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.
- Pillows cases
- Mattress covers
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.
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.
a. French NFP 92 503-507 M1 – Flame Retardant Standards
b. France Decree 2019-1007 – Fire Safety Standard for Bedding (cigarette resistance)
a. German DIN 4102 B1 – Flame Retardant Standards
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
You can learn more about REACH lab testing in this guide.
Some fabrics and filling materials used by the pillows and bedding industry may contain excessive amounts of chemicals and heavy metals regulated by REACH.
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:
- Fiber composition
- Care instructions
- Permanent label
- Member state official language
- Care symbols
- 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.
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.
Importers should provide at least the following information to the label manufacturer:
- Label dimensions
- 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.