In the back of my mind, I hoped that perhaps laying Jonathan down on an organic mattress with organic sheets that wouldn’t be offgassing in his face might…you know…get him to…(*whisper*) sleep through the night.
It would have made for a great product review post.
Too bad it didn’t work out that way.
On the other hand, I do kind of sigh with relief and just feel good inside my little academic head when I lay him down – provided he stays that way for more than two seconds – knowing that there aren’t flame retardant chemicals and other junk affecting him as he sleeps.
Why Spend Buku Bucks on an Organic Mattress?
I talked a little about flame retardant chemicals and the science behind how nasty they are in this post about how to get flame retardants out of children’s sleepwear. Did you know that anything foam – car seats, changing pads, your vehicle cushions, couches, and things you never even thought of as harmful – have toxic flame retardant chemicals in them?
It’s the law. Your tax dollars at work.
Drives me crazy.
Here’s a report on toxins in crib mattresses from late 2011 for your further reading.
I used to think the solution was just to buy used since hopefully, all the chemicals would have off-gassed already, but then I kept reading that the old mattresses may be even worse, because all the materials are breaking down.
The only two ways to get a new mattress without flame retardants are to buy organic or to special order from the factory with a doctor’s prescription.
If you want an organic mattress, it sounds like Naturepedic is one of only two companies who make them. I get easily overwhelmed by the number of options when buying something like a mattress: firm or soft, seams or seamless, quilted or not, waterproof or not, ETC.
I got a little worried about buying a non-waterproof crib mattress, because babies are just…messy. I didn’t want to be trying to figure out how to clean spit up or urine residue from an uber-expensive mattress, and from what I could tell, a 100% natural wool mattress pad would only offer some protection – wool is not, after all, actually waterproof.
I’m very thankful Naturepedic’s site offers this cool product selector – you answer simple yes/no questions, and by the end, you get one recommendation for the mattress that fits your needs. Boom. Done.
My choice came out as the Organic Cotton Ultra 252 Seamless 2-Stage, with 252 Coils + seamless design, 2-stage dual firmness, and waterproof on both sides (model no. MC42). It fits perfectly into the crib, wipes clean without hassle, and is just gorgeous. I told my husband when I was ordering, “I chose the heavier one; you can lift it into the crib, honey!” It’s still a cinch to put sheets on, so the lighter version wasn’t necessary for us.
The company was helpful in figuring out if I’d still buy a waterproof pad for protection or not:
The MC42 is waterproof so does not require an additional waterproof pad. Some people do put our waterproof mattress pad on, but it’s not necessary. I usually recommend our flannel non-waterproof pad for our waterproof mattresses. All of our pads are Greenguard certified.
I asked what the advantage to a non-waterproof pad was…
It’s breathable and highly absorbent. A mattress pad is recommended so you don’t have to constantly be cleaning the mattress if an accident leaks through the sheet. The mattress is waterproof so it can be wiped clean, but it’s more convenient to the parents especially in the middle of the night.
Since I’m a huge proponent of double sheeting for ease of cleaning up in the middle of the night, I did buy an organic waterproof mattress pad and two organic sheets. I realize there’s plastic in the mattress pad…and I almost sent it back…but I decided it had to be an acceptable risk for middle of the night changes (not that John is sleeping in the crib in the middle of the night, anyway…). Both items are very cozy and go through the wash great.
Quick note: I saw “portacrib mattresses” on the site, too, and wondered if I could upgrade our Pack ‘n Plays, where John had been sleeping at my in-laws’. Unfortunately, the Naturepedic portacrib mattresses are not meant for Pack ‘n Plays. Bummer.
Is Waterproof Really Organic?
As with the mattress pad, my choosing a waterproof mattress means that there’s some plastic involved. That’s not fully organic, but it’s the choice I felt I had to make. At least Naturepedic’s crib mattress doesn’t use PVC vinyl, but rather food grade polyethylene – safer.
From the Company
All Naturepedic mattresses share the following:
- CERTIFIED ORGANIC – by OTCO to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- GREENGUARD® CERTIFIED – Regularly tested for chemical emissions
- Designed to be free of harmful chemicals and allergens
- Designed to meet CPSC firmness recommendations and fit snugly in U.S. standard size cribs
- Feature strong edge support for use in toddler beds
- Are proudly Made in the USA with a Limited Lifetime Warranty
What Can You Do?
If $399 for an organic crib mattress seems expensive, you know that a full-sized mattress is even worse. Much, much worse. Here are some options to help you obtain non-toxic sleep for the entire family (my next goal):
- Get a doctor’s prescription for a mattress without flame retardants and find a local factory that makes mattresses. Thanks to Donielle already paving this road for me locally, I know I can do that at Buis mattress in West Michigan.
- Get a “no-chem mattress wrap,” recommended to me by some readers over at Green Your Way.
- How to Buy a Natural or Organic Mattress :: Mindful Momma’s real life story of ideal vs. reality
- Tips to buy an affordable, safer mattress :: Healthy Child, Healthy World
- Buy the more basic organic crib mattress from Naturepedic
- From a helpful reader: If you can’t afford an organic mattress and you want to prevent the off-gassing, you can buy a special mattress wrap. There is a Dr. in New Zealand that believes that it is the mattress gases that cause SIDS and has developed a mattress wrap. You can order a cover here.
More About Non-Toxic Sleep
- Non-Toxic Sleep May Save Your Baby’s Life
- The Best Natural Waterproof Mattress Protector
- How to Know if Your Mattress is Releasing Toxic Fumes
- Where to Find Organic Mattresses
If you appreciated the balance and depth of the review you just read, you will love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!