So you've decided to go organic for your crib mattress but aren't sure which option to choose? We love it. For the analyticals, we've added the below post. For the visuals, we've added a video which is also below. For those of you that just want to see the comparison chart (tldr), click here!
Welcome to our nursery here at Modern Nursery! I’m Brian, a product specialist here at Modern Nursery as well as an expecting parent. I’m very passionate about living a low-tox, healthy lifestyle. I know how overwhelming it is to be under pressure to select the best and safest products for your child so, I’ve done a ton of research on not only these brands but each of these products so that I may save you time and stress.
Let’s talk about organic crib mattresses! So, you may have heard that many commercial mattresses contain harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants, endocrine disruptors and VOCs. According to a study in New Zealand, toxic chemicals may be the leading cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, as well as brain damage and developmental delays in children.
Now, even if you’ve already decided that for the health and safety of your baby, you are set on getting an organic mattress that will minimize or eliminate these elements, you may not know where to begin. Let’s break down the varying features and functions of these mattresses so that you can more easily make an informed decision about which organic mattress is best for your growing family.
Today we’re going to compare 4 different organic mattresses, each from a different company. However, in order to make this as simple as possible, I’d first like to break this down into 4 categories.
First, the elimination of toxins from your baby’s mattress. This is why it’s so important to invest in a non-toxic mattress. Second, the breathability of a mattress. The issue of suffocation can be avoided by utilizing a mattress that’s highly breathable. Third, the avoidance of potential allergens in a baby mattress. If there is something in the mattress that your baby may be allergic to, you will likely want to avoid this. Lastly, we’ll talk about function and versatility. You’re going to be changing the sheets frequently and will want to decide whether waterproofing factors are important to you. It’s important to mention that there is no breathable waterproof material. So, the practical benefit of waterproof material, reduces the breathability of the mattress or cover. It’s impossible to have both, 100%. You also want to be sure that this mattress facilitates a very comfortable and restful sleep for your little one as you don’t want discomfort to keep them up at night. So, I’ll go through the different qualities that contribute to comfort.
Let’s talk for a second about flame retardants. Manufacturers are required by U.S. law to ensure that products such as mattresses, pillows, and car seats will resist being ignited by a flame. In order to do this, companies will add materials to their products to satisfy this requirement. Now this can be done with natural ingredients, such as organic wool. However, if the company does not want to spend the money on natural ingredients, they will instead put toxic chemicals into their products to decrease flammability.
Many commercial mattresses and other products contain these chemicals which can accumulate in the body and can cause SIDS or long term damage, such as ADHD, a lower IQ, infertility, as well as cancer and additional hormonal issues.
Now, two terms that you’ll hear me discuss are GOTS and GOLS. Very simply, these are the highest level certification labels that will ensure that your mattress is made of organic materials and the manufacturing process is carried out by eliminating many known harmful chemicals.
The GOTS organic label stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard which ensures a minimum of 95% of the materials in the mattress are organic. It ensures that many toxic chemicals will not be present in the certified items. The GOLS label stands for Global Organic Latex Standard and is essentially the same high standard label, but is the certification for the latex used in the mattress. Keep in mind that if you don’t see the GOTS or GOLS label, a company may have added materials that are not certified as non-toxic. So, GOTS and GOLS are excellent labels to look for when purchasing an organic mattress. Keep in mind that if a mattress does not have any latex, you do not need to look for a GOLS certification label.
Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses
Let’s start with Naturepedic’s Breathable and Breathable Ultra 2 stage organic crib mattresses. First, this mattress comes in four versions: One with steel coils if you like the traditional coil support option and one with a lightweight version made with their trademark WaveMark polyethylene core, as well as two different cover options which we will discuss.
Here’s the lightweight version. It’s only 14 lbs which is the lightest mattress we have here! It really makes a difference if you are on the shorter side or just in general wanting the easiest way to change sheets in the middle of the night without fumbling. Also works great if you’re recovering from a c-section. Now, polyethylene, the core, is a synthetic material, but rather than being made from petroleum, this one is derived from sugar cane.
The mattress also features a fiber-based PLA layer, also a synthetic material derived from sugar cane, that adds comfort and support, while providing additional fire safety. This is partly how Naturepedic avoids using harmful flame retardant chemicals.
Remember I just mentioned the importance of GOTS cotton? All of these Naturepedic mattresses I’m showing are GOTS certified and utilize the cotton with other materials on the removable washable cover.
This mattress is waterproof and the waterproofing is also made from polyethylene. The obvious benefit of waterproofing is that you are able to easily clean up any soiling the baby might make. However, another important benefit is that urine can’t seep into the mattress where it might eventually grow bacteria and mold. So, this aspect of the mattress is very beneficial for reducing toxins.
Now, remember that waterproofing generally decreases the breathability of a mattress, so the way that this mattress achieves its breathability is by putting a quilted cover on top of it made of a organic cotton/polyester blend. Naturepedic offers two different versions of this cover- which is what separates the breathable mattress from the breathable-ultra mattress.
The Breathable mattress comes with a removable, washable cover with a thin layer of polyurethane waterproofing on the underside. The cover is still considered breathable because it is made with a 3D polyester lattice structure and an organic cotton surface which creates a breathable space under the baby for increased airflow.
The Breathable Ultra’s cover is designed for extra comfort for your baby. It has extra cushioning and doesn’t have waterproofing in the cover, so it allows for a more comfortable sleep.
This cover is still washable and remember, the mattress insert is still waterproofed so with any of these 4 Naturepedic mattresses, if the cover is in the wash, you can simply throw a sheet over the mattress core and you don’t have to worry about any blowouts getting through to your mattress.
So, with the Naturepedic, you get the best of both worlds, both a waterproof mattress and a high degree of breathability. Also, if you’re concerned with your baby having any allergies to wool or latex, this mattress is a great option as it does not contain either one. The breathable lightweight mattress is also available in a mini crib size. Overall, this collection wins our award for best versatility.
Kalon Dream No. 1 Organic Crib Mattress
Next, we have the Kalon Dream No. 1 Crib Mattress. This mattress is made from only 4 materials, all of which are organic! The cover is made of 100% GOTS certified cotton and the core of the mattress has GOLS certified latex on one side and organic coconut coir on the other side.
In case you’re wondering what coconut coir is, it is literally the fiber from coconut shells, so it couldn’t be more natural and unprocessed. Coconut coir provides a strong, natural spring and support and is both antibacterial and water resistant. The fire retardant qualification is provided by 100% GOTS certified organic wool, so it is a very natural material that will certainly eliminate any chance of toxic chemicals that would harm your baby, as well as creating superior temperature regulation for the baby.
The mattress itself is not waterproof and it does not come with a washable cover, so we’d recommend using this Holy Lamb Organics puddle pad which is 100% wool and can help to repel any moisture. Neither of these is technically waterproof, but in combination will get the job done without introducing any synthetic chemicals or coatings at all.
So, we see with the Kalon, a mattress that is pure and simple that provides natural support for the baby. So, if you’re a purist, this is going to be your best option. This Kalon mattress wins our award for the most pure organic mattress which is 100% organic, without any compromise.
Essentia Lala Organic Crib Mattress
Next, we have the Essentia Lala Organic Crib Mattress. The first noticeable feature of this mattress is that it’s very soft. Essentia has given this mattress an inner core of GOLS certified latex memory foam which provides a lot of cushioning. So, if you think your baby will sleep best on a soft mattress, this is one you’ll want to consider. The mattress still passes all of the very important tests to ensure that it’s firm enough for your baby’s safety and to help to prevent SIDS and to support ideal postural alignment.
This also is a good mattress to consider if you are concerned about allergens. The mattress does not contain any wool, which some people are allergic to. The removable cover is GOTS certified and can be unzipped and removed for washing and is water-resistant, using a food-grade polyurethane coating which is perforated for breathability, so if accidents occur, ideally they should be cleaned up in a given amount of time.
Remember, waterproofing and breathability are sort of a tradeoff, so by having water-resistance, rather than waterproofing, the breathability of the mattress increases. We love that this mattress has a removable cover and is also super soft for your baby, which will hopefully encourage longer sleep periods. The Essentia Lala mattress wins our award for the most comfortable organic mattress.
Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattress
And here, we have the Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattress which is available as a standard crib mattress as well as in mini crib size. Now Nook’s primary feature is breathability. It is definitely the most breathable of the mattresses here. The water resistant cover of this mattress is made primarily with polyester along with Tencel, which is a nylon made from eucalyptus.
Not only are the materials themselves breathable, but Nook uses their patented 3D Safesleep technology, which are these cool looking pebble shaped fabric designs. By creating variations in the surface of the cover, the pebbles allow more air to move around the baby where he or she comes in contact with the mattress.
On top of that, the Nook, like the Kalon, uses Organic Coconut Coir inside the mattress. It also uses conventional latex, and it has an organic wool covering around the core that acts as the natural fire retardant.
As these materials are also very breathable, air is essentially able to pass through one end of the mattress to the other creating a highly breathable mattress. The Tencel used in the cover also helps to wick away moisture which allows for the temperature of the baby’s body to be regulated. If you’re looking for GOTS or GOLS certifications, this is not your mattress but it does clearly win our award for the most breathable mattress, based on its patented technology.
We know this is a ton of details, so see the nifty comparison chart below that lists all of the features of each mattress. We’re a small family owned business and really care about each of our customers. We are walking this journey with you and are here to help you to select the safest products for your growing family. We look forward to seeing you next time here at Modern Nursery!
Kalon: 4 simple materials, all 100% organic GOTS and GOLS: coconut coir, wool, latex, cotton, PURITY AWARD
Essentia: GOLS latex, breathable features in washable cover, very soft yet supportive mattress, COMFORT AWARD