When you’re ready to start registering for a new crib mattress and other nursery essentials for your new little one, the choice is overwhelming! There are so many mattresses, pads, and accessories to consider. Many parents-to-be want to choose an organic or non-toxic crib mattress to promote a healthier nursery environment for their baby and give them a safer start from day one.
But do you know how to choose the best organic crib mattress for baby? When shopping for organic crib mattresses, the important features to look for include support, surface fabric, allergy considerations, breathability, and avoidance of harmful chemicals. Find out how Naturepedic’s design does it right.
1. Crib Mattress Support
The most important feature of your crib mattress is firm, flat support. Babies need a firm mattress - firm enough to stay flat underneath baby’s weight. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Crib Safety Tips recommend a firm, tight-fitting mattress without any pillows, comforters, or other soft items in the crib.
Now that you know you need firm, flat support, how do you choose the best organic crib mattress for your baby?
Crib mattresses are usually made with a steel innerspring or polyurethane foam. Since poyurethane foam (think memory foam, soybean foam, and bio-based foam) is flammable and contains flame retardant chemicals, it’s automatically out of the running if you’re choosing a GOTS certified organic mattress. This leaves innersprings or innovative technology like Naturepedic’s Wavesupport™ for a lightweight solution.
A traditional steel innerspring crib mattress offers durability and the firm support baby needs. Our innerspring mattresses are made with heavy duty border wire for extra edge protection, ensuring a snug fit in your baby’s crib and no sagging when baby starts to stand and bounce around at the edge of their crib.
Our lightweight crib mattresses are made with food-grade polyethylene, the same material used to make sandwich bags and other food storage bags. It is a cleaner, purer material than conventional lightweight options and is an approved accessory within our certified organic crib mattresses. The Wavesupport lightweight mattresses match the strength, firmness, and durability of an innerspring at a fraction of the weight.
2. Surface Fabric
Some crib mattresses have an organic cotton surface over questionable interior materials, so take care to make sure you’re shopping for an organic crib mattress that’s completely certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). All crib mattresses are either waterproof or not, so you have the option of selecting a waterproof crib mattress or a non-waterproof crib mattress.
Organic crib mattresses are no different, except in the materials used for waterproofing and the use of organic fabrics for your crib mattress surface.
There’s no way around the fact that a waterproof crib mattress is a more hygienic option. Choosing a waterproof organic crib mattress is easier to keep clean, helps protect the mattress against spills and messes (and if there’s one thing babies are great at, it’s messes), and even helps protect the mattress from dust mites and other allergens.
Naturepedic uses a patented waterproofing technology that uses food-grade polyethylene with organic cotton fabric to create a healthier, safer waterproof surface for your baby without harmful chemicals. Common waterproofing materials include vinyl/PVC, phthalates, and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are never used at Naturepedic.
A quilted surface makes your baby’s mattress look more like a smaller version of your adult mattress, with a fabric surface and no waterproofing. While this can be aesthetically pleasing, they are a little trickier to keep clean and should be topped with an organic waterproof crib mattress pad to maintain a hygienic easy-clean environment.
3. Allergenic Concerns
We recommend parents avoid latex, even organic latex, in baby products. Latex can be highly allergenic and it’s even possible to develop an allergy to latex over time with repeated exposure, so keeping baby’s nursery as latex-free as possible is a good choice for reducing this allergy risk. Latex is used as a support material in some crib mattresses and as a binding agent in coconut coir mattresses.
Wool has many benefits, including natural temperature regulation and water resistance (liquids tend to pool on wool rather than soak through, but it’s not completely waterproof). When it comes to wool, we take a cautious approach and recommend parents avoid placing their child in direct contact with wool, as it may cause contact irritation on the skin if an unknown allergy is present.
Many parents are seeking breathable crib bumpers and breathable crib mattresses for their children’s safety and comfort. While the most important feature in your crib mattress is the firm, flat support described above, we understand that parents want options. The best way to handle breathability is to maximize breathable air for the baby without sacrificing hygiene (the waterproof surface recommended to keep your mattress clean).
That’s why Naturepedic’s breathable crib mattress combines a waterproof organic crib mattress with a breathable crib pad to maximize airflow. The pad is made from organic cotton fiber and a breathable polyester mesh, which allows air to flow beneath your baby for a cooler, more comfortable sleep (and peace of mind for you).
5. Harmful Chemicals
Harmful chemicals are fairly easy to avoid if you’re shopping non-toxic and organic, but sometimes dangers can lurk where you least expect them! Keep an eye out for flame retardants (even “natural” ones), common waterproofing chemicals, and glues/adhesives in your crib mattress and other baby products. Learn More: 12 Common Toxins That Can Harm Your Child’s Health.
Discover The Best Organic Crib Mattress
You’ve got the knowledge to make an educated decision - now put it to good use! You can use our Crib Selector Tool to be matched with an ideal organic crib mattress for your baby, or browse our crib mattress selection to explore them all.