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TOPIC: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer

Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 25 Apr 2012 06:07 #16

  • Phoenix
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Hi yogiyoda,

No offence taken :)
Also, I have seen no proof that that report is even legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. But I leave open the possibility that it is legit. I take it you did some due diligence verifying that it was. If it is legit analysis, the preponderance of evidence leads to petrol-chemicals being involved. However, as stated previously, I do believe there is room for doubt - possibly even "reasonable" doubt

The analysis is not the basis for the questions about them ... it just confirmed what seemed obvious to me and to many others about the misleading nature of their claims. Regardless of any doubt that you may have ... it's clear to me that their site contains a great deal of misleading and inaccurate information. You can do your own research though and I suspect that the more you learn about mattress materials and the industry in general and Essentia in particular the more likely you would be to see the same picture.
But let's assume that Essentia foam is petroleum based memory foam. Think what you are asking me to believe. You want me to believe that this business was founded on a blatant lie that is easily disproved. And not only was this allowed, but the company has been continuing to grow for years - even with an A- BBB rating. ..while at the same time, in a reply to me in another thread, stating that you think that industries can do a good job of regulating themselves.

I'm not asking you to believe anything. I'm telling you what I believe and the reasons why. I think this thread and the one I linked to earlier contains more than enough information about Essentia for anyone to make up their own minds in any way they may choose. I think the main page of the site provides an overview that deals with most of the rest of your comments and questions about the industry (and how truthful and accurate much of the information that consumers are exposed to really is) and what I believe are the solutions to them.

IMO, the solutions already exist in the dozens of smaller and local manufacturers and better sleep shops that exist across the country. The reason for this site ... and others ... is to play a role in giving consumers the resources they need to know how to tell the difference between bogus stories and factual information and to help them find the outlets that really are dedicated to quality, service, value, and transparency and helping people make better choices with their money.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
Last Edit: 25 Apr 2012 14:31 by Phoenix.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 29 Apr 2012 14:40 #17

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I think what you are doing is helping lots of people. I know from experience that the major mattress manufactures and chains are making and selling some really poor quality mattresses for too much money. What your doing is helping people make better decisions.

But that being said, either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable case for their more concrete statements, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 29 Apr 2012 16:50 #18

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Hi Yogiyoda,
But that being said, either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable case for their more concrete statements, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed.

This is exactly my point. Essentia has not made a reasonable case for their "extraordinary" claims and even some of their their own information contradicts their own claims or other public information that can be validated. If someone claims to make "latex memory foam" ... doesn't it make sense to you that this claim could be validated if such a thing doesn't exist anywhere else? Doesn't it make sense if the materials in their mattress appears by any reasonable standard of measurement to include the very things they are denigrating ... that they should provide some evidence of the accuracy of their claims rather than just playing on people's desire to buy something "green" or "healthy" with no evidence to back up? Their claims are based on "believe what we are telling you" but have no substance in many cases.

This doesn't mean that their materials are "bad" or "unhealthy" or "unsafe", only that they are not accurately described and that people are buying their mattresses based on information that is in many cases clearly misleading and contradictory. There are many people who believe what they most "want" to believe and don't have the knowledge to validate what is being said. This is common in the industry at all levels and is one of the main reasons for this site.

The "burden of proof" shouldn't be on consumers but on the manufacturers ... especially in an industry where false claims and misleading information is endemic.

If they have a reasonable case ... let them make it based on facts that can be verified. "Believe what I am telling you because we are good people and can be trusted" IMO is not a reasonable case in this and many other industries. Buying on the beliefs or approval of others that are uninformed or misled is also not "making a case". It only goes to show how easy it is to mislead people.

This is not just an "Essentia" issue ... even though they are more blatant than many others ... it is an industry wide issue.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 29 Apr 2012 21:38 #19

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yogiyoda wrote:
Hmm, I just re-read the above. Seems in my haste to make a point, I may have accidentally inferred that you were naive and also that you believed in pure laizze-faire capitalism. /

I honestly stopped reading about halfway through your last post, but this made me chuckle.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 01 May 2012 22:03 #20

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If that test is indeed of a sample of Essentia's 'natural memory foam' then it is quite clear that it is far from natural.

If we choose to validate the idea that petrochemicals are 'natural' then realistically everything in the world is natural. And the whole idea loses all of its meaning. I do understand the sentiment behind the remark itself too. But I would much sooner say that crude oil is 'natural', petrochemicals are not; they are refined through incredibly complex human guided processes and nature does not have much to do with it.

Other manufacturers do not get away with calling polyurethane foams natural, yet alone organic. If this is the case with Essentia they deserve to be called out for it. And it would cost them very little in the long run to have their natural claims verified if they are indeed true. Why they have not done so yet really only emboldens the skepticism regarding their claims.

As with all big questions, the burden of proof lies on those that make the bold claims.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 08 May 2012 01:09 #21

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Don't have much time to reply. But a couple points. Was in email contact with Essentia. The representative sent me a picture of the mattress's tags. They are Canadian tags and simply listed the inner contents as "Natural Latex Memory Foam". They use a kevlar "sock" wrapper as a fire barrier. I was told that mattresses sold in the US ship from Canada with the same tag. The rep states that the "Memory Foam" is really a slow-release latex with contents listed on the website and that the "Memory Foam" label is just for marketing. IF (and that's a big if) the previous lab-report is correct, I'm surprised that none of Essentia's competitors have called them out on their claims. Seems like some truth in advertising law would be broken here. And seems like their claims would be easy to confirm or disprove.

FYI - I previously haven't cared for latex toppers and mattresses before. Too firm and bouncy for my taste. Tried a PLB in a store for the first time this weekend. Felt pretty good. More cush, less bounce.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 08 May 2012 02:08 #22

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Hi yogiyoda,

This is an official list of what is allowed to be listed on a law label in the US. If you go to page 31 you will notice that "Natural Latex Memory foam" is not one of the approved ingredients (probably because there is no such thing). I'll let you draw your own conclusions :)

It would be great to post the pictures of the law tags here.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
Last Edit: 08 May 2012 02:09 by Phoenix.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 08 May 2012 09:49 #23

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See attached...
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 08 May 2012 16:40 #24

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Usually law tags in Canada will list different types of foam on the law label. IE: These beds do have a normal natural rubber/latex core, I would have thought the law label would list natural rubber or natural latex in addition to that layer. I suspect that they simply combined the two different layers into one, Memory Foam, Natural Latex. Anyway, there is not a lot of actual policing on what ends up on law tags.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 08 May 2012 18:10 #25

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Hi yogiyoda,

You can see the layering of the Energie Opus here.

As you can see ... it is composed of 3" of what they call 5.25 lb natural memory foam and 5" of Dunlop latex. The title on the pdf you listed says it is a US law tag which means that it is clearly non compliant with US standards because "Natural latex memory foam" is not an allowable ingredient on a mattress tag. Quebec (where they are based) also has similar requirements and it doesn't appear to me to be compliant there either (although I don't know the specifics for Quebec). Even if their law tag was somehow compliant in Canada ... it clearly isn't an accurate description of the mattress layers as Budgy mentioned and is IMO another part of the misleading information they provide. Even if they are "combining" what are clearly two separate ingredients in their law label ... neither of them are described properly.

Even the format of the label doesn't appear to be compliant with US law although it does appear to be a Canadian label and not a US one (in spite of what they told you).

Again I will let you draw your own conclusions about the clear and apparent contradiction between the label you posted and the mattress' description on the site (I notice that they simply say "natural memory foam" rather than "natural latex memory foam" on the site description although that too would need to be proven in terms of it's accuracy because I don't believe there is such a thing as "natural" memory foam with or without latex). Slow recovery latex is one thing while memory foam is a completely different animal. "Natural" is also one of those terms that can often mean whatever someone wants it to mean and by itself says little.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
Last Edit: 08 May 2012 18:12 by Phoenix.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 14 Jun 2012 09:38 #26

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I have been in the foam business for 24 years, attending trade shows, and meeting with owners of Carpenter, Dunlop, FXI..... foam manufacturers. They all agree that its impossible to make foam without VOC,s. Don't you think that if it was possible, they would do it! These guys have been making foam for over 50 years, and their research and development department are much larger than a little company from Quebec making mattresses! The foam manufacturers are aware of the demand of the market for a safe natural foam, but at this point it is not possible to make it.

Essentia makes claims of a VOC FREE Columbia Lab test , funny my research online came up blank on this lab, and Essentia never published the report online, maybe their are trying to hide something?

Next they say they use GREENGUARD approved adhesives, thats great, but why aren't their mattresses listed in the GREENGUARD recommended products, there are 9 pages of certified mattresses on their site, but Essentia is not there????
Here is what the Greenguard standard stands for:
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving human health and quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. In keeping with that mission, GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a free resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments
You would think that a mattress that has a very low VOC emission like what Essentia claims, would get this certification in a day???

Next they talk about their certification with Green America.
A perfect example of a valid membership logo being misused by websites to infer an approval by an organization that does not evaluate specific products. Green America is a nonprofit organization that publishes the National Green Pages, a listing of dues-paying member businesses that have been evaluated and approved for inclusion in the Guide. We’re members too, but we don’t post their logo on our website to infer that our products are approved by the organization.
QUESTIONS TO ASK: Ask the site displaying the logo if they are inferring that Green America determined that the site’s products or mattresses were approved by them. In recent conversations with Green America, the organization recognized that their logo does have the potential to infer that they approve actual products, which has never been their intent. They are in the process of evaluating the wording on their logo.

The old saying goes, if its smells like fish, then it must be a fish..........
I believe Essentia is a fraud........
I sleep on a latex mattress for half the price.......

Cheers!
Sylvia
Last Edit: 14 Jun 2012 09:54 by Smith. Reason: forgot a word
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 14 Jun 2012 15:57 #27

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Hi Smith,

You make some excellent points :)

For those who are reading this ... you can get a sense in some of the posts in this thread of the type of non specific answers to specific questions that Essentia tends to favor and how when they are pressed ... they just "disappear". This is one of their "patterns" in their communications here and in other places around the internet.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 23 Jul 2012 23:56 #28

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Hello Phoenix-

First, let me thank you for spending a great deal of time lending all of us your expertise in this area. The world of mattresses being such a surprisingly byzantine place, I truly appreciate the effort you put into what is clearly a labor of love. You provide a remarkable resource, and you are to be commended. I can't state that strongly enough.

I've reviewed everything I could find about this company online (which to be honest, wasn't much), including the information you provided in this and the other post.

My GF and I both have athletics-related chronic back injuries, and when I started doing research on new mattresses, it seemed pretty clear that a memory foam or latex mattress could be a much better option for us than a traditional spring coil, with is the only mattress type either of us have ever slept on. Recently, we decided to trek around NYC trying out different foam and latex mattresses.

One of the places we tried was Essentia. We tried all of their mattresses, and really liked the Beausommet (or whatever that one is called). Now just to be clear, the number one reason we liked it was the comfort. It seemed to provide a firmer support than other foam mattresses we tried, but also a level of enveloping "zero-G" feel that we liked. Paradoxical, I know, but of what we tried, it was definitely the Goldilocks mattress.

So that was the main point. But at the same time, I'm not going to lie, we were certainly attracted to the "green hype" (for the sake of brevity) touted by Essentia. At the very least, it made me feel better about the cost of the mattress.

Anyway, I'm a cautious buyer, and I wanted to do follow up research, which lead to this and the other related thread. You make a very convincing argument, but I want to be sure I understand it, because I am going to either get to the bottom of this with Essentia via some tough in person questions, or I'm taking my $$ elsewhere. Here is how I break it down, and I apologize in advance if I get something wrong, or am missing something:

1. Taken with the corporate history and ownership structure of Essentia (which you reference here, and the absence of any other patents under the corporate name or its principals (I looked too), Essentia is using the tech described in Canadian patent 6869066 to manufacture it's mattresses?

2. Patent 6869066 appears to be based on polyurethane foam?

3. Polyurethane foam is necessarily petroleum-based?

4. 1-3 provide strong circumstantial evidence that Essentia's mattresses are not free of petroleum, right?

5. Jason from Essentia stated that patent #6869066 refers to a technology different from that which is used in Essentia's "natural memory foam," but he never posted information about which (allegedly petroleum free) patent is used?

6. As a product, all "Memory foam" of which you're aware is petroleum based, and cannot be manufactured solely from naturally (i.e., rubber-tree) derived latex?

7. What Essentia calls "memory foam" is really "slow release latex"?

8. Can "slow release latex" be manufactured without petroleum derivatives (as far as you're aware)?

9. The law tags that yogiyoda requested and posted do not comply with the requirements set forth in the tag manual you provided, insofar as "natural latex memory foam" is not a permitted substance (per the manual)?

10. The lab test linked to on the Majestic Futon site indicates that there is no evidence of the natural substances Essentia claims to use, and indicates the presence of multiple petroleum-based substances?

I would like to ask you a few more things, but since I'm already asking a lot by hitting you with 10 questions like this (apologies), I'll wait til I hear back from you.

Thanks again.
Last Edit: 23 Jul 2012 23:59 by MC8. Reason: typos
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 24 Jul 2012 04:54 #29

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Hi MC8,

Just to be clear ... my comments and thoughts about Essentia have nothing to do with the comfort or performance of their mattresses. It has to do with misleading claims and the "value" of the materials that they use in terms of the prices they charge. Their advertising that claims to use a proprietary material that nobody else has access to is being used to justify what IMO are some rather outrageous prices.

On to your questions and comments one at a time.
1. Taken with the corporate history and ownership structure of Essentia (which you reference here, and the absence of any other patents under the corporate name or its principals (I looked too), Essentia is using the tech described in Canadian patent 6869066 to manufacture it's mattresses?

6869066 is actually their corporation number and the patent number is CA 2562815 titled Foam Mattress. The abstract says ...

A mattress which comprises a centrer core having a top wall, side walls and end walls, and a layer of memory foam enveloping said central core about said top wall, said side walls and said end walls. A method of manufacturing the above mattress is also disclosed.

What the patent basically describes is a mold that contains layers of a high resilience foam and a low resilience foam .... including latex as a possibility ... which has spaces between the foam and the top, and sides of the foam and the sides of the mold itself. A foam is poured into these spaces to surround the cores on 5 sides and hold them together. The patent includes the method of manufacturing and the method or removing it from the mold. This patent describes the molding process referred to on the Essentia page here. what is unknown is the foam materials used inside the core and the type of foam used to pour around these layers that bond them together. The patent refers to the possibility that they are a high resilience foam and a low resilience foam and says this also includes the possibility of using latex.

The patent describes the foam enclosing the inner foam layers as a polyurethane material or more preferably a polyurethane memory foam material. It also includes the possibility that various types of inner layers can be enclosed or surrounded by this polyurethane foam or polyurethane memory foam as the drawings here show.

As you can see from the same page ... the Beausommet is one of their mattresses that is made using this individual molded method. I believe the picture they linked in the thread where they are holding a pouring head (which is the type used to pour polyfoam or memory foam) is what they use to surround the inner layers in a mold and they may be doing this in their "factory"
2. Patent 6869066 appears to be based on polyurethane foam?

The patent (not this number though) uses polyfoam or memory foam to enclose various different layers of other foams.
3. Polyurethane foam is necessarily petroleum-based?

Yes. There are two main chemicals in polyurethane foam (and it's variant memory foam) which is an isocyanate and a polyol along with various other chemicals that are used as blowing agents, catalysts, reactants, and various other reasons to produce the foam. Most foam companies are producing foams now where a percentage of the petrochemical polyols are replaced with plant based alternatives but this is mostly less than 20% and in some rare cases up to 50% is replaced. These are the so called "bio foams" or "eco foams" or "plant based foams" and a million other greenwashing names. They are still primarily petrochemical based foams that use some rather nasty chemicals in their manufacture but are more inert after they are produced and cured.
4. 1-3 provide strong circumstantial evidence that Essentia's mattresses are not free of petroleum, right?

Yes .. although it still says nothing about what they may be using as the inner layers of the mattress.
5. Jason from Essentia stated that patent #6869066 refers to a technology different from that which is used in Essentia's "natural memory foam," but he never posted information about which (allegedly petroleum free) patent is used?

It seems to me that the patent describes the process of making their molded mattresses according to their website page I linked earlier using various layers surrounded by a poured polyurethane or memory foam surrounding layer. Again though ... this doesn't describe the layers inside this poured layer which could well be latex layers which have memory foam poured around them to give the whole mattress a slow recovery feel. The inner layers could well be slow or fast recovery latex.
6. As a product, all "Memory foam" of which you're aware is petroleum based, and cannot be manufactured solely from naturally (i.e., rubber-tree) derived latex?

Yes. With the exception of some polyols being replaced with plant based polyols ... it is a petrochemical foam. Slow recovery latex is also made by several companies (at least 4) which is latex that is more "gel like" and has slow recovery properties. While it shares slow recovery properties with memory foam ... it is not memory foam which is a form of polyurethane.
7. What Essentia calls "memory foam" is really "slow release latex"?

I think it is latex layers of some type surrounded by memory foam as is described in the patent. One of the latex inner layers could be fast response latex and one could be slow response latex (the patent describes a high resilience foam material and a low resilience foam material as the inner layers that are surrounded by the poured foam). both of these are widely available and made by several companies.
8. Can "slow release latex" be manufactured without petroleum derivatives (as far as you're aware)?

I'm not a foam chemist but I would guess that it uses a method of manufacturing latex that allowed it to retain more of it's gel like state before curing and stabilize it in the finished product. It could also use additional ingredients such as plasticizers or even some mixture of materials to produce the slow recovery but I'm guessing it's along the lines of the first one.
9. The law tags that yogiyoda requested and posted do not comply with the requirements set forth in the tag manual you provided, insofar as "natural latex memory foam" is not a permitted substance (per the manual)?

The law tags and descriptions are regulated by state but they certainly don't appear to conform to any American standard according to the link I posted.
10. The lab test linked to on the Majestic Futon site indicates that there is no evidence of the natural substances Essentia claims to use, and indicates the presence of multiple petroleum-based substances?

Yes. The two petroleum based substances that are the starting point of the tested material just happen to be the same two main chemicals that are used to make MDI memory foam. Polypropylene glycol is the polyol and MDI is the isocyanate (MDI and TDI are the two main types of isocyanates that are used to make polyurethane or memory foam). As the report says there is also no evidence of any hevea (rubber) components.

Phoenix
If you are buying a new mattress, make sure you have read www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...ttress--for-you.html
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2012 05:00 by Phoenix.
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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer 24 Jul 2012 11:58 #30

  • MC8
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Phoenix-

Thanks for the prompt and detailed reply. I completely understand the nature of your opinion, and that it is concerned with the possibility that Essentia is using misleading advertising (as opposed to the comfort/performance of their product). That's really all I'm interested in as well, since I was able to experience the comfort level firsthand, and I haven't been able to find any specific data about long term performance.

Anyhow, thanks again, that clears a lot of it up for me. My feeling at this point is that in the best case, Essentia is using natural latex product(s) in the core of the mattress, a petro-based foam as the outer layer, and a bunch of confusing (read: greenwashed) marketing terminology. And that's annoying.

So if I wanted to grill these guys in person or on the phone, my top four questions would be:

1) does any part of your product contain any petroleum-derived chemicals of any kind?

2) If so, which component parts, and in what amounts?

3) If not, could you identify the patent associated with non-petroleum foam outer on the mattress?

4) Will you please provide the results of the lab test you tout on your website? Why, if not?

Does that sound about right to you? Not that I expect straight answers on any of this, but I want to see/hear these guys be evasive with a $3k sale on the line.


So perhaps the most important question to me: if you were in my shoes, looking for the "healthiest possible" (awfully imprecise term, sorry--I hope you take my meaning) foam based mattress, with comparable performance and feel to the Beausommet what might you be looking at?

I couldn't care less about the brand name nonsense, I just want something that makes our backs feel a bit better, and doesn't reek of chemicals.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.
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