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An Organic Crib Mattress for Your Baby

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

an-organic-crib-mattress-for-your-babyRead our review of all things natural for the bedroom here.

Organic Mattresses and Your Baby’s Health

When a woman is pregnant, we say she’s “expecting”. For soon-to-be mothers, that doesn’t just mean she’s expecting a baby – she’s expecting giggles and coos, dirty diapers, tiny toes to keep warm, and a little one to help stay healthy for years and years to come. There’s so much concern over the minutest choices a new mom makes, it’s hard to keep it all straight. The most important detail I’ve ever heard regarding an infant in its first year is this – your new baby, between the ages of birth and one year, will sleep more than 70% of the time. Given that statistic, where your new baby sleeps is probably the most important decision you have to make before you welcome him or her into your house. In a bit, we’ll talk about the health benefits of an organic crib mattress and why it’s best for your baby; but first, let’s look at some of the dangers of traditional crib mattresses and how they might be linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

What is SIDS?

New and expecting mothers have heard about the danger of SIDS over and over again, but we’re rarely given an answer. We’re told the cause is unknown and that little can be done to prevent it. We’ll wake up dozens of times during the night just to make sure our baby is breathing. We lay our babies on their sides, swaddled with blankets at their back, just to make sure they don’t roll over and sleep in a prone position – a common belief of a contributor to SIDS. However, new research has brought us closer to understanding what exactly may be the cause of SIDS. For dozens of years, new mothers may have been laying their babies down on the cause of SIDS – chemical-laden crib mattresses and portable crib mattresses.

Crib Mattresses and Their Relation to SIDS.

Unlike organic crib mattresses, the traditional crib mattress contains chemicals like arsenic, phosphorus, and antimony. These were added to the mattresses initially with the best of intentions, as they act as fire retardants. However, before manufacturers added these chemicals to their mattresses, SIDS was rarely heard of. Afterward, the death rate skyrocketed in newborns. As more and more people began to look at the relationship between non-organic crib mattresses and portable crib mattresses and SIDS, science discovered a very scary possibility. As crib mattresses start to age, these fire retardant chemicals react with ordinary household fungi (harmless fungi, at that) to create a very, very dangerous chemical reaction. The toxins emitted, as these compounds interact, are actually a thousand times more toxic than carbon monoxide. While other factors like nutrition, smoking around the baby, and sleep position are still potentially factors in SIDS, given the research relating non-organic crib mattresses to fatal toxin release should be enough for new mothers to take a look at their portable and non-portable crib mattress purchases.

Why are Organic Crib Mattresses Better?

It’s no secret that as new parents we want what’s best for our babies – whether it’s our first or our fifth. Buying organic baby products is a great step towards insuring the health of our children – not only because it’s better for them right now, but because organically grown material is better for the environment as a whole. This is the same environment we will pass along to our children and their children in years to come. Organic crib mattresses are produced without any of the harmful chemicals traditional non-portable and portable crib mattresses contain. They’re made of 100% organic material, most of which is organic cotton and wool. Organically grown cotton is great for the environment and absolutely the healthiest choice you can make for you and your family. Wool is also a natural flame-retardant, making it possible to meet the high standards of The CPSC wihthout using any chemicals whatsoever. Because organic crib mattresses don’t contain any of the harmful chemicals that could potentially be the cause of SIDS, you can put your baby to sleep knowing you’re doing your absolute best for him or her. And, as I mentioned earlier, because new babies sleep over 70% of their first year, resting their heads on the safest material you can get is a big step towards insuring their future health.

What Kind of Organic Crib Mattress Should I Look For?

Buying organic baby items and organic household items can sometimes be tricky. In the grocery store, we’re bombarded with labels claiming “pure” and “organic”. But how do we know if they really are? In order to meet federal regulations, before a company can stamp their product with “organic” they have to meet several requirements. This is the case, as well, with organic baby mattresses. The material must meet standards like being produced from renewable resources and include the conservation of soil and water to ensure the health of the environment for the future. If a product is stamped as 100% organic, by federal law, it must be exactly that. It cannot contain ingredients that harm the environment or are synthetically produced. When you’re purchasing your new organic crib mattress or portable crib mattress, look for those that say 100% organic. Also make sure that it clearly states that they don’t contain arsenic, phosphorus, or antimony. These two little steps will ensure that you’re getting a mattress that is clean, safe, and perfect for your new little angel. To find 100% organic crib mattresses and other important organic baby products, visit

Protect your older children and yourself from harmful chemical-laden mattresses as well. Visit Absolutely Organic Baby to find organic mattresses.

Laura Taff – I’m a stay at home mom with a special needs child. In learning about my daughter’s illnesses, I have begun to learn about new ways to treat them naturally without synthetic drugs or materials. I have begun a passion for natural and wholistic practices, and want to learn more every day. That is why I want to help others be aware of these things so that we can all make changes for the better.

  • Hi! I came here because of the Blog Jolt, and I’m glad I did. This is a well-written, informative, and helpful post that I was glad to bring to my readers’ attention. Great job.

  • B. Kinstle

    while I found this article interesting adn well written, I’d find it a little bit more useful if you were to cite some of the studies or reasearch that has been done showing the non-safety of non-organic mattresses and safety of organic mattresses.

  • jamala

    thanks for the article. very interesting. but like B. Kinstle, i’d also like to know what studies and/or research you looked at. Can you please post it on your site or email it to me please?

  • Amy

    My son has autism. He tested very high in antimony. Antimony is a heavy metal that is found in flame retardant. Flame retardant is in all crib mattresses that I have found, and also in some mattresses that claim to be organic.

    Wool is a natural flame retardant. Flame retardant is also in many childrens’ clothing.


    The CPSC lists the following chemicals as the primary ones used in mattress surfaces to meet this law: Boric Acid (yes, the Roach Killer), Formaldehyde, Antimony Trioxide, Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (Brominated flame retardant now being found in women’s breast milk) , Vinylidiene Chloride, zinc Borate, and Melamine, are the main chemicals being used. The low risk systems our government approves of include a Formaldehyde – Melamine system (Melamine Resins) and a Vinylidiene Chloride system. They say that Exposure data for antimony, boric acid/zinc borate, and Decabromodiphenyl oxide are needed before more definitive conclusions about the potential risk of adverse health effects from these chemicals can be made

    The CPSC calls Vinylidiene Chloride with Antimony Trioxide (Modacrylic fibers) Moderate Risk even though they have no data and quoting the CPSC health sciences division draft of this law Antimony is regarded as a possible inhalation carcinogen.

    You could have done the research yourself if you are truly a concerned parent.

  • Organic Momma

    Amy, while I appreciate your taking the time to educate others, you ended it very badly when you said, “You could have done the research yourself if you are truly a concerned parent.” To that I can’t really say much besides, “Wow.” Just wow.

    That’s a lot of judgment to pass on others who are at this link because they ARE concerned parents and most of us have done the research ourselves or are doing just that right now.

    Your little snarky comment and judgment could cause the finger to be pointed right back at you. While I don’t typically like to judge others, I take delight in judging the so rudely judgmental.

    If you are such a great and concerned parent who thinks she reserves the right to judge others as unconcerned, then why in the world did you allow your own child to sleep on mattresses that caused this high level of poison in him in the first place? Huh? So, aren’t you in the category of parents you’re condemning?

    The information on the dangers in these mattresses has been out there for over a decade, but I don’t fault people for not knowing because it was not mainstream. It is becoming so in certain regions, but not all regions. Maybe instead of being snarky and judgmental, you could join some good causes and become an activist to help inform, without all of the attitude. Join the ranks of those who truly care by actually being a part of the solution, instead of just being rude and using it as a platform to feel like a superior mother. That isn’t helpful, but hurtful. Work on your own goal in improving as a mother instead of telling others what is wrong with them in such a rude way.

  • Organic Momma

    Thanks for writing this article, Tiffany. You’re awesome for doing your part in educating people about possible harms to our children.

  • I agree with some of these comments that I should have put the resources in here. It’s been so long I don’t remember where I found them all. But it’s out there on the net. If you’re truly interested in finding out the info…just type it in and you’ll see it everywhere. Next time, I’ll be sure to add them in the article.

  • Organic Crib Mattress

    Wow, what a great article! Some very good pointers in the comments on the importance on avoiding flame retardants. An organic crib mattress is an investment towards your child’s health.

  • Organic Crib Mattress

    Wow, what a great article! Some very good pointers in the comments on the importance on avoiding flame retardants. An organic crib mattress is an investment towards your child’s health.

  • Guest

    A mattress pad helps protect your organic mattress investment, adding longevity to the mattress.

  • Niki

    Thank you for sharing! Very helpful information! I tend to wool mattress (very simple and natural solution, and I always have more confidence in nature than in technology). My search shows that the wool mattresses are very expensive, but I found an Etsy shop: which I liked very much. Very affordable and trustworthy. I look for reviews. It would be great if someone could help!
    Best regards!