What is CertiPUR-US?

CeritPUR-US Certification

What is CertiPUR-US?

CertiPUR-US is a certification that regulates polyurethane foam. The certification is administered by a non-profit organization, the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, which ensures these foams are made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, or TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead, and formaldehyde. The org also works to ensure that certified foams have low VOC emissions for the betterment of indoor air quality and the presence of off-gasses are below a hazardous level. 

How does CertiPUR-US work?

This certification requires physical performance testing of foams, which involves sampling of the foam product at hand that is then used for analytical testing to determine the amount of emissions released, as well as if there were any harmful toxins or carcinogens within the product. All of the testing is documented in written form with strict requirements, as well as with a thorough review conducted by the organization afterwards. 

What kind of products are certified by CertiPUR-US?

CertiPUR-US certifies foam products, namely polyurethane foam, that is used to make products more cushiony or comfortable. This type of foam is found in mattresses, furniture, and carpet overlay. Another popular use of polyurethane foam is in packaging as a popular cushion used during transportation. 

Is CertiPUR-US Regulated?

CertiPUR-US is not regulated by any government agencies, though it has strict requirements for certification that were developed in collaboration with environmentalists, and foam is analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories. CertiPUR-US emissions and analysis methods are compatible with other standards, including Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, and it derives its VOC limits (0.5 parts per million) from the EPA, CPSC, REACH, and RoHS. Additionally, the certification requires foams to be recertified annually and semi-annually during the first year of certification.

Who manages the CertiPUR-US certification?

The CertiPUR-US certification is managed by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, which has a Board of Directors made up mostly of people in the polyfoam industry. Though there is definitely potential for conflict of interest here, the CertiPUR-US certification was created by stakeholders in the foam industry to create a quality and safety standard for all foam producers to strive for. We currently have no reason to believe that it is anything but a legitimate measure of foam quality. 

So… is a company “good” if it is certified by CertiPUR-US?

Not necessarily, but it sure means that their foams are less hazardous. Just because a mattress company has CertiPUR-US certified polyurethane foam does not exclude it from maintaining other harmful practices! 

Still want to learn more? Check out some of our favorite references:


NYT: Foam Mattress Gassing

Polyurethane Applications