Considering that babies spend quite a bit of time sleeping (up to 16 hours for newborns) you want to make sure that whatever they’re sleeping on is going to be good for them. This is why many parents choose to buy organic crib mattresses. Organic mattresses don’t contain things like polybrominated diphenyl esters (PBDE-a flame retardant), vinyl, polyurethane, and a variety of other manmade chemicals. Non-organic mattresses are tested for toxicity, but many parents choose to go organic as an added safety precaution. This list will help you figure out which organic crib mattress would be the best fit for you, and most importantly, for your baby.
What Should You Look For in a Crib Mattress?
- Size: The mattress should be the right size for your crib. This means no more than a two finger width space between the mattress and the sides of the crib. If there is more than this, your baby could get stuck in this space, and possibly suffocate.
- Firmness: While some adults like soft, pillow topped mattresses, this is not what you are looking for in a crib mattress. Soft mattress can cause suffocation and for reasons unexplained may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Consumer Reports suggests testing the firmness of the mattress by pushing down in the center and edges of the mattress with your hand. If the mattress doesn’t snap back readily and/or conforms to the shape of your hand, get a different mattress.
- Venting: It is inevitable that a diaper will leak onto the crib mattress. This, needless to say, can make the mattress not smell like a field of flowers. Finding a crib mattress that is well vented (look for small holes on the sides of the mattress that will let air in and out) will make this less of a problem and prevent mold from growing inside the mattress.
- Now that you know what to look for in a mattress, let’s take a look at some of the best organic crib mattresses that are currently on the market:
1. Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 150 Seamless Dual Firmness Crib Mattress
This crib mattress has a filling made from 100% certified organic cotton which provides protection from fire without using synthetic flame retardants. While it does have a polyethylene covering unlike a lot of organic mattresses, the polyethylene used in the mattress is food grade and is not treated with any other chemicals. This mattress is also different from a lot of organic mattresses in that it doesn’t use wool, coir (coconut fibers), or latex. This is important because all three of these fibers have a high potential to trigger allergic responses. This mattress also meets strict GREENGUARD certification standards that are suggested by the national children’s advocacy coalition “Healthy Child, Healthy World”.
2. Colgate Eco Classica III Dual Firmness Foam Crib Mattress
This is a plant oil based foam mattress that has the distinguishing quality of having a different firmness on each side of the bed. One side is more firm for newborns so they will not be susceptible to suffocation and SIDS and the other side is less firm to make a more comfortable bed for toddlers. The cover is made is made of organic cotton with a waterproof backing so that your baby gets to sleep on an organic material and no liquids are able to seep into the mattress. This mattress also has the GREENGUARD certification which tells you that it produces no harmful emissions (unlike some of the compounds used in other crib mattresses).
3. Sealy Cotton Bliss 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress
This organic crib mattress, like the Colgate Eco Classica III, has a different firmness on each side, one for newborns, and one for toddlers. This mattress also features an organic cotton surface on both sides. The mattress cover has been enhanced with Crypton Clean Sleep which makes the cover easy to clean and does so without any plastic coatings. Because of this, if you are a parent wanting a truly “organic” (only using plant materials grown without any synthetics) this may not be for you. However, this mattress is also GREENGUARD certified meaning there will be no toxic chemical gasses leaking from the materials used to assemble it.
4. L A Baby Organic Cotton 2 in One Orthopedic Crib Mattress
This mattress has many features that make it a good quality mattress. It is dual sided so you don’t have to purchase a second mattress when you newborn gets a little older and no longer needs as firm of a mattress. It’s also built using certified organic cotton, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your child to any harmful chemicals at such a young age. A 240 coil innerspring means it will be firm enough to support your newborn and be great for your baby’s developing spine. These coils are made from heavy duty 15.5 gauge steel so you know they won’t wear out or break. This bed also has additional built in side support so your child will not be able to roll between the edge of the bed and the crib, helping to prevent entrapment and suffocation. Last it has plenty of air vents is water resistant to help keep down smells and to prevent mold from growing inside the mattress.
5. Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 252 Crib Mattress
You may remember the name Naturepedic from earlier in this list. The company makes so many of the best crib mattresses that it would be hard to have a list with only one of them. While this one possesses many similar qualities to the first one on this list (100% certified organic cotton filling and surface, waterproof, hypoallergenic) it does have some different qualities. It does not offer the dual firmness feature that many of the mattresses on this list offer, but it is up to you to decide the importance of that. It does however have a heavy duty 252 coil orthopedic innerspring making it one of the most supportive of all the mattresses that make this list. Like the other Naturepedic mattress, it is GREENGUARD certified mean that your baby will not be exposed to any harmful compounds during its deep slumber.
All of the mattresses on this list are of high quality, and it may be hard to pick from amongst them. Whatever choice you make, you will end up with a quality bed that will help keep your baby healthy, and provide it a comfortable place to rest it’s tiny head. While all of these beds are available online through Amazon (and Amazon has some great deals and promotions going on with these beds and other baby products) it is suggested that if there is a store nearby to you that carries these kinds of products, check it out. This will give you a better idea of which bed you feel like will be best for your baby, and you get a good idea of the firmness of each of these beds. Just remember the buying tips at the beginning of this article and you’ll be good to go.