Organic vs. Conventional Baby Mattresses
When you welcome a new child into the family, one of the first items you are going to want when
you get home is a crib and an appropriate, safe, tight-fitting crib mattress. So you face the
decision as to whether to shop for a conventional crib mattress or an organic one – what’s the
The difference, primarily, is the presence and amount of toxic chemicals that can be found in
conventional crib mattress materials and the possible harm they represent to children that are
exposed to them.
Potentially Hazardous Materials in Conventional Crib
Conventional crib mattresses typically include one or more of the following materials in their
● Polyurethane Foam
● Conventional Cotton or Wool
What all these materials have in common is that they include at least one class of chemicals
(but typically more than one) that pose health risks to humans at any level of exposure.
Polyurethane foam, for instance, is a popular choice for lightweight crib mattresses as an
alternative to traditional metal innerspring support. But it is highly flammable so flame retardants
must be added.
Conventional cotton or wool mattresses might be marketed as "natural," but that does not mean
they are not heavily treated with pesticides/biocides or industrial detergents, which is almost
certainly the case in non-organic crib mattresses.
Additionally, conventional crib mattresses may contain phthalates, vinyl (PVC), perfluorinated
compounds, or other volatile organic compounds.
Collectively, these toxic materials have been linked to a number of severe health conditions,
● Infertility & reproductive issues (a result of hormone/endocrine disruption)
● Some cancers
● Neurological Deficits
● Allergic Reactions
Prolonged exposure increases the likelihood of a reaction to toxic chemicals, and since infants
usually sleep for the majority of the day, that means they spend a great many hours per day in
direct contact with their crib mattress. Furthermore, infants are at higher risk of complications
from exposure because they are still developing.
What to Look For In An Organic Crib Mattress
The difference and advantage of choosing organic crib mattresses is you can avoid risky toxins
and allergens since only the safest materials possible are used in production.
Even so, not all organic mattresses are made equal. One thing you should look for is that the
product is certified for purity. Two of the highest standards an organic crib mattress can meet
are the GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certification and GOTS (Global Organic Textile
Also, you will want to make sure every part of the mattress is certified organic, not just some of
it. The basic components of a crib mattress are the:
– Crib Mattress Support
– Crib Mattress Filling
– Crib Mattress Waterproofing
Crib mattresses are going to be a big part of any infant’s first months of life, so it is important to
know that there are significant differences between various kinds of crib mattresses on the
market. Organic crib mattresses from places like Naturepedic offer an alternative to dangerously
toxic chemical-laden traditional materials, and there are even reputable certification programs
that exist, which help to distinguish the very best and safest products.