CertiPur, EU Ecolabel and OEKO-TEX 100This page covers the various certifications available in the UK that give peace of mind as to what chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are in your mattress. Polyurethane foam which includes memory foam and synthetic latex (even natural latex) are of course made from petrol-chemicals and although already covered by UK and EU legislation, the certification’s available set stricter criteria on what can and cannot be in a foam mattress.
What is CertiPur?:In this article I am covering the EU CertiPur certification for polyurethane foam mattresses. This is run by EUROPUR in the EU. Strictly speaking in Europe CertiPur is the trademark of EUROPUR which is the trade association of manufacturers of flexible polyurethane foam. CertiPur is an opt-in certification specifically for polyurethane foams. This means it covers a bunch of foams that although they are not called polyurethane foams they most certainly are. Most notably CertiPur covers memory foam which is polyurethane foam plus specific additives that make it react to heat. One problem outside of memory foam is that mattress retailers like to call their foams almost anything other than poly foam or polyurethane foam. They often brand it with some catchy name and call it new generation or 30 times more responsive than memory foam etc. It’s simply polyurethane with their brand specific mix of additives and pouring method. So unless the retailer is specifically saying their foam is not polyurethane foam or it’s a latex foam then it is almost a form of polyurethane foam. CertiPur is set of specifications for each chemical used in polyurethane foam and specifies whether it can or cannot be used and the maximum quantities that can be used. The standard is stricter than rules already in place in the EU and UK. It is important to understand that mattresses carrying the CertiPur certification label are tested annually by independent laboratories to ensure the foams are within the criteria set by Europur who are the body responsible for CertiPur in the EU.
Oeko-Tex 100 vs CertiPur
What is Oeko-Tex 100 Standard?:The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is an independent testing certification for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products and any accessory materials used. This means it is a whole product standard unlike CertiPur which only certifies polyurethane foam. In the case of a mattress this means the cover as well as all the foams used in that mattress are covered by the certification. The standard applies to all items in the product including all textiles and even the zip fasteners. Like CertiPur it forbids harmful chemicals and sets limits on others.
Due to Oeko-Tex being a whole product standard it is a superior certification than CertiPur. It also covers more than just polyurethane foam as is the case with CertiPur. Oeko-Tex 100 covers raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used. It also covers Latex foam.
EU Ecolabel vs CertiPur
What does the EU Ecolabel cover?The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary labelling scheme regulated by the European parliament and council. Since it bases its criteria on the CertiPur certification you can think of CertiPur and EU Ecolabel as amounting to the same thing for poly foam, they are interchangeable in regards to the polyurethane foam used in mattresses.
However EU Ecolabel also covers more than just the polyurethane foam and includes all elements of the mattress even the glue and accessories and other foams. The aim of the label is to:
Promote the use of sustainably produced materials. Limit the use of hazardous compounds and the levels of hazardous residues and the contribution of mattresses to indoor air pollution.
Promote a durable and high-quality product that is easy to repair and disassemble.
Latex is covered as long as it makes up more than 5% of the total weight of the mattress.
Other Certifications for Latex
euroLATEX ECO StandardeuroLATEX is the representative body of all major European producers of latex foam components for the bedding and the upholstered furniture industry. The body is based in Belgium. The Euro Latex ECO standard defines the maximum acceptable limits of substances considered harmful to health and covers:
Volatile organic components