8 Misleading Claims about Organic Mattresses – Is Your Mattress Certified Organic?

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Misleading Claim #1: Merchants using organic logos, or statements that use the word “organic,” to describe their mattresses as “organic” or partially “organic.”
Incorrect Because: Under USDA National Organic Program regulations (USDA/NOP), there are no such categories. There is only “certified organic.”

Misleading Claim #2: Merchants claiming that since they use the same organic materials that are used in certified organic mattresses, why pay more?
Incorrect Because: Without submitting to an independent third-party audit, a consumer has no assurance that whatever organic component is claimed to be used was actually used in making a mattress.

Misleading Claim #3: Merchants claiming that since the materials they use are the same as those used by true organic manufacturers, what’s the difference?
Incorrect Because: Fast food and fine dining can include the same ingredients, but the outcomes are quite different—it’s about quality and purity, not just materials.

Misleading Claim #4: Merchants using someone else’s certification to infer it is their own, but somehow doesn’t have their name on it for a string of reasons.
Incorrect Because: USDA certification certificates are not transferable.

Misleading Claim #5: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “chemical free.”
Incorrect Because: This is scientifically impossible.

Misleading Claim #6: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “nontoxic.”
Incorrect Because: This is also scientifically impossible.

Misleading Claim #7: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “free of volatile organic compounds (VOCS)” or have no harmful outgassing.
Incorrect Because: This is also scientifically impossible, and without an independentUL/GREENGUARD™ or similar test for finished-product emissions, no one can possibly know exact outgassing levels.

Misleading Claim #8: Merchants claiming that their components have been tested for the presence of a long list of chemicals and that none were found.
Incorrect Because: What this means is that the mattress components may have been tested at one point, early in the process, by what is known as a “presence” test. True, these chemicals may not have been present at that time, but it gives absolutely no information as to what is actually emitting from the finished mattress. That is a consumer assurance UL/GREENGUARD™ testing provides.

Find out if a mattress is in fact listed on the certifier’s website.

Note: The name of the manufacturer or retailer must be entered precisely, such as “Organic Mattresses, Inc.”

http://www.global-standard.org/public-database/search.html

http://certification.controlunion.com/certified_companies_and_products.aspx

 

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How Long Will It Last?

Recently a customer called to ask how long the sheets in our Organic Cotton Sateen Bedding Collection should be expected to last. It got me thinking about the lifespan of different products we sell, as well as how they show their age as the years go by.

towel

The organic cotton and wool we use isn’t mixed with polyester or other petrochemicals to artificially strengthen the fibers, nor are our towel collections treated with a coating of beef tallow and/or chemicals to make them feel softer and more appealing on store shelves. This results in a purer product, as well as one that will actually become softer than artifically-treated products over time. It also means that their lifespans aren’t artificially prolonged based on chemical content, however. For that reason, the possibility exists that they may experience a shorter life than artificially enhanced items – although I have to say that I’ve never experienced it personally in the 10 years I’ve been using our products. Our customers appreciate this, for the most part, knowing it’s part of the sacrifice we sometimes make in order to use natural products and to live lives as free as possible from exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Based on that, here’s an estimate of the expected average life of a few of our more popular products when cared for as recommended:

 

clockFlannel Pad:  Five years

Wool Moisture-Protector Pad:  Five years

Sheets and duvet covers:  Five years

Pillows:
Wool or cotton:  Five years
Natural rubber:  Ten years
Buckwheat:  Five years

Comforters:  Five years

Pillow tops:
Wool:  Five years
Natural rubber:  Ten years plus

Towels and bath mats:  Five years

Keep in mind that these are not warranty timelines, but basic averages that can be directly affected by the amount of usage and quality of care. Items that are washable can also be affected by water quality and temperature, detergents, and the use of fabric softeners. Pillows and fitted sheets tend to wear out most quickly, since they bear most of a sleeper’s concentrated weight. Sheets and pillowcases may develop thin spots that are more susceptible to tearing, and cotton and wool pillows will compact substantially as they’re used — wool pillows by about one-third and cotton pillows by about one-half. It doesn’t indicate that the product is defective, but rather that it’s been working hard and slowing down a bit as time goes by, as do people.

If you  have a question about how a Lifekind product is holding up over time, feel free to give us a call here on the sales team at 800-284-4983, or click on the “Chat with a live product specialist now!” link on our home page. We’re here to help.

We’re Lifekind…Pleased to Meet You

One of the things we hear from customers is that it’s nice to be able to talk to a real person when they call. Maybe you can relate. I know I can in this age of “voice-mail hell,” when it’s not all that common to be able to talk to a customer-service representative without navigating a labyrinthine maze of choices — or maybe never getting there at all.

Phone

 

It’s true that when you call Lifekind, you’re only a few seconds away from getting to talk to a real, live human. The first thing you’ll hear is a brief outgoing message, which offers a list of options to help you get where you need to go. (That’s me speaking in the outgoing message, by the way — I’m the “voice of Lifekind.”)  🙂 If you reach us during regular business hours it’s the only message you’ll have to hear, unless you’re calling for someone who’s temporarily on another call or away from her desk. The message lets you choose whether you want to enter an extension, ask a general question, talk to a Product Specialist like me, or access a company directory. (If you’re calling after hours, you’ll also be given the option to leave a message in our General Mailbox.) Once you develop a relationship with a product specialist, if you keep her extension handy you can enter it as soon as the outgoing message starts — and then never have to listen to it again!

When taking an order, doing a mattress consultation to help someone figure out exactly the right mattress, or helping with a return or exchange of product, we take great pride in offering the kind of personal attention that can be truly unusual to find in today’s corporate world.

Give us a call sometime soon so we can get to know you, too!   1-800-284-4983

 

Is an organic mattress worth the money – A Peek Inside Mattresses

It’s no secret that Lifekind® is big on purity. It’s also no secret that other mattress makers claim to be big on purity too, so when consumers are searching for the purest mattress they can find, it quickly becomes a matter of sleuthing out the truth.

From the outside, most mattresses look about the same. I totally understand why people will see a mattress that claims to be “natural” or “organic” for a fraction of what a Lifekind mattress costs, and they purchase it.

Naturally, comfort is a big part of why people purchase the mattresses they do. But if you’ve found Lifekind, you’re most likely also interested in what goes into making our certified organic mattresses — what you will be sleeping on for the next 20 years. Let’s dig a little deeper and look inside a few different mattresses.

This first picture (below) shows a conventional synthetic foam rubber mattress, much like the ones you will find in mattress showrooms around the world. It looks pretty on the outside, nice and fluffy, and just begs you to climb into bed.

ConventionalMattressInterior

But once you look inside, you see something completely different.

The first layer is the cover material. Then there are several layers of conventional synthetic foam (notorious for offgassing, not to mention the petroleum it contains and the hardship it puts on the Earth to produce), bleached and highly processed cotton, more foam, and then a base layer that is made from cotton scraps.

CompetitorMattressInterior

This second picture is of a popular “organic” mattress brand that specializes in crib mattresses. Underneath the “food-grade” polyethylene mattress cover (made entirely from petrochemicals), you can see bleached cotton. The blue layer is a Tyvek-like material. Then cotton that is of an unknown grade (the specks you see in there are debris – stems from the cotton plant, along with other unknown detritus), then a plastic mesh layer. The cotton filling they use is most likely organic, but other than that, this mattress does not contain organic materials. Yet it is selling every day because the manufacturer touts the benefits of its “organic” mattresses, misleading consumers into believing that they are purchasing a pure, organic mattress without offering any clue about what is going on inside the mattress.  Naturally, most consumers won’t cut open a new mattress, so there is no way for them to know.

The third picture shows the inside of a GOTS-certified organic Lifekind mattress.  Looking at the layers from the top down, you can see our organic quilting, which includes only certified organic wool and organic cotton cover material. Sandwiched between layers of certified organic cotton canvas is high-quality, certified organic cotton padding. No silica, Tyvek, or other synthetic, non-organic materials are included in its construction.  The innersprings used in the mattress are made of untreated virgin steel, wrapped in four layers of certified organic cotton.

LifekindMattressInterior

 

Our Spring catalog is out!

Lifekind Spring Catalog CoverToday, our new Spring 2013 catalog officially goes into effect.

If you normally get our catalogs in the mail, you should be receiving yours soon. I think it has an especially lovely cover, featuring cherry blossoms against a soft green background (see below/etc.). Within its pages you’ll find a few things that are new, including:

FREE SHIPPING on all regular-priced orders over $99

  • Sale pricing of 50% off our new Diamond Jacquard Bedding Collection, 40% off Pure Sheet Sets, and 50% off crib skirts in either the Pleated or Swiss Dot style
  • The same low pricing we instituted last year on our popular Euro mattress. It’s still just $2,495 for the queen size – $900 less than in 2011!

If you’re new to our catalog or haven’t received one in awhile, you can request one here or give us a call at 800-284-4983 and speak with one of our friendly product specialists. Until then, here’s wishing you a Happy Spring!

FAQ’s about Backorders

It’s that magical time of year, as both January and our annual White Sale come to an end, when backorders seem to blossom like the Spring daffodils that are not far away.  If you see something on our website similar to the image below, have no fear– Product Specialists are here!

backordered item

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about backorders here at Lifekind clearance new balance shoes
.  We hope it helps clear up any confusion or hesitation in placing your order for out-of-stock items.

Can I still order this at the sale price?  You bet!  When the item is back in stock we will charge your credit card, ship the item, and forward the tracking information to your email.

Is extra shipping charged if the rest of my order is shipped now?  No, we will still honor the original shipping rate for your entire order.  The only time you might notice a shipping charge associated with a backordered item is a surcharge; for example, a 64-oz. bottle of Laundry Liquid will have a $2.25 surcharge.

When will the item be back in stock?  This is trickier to answer, because it really depends on where the product comes from.  We always pass along the estimate given to us by the manufacturer, and are happy to give updates.  If you have a backordered item, watch your email or give us a call for specific timeframes.

Is this item being discontinued?  Discontinued items are typically listed as clearance or limited quantities available, not as temporarily out of stock.

If you still have questions, feel free to call, email or Alive Chat us; and if you wait until the 31st to place your order, please be patient!  As the White Sale ends our call volume goes through the roof.  We are diligent in returning all calls and emails, but we are still human, working within business hours nike mens air max
.  Thanks for you patience, and Happy Shopping!

sunny-daffodils

Behind the Scenes: Where in the World is Lifekind?

Here at Lifekind, we’re blessed to be able to work in a beautiful part of the world. Our little town of Grass Valley is located in Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s part of the “gold country,” or Mother Lode, region to which thousands of people came from all over the world during the 1849 Gold Rush. Grass Valley was the richest town in all the Mother Lode — at least if you talk to local historians. The Empire, its most profitable mine, operated until 1957, and is now a popular state park.

Most of the mining is over now, but vestiges remain. The Lifekind offices are located on the site of the Crown Point Mine, and rusted mining equipment and remnants of an old stone wall overlook our parking area. Our corporate offices are here, along with our warehouse, from which we send out smaller items such as sheets, pillows, and personal-care products. (Mattresses, pillow tops, and other made-to-order items are sent from our factory, in Yuba City, 40 miles away.)

Stone wall behind Lifekind’s office

 

Grass Valley’s Victorian downtown, oak-covered hills, river canyons, and vibrant arts and cultural scene are major tourist draws, but there’s a fair amount of manufacturing here, too – especially high-tech and video-systems equipment. We’re surrounded by Tahoe National Forest, and our more cosmopolitan neighbor, Nevada City, is right next door. We can leave in the morning and be in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, or Yosemite by lunch. It’s a good place to live.

 

All that AND being able to work at an organic company that’s truly making a difference in the world. What’s not to love?     🙂

Behind-the-Scenes at Lifekind: Warehouse Edition

I just walked back to the warehouse, and was greeted with a mountain of boxes getting shipped out today. Since I sit in a different department it is always fun to see the fruits of our labors headed out to our customers across the country.

Data Entry supervisor Lola, checking orders for accuracy

So what happens when you place an online order? After you hit “submit” and our data entry department processes it (yes, we still process every order by hand so nothing gets missed!), the order gets sent back to our warehouse to be packed and shipped. Michelle, our warehouse supervisor, has been with Lifekind for more than 10 years, and she runs a tight ship. Each order is pulled by hand, double checked by a different person, and then triple checked again before being packed for safe transport.

Our warehouse supervisor, Michelle

You may notice when you get an order from Lifekind that the box is lined with Kraft paper, with your products packed neatly inside with corn-based biodegradable packing peanuts. Before taping the box up, our warehouse staff even secure a piece of cardboard inside the box to make sure you don’t accidentally pierce your order if you open the box with a knife. I know the first time I saw Michelle pack an order, I was impressed with how efficient she is, and how nice her boxes always look.

Once the order is packed and run through the UPS computer, the package is checked again to make sure that the shipping details are correct and that if there are multiple boxes, they are all included in the shipment. We then notify the order entry department that your order has been shipped, and it isn’t until then that your card gets charged for your order. We do it this way in case something comes up (say an item is back-ordered, or you make a last-minute addition to your order) so you are getting charged only for what gets shipped to you.

Double checking shipping addresses

And now you have had a little peek behind-the-scenes at Lifekind. Even better though, make sure you put “Hi Michelle” in as a promo code the next time you place an online order over $99, and we’ll ship it to you for free (offer expires 12/2/12. Some exclusions apply). Interested in more Lifekind behind-the-scenes? What would you like to see?

Let’s Chat

If you’ve been to our home page recently, you may have noticed something new: a photo in the upper-right-hand corner showing a cheerful headset-wearing customer-service agent, along with a caption that reads “Chat with a live product specialist now!”

The product specialist in the picture is me, and I’d like to offer a personal invitation.

The addition of an online chat system to our website is brand new. Some of our customers prefer the ability to talk with a representative without having to make a phone call, so we’re excited about adding it to our repertoire. We’ve chosen a system called AliveChat® — “the world’s favorite live-chat solution” — based on ease of use for both customer and operator, and so far it’s been even better than expected.

Just click on the photo, provide a few pieces of information (including the question you’d like answered), click the “Submit” button, and you’ll be connected automatically to a product specialist.

Our chat lines are open during the same hours you can reach us by phone — Monday through Friday, 8-5 Pacific Time. You can click on the chat window anytime, however, and if we’re not here, you can leave us a message and we’ll contact you as soon as a product specialist is available.

Whether you’re looking for a mattress consultation or just want to ask a quick question, we hope to hear from you soon.

What are we packin’?

Recently a customer called concerned about how she should dispose of the “Styrofoam-like” packing material her Lifekind order arrived packaged in. She wondered why we would even use such a product in the first place.

I happily assured her that our packing material is 100% biodegradable, derived from an annually renewable raw-cornstarch material that meets the most stringent environmental requirements for packaging. When I suggested she place a few pieces of the packing material into a dish of water she was happy to give it a try, and while still on the phone, I could hear the excitement in her voice as she watched the material dissolve in the water.  (View the entire process in this video.)

Michelle, loading up the giant "peanut" dispenser

Our Warehouse Manager, Michelle, who has worked at Lifekind for over 10 years, explains that all the packing materials we use are biodegradable and contain no harmful chemicals. This leaves me hopeful that other companies are also choosing to make a difference by using alternative, environmentally-friendly packaging. Making an effort to change the way we package things, and being mindful of the products we purchase and how they are packaged, over time will make a difference in providing greener solutions for our environment.

So the next time you receive a package in the mail, take a moment to see if the company you ordered from is being environmentally mindful. Simply place the “peanut” packing material into a dish of water in the hope you will watch it magically dissolve!