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Babies under a year old sleep a lot — upwards of 12–16 hours a day. This sleep is critical in supporting both their cognitive and physical growth. But how much thought do you give to what they’re sleeping on? Traditionally, crib mattresses are made of or topped with polyurethane foam, which comes from petroleum, and they often contain potentially dangerous fire retardants. Plus, crib mattresses’ vinyl linings can emit harmful phthalates. Yuck.

Below, we discuss the essentials of organic crib mattresses and round up the best healthy crib mattresses on the market. Read on to learn more. 👶

Why are organic crib mattresses important?

Not only do natural or organic mattresses reduce “exposure to harmful chemicals commonly found in conventional mattresses,” explains Byron Golub, VP of product and merchandising at Saatva, which specializes in eco-friendly mattresses, but they’re also “resistant to allergens, and offer durability through high-quality materials.”

Let’s talk about potentially harmful chemicals. You know that weird smell when you first open something from a factory, like a mattress? That’s called off-gassing, and polyurethane foam is known for it. What you’re smelling are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and they can be harmful in high amounts, according to the American Lung Association. In general, the less synthetic a mattress is, the less VOCs it emits.

Since mattresses must contain flame retardants, many companies use synthetic ones like boric acid, PBDEs, and antimony trioxide. Children are most vulnerable to the potential toxic effects of these synthetic chemicals because they’re still developing, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Organic crib mattresses are more likely to utilize natural flame retardants, like wool, or safer synthetic ones.

Since we’re looking at crib mattresses specifically, those are often lined in vinyl — great for its waterproofing ability, sure, but not so great since it emits phthalates, chemicals linked to harmful health effects like disrupting your endocrine system.

What should you look for when purchasing organic crib mattresses?

Alright, so we’ve gone over how some crib mattresses can be less than ideal for a baby’s health. So how do you shop for a better option?

Your best bet is to look for third-party certifications that indicate product safety. A GreenGuard certification ensures a product won’t emit VOCs at a harmful level, and an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification means it’s free of 100 commonly used toxic substances and allergens. Golub also recommends a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification, meaning 95% of a product’s materials must be certified organic, and a Cradle to Cradle certification means the product meets five different criteria: material health, product circularity, climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness. 

And, in general, look for mattresses made of natural materials like “organic cotton, organic wool, and natural latex,” says Golub. Some of these materials are naturally flame resistant, too, like wool, helping you avoid more harmful flame retardants.

All crib mattresses should also be firm, which is crucial to babies’ health. “A firm mattress is essential at this stage of an infant’s growth to help prevent SIDS and other sleep-related accidents,” says Golub. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends babies sleep on their backs on a firm mattress with no pillows or blankets.

Our criteria:

There are a lot of organic crib mattress brands on the market — from niche organic cotton crib mattress brands to affordable organic crib mattress lines from larger manufacturers — so we’ve selected the best sustainable brands making nontoxic crib mattresses for your little ones using the criteria below.

  • ORGANIC | Each brand’s mattresses are made of natural or recycled materials like cotton, wool, latex, and recycled or clean polymers that meet third-party specs.
  • SAFETY | Each brand features third-party certifications to guarantee consumer safety.
  • FIRMNESS | Every mattress is firm to give your baby a safer sleeping experience and to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • PRICE | While we’ve selected mattresses across a range of price points, they’re all high quality and long lasting.

While you’re on the hunt for the best crib mattress, you might also be interested in the best nontoxic cribs. (We’ve got you covered with organic crib sheets and organic baby clothes too!) Need your own mattress upgrade? Head here for our guide to the best eco-friendly mattresses.

Best Overall | Most Affordable

1. Naturepedic

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton, sugarcane PLA fibers
Sizes | Baby, mini, oval, twin
Ships To
| Contiguous US & Canada
Price | Starts at $269

Naturepedic offers not one, not two, but three crib mattresses for your little one. Yet regardless of which you choose, they’re all 100 percent organic and waterproof. The waterproofing element is made from food-grade polyethylene that still meets fire safety and food contact standards. For maximum safety, Naturepedic’s mattresses are GOTS, MADE SAFE, and GREENGUARD GOLD certified. Enjoy a lifetime limited warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Naturepedic Review | “My daughter loves sleeping in her crib and I think the mattress has everything to do with it. The outer covering is very easy to wash and put back on.” – Janelle (Read all reviews)

2. Saatva

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton, natural latex, eucalyptus fibers, recycled steel coils
Sizes | Dual-sided crib mattress, kids, twin
Ships To
| Contiguous US
Price | $355

Saatva is a leading disruptor in the mattress industry. All of Saatva’s products are made with plant-based materials and crafted in the USA. The Saatva Crib Mattress is essentially two beds in one, with one side focused on double-firm support for babies and the other with firm support for toddlers. Plus, the mattress is GREENGUARD GOLD, Cradle-To-Cradle, and OEKO-TEX certified, and treated with a water-repellent finish.

Saatva Review | “My husband and I shopped around for awhile for a crib mattress, which was a very daunting task—lots of options out there to set doubt in your mind about which is best for your child. Based on what to look for in our research we found that this was the best option!” – Lauren (Read all reviews)

3. Avocado

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton, organic latex, organic wool
Sizes | Dual-sided crib mattress, kids, twin
Ships To
| US
Price | Starts at $349
Discounts Available | Use code GOODTRADE at checkout to save 10% sitewide

Avocado, a leading name in the mattress industry, has created some of the most organic, sustainable, and well-crafted crib mattresses around. These baby beds are handmade at a GOTS and GOLS organic certified factory in Los Angeles with safe and natural materials—including organic cotton, wool, and latex. Avocado’s mattress makes our list for its organic ingredients and comfort. (I’ve literally napped on my daughter’s crib mattress because it’s that dreamy.) It’s also dual-sided for two levels of firmness to transition from baby to toddler stage. With a 25-year warranty, a 30-night trial, and a range of price points, this B Corp touts the very best.

Avocado Review | “Love that it’s non toxic and it’s so comfortable. Probably more comfortable than my bed. The fabric is so soft and the quality is great. Smells fresh too!” – Melissa T. (Read all reviews)

4. Brentwood Home

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton
Sizes | Dual-sided crib mattress, kids, twin
Ships To
| US
Price | $349

Brentwood Home’s waterproof crib mattress is designed for worry-free sleep. The recyclable PETE core is 90 percent air for breathability, includes two sides for babies and toddlers, and has an organic waterproof liner and removable cover. (The team has truly thought of it all!) Brentwood’s baby and kids’ mattresses are GREENGUARD GOLD certified, climate-neutral, and vegan — so it’s as safe for the planet as it is for your bundle of love.

Brentwood Home Review | “Couldn’t be happier with it! Makes me feel so much better knowing my child isn’t breathing in harmful chemicals from the old mattress and sleeping comfortably now.” – Kimberly C. (Read all reviews)

5. Organic Dream

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton
Sizes | Standard, mini, Pack and Play
Ships To
| Contiguous US
Price | Starts at $200

Organic Dream makes crib mattresses in the USA from high-quality materials that are GREENGUARD GOLD certified and hypoallergenic. The washable, breathable mattresses come with two stages of firmness to easily transition from infant to toddler sleep support. The #1 Pediatrician recommended mattress, the organic material is clean and free from pesticides, fertilizers, and toxic chemicals. Your baby will rest easy so you can, too.

Organic Dream Review | “So good we had to get a second one for our little nephew that just arrived.” – Angela A. (Read all reviews)

6. Colgate

Natural & Nontoxic | Natural cotton, eco-friendly foam
Sizes | Crib mattress, mini, bassinet
Ships To
| US
Price | Starts at $30

Colgate’s mattresses are as affordable as they are accessible, found at chains like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. With various options, you can choose from the natural cotton crib mattresses or the foam mattresses made from plant oils and eco-friendly materials. Colgate mattresses are made in the USA, CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD GOLD certified, and water- and tear-resistant (and some are baby/toddler adaptable, too). These baby mattresses check all the boxes.

Colgate Review | “We received the mattress and were able to put it in the crib right away. The mattress is really firm and will hold up very well…The extra money is worth it!” – Britney (Read all reviews)

7. Nestig

Natural & Nontoxic | Organic cotton cover and fill, food grade polymer
Sizes | Crib mattress, mini air mattress
Ships To
| US
Price | Starts at $129

For washable and breathable crib mattresses that are built to last, check out Nestig. The brand not only designs and builds cribs and other nursery furniture, but they also offer a great collection of crib mattresses from trustworthy bedding brands. Here you’ll find Naturepedic, Lullaby Earth, and Newton crib mattresses, each with their own special features, based on your needs. Removable, washable covers make it easy to care for your mattress when accidents happen, and if replacement covers are needed, Nestig carries a selection of mattress covers for when you’re in a pinch. Most of these mattresses are GREENGUARD GOLD certified and made in the USA, for peace of mind.

Nestig Review | “Love this whole system!!! I was depending on finding a cheaper mattress but I’m so happy we didn’t because the quality is impeccable. Our son loves his crib and loves relaxing on his firm yet supportive mattress” – Nicole S. (Read all reviews)

8. Lullaby Earth

Natural & Nontoxic | Polyurethane-free foam
Sizes | Dual-sided crib mattress
Ships To
| US
Price | $179

Lullaby Earth’s dual-stage mattress will have your baby sleeping soundly for years to come. Its lightweight core is made with 50 percent foam, and the waterproof surface is made with food-grade polyethylene (both of which are entirely recyclable!). It’s both MADE SAFE and GREENGUARD GOLD certified, and crafted without flame retardants, toxic chemicals, polyurethane foam, and more. Safe, sustainable, and stylish enough for any nursery or bedroom.

Lullaby Earth Review | “I have 4 kids, and this mattress is better than any cheap one we have tried. It’s comfortable, holds its shape, and fits great in the crib or toddler bed. Don’t hesitate- the customer service is excellent too!” – jenn4kids (Read all reviews)

9. Essentia

Natural & Nontoxic | Natural foam and latex, organic cotton
Sizes | Standard
Ships To
| Contiguous US
Price | $699

Essentia‘s LaLa Organic Crib Mattress is ahead of the class when it comes to clean certifications. Their natural memory foam mattresses are GOLS and GOTS certified, as well as nontoxic, ethically sourced, and sustainably made. Designed to support and cradle your little one without restricting blood flow or emitting allergens, these thoughtfully made mattresses are vegan, cruelty-free, and biodegradable to boot!

Essentia Review | “Love love it! My 18 month old daughter likes to sleep on her belly with her knees tucked up, and as soon as we switched to this mattress she had fewer night wake ups. I love the quality and love how comfortable it is for my little girl!” – Sophie S. (Read all reviews)

Featured image is from Avocado