Updated November 2017
Each state has flammability requirements for clothing and furnishings. These requirements are a throw back to a time when lots of people smoked inside their older, highly-flammable wooden houses. The mortality rate due to fire was quite high, which was a PR problem for the tobacco industry.
Needless to say, babies aren’t exactly smoking in their cribs, and one could argue that if such a vicious house fire did occur that one would certainly die of smoke inhalation before they would actually burn to death. And yet these requirements still exist thanks to the deep pockets of the tobacco and chemical lobbies (thanks, a-holes!)
Anywho, that’s a long way of saying that crib mattresses still have to meet flammability requirements and many of them are treated with chemical flame retardants to do so.
The safety of some of these chemicals has been called into question in recent years. Short of shipping it out to a toxicology lab, how do you ever really know what’s in your mattress?
Important side note
“On January 1, 2015, California implemented the first U.S. rule mandating that certain products containing polyurethane foam be labeled to identify whether they contain chemical flame retardants [left]. Furniture industry experts predict flame-retardant-free couches, chairs, and other padded furnishings and products will be popular with consumers and large purchasers, and the new labeling law, known as SB 1019, is expected to have influence beyond the state’s borders, just as California’s flammability standard once drove the use of flame retardants in the rest of the country, and even other parts of the world…” — Environmental Health Perspectives
Since your baby/toddler spends over half her life SLEEPING — and is in such close contact with the mattress (and chemicals off-gassing from it), many parents are opting for organic mattresses for the peace of mind.
For those in the market for an organic mattress, whether it’s for a crib, toddler bed, or you! – look no further. With help from lifestyle expert Heather Reed, we’ve assembled a list of our favorite eco-mattresses for each price category.
$ – Lullaby Earth ($169-$279)
$$ – Naturepedic ($259-$399)
$$ – Nook ($195-$395)
$$$ – Naturalmat ($384-$534)
The first two on our list, Lullaby Earth and Naturepedic, are both made by Naturepedic.
Both are manufactured without the use of known allergens found in many other mattresses, such as latex, wool, soy — and without polyurethane foam of any kind. These mattresses still pass all Federal flammability standards without the need for flame retardant chemicals.
Both of these brands are also waterproof (not just water-resistant or water-repellant), thanks to food-grade plastic. They achieve this without using plasticizers, phthalates, PFCs, or vinyl.
Both Lullaby Earth and Naturepedic offer two-sided mattresses, which have a firm, “infant” side and a cushier side for toddlers after the scary infant SIDS days are over.
Reinforced edge support means lightweight models won’t squish under standing toddler’s feet. Both are made in Chagrin Falls (Cleveland, OH) by Amish craftsman and stewards.
Lullaby Earth is Naturepedic’s entry-level brand. They are all very lightweight (7 lbs!), which makes for VERY easy sheet changing.
$ – Lullaby Earth:
- Healthy Support Single Firmness ($169) – entry level.
- Healthy Support 2-Stage Dual Firmness ($199) – TOP ECONOMY PICK, offers a firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers.
- Breeze ($279) – has a breathable waterproof surface and waterproof core, as well as an integrated mattress cover, which is also breathable and waterproof, and comes in five cute colors.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Made in the USA
$$ – Naturepedic:
Naturepedic is the tried and true higher-end brand and is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
This mattress is made with organic cotton fabric and fill, as well as steel innerspring or lightweight WaveSupport core options. The lightweight Naturepedic models are only 11 lbs, which is great for heaving it out of the crib in order to change linens.
Our favorite is the Naturepedic Lightweight Classic 2-Stage $289.
Colin is pictured above on his brand new 2-in-1 Organic Cotton twin mattress. He was too excited to wait for sheets.
$$ – Nook
The “Pure” boasts a certified organic coconut core layered with 1” of natural latex foam, while its economical sisters – the Lite & Air – features a certified non-toxic CertiPUR foam fused with non-toxic PETE (aka recycled plastic) for lightweight comfort and breathability. And don’t discount the Air, which weighs less than your infant at 7 lbs!
The Pure and Lite delivers a two-sided design that ensures a firm and breathable sleep space for infants. Flip these bad boys over for a plush yet equally breathable toddler mattress. Their line also features both twin and full size mattresses, for those of us who feel like the kids get all the cool stuff.
With their patented eucalyptus mattress cover, Nook has essentially made your nights pee-drama-free. Any moisture will bead up onto the cover of the mattress for about 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to grab a blanket (or… newspaper?).
People who change sheets in the middle of the night — whyyyyy? and who are these people?! Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you do end up needing to wash your mattress cover, you’ll find it rather painless with Nook’s zipper cover.
Depending on which core mattress you select, you’ll have a myriad of colors to choose from. And navy is hot right now, y’all. And while they do make twin and full size mattresses, you’ll have to settle for cloud (aka white) #boring.
A rant from Heather: The good news is that by the time you’re ready to invest in a proper twin/full, you’ll likely have your monster out of your bed. If you’ve made it this far with your relationship intact, congrats. You’re in the minority. BONUS? You can start having uninterrupted sex again. And if you’re exclusively breastfeeding AND you’ve managed to successfully nurture both a relationship and a child, congratulations. you’ve won. Most people, myself included, have not mastered this feat.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Made in the USA
$$$ – Naturalmat
Hand-made in the verdant pastures of Devon, England, Naturalmat mattresses are at the top of the mattress pyramid.
Unlike others listed here, they use 100% renewable and sustainable sources such as organic lambs wool, coir (coconut), mohair and latex and are focused on the breathability of these natural materials. The big difference is that these guys do not use any plastics in their mattresses, not even food grade polyethylene.
Naturalmat offers four different mattresses, the Coco Mat ($384), the Spring Mat ($410), the Mohair Mat ($457), and the Latex Mat ($534 crib, $799 twin). Yes, they are the priciest of all the ones reviewed here but note that they come with a fabulous cover.
Of these, the Spring Mat is my favorite because it has a firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers.
Watch their sweet little video here:
That’s all folks. Sweet dreams!
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