comfort of knowing what’s inside the foam in their mattress and upholstered furniture — or rather, what isn’t — had no compass to guide them in the shopping process.
CertiPUR-US has demystified a critical aspect of shopping for mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows and upholstered furniture, which typically contain conventional or viscoelastic (memory) polyurethane foam for cushioning. CertiPUR-US-certified foams meet rigorous standards for content, emissions and durability, and are analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories.
“There is tremendous demand for products containing certified foam from parents of young children, people suffering from allergies and autoimmune and other diseases, and those who care about the indoor air quality in their homes,” explains Michael Crowell, executive director of the CertiPUR-US program.
The CertiPUR-US foam certification program, administered by a nonprofit organization, was established in 2008 to combat substandard foams imported from other countries. In some cases, these substandard foams contained substances that had been banned in the U.S. or were listed by chemical watch groups as potentially being harmful.
A group of foam manufacturers, in conjunction with environmentalists, academics, industry and consumer groups, and chemists developed a testing, analysis, and certification program specifically for these uses of flexible polyurethane foam.
Now considered the industry’s most rigorous certification program for foam used in bedding and upholstered furniture, certified foams are:
- Made without ozone depleters
- Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants
- Made without mercury, lead, and other 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)
“This is not an easy standard to pass,” explains Crowell. “Foam producers have to re-certify every year, and we do random verification testing just to keep everyone on their toes. Judging from the number of calls we get, it’s apparent that a growing number of consumers heavily rely on our program for assurance.”
The program updates their Technical Guidelines and testing requirements periodically to reflect the latest science and new health, environmental, and safety regulations.
SOURCE CertiPUR-US Program