Ask The Crib Mattress Specialist: Are Natural, Eco-friendly and Organic all the Same?
Colgate Mattress created the “Ask the Crib Mattress Specialist” series in response to frequently asked questions from our valued customers. We’ll be publishing a new series blog post each month. We hope sharing our thoughts on these topics will help you better understand why we handcraft our products with your baby in mind using the highest industry standards.
If you have a question you’d like included in the series, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected].
Question: Hello, Crib Mattress Specialists! I often see the words “all-natural,” “eco-friendly” and “organic” used out there while researching crib mattresses and other baby products. But it’s hard to really understand the difference between the three. Aren’t they all the same? – Confused Connie
Hello, Connie! Thank you for your question.
Babies sleep upwards of 10-20 hours per day, so it goes without saying that the mattress your baby sleeps on matters. But as you well know, with so many crib mattresses on the market, it can be hard to understand the marketing terminology used – let alone discern the safety benefits and differences of each one. So today, we’ll do our best to help explain the main differences between the terms “natural” “eco-friendly” and “organic.”
The term “natural” typically refers to materials that can be found in nature (but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are organic – more on that later). Further, the FDA defines natural materials as any “extracted directly from plants or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically.” Examples of natural materials include untreated cotton, coconut shell husks and all-natural latex from plants.
The term “eco-friendly” usually refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help reduce the consumption of natural resources like water and require little or no pesticides to grow. For example, Colgate’s EcoFoam™ is made with sustainable oils derived from plant sources, as opposed to animal fats or petroleum.
The term “organic” refers to materials that are cultivated without pesticides, chemical herbicides or synthetic fertilizers that can be harmful to the environment. In order for a material to be considered organic, ideally it should meet strict guidelines in regards to how it is processed, produced and handled. However, it should be noted that there is no industry-wide standard for qualifying a crib mattress as organic. Most crib mattresses that claim to be organic are only about 14% organic by weight. Which means 86% of the mattress is not organic, often using a vinyl or polyethylene interior.
Colgate’s Higher Standards
We hold ourselves to a higher standard than our industry. Every Colgate product passes all federal and state requirements for flammability and chemical composition. Our crib mattresses are also GREENGUARD Gold certified to have no harmful air emissions.
“If it’s not 100% organic, Colgate Mattress will not call it organic. We call it eco-friendly if the product uses natural and organic components in its composition,” says Dennis, Colgate’s Crib Mattress Expert.
Colgate Mattress has been a family owned and operated business for three generations and takes exception when companies intentionally mislead consumers and market products that aren’t truly organic.