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

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24 Jul 2012 17:44 - 24 Jul 2012 17:46 #31 by Phoenix
Hi MC8,

There is a big difference between "safe" (which is always a relative term and brings up the question of "how safe is safe"), green (and the claims about various mattress materials that are used in greenwashing marketing), natural (which is also misused and has little meaning unless the meaning and context is also defined), and organic (which is also completely misused in marketing claims all over the internet).

There are many materials that are generally recognized as "safe" that are not in any way green, natural, or organic. MDI memory foam is an example of this. There are many MDI memory foams (more commonly made in Europe) that are OekoTex tested and certified for the presence of harmful chemicals and VOC's to the limits of the OekoTex testing standards.

So the issues I have with Essentia are some of the misleading claims and contradictions that are on their website. These include on their front page (among many others) ...

Organic Mattresses are not all created equal.


This is true ... but Essentia doesn't sell an organic mattress and their mattress doesn't appear in the records of any organic certifying agency that I'm aware of. In the US ... "organic" is regulated by the USDA (USDA certified organic which can use the USDA organic logo) or GOTS (which is acceptable as an "organic standard" but can't claim to be USDA certified organic). For a mattress to be actually organic ... the mattress as a whole needs to be certified ... not just the ingredients. For most people ... organic ingredients or in many cases "natural" ingredients when organic is not available is acceptable but this varies from person to person.

In their case ... there is nothing to fully identify which of their components are organic, which are natural, and which are just "safe". They are using the typical marketing approach of "claiming" a proprietary material that is widely available to other mattress manufacturers and offering no evidence to support their claims. They sell through "stories" that can't be verified rather than through truly educating people about their materials. Of course if it was widely known that their "ingredients" were the same as lower priced mattresses (although these may use different combinations or construction methods) ... the would lose their "marketing edge". They depend in other words on the willingness (and naivete to some degree) of the "natural", "organic" or "green" community and consumer groups who buy products that have unsupported claims attached and their tendency to "want to believe" and to pay a lot of money to manufacturers who say the things they "resonate" with regardless of the facts.

We make organic mattresses that are VOC free, made from pure hevea milk.


As I mentioned they don't make "organic" mattresses. while some of their components may be organic and some of the layers may be made from "pure hevea milk" clearly some of them are not.

These outrageously comfortable latex mattress are a perfect fit for your healthy home.


They don't "define" healthy or what they mean by this and don't provide the details of any testing (such as the "Columbia testing") that has been done on their materials. Again they are counting on people who "want to believe" to take their claims at face value.

I could go on about the claims they make and their lack of validation but it is all over their website and would only be repeating what has already been said in this and the other thread.

So your questions are good ones and there are many more followup questions you could ask depending on their answers and also depending on how much time you want to spend with a manufacturer whose intent appears to be to mislead their customers. There are too many high quality alternatives IMO to spend a lot of time with a particular manufacturer when they have already shown for years that they have little intent to answer the more meaningful or specific questions that are asked of them. Until it's less profitable to use these tactics than to provide meaningful information, this type of marketing will continue to be very profitable and companies will continue to use them.

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.


This is a very difficult question to answer unless each person's definition of "healthy" is defined. All materials will "offgass" to some degree but the question is really "are the VOC's harmful" rather than "do they exist at all".

For example ... the act of making any foam ... including latex ... includes ingredients that I wouldn't eat or could be harmful in certain circumstances. Most foam manufacturers wouldn't release the exact chemical formulae that they use anyway and even if they did they would be misinterpreted or not understood by anyone with a non chemistry background. Chemicals that are harmful separately can be completely safe when combined and stabilized. Sodium Chloride is an example of this where both sodium and chlorine by themselves can be harmful but together they can become sodium chloride or table salt.

The real question is "safety" for most people (outside of the natural and organic community who are looking for more than just "safe" and whose value equation is more specific and targeted to specific requirements). This basic question of "safety" can only really be answered by testing organizations who test mattress materials for harmful compounds or VOC's. All types of mattress materials are certified by these organizations including polyurethane foam, memory foam, latex, various fibers and fabrics, and other materials. If a person's definition of "safety" includes" natural or organic then this restricts the materials they would allow in their mattress. All of these terms exist on a scale and are somewhat relative.

The first step for me would be to decide the type of materials you are comfortable with. Most people who are focused on greater levels of safety or natural materials would be focusing on either latex (blended or all natural Talalay or all natural Dunlop) and on various natural fibers such as wool, cotton, horsehair and others. Innersprings would also generally be included in this list except for those who were concerned with any electromagnetic issues that comes with using steel.

My first choice would always be to do some initial research into manufacturers and outlets in your area that you could trust to give you accurate information and could help you "define" what you were looking at in terms of either safety, natural, or organic components. Once you have found the better outlets that are knowledgeable about the issues that are important to you, have a selection of mattresses that have good quality and value (as you define it), and are knowledgeable and transparent in the information they provide ... then choosing a mattress becomes much easier and doesn't involve "untangling" claims that have no substance behind them.

I'm assuming you are in or close to New York which means that you have many good options available to you. Post #2 here includes a list of many of the better options in the NYC area and post #7 here includes more information about many of them and lists them in various categories which may be helpful.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 24 Jul 2012 17:46 by Phoenix.

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07 Jan 2013 07:20 #32 by NaiveSkeptic
Hi Phoenix,
I found this forum after finding Sleep Like The Dead, and I wish I had found it earlier than I did; would have saved me much pain.

I've been looking at Natural Latex Beds (>90% pure latex) and MyEssntia was on of the manufactors I have looked at; after having read this thread and others like it elsewhere.

The Beausommet (firm) and the Dormeuse (plush) are fantastic mattresses. They use the 6+lb foam on the very top. I found them to be too firm and too plush, and very expensive. I can tell you that they feel more like a Sealy Radiance mattress (like amemory foam that responds much faster, but not as fast as a Dunlop latex or even a Talaway latex); it's an absolutely fantasic feel, but these two models don't feel right for me.

The Super 8 is a nice medium feel (perfect), and the Energie Opus is very plus (too soft). They use the 5lb foam. This foam is more like a tempurpedic feel; which is very nice, and yet responds much faster, but hafl as fast as their top two models above. A knee impression takes about 10 seconds to completely restore, but it gets mostly there in under 5 seconds. A little bit too long once you try the top end models, but its really comfy and nothing like a gel based or tempur foam.

I understand your frustrations, and after reading some of Jason's replies; I agree with your concerns as well. All I'm saying is that its a fantasic foam, and I like that the core is allegedly pure unblended dunlop processed latex. I don't like the prices though ;)

I'll add something for you to consider as you continue to mull over the mystery foam; it absolutely off-gases. Every mattress and every pillow has a strong odour that some have commented. Its not offensive, but its close to being over powering. and it vaguely smells like vanilla. Its a sweet smell. And my belief is that it's definitely not natural, and because it's sweet the brain is predisposes to wanting to believe it is natural. Does that help you in your analysis?

I'd love a smoking gun that would help me haggle a $1000+ discount for the false adverting ;)

Next post will be for other alternatives in the Toronto area. I was going to go Tempurpedic, or Sealy Optimum, or Serta iComfort, and it's a long story. Tried Dunlop and Talaway latex at Ideal ( idealmattress.com/memory_foam_mattresses/ ) while looking for good local memory toppers as you suggested to one disgruntled member who sought to make the best of a bad situation; specifically a LI Talaway GL latex topper over a Serta iComfort Genius mattress/ And I've tested the OMI OrganicComfort line; its fantastic but really really expensive. And the Sealy SmartLatex. And all the innersprings and GelBased and Tempurpedic mattresses. And ill be looking into the obasan based Latix models sold through Grass Roots.

I'd really love to find a 6+" pure latex dunlop latex 32-36ILD (medium) core under 2-3" high quality soft memory foam with quick responce topper that feels like a 19-25ILD Talaway topper and costs <$2000. Is it possible?

Many thanks! Keep up the great work!

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09 Jan 2013 22:14 #33 by Phoenix
Hi NaiveSkeptic,

I understand your frustrations, and after reading some of Jason's replies; I agree with your concerns as well. All I'm saying is that its a fantasic foam, and I like that the core is allegedly pure unblended dunlop processed latex. I don't like the prices though ;)

I'll add something for you to consider as you continue to mull over the mystery foam; it absolutely off-gases. Every mattress and every pillow has a strong odour that some have commented. Its not offensive, but its close to being over powering. and it vaguely smells like vanilla. Its a sweet smell. And my belief is that it's definitely not natural, and because it's sweet the brain is predisposes to wanting to believe it is natural. Does that help you in your analysis?


In post #29 of this thread it links to the patent application which indicates it probably has a latex core and then memory foam is poured around this latex on 5 sides. The lab test analysis of their materials that was sent to me indicated that the material poured around the latex is probably memory foam that uses MDI as the isocyanate. That's probably why they felt like a memory foam mattress and the thinner layer with a highly resilient material underneath (like latex) would give it a feel that was a combination of the two materials.

The smell could come from anything but some types of latex have a sweet smell like you are describing.

Next post will be for other alternatives in the Toronto area.


You've probably seen this but the Toronto list is in post #1 here .

I'd really love to find a 6+" pure latex dunlop latex 32-36ILD (medium) core under 2-3" high quality soft memory foam with quick response topper that feels like a 19-25ILD Talaway topper and costs <$2000. Is it possible?


Memory foam is a low resilience and slow response material (although there are various degrees of how slow response they can be) while latex is a very highly resilient and fast response material so you won't find any version of memory foam that feels like latex. Having said that ... with a thinner memory foam topper over latex you can create a "feel" that has some of the characteristics of both. I would call some of the manufacturers or retailers on the list and ask them if they make or sell something like this (and there whould be several who do or at least could make something like this). This thread from another forum member in Toronto may be helpful as well.

Phoenix

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16 Feb 2013 03:46 - 16 Feb 2013 04:14 #34 by PhilP
Hi Phoenix,

After some research and readings on this website and others I thought I was going to purchase either the DreamFoam Mattress Ultimate Dreams, or the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress.

Today we went to Macy's (yes, I know...) in NYC to try some mattresses (it was hard to find any latex mattresses around).
We tried the somthing similar to this and this .
My wife liked the softer one better and thought I felt my lower back on it and preferred the firmer. My wife said it was also pretty comfortable.
We also tried the tempurpedic cloud luxe and cloud supreme. we didn't really like either.
We went on to try the Essentia line close by and actually really liked their classic 8.
My wife usually prefers a softer mattress but she really liked this one.

And this is the reason I am adding my comments/questions here: didn't see anywhere a reference to how comfortable this mattress really is. We don't really care about the "natural" or "green" aspects (although this will be a plus).

Questions:
1. What do you guys think about the quality of the mattress itself (leave lying aside).
2. It is now seems to me that the most of the showroom (maybe even the more expensive latex mattresses) are actually a latex core/base with wither latex comfort layer or a MF layer. But online, somehow it is the opposite: i.e. core/base of foam (HD/HR or other) with some (very little) latex and then again MF/wool for comfort... why is that?
Can you elaborate on the different construction?
Even if you have a higher latex layer- why would it be the top layer and not the support layer? I am a bit confused about that...
I understand the later will be cheaper but then why bother and put 2 or 3 or even latex between two foam layers???

How will the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress compare (if at all since it is totally different) to the feeling/support/quality of the Classic 8?

Where in NYC can we try something similar to the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress?

are there anything online or in NYC that will be similar to the feel of the Classic 8? Anything else we should consider?

Some other notes: we wanted to love the could luxe- but we didn't. We don;t want to pay too much, but it is important to us to have a good mattress that will last and will be good quality.

Any advice will be appreciated.
Thanks
Last edit: 16 Feb 2013 04:14 by PhilP.

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16 Feb 2013 07:26 - 16 Feb 2013 07:37 #35 by Phoenix
Hi PhilP,

And this is the reason I am adding my comments/questions here: didn't see anywhere a reference to how comfortable this mattress really is. We don't really care about the "natural" or "green" aspects (although this will be a plus).


Comfort is subjective and relative to each person. One person's "comfortable" is another person's "horrible". A subjective sense of comfort alone is also one of the worst ways to buy a mattress. A much more objective way to test a mattress is for what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preference).

If you haven't read it already ... the first place I would start is post #1 here and the information it links to (which is perhaps the most important post on the forum). Scanning the information there will answer most of the questions in your post.

1. What do you guys think about the quality of the mattress itself (leave lying aside).


The Essentia Classic 8 is a fairly simple mattress with 2" of 5.25 lb memory foam over 6" of Dunlop latex. Both of these as well as the cover materials are good quality ... although they certainly don't justify the prices they are charging. A couple of inches of memory foam over latex can make a very comfortable mattress for many people who prefer this particular combination of materials (and assuming that the type of memory foam and the ILD of the latex was suitable for them). Some would love this combination and others wouldn't. If someone was comfortable with the very high price they would be paying for these materials ... then at least there are no obvious weak links in the mattress.

2. It is now seems to me that the most of the showroom (maybe even the more expensive latex mattresses) are actually a latex core/base with wither latex comfort layer or a MF layer. But online, somehow it is the opposite: i.e. core/base of foam (HD/HR or other) with some (very little) latex and then again MF/wool for comfort... why is that?
Can you elaborate on the different construction?


Most of the major brands use polyfoam in the comfort layers not latex which is the worst combination for a latex mattress because you would be sleeping mostly on polyfoam. the mattresses you are describint are actually not the norm for most local stores (at least in the major brands). I don't know which "online" merchants you are comparing to but the variety available online is similar to local stores. You will find almost every combination of materials at different online manufacturers and merchants just like you will locally. Some have latex hybrids, some have all latex, and some have memory foam, and many variations of all of these. Major manufacturers build their mattresses for "showroom feel" not durability and tend to use lower quality materials in the comfort layers which is the "weak link" of most mattresses. This type of construction tends to break down much more quickly because the polyfoam they use in the comfort layers is not nearly as durable as latex. Polyfoam ... even in the lowest grade ... can be very comfortable initially, it just doesn't last and the loss of comfort and support that comes when the comfort layers soften and degrade isn't covered by a warranty and manufacturers know this. Better manufacturers (not just online but all over the country) use higher quality materials in the upper layers (and in all the layers for that matter) at every price point compared to the larger manufacturers because they are much more responsive to their local (or online) customer base and their reputation instead of shareholders and the profit margins of mass market retailers and longer supply chains. They sell based on real quality rather than on advertising that sells the sizzle and not the steak.

Even if you have a higher latex layer- why would it be the top layer and not the support layer? I am a bit confused about that...
I understand the later will be cheaper but then why bother and put 2 or 3 or even latex between two foam layers???


Because the comfort layers provide most of the "feel" of the mattress and they are also the weak link of a mattress in terms of durability in most cases. The support layers are of course an important part of a mattress's construction and performance but they are not the most important part of the durability of a mattress. Again there is much more about this in the post I linked earlier and the information it links to. if you only have say a thin layer of latex in between other lower quality foams it can affect the performance and "feel' of the mattress (which is what sells the mattress because you can't feel quality or durability) but the lower quality layers will be the weak link of the mattress and when they soften you can lose the comfort and support that was the reason you bought the mattress. If this doesn't trigger a warranty exchange (which it usually won't) the larger manufacturers don't really care because when it comes time to replace the mattress in a few years then their current advertising about their supposedly "new" models will lead most consumers to buy the same kind of mattress and make the same mistakes all over again. Selling mattresses that don't last very long to people who don't know any better and without having to do a warranty exchange in most cases is a very profitable business. It keeps investors happy.

How will the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress compare (if at all since it is totally different) to the feeling/support/quality of the Classic 8?


Post #2 here talks about the ways that it's possible to compare one mattress to another (every mattress feels different to different people so this type of comparison would only really apply to each person's perceptions) and as you can see the only way to know this for you would be to compare them both in side to side testing. The materials are an apples to oranges comparison and too different to compare in any meaningful way based on specs and because what you would feel with the Ultimate Dreams is mostly latex which is a fast response material that has a more 'on the mattress" feel and with the Classic 8 you would feel much more of the top 2" of memory foam modified by the top part of the latex underneath it (you would "go through" thee top 2" into the latex) and memory foam is a slow response material with a more "in the mattress' feeling. They are very different.

The support of each would depend on how quickly the support layers "stopped" your heavier parts (pelvis) from sinking down into the mattress and would depend on the ILD and compression modulus of the polyfoam compared to the ILD and compression modulus of the latex. This information isn't known. Again because these two mattresses are so different ... to know the relative difference in "feel", pressure relief, or support for your body type and sleeping style you would need to test them side by side in real time and in person.

If you tested a mattress with 2' of memory foam over a similar layer of latex (assuming you know the ILD of the latex in the Classic8) then it would be a more meaningful comparison and if you tested a latex/polyfoam hybrid with similar layering it would be a more meaningful comparison to the Ultimate Dreams.

Where in NYC can we try something similar to the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress?


Some of the better options in and around NYC are listed in post #2 here . There is also a more categorized list with more detailed descriptions of some of the merchants in post #7 here .

If you call the merchants listed and describe the layering of a mattress that you were interested in then they could tell you (hopefully anyway) if they carried a mattress that may approximate it. It still probably wouldn't "match" it though because even if it used the same materials, the softness/firmness or version of the materials may be different. It would be an impossible job to keep a list of the mattresses that each merchant carries with all the changes that are constantly happening so a phone call and a description of the layers or generic type of mattress that you are looking for is the way to find mattresses that are somewhat similar.

If you follow the steps in the first post I linked you will have the best odds of finding the "experts" (and knowing how to recognize them) who in turn will help you find a great mattress that will meet all of your needs and preferences and has the quality and value you are looking for.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 16 Feb 2013 07:37 by Phoenix.

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05 Aug 2013 09:11 - 05 Aug 2013 14:04 #36 by steveca@telus.net
Hello Phoenix,

We in the industry applaud your efforts to call a spade a spade on this so called green washing and down right lying. The bellow link is the FTCs response to MyEssentia and their false claims.

In Part it said ``The FTC alleges that Essentia made unsubstantiated claims that its mattresses do not contain VOCs, are chemical-free, have no chemical off-gassing or odor, and are made from 100 percent natural materials. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Essentia claimed that tests show that its memory foam is free of VOCs and formaldehyde when, in fact, tests do not support these claims.`` For the full article you can go to below link
bedtimesmagazine.com/2013/07/three-compa...e-to-back-up-claims/

I wish someone in Canada would stand up to this false advertiser!

Sleeping a bit better!

Steve
Last edit: 05 Aug 2013 14:04 by Phoenix.

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05 Aug 2013 14:04 #37 by Phoenix
Hi Steve,

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have changed their approach much in terms of the other claims they are making that weren't challenged by the FTC (see post #3 and #4 here ).

Phoenix

PS: I edited your post to fix the link.

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08 Jul 2014 17:31 #38 by mandy
Even other organic mattress seller will tell you there is no such thing is 100% natural latex.

Why do they charge 2-3 times the price of other 'organic natural' latex mattress? They advertise as all natural and prey on your social consciousness.

My first mattress came folded and frozen. It had to thaw and then I found it dipped in the middle. They waived the 9% handling and recycling fee and allowed me to return it with option to try another mattress. But if the second mattress didn't work out, I'd pay 9%. I wanted to give them another chance. The second mattress came and it was slanted on one side. 3 weeks after I returned the second mattress and chasing after them for my refund, I should get 91% back soon. When asked if the mattress would go through quality control again, they replied that they'd investigate to see if it is part of a defective batch. And if it was, the 9% still applies as it goes towards handling and recycling. This is after several unanswered emails to 4 people within their organization. I wondered if they were a going concern risk. If not, my experience indicates they may very well be! So much for being a social conscious store, that's false advertising too!

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08 Jul 2014 17:50 #39 by Phoenix
Hi mandy,

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences with Essentia and I agree that their claims and marketing practices are misleading.

Besides the topic here ... you can read more about Essentia in this topic and in posts #3 and #4 here as well.

It's unfortunate that you didn't find us before you made your purchase :(

Phoenix

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07 Mar 2015 22:34 #40 by incognito
I think people are confusing 2 things?

The bottom core is a latex foam. And the top is a memory foam.

Their test and certifications are listed here:
www.myessentia.com/company/certifications

And on this page it lists which chemicals they have compared to other mattresses.
www.myessentia.com/learn/the-icky-truth/...icals-in-mattresses/

Essentia contains
* Cone essence
* Diphenyl diisocyanate
* Emulsion of Hevea brasiliensis milk in water
* Fats
* Hevea brasiliensis milk
* Hydrolyzed corn
* Phenol-melamine resins
* Water
* Waxes styrene-butadiene copolymer

Essential do off gas, but its miniscule when compered to other "CertiPUR" nonsense.
www.myessentia.com/blog/certipur-us-chem...-certify-themselves/



I'm still having a hard time finding a good mattress. I think as long as it doesn't contain polyurethane foam, I should be good.

My previous mattress was 12+ years old. Not sure why that mattress didn't give me any side effects? But the previous 3 mattress I've purchased have. Sleeping on the freaking floor right now.

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