We recently discussed non-toxic toddler pillows and now I want to dive into a bigger topic: non-toxic crib mattresses.
Our babies spend 12-15 hours a day on these mattresses for many years of their lives. And some of the most key developmental years at that.
My oldest son is 3.5 years old and still sleeps on his crib mattress from when he was a baby. He began napping in his crib at four months old before moving to overnights around six months old (he slept the other times in a bassinet in our bedroom). I began my non-toxic journey after his birth and have learned a lot regarding the quality of materials used, the certifications to look for, comfort in a mattress, and so much more. I wish I had known more when he was an infant and that some of these products had been available. But we do the best we can with what we have and when we know better, we do better.
In this blog post, we will be covering certifications to look for, why a non-toxic crib mattress matters, the unnecessary chemicals in crib mattresses, the top non-toxic crib mattress picks, and more! If you have questions I always encourage you to leave them in the comments or email me.
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Why Does a Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Matter?
When you think about it, your child is spending many hours every single day in their bed. This is probably one of the biggest single exposures that is overlooked by parents everywhere.
Did you know that a baby’s skin is 20% thinner and more permeable than adult skin? This means our babies are more susceptible to the harsh and undesirable side effects of the materials and chemicals they are exposed to. Coupled with their still developing nervous systems, this can lead to long term damage that can affect your child for their rest of their lives.
Our skin is our largest organ and on average, absorbs 64% of contaminate dosage. That is a lot! Not to mention, when you are talking about a mattress, there is the VOC (volatile organic compounds) off-gassing which can cause headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and even organ damage.
Mattresses have also been found to have PFAS or forever chemicals that have been linked to a whole host of health issues and have even been found in human blood.
None of this information is to scare you, but rather to help you make an informed choice about the purchases you need to make for your child. Luckily, there are companies out there who are making high quality mattresses for our young babies.
There are a few different types of chemicals that you want to avoid when choosing a non-toxic crib mattress for human health:
– Phthalates: These are used to soften plastics and make them more flexible. They have been linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, liver/kidney/lung damage, and cancer.
– Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): These flame retardant chemicals that have been linked to thyroid damage, learning and memory problems, reduced IQ, delayed development, liver damage, and cancer. You do not want your child anywhere near fire retardants.
– Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These are chemicals that off-gas from products and can cause headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and even organ damage. These affect indoor air quality.
– Polyurethane Foam: This is used in many mattresses and is a low quality material made from petroleum that emits VOCs.
– Heavy Metals: including mercury and lead, these are often found in chemicals used for waterproofing and have been linked to autism.
– Formaldehyde and formaldehyde compounds: Used as a preservative, this is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Not all of these will be listed on a label and are extremely hard to track down with the manufacturers so it’s crucial to look deeper into the materials used and the ethics of the company you are buying from.
And if you’re buying a waterproof mattress, you need to consider what toxic materials they are using to make it waterproof.
What To Keep In Mind With a Non-Toxic Crib Mattress
So now that we know what to avoid, what should we look for when choosing a non-toxic crib mattress? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Certifications: There are a few different certifications that you can look for when choosing a non-toxic crib mattress. These include CertiPUR-US, Greenguard Gold certification, and Oeko-Tex Standard 100. More on these below.
– Materials: A non-toxic crib mattress should be made of organic materials such as cotton, wool, or natural latex. These materials are free of harmful chemicals and will not off-gas. You want to avoid anything that includes polyurethane foam. The best organic crib mattresses are made of fully organic and tested materials. Make sure the finished product is also third party tested.
– Firmness: A non-toxic crib mattress should be firm in order to provide the proper support for your child’s developing spine. Dual sided firmness is a popular thing in crib mattresses, but not all of them have it.
Now that you know what to look for, you can make an informed decision about which non-toxic crib mattress is right for your family. Be sure to do your research and choose a mattress that meets all of the criteria above.
Looking for natural materials that are third-party certified is key. Synthetic materials are less preferable but there are still some synthetic options you might consider (we will get into this later).
When we’re looking at organic mattresses, there are some certifications we should be familiar with.
Certifications To Look For In a Non-Toxic Crib Mattress
So how do you choose a non-toxic crib mattress? Look for the following certifications:
Greenguard Gold Certified: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 10,000 chemicals and VOCs and meets their strict standards. This is the highest certification and the preferred one.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 300 chemicals and VOCs and meets their standards.
GOTS Certified: GOTS or global organic textile standard is for organic materials and means that the product has been made with at least 95% organic materials. When a product is GOTS certified, the entire supply chain of each individual material within the mattress has met the strictest standard for ecological and social responsibility.
GOLS Certified: GOLS or global organic latex standard is for latex products and means that the product has been made with at least 95% organic latex.
CertiPUR-US: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 1,000 chemicals and VOCs and meets their standards.
MADE SAFE®: A coveted seal, this certification means that the product has been made without using any harmful chemicals and is safe for human use.
Both of these certifications are third party, meaning that an independent organization has done the testing, not the company itself. This is important because it helps to ensure that the standards are unbiased and truly reflect what is in the product.
Now that we’ve gone over why a non-toxic crib mattress matters and what certifications to look for, let’s talk about some of the best non-toxic crib mattresses on the market.
Best Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Picks For Your Baby and Toddler
Non-toxic and safe crib mattresses come in a variety of price points now. There are certain companies and use higher quality materials than others. I do not think you need to spend an insane amount on a safe crib mattress. I do, however, think that it is worth spending a little extra money on a safe, high-quality crib mattress for your baby.
That said, let’s dive into the best non-toxic crib mattress picks for your baby.
Naturepedic Classic Organic Baby Crib Mattress – $269 – BEST PRICE
The Naturepedic Classic Organic Mattress is another option that holds the top certifications. It is GOTS certified, Greenguard Gold certified, and MADE SAFE. Naturepedic mattresses made without flame retardants, vinyl, phthalates, PFCs, biocides, or polyurethane foam. They are handcrafted by Amish craftsman. Naturepedic also offers a 100-night trial period.
Their other mattress also feature the GOLS certification, are FSC certified, are Rainforest Alliance Certified, and are part of 1% for the planet.
This mattress has four layers. The top layer is a wipe-clean waterproof cover that is made from a patented LDPE waterproof coating that meets food grade standards. It is made from a non-GMO sugarcane coating that uses no glues or other adhesives. This waterproof layer cannot be removed but any liquid runs right off.
The next layer is a firmness support layer that uses PLA, a high-performing synthetic fiber made from non-GMO sugarcane that adds firmness to the mattress. It is free of harmful chemicals and is located on the toddler side of the mattress.
The next layer is made from organic cotton batting that uses organic cotton fabric and fill that is grown in the United States and purchased from USDA-certified sources.
Next final layer is either 150 coil innerspring layer or the trademarked wavesupport core than makes the mattress lightweight. You can choose between these layers when making your purchase. Overall I think Naturepedic is a great non-toxic option for a crib mattress.
Avocado ORGANIC CRIB MATTRESS – $439 – TOP PICK
The Avocado organic crib mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL Environment, Formaldehyde Free Certified by UL Environment, GOTS Organic Certification from Control Union, and MADE SAFE® Certified. This is one of the best non-toxic crib mattresses on the market and is my personal top pick. This organic mattress can be used for many, many years (and many children) and is a solid investment in your child’s sleep and health.
This mattress has no petroleum-based polyurethane foams, no chemical adhesives, no vinyl waterproofing, polyethylene, or flame retardants of any kind. It is made from coconut fiber that is infused with 100% GOLS organic certified latex and 100% GOTS organic certified wool and cotton.
The infant side is firmer for infant sleep (below one year old). Flip it over to the toddler side when your child is over age one and up to age four. This side features an additional supportive layer of 100% GOLS organic certified latex. It also has an extra layer of 100% GOTS organic certified cotton for added breathability and buoyancy for the perfect night’s sleep for your toddler.
It is made from organic cotton, wool, and latex that is durable, luxurious, and breathable. Every crib mattress purchase from Avocado comes with one free copy of Little Blue Planet.
As a company, Avocado is a Certified B Corporation, is part of 1% for the Plant, is Clean Energy Partner Certified, and uses FSC certified components. They are an incredible company.
Avocado ECO ORGANIC CRIB MATTRESS – $349
The Eco Organic Crib Mattress from Avocado is made in Los Angeles, California with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, hemp, wool, and a coconut husk pad.
It has 3.5″ pocket coils (also made in Los Angels), this mattress is made with no toxic chemicals, does not off gas, has no chemical flame retardants, fiberglass or polyurethane foam. The coils also make it difference from the Organic Crib Mattress above.
It is also certified MADE SAFE®, Greenguard Gold Certified, GOTS certified, Formaldehyde Free Certified by UL Environment, and Climate Neutral. It was also the winner of the 1% for the Planet Pinnacle Award.
Please note, the other mattress above from Avocado is two-sided. The ECO version is not. Every crib mattress purchase comes with one free copy of Little Blue Planet.
I think this is a great mattress option but so think that the Organic Crib Mattress from Avocado has more longevity and is worth the extra price difference.
Bundle of Dreams 5″ Mattress – Most Size Options
The Bundle of Dreams mattress also has a dual-sided firmness; a firmer side for infants and a softer side for toddlers.
These mattresses from Bundle of Dreams (there are several versions available and even a mini crib mattress) are made from organic cotton. They are breathable and allow air to pass through the entire mattress.
They are made from a bundle fiber which is, according to the manufacturer, “a new blend of densified polyester made with durable binder fibers that give it the strength and elasticity of your highest grades of foam; but with no off-gassing, VOC’s or other potentially harmful emissions.”
It includes an easy-to-clean cover that is machine washable for easy cleaning.
This mattress is more Greenguard Gold Certified and available at a more affordable price point. I personally think it is a good choice option for the price point especially (certainly better than anything not Greenguard Gold Certified) but I do also think that there are better options available at an increased price point.
Naturepedic Breathable Organic Baby Crib Mattress – $399
The Naturepedic Breathable Organic Baby Crib Mattress is similar to the mattress above, however, it has a removable washable breathable layer that is made with organic cotton.
The cover has an organic cotton surface and a 3D polyester lattice structure that allows for 360 degree air circulation. This way, your baby can breathe right through the mattress and you don’t have to worry about them facing down.
For the inner core, you can choose between a 252 innerspring coil or the wavesupport™ core.
It is made of the same materials as above but features an additional layer for mattress protection support and a more supportive core.
This mattress is also dual-stage meaning you use the firm side for infants and then flip it over to the softer side once your child is a toddler.
This mattress is GOTS certified, MADE SAFE certified, Greenguard Gold certified, and also certified formaldehyde-free. No Naturepedic products use polyurethane foam and are all handcrafted proudly in the U.S.A. They also offer a lifetime limited warranty and first-class customer service.
Newton Baby Mattress – $250+
There are four options when it comes to Newton Baby Mattresses: Essential, Original, Waterproof, and Mini.
The Newton Original mattress is the bestseller of the bunch. It is made with a technology called Wovenaire that is 90% air by volume and is made of a food grade polymer. This mattress is 5.5″ thick and has a dual layer cover. It is also 100% recyclable, fully washable, and Greenguard Gold certified. It also comes in four colors. You do no have to use a sheet on it but they do recommend using organic cotton sheets.
The Newton Essential mattress is 4″ thick and has a single layer cover. Otherwise, it has the same features as the Original.
It is important to note that that Newton Mattress range is not organic (a fact they are oddly proud of). They do not fully disclose what their signature material is made from, and as a conscious consumer, that is not something I appreciate anymore.
I do think they have some nice features. They are Greenguard Gold certified, for one. They do not have a MADE SAFE certification and cannot hold the GOTS certification as their mattress does not contain this material. Additionally, they say their material is a food-grade polymer which actually provides next to no information about what it is actually made of.
This is actually the mattress we purchased for my second child, however, had the Avocado one been available then, that is the one I would have bought personally.
They also say it is the right firmness for both babies and toddlers, however, my son would not sleep for long on this as an infant and we actually moved it to my toddlers room instead – just my experience. I am still including this on this list, though, because many parents do love this mattress and I think it’s a better option than anything containing flame retardants, plastics, and heavy metals.
Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattress
Nook provides safe, high quality, natural products that use SafeSleep™ Technology to reduce the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome to bring you peace of mind while your baby sleeps.
The top layer is an Organic Wool Fire Barrier that is naturally flame resistant and chemical-free. The core is made from Organic Coconut that is naturally mold and moisture resistant. It is a replacement for metal innerspring layers.
This mattress is also dual-sided so that you can flip it over once your baby is a toddler. The toddler side is made from Natural Rubber Tree Latex that is naturally anti-microbial, breathable, and supportive.
They also offer 5 different colors of their cover. Pick from cloud, misty, sea glass, sky, and blush. The Pure Organic Crib Mattress is GREENGUARD Gold certified, meeting the highest standards in air quality and safety.
This is a great pick if you are looking for something that is not made from foam or other manufactured materials. I like that they use naturally microbial and moisture resistant materials.
Non Toxic Crib Mattress FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions around non-toxic crib mattresses:
Do I really need an organic crib mattress?
If you are looking for the safest option for your baby, then yes, an organic crib mattress is a great choice. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping and so it is important to create a safe sleep environment for them.
As far as baby items go, investing a quality non toxic crib mattress is highly worth the investment.
How long do I need a crib mattress?
Babies and toddlers sleep in a crib-sized bed from newborn age to around 4 years old. This is many developmentally important years of their lives. Usually around 3 or 4 parents transition their kids to a twin or full size bed, but it is completely up to you and your family.
What are the benefits of an organic crib mattress?
There are many benefits of an organic crib mattress. They are free from harmful chemicals and flame retardants, they are made from natural and sustainable materials, and they are often dual-sided so that they can be used for both infants and toddlers.
If you are looking for a safe and non-toxic crib mattress for your baby, I would highly recommend any of the options on this list. Each mattress is made from high quality, natural materials that are free from harmful chemicals. Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and an organic crib mattress is a great way to do that.
What is the difference between non toxic and organic?
Shockingly non-toxic is not a regulated term. It truly has no clearly defined meaning by any regulating body. That said, non-toxic generally refers to products that meet regulated standards and certifications (like discussed above) and contain no harmful or potentially harmful materials identified through stringent testing.
Organic, on the other hand, means that a product is made from materials that were farmed without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. So, an organic cotton crib mattress would be made with certified organic cotton that was grown without these harmful chemicals.
While non-toxic and organic are not synonyms, they are often used together to create products that are safe for both people and the planet.
What materials should I look for?
Here is a list of the primary materials you’ll find in the best non-toxic crib mattresses:
- organic wool
- organic cotton
- coconut coir
- rubber tree latex (100% natural)
There are other materials used in non-toxic crib mattresses, but these are the most common. These materials are often chosen for their safety, sustainability, and durability.
You’ll want to avoid any mattress that contains polyurethane foam (memory foam), PVC, or other harmful chemicals that we discussed above.
What about flame retardants?
Flame retardants are dangerous chemicals and have absolutely no reason to be in your child’s mattress.
What if I can’t afford a non toxic crib mattress?
Some of these mattresses are pricey, I understand. You can take advantage of Amazon’s baby registry discount (15% within 60 days of your due date – however the discount can only be used in two purchases). Ask friends and family to contribute to the cost or gather gift cards.
Many of these companies offer direct deals on their websites as well. Because your baby will spend so much time in their crib, it is worth the investment in a high quality, non toxic mattress.
In Summary: Best Non Toxic Crib Mattress Picks For Your Baby
As you can see, there are many different non toxic crib mattress options to choose from.
Whether you want an all organic mattress or are looking for better materials for your child’s mattress, I hope this list was helpful in finding the best non-toxic crib mattress for your family! If you have any questions, please leave them in a comment below.
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