One of the purchases I insisted on making for our nursery was an organic mattress. Since babies spend so much of their time sleeping, I knew it was incredibly important to make sure that the surface my little one was going to sleep on would be as toxic-free as possible.
The problem with conventional mattresses is that they contain many chemicals – fire retardants (required by law), plastic non-breathable covers made of PVC, and an interior of polyurethane foam (made from petroleum). Ironically, the government requires fire retardants because the foam and plastic in mattresses burn so quickly without it. Because babies are incredible vulnerable and still have growing immune systems, they do not have the capacity to detox their little bodies like adults do. This chemical cocktail that we lay our babies on every day has been linked to asthma, dizziness, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and even cancer.
The only problem with organic crib mattresses is that they are WAY more expensive than conventional ones. So, I spent a long time hunting around online for the best deal. I found on Amazon the Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 150 Crib Mattress for $250 (a much better deal, considering that the same mattress was almost $400 at the mega-baby store near our house).
Trust me, this is literally the cheapest organic mattress on available. If anyone from IT searches my computer at work, they will find several hours of searching for “organic mattress.” For about a month, I was a woman obsessed with finding the most organic mattress that I could afford.
One word of advice: be wary of green-washed mattresses. I saw a lot of bamboo or soy mattresses made with the same fire retardants and chemicals, and “organic” mattresses with organic cotton filling, but PVC plastic on the outside. Be sure to investigate all companies and mattresses, and take all claims with a grain of salt. From my research, I found that Naturepedic to be one of the most reliable options, and (lucky for my checkbook) one of the cheapest organic options.
And after I got the mattress, I outfitted the rest of the crib with an organic (yet still waterproof) mattress pad and organic crib sheet. So once our little one arrives, he will be all set with a toxic-free sleeping environment. Yes, it cost more than if we went conventional, but I decided that it worthwhile to spend more and focus our eco-energy on his bed (and cut corners elsewhere).