There is growing concern among physicians, health professionals, public safety officials, environmental advocacy groups and parents regarding the effects of chemicals on our children. Neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses are rapidly increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence.
Babies and toddlers spend 10-14 hours a day sleeping and playing on a typical mattress, breathing in chemical off-gassing and absorbing toxins through their skin. Children’s respiratory, neurological, reproductive, and immune systems are in the early stages of development making them particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Low level chemical exposure during the critical period of brain development can actually cause more harm than high doses later in life. Since their elimination systems are still developing, children can’t easily excrete these toxins. While sleeping, their bodies need to recover from the stress of the day. This is when cells regenerate and the immune system attempts to remove toxins, but this is difficult to do while breathing in and absorbing more toxic chemicals from the mattress!
After extensively researching different kinds of “natural” mattresses on the market and sorting through all the greenwash, I found that Naturepedic Organic Mattresses are the only true non-toxic waterproof organic crib mattresses available in the United States. The company was established by environmental engineer Barry A. Cik, with whom I had the great pleasure of speaking with. In anticipation of his first grandchild, he went shopping for a crib mattress and was shocked to find all the questionable materials they contained, materials he felt were unsafe for children. The few natural mattresses he did encounter had known allergens or were not waterproof. From that experience, Barry and his sons founded Naturepedic to offer healthier and safer sleep alternatives.
We purchased our first Naturepedic crib mattress when Judah was a baby. We ended up bedsharing, but he napped in his crib and when he eventually transitioned into a toddler bed, he used the same mattress. B also bedshared but napped on a Naturepedic portable crib mattress in a wooden mini crib. Now that he is ready to transition into his own bed, of course we chose Naturepedic! We decided on the versatile 2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra/Quilted Mattress which features two different sides. The top side is an organic cotton fabric with a surface made of 100% polyethylene which is non-toxic, stain resistant, waterproof and easy-to-clean – in other words, gold for a parent of a toilet-learning toddler! It also functions as a dust mite/bed bug barrier so there’s no need to encase. The bottom side features a luxuriously quilted organic cotton fabric for a more mature mattress feel as he grows.
The reason why a waterproof mattress is important is because babies and toddlers generate a lot of wetness while they sleep. This can easily cause mold, mildew, fungi or bacteria to grow in the mattress – yuck! This can potentially be a major health hazard for a child and especially my little monkey who’s allergic to mold and which can trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. The only viable way to keep any moisture from getting into the surface of the mattress is with plastic waterproof covering. Naturepedic is the only company that uses non-toxic, food-grade polyethylene. Strict independent testing confirms there are no phthalates or any toxic chemicals in this polyethylene. If you prefer a non-waterproof quilted organic cotton mattress, Naturepedic offers options with a certified organic cotton covering.
Instead of synthetic polyurethane, wool, latex or soybean foams, Naturepedic uses U.S. grown and certified organic non-GMO cotton to fill this mattress, a much healthier alternative. The innovative construction passes all Federal and State flammability standards without the use of any fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers. Certified by OTCO to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), all Naturepedic products are tested for chemical emissions and certified according to GREENGUARD Gold certification standards. Read more about Naturepedic’s extensive Certifications and Awards and a complete list of ingredients they don’t use. If it’s a suspected carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, or an ingredient not aligned with safe, healthy sleep, Naturepedic won’t use it.
Since children grow rapidly, it’s important to sleep on a mattress that provides the right amount of support for their developing spines. A 14.5 gauge steel coil innerspring with alternating coil directions provides a strong stable feel that is both comfortable and supportive. Although comfort is subjective, I’ve been cuddling with B on his new bed during the transition process and think it’s pretty darn comfortable.
As a doula, new parents often ask me which baby items they should prioritize and my answer is always a safe carseat and a non-toxic crib mattress or non-toxic adult mattress if baby is bedsharing (more info on co-sleeping and safe bedsharing here). A twin size 2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra/Quilted Mattress retails for $749. I believe the quality and safety is well-worth the investment which is why I’m saving to buy an additional Naturepedic mattress for our home. Naturepedic is actually competitively priced when compared with or other “natural” mattress brands that aren’t even non-toxic. Aside from being non-toxic, Naturepedic is quality. They employ local Amish craftspeople who take pride in their work and pay special attention to every detail to ensure long lasting durability, which is why Naturepedic stands behind a lifetime limited warranty.
Visit Naturepedic to learn more about the company or shop online for their full line of mattresses for the entire family. You can also follow Naturepedic on Twitter, “Like” on Facebook or contact their helpful customer service for more information.
This review is in accordance with the Natureal Mom disclosure policy.