Saturday, October 5, 2013

Buying a Latex Mattress...Experience Counts!

Wow, is the latex mattress marketplace confusing! Latex mattresses have been the fastest growing niche in the mattress industry, due in part to the 2007 fire codes. FoamSource, one of the first online retailers of natural latex mattresses, has watched as more and more websites appeal to prospective customers by "greenwashing" their products.

Here's just a short list of common "greenwashing" techniques:

  • Natural Latex - blended latex has varying percentages of natural latex so, it becomes "natural" latex.
  • Organic Latex - 100% natural latex, regardless of source, is frothed using additional chemicals.
  • Bio-foam or Eco-foam - refers to to polyurethane foam with added soy-based ingredients, about 5-20%. It does reduce the number of barrels of oil used in producing poly foams, however the foam is in no way "natural"!
  • Natural Memory Foam - heavily promoted by the manufacturer as the "world's only natural memory foam", these claims recently received a blow when the FTC filed complaints against three companies claiming "no VOCs".
  • Organic Mattresses - often even the cover is not organic and, in some cases, the cover has no wool or insufficient wool for a natural fire barrier. Pick from above for possible "natural" claims for the latex or eco-foam used in the mattress.
  • In Business for Over__Years - we've seen them come and go, one large and popular site, in business since the mid 2000s, somehow managed to get another couple of decades out of the sky.
Protect yourself, and your desire for a natural latex mattress, by being aware of the right questions to have answered, before you purchase. Do not buy from sites that have not posted Oeko-Tex certifications showing that the latex tested is 100% natural latex, the only way you can be certain that your natural latex is free of synthetics.

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