When planning your new nursery, a well-made, high-quality crib mattress (sometimes called a baby mattress) needs to be towards the top of your priority list.
It might even come a close second to getting the color scheme just right (it needs to be #instaready, right?!) 😉
Seriously though, just think how many thousands of hours your precious new bundle of poop and spit-up will spend in their crib before they graduate to their ‘big bed’.
You want the best for your baby/toddler, which should start with the environment in which they sleep.
Greenwashing is rife in this market space. How can you be sure that you’re getting the best crib mattress for your little one?
Read on, and I’ll take you through exactly what you need to look out for.
They Say: Our amazingly affordable Organic Crib Mattress is handmade with certified organic cotton, wool, and latex. So you can trust that it’s safe and nontoxic. It’s also practical. A dual-sided design — one for infants and one for toddlers — offers different firmness levels to support the growth of your child for years.
We Say: I agonized over this one for a long time. This is an incredible crib mattress from a wonderfully sustainable company. It’ll serve you faithfully through both the infant and toddler stages.
The same company also makes a Luxury Organic Crib Mattress that is, frankly, a thing of beauty.
It’s also, technically, probably, more than likely, ‘better’ than this overall winner. Can you hear the slight indecision in my voice?
With all its eco-credentials and extra layers, the luxury version has one MAJOR downside; it costs a staggering £1,249!
Is it one of the best organic crib mattresses ever made? Probably! Is it worth $1,249? Probably not!
This standard version still ticks every box when shopping for a crib mattress and keeps close to a thousand bucks in your wallet. That is why I’ve chosen it as my overall winner.
I’ll review the Avocado Luxury Organic Mattress later in this post, but for now, I will concentrate on the standard product.
There are so many things I like about this mattress.
For starters, it has a two-stage design. That means when your little bundle of joy becomes a bigger bundle of tantrums, you can flip the mattress over from the softer infant side to the slightly more supportive toddler side.
The certifications that come with this mattress are impressive.
It’s made with a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover and organic wool. The latex used is GOLS organic certified.
You can also rest assured that this is a 100% non-toxic crib mattress due to its MadeSafe and Formaldehyde Free certifications. This means it’s made with safe ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health.
Avocado has been a Carbon Negative company since 2020, and this mattress is Climate Neutral certified.
All the latex and wool used are OEKO-TEX: Class 1 certified, and there is also a GreenGuard Gold certification.
Like I said, VERY impressive eco-credentials.
Handmade in Los Angeles, the Avocado Organic Crib Mattress measures 28” x 52” x 6” and weighs in at 28lbs. It has been designed to fit standard cribs.
It comes with a 30-night trial, so you can test at home and return it for a refund if you’re not 100% happy. There is also an impressive 25-year warranty.
This is not a waterproof mattress, so I would advise getting a cover to protect your crib mattress from inevitable accidents. Avocado has an excellent GOTS organic certified crib mattress protector costing $59.
So, for a total of $338, you get a fully organic, eco-friendly crib mattress with complete waterproof protection that will last you right up to the end of the toddler years. NICE!
A Cockrell School of Engineering study at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are potentially exposed to high levels of toxins from their crib mattress while they sleep.
The research concluded that more than 30 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including phenol, neodecanoic acid, and linalool, can be found in mainstream crib mattresses.
Here’s what you should be looking out for when researching which mattress to buy.
There are almost as many certifications as there are manufacturers when it comes to finding the best organic crib mattresses.
I've explained all the certifications in greater detail in this A-Z Guide to Eco-Labelling, but the main two you need to look out for are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS).
Buying a mattress carrying these certifications will give you the peace of mind that it meets the highest possible industry standards.
When you buy organic crib mattresses made in the USA, you know they’ve been manufactured to a high standard, using ethical business practices, and you can trust that all the certifications are genuine.
Poorly made budget crib mattresses from countries like China do not have to pass as many checks. You also have the issue of poor working conditions leading to potential quality control and contamination issues.
Some companies exploit loopholes to market their mattresses as organic when they’re anything but. Putting an organic cover over a slab of polyurethane foam does not make a crib mattress organic.
Always thoroughly read up on the crib mattress you intend to purchase and check that every component is as organic as it can be.
Many non-organic crib mattresses meet the required federal flammability regulations with the use of toxic chemicals.
Choosing a crib mattress that uses naturally flame retardant materials (such as organic wool) will dramatically reduce the level of toxins your baby has to sleep on.
Accidents happen, so it’s wise to have some form of waterproof protection. This is usually either a waterproof mattress with protection built into the surface or a separate protector that you put on top of the mattress.
Most waterproof crib mattresses, and crib mattress protectors, are made using chemical ladened plastic additives.
Remove these poisonous chemicals from your little one’s bedtime routine by covering a 100% organic crib or toddler mattress with a GOTS organic certified crib mattress protector.
When creating the safest possible sleep environment for your baby, please consider the firmness of the sleep surface.
The American Academy of Pediatricians advises that “Infants should be placed on a firm sleep surface (eg, mattress in a safety-approved crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation”.
The mattress you choose should be a snug fit when you put it in the crib. A simple way to check is the two-finger test. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress material and the crib, then it’s too small.
When buying a crib mattress, you should choose either latex or innerspring. Although some ‘luxury’ options use both.
The choice will ultimately boil down to personal preference, cost, and any allergy concerns.
Polyurethane foam is derived from petroleum and emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
It’s also highly flammable and has to be treated with toxic chemicals to meet the required federal flammability regulations.
I would also avoid some so-called greener options, such as vegetable-based foams. These are usually Polyurethane foam based with other ingredients added to boost the validity of the manufacturer’s eco claims. Textbook greenwashing!
They Say: We set out to make the best GOTS organic certified hybrid crib mattress on the market, regardless of price. The result is worthy of praise: Introducing the dual-sided Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress — the ultimate expression of healthy organic principles, sustainable design, and time-honored bed-making craftsmanship.
Our Luxury Hybrid Organic Mattress is lovingly made by hand in Los Angeles with only the finest organic materials and certified components available: cotton-wrapped pocketed innersprings encased in unbleached cotton, which are top-and-bottom tied and nested and hand-sewn without glues; plus certified organic wool; organic certified flax pads; organic certified coco-fiber perimeters infused with organic latex for strong edge support; resilient organic certified latex foam; and the finest quality, certified organic cotton ticking.
The result is simply the finest GOTS organic certified hybrid crib mattress on the market.
We Say: So. Here it is. The best organic crib mattress on the market, in my opinion, but not the overall winner. Totally due to cost.
I will say it right now. If budget is not a consideration, stop searching and buy this mattress. It’s an absolute cracker!
Handmade in Los Angeles, the Avocado Luxury Crib Mattress measures 28” x 52” x 6” and weighs in at 32lbs. It has been designed to fit standard cribs.
The organic certifications attached to this mattress, and the Avocado brand in general, are off the charts. You can certainly rest assured that this one seriously eco-friendly mattress.
Everything that impressed me about the standard Avocado Mattress also comes as standard with the Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress, but there are more luxurious layers, including 170 premium organic cotton wrapped coils and a reinforced coconut fiber perimeter for edge-to-edge support.
It also comes with an extended 100-night trial (the standard mattress is 30-nights), so you can test at home for three months and return it for a refund if you’re not 100% happy. Avocado’s rock-solid 25-year warranty also covers it.
They Say: The Naturepedic Classic Organic Baby Crib Mattress features organic cotton cover fabric & filling as part of a healthier, non-toxic design plus a patented food-grade waterproof surface made from non-GMO sugarcane that easily wipes clean. Our innovative construction also passes all federal and state flammability standards without any flame retardant chemicals or flame barriers whatsoever.
In addition to using certified organic components, the entire crib mattress is certified organic and non-toxic as well. Choose an innerspring for a traditional support option or our patented lightweight core which matches the strength and durability of an innerspring but without the added weight. With the Naturepedic Organic Cotton Classic Baby Crib Mattress, your baby will be sleeping on a firm, healthy certified organic mattress that's fully waterproof for a truly hygienic sleep environment.
We Say: This is the best of the eco-friendly waterproof mattresses I tested. It’s fully waterproof without the need for an additional protector.
There is no nasty vinyl used. The waterproof coating is made from non-GMO sugar cane and is so pure it meets food contact standards. Meaning it’s fully waterproof without the use of chemical flame retardants.
Made in the U.S. with domestic and imported fabric and components, this Naturepedic organic crib mattress is available in three options. Lightweight ($259), Lightweight 2-Stage ($289), and Innerspring 2-Stage ($299).
Personally, I would go for one of the two 2-Stage options. For just a few dollars more, you get a Naturepedic mattress that will grow as your baby does. I felt the innerspring option offered slightly better support, so I would pick that one.
However, the springs do add weight. Lightweight 2-Stage is 11lbs. Innerspring 2-Stage is 19lbs. So, if you feel weight might be an issue, I think the Lightweight 2-Stage option might be best.
Organic cotton fabric and fill are used for this mattress. The organic cotton is purchased directly from USDA-certified sources.
All Naturepedic crib mattresses are naturally flame retardant, with no vinyl, phthalates, polyurethane foam, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), biocides, or other questionable chemicals.
You get a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty covers your Naturepedic organic cotton mattress.
If you’re looking for a well-priced, no-nonsense, waterproof mattress with zero chemical flame retardants, you should give this Naturepedic crib mattress serious consideration.
Naturepedic has all your bedding needs covered as well, with a range of quality crib sheets and mattress pads.
It’s also worth noting that Naturepedic mattresses have a breathable option (starting at $349) with all the same green waterproof features.
Some people believe that breathable crib mattresses help reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The research is a bit patchy on this at the moment. However, having a breathable mattress certainly can’t do any harm so, if you can stretch your budget that little bit further, it’s an added feature worth considering.
They Say: Our passion for creating the perfect sleep environment for our babies eventually produced what is now the Pebble Pure Crib Mattress – and it was everything we hoped for. The 100% organic construction, packaging and materials were the safest and healthiest they could be.
We Say: This fully organic offering from Nook gives you different color, texture, and pattern options, making it by far the most customizable option I tested.
Made from an organic coconut coir, natural rubber tree latex, and organic wool core, wrapped in sumptuous organic cotton, this crib mattress will meet the eco criteria of even the most exacting parent.
Where this option really excels though is in the sheer number of customizable options.
For $369, you get a top-notch crib mattress packing a seriously organic punch, all wrapped up in a plain white organic cotton cover.
But why stop at boring old plain white?
This mattress is also available in eight different colors, five different sleep surface textures, and four different patterns. There really is something for everyone!
They Say: 100% BREATHABLE: A mattress your baby can breathe through! Safer sleep for them, peace of mind for you. 100% WASHABLE: The only crib mattress that’s washable from cover to core. With NO foam, glue, latex, or springs to worry about, your baby will enjoy a cleaner, hypoallergenic sleep. 100% BETTER SLEEP: The right level of comfort, support, and air circulation means your baby will sleep better on a Newton. Happy mornings, no sweaty back!
We Say: This was a last-minute addition that I hope you’ll forgive me for.
Yes, it’s not organic. Yes, I know what I said at the start of this article. However, I’ve decided to include this mattress because I love the fact it’s 100% washable. Both the covers AND the core!
The dual-layer outer cover is quilted for extra softness.
The natural viscose inner cover is chemical-free and meets all federal fire standards.
The Wovenaire core is where the magic happens for me. It’s 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer. Producing an incredibly breathable crib mattress sleep surface that gives the right amount of support all the way to the toddler years.
The removable and washable cover can go on a cold cycle with mild detergent.
You can wash the core in the shower with soap and cold water. Or even outside with a hose.
They Say: The safest and most healthful sleep environment for little ones. All of our certified organic mattresses are handcrafted in the USA, have a 20-year limited warranty, and meet the GREENGUARD® product emission standard. Certified from beginning to end, we make the purest natural mattresses on the planet - every time. It's purity you can trust & comfort you can feel!
We Say: A bassinet is a bed designed for babies from birth to about four months old.
During this time, your baby is developing fast, so if you’re going to use a bassinet, you need to pay as much attention to its mattress as you do to a crib mattress.
All Lifekind mattresses are made in the U.S. to stringent standards.
This bassinet mattress consists of GOLS organic certified latex covered with double-stitched GOTS organic cotton and wool.
It is lightweight (5lbs), measures 23” x 29” x 2.5”, and naturally flame-retardant thanks to the natural wool layer.
One thing to bear in mind is the shape of this mattress. It’s oval and will not fit all bassinets. As with crib mattresses, the fit is essential, so double-check the sizes before ordering.
They Say: Lullaby Earth mattresses are made from food-grade polyethylene and polyester, materials used throughout the food packaging industry due to their recyclability. Using these food-safe materials means that our crib mattresses are made without common potential allergens or chemicals like formaldehyde, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pesticides, glues/adhesives, and GMOs. Our mattresses are made without polyurethane foam and vinyl/PVC.
We Say: I struggled with whether or not to include a budget option because you really do get what you pay for in the world of crib mattresses. There are no 100% organic options that I would recommend in the budget range.
That said, the Lullaby Earth Healthy Support Waterproof Crib Mattress does have a lot going for it eco-wise for the money.
Made in the U.S. from high-quality materials, this mattress comes with free shipping, free returns, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a lifetime limited warranty.
I can not fully recommend this mattress because it does fit the criteria I set out of being 100% organic.
However, if you’re shopping on a budget and still want to do the very best you can for your baby’s health, this is a solid option you might want to consider.
I’ve mentioned a few certifications during this article, so I thought it would be helpful to expand on each one briefly.
We have a more in-depth article here covering nearly 200 green certifications and ecolabels currently used in the U.S.
There are numerous ways you can ensure your baby is sleeping on a non-toxic crib mattress. Probably the simplest way is to ensure that the crib mattresses you buy carry the GOTS and GOLS certifications. This will ensure that you keep flame retardant chemicals and other toxic additives away from your baby when they’re sleeping.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) states that crib mattresses should be at least 27.25” in width and 51.25” in length, with a maximum thickness of 6”. Many crib mattresses imported from different countries will be a different size. Another reason to buy something made in the USA.
No. I would never recommend buying used crib mattresses for several reasons.
No. Definitely not. A crib mattress needs to be firm and supportive to reduce the risk of SIDS. Go for latex or innerspring crib mattresses.
So, there you have it. I hope you’ve found this dip into the world of crib mattresses informative and useful.
I love a bargain. However, when it comes to crib mattresses, my advice would be to spend as much as you can afford and get a surface for your little one that is free of harmful chemicals.
When shopping for a truly organic crib mattress, remember these three things, and you won’t go far wrong.