There’s nothing that new parents care about more than keeping their babies healthy. Much care goes into picking diapers, car seats, clothes—and crib mattresses.
No parent wants those carefully chosen items to include chemicals that could increase the likelihood that their child might face lifelong health challenges like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, learning and developmental disabilities, and asthma.
Parents should be confident that items made for babies are free of such harmful chemicals, but that is too often not the case.
How are product makers doing at prioritizing our health and the environment? To find out, we have zoomed in to focus on crib mattresses, because babies sleep up to 18 hours each day, and their crib is the place they spend most of their time.
The Mattress Still Matters, a follow-up to a 2011 report, The Mattress Matters, investigates what companies disclose about the materials they choose and how that compares to laboratory analysis of mattresses. We assess what we can learn about mattresses in specific, and the broader market- place in general.
We reviewed 227 product webpages from 37 crib mattress brands to determine what we could learn about the materials they use. We sent that information to companies for their review and feedback. 13 mattresses from 13 different brands were then analyzed with laboratory tests to compare company disclosures with the chemicals detected.
FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS
Two mattresses by SealyTM without disclosed chemicals of concern are available for less than $100:
Ten mattresses from six brands don’t rely on petroleum and avoid all chemicals of concern. They are made by Lifekind®, Naturepedic®, Obasan, OMI®, Soaring Heart, and White Lotus Home.
Additionally, company information indicates that 19 products from five companies are free of vinyl, polyurethane foam, added flame retardants, PFAS, antimicrobials, or added minerals: Lullaby EarthTM, My Green Mattress, Naturepedic®, Oeuf, and SealyTM.
HOW TRANSPARENT ARE COMPANIES?
CHEMICALS OF CONCERN FINDINGS
We identified three strong independent “third party” certifications, which address a broad range of chemicals of concern with stringent standards:
Crib mattress brands use four additional independent certifications with narrower scopes: OEKO- TEX®, UL GREENGUARD®, UL GREENGUARD® Gold, UL Formaldehyde Free.
Be wary of “second party” trade association certifications: for example, the Polyurethane Foam Association-created CertiPUR-US® is based on meeting legal requirements; JPMA’s in-house standard does not address harmful chemicals.
*The specifc products we tested from Nook (Pebble Lite) and Safety1st® (Little Dreamer) are now discontinued.
Page last updated: 23 July 2020