Why Buy an Organic Crib Mattress? Is it Really Important?

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As a concerned parent, you want what's best for your child, and that starts by providing them with a healthy environment to sleep.

When it comes to choosing a crib mattress, you have two main options: organic or conventional.

You may be wondering if an organic crib mattress is worth the investment. After all, crib mattresses don't last very long - typically your baby will grow out of it in just two or three years.

So is it really worth spending extra money on an organic option?

Here's a look at the key differences between the two and why an organic crib mattress may be the better choice for your little one.

What's Wrong With a Conventional Mattress?

A baby will spend a lot of time sleeping on their crib mattress, so it's important to make sure that it is comfortable and safe. Unfortunately, many conventional crib mattresses are made with dangerous materials that can be harmful to a child's health.

Most standard mattresses contain one or more of the following:

  • Chemical Fire Retardants
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Polyester Fabric
  • Cheap Glues containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

These sound scary, and rightly so! But what harm do they actually do, and why is it a problem to have these chemical treatments in your baby's mattress?

toxic chemicals in standard crib mattresses

Toxic Chemicals in Synthetic Crib Mattresses

A synthetic baby mattress will often contain fire retardant chemicals Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) that, according to the EPA, are toxic to both humans and the environment.

If like many parents, you choose a waterproof mattress, it can often contain PVC, which has been linked to cancer and other health problems. In addition, these mattresses often off-gas toxic fumes, which babies breathe in while they sleep. This can cause respiratory problems.

Furthermore, they are often made with cheap materials that quickly break down, creating a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens.

For all these reasons, it's important to choose a non-toxic crib mattress carefully. Look for one that is made with natural or organic materials, and that carries appropriate certifications (see below).

Is an Organic Crib Mattress Worth It?

An organic crib mattress is an investment in your child's health.

Studies have shown that conventional mattresses can off-gas harmful chemicals like flame retardants, which can be dangerous for young children. Conventional mattresses are often made with synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which can irritate skin and cause respiratory problems.

On the other hand, organic crib mattresses are made with natural materials like organic wool and organic cotton, which are gentle on the skin and significantly reduce the risk of respiratory problems.

In addition, organic materials are less likely to off-gas harmful chemicals. As a result, an organic crib mattress is a safer and healthier option for your child.

Are Eco-friendly or Plant-Based Mattresses Healthy?

There are a lot of benefits to eco-friendly and plant-based mattresses. For one, they’re better for the environment. They’re also usually made with natural materials that are gentle on your skin and don’t off-gas toxic chemicals like conventional mattresses can.

But the question remains: are they actually healthy?

The answer is yes! Eco-friendly and plant-based mattresses are healthy for both you and the planet.

They’re made without harmful chemicals or pesticides, so you can rest assured knowing that you’re not exposing yourself to any unnecessary toxins. And because they’re made from sustainable materials, you can feel good about knowing that your mattress is helping to protect the planet.

What Organic Mattress Certifications Should I Look Out For?

If you're looking for an organic mattress, there are a few different certifications to look out for.

  • The first is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This is an internationally recognized certification that ensures that the materials used in the mattress (such as organic cotton and wool) are certified organic.
  • The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification confirms that organic latex was used - important if you are looking at waterproof mattresses.
  • OEKO-Tex Standard 100 is an eco-friendly label that signifies that the textiles used in the mattress have been tested and certified free of harmful substances.
  • Another certification to look for is the Greenguard Gold certification. This certification ensures that the mattress meets strict emissions standards and is safe for indoor use. You can therefore be certain that the mattress will not emit VOCs in your sleeping infant's bedroom.
  • Finally, you'll want to look for a mattress that is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This certification means that the production of the mattress has met rigorous environmental and social standards.

Find out more about these and all other eco-friendly certifications in our ultimate guide here.

By looking for these certifications, you can be sure that you're getting a high-quality organic mattress.

What are the Best Organic Crib Mattresses?

There are many brands producing organic crib mattresses at the moment

Check out our roundup of the best organic crib mattress to see our picks of the best value and quality organic crib mattress options on the market at the moment.

You'll be able to compare some amazing natural mattresses from top brands.

We tested the Naturepedic crib mattress, Avocado green mattress, and other great natural mattress products from Nook and Lullaby. You'll find the best overall option, plus other suggestions to suit all needs and budgets.

Alternatives to Organic Baby Crib Mattresses

Organic baby crib mattresses are becoming more popular as parents seek out ways to create a healthy and safe sleeping environment for their children. However, organic mattresses can be quite expensive. So what are the alternatives?

There are a few different options available to those looking for an alternative to an organic crib mattress.

One option is to purchase a natural fiber mattress. These mattresses are usually made from latex, wool, or cotton. They are often less expensive than organic mattresses, and they provide a natural sleeping surface that is free from synthetic materials.

Another option is to purchase a mattress made from Greenguard-certified foam. Greenguard-certified foams are made without the use of toxic chemicals or flame retardants. They are a good option for those who are looking for an alternative to an organic mattress, but they may be more expensive than natural fiber mattresses.

The Final Word

Organic crib mattresses are a great option for parents who want to ensure their child is sleeping on a safe and healthy surface. There are many things to consider when purchasing a crib mattress, but the benefits of organic options make them well worth the investment.

The key points you need to remember are:

  • Conventional, synthetic crib mattresses often contain harmful chemicals and fire retardant materials that can be dangerous for your child. By choosing an organic crib mattress, you can rest easy knowing that your child is sleeping in a healthier environment.
  • Organic mattresses come with a variety of certifications, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. The most reputable certifications to look out for include GOTS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and USDA Organic.

It's true that an organic crib mattress costs more, but this is an investment in your child's health and it's hard to put a price on that. Even if you don't have the budget for a new mattress, you can look for a second-hand one and this will still be a far healthier option for your baby.

If all this talk of harmful chemicals has got you concerned about the health of your own mattress, you can also check out our roundup of organic adult mattresses to find the best eco-friendly options in all sizes.

Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.
Arabella Ruiz
Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.

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