When we were expecting our first child, I hardly gave any thought to his crib mattress. I'm pretty sure that I chose the least expensive, but new mattress that I could find. After all, he's a baby. He doesn't care, right?
As we have started making changes in our life to be more eco-friendly, I have become more aware of the dangers of things like PVC (aka vinyl), flame retardants, pthalates, and polyurethane foam, all of which are common in mattresses. Let me give you a very brief run down of why I avoid each of these things:
Vinyl/PVC: This is used in crib mattresses as a cover. It is often referred to as "the poison plastic". It is usually softened to become flexible by adding pthalates- a known hormone disruptor in animal studies. (this has been banned from mouthed items such as teethers, but is still present in crib mattresses)
Flame Retardants: Many companies are not required to, and will not divulge the ingredients in their flame retardants. Most contain PBDE, which has been shown by the Washington State Department of Ecology to cause problems in rodent brain development. The department states, "Most of these problems stem from pre-natal exposure and exposure soon after birth. The health effects appear to be permanent". I don't know about you, but I don't want that on my infant's mattress!
Pthalates: As I mentioned, this is a hormone disruptor that can have damaging long term effects.
Polyurethane Foam: This is added as an internal filler to the mattresses. It is a petroleum product and as you can imagine is highly flammable. Most importantly to me, it offgasses VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including toluene and formaldehyde. Can you say ICK!
Now think about this for a moment: As Naturepedic says, "Babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on a crib mattress. Furthermore, a child’s every breath inhales air no more than six inches away from these chemicals. As such, for the first few years of a child’s life, the mattress is the single most prominent object in the child’s environment."
Now that I have taken the time to educate myself on this common household hazard, I'm switching my children to Naturepedic mattresses and hopefully we can switch our mattress before too long as well. Naturepedic provides a safe option and does not use any of the items I listed above. They also do not use allergenic materials and they use natural, organic, and renewable materials whenever possible.
Another fabulous thing that I found out about Naturepedic is that they are willing to provide every one of the 6400 hospitals in the US with completely free bassinet mattresses. How fabulous is that? What a great company to support.
Ok, on to my review. Naturepedic very generously sent us a crib mattress to review. It came just in time, because B-Bear had just managed to pop a spring through his old one. The Naturepedic mattress is incredibly sturdy. It is firmer than his previous mattress and is pretty darn comfy. I love that, unlike the old mattress, this one had no smell. The old one smelled like a blow up backyard pool, and it never got any better. B-Bear is thoroughly enjoying his new mattress and it is holding up very well.
Naturepedic also carry a variety of other items such as changing pads, bedding, and adult mattresses. You can order yours at Naturepedic.com.
If you would like to do some research yourself on the safety of crib mattresses, these are some good places to start: Five Problems with Crib Mattresses, Tree Hugger, Healthy Child Healthy World, and The Smart Mama.
This review is completely honest and my own. Other than receiving a free sample of the product from Naturepedic, I was not paid for any of the opinions or reviews expressed on this blog.