Organic Bedding FAQ

What are the benefits of organic bedding products?
Organically grown and manufactured products, are people, animal and environmentally friendly; avoid the use of pesticides, chemicals, harsh dyes, resins and other dangerous or poisonous substances frequently found in commercially processed products. Buying and supporting organic products helps the earth, protects your health and provides a balance in the way we use and manage our natural resources.

Certified organic bedding products utilizes some of the most stringent and meticulous growing, harvesting and manufacturing processes required for organic certification available today.

We spend a third of our life sleeping. For the health benefits alone to you and your family, why not sleep on organic bedding that is pure, clean, chemical-free, pesticide free, hypo-allergenic and non-toxic?

What is the difference between organic, green and natural?
Organic certification and true organic labelling can only be attained if the soil on the cotton farm (or where sheep are raised for organic wool) has undergone inspection by an accredited certification organization which has strict guidelines and standards. These farmers and ranchers must follow organic protocol that nurture and protect the animal and soil while prohibiting the use of chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides and fungicides that are toxic and harmful to humans and the environment. These toxic substances continue to outgas in fabric even after processing.

Natural or green labelling can be confusing and actually misleading. It sounds safe but the only requirement (for which there is currently no federal standard or inspection process) is that the end products are supposed to have not been treated with formaldehyde or bleached with toxic chlorine but there is no way to be sure. Cotton plants which are some of the highest sprayed plants in the USA, can be treated with pesticides during the growing process and still have the end product labelled natural or green.

What are GOTS standards?
The Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) allows for labeling products in conversion, which is similar to OTCO’s transitional class (from conventional to organic). A shirt might say “Made with 85 percent in conversion cotton” as long as it is certified to the conversion standard. In addition to the “Made with” category, it can contain non-organic fibers, but cannot contain conventional fibers of the same raw material that is used for organic quantity.

Where do your products come from?
We are proud to say that the great majority of the products we sell here are USA made from USA domestic cottons and wools. The organic cotton outer fabric used on our pillows is from Germany. The wool is from domestic and organically raised US sheep; and comforters are manufactured here in the USA.

Our domestic standard wool is harvested under the same strict standards as our certified deluxe wools and from our US domestic organic farms in California, Oregon and Washington. Our organic cottons from the U.S., Europe and India are grown in organic soils, not sprayed with chemicals, pesticides or insecticides. Our certified organic cotton sheet line is from a premium cotton growing region of India, is Oeko Tex Certified, SKAL certified and obtained under Fair Trade Labor practices. Currently in the USA, the organic long staple cotton used in the production of fabrics such as sateen are not grown in large enough quantities to sustain production. Most USA organic cotton is Upland cotton or short staple and works well for pillows. However, we do feature an all USA made organic line of sheets by High Desert Naturals. These are a slightly lower thread count (280 versus 330) and feature a more crisp feel from a percale weave. They are a completely USA grown, processed and manufactured cotton product.

Comforters, mattress toppers, mattress pads, pillows and blankets are all manufactured here in the USA with our domestic organic cottons and wool as insulator. Additionally, we do not sell or use products that harm animals such as the harvesting of down for fill products from geese and ducks. There are no components or items from China in our Pure Rest product line.

What does organic certification mean?
Organic certification is a standard available for certified organic wool products. Some of our product lines have set the industry standard by distinguishing itself from other products made with wool and organic wool (also be aware that the label “virgin wool” does not mean organic or chemical free). Organic wool, yarns and fabrics are made using only wool certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s accredited organic certification agencies and Oregon Tilth. In addition, the products are processed using the most sustainable methods commercially available. This means that an outside 3rd party (such as Oregon Tilth) has verified that certain standards and requirements have been met and upon verification has issued certification documentation.

What is the difference between certified organic deluxe wool & certified organic cottons, and standard wools and cottons?
Certification requires that products meet stringent organic requirements and that they have been certified. In order for products to be organic such as our ECO wools & cottons, they must meet all the organic standards but they have not been certified by a third party to receive their “papers”. This is also why our ECO line, even though it is manufactured under the same high standards but does not have the certification label, is less expensive.

How are sheep raised organically?
Using wool from organically raised sheep means that the sheep are given clean organic feed, clean facilities, room to move about, fresh air and sunshine. It means the ranchers that are raising these sheep have agreed to organic ranching and farming practices not only for their animals but their land as well. Many of our wool products are organic certified wool from sheep in Northern California and Merino Wool from Australia.

Are organic products more expensive? What is the value?
Organic items may seem more expensive initially until you consider the clean manufacturing practices, high value, long life of the product, the positive environmental impact, health, safety and well being of you, your family, animals and our planet. Consider this versus the high environmental human/animal health costs of mass produced, disposable and cheaply made products that are not designed to last (requiring you to replace them more frequently and in the long run spend more money).

These mass produced and processed items are filled with pesticides, toxins, chemicals, harsh dyes, resins and other poisons that can make us ill – especially on fabrics close to our skin and on the fabrics we rest on. Residues from chemicals and pesticides remain in the plant and the fabric after commercial growing and processing methods. We breath these residues in – especially from our sheets and pillows as we rest. Commercial cotton plants are one of the highest pesticide and chemically treated agricultural products we are exposed to. These toxins and pesticides build up in our bodies and can cause various health and allergy problems.

Many non-organic items are produced in polluting factories, they clog our land fills with planned obsolescence and create a serious negative environmental impact. When you consider all these factors overall, organic is less expensive, has greater value for the price, is more durable, better quality, clean, pure and safe for you, your family, animals and the earth. We can make a difference in our health and planet simply by purchasing and supporting organic items and we can demand and support items made here in the USA.

What is Fair Labor Practice? What is SKAL International and Oeko Tex certification?
Fair Trade certified products and practices mean that sustainable farming methods are used and that the farmers and workers receive fair compensation. It’s easy for consumers to make a difference simply by looking for organic products and products that are manufactured under Fair Trade practices. SKAL International/Control Union World Group monitor and certify a variety of programs around the world. In textiles the two programs are Sustainable Textile certification and Organic Exchange certification.

Oeko (pronounced echo) Tex is a standard for textile manufacturing to help consumers choose companies that are utilizing organic methods for growing and producing textiles that pose no health risk in the form of pesticides and chemical use. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a globally uniform testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Our sheet manufacturer in India follows Oeko Tex guidelines.

What is the importance of thread counts? What does it mean?
As with all textiles, bed sheets are made of woven fibers. The type of fiber, yarn and weave are where the story of quality is revealed. First start with the finest USA-grown organic cotton produced in accordance with USDA standards. Finely comb the cotton to remove the shorter fibers and impurities so the remaining fibers are long and straight. This process results in a smooth, high quality fabric.

The fibers are turned into yarn through ring spinning, which wraps the fibers together like a hug, softening and further straightening each fiber. The yarn in these sheet sets feature a yarn that is a bit thicker than average, which gives this bedding a modern vintage feel, what we like to call “old school” sheet fabric. The end result is a refined, strong, single ply yarn that resists pilling and stays smooth wash after wash. While marketers want you to believe that a high thread count means a high-quality sheet, the ply is often a better indicator of quality because it tells you exactly how the yarn is made. Some manufacturers weave their fabric out of two and three-ply threads, which is one yarn made by twisting multiple shorter or weaker threads together. This multi-ply construction effectively doubles or even triples the thread count—on purpose. It’s often used to strengthen lower grade cotton resulting in sheets that are rougher, less comfortable and less durable than ones made of single ply, cotton fibers. This means higher thread counts may not mean a higher quality product.

What is natural rubber?
Used in our contour, molded and shredded rubber pillows, organic natural rubber is processed without the added chemicals of benzene and toluene (as found in Talalay). That is why we have chosen Dunlop as the type of rubber we use for our pillows and in our mattress toppers, though Dunlop is perceived by some to be a bit more firm than talalay rubber.

Unlike synthetic man made latex, Pure Natural Latex is naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, and dust mite resistant making it perfect for allergy sufferers. As of yet, there have NOT been any reported cases of allergies to Pure Natural Latex (or Pure Natural Rubber) and the general incidence of latex allergy is low, less than 1% of the U.S. population. People that are allergic to latex are normally allergic to the type of latex used in making latex gloves (workers who wear latex gloves most of the day have a risk of less than 10%) which is closed cell structure latex.

Natural Latex also known as Natural Rubber comes from the Rubber Tree (Hevea Brasiliensis) and it’s acquired through a method called “tapping” where the latex serum is collected from the latex ducts of the Rubber Tree and then used to make Natural Latex. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the tree’s sap that is collected and the trees are not damaged in the process of collecting the serum.

How it’s made: Unlike the Synthetic Memory Foam which is made with chemicals and petroleum compounds, Natural Latex is manufactured with 90-95% of Natural Rubber, 2-3% Zinc Oxide, 1-2% Fatty Acids and Soaps, 1-2% Sulphur, and 1-2% Sodium. These items are required for the vulcanization, foaming, and curing process. However, most of these ingredients are baked out. The finished core is then washed several times to achieve optimum purity and the finished product is approximately 99% natural rubber.

Its breathable qualities allow it to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter and it is the most naturally durable and cushioning material available in nature in addition to being biodegradable. Not all natural latex is made equally and most companies do not test for strict purity standards or fair trade practices. Our manufacturer, Pure-Rest Organics consistently sends materials for third party lab testing to ensure that the end result products are as pure, natural, healthy and safe for you and your family as possible.

What is Kapok?
Kapok is a cottony fiber that also resembles silk and forms around the seed pod from the Ceiba Pentandra tree. These trees can be found in a variety of places ranging from South America to South East Asia. Once considered sacred, the Ceiba fruit tree is known for its medicinal uses and also provides food, shelter and transportation for its ecosystem, including man. Kapok silk has been used in many different items for years including life vests because of it’s buoyancy. However, Kapok is flammable due to it’s light, silk like quality. Never smoke, use near a fireplace or other heat sources such as candles when using a kapok pillow or any other bedding items.

What does “down alternative” mean? How is down harvested?
Organic feather free down alternatives avoid the use of feathers (goose or duck down, feathers, quills) as their fill product. Instead, our down alternatives use allergy free and hypoallergenic organic cottons, wools, wool/cotton blends and other all natural organic products as fill in comforters and pillows.

What does needle punched quilting mean?
Quilting by machine in various patterns is a method that secures the cotton or wool batting inside the fabric to avoid bunching and shifting of the wool or cotton insulator. Using needle punched construction insures that the thread and stitching has gone completely through all the layers.

What are low impact dyes?
Low impact dying methods are accomplished by hydrogen peroxide bleaching. Most commercial bleaching is done by dioxin producing chlorine bleaching treatments which can have a harsh environmental impact and cause allergy problems for some severely allergic people. Again, these residues and vapors left on fabric are inhaled as we rest or wear them.