ANSWER: When the certification originates from the very industry that is certifying their product. Case in point: the CertiPur-US Certification... where they claim to have "Foams that feel good and you can feel good about." CertiPUR-US certifies polyurethane foam that is advertised by a wide variety of mainstream mattress retailers as “certified nontoxic foam.” This SOUNDS good and might even make you FEEL good, but when you dig a little bit further into their claims, you start to understand how empty that GOOD feeling feels. Here are CertiPur's criteria for their certification:

  1. Made without ozone depleters
  2. Made without PBDEs
  3. Made without mercury, lead and heavy metals
  4. Made without formaldehyde
  5. Made without phthalates 
  6. Low VOC emissions (less than 0.5 parts per million)
Now, as a consumer, all of that sounds great! It makes you feel like the foam you're buying is "green" or "healthy" or "somehow better for you." But let's take a closer look... (as we like to do at Moss Envy):

1. Made without ozone depleters. Well, that's great. Except for US foam manufacturers don’t use ozone depleters, so any US foam qualifies.

2. Made without PBDEs. AWESOME. Except that PBDEs are no longer used by ANY US foam manufacturers. They were banned by the EPA in January 2005. So thanks for nothing.

3. Made without mercury, lead and heavy metals. Thank goodness! It should also be known that these harmful ingredients already aren't commonly used in foam manufacturing. Also not found in their foam... rat poison, arsenic, unicorns, and kryptonite.

4. Made without formaldehyde. While formaldehyde can be found as an additive in sheets (makes them wrinkle free), it is not a common ingredient in making foam. So again... way to go foam guys!

5. Made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. CertiPUR-US requires "detailed laboratory analysis of foam extractions and prohibits the use of seven phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in all CertiPUR-US certified foams.” What they're not mentioning are the many other known phthalates that aren't regulated by the CPSC that could end up in your foam.

6. Low VOC emissions. Sure, low VOCs are better than high VOCs. But we'd prefer a foam that has NO detectable VOCs... like our Dunlop Latex for example.  

SO... in conclusion. Not all "certifications" are made equal. Look for TRUE third party certifications (like the "Greenguard Certification") that actually have meaning. It's SO easy to get lured in by shady advertising techniques and hollow promises... don't let it happen to you! Demand honesty and transparency! You deserve the truth and you deserve a mattress that aims higher than the lowest common denominator.