Last updated April, 2021
If you have allergies, sensitivities, or if you are becoming concerned about the chemical overload are bodies are subjected to, you’ll want to make sure that the mattress you buy is the best natural mattress Canada that you can afford.
We’ll explain why you should be concerned about the materials used to build your mattress, and we’ll help you navigate through the different levels of what makes something the best natural mattress.
We also cover all the different mattress and textile certifications used by mattress companies in Canada, and while some of them sound great, they aren’t really completely natural or safe.
If you aren’t concerned about finding the best natural mattress, check out our overall best mattress in Canada recommendation. Or, if you know what you want, then head to our mattress comparison chart and sort by certifications to find a natural mattress Canada.
Materials used in a natural mattress
The ultimate natural mattress Canada, would be sleeping on a pile of hay, or a mossy forest floor, or if you like a firm night’s sleep, on a large smooth rock. But to get even the most natural of materials into a soft, comfortable, and long lasting mattress requires processing of some sort.
A natural mattress Canada, means that you won’t have any foam in it. It’s impossible to make standard foam without petroleum products, and yet since foam is so soft and comfortable, companies strive to imitate it with natural products.
The closest the natural mattress companies have been able to get is with natural latex foam that is made from sap of the latex tree. There are other options starting to be tested, based on corn and other common plants, but none seems to be as long-lasting as latex.
In fact, latex mattresses that are over 50 years old have shown little to no deterioration! So, if you think a natural latex mattress made in Canada might seem really expensive, remember that it could last 5 times longer than a 10 year warranty.
VOCs and Off-gassing
When polyurethane foam is created, the chemical reaction creates compounds that float (off gas) off of the foam. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs for short) are present on all sorts of things. From mattresses, pillows, car seats, to house insulation, it’s almost everywhere.
Do we need to be worried about VOCs? Most people aren’t. In fact, the EPA in the U.S.A. says that VOCs are only dangerous in high amounts, so any old foam mattress is not a health concern. The EPA doesn’t even regulate VOCs in household products.
Other studies find that the level of VOCs coming off of mattresses is no more than the amount emitted from laminate flooring. Instead of saying that laminate flooring might be a concern, they use that reference number to say that VOCs from mattresses are safe.
But what is the VOC amount that starts to become a health concern? And just because a mattress may have less VOCs than flooring, what about the cumulative load on our bodies after laying and breathing next to it all night and then sitting on our foam couches and driving in our foam padded cars?
For children, it can be even more important. Some studies link high levels of some VOCs to increased risk of asthma and allergies in young children.
In addition, studies have shown that VOCs increase as temperature increases, and being inside the house, mattresses are always in a warm environment. The bedroom is typically not well-ventilated, which compounds the VOC count.
Because VOCs and chemical exposure is becoming a concern of more people, mattress companies have started producing completely natural mattresses in Canada.
Are flame retardants used on mattresses?
And if so, are they dangerous? If I get a natural mattress in Canada, will it have flame retardant chemicals on it?
The certifications required for mattresses are fairly minimal. That means that most mattress companies can pass flammability standards by using a flame-retardant sock cover over the foam.
If the mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, you know that the foam itself is free from retardants, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the other materials used in the mattress.
Types of certifications for natural mattress Canada
There is no law governing certain products in Canada, such as organic latex mattresses. When researching a natural mattress Canada, make sure the company has actual certificates to prove they have been certified, as with everything, there are scammers that have showed up in the space selling organic certified products that aren’t organic and certainly aren’t certified.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a leading textile processing standard. Their standard includes ecological and social criteria with independent certification of the entire supply chain.
In order to achieve GOTS certification, at least 95% of the mattress materials need to be certified as organic, and it strictly prohibits the use of certain substances like chemical flame retardants and polyurethane (used in traditional memory foam mattresses).
This is the best certification for mattresses that contain latex, as it requires that a natural latex mattress be made of at least 95% organic latex, and restrictions are placed on the other 5% of materials used in the mattress construction.
The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification demonstrates that there are procedures in place to properly track and manage organic materials up to the time they are delivered to the customer.
OekoTex has multiple certification levels, all of which “guarantee maximum consumer safety.”
Unlike the CertiPUR-US standard that specifically test polyurethane foam, OekoTex certifies that every component of that product (thread, button, or other accessory) was tested and certified to be harmless for human health.
This doesn’t certify organic products were used to make the best natural mattress, but it does ban the use of certain chemical flame retardants, colorants, and allergenic dyes.
Click here to read about the different Oeko-Tex standards or confirm a product is listed in their standards database.
CertiPUR-US tests flexible polyurethane foam in mattresses by blowing air over them for 3 days in a sealed chamber, and then taking a sample of the air (it’s not clear if the chamber is sealed after 3 days before the sample is taken or if it’s 3 cumulative days of off-gassing).
CertiPUR-US has an upper allowable limit of VOCs as 0.5 parts per million.
The other requirements that must be met by a mattress in order to be labelled as CertiPUR-US means that the foam is:
- Made without ozone depleters
- Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants
- Made without mercury, lead and heavy metals
- Made without formaldehyde
- Made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million)
Unlike GOLS certification, CertiPUR-US tests and verifies the mattress was made with reduced amounts of these items, while GOLS ensures none at all was used.
CertiPUR-US maintains a list of companies that are participating in their testing program and have current certifications. That list is here.
Beware, however, they ONLY test the polyurethane foam in mattresses, not the whole mattress, or any latex foams or wrapping included in the mattress.
Why not? We don’t know. At least they’re targeting the largest piece of the mattress, and it’s typically the most toxic piece as well.
Intertek’s Clean Air Certification
Intertek’s Clean Air program tests and certifies products for VOC emission compliance, and provides a Silver or Gold certification.
Read all about it on Intertek’s website
Greenguard Gold Rating
This is a UL certification based testing for indoor air quality. The website has a search feature where you can make sure that each of the options for the best natural mattress Canada is listed.
While this testing does focus on the traceability (ability to detect) of chemicals on the finished mattress product, it does not deal with chemicals that may have been used during the manufacturing of the mattress.
Organic Content Standard 100
With this certification and testing, it only refers to the part of the mattress that is certified-organic materials, so there is no way to verify if there are still VOCs, colorants, dyes, or flame retardants in the finished product when the natural mattress is delivered to the customer.
A completely natural mattress made in Canada! A unique process allows them to create the only available natural latex memory foam mattress.
A natural latex mattress with a first of its kind dome-shaped contour comfort layer, the Stratami doesn't need to use coils or innersprings. A complete latex core makes this mattress comparable to others that cost up to twice the price!
The organic latex is wrapped in a GOTS certified organic cotton cover that uses Kevlar to obtain it's fireproof rating. That way, there are absolutely no poly foams, chemical flame retardants or other treatments needed - ensuring the mattress is 100% natural.
Get the best price Essentia Stratami Mattress in Canada from:Check Price
Best Natural Mattress Canada - Essentia Stratami Mattress review details:
Essentia Stratami Mattress Reviews
Consumer Reports - Recommended [January 2021]
This mattress-in-a-box does a very good job of supporting back and side sleepers, and gets excellent scores for durability and stability.