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The Specialty Sleep Association's Environmental & Safety Program




Quick Program Links

Glossary of Terms Frequently Used in Environmental Marketing Claims

Email Updates/Comments

License Agreement
Sample of Required Consumer Disclosure Labels


FTC Green Guides

FTC Green Guides – October 2012

Environmental Claims - FTC Summary of the Green Guides

SSA White Paper: FTC’s “Green Guides” Provide Guidance for Making Environmental Marketing Claims


Environmental & Safety Program

in the News

FTC - Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Speaker at Las Vegas Market - DON'T PAD YOUR "GREEN" CLAIMS...!
FTC - FTC to mattress companies: Don't pad your green claims

Kids Today - Specialty Sleep Assn. offers guidance on using "organic" in bedding marketing

Furniture Today - Specialty Sleep Assn. offers guidance on using "organic" in bedding marketing

Furniture World - Recent USDA Memo Affects "Organic" Designation For Mattress Products
Home Furnishings Business - Beware of Organic Claims in Products
Bedroom Magazine - SSA Environmental and Safety Program Helps Companies Comply with New USDA NOP Requirements for Marketing Claims
Earth911 - Eco-friendly mattresses: Do labels matter?
Furniture Today - Cargill BiOH joins Specialty Sleep Assn. in touting labeling program
Bedroom Magazine - Cargill’s BiOH® Joins SSA in Green Initiative
Home Furnishings Business - Cargill Joins SSA Green Effort

The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) "THE FUTURE OF SLEEP™ is dedicated to providing consumers with pertinent information to help them make the best mattress and bedding decisions for themselves and their loved ones.


The SSA Environmental & Safety Program™ for consumer education, retailer training and truth in "green" marketing is the SSA's premier consumer education program.


Public Comment Period Open on Levels I, II, III and NEW proposed level IV -- Click here to view proposed changes.  Click here to submit public comments.

In its January 2010 Environmental Claims Report, the SSA's consumer research study found that 41% of consumers worry about the "safety" of mattresses in their homes and 15% of consumers want "emissions-free" mattresses. These two issues were consumers' top two concerns. To help educate consumers, SSA will be issuing a “Green” Consumer Buyer Awareness Report in the summer of 2011 with suggestions to help educate consumers about the most appropriate environmental claims.


Seventy-nine percent (79%) of consumers surveyed stated they would choose a mattress with an environmentally friendly claim that is understandable and trustworthy. In response to this study and several other worldwide indicators, the SSA developed its Environmental & Safety Program to address environmental truth in marketing.


Also, here on this website, consumers can review products that have earned the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program Seal of Approval and learn about the manufacturers that are leading the way in the “green” specialty bedding market through their participation in the SSA’s program. Other links on the SSA site show the diverse spectrum of sleep products and the newest innovations in sleep technology.


Submit Your Public Comments, Proposals and Feedback –

your input is valuable!



SSA Environmental & Safety Program-Introduction

The SSA Environmental & Safety Program provides a three-step seal and consumer disclosure label (CDL) program that will help consumers to understand the environmental and safety attributes of participating manufacturers’ products. The seals and tags appear on mattresses from manufacturers who join the program and serve to inform the consumer about the minimum environmental and safety compliance levels the particular product adheres to, along with a CDL that lists material content by percentage for components in the mattress. Click here for a sample CDL.

Products and Manufacturers that have earned the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program™ Seal of Approval

Seals – Levels I, II, III



To display the Level I seal, a manufacturer must:

  • Disclose materials used in construction and percentages of natural/biobased and/or pre-consumer recycled content if applicable

  • Achieve a minimum of 20% of natural/biobased or pre-consumer recycled content in component categories of fabric and quilt

  • Participate in an annual survey to identify carbon footprint issues and commit to continuous improvement

  • Meet all federal safety flammability requirements

  • Meet all safety requirements for children’s products if applicable

  • Provide a warranty for the product

For the Level II seal, a manufacturer must meet all the requirements of the first threshold and in addition, the products must:
  • Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 20% natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled content material, and/or steel in component categories of fabric and quilt and 10% for core

  • Certify the top fabric (closest to consumer during sleep) through either Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard

  • Flexible polyurethane foam products must achieve CertiPUR-US® certification

  • Latex foam products must achieve Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certification.

The Level III seal is the highest that can be achieved. To meet the Level III requirements, a manufacturer must comply with the previous two levels’ requirements and:
  • Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 70% of natural/biobased and/or pre-consumer recycled content material in component categories of fabric and quilt

  • Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 50% natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled and/or steel for core

  • Certify the final mattress through Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard

  • Test the mattress for VOCs emissions

Public Comments, Proposals & Feedback Encouraged

SSA’s Green Initiative Board of Governors regularly reviews the three tiers of the program and seeks input from consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers on the effectiveness of the program, technology advances, certification program changes, and other proposals for updating the levels of the program or adding new levels. Our goal is to continue to advance the program and ensure that it provides consumers with meaningful information about approved products’ environmental & safety attributes while encouraging manufacturers to clearly convey material content and substantiate environmental claims.


If you would like to submit a general comment or propose a change to the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program™, please use the comment form here. Comments will be reviewed quarterly by the SSA’s Green Initiative Board, staff, and leadership and commenters will be informed of the timeline for future updates to the overall program.


We highly value your input!

Evolution of the SSA Environmental & Safety Program – 2011 & Beyond

SSA is excited about early adoption of its Environmental & Safety Program™ and is working diligently on increasing public recognition of the program. Simultaneously, we are looking ahead toward continuous improvement.


Proposals are now being considered for a Level IV of the program. Anyone wishing to contribute input on the existing program or a proposed Level IV should use the public comment form. We look forward to hearing from all interested parties.


Voting on proposed changes to the program occurs at the SSA Green Initiative Board level and is followed by overall approval of the revised program by the SSA’s Board of Directors. Membership on the Green Initiative Board of Governors is provided to those SSA members (manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers) that contribute to support the funding and administration of the Program.


SSA is committed to increasing involvement of the public and other interested parties to keep the great ideas flowing. We encourage you to let us know of your interest in this ‘truth in green marketing program’ by using the comment form here.


We welcome public input on the program through emails to and proposals for changes or updates to the Program can be made using the SSA’s Public Comment/Proposal form available at here.

SSA Program Details & License Agreement

Manufacturers wishing to qualify products for the Program may download the Licensing Agreement here. For those interested in a more in depth review of program requirements, the compliance portion begins on page 20 with the Sustainability Survey.

The Specialty Sleep Association Environmental & Safety Program/Green Initiative Board of Governors includes:

SSA is also pleased to recognize the following individuals and organizations that supported the development of the Environmental & Safety Program through information sharing and by providing additional resources. Special thanks for the strong support from Dow in support of consumer education.


Christine Bushway, Organic Trade Association; Randy Carter, Steelcase; Greg Crawford, Steel Recycling Institute; Michael Deese, Howe & Hutton, Ltd.; Susan Ebaugh, Lilly Management Group; David Farley & Jeff Scorziell, Anatomic Global; William Freeman, Resilient Floor Covering Institute; Al Hodgson & Raja Tannous, Berkeley Analytical; Josh Jacobs, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute; Joan Jordan & Margaret Davis, IAPFLO; Bob Luedeka, Polyurethane Foam Association; Joanne Mattiase, Law Office of Joanne E. Mattiase; Susan Inglis, Sustainable Furnishings Council; Kate Lewis & Ron Buckhalt, USDA’s BioPreferred Program; Miles McEvoy & Lorraine Coke, USDA’s NOP; Sam Moore & Dana Dunn, Hohenstein Institutes; Reinhard Oppl, Eurofins; Hardy Poole, National Textiles Association; Ryan Trainer, President, International Sleep Products Association; Dwayne Welch, Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co.; Don Wright, Wright Labels.


To develop the program, SSA engaged noted green consultant, Vicki Worden, President of Worden Associates, Inc. to assist the organization’s Environmental & Safety Program/Green Initiative Governing Board and to support the working committees. Worden facilitates and supports the board in carrying out the mission of the Green Initiative --- a process designed to identify, define and standardize how mattress manufacturers and retailers label “green” and market natural sleep products. Worden also supports manufacturers during the application and submittal process for the Environmental & Safety Program.


Additional Information & Resources

Consumers, manufacturers, retailers or interested parties are encouraged to contact the SSA directly for more information. Also, reviewing the following links may be helpful:


“Green” Consumer Buyer Awareness Report – coming soon

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