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The DIY Nursery: Choosing a Healthier Crib Mattress

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So! You've picked out that organic nursery fabric to make your own curtains and crib sheets, but have you taken a hard look at the mattress that you're going to use? The sad truth is that most conventional crib mattresses contain harmful chemicals like toxic flame retardents and allergens that are not so hot for your developing baby.

Creating a healthy nursery isn't as easy as it should be. Check out our guide to some healthier crib mattresses!

According to a recent report by watchdog group Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY), 72 percent of the crib mattresses on the market are made using "chemicals of concern" - materials like vinyl that off-gas VOCs as your baby sleeps on them. The researchers looked at 190 mattresses from 28 mattress-makers, looking at the materials used in construction to determine which crib mattresses were healthiest.

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From the Organic Authority Files

The really tricky part? Thanks to shady labeling laws, mattress-makers can use "proprietary" chemicals and materials, meaning they don't have to tell you what they use to construct their mattresses. Twenty two percent of the mattresses they looked at contained proprietary chemicals. Yikes!

Choosing a Healthier Crib Mattress

I don't want to expose my growing baby to VOCs, and I bet that you don't either! The survey luckily included a list of brands that make crib mattresses without these potentially dangerous chemicals of concern:

  • Naturepedic
  • Land and Sky
  • Natural Mat
  • Organic Mattresses, Inc.
  • Pure Rest
  • Savvy Rest
  • Shepherd's Dream
  • Sleeptek
  • Soaring Heart Natural Bed Company
  • Suite Sleep
  • Vivetique
  • White Lotus

Naturepedic mattresses are not only free of chemicals of concern but also don't use any allergens in their construction. There are some models of Vivetique and White Lotus mattresses that also avoid allergens, so if that's a concern for you, those three brands are probably your best bet.

The good news is that the CHNY report did find an overall shift away from these harmful chemicals in the crib mattress market. It just takes a little bit of diligence on the shoppers part to sort out the healthier brands from the less healthy ones.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by janineomg

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