What to look for in a crib mattress

Q: We're working on our baby registry, and the crib mattresses all seem the same to me. Are some better than others? What should I be looking for?

A: That’s such a great question, as all crib mattresses are not created equally. Many crib mattresses use materials that can be harmful or are treated with dangerous chemicals. You’ll want to avoid any mattress treated with flame-retardant chemicals, which are known carcinogens. Luckily, healthy alternatives such as wool act as a natural flame retardant.

It’s also wise to avoid mattresses that contain polyurethane foams, vinyl and adhesives, all of which are known to emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (vocs) that can be detrimental to a baby’s developing respiratory and immune system. Instead, look for options that employ supportive coil systems and Gots-certified organic cotton for baby’s comfort.

Once you purchase a mattress and before placing baby down for that first night of sleep, make sure that there are no major gaps between the mattress and the crib. Remember, too, that the mattress should be firm to ensure your baby’s safety and promote proper growth. 

—Bradley Bonic, director of marketing at MyGreenMattress.com

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