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Decide What You Want in a Mattress for Your Baby’s Crib

By Valerie Baldowski
Decide What You Want in a Mattress for Your Baby's Crib

Crib basics include infant blankets and sheets, hanging mobiles, and of course a mattress that fits snugly against the side of the crib. A few crib manufacturers sell the mattress with the crib, but most are sold separately. Now parents must decide whether to purchase a traditional natural or an organic crib mattress. What’s the difference between the two?

Some marketers say organic crib mattresses are free of toxic chemicals. The working definition of organic is a crib mattress made from 100 percent organic cotton certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The mattress can be used two ways. The firmer side is designed for cribs, and flipping it over brings up the less firm side for toddler beds. Its cover is antibacterial and water resistant, and air vents in the mattress keep it odor-free.

Parents considering an organic mattress for their baby’s crib should know that organic mattress standards are regulated by the National Association of Organic Mattress Industry (NAOMI). According to NAOMI, organic mattress manufacturers must conform to standards requiring mattresses to be 95 percent chemical-free. Those extremely sensitive to chemicals, however, could still have problems sleeping on an organic mattress.

NAOMI has a long list of standards mattresses must meet in order to be called “organic.” Some of them include:

  • It must be free of synthetic fabrics.
  • No fabrics can be treated with any chemical suspected of being toxic, even at low levels.
  • All wool must be from sheep raised according to organic standards, and any wool used must not contain any arsenic or lead.
  • Any rubber used must be free of benzene, toluene, pthalates, SBR, petroleum additives, formaldehyde and arsenic, and the lead level must be under .001 parts per million (ppm).
  • Any glue used must not have formaldehyde or phenolated compounds, and the presence of glue must be disclosed.

By comparison, “natural” mattresses are those that are made strictly from natural components, such as cotton, wool, natural silk or fleece. No materials such as polyester, vinyl cloth, acrylic cloth or memory foam can be used in a natural mattress. The foam in the mattress must be natural latex, or else the mattresses can’t be called “natural.”

Prices for organic crib mattresses run higher. Depending on the retailer or the merchant, natural mattresses sell for anywhere in the $29 to $85 price range. Organic mattresses usually go for about $80 to $259. Both types of mattresses have their pros and cons. In the end, the final decision will rest with the individual consumer about what type of crib mattress is best for their baby.

Valerie Baldowski is passionate about writing about everything from childrens safety and juvenile products to gardening tools. She is the mother of a high energy 8 year old child so she is accustomed to researching childrens products and services… See more about Valerie

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Filed Under: Baby Cribs