To hold mattresses together, some companies use adhesives that contain formaldehyde. This gas is a known volatile organic compound (VOC), a chemical that has a high vapor pressure at room temperature and can linger in our homes. Formaldehyde is a particularly nasty VOC — it has links to asthma and allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. It is a known carcinogen. It does not belong in a mattress — or anywhere we spend a lot of time breathing. That’s why we hand-tuft our mattresses — a laborious but time-honored technique that we use instead of toxic adhesives. Nearly all of our eligible products have been lab tested in environmental chambers and certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) to be free from formaldehyde. You can view all those products and their certifications here.


Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, odorous chemical used in building materials and to produce many household products. In 2011, the National Toxicology Program classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, demonstrating a causal relationship between formaldehyde and cancer. 

The National Cancer Institute says that when formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 parts per million, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation. Children and other sensitive people are especially impacted by formaldehyde’s effects.


For 125 years, Underwriter’s Laboratories has been a leading safety science company and developer of globally-recognized sustainability standards. They’re committed to making the planet safer through product safety and emissions testing. UL evaluates products from electronics to automobiles, elevators, pools, and furniture. Their formaldehyde test is performed in an environmental chamber that detects emissions. In addition to establishing Avocado products as GREENGUARD Gold certified, they also certified our Green MattressGreen PillowLuxury Organic Crib Mattress, and other products to be formaldehyde-free — meeting their Gold Standard for Building Materials, Finishes, and Furnishings (you can view our certificates for each product here). This third party validation means you can trust these items do not contain formaldehyde — and that you and your family can sleep safely and soundly.