Not all organic mattresses are created equal. Thanks to a policy memorandum from the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) as well as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), organic mattress manufacturers and sellers have a number of requirements to meet before they can truly label their products as “organic.”
So how does a consumer know if they’re truly getting an organic mattress? According to the NOP memorandum, raw materials, such as the natural fibres that go into textiles, are covered by the NOP crop and livestock production standards. These standards cover fibres like cotton, wool, hemp and flax. The standards require that fibres are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides and that they are not genetically engineered.
The NOP standards do not, however, cover the post-harvesting processing of non-food items, which means that mattresses cannot qualify to be fully NOP-certified. This is where GOTS comes in, explains the Organic Trade Association. A strict international standard which manufacturers may voluntarily choose to comply with, GOTS covers the certification of post-harvest processing of home textiles and apparel.
In order to become GOTS-certified, these items must be made without the use of genetic engineering, hazardous chemical or heavy metals; the companies must comply with strict wastewater policies; and the manufacturing process must provide employees with a living wage and be free from child labour. Our Essentia mattress cover is GOTS-certified.
To determine whether a mattress is fully GOTS-certified, consumers should check the label: it should show the GOTS seal, the label grade, a reference to GOTS and a license number or name of the certified manufacturer. To confirm that everything is in order, consumers can then plug this information into the GOTS public database.