Bedding and Pillow Regulations in the European Union: An Overview

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Bedding Regulations European Union

Planning to import or manufacture pillows and bedding in the European Union? In this guide, we cover relevant product regulations, labeling requirements, flammability standards, and more.

Mentioned Products

  • Bedsheets
  • Duvets
  • Pillows
  • Pillows cases
  • Mattress covers

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EU Bedding & Pillows Fire Safety Standards

When it comes to fire safety, bedding products are regulated both at the EU level, via specific EN Standards, and national regulations.

EN Standards

The EN ISO standard 12952 is relevant for all the countries belonging to the EU and specifies test methods for assessing the ignitability of bedding items subjected to a small open flame.

The standard applies to bedsheets and blankets, pillows and pillowcases, duvets, and covers, and it’s divided into two parts:

a. EN ISO 12952-1 – Textiles. Assessment of the ignitability of bedding items. Ignition source. Smoldering cigarette (link)

b. EN ISO 12952-2 – Textiles. Assessment of the ignitability of bedding items. Part 2: Ignition source: match-flame equivalent (link)

You can look for additional EN standards for your specific product on shop.bsigroup.com.

Flammability Lab Testing

Note that, even if EN standards are often not mandatory, importers have the obligation to ensure that their products are safe for the consumer. And adhering to widely recognized EN standards allow importers to reach this goal.

To confirm whether the bedding products that you plan to import, such as bed sheets or pillows, comply with the relevant EN standards or national flammability requirements, you can contact lab-testing companies like Intertek, SATRA, QIMA, or others.

National Bedding & Pillows Fire Safety Standards

There are national standards concerning the flammability of bedding products in several countries. Below you find some examples.

France

a. French NFP 92 503-507 M1 – Flame Retardant Standards

b. France Decree 2019-1007 – Fire Safety Standard for Bedding (cigarette resistance)

Germany

a. German DIN 4102 B1 – Flame Retardant Standards

Italy

a. Italian D.M. 26/06/1984, Reaction to Fire Classification and Fire Prevention Homologation of Materials (UNI 9175-CLASS 1.IM)

The United Kingdom

a. BS 4578 – Test methods for hardness and air permeability for infants’ pillows

b. BS 6807 – Ignitability of mattresses, upholstered divans, and upholstered bed bases with flaming types of primary and secondary sources of ignition

c. BS 7175 – Ignitability of bed covers and pillows by smoldering and flaming ignition sources

Compliance Risks

Note that pillows and bedding manufactured outside the EU may not comply with the relevant flammability standards. It’s therefore important to only work with manufacturers that have the capability to procure the right materials – and also conduct testing. Importing non-compliant products can result in major fines or even legal action.

General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)

The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) is implemented by the European Commission to regulate the safety of the general products place in the European market. It provides safety guidelines for the manufacturing, importing, and marketing of the products in the EU.

GPSD Documentation

Importers are recommended to create a risk assessment file that assembles all the matters needing attention.

EN standards for children’s beddings

In 2018, the CEN published several voluntary standards to support the GPSD:

a. EN 16779-1 – Textile child care articles – Safety requirements and test methods for children’s cot duvets

b. EN 16780 – Textile child care articles – Safety requirements and test methods for children’s cot bumpers

c. EN 16781 – Textile child care articles – Safety requirements and test methods for children’s sleep bags for use in a cot

You can learn more about these standards in this article.

GPSD Testing

Importers should also consult a lab-testing company such as SGS, QIMA, or TUV, for products’ compliance issues and decide whether they will need to conduct lab tests for their products.

Note that, even if often testing is voluntary, as in the case of the above-mentioned standards, compliance with accepted standards might help importers to ensure the safety of their product.

CE Marking

The GPSD is not a CE marking Directive. CE marking is required only if one or more of the 25 CE marking directives cover your products.

REACH

The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) is a regulation restricting chemicals, heavy metals, and pollutants in all consumer products manufactured, imported, and sold within the European Union.

Here are a few examples of regulated substances:

  • AZO dyes
  • Aromatic amine
  • Formaldehyde

Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) established a list of chemical articles that pose harm to the human body in various ways, which include more than 1,000 items. The list is often updated by ECHA to ensure its comprehensiveness and inclusiveness.

Therefore, it is of the best interest of the bedding products’ importers’ interest to ensure that their products do not contain high contents of heavy metals or any restricted substances from the list.

Lab testing

Product compliance assessment is an important measure to verify whether a product is compliant in a certain market. REACH testing is among the most common and offered by a lot of reputable accreditated lab testing companies, such as SGS, QIMA, and TUV.

You can find more lab testing companies in this guide.

Costs

The cost of a REACH compliance test varies depending on the number of tested SKUs, colors, materials, weight, and other factors, and starts at around $200.

Learn more

You can learn more about REACH lab testing in this guide.

Compliance Risks

Some fabrics and filling materials used by the pillows and bedding industry may contain excessive amounts of chemicals and heavy metals regulated by REACH.

Textiles Labeling

The EU requires that textile products, including bedding items, must bear some kind of permanently fixed labels including information such as the fiber composition or care labeling.

The following are the things importers should pay attention to when designing textile labels:

General Requirements

  • Fiber composition
  • Care instructions
  • Permanent label
  • Member state official language

Recommended

  • Care symbols
  • Size
  • Country of origin

Non-textile parts of animal origin

If the bedding products are made of or contain a certain percentage of leather, importers should specify this in the labeling.

Label file

In order to facilitate the production process, make sure to create a file assembling all the information on labelings and share it with your manufacturer before starting mass production. We recommend that you use .ai or .eps formats for your file.

Label Information

Importers should provide at least the following information to the label manufacturer:

  • Label dimensions
  • Materials
  • Colors
  • Position
  • Stitching method

Giving the supplier clear instructions before mass production is important. Importers could hence avoid possible losses due to miscommunication. Therefore, we suggest that the layout of care labels be included in tech pack documents, along with other information.

Directive 94/62/EC: Packaging Regulations

We present here an abridged description of the regulation that packaging materials for goods sold in the European Union. Bedding and pillow importers are responsible for arranging for compliance testing of the packaging of all products they plan to sell.

Heavy Metals Restrictions

Packaging materials, printing inks, and dyes may not contain levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, or other heavy metals above limits set forth in Directive 94/62/EC.

Importers must contract with third-party testing companies such as Intertek, SGS, TUV, or QIMA to ascertain whether the packaging of their products falls with these limits.

Additional Packaging Information

1. The choice of materials and structure of the packaging should facilitate the waste collection, reuse, and recycling.

2. Packaging must have all required labels, including compliance marks, printed directly on its surface.

  • (USA & EU)

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
  • 6 Responses to “Bedding and Pillow Regulations in the European Union: An Overview

    1. shaji mathew at 10:22 pm

      contains non textile part of animal origin – you say if it contains a certain amount of leather which is incorrect as there is no specific amount required to be labelled with this wording . Also it is not just for leather – it is applicable for all meterials which come from living animals eg. feathers , bones, peral buttons etc

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 8:10 pm

        Hi Shaji,

        Thank you for your feedback. We will take this into consideration when we update this guide.

    2. Clauwie at 5:31 pm

      Dear Fredrik,

      Are there any specific rules/requirements/regulations for bedding in Denmark? With bedding I mean boxsprings, pillows, duvets, matras, topper, etc.

      Looking forward to your reply.

      Thank you

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:25 pm

        Hi Clauwie,

        You mean in addition to EU standards and regulations?

    3. Emma drew at 4:22 am

      Pet beds for UK Market with soft cushion filling. What testing do they need on filling and on outer materials? Thanks

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:06 am

        Hi Emma,

        You can request a free quote here: https://www.compliancegate.com/lab-testing/

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