Most aspects of a safe sleep setup for babies are easy to spot, like a sturdy crib or smart bassinet, a fitted sheet, and no pillows or stuffed animals in sight. However, non-toxic crib mattresses can look just like the ones that contain certain chemicals that could potentially harm your baby. These include flame retardants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and plasticizers, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
The group of 4,000 synthetic chemicals known as PFAS are called “forever chemicals,” meaning they break down very slowly. Almost all Americans now have one or more PFAS in their blood, and PFAS can also be present in breast milk. (In October, the EPA announced a detailed plan to reduce Americans’ exposure.)
Dr. Jenna Hua, environmental health scientist and founder and CEO of Million Marker, which offers mail-in body toxicity tests, says that exposure to the suspect chemicals in crib mattresses can lead to developmental and IQ issues, behavioral issues, and future chronic diseases. “Many of them are hormone disrupting chemicals, which can mess with one's hormone system, and hormones control literally every bodily function from metabolism to sleep to stress. Infants and children are particularly vulnerable.”
Because parents are constantly hearing about potential childhood dangers, it’s tough to know how concerned to be about a particular risk. “In my opinion, parents should be worried [about this issue], but I also understand parents need to prioritize,” says Dr. Hua. “Minimally, I think parents need to be aware that these chemicals have no business being in their or their children's bodies, and they should always reduce their exposure due to the potential detrimental health impact.”
What to look for in a non-toxic crib mattress
Before shopping for non-toxic crib mattresses, you should familiarize yourself with the relevant certifications. These are helpful because they guard against greenwashing—for example, products simply labeled “sustainable” or “natural.”
The terms “Greenguard Certified” and “Greenguard Gold Certified” are awarded by UL (the same UL whose logo you’ve seen on electrical products). These certifications designate products that meet strict emissions standards for VOCs, which are gases given off by certain materials. The Gold certification is the higher standard.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) signifies a product’s organic origin as well as environmentally and socially responsible processing, while the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) denotes organic latex and requires certain social and environmental regulations.
CertiPUR-US certification means that the polyurethane is made without ozone depletors, certain flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, and certain phthalates, and that it has low VOC emissions. (Some mattress companies avoid PU foam altogether.)
Fortunately for parents—and babies—non-toxic crib mattresses are easy to find. We’re featuring the best, at every price point.
Best Non-Toxic Crib Mattresses
This non-toxic crib mattress—and in fact, every mattress Organic Dream sells—is made in the U.S. It’s also GreenGuard Gold Certified, hypoallergenic, and free of BPA and flame retardants. The mattress is 100% breathable to reduce a baby’s risk of suffocation, and it comes with a washable, organic cotton cover. Organic Dream includes a lifetime warranty with all of their mattresses.
One parent’s five-star review noted, “My 15 month old suffers from a variety of allergies and this mattress really fit the bill when it comes to being hypoallergenic. The bonus is that the mattress is actually plush and comfortable, while still firm enough that my son’s mouth and nose stay on top of the mattress. If they offered an adult king size version, I’d order it tomorrow.”
If you make sustainable, ethical shopping a priority, Avocado is the crib mattress company for you. A certified B Corp, Avocado is the world’s only Climate Neutral Certified mattress and bedding brand, and their factory and wood shop in Los Angeles is GOTS organic and Forest Stewardship Council certified and is entirely powered by renewable energy. One percent of all revenues go to environmental nonprofits.
The company offers two options for cribs: The pictured Luxury Organic Crib Mattress and the standard Organic Crib Mattress ($279). (The latter is currently out of stock, but you can sign up to receive an email when it’s back.) The Luxury mattress is handmade, made to order, and GOTS organic certified. It’s dual-firmness: one side for babies and one for toddlers. Plus, you get a 100-night trial, free returns, and a 25-year warranty.
Naturepedic focuses on safe mattresses, and this particular non-toxic crib mattress is free of flame retardants (while still meeting flammability standards), polyurethane foam (which means no VOCs), latex, PVC, phthalates, antimony, and brominated or chlorinated fire retardants. It contains organic materials, is both Greenguard and GOTS certified, and is made in the U.S.
One satisfied reviewer wrote, “Since getting this mattress my son is sleeping SO WELL. And so are we, knowing that he is happy and safe with the all natural materials. The weight of the mattress makes it easy to change the sheets. … When we have to switch him to his travel crib he isn’t nearly as happy as on the Naturepedic mattress.”
You have two options with this nontoxic crib mattress that are priced the same: the Certified Organic Quilted Innerspring mattress and the Certified Organic Latex mattress. They are GOLS, GOTS, and Greenguard Gold Certified and are handcrafted in the U.S.A. Instead of flame retardants, the mattresses have a non-chemical fire barrier of certified organic cotton and certified organic wool (from New Zealand) quilted inside the mattress cover. Every mattress includes a limited lifetime warranty.
This non-toxic crib mattress from mattress giant Sealy is made in the U.S., is Greenguard Gold Certified, and is free of flame retardants, lead, phthalates, and polyurethane foam. It’s designed to be used for up to five years, as the firmer side is meant for babies and the softer side is designed for toddler comfort. Plus, it has a lifetime warranty.
One of the hundreds of five-star reviews shared this high praise: “Got it for my new grandson. It’s firm and a perfect fit in the crib. Looks well made. Was expecting it to off-gas a bit…surprise, no smell. I can’t say enough good about it.”
Yes, Tempur-Pedic now makes crib mattresses—non-toxic ones, in fact. This one has earned CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold certifications. The air-quality-tested, memory foam mattress comes with a waterproof, breathable, washable cover and has an additional waterproof barrier inside the mattress, as well as an allergy barrier.
If you’re not familiar with Tempur-Pedic technology, here’s the lowdown: It uses the pressure-relieving material originally developed for NASA to absorb the G-Force astronauts experience in space. Note: Tempur-Pedic also sells a waterproof Cool Tot cooling mattress pad that’s designed for crib and toddler mattresses ($79.99).
This very affordable, non-toxic crib mattress has almost 2,700 five-star ratings and comes from Kolcraft, a family-owned company that’s been around forever. It’s made in the U.S.; is free of phthalates, chemical flame retardants, lead, polyurethane foam, and latex; and is Greenguard Gold Certified. The cover is stain-resistant and waterproof, and the mattress comes with a 10-year warranty.
One five-star review reads, “Comfortably firm mattress, perfect for newborn and toddler. The ‘wipe clean’ material isn’t loud and crinkly like most mattresses with a cover. It fit our infant crib snugly, perfect for safe sleep conditions. If you are looking for a high quality, yet affordable, infant or toddler mattress, I would highly recommend this!”
Colgate is a family business, so much so that their website notes which members of their leadership slept on a Colgate mattress as a baby! They call their mattress “Eco-Friendlier.” Colgate uses non-toxic barrier fabrics instead of fire retardant chemicals (while still meeting flammability standards) and uses eco-foam from plant oils or polyethylene foam with recycled content ( instead of foams from petroleum). The company also has increased energy efficiency at their Georgia factory and has planted 100,000 trees over 30 years.
This mattress is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified and made in the U.S.A. It has one side for babies that’s extra firm and one that’s softer for toddlers, and it has a certified organic cotton cover. A limited lifetime warranty is included.
The founder of Bundle of Dreams made its nontoxic crib mattress for his daughter, and it has a slew of safety features. Bundle of Dreams’s Bundle Fiber is CertiPUR-US certified, and the mattress is Greenguard Gold Certified. It’s hypoallergenic and 100 percent breathable, doesn’t contain PVCs or phthalates, and doesn’t release VOCs. (The company also makes twin and full mattresses designed for kids.)
This mattress offers dual firmness, with a firmer side for babies and a softer side for toddlers, and has an organic cotton cover. It includes a 120-day guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
With Newton Baby, you have three nontoxic crib mattress options: the Essential, the Original, the Waterproof, and the Mini. This one, the Essential, is the most popular of the four at Amazon and has a 4.9 rating from more than 2,000 reviews. It’s Greenguard Gold certified, 100 percent breathable, hypoallergenic, recyclable (impressive!), and 100 percent washable, as it doesn’t contain foam, glue, latex, or springs. Instead of fire retardants, the brand uses a layer of viscose in the cover. This is a two-stage mattress, so one side is designed for infants and one for toddlers.
One mom noted in her review, “After a lot of research, I ordered this mattress. … She has now been sleeping on this mattress for the last 4 months and we love it! She sleeps very well and so do I as I feel as confident as I can be that she’s sleeping on a mattress that’s breathable. She also happens to be a baby who runs hot, and I find this mattress doesn’t hold heat, which is excellent!”
Babyletto is an eco-conscious company that uses materials like sustainable New Zealand Pine (with lead- and phthalate-free finishes) and CARB II compliant MDF (which specifies a limit on formaldehyde emissions), and the company has installed solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations and practices “aggressive” recycling. Plus, the mattresses themselves are fully recyclable.
Babyletto’s hypoallergenic mattresses are made without polyurethane foam, “soy” foam, vinyl, PVC, dyes, phthalates, PFCs, or synthetic latex. Instead of chemical flame retardants, the mattresses contain a barrier of modacrylic and polyester. The pictured mattress is dual-firmness (one side for babies, one side for toddlers) and has a waterproof cover.
This non-toxic crib mattress is free of many things that can be harmful to babies: VOCs, foam, PVCs, and chemical flame retardants. It’s hypoallergenic and 100 percent breathable, and it doesn’t contain latex, springs, or glue. (Sometimes the absence of those mean that a mattress is recyclable, but that isn’t noted in the product description.) The mattress comes with an organic cotton cover.
One of the more than 250 reviewers who gave it five stars shared, “Very durable and easy to clean. … It’s not too firm and not too soft. And there is no smell at all. Seems as natural and non-toxic as advertised.”
Delta has been a big player in the baby furniture game for years, and they’re known for making good-quality products at reasonable prices—like this non-toxic crib mattress. Made in the U.S., it’s Greenguard Gold Certified and doesn’t contain any flame retardants, lead, or phthalates. (Those substances aren’t contained in any of Delta’s furniture, either.)
The mattress has an eco-friendly feature, too: The fiber core is made from upcycled plastic bottles, meaning that it prevented 300 plastic bottles from going to the landfill. The mattress is stain-resistant, comes with a seven-year warranty, and has dual firmness, meaning one side is designed for babies and the other for toddlers.
All crib mattresses from Lullaby Earth are free of polyurethane foam (including soybean foam blends), vinyl/PVC, PFC- (per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals) and antibacterial-treated fabrics, fire retardants, and known allergens. The company has earned the “Made Safe” seal, which means their products have passed ingredient screening for known behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, neurotoxins, high-risk pesticides, reproductive toxins, toxic solvents, VOCs, and more. (Plus, the company is designated “Climate Pledge Friendly” at Amazon.)
In one of the many five-star reviews, a parent wrote, “We purchased this mattress for our son when he was born. He is almost two now and we have loved this mattress! … We just purchased this mattress a second time for our baby girl as our son will continue to use this in his toddler transition! Highly recommend.”
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Loading More Posts...