Element Materials Technology operates the largest, most complete independent bedding and mattress testing laboratory in the United States. Our clients supply medical, institutional and consumer markets with some of the most advanced sleep systems available.

Regulations in the sleep industry are constantly changing. The challenge to Element’s Engaged Experts is to simulate the conditions your product will face, and enable you to meet the standards demanded by the industry and market. We specialize in anticipating and accommodating new tests as they develop.

Our current full-scale mattress durability and performance testing capabilities include: Thermal Performance, ASTM Hexagonal Roller, Cornell and Foundation Impact Testing; Specification Compliance; and Failure Analysis, as well as Open Flame Compliance mattress tests as approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC.

Element’s quality program meets the ISO/IEC Guide 17025 standards (equivalent to the relevant laboratory requirements of the ISO 9002 series of standards). Element is also approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to conduct flammability testing to 16 CFR Part 1632/1633.

Element is with you every step of the way, increasing our capacity and expertise to help you meet your business goals.

St paul thermal testing 960 by 338
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Thermal Performance

In step with a new national standard RESNA/ANSI SS-1, this test characterizes mattress, mattress topper and pillow designs for how well they promote heat and moisture flow away from the body. The buildup of heat and moisture can contribute to “tossing and turning” as the body seeks to alleviate the issue. Infrared camera technology offers additional insight in terms of surface heat retention.

mattress flammability testing
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Mattress Flammability & Open Flame Testing

In 2007 the Consumer Products Safety Commission (a branch of the federal government), enacted an open flame regulation applicable to all mattresses sold in interstate commerce. To support the US bedding industry with this challenging issue, Element Materials Technology operates an advanced flammability laboratory at its facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. This facility, which opened in September 2003 and was expanded in 2010, is one of only a few in North America and handles testing for mattress manufacturers worldwide.

Cornell Mattress testing
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Mattress Durability Testing

Mattresses and mattress sets are submitted to two ASTM procedures: Hexagonal Roller and Cornell. Click below to read more about Hexagonal Roller and Cornell. 

The Hexagonal Roller is a 240 lb hex shaped roller that moves back and forth across the width of the mattress (simulating typical sleep movement).

The Cornell test represents the human posterior and applies a 230 lb load to the mattress surface in a cyclic pounding format (simulating everything from sitting in bed reading a book to the occasional “trampoline” use). Firmness and thickness measurements are obtained to assess the amount of change that is brought on by the testing. A report summarizing the results includes a Compliance Percentage rating which gauges the sample’s performance compared with industry norms. In addition, a SCORE value is generated quantifying the amount of change the sample experienced as compared to its initial state. This is especially helpful when comparing the results of other mattress designs tested in the same way.

mattress interface pressure mapping
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Interface Pressure Mapping

Valuable to both medical and consumer applications, interface pressure mapping uses live subjects and state-of-the-art Xsensor® equipment to determine body interface pressures on a test sample. Mattresses, surgical tables, gurneys, pillows, and wheelchairs cushions have been tested with this method. Data generated from the tests can be used to predict a product’s ability to reduce discomfort and promote proper blood circulation.

St. Paul Mattress Testing dim lighting
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Bedding & Mattress Testing Standards

Click more to view our bedding and mattress testing standards

  • BFD IX-11 Open-flame mattress
  • Thermal Performance
  • Immersion
  • ASTM Hexagonal Roller
  • ASTM Cornell Evaluation
  • ASTM Foundation Impact
  • Interface Pressure Mapping
  • Computerized Firmness/ILD
  • Buyer Specification
  • Failure Analysis
  • ASTM D3574 Foam Testing
  • 16 CFR Part 1633 open flame
  • 16 CFR 1632 cigarette
  • California TB 117, 117-2013
  • California TB 121, 129, 133
  • Boston IX-10 & IX-11
  • Michigan Roll
  • Navy Mattress Fire Test

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Our deliverable is certainty - high quality data, test reports and certificates that you can absolutely rely on when making decisions about your materials and compliance. Engage with an expert today.


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