Do you know how your mattress is made? How about the difference between mattress manufacturing and mattress assembling? Let’s explore the truth!
When it comes time to invest in your new organic mattress there are many questions you must ask yourself about what you prioritize in sleep. That ranges from comfort, ingredients, and even price, but the most overlooked is WHERE the mattress is made. In fact, where the mattress is made actually dictates quite a bit when it comes to the comfort, durability, ingredients, and even price of a mattress. True mattress manufacturing companies are required by law to disclose the materials used in their products, but on the flip side, most manufacturers are simply assembling a mattress and do not have to disclose full transparency on their components that they purchase from suppliers. This can greatly impact the quality and price of your new mattress.
For many consumers, mattress assembly factories and mattress manufacturing are the same things but this is a common misconception. There is a clear difference between each process which we will explore here. Not to mention most bed in a box brands manipulate this to their benefit by contracting Chinese companies for components and a different company for packaging, allowing them to hide the true source and true quality of their components.
What is a mattress assembly factory?
Many bed-in-box brands claim to be manufacturing their products or are saying they are “Made in America”, the truth is these brands tend to have no control over the actual mattress manufacturing. While they may dictate what the design or layer breakdown may be, they are not actually manufacturing any of those layers or final product. In these situations, you will find that a finished component or layers such as foam, latex, or springs are imported from outside sources, mainly China or collaborating Asian countries. There was a time when assembly factories simply stacked and put in a finished cover, but these days even the assemblers or not the brands that you are buying. Products are brokered through so many collaborators that there is very little transparency on what is inside.
What’s also interesting about the assembly factory is that there are some brands that are very clear about their processes and how they are assembling the components they source from outside. For example, some natural latex mattress brands can be good at disclosing where they are sourcing their latex, wool, and cotton components which they then assemble and ship to the customer. Then you have the flip side of the coin where a brand is touting its design and manufacturing capability but they actually outsource manufacturing to large bed-part makers who are responsible for assembling these parts not just for one brand but multiple competing brands. That mattress supplier then has divided loyalties and doesn’t have the best interest of the brand at heart.
The biggest setback from an assembly factory is that the brand doesn’t have control over what is actually used to make a component. This can also affect the quality of the brand over time.
Mattress manufacturing should encompass the process of production from raw or semi-raw materials through to a finished product ready for sale for all its major components. This means that is a brand is manufacturing the core of their mattresses, they have control in every aspect of the components being used. For example, Essentia as a GOLS and GOTS certified organic mattress manufacturing facility foams its patented natural memory foam in the factory. This means Essentia brings in all raw ingredients and mixes them on-site to create an Essentia mattress. The final product contains no or negligible foreign content. In fact, true mattress manufacturers are few and far between and only a handful of brands are like Essentia who actually produce their own foams. Many brands rely on outsourcing for their components.
While a mattress manufacturing facility will still source ingredients, they are sourcing the raw components of which they will use during the production of the product in their facility. Brands that manufacture do have more control over the quality of the product produced and in the case of Essentia results in a heavier, dense mattress making it more durable and supportive.
What does it mean to be a GOLS and GOTS Certified Organic Mattress Manufacturing Facility?
Holding the GOLS and GOTS certified organic certifications means that Essentia is able to manufacture organic finished goods, and Essentia’s supply chain has demonstrated and audited that there are proper procedures in place to track and manage organic materials up to the point where they are shipped to the client. Essentia also holds a GOTS 4.0 factory certification, which much like the GOLS certification, ensures that the supply chain and manufacturing process has proper practices in place to track and manage organic textiles.
What You Should Be Mindful Of:
You will never see “Assembled in the USA”, this will qualify as “Made in the USA”. The vaguest of all the claims is “Designed in the USA”. But made in the USA may only denote a final stage of manufacturing and does not require a company to explain where its parts come from. As the company doesn’t claim to make its entire product domestically, it can refer to simply generic parts on its labeling without identifying the country of source.
The FTC requires any label claiming assemblage in the USA to be backed up by a final stage of transformation within U.S. borders, But when it comes to mattresses that final assembly qualifies as “Made in the USA”. Even when no other part of the product has been created in the country, if the last stages of assembly or completion are done in an American factory or studio, it can still qualify. You will find that many brands out there today will try to pass this off as manufacturing. But ultimately, the main downside for consumers is that they are purchasing similar generic products, marketed and rebranded by companies, and not truly buying a quality product. Most mattress brands today are marketers and not manufacturers.