My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer

Company: Myessentia.com
I have spoken with the FDA and they are looking into the claims as we speak.

They claim that they only use natural materials for their mattress. They say that they use natural memory foam in bed. I sent out a piece of their natural memory foam to be tested. The material that they use is not natural. I then contacted the company that supplies and makes the foam for myessentia.com. I talked to the foam supplier of MyEssentia.com, Dunipillo INC told me that they do not manufacture Natural Memory Foam and that Natural Memory Foam is impossible to make because it is man made foam. Myessentia is LYING to customer, when it says that they have natural memory foam. It is an outright lie to claim that they have Natural memory foam made out of latex. Latex is a type of foam and so is Memory Foam. They claim that their memory foam is latex. Guess what then it is LATEX AND NOT MEMORY FOAM. However, the mattress did contain Memory Foam that was not Latex and was obviously not Natural. Yet they claim that they Have World’s only Natural Memory Foam!

I sent the foam to Dunipillo and had the foam tested and it is not Natural Memory Foam nor Latex.

If it is not latex memory foam then what is it. Thanks.

Hi dudley9007,

Part of the problem is that they don’t disclose what it is but to call it “latex memory foam” and make the claims they do about how “natural” it is, is misleading IMO.

this thread starting with post #2 includes some “informed” speculation and a discussion with Essentia which was never completed.

@bedman01,

I am assuming you mean Dunlopillo rather than Dunipillo INC. ?

If you are … it is unlikely that the manufacturer of the foam is Dunlopillo which is a brand name that is fractured and owned by many different companies around the world, each of which has their own foam suppliers. Dunlopillo itself who used to manufacture Talalay latex foam went out of business several years ago and their assets and the rights to their name were purchased by other companies … including Latex International.

While I agree with your sentiments about the claims that are being made by Essentia which I also believe are misleading … I also believe that their foam process and formula originates in Italy and is not a “Dunlopillo” product. Of course it’s possible that one of the owners of the Dunlopillo name around the world could be producing their materials and if you have information about this I’d certainly love to know … but this is not where my own research pointed to and is not so likely IMO.

Who did you call when you talked with “Dunipillo INC” and where did you send the sample for testing?

Phoenix

I saw this post and I called myEssentia and they told me over the phone that All of their foam comes from Dunlopillo. In addition, they said that their memory foam was made out of latex. I do have a rep at Latex International. and she told me that Dunlopillo is owned by Latex International. Unless the phrase Worlds only Natural Memory Foam is just a trademark phrase, then indeed it is false. MyEssentia is being deceptive and does not have worlds only natural foam. I will report more on this issue, after I talk to techie at Latex Int., who will give me the science on why memory foam can never be natural

Hi Bond,

I have a hard time believing that they were serious when they probably know as well as anyone that Dunlopillo is only a brand name and not a foam manufacturer. I think they were probably pulling your leg but who knows …

The Dunlopillo brand name is owned by many companies around the world including latex International, Hilding Anders, Cauval, The Ruia group, Sime Darbe, Sleepyhead, and Thalpos (and I’ve probably missed a few). Each one can use different foam suppliers in their mattresses depending on various agreements they have and I know that LI supplies several of them as do other manufacturers like latexco, Radium, and others. LI owns North America, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, and South America (and possibly others). The largest group of countries (45 at last count) is Sime Darbe (these countries have since been purchased by Pikolin). ADDED: The UK was sold by Hilding Anders to Steinhoff UK Manufacturing in 2013 although Hilding Anders retains their ownership in the Scandanavian countries.

As you also likely know, memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam with added chemicals to increase it’s density and to make it more “viscous” rather than just elastic and while some of these have replaced some of the petrochemical polyols with plant based alternatives … none of them are close to being natural products.

There are also several latex manufacturers around the world who manufacture various forms of “slow response” latex including Latex international (NuForm), Radium (Embrace), Gommagomma (latexcel memo foam), and Latexco (reshape), but none of these are memory foam.

All in all … and based on quite a bit of research that I have accumulated … their claim of “Natural Memory Foam” just doesn’t hold water.

I’d still like to know who bedman talked to and where he sent the sample for testing though. While I’m all for bringing out the truth … it just seems strange to me to be claiming that he called Dunipillo (sic) and actually talked with them or that he actually sent out a piece of the foam for testing (which is an expensive process). To my understanding as well … the FDA has nothing to do with mattress components.

While Essentia may not be so transparent … I get the feeling that there is more than meets the eye behind his post attacking them as well.

Phoenix

Just to add another data point. Late last week I emailed Essentia for some samples. Samples arrived the next day. All I can say is that whatever it’s made from, the “memory foam” samples are beautiful. Prettier than the standard latex sample they sent. They are a very clean white color and have no odor. Actually, that’s not true, there’s a very faint pleasant odor. I almost took a bite :slight_smile: And it behaves very much like memory foam. High quality memory foam actually.

I don’t live anywhere near an Essentia showroom and have never seen/tried the mattresses. And I haven’t read all the controversy on the forums. But I tend to believe their story about the foam. My money is that its petroleum-free foam made from hevia milk and other “natural” ingredients. If only, because very few people would have the cojones to found a business on a lie that big and the brains to get away with it for so long :slight_smile: I can’t say anything about Essentia mattresses comfort, saftey, or durability; but if there was a store closer by, I’d definitely want to check it out.

Hi yogiyoda,

I can assure you that their claims are not true … not to mention there is no such thing as “latex memory foam”. You could look at the law tags to find out for yourself but there is also a great deal of other evidence that indicates that it is not what they say it is and primarily polyfoam. This is not to say that their polyfoam isn’t good quality and there are European (including Italian) polyfoam that is OekoTex certified but it is not what they claim and doesn’t justify their prices. My issue with them is that they are completely misrepresenting their product and charging an arm and a leg for materials that are not what they are promoting.

Their foams are anything but “green”, their website information is very misleading, and they are anything but open and transparent about what they really contain. Their ability to misrepresent what they are making says more about the lack of meaningful information in the industry and the ease with which many companies are able to deceive consumers than anything else. They have been challenged many times by people who know what they are talking about and the only words that can describe their responses is “slippery”. “Greenwashing” also comes to mind.

Again this isn’t to say that their materials are “no good” … only that they are misrepresented and overpriced.

Phoenix

Could you please elaborate? What do the law tags say? What is the evidence indicating that their memory foam is petroleum-based?

Hi yogiyoda,

I haven’t personally seen the law tags because Essentia isn’t available in my area but those who have, have told me that it says “polyurethane”. Essentia also didn’t choose to post their law tags when I asked them to do so in the other thread when it would have been very easy to prove their claims (of course their Dunlop latex they use in the base would be listed as latex).

Chemical analysis of their “natural memory foam” also doesn’t show evidence of natural latex and is indicative of an MDI based polyurethane (MDI and Polypropylene Glycol) such as made by the manufacturers mentioned in the other thread I referred to.

Since you appear to be quite interested in Essentia and have a “tendency” to believe their claims, I would take the time to do some searching about them to read what has been posted and to read the conversation I had with them in another thread and some of the links that it leads to. You will quickly see that they are more about marketing than they are about “truth in advertising”.

Many people find their mattresses very comfortable and they do use latex (Dunlop) as part of the support components but their “natural memory foam” is not what they claim. I and many others have also tested MDI based memory foam and they don’t have the typical offgassing of most TDI based memory foams. As I mentioned some of them are Oeko-Tex standard 100 certified. My issue is not with their use of polyurethane but in the accuracy of their claims, their marketing methods, and that that people are buying an expensive story that just isn’t true believing that what they purchased is “latex”.

Phoenix

Interesting. I love a good mystery. Is it possible for both of the following statements to be true:

“Essentia memory foam is a petroleum-free foam made from hevia milk and other ‘natural’ ingredients.”

“Chemical analysis of their ‘natural memory foam’ also doesn’t show evidence of natural latex and is indicative of an MDI based polyurethane (MDI and Polypropylene Glycol)”

The word “natural” is a very imprecise term. It could be said that even petroleum is natural. To paraphrase wikipedia, petroleum is created from large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, that have been buried underneath sedimentary rock and have undergone intense heat and pressure. How is that any less natural than toxic plant sap that has been heated and otherwise “unnaturally” processed in complex proprietary ways in factories? And just because something is natural that doesn’t make it inherently healthier than unnatural products. I’d rather eat synthetic vitamins than drink snake venom.

So really the only controversy about the first statement is whether Essentia memory foam is petroleum-free and includes hevia milk as one of the original pre-processed ingredients. Is it possible that they have found a petroleum-free (potentially expensive) way to make a polyurethane or polyurethane equivalent? I still believe the claim that the product is petroleum-free and includes hevia milk. Now whether the foam is healthier or otherwise superior, I don’t know.

But I also agree with you. I think the story is more complicated than their marketing lets on. And I’m sure they exaggerate their products benefits while at the same time exaggerating their competitors weaknesses. On the otherhand, if they are lying about “statement one” from above, they should be put out of business or at least fined.

By the way, where can I see the results of the foam testing you mentioned?

Hi yogiyoda,

Since there are no polyurethane foams made anywhere in the world that do not have petrochemicals in them (to differing degrees) … it is clear to me that their foams are not petroleum free.

You can believe whatever you wish of course but there is evidence to show that their “latex memory foam” material contains no hevea milk (or at least none was found in the chemical analysis). Even their own site shows it contains SBR which is synthetic latex among the ingredients. Even the main components of SBR (Styrene and Butadiene) can by synthesized from either petrochemicals or from other sources.

This also has nothing to do with the “safety” of their foams as you point out … only with their false claims and misleading statements on their website.

Your comments about natural vs synthetic are the topic of many posts in this forum and all over the internet as well and I agree it is completely misused and misleading in many cases. Same goes for the use of the term “organic”.

You can see them in the attachments in post #4 here.

Phoenix

Thanks Phoenix,

Playing devil’s advocate. Let’s assume that the lab results are a legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. The analysis leaves open the possibility that at least one of the components was derived “possibly from Hevia ‘Sap’.” As for the two other compounds, the lab sees no evidence that they were derived from a ‘natural’ source. However, they aren’t conclusively stating that they are not.

Either Essentia has innovated some new process which is unfamiliar to the lab, or they should be getting into trouble. And nit picking aside, if the lab results are accurate, it makes Essentia’s marketing look very bad either way.

By the way, in the US, “organic” at least with foods has a very clearly defined meaning and can’t be thrown around casually in marketing. Although I’m not sure about it’s meaning in regards to mattresses.

(FYI - the meaning of “organic” in chemistry, although different, is also clearly defined)

Hi yogiyoda,

That’s not devils “advocate” … that’s just misreading the lab report which specifically says …

As I say … I go by “preponderance of the evidence” and on how truthful I believe all the information I have read or received really is.

Of course you are welcome to make whatever interpretations you feel is warranted or go to the whatever level of minute and unlikely possibilities you believe justifies the Essentia claims. I just don’t believe them.

Yes you are correct in this and it has been the topic of many posts in the forum (and elsewhere on the web) including some that are very recent. The Wikipedia article doesn’t specifically mention textiles though which you can see here (the official source for the US) are somewhat different and GOTS certification can also be used to make an “organic” claim although not an NOP certified organic claim or use the USDA seal.

At this point … there are only two manufacturers who make GOTS certified organic mattresses … they are Organicpedic and Naturepedic, both of whom used Oregon Tilth as their certifying agent.

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix,

Maybe it’s not misreading the lab report but just reading it closely:

Also, I have seen no proof that that report is even legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. But I leave open the possibility that it is legit. I take it you did some due diligence verifying that it was. If it is legit analysis, the preponderance of evidence leads to petrol-chemicals being involved. However, as stated previously, I do believe there is room for doubt - possibly even “reasonable” doubt :slight_smile:

But let’s assume that Essentia foam is petroleum based memory foam. Think what you are asking me to believe. You want me to believe that this business was founded on a blatant lie that is easily disproved. And not only was this allowed, but the company has been continuing to grow for years - even with an A- BBB rating. …while at the same time, in a reply to me in another thread, stating that you think that industries can do a good job of regulating themselves.

I’m sorry but if this company is allowed to blatantly lie to the public like that, there is something wrong. And I’m not sure that the foam and mattress industries can do anything about it internally. I too believe that there can be over regulation that hinders our freedoms and the economy. But I’m not naive enough to believe that pure laissez-faire capitalism can actually work in the real world. It would fail for the same reason Communism fails. Both philosophies fail to fully take into account the greed that is part of human nature. I’m glad there are some sensible enforced regulation in regards to traffic. I’m glad there are some sensible and enforced regulations around theft/murder etc. And I’m glad there are some sensible regulations around advertising and commerce. Where those regulations and enforcement go to far, the need to be dropped. Where the don’t go far enough they need to be strengthened.

Now either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable argument, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed. And my money is that the solution won’t be found from within the foam/mattress industry.

Hmm, I just re-read the above. Seems in my haste to make a point, I may have accidentally inferred that you were naive and also that you believed in pure laizze-faire capitalism. That was not my intention. I was simply trying to strongly state my belief that sensible regulations can be beneficial. Sorry for any offense.

Geez, maybe those aliens are starting to dissolve my spine. If so, at least I might finally get some sleep :confused:

Hi yogiyoda,

No offence taken :slight_smile:

The analysis is not the basis for the questions about them … it just confirmed what seemed obvious to me and to many others about the misleading nature of their claims. Regardless of any doubt that you may have … it’s clear to me that their site contains a great deal of misleading and inaccurate information. You can do your own research though and I suspect that the more you learn about mattress materials and the industry in general and Essentia in particular the more likely you would be to see the same picture.

I’m not asking you to believe anything. I’m telling you what I believe and the reasons why. I think this thread and the one I linked to earlier contains more than enough information about Essentia for anyone to make up their own minds in any way they may choose. I think the main page of the site provides an overview that deals with most of the rest of your comments and questions about the industry (and how truthful and accurate much of the information that consumers are exposed to really is) and what I believe are the solutions to them.

IMO, the solutions already exist in the dozens of smaller and local manufacturers and better sleep shops that exist across the country. The reason for this site … and others … is to play a role in giving consumers the resources they need to know how to tell the difference between bogus stories and factual information and to help them find the outlets that really are dedicated to quality, service, value, and transparency and helping people make better choices with their money.

Phoenix

I think what you are doing is helping lots of people. I know from experience that the major mattress manufactures and chains are making and selling some really poor quality mattresses for too much money. What your doing is helping people make better decisions.

But that being said, either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable case for their more concrete statements, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed.

Hi Yogiyoda,

This is exactly my point. Essentia has not made a reasonable case for their “extraordinary” claims and even some of their their own information contradicts their own claims or other public information that can be validated. If someone claims to make “latex memory foam” … doesn’t it make sense to you that this claim could be validated if such a thing doesn’t exist anywhere else? Doesn’t it make sense if the materials in their mattress appears by any reasonable standard of measurement to include the very things they are denigrating … that they should provide some evidence of the accuracy of their claims rather than just playing on people’s desire to buy something “green” or “healthy” with no evidence to back up? Their claims are based on “believe what we are telling you” but have no substance in many cases.

This doesn’t mean that their materials are “bad” or “unhealthy” or “unsafe”, only that they are not accurately described and that people are buying their mattresses based on information that is in many cases clearly misleading and contradictory. There are many people who believe what they most “want” to believe and don’t have the knowledge to validate what is being said. This is common in the industry at all levels and is one of the main reasons for this site.

The “burden of proof” shouldn’t be on consumers but on the manufacturers … especially in an industry where false claims and misleading information is endemic.

If they have a reasonable case … let them make it based on facts that can be verified. “Believe what I am telling you because we are good people and can be trusted” IMO is not a reasonable case in this and many other industries. Buying on the beliefs or approval of others that are uninformed or misled is also not “making a case”. It only goes to show how easy it is to mislead people.

This is not just an “Essentia” issue … even though they are more blatant than many others … it is an industry wide issue.

Phoenix

I honestly stopped reading about halfway through your last post, but this made me chuckle.

If that test is indeed of a sample of Essentia’s ‘natural memory foam’ then it is quite clear that it is far from natural.

If we choose to validate the idea that petrochemicals are ‘natural’ then realistically everything in the world is natural. And the whole idea loses all of its meaning. I do understand the sentiment behind the remark itself too. But I would much sooner say that crude oil is ‘natural’, petrochemicals are not; they are refined through incredibly complex human guided processes and nature does not have much to do with it.

Other manufacturers do not get away with calling polyurethane foams natural, yet alone organic. If this is the case with Essentia they deserve to be called out for it. And it would cost them very little in the long run to have their natural claims verified if they are indeed true. Why they have not done so yet really only emboldens the skepticism regarding their claims.

As with all big questions, the burden of proof lies on those that make the bold claims.