A mattress is a significant item to purchase, and environmentally-conscious Canadians will want to know if there are eco-friendly mattresses in Canada.
If you are concerned about the chemicals used to manufacture mattresses and disposing of them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find there are eco-friendly mattresses available in Canada.
But first, let’s look at what makes up an environmentally-friendly mattress.
What Is an Eco-Friendly Mattress?
When you’re in the market for an eco-friendly mattress, there are some specific things to look for, and they may depend on whether you want a traditional coil spring mattress or a more modern foam mattress.
But there is also plenty of overlap in what to watch out for.
The unfortunate thing about many mattresses is they’re made from synthetic materials such as petroleum-based polyester or polyurethane foam. This isn’t healthy for the planet or your own health.
One of the things you should look for in an eco-friendly mattress is something known as eco-labels. These labels let you know that the materials used are a safer choice.
The labels include:
1. Global Organic Latex Standard
The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) addresses natural rubber criteria from certified organic plantations (United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program or EU). A product must contain more than 95 percent of certified organic raw material to qualify.
2. Global Organic Textile Standard
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fiber certification for wool, kapok, and cotton. It doesn’t allow the use of chemicals often used in textile processing that can cause cancer, congenital disabilities, and other health concerns.
OEKO-TEX certifies natural latex. “Since 1992, our portfolio of independent certifications and product labels has enabled companies along the textile chain and all consumers to make responsible decisions in favor of products that are harmless to health, environmentally friendly and manufactured in a fair way.”
4. Responsible Down Standard
Responsible Down Standard (RDS) “aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm. It is our hope that the standard can be used to reward and influence the down and feather industry to incentivize practices that respect the humane treatment of ducks and geese.”
Besides looking for labeling that tells you if the mattress is an eco-friendly product, you can also ask the sales staff if chemicals have been used to repel stains and water.
Other Notes about Eco-Friendly Mattresses
A couple of things to keep in mind about choosing an environmentally-friendly mattress is:
- it will likely cost you more than a traditional mattress and will be an investment.
- it may arrive in separate pieces or layers that will require some assembly on your part.
- check the return/refund policy carefully before you purchase in case any issues arise after you receive your product.
Another good idea is to ask if they have a disposal program for your old mattress. It’s not legal to dump a mattress in a landfill, so check with your waste management authority if you need to get rid of yours.
Next, we’ll take a look at some companies that offer more eco-friendly choices for mattresses right here in Canada.
Eco-Friendly Mattresses in Canada
Check out these companies to see if they have what you’re looking for in terms of an eco-friendly mattress available here in Canada:
Obasan has taken over the Sleeptek company, and all products are now sold under the Obasan umbrella. This company has the following certification:
- GOTS organic cotton
- GOLS organic rubber
- GOTS organic wool
The mattresses and other products produced by Obasan are handmade and go through rigorous quality control standards before you receive them.
It’s worth looking through the website thoroughly to get a full picture of what goes into their products before you purchase from them.
Sunshine Mattress Co.
The Sunshine Mattress Co. has a physical shop in Toronto and ships anywhere in Canada. They have the following certifications:
- GOLS Organic Latex
- GOTS Organic Wool
- GOTS Organic Cotton
This company also offers other non-toxic products for your bedding needs, such as pillows, duvets, protectors, sheets, and toppers. Again, examine their website and ask questions to get the full story behind their products before you purchase.
These are two examples of companies with good certification, and that appear to be conscious of how they produce and supply bedding products such as mattresses.
The nice thing is that they are Canadian companies that you can access here at home. However, do your research, and you may find other manufacturers to choose from.
Just be wary of the concept of greenwashing that we discuss below. Everything in the world of eco-friendly products is not always what it seems to be.
Greenwashing in Mattress Promotion
One thing to be very careful of if you want to purchase a truly eco-friendly mattress product is to be on the lookout for “greenwashing.”
This is when a manufacturer or retailer tries to use language in a way that makes their product sound more “green” or eco-friendly than it actually is.
Products need to have regulated certification labels as outlined above to demonstrate their environmental value. It’s easy to bandy about terms like “organic” and “pure,” but they may not tell the whole picture about what’s actually included in the product, or it’s manufacturing methods.
Remember that organic regulations are not as strict for physical goods as it is for food, so you may get duped. And, some companies will promote their charitable contributions to steer your focus away from the whole story of how the products are produced.
Along with efforts such as composting activities, choosing green products like an eco-friendly mattress is an excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint and help to heal our planet home.