Looking for a safe baby mattress but are not sure how to find the best one? In this comprehensive organic crib mattress review, you will learn how to buy a non-toxic crib mattress. In addition, you will see a comparative analysis of top baby mattress brands, such as Naturepedic, My Green Mattress, Avocado, Holy Lamb Organics, and White Lotus Home. Plus, you will see how Naturepedic compares with Newton and Nook baby mattresses. For practical steps to purchase a mattress for yourself, refer to my guide to buying a non-toxic mattress.
In this post:
- How I Know the Mattress Industry So Well
- Naturepedic Baby Mattresses: 7 Reasons I Love Them!
- Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress Does Not Use Polyurethane Foam
- Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Does Not Use Flame Retardants
- Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses are Certified Organic by GOTS
- Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses are Waterproof
- Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Does Not Contain Latex
- Naturepedic Safe Crib Mattress is Firm
- All Naturepedic Mattresses are of Great Quality
- Top 5 Safe Crib Mattress Brands
- Newton vs. Nook Crib Mattress
- Conclusion about Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress
How I Know the Mattress Industry So Well
My son’s little body is drenched in sweat. His big tears are streaming down his red face. His body is tense. He is crying and stretching his tiny arms towards me. I can’t leave him here! I must buy a new crib mattress today!
This is a flashback to 2012 when my son was sleeping on a Sealy Soybean Foam-Core crib mattress. Actually, we had bought it because we thought it was safer than others due to its Greenguard-certified soybean foam. At that time, I had not grasped the full range of toxins in baby products yet. I didn’t realize that a baby mattress could be toxic, too (like some baby shampoos, wipes, and diapers, for instance).
That was how my journey of researching mattresses started (check out my research method on the IRLFY website). I have always used a direct approach to investigation, meaning that I contact companies to personally talk to the manufacturers. Some are welcoming and transparent, others are defensive and vague.
As a result, I discovered that even organic crib mattresses may be unsafe. The good news is that there is a way to make sure that you buy a truly non-toxic crib mattress! We ended up buying a Naturepedic crib mattress, and here is why.
Naturepedic Baby Mattresses: 7 Reasons I Love Them!
To begin, the urgency to find another mattress for my son was so pressing that I was almost panicking. At that time (2012), there were not that many options out there! (Read on to find out what safe baby mattress options there are in the market today!)
As I have mentioned, some manufacturers are reluctant to be open about their products’ ingredients. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when Naturepedic answered all my questions to my satisfaction. In fact, we have become so confident in them that we have acquired Naturepedic mattresses for ourselves and our guests.
The following table is a quick overview of what you want and don’t want your non-toxic crib mattress to be or have.
|YOU DON’T WANT your crib mattress to have/be:||YOU WANT your crib mattress to have/be:|
|Polyurethane foam||No foam|
|Flame retardant chemicals||Safe fire layer (wool, cotton, PLA)|
|Not organic||GOTS certified organic as an entire piece|
|Poor quality||Good quality|
So, here is why I love our Naturepedic crib mattress (to clarify, all Naturepedic crib mattress models are safe).
Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress Does Not Use Polyurethane Foam
Regrettably, the most popular baby mattress material is polyurethane foam. This petroleum product can emit toxic gases that we know of as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The US National Toxicology Program classifies toluene diisocyanate (TDI), used to make polyurethane foam, as “reasonably to be anticipated as a human carcinogen” (source).
Although some manufacturers tout their mattresses as non-toxic, after a closer look you will see that they use soybean foam. Unfortunately, it is not much better than polyurethane. Despite its name, soybean foam is mostly polyurethane foam with a small percentage of soybean foam. In addition, it is normally made from genetically modified soybeans. Hence, I would not call a soybean foam crib mattress a non-toxic crib mattress.
That was why I was thrilled to find a crib mattress without polyurethane foam! There is neither polyurethane foam nor soybean foam in a Naturepedic organic crib mattress (in all models). In fact, there is no foam in their baby mattress because they use organic cotton batting instead. Consequently, there is no potential risk for your baby to inhale VOCs that polyurethane foam can emit.
Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Does Not Use Flame Retardants
As you may know, mattresses must pass smolder and open fire flammability testing to meet the federal government standards. The high flammability of polyurethane foam calls for adding flame retardant chemicals or barriers that are not required to be disclosed.
Although Naturepedic uses no flame retardant chemicals in their organic crib mattresses, they can pass very stringent flammability tests. How do they do that?
For starters, they use cotton that is much less flammable than polyurethane foam, so it passes the open flame test.
Also, to pass the smolder test, Naturepedic adds polylactide (PLA) to the quilt underneath the baby mattress organic cotton cover. For your information, PLA meets both GOTS and Greenguard Gold standards and comes from the starch of non-GMO sugarcane.
Additionally, I reviewed actual test reports for Naturepedic crib mattresses and was very pleased with what I saw.
Again, I admire the company’s transparency. While many other manufacturers withhold their information, Naturepedic goes out of its way to provide all the information I seek. Moreover, I had a personal meeting with the company’s Technical Director, Founder, & CEO, Barry Cik. After our conversation, my trust level in Naturepedic as a non-toxic crib mattress manufacturer skyrocketed.
Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses are Certified Organic by GOTS
It is important to note that the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the highest standard available to consumers. And it certifies both the individual ingredients/materials and entire items. Therefore, it’s a good idea to confirm that the mattress you are purchasing is certified organic as a whole piece. All Naturepedic crib mattresses, as well as adult and kid mattresses, are certified organic by GOTS as entire pieces.
If your baby mattress has a GOTS certification, you do not need to worry about its manufacturing facility. Indeed, all mattresses with GOTS certificates are made in GOTS-certified facilities to exclude the risk of cross-contamination. Plus, GOTS certification assures that the textile handling and manufacturing processes of the organic materials adhere to GOTS standards.
To verify that your non-toxic crib mattress is GOTS certified, type the company’s name in the GOTS certified suppliers database. The database must pull up the company and its details, as in the example below:
Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses are Waterproof
To begin, is a waterproof crib mattress a good thing? Allegedly, a baby mattress without waterproofing allows the baby to breathe through the core of the mattress. However, a non-toxic crib mattress that is not waterproof may lead to certain health problems. (Besides, a waterproof crib mattress, like Naturepedic, can be breathable, too.)
To clarify, waterproofing ensures hygiene by protecting a mattress from spills, urine, feces etc. that can cause the growth of allergenic bacteria, mold, and mildew. This, in turn, can cause a spasmatic response in a baby’s airways and difficulty breathing. Eventually, the microbes can lead to eczema, skin irritation or infection (source).
Additionally, released into the immediate environment, the bacteria and mold can contribute to indoor air pollution. Since the baby’s lungs are still developing, the poor indoor air quality may negatively affect that process. (Consider getting a mobile air purifier.)
For these reasons, it is best to have a waterproof crib mattress and/or a waterproof baby mattress protector.
Note that the material for a waterproof cover is important, too. Thus, I would stay away from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that may emit and leach potentially harmful chemicals. (More on that in my post about PVC yoga mats.)
The great news is that all Naturepedic organic crib mattress models use polyethylene instead of PVC. It is made from non-GMO sugarcane without glues or adhesives. As a safer type of food-grade plastic, polyethylene is free of bisphenols, heavy metals, and phthalates. (I don’t advocate eating from it, though.)
Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress Does Not Contain Latex
Should you worry about latex in your mattress? You can find the answer to this question in my post about the best organic latex-free mattress.
In a nutshell, some people seem to have an allergic response to latex proteins, especially in direct contact with latex products. When it comes to babies, you want to be extra careful because they are more susceptible to allergy triggers. Besides, you would not be able to test your baby for latex allergy before actually facing the symptoms. Neither do you know whether your baby will develop a latex sensitivity over time.
Therefore, for safety’s sake, it is better for a baby mattress to be latex-free, and all Naturepedic crib mattresses are latex-free. Additionally, they do not contain crushed coconut husks that are usually infused with latex. In other words, if you are looking for a 100% latex-free organic crib mattress, Naturepedic is a great option! (Use the IREAD15 discount code for 15% off!)
Naturepedic Safe Crib Mattress is Firm
First of all, should a crib mattress be firm? Yes. Moreover, a baby mattress should be much firmer than an adult mattress, to support a baby’s growing bones during sleep. Indeed, a firm crib mattress provides more skeletal support than a soft, cushiony, floppy, or saggy mattress.
Second, in terms of safety, firm mattresses protect babies from getting trapped between the mattress and the crib frame.
Also, a soft crib mattress may increase the risk of a sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (source). If a baby sleeps on her stomach, a soft surface can cushion her face too much and lead to suffocation.
Therefore, the firmer the mattress for your baby, the better.
All Naturepedic Mattresses are of Great Quality
Indeed, we used our Naturepedic organic crib mattress for five years, and it held firm and did not sag. Neither did I have any other complaints about the quality of this non-toxic crib mattress. (Use the IREAD15 discount code for 15% off!)
Actually, our first Naturepedic crib mattress had no waterproof baby mattress cover. At that time, it seemed like a huge plus to me because I wanted nothing to do with plastic. (The images of my son perspiring immensely on the Sealy Soybean Foam-Core mattress were still running in my head.)
However, if I were looking for the best crib mattress now, I would go for a waterproof organic crib mattress to prevent bacteria, mold, and mildew. Plus, our experience with the Naturepedic kids 2-in-1 mattress with a waterproof side and a waterproof fitted pad showed that Naturepedic waterproof mattresses are truly breathable. My son does not get sweaty at all!
Also, my husband and I have been sleeping on a super comfortable Naturepedic GOTS-certified mattress for years now. We could not be happier – the quality and the feel are superb! It is one of the best investments in our health that we have ever made.
Nevertheless, to be objective, I have done research into the brands that carry safe baby mattress options. Check out the table below to compare the Naturepedic crib mattress with some other organic crib mattress options to form your own opinion.
Top 5 Safe Crib Mattress Brands
In my opinion, the top 5 safe crib mattress brands are
- Holy Lamb Organics
- My Green Mattress (MGM)
- White Lotus Home.
All of them manufacture their products in the USA, and four brands have GOTS certificates.
Newton vs. Nook Crib Mattress
In addition, check out how Naturepedic non-toxic crib mattress compares with such baby mattress options as Newton and Nook. Among these, Naturepedic is the only GOTS certified crib mattress.
|Brand||Naturepedic (IREAD15 for 15% off)||Newton||Nook Pure Organic*|
|Cotton||Yes||No||As an option for the cover|
|Other materials||PLA||Polyester, Wovenaire® (plastic)||Coconut husk and a choice of materials for the top cover (organic* cotton, organic* eucalyptus lyocell, cotton-poly blend)|
|Waterproof||Yes||w/p model available||No|
|Flame barrier||PLA||Viscose (reconstituted wood pulp)||Wool (organic*)|
|Made in||USA||China (cover), USA||India (latex), USA|
|Firmness||Firm||Firm||Firm (infant side) / Soft (toddler side)|
*no certificate to confirm
Conclusion about Naturepedic Non-Toxic Crib Mattress
So, was it worth switching to a Naturepedic crib mattress? Absolutely!! The soybean foam baby mattress we owned (before Naturepedic) made my son uncomfortable and caused him to drench in sweat.
Conversely, the Naturepedic GOTS-certified organic crib mattress was not only comfortable, but also of great quality and design, and served us well for about five years.
Additionally, all Naturepedic crib mattresses are waterproof, use no flame retardant chemicals, no latex, no polyurethane foam, and no PVC. They are just the right thickness and firmness for your baby, and they are all safe.
Finally, Naturepedic has a lot of different organic cotton mattress models. Give them a call, and they will help you choose the mattress that meets your needs and budget. And if you don’t like it, Naturepedic has a generous return policy.
Where to buy a Naturepedic crib mattress?
You can buy a Naturepedic non-toxic crib mattress on their website. Please use the IREAD15 discount code at the checkout to get 15% off but be sure to click on the link to activate the code.
Why buy an organic crib mattress?
A GOTS-certified organic baby mattress guarantees that its materials are non-toxic for your baby. It is the strictest certification available in the mattress industry. Plus, it assures that the whole production process adheres to GOTS standards, and the manufacturing facility is GOTS certified, so there is no risk of cross contamination.
Do you need a crib mattress protector?
Yes, you need a baby mattress protector if the mattress is not waterproof. It will protect your mattress from dampness caused by spills and growth of bacteria and mold.
Are breathable crib mattresses safe?
If “breathable” refers to non-waterproof, I would be careful about using them without a waterproof protector. In case of any leakage and its absorption into the mattress, there is a risk of bacteria and mold growth. These, in turn, may affect the air and a baby’s lungs’ development. However, a waterproof mattress can be breathable, too. Check out a breathable model of a Naturepedic crib mattress and use the IREAD15 code for 15% off!
Is polyurethane foam safe for babies?
Polyurethane foam is a petroleum-based product that may contain harmful contaminants such as bisphenols and heavy metals. Therefore, I do not consider polyurethane foam safe, especially for babies, even if it is CertiPUR certified.
Is Newton mattress non-toxic?
In my opinion, a non-toxic crib mattress must be made of organic ingredients, contain no polyurethane foam or PVC. Ideally, it should be GOTS-certified organic. The Newton baby mattress does not meet my criteria.
What is the best and safest crib mattress?
Based on my thorough research and personal experience, the best and safest crib mattress is Naturepedic organic crib mattress. It is GOTS certified organic and waterproof. Also, it contains no flame retardant chemicals, no latex, no polyurethane foam, and no PVC. It is just the right thickness and firmness for your baby. We used our Naturepedic crib mattress for 5 years, and it didn’t sag or get shabby. It is of excellent quality!
How to clean a crib mattress?
Maintaining a baby mattress’ hygiene is rather important because a baby’s immune system is still developing, making the baby susceptible to germs and allergens. First, vacuum the mattress on both sides, especially seams and buttons, to remove dust from the surface. Then, use warm water and non-toxic detergent to wet a cloth and moisten the mattress with it. A natural stain remover, such as baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar, or this effective non-toxic stain remover can help handle the stains. Importantly, let the mattress air dry outside or with a window open to prevent mold growth.
Is it okay to use a second-hand baby mattress?
Generally speaking, it is not recommended to reuse a baby mattress, even if it is an organic crib mattress. The most obvious reason is hygiene: crib mattresses deal with a lot of spills of various origin. You don’t want any growing bacteria in your baby’s mattress. However, if your non-toxic crib mattress is waterproof, like a Naturepedic crib mattress, and has not lost its firmness, I believe it should be fine to reuse.
Should a crib mattress be firm?
Yes, a crib mattress should be firmer than an adult mattress because a baby’s skeleton is still developing. A firm non-toxic crib mattress keeps your baby safe and supports her growing bones during sleep. It can also decrease the risk of the sudden infant death syndrome. Indeed, if the mattress is soft and the baby is sleeping on her stomach, a soft surface can cushion her face too much and lead to suffocation. I can attest to the right level of firmness of the Naturepedic crib mattress our son slept on.
Disclaimer: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a serious and not a perfectly understood phenomenon. I am not an expert in it or its causes or prevention. Additionally, the research on it is ever-changing. The purpose of my review of products on this website is to evaluate them for my opinions as to safety vis-à-vis the use of toxic or questionable substances, and I express no opinion as to whether this product or any other is safe from a SIDS standpoint. Be sure to do your own research into this scary topic and do not rely on anything I may say about SIDS.
Free 5-Day Healthy Baby Registry Email Course
Are you fed up with disappointing products, being confused by product descriptions, and not knowing what questions to ask of companies?
You can learn simple techniques to get healthy non-toxic baby products with confidence! And yes, you can transform into a relaxed consumer.