Is the “Made in USA” Label Important for Mattresses?

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Is the “Made in USA” Label Important for Mattresses?
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Buying local and American-made products is often cited as a helpful way to support the struggling national economy, though when it comes to mattresses, there might be a few additional things to consider as well. Where a product is made can have a big impact on cost, quality and the environment, differences that can all be important for consumers. See how manufacturing origin relates to beds and what you should know before your next mattress purchase.

Mattresses: Made in the USA versus Imports

As with nearly all manufactured goods in the marketplace, consumers have many choices between domestic producers and imported products when in comes to mattresses. However, a recent Harris Poll of over 2100 Americans found that 74% of respondents felt that buying American was important for furniture items, second only to large appliances and cars. In this poll, people’s primary motivations for buying American ranked from most to least important were: preserving jobs, supporting American companies, safety concerns, quality concerns, patriotism, human rights concerns, and then environmental impact. Many of these concerns apply directly to the mattress industry, and understanding how domestic and imported bed may differ can help you make wiser buying decisions.

Manufacturing Practices

Different countries and regions have different laws pertaining to how products can be manufactured and what ingredients can be used in them. The US and European Union countries tend to have stricter health and safety standards than other exporting regions. For example, US law requires all mattresses to meet flammability testing and bans the use a few different toxic additives (like pentaBDE, formaldehyde) and manufacturing chemicals (like CFCs). A group of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and BBP) have also been banned for use in children’s mattresses. However, many of these guidelines are voluntary and/or self-governed, so recalls do occur but recent years have seen more imported beds recalled than domestic beds. The most common reason for recalls of new beds is failing to meet flammability standards, though there has also been well-publicized cases in the last few years of imported crib mattresses containing banned chemicals.

Economic & Labor Concerns

Buying US-made products from US companies no doubt supports the domestic economy and American jobs, and in the current economic environment, this is important to many consumers. US manufacturers also have much stricter labor guidelines designed to protect workers from danger and exploitation such as OSHA standards, minimum wage and child labor laws. Overseas manufacturers may have limited or no worker safety oversight, and looser regulations on worker ages and wages that many people find unethical.

Environmental Concerns

When deciding whether or or not mattress manufacturing origin matters, potential effects on the environment might be important for some shoppers, especially people looking to live a greener lifestyle. As mentioned before, the US has stricter manufacturing rules regarding certain chemicals known to be strong air and water contaminants. Products made in less-regulated environments may contribute to higher quantities of damaging water pollution and ozone depletion. Improperly discarding chemicals and scraps in landfills can also contribute to long-term pollution. Transportation costs and fossil fuel usage (more pollution) also prove higher for mattresses and components imported from distant countries versus those made domestically.

Costs

Price can be a major factor when trying to decide which mattress to buy. In general, imported products may be cheaper since manufacturing and labor costs are lower, with the exception of luxury European brands. However, domestically-produced beds have less shipping costs, so many brands remain fairly competitive with imported lines. Deals that seem “too good to be true” might be, as some imported materials might contain unlisted fillers or other quality shortcuts.

Brands of US-Made Mattresses

Here is a listing of several brands that make their mattresses in the USA, and some that are imported. Some brands may occasionally offer imported promotional products or use imported materials, so it’s always best to research a bed before buying. Some manufacturers also just assemble their beds in the US, but import their foams and textiles. Others use US-produced foams and materials in addition to assembling their beds in America. Depending on what type of mattress you are buying and your views on chemicals and eco-friendliness, you may want to inquire about where the materials are sourced from as well. Check out our shopping guide for more tips on choosing the best mattress.

Innersprings

  • Aireloom
  • Denver Mattress
  • Englander
  • King Koil
  • Kingsdown
  • Sealy / Stearns & Foster
  • Serta
  • Simmons

Memory Foam

  • Aerus
  • Amerisleep
  • Bed In A Box
  • Bodipedic
  • Comfort Dreams
  • Novaform
  • Sealy Optimum
  • Serta iComfort
  • Simmons Comforpedic/ Curv
  • Sleep Innovations
  • Tempurpedic North America
  • Ultimate Dreams

Latex Mattresses

  • Astrabeds
  • E.C.O.
  • Flobeds
  • FoamSweetFoam
  • Latex Bliss
  • OMI
  • SavvyRest (assembled in us)
  • Sleep EZ (some imported)

Waterbeds/Specialty

  • American National
  • Boyd
  • Innomax
  • Land And Sky
  • Strobel
  • Vinyl Products

Imported Brands (better-known options, not an exhaustive list)

  • Duxiana (Sweden)
  • Essentia (Canada)
  • Hastens (Sweden)
  • IKEA (multiple)
  • Night Therapy (China)
  • Sleep Science (China)
  • Spa Sensations (China)

So, is the Made in USA label important when looking for a new mattress? Truthfully, it depends on how you feel about labor, manufacturing and environmental regulations, product safety, and your personal stance on economics. While buying US made products helps the domestic economy and offers some additional protection from hazardous chemicals and unethical practices, just because a mattress is made in America doesn’t automatically make it the best quality or the best value, so it is always wise to compare several options.

When comparing mattresses that are made in the USA and imported counterparts, the key things to consider are what is in the bed, whether the quality matches the cost, potential impacts on people and the planet, and of course, whether or not the mattress is comfortable to you. A majority of the major brands on the market are at least assembled in the US, so it is likely you will see more American-made mattresses than imported ones when shopping.

Beyond the label, you should also look at what goes into the product – the coil count or memory foam density, the type of memory foam or latex, amounts of each material versus costs, fireproofing materials and fabrics, and other components, as well as the guarantees behind the bed such as warranties and return periods. Checking consumer reviews also can be helpful for spotting potential pros and cons. Regardless of which mattress you choose and whether or not “made in the USA” is important to you, it is always wise to be a savvy, informed consumer when it comes to large purchases, especially one you’ll be sleeping with for several years.

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