How important is CertiPur and Oeko-Tex certification?


I am in the process of having a local outlet spec a custom memory foam mattress and I have sent them all the specifications I am looking for. They have recently sent me this:

“Our supplier has confirmed that all specifications below can be met except for the certification by CertiPur or Oeko-Tex. However all foams used are manufactured in North America.”

The outlet is Sleep Factory in Ontario and they have two different suppliers that they use. I believe one of them is Endless Comfort.

I am worried about VOCs. Is this a deal breaker, or are the manufacturing standards in North America good enough?

Thanks for your input.

Hi pw154,

This is one of those questions that would be a matter of individual “best judgement” and would depend on your personal circumstances and on how you answer the question of “how safe is safe enough for me?”. There is more about this in post #2 here and the posts it links to.

While North American foam manufacturing and standards as a whole are “safer” relative to some other manufacturers in some other countries (such as Asia), and I think that for most people they would be “safe enough” or at least within their “risk tolerance” … if any polyfoam or memory foam materials in your mattress haven’t been tested at all then there is no way for you to know with any certainty whether there are any harmful substances in the foam or the level of VOC’s you may be exposed to so the only answer that anyone could legitimately give you about the safety of the materials is “I don’t know” or perhaps something along the lines of “it’s probably OK for most people”.

Oeko-Tex certification would usually apply to any latex in your mattress and since all the latex you are likely to encounter would be certified by either Oeko-Tex or Eco-Institut, for most people any type or blend of latex would be “safe enough”.

Some people though are sensitive even to polyfoam that is certified (particularly if they have health conditions such as MCS or multiple chemical sensitivities) and there seem to be more people yet that are sensitive to memory foam even if it has been certified so if you know you are in this group or the possibility of harmful substances or VOC’s from the materials in your mattress is a bigger concern to you then I would ask them if their foam has been tested for harmful substances and VOC’s at all and whether the testing standards they used to test it are publicly available.

If it hasn’t been then your decision would really come down to your own “best judgement” and “risk tolerance”.

Outside of “safety” issues … I would also make sure that you know the quality/durability of all the materials in your mattress as well (see this article).