Did you know that crib mattresses are sprayed with toxic chemicals?
And those chemicals can leak out of the mattress while your child sleeps on it?
It’s awful but true.
Most babies sleep up to 10-12 hours per day, and that means they spend nearly half their lives on their mattress. Needless to say, getting a mattress that’s safe and not sprayed with nasty chemicals is a priority.
Thankfully, there are a few awesome, safe and organic crib mattresses available, and this guide will tell you what to look for.
You actually have to be careful, because not all mattresses labelled “organic” are truly organic!
The Best (Proven) Organic Crib Mattress
After a lot of research, we found a great crib mattress that is both organic and contains non-toxic chemicals.
Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Dual Firmness Crib Mattress
The No Compromise Organic Crib Mattress (click here to check price on Amazon) is one of the few that contain 100% organic cotton for both the filling and the outer fabric.
It has a waterproof covering that uses polyethylene, which is a simple waterproof layer and meets food-grade standards, so it’s safe and non-toxic. This also gives it anti-dust mite & bed bug properties.
Unlike typical mattresses, instead of foam, it uses 100% USA-grown organic cotton from USDA-certified sources. There’s really no safer material that could be used in a baby mattress.
The mattress meets fire safety standards in an intelligent and safe way: since there is no foam interior, it’s not as flammable as a typical mattress, and Naturepedic uses high-quality materials and manufacturing instead of flame-resistant chemicals. You can sleep safe knowing that there are no nasty chemicals used in this mattress.
This is a 2-stage mattress, which means one side functions as a baby mattress, and the other side has a different firmness making it suitable for a toddler bed. This is a pretty economical and convenient feature! It should fit perfectly in any standard crib, too.
Naturepedic is one of the most popular and trustworthy mattress manufacturers, and they’re known to have great customer service in the event that you have any trouble with your mattress. It also has a lifetime warranty, so if anything at all goes wrong you’ll get a new replacement if you call them up.
All things said, this is absolutely the top organic crib mattress you’ll find.
What’s in a Typical Mattress?
A typical mattress contains a lot of different components, many of which are non-natural and potentially dangerous to a baby.
Filling Material: Polyurethane Foam
The filler material of a mattress is typically polyurethane foam: a material made from petroleum which is both highly flammable as well as potentially toxic. Depending on how the foam is manufactured, it may contain a number of harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene and toluene.
There are several noted potential negative health effects of polyurethane foam: cardiac arrhythmia, breathlessness, chest discomfort, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, coughing, asthma-like allergic reaction, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, and reduced pulmonary function.
Needless to say, this is something you’ll probably want to avoid!
Waterproof Covering: PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
The waterproof cover that comes with many crib mattresses is comprised of vinyl in order to be waterproof and increase the flame-resistant properties of the mattress. Unfortunately, vinyl, otherwise known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is known as one of the most toxic and environmentally-unfriendly plastics there is.
Chemical plasticizers are used in the production of PVC, as it is a hard plastic that needs to be softer and flexible to be used as a covering. These chemicals are not bound to the vinyl, and can leach out and be inhaled or absorbed in your baby’s skin.
All mattresses are required by law to be flame-resistant, and this includes baby crib mattresses. Unfortunately, the cheapest and most common way of meeting this requirement is to douse the mattresses with toxic flame-retardant chemicals.
Many organic mattresses use wool, as it has natural fire-retardant properties that are usually enough to pass fire safety standards.
Beware, however, that some companies use chemicals in the wool to increase the safety properties. Also, even if a mattress is certified organic, it may have a vinyl covering that contains nasty chemicals. How do you know if the mattress is actually safe and non-toxic?
You’ll have to do your own research, but we’ll list several mattresses that are both organic and contain no nasty chemicals for you.
Not All Mattresses Labelled Organic are Non-Toxic
Just because a mattress is labelled “organic” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true or even safe. Mattresses that contain organic cotton inside or even just a layer of organic cotton in the outer shell can be called organic.
Also, a mattress filled with organic cotton could contain a vinyl covering, which is obviously not all that healthy. Even those that use a wool covering could contain flame-retardants. It’s important to do your research and try to find a complete material listing used in the mattress. This isn’t always easy to do.
Don’t Forget The Sheets!
Once you have a mattress, you need some good sheets to go along with it. Be sure to read our guide to find some great crib sheets to go along with your nice, safe mattress.