essentia mattress several months ago when another vendor alerted me to the ftc ruling. It put our search on hold and now I am looking at organic latex mattresses. I have breast cancer and neck and shoulder pain and it is essential for me to get the least voc’s and off gassing as possible. I dont know that the levels in essentia mattresses are good enough for me but I dont know what to compare it to either. Thanks –

    • admin

      Hi Julia,

      When we had our products tested we also tested other natural latex mattresses to compare. VOC levels were almost identical. Sometimes other brands had more VOC’s, sometimes less. Results always vary when measuring in parts per million.

      Hope that helps.

      You can always reach us at 1-888-674-4116.



  6. Eric

    I’m very confused now, I’m looking at dropping nearly 2k on a mattress, and I don’t make that much money. I know I spend 1/3 of my day, more or less, on it so I want it to be healthy. I see claims that it is nearly 100% clean, but the FTC for some reason doesn’t think so. So how is this thing so clean if you use foaming agents with petroleum in them? Please clarify, I’ve read so many things saying that there is no such thing as all natural memory foam, yet Essentia claims there is a way? I want you guys to be right, so I can stop searching. Please just give me info and supportive links if possible, to back things up.

    • admin

      Hi Eric,

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out.

      What the FTC was arguing was that 100% natural does not exist….which is true. Many companies still claim this, so if someone made a formal complaint to the FTC these companies would get a similar slap on the wrist roughly 1 year after the complaint was submitted. What we were trying to communicate like other natural mattress brands claiming 100% natural is that our products are natural and healthy.

      Foaming agents are required to make natural latex foam, there’s no way around it. Our foaming agents do not contain petroleum. We’re the only brand to list all the ingredients we use to make our foam and provide the VOC results to show you what comes out. If our product had a lot of synthetic ingredients you’d see it in the VOC report. There is no hiding, it’s full transparency, like the ingredients list on a can of peas.

      This degree of transparency can scare consumers which is why it’s not front and center. Most of the time people just want to know that it’s healthy. For consumers like you and many others….we bare it all.

      Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to us at 1-888-674-4116.



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