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I’d like to share with you which non-toxic crib mattress I ended up buying for my son based on its non-toxicity, certified organic materials, and relatively affordable price.
When I was pregnant, we bought the wrong mattress first. At the time, I was focused on certain things and didn’t fully understand the full range of toxins to which our baby would be exposed. It did not occur to me that a crib mattress could be toxic. It wasn’t until several months later, as I was researching more and more, that I realized the importance of avoiding toxins in crib mattresses. When I realized this, I started doing what I routinely do now – calling and writing manufacturers and asking lots of questions. Now, as you know, I do not buy or recommend any products on my blog without asking questions of manufacturers and gaining insights into how products are made in that particular industry.
Quick Overview of the Crib Mattress Industry
Unfortunately, most crib mattresses are made with polyurethane foam – a petroleum-based product that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soybean foam is not much better than polyurethane because, despite its name, soybean foam is mostly polyurethane foam with a small percentage of soybean foam (normally made from genetically modified soybeans).
Every crib mattress has to pass smolder and open fire flammability testing to meet federal government standards. Because polyurethane foam is so flammable, manufacturers can only meet the test by adding flame retardant chemicals.
Also, most waterproof mattresses have PVC (vinyl) covers, which is the most toxic type of plastic. PVC may also contain phthalates and heavy metals.
Why I like the Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress
Instead of polyurethane foam (or soybean foam for that matter), Naturepedic uses organic cotton batting. They also use a spring system to prevent the mattress from sagging. And their system works! Three years later, the mattress still holds firm, with no sagging (and I have a big, strong boy!). Simply put, I have no complaints about the quality of this non-toxic mattress.
The cover of the mattress is also made of organic cotton.
Most importantly, perhaps, Naturepedic uses no flame retardant chemicals in this non-toxic crib mattress whatsoever. To begin with, cotton is much less flammable than polyurethane foam, so it passes the open flame test. To pass the smolder test, Naturepedic adds polylactide (PLA) to the quilt underneath the organic cotton cover. PLA, Naturepedic uses, is derived from the starch of non-GMO potatoes; and it is approved by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which certifies all Naturepedic mattresses. The PLA also meets the Greenguard Gold standard. Greenguard Gold is a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Naturepedic also provided me with the actual test reports that showed “below quantifiable levels” for gas emissions. (This is really admirable. Most manufacturers withhold information from me, but Naturepedic goes out of its way to provide me with all of the information I seek. I even sat down recently with Barry Cik, Naturepedic’s Technical Director, Founder & CEO. I had a lot of questions for him, and he answered each one of them to my satisfaction.)
This non-toxic crib mattress does not contain materials that may cause allergies in some babies, such as wool or natural latex. (By the way, I do not recommend natural latex for crib mattresses, because of questionable vulcanizing agent used to go from tree sap to foam.)
The Naturepedic non-toxic crib mattress we bought has no waterproof cover. I like that because I want to minimize the use of plastic. (Personally, I use a wool pad to protect this non-toxic mattress from accidents. I am comfortable doing this because our son has grown from the time when Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a concern.* However, you should do your own research and draw your own conclusions about what you will and will not allow in the crib.*)
On the other hand, with non-waterproof mattresses, you have to be very careful because bacteria, mold, and mildew can grow from frequent dampness. So if you are not going to be absolutely vigilant against the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, you may want to try the Naturepedic Organic Waterproof Fitted Crib Pad or one of the Naturepedic waterproof mattress. Although I have not tried the pad myself, I believe it is a good solution to protect a non-waterproof mattress. I am impressed with Naturepedic’s description as to how they make it. It does contain a thin plastic layer to actually do the waterproofing job. However, it is encased on both sides with soft organic cotton. And it is a breathable material, so the mattress will be protected and your baby does not have to sweat for that.
In short, I happily endorse Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress. It has served us well for about three years, and still looks and works as well as it did when we first bought it.
*By the way, you may have heard about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). That is a scary topic and I am by no means an expert in this area, and nothing I say on this blog should be relied upon in trying to reduce the risk of SIDS.
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