Give It a Rest

A mattress that’s better for you, your baby, or the environment? Sounds great, right? The problem is, it might not be true.

Three companies have agreed to settle FTC charges they falsely claimed their memory foam or natural latex mattresses were free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and promoted unproven health and environmental “benefits.” VOCs, which are emitted as gases, can be bad for your health and the environment.

In each case, the companies — Essentia Natural Memory Foam Company, Ecobaby Organics, and Relief-Mart — did not properly test their mattresses to back up their claims. What’s more, Ecobaby claimed its mattresses were certified by the National Association of Organic Mattress Industry (NAOMI). They were — but NAOMI isn’t an independent certification body. It was founded and operated by Ecobaby itself.

So what can you do if you’re not sure about a company’s claims that its products are a good choice for your health and the environment?

  • See the science. Historically, memory foam mattresses have emitted VOCs. If a company claims its mattresses or other products are low-VOC or VOC-free, ask them to point you to reliable scientific tests that prove it. For more on VOCs in paint, read Before You Buy Paint.
  • Check out certifications. Seals or certifications can be useful, but only if they’re backed up by solid standards and give you enough information to understand what they mean. A package also should tell you about any connections the company has to the organization behind the seal, if that connection might influence your opinion about the certificate or seal.

For more, read Shopping “Green” at ftc.gov/green.

Blog Topic: 
Health & Safety

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

This is a moderated blog; we review all comments before they are posted.  We expect participants to treat each other and the bloggers with respect.  We will not post comments that do not comply with our comment policy.  If a submitted comment includes a link to a commercial website, we will delete the link and post the comment. We won't edit comments except to remove links.

We won’t post:

  • spam or off-topic comments
  • comments that contain vulgar language, personal attacks, or offensive terms that target specific groups
  • sales pitches or promotions
  • comments that contain clearly misleading or false information
  • comments that contain personal information, like home addresses

Comments submitted to this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personal information. Also, do not use this blog to report fraud; instead, file a complaint.

If you have questions about the commenting policy, please contact us.

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a
user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act
authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online
comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s
(FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer
user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the
FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles
information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.