Searching for the most comfortable mattress can be super challenging, whether you’re looking online or in stores or both. Make it an organic mattress search to avoid toxic chemicals like flame retardants and petrochemical foams, and you’ve got a multi-layered puzzle to solve.
With so many companies advertising “natural” and “organic” mattresses, there’s the added challenge of sifting through false claims. Use the search terms “certified organic mattress” instead of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or even “organic mattress.”
Since Lifekind mattresses hold third-party organic certifications – GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) for our natural rubber latex mattresses, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for our innerspring mattresses – there’s no way toxic chemicals can be used in the growing or processing of the materials or be added to the finish product. So that makes them a natural choice for those seeking the purest mattresses available.
Customers call us up and ask, “How can someone pick out a mattress over the phone?” The short answer is, “Have an in-depth consultation.” While there are a number of people who absolutely must try them in stores, most people feel very confident they’ve made the best choice after a 10-20 minute conversation with an organic-mattress product specialist. While we try our best to get it right the first time, we do offer a 90-night comfort exchange policy so you won’t end up stuck with a mattress that doesn’t fit your needs. Three months is a much better trial period than 5 or 10 minutes in a store!
If you’re ready for a free, personal sleep consultation, or simply have questions, please call our friendly product specialists at 1-800-284-4983.
Answer: Yes. And verifying these requirements is the only way to make sure you’re not falling victim to fraudulent advertising claims when shopping for an organic mattress.
The government agency that controls use of the word “organic” is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Title XXI of the 1990 Farm Bill, otherwise known as The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.
This Act established national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products in order to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard and to facilitate fairness within interstate commerce.
USDA control over use of the word “organic” extends to non-edible agricultural crops such as cotton and rubber trees, and further extends to non-edible products derived from livestock, such as wool.
To call any of these raw materials “organic,” each producer must meet the requirements listed in the Act and subject its facility and products to annual audit by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.”
Furthermore, for a complex finished textile product, such as a mattress, to be called organic it must be composed of a minimum of 95% certified raw materials as listed above. Then independently, the company manufacturing the mattress must also meet the requirements as listed in the Act and to subject its facility and finished products to an independent annual textile audit to standards such as GOTS, by a USDA-approved certifying agent.
Therefore, to call a mattress “organic” or to sell it as such, the company producing the mattress must earn independent organic status and be awarded an organic certificate annually in their name. This means that a mattress cannot be called organic simply because it is made up of one, some, or even all organic raw materials. It is the “certifying agent” that substantiates that the organic claim being made is actually true. It must be a USDA-approved certifying agent, who through an audit process can give a company legitimate claim or right to use the term “organic.”
Legislation in the United States established the Federal Trade Commission Act in1914. Under this Act, the Commission is empowered to, among other things, prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive consumer acts or representations affecting commerce.
If a company calls its product “organic” and its facility, methods, and specific products have not been awarded organic status by a USDA-approved certifying agent, that claim is deceptive, and constitutes an unfair method of competition in the marketplace. Unfair marketing claims fall under the purview of the FTC.
Specific to environmental claims, the FTC has published the “Green Guide.” While the guide defines a number of environmental terms and correct use and association of logos and seals, the primary emphasis of the document is substantiation. Environmental marketing claims must be substantiated.
Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits deceptive acts and practices in or affecting commerce. A representation, omission, or practice is deceptive if it is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances and is material to consumers’ decisions. See FTC Policy Statement on Deception, 103 FTC 174 (1983). To determine if an advertisement is deceptive, marketers must identify all express and implied claims that the advertisement reasonably conveys. Marketers must ensure that all reasonable interpretations of their claims are truthful, not misleading, and supported by a reasonable basis before they make the claims. See FTC Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Substantiation, 104 FTC 839 (1984).
In the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scientific evidence. Such evidence consists of tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Such evidence should be sufficient in quality and quantity based on standards generally accepted in the relevant scientific fields, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to substantiate that each of the marketing claims is true.
James Kohm is the Associate Director for the Enforcement Division of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. In that capacity, he oversees enforcement of all consumer protection orders and the Commission’s Green Marketing program. When Mr. Kohm spoke on January 27, 2013 at the World Market Center, he made clear that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not define what is or can be called organic. The FTC can conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce and seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers and other businesses from unsubstantiated environmental claims. Review the following links that report FTC investigation of unsubstantiated claims:
At Lifekind, we’ve worked hard to establish and maintain a comprehensive organic program. This ensures the creation and assurance of certified organic goods. Testing, quality assurance, lot tracking, purchasing organic raw materials (despite the higher cost), and spending thousands annually on auditing are just a few of the ways in which we keep our rigorous organic program in place. Third-party certification is the only thing protecting us from companies that do none of these things, but would try nevertheless to reap marketing dollars by fraudulently associating the term “organic” with their products.
It does not fall to the consumer or retailer to judge what is or is not organic. For a company to call its products “organic” it must have been granted organic status by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.” The consumer need only confirm a valid certificate with the company’s name and products listed, not a certification showing he name of a grower or producer. At Lifekind, we’ve covered all the bases, so you can “rest” assured you’re purchasing a TRULY organic mattress.
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.”
This great blog from our sister company OMI, (who manufacturers all of Lifekind‘s mattresses), touches on a “hot“ topic in the organic mattress industry. Since we don’t use any chemical flame retardants, customers often ask how we can pass the flammability requirements with just wool. Well, we worked hard to make it possible. Be sure to watch the video below, which is of one our mattresses during an actual open-flame mattress flammability test (which we pass with flying colors!)
Although we know how important it is to reduce your chemical exposure during sleep (since you spend 1/3 of your life in bed), most of the country doesn’t understand the risks associated with sleeping on a traditional mattress.
As is the case with most specialty products, there is a fairly limited customer base of people who are aware of, and ready to purchase, an organic mattress. This means that there are companies out there that will say anything in order to take a mattress sale from their competitors.
Since we opened our doors, we have been fighting an uphill battle against greenwashing. Other mattress companies have thrown in a handful of eco-friendly ingredients and called their products “natural,” trying to charge a premium for something that isn’t much better than mainstream.
Now that the country is becoming more aware of the greenwashing epidemic, we have seen mattress companies telling flat-out lies and mistruths, with the hope of seducing a customer with promises they can’t back up.
One fallacy that you will see promoted is that wool alone can’t be used to pass flammability tests. This argument is often used in a company’s justification for using chemical fire retardants because it is “the only option.”
I am here today to tell you “yes.” Yes, wool can be used as the sole fire retardant for a mattress to meet federal flammability requirements. And that, in fact, we have been using wool (without any chemical treatments) as our only fire retardant for years.
The purpose of a flammability test on a mattress is to make sure that the mattress doesn’t flame up in the event of a domestic fire. We don’t claim to make fireproof mattresses (I can’t even imagine the kinds of chemicals that would go in to that!) We make mattresses that won’t turn into a six-foot fireball if your house catches fire.
Our competitors have shown photos of a piece of wool yarn that is set to fire, and predictably, the fire travels up and burns the piece of wool yarn.
Well, of course it is going to burn. It is a natural material that has been shaped into a “wick” and a flame has been set to it.
Of course, you don’t have to just take my word for it. The video below is an actual open-flame flammability test of one of our mattresses, which shows just how well our chemical-free design works.
The only raw materials used to make this mattress (or any of our mattresses) are organic cotton, wool, and 100%-natural rubber. The mattress is sitting on a wood-slat foundation. Both pieces are built in our organic mattress Eco-Factory™ and are GREENGUARD® certified. There are no added chemicals, no silica barrier, or any other methods employed to assist in the flame test.
So there you have it: It is possible to pass the open-flame mattress flammability test without chemicals. And we do it every day.
After receiving several thank-you notes from friends saying “Your baby gift was the best ever,” I wanted to pass along my secret. Every new baby deserves an organic, chemical-free play mat!
Hand-sewn in Lifekind’s GOTS-certified factory here in Northern California, our Safari and Garden Play Mats are made with all-organic materials, and provide baby with a safe, soft padded area from newborn to crawling stage. The removable zipper cover allows for regular washing, and holds up well even with lots of use. Another great feature of the play-mat design is the contrast patterns that contribute to baby’s early visual development, as mentioned in Parents magazine by Tinker Ready.
So if you’re in need of the perfect gift for a friend – or for your own baby – I highly recommend the Lifekind Play Mat. See other gift-giving options here at: http://bit.ly/14lpDLi
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.
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.
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.
Our biggest, most anticipated sale of the year is finally here. Our 16th Annual White Sale will not disappoint, with up to 60% OFF select items plus free shipping on orders over $99.
Don’t wait till the end of January to take advantage of these great deals!
This year’s White Sale catalog introduces several new products at huge discounts.
Our new Organic Cotton Jacquard Bedding Collection has a delicate diamond white-on-white pattern. The diamonds seem to shimmer in the light, adding a touch of beauty to the silky-soft material. Made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, they’re free of dyes or synthetic components. The collection contains sheets, pillowcases, and duvets. Each piece is sold individually for your convenience. The pillowcases and flat sheet have a 7″ attached hem, and the fitted sheet is elasticized all the way around with 15″ pockets. These sheets are imported from India. The major reason I love them is because there’s no guess work when it comes to which direction to put the sheets on after I wash them. During the White Sale, the whole collection is 50% OFF.
We are also pleased to introduce two new items in our Baby Department.
The first is our new Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt. This dappled organic cotton percale bed skirt finishes the crib on a sweet and simple note. Fits standard cribs, with a 16″ ruffle. (Imported from India). I love this cute crib skirt because I can hide all my baby supplies under the crib and no one is the wiser! During the White Sale, the Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt is 50% OFF.
The second new baby item is the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket. Super-soft fleece makes this the perfect snuggling blanket, lightweight enough for swaddling. This snowy-white crib-size blanket is sure to become baby’s (and your) favorite, made in the USA from GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton. During the White Sale, the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket is 50% OFF. (I recommend stocking up on these blankets – in my experience, you can never have enough swaddling blankets). Swaddling can help your baby stay calm and sleep better. Here’s a great refresher, or if you’re learning for the first time, check out Babycenter.com on how to swaddle a baby.
I could write a whole blog on how helpful swaddling is. Warning: Don’t watch the swaddling video too many times, or it will make your biological clock tick:)
Along with these great new items, we also have awesome staple items on sale. Here is a list of just a few of our customer favorites:
Don’t forget: Mattresses are on sale too! Now is the perfect time to order the organic mattress you’ve always dreamed of. During our White Sale, you can purchase a top-of-the-line organic mattress for 20% off plus free shipping. So what are you waiting for? Order online or call 1-800-284-4983 today!
I just got an email from your company saying your prices are going up again. The prices are already so far out of most people’s range of affordability that it’s truly disappointing. Each year I keep hoping to be able to replace the king size bed I purchased from you 12 years ago….now I wonder if I’ll never be able to buy one of your beds again.
Thank you for taking the time to write. Believe me, no one could feel worse than I do about where the prices of our products are.
My entire life has been devoted to providing safer, less-chemical alternatives to today’s all-chemical consumer products.
As a small company, we do not have the ability to hedge costs through futures trading or commodity purchases. Neither do we have any influence over the demand from countries like China and India that are consuming the organic materials we use to make our products.
It bothers me tremendously that customers such as yourself are priced out of the market. Ultimately our company suffers as well, since we have no other materials that we can (or would want to) substitute to get prices down. The email you received was only intended to alert anyone who is contemplating a purchase that unbelievably prices are going up again.
I apologize for not being able to figure out how to reduce prices without compromising our integrity, but I am working on it. The web is full of companies who claim to be “chemical free,” non-outgassing, certified organic, etc. None of it is true, but there are no enforcement agencies that address these bogus claims.
So here we sit in the unenviable position of having an honest product whose prices are turning customers away at the same time the competition is claiming to be us.
Thank you for purchasing a mattress from us in the past.
Very truly yours,
Everyday people get up in the morning and proceed with their routines. Shower, get dressed, brush hair, moisturize, detangle, powder, pluck, the list is endless. And, everyday we use products to assist us in maintaining our bodies: lotions, rubs, gels, and cosmetics to name a few. We rely on products to improve our overall well being by nurturing, healing and preventing. But what if the things we thought were helping, are actually hindering us?
Like most people who use cosmetics mostly everyday, I was in the dark about the toxic ingredients of commercial products until I stumbled upon a book in the Lifekind library. Drop Dead Gorgeous by Kim Erickson is an eye-opening book about protecting yourself from the hidden dangers of cosmetics.
Synthetic materials such as suspected carcinogens, hormone-disturbing parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives linger in those lotions and soaps that leave your skin feeling dreamy and moisturized. In our beloved face powders and favorite blushes you are exposed to substances such as Aluminum Powder which is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So why does the public consumer not know about this??
Unfortunately these types of issues are no concern to the manufacturers and they skirt around the issue when it becomes public knowledge. But there are still ways of obtaining the knowledge. Kim Erickson’s book is a wealth of information with excellent references and even all natural recipes for your own lotions and beauty products. Here is a sample of one that you can try at home!
Chocolate-Mint Body Smoother
(Emollient-rich cocoa butter has a delicious chocolate scent)
2 ounces cocoa butter
¼ cup apricot kernel oil
1 teaspoon beeswax, grated
1 teaspoon liquid vitamin E
3 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine the cocoa butter, apricot oil, and beeswax in a small saucepan. Heat on low until the cocoa butter and beeswax have completely melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the vitamin E and peppermint essential oil, stirring well to blend. Pour into clean container and allow to cool completely before capping.
So before you buy your next lotion from the local drug store remember Drop Dead Gorgeous by Kim Erickson. Maybe if enough people know and realize the dangers of everyday products we can start a change towards a cleaner, healthier living that is chemical free.