The 7 Best Non-Toxic Crib Mattresses of 2021

Help your baby catch Zzz's with none of the chemicals.

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The health and safety of a new baby is most parents' top priority in the early days and years of a child’s life. Babies can spend between 10-15 hours a day in their cribs (and are likely to be sleeping in their cribs through age 3 or so), so crib mattresses, like adult mattresses, have moved from an afterthought to an important purchase. 

As adults have opted for non-toxic mattresses for themselves due to the possible effects of certain chemicals via the place where we spend a third of our lives, crib mattresses have followed suit. Because those early exposures to chemicals can be especially impactful on a small, vulnerable, and growing body, the market for baby bedding made with safe materials has grown.

We researched the market and looked for trustworthy certifications to find the best non-toxic crib mattresses.

The Rundown
This well-known online retailer now makes a version of their bestselling mattress for your baby.
It has a non-toxic, but still waterproof cover, so accidents are easily cleaned up and the mattress is still protected.
Made with organic coconut coir, organic wool, and latex foam, this mattress comes with several cover options.
OMI makes an oval crib mattresses as well as a standard-size crib mattress in natural latex and innerspring options.
Completely organic and chemical-free, this mattress lets you and your baby sleep easy.
Made to be extra-durable for those who want to use it for more than one baby or want to pass it along to a friend or relative.
At less than $100, this is a budget choice that hits at least a few of the nontoxic must-haves.

Best Overall: Avocado Organic Crib Mattress

Avocado Organic Crib Mattress

This well-known online retailer now makes a version of its bestselling mattress for the youngest members of the family. In fact, it makes two. Both are made with GOLS-certified latex, and both are covered with a GOTS-certified cotton and wool cover, and both are designed with a softer and harder side to flip as the child grows.

In terms of price, the Organic Crib Mattress also comes in solidly in the middle of the pack, even with a long list of solid certifications. The Luxury Crib Mattress (view on Avocado) is more expensive because it has extra layers, including cotton- and wool-wrapped coils to decrease noise and an organic pad made from flax on top of a thicker latex layer. Both mattresses are formaldehyde-free, Climate Neutral certified, and have additional certifications from Oeko-Tex, MadeSafe, and GreenGuard Gold.

Best Lightweight: : Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress

Naturepedic No Compromise Classic Crib Mattress

With three versions including Classic, Breathable, and Breathable Ultra, the first two options are the lightest crib mattress on this list, at just 10 and 14 pounds, which might be important for the person who is changing the crib’s sheets. There are also oval and mini-mattress options.

This one has the two-stage dual firmness feature, so it can be swapped from the harder side to the softer one as the baby ages into toddlerhood. It has a non-toxic, but still waterproof cover, so accidents are easily cleaned up and the mattress is still protected. This one is certified organic and nontoxic by GOTS, and is also MadeSafe and GreenGuard certified. It’s made in the United States by Amish craftspeople.

Chemicals of Concern for Crib Mattresses

Parents are right to be concerned about the materials that are in a baby’s mattress. After all, there are chemicals used in some mattresses that are known to cause health effects. Conventionally-produced mattresses can include: Mercury, lead, and chloroform, which are used in the solvents and adhesives. 

Mercury can cause headaches, as well as breathing difficulties and skin irritation, and there is no safe amount of lead for children, for whom it can cause cognitive issues. Chloroform is linked, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to cognitive impairment and liver issues. Cyanide is also sometimes used in bedding manufacture and is linked to dizziness, headache or nausea. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs) are banned in Europe and Canada and may cause endocrine issues and affect organ development.

Best Color Range: Nook Organic Pure Crib Mattress

Nook Organic Pure Crib Mattress

Made with organic coconut coir, organic wool, and latex foam, this mattress comes with several cover options. The Pebble or Dimple SafeSleep cover is organic cotton and organic eucalyptus infused with zinc that the company calls a "non-toxic poly blend." The Pebble is designed to be more breathable, while the Dimple is cooler to the touch.

Both cover options are available in a range of colors, or you can get the mattress on its own without a cover. It’s GOTS, GOLS, and GreenGuard Gold certified, and it’s allergy and asthma-friendly.

Best Splurge: OMI Organic Crib Mattress

OMI Organic Crib Mattress

OMI makes an oval bassinet, as well as oval crib mattresses and a standard-size crib mattress. The standard crib mattresses are available in either natural latex or innerspring options, and the oval mattress comes in the natural latex filling. The cover is woven quilted cotton.

They are all handmade in the United States (in Colorado or California), GOLS, GOTS, and GreenGuard Gold certified. The mattresses also come with a 20-year limited warranty.

Best Organic: Soaring Heart Organic Crib Mattress

Soaring Heart Organic Crib Mattresses

This thinner mattress is made with GOLS-certified, extra-firm Dunlop latex (which is a competitor to Talalay latex), organic cotton that’s grown in the United States, and organic New Zealand wool—so it’s completely organic and chemical-free.

The company’s needle-punched wool cover is designed for natural fire retardants to federal fire safety standards. The whole thing is then handmade in Seattle.

Most Durable: Colgate Eco Classica III Eco-Friendlier Crib Mattress

Colgate Eco Classica III Eco-Friendlier Crib Mattress

This mattress is made from an eco-foam that is derived from plant oils. Made in the United States, the Colgate Eco Classica III is 6 inches thick and extra-durable for those who want to use it for more than one baby or want to pass it along to a friend or relative.

It’s got an organic cotton cover that’s waterproof, and machine-washable. It has a two-sided construction, with a softer side for toddlers. It's both GreenGuard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.

Best Budget: Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

At less than $100, this is a budget choice that hits at least a few of the nontoxic must-haves. While it’s made from polyurethane foam, a nonrenewable resource, it’s GreenGuard Gold Certified, which means it’s free of prohibited phthalates, lead, and mercury.

It complies with important legal safety standards (ASTM International and CPSC), as well as applicable federal flammability standards. It only comes in one firmness, but it’s designed for use for babies through toddler-age children. It has a water-resistant, removable, and washable outer cover. However, the cover can only be air-dried, so don't put it in the dryer.

Final Verdict

The Avocado Organic Crib Mattress (view on Avocado) is our top pick for an eco-friendly and non-toxic mattress for babies. If you’re on a tight budget, the Graco Premium Foam Mattress (view on Bed Bath & Beyond) is affordable and certified non-toxic. 

What to Look For in a Non-toxic Crib Mattress

When shopping for a crib mattress, the good news is that all the modern requirements, like fire retardant properties (which used to be met with chemical additives), or a firm mattress so babies can sleep on their stomach safely, can still be met with natural materials and smart design. In order to be sold legally in the United States, the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act was designed to ensure that basic criteria are met on a range of products, including durable infant or toddler products. 

This piece of legislation, passed in 2008, includes standards for crib mattresses. That covers mattress flammability testing, mattress size, and tracking information so recalls can be communicated. In addition, as devices for children under the age of three, there are limits on certain phthalates on mattresses. They must be tested and certified on those limits, as well as lead content and lead surface coating limits. 

Third Party Certifications

There are a few certifications to keep an eye out for when it comes to mattresses (most of these apply to adult mattresses as well). There are also some other terms that might not be certified by a third party, in which case you’ll have to trust the word of the company selling to you. 

GreenGuard certification: means that certified products have lower Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) — since VOCs off-gas into the air, contributing to poor indoor air quality. The Gold level indicates even lower levels according to the organization’s standards and especially formaldehyde off-gassing. 

CertiPUR-US certified: refers specifically to foam products, like those used in mattresses. It is an independent certifier that has standards for emissions, content, performance, and durability. Those foams certified by the organization are made without formaldehyde ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants, phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission; mercury, lead and heavy metals. They are certified low VOC for indoor air quality at .5 parts per million). 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): This is a textile standard, so in the case of crib mattresses it’s usually applied to the mattress cover. This widely used certification has two levels: Labelled organic for products that contain 95 percent or more organic material, and another for those that have 70 percent to 94 percent organic material, in which case they have to disclose the percentage on the GOTS label. The label certifies the entire process the material travels through, not just the final product. The entire supply chain, including processors, spinners, weavers, dyers, and other manufacturers, and textile traders must be certified.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): To achieve the standard, a product must contain more than 95 percent certified organic raw latex. Qualifying products may have other polymers and fillers, but the finished product is subject to emission tests and there are specific limits to harmful substances. Both rubber plantations, where organic latex is extracted from the trees, and processing units, including the final retailer of a product, can be certified. The standard tracks this via transaction certificates at every sales point along the supply chain. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

Author Starre Vartan has become Treehugger’s resident mattress expert, thanks to the countless hours she’s spent researching their materials and certifications. She has covered ethical and environmentally friendly products for over 15 years.

View Article Sources
  1. "Health Effects of Lead Exposure." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. "Mercury (Elemental): Lung Damaging Agent." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  3. "Chloroform." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  4. "Facts About Cyanide." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  5. "Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)." Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.