In my research for a healthy baby crib mattress, I came across Naturepedic. Their organic mattresses range in price and features. Here I am going to review the No Compromise Organic Cotton Ultra 252 Seamless, 2 Stage. It is on the higher end of their mattresses, but I think if you are going to get one of their mattresses, it is worth it to spend a little more if possible. They do offer some wonderful options on the lower end of the budget, so you can get a healthy mattress for your baby without breaking the bank. They were generous enough to give me this mattress in exchange for my review.
The Ultra is made with a metal coil spring structure and organic cotton batting covered with organic cotton fabric and a waterproof food-grade polyethelyne surface. The surface also acts as a barrier for dust-mites, so if that is of concern there is no need to buy a dust mite cover. I think this is a great mattress for many reasons:
- 100% USDA Certified Organic cotton
- No chemical flame retardants
- No off gassing
- No allergenic materials
- Dust mite barrier
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Waterproof without vinyl
The most important to me is that it doesn't have chemical flame retardants and there is no off gassing, from a polyurethane foam for example. From what I found, many baby crib mattresses can have added chemical flame retardants. Flame retardants have been linked to many negative health affects such as an increased risk to cancer. Here is some information in an article in the Chicago Tribune and another in the NY Times blog. It is a nice and sturdy mattress, not too light. The organic fibers are also important, they are grown with no chemical pesticides or insecticides. The mattress comes in seamless or with seams along the edges. It is not that significant, but the seams are not waterproof, so if it is necessary to have it 100% waterproof, the seamless is a better option. I also think it has a cleaner, simpler look. This mattress has a firm side (for infants) and a softer side that is still firm enough (for toddlers). It isn't necessary, but it is another great quality, so it can grow nicely with your child.
There are a few things that I personally don't love about the mattress:
- Polyethelyne coating
- Coil springs (possibly)
I understand that what Naturepedic uses for the waterproofing is probably the best option, that it is a food grade polyethelyne and not harmful. I think this is the same stuff that is in squeezable bottles for example. But if you are someone who wants 100% natural, it doesn't fit into that category. The fact that it is waterproof is great though, there is no need to purchase an extra waterproof cover or pad and there is no worrying about moisture getting into the core of the mattress. It makes it very convenient. A cotton quilted pad can be added to make the surface a little softer and to provide a little barrier between baby and the surface. They also offer a mattress that is not waterproof, so doesn't have the polyethylene coating, the Deluxe model has a soft cotton quilted surface. The coil springs are fine, but they aren't for everybody. I haven't had coil spring mattresses for myself for the past 15 years at least, but I am under the impression that there is a chance the coils could be felt at some point. If for some reason coils aren't your choice, they do offer a Lightweight Organic Cotton Mattress (in Classic, Ultra, and 2 stage) that is made with Wavesupport made from polyethelyne. Because Naturepedic offers a limited warranty, I am sure if any issues came up they would be accommodating in helping to resolve them.
All in all, I think this is a great option for a baby crib, although it isn't 100% natural materials, it is very, very close and the elements that are most important to me are there (no chemical flame retardants, no off-gassing, organic fibers). They offer a range of prices and options, so they make their product more accessible to people of diverse economic means. I also think this would be an ok mattress to buy used, if you are thinking that route, because it is dust-mite free and waterproof. Good luck on your search!