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What Is OEKO-TEX? And Why It Matters For Your Bedding

Your sheets and bedding are among the most-used products in your home. For that reason, it’s important to consider your options when it comes to materials. How can you ensure that a product is organic, made under fair trade practices, or free from harmful chemicals?

To protect your home from toxins and determine if a product is ethically-made, there are a few different certifications you should look out for when shopping for bedding. One of these certifications is OEKO-TEX. Here, we’ll break down what OEKO-TEX is, and why OEKO-TEX certified products are safer and better for everyone.

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Since 1992, the International OEKO-TEX Association has been issuing some of the leading certifications for product safety. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, OEKO-TEX currently issues six certifications, which are: 

- OEKO-TEX Standard 100: For textiles that are completely free of harmful toxins.

- OEKO-TEX Leather Standard: For leathers that are completely free of harmful toxins. 

- OEKO-TEX Responsible Business: For companies that meet high human rights and environmental due diligence standards. 

- OEKO-TEX STeP: For production chains that are proven to be sustainable. 

- OEKO-TEX Eco Passport: For chemicals and chemical compounds that are safe and ecologically responsible. 

- OEKO-TEX Made in Green: For companies that meet the both STeP and either the Standard 100 or Leather Standard certifications. 

To earn either an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Leather Standard certification, every single aspect of a product—stitching, zippers, buttons, fabric— is tested for the presence of harmful chemicals. Every OEKO-TEX certification is a third party certification, and companies cannot pay their way into receiving one.

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What Is OEKO-TEX Standard 100?

When a product has earned an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification, it means that every single aspect of that product, from the fabric to the zippers to the buttons, has been tested for over 100 toxic substances. OEKO-TEX tests for both legal and banned substances, such as formaldehyde, nickel, azo dyes, synthetic softeners, allergy-inducing colorants, and more.

Standard 100 certifications need to be renewed every year. Brands must send in their products to one of only eighteen laboratories that are approved to test and certify. OEKO-TEX regularly updates the list of toxins it tests for, and its methods of testing, in order to keep consumers as safe as possible

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Are OEKO-TEX Certified Products Organic?

Not all OEKO-TEX certified products are organic. OEKO-TEX certified products are made without the use of harmful chemicals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the materials are organic.  

If you’re looking for organic bedding, look out for a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. In order for a product to be GOTS certified, the materials need to be at least 70% organic. 


The main difference between OEKO-TEX and GOTS is that OEKO-TEX tests for the absence of harmful chemicals, whereas GOTS looks for organic materials and fair labor

GOTS certified products must be made with a minimal impact on the environment, and come from at least 70% organic materials; ours are made from 100% organic cotton. Additionally, these materials also must be sourced from workers who are:

- Working voluntarily

- Adult aged

- Not discriminated against

- Not working excessive hours

- Paid fairly

- Allowed to associate and collectively bargain

- Working in a safe environment

If you want your bedding to be free of chemicals, ethically made, and organic, you’ll need to look for products that have both OEKO-TEX and GOTS certifications.

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Why Buy OEKO-TEX Certified Bedding

Since OEKO-TEX bedding has been rigorously tested to meet the highest non-toxic standards, you can be rest assured that it’s safe for both humans, and the environment. OEKO-TEX certified bedding is safer for everyone—and is especially important to invest in if you have sensitive skin, allergies, or if you have children.

At Boll & Branch, getting all of our sheets and bedding both OEKO-TEX and GOTS certified was never a nice-to-have, it was a must. Not only is our bedding soft and luxurious, it’s good for you and ethically made—so you can sleep better at night.