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Organic Crib Mattress

An organic crib mattress costs more than its standard counterpart, so if you’re going to buy one then you need to know what look for to avoid disappointment with your purchase and ensure your baby has the best that’s on offer.

First, why buy organic? Well, many believe that organic crib mattresses, being made from natural products, are safer for babies. Many standard mattresses may use Brominated Fire Retardants.  These are a cause for concern and have been banned in many countries in Europe. PBDE's are stored in the human body and, over time, making them bioaccumalitive. In experiments in mice, they lead to problems with the thyroid, developmental problems with learning and motor skills, and cancer.

Some manufacturers use cheap glues when manufacturing their mattresses. These glues contain volatile organic compounds (VOC's), the same compounds that paint companies are trying to remove from their paints. These glues off-gas for years, just as paint that contains VOC's does.

For obvious reasons many crib mattresses are waterproofed. However some employ PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) for this purpose. There are concerns by some that the off-gases produced from this compound can be carcinogenic.

Wow! Now that you’ve been scared off from buying a standard mattress what should you be looking for in an organic version?

Both innerspring and foam mattresses come in organic varieties. Both types use natural materials such as cotton, wool, natural (rubber) latex and foam manufactured from soy bean. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages.

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But, whichever one you buy make sure it’s the real deal.

A genuine organic crib mattress is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The largest U.S. GOTS approved certifier is Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO). The GOTS standard requires that all fiber and fabrics, with limited exceptions, must be made from certified materials that meet the National Organic Program (NOP) standard and are processed in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). All other components (such as innersprings, fire protection, etc.) must meet stringent non-toxic standards.

Okay, you say, but what about mattresses that are sold as being ‘Eco’ or ‘Green’. Aren’t these the same?

The answer is no. Terms such as eco and green are not regulated terms. Oftentimes mattresses labelled as such can be misleading and are far from being organic. Many marketed as ‘plant derived’ or soy-bean foam can, in fact, be over 80% made from petro-chemicals. Other terms such as ‘bamboo’ can also be downright lies and are actually rayon!

So, when purchasing an organic crib mattress make sure it satisfies Global Organic Textile Standard. Ask the supplier or retailer if it is certified as such. If it isn’t then it may very well not be organic at all.