There is a big difference in the selection criteria of mattresses when you are buying it for babies and infants from that of adults. For adults, the aspect that comes to the fore during buying is the ability of the mattress to support the body comfortably beside allowing adequate cooling so that you can have a good sleep. Other considerations mostly relate to the comfort factor. But, when buying mattresses for babies, it is not just enough to refer to the list of top 10 best mattresses.
You have to give more emphasis on how safe the mattress is for babies because mattresses release several chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOC). Babies face long-term exposure to chemicals emitted from mattresses as they sleep for 10 to 14 hours a day on an average. If you could ensure the chemicals emitted from crib mattresses are non-toxic, it would be the most suitable mattress for babies.
Sources of toxic chemicals in crib mattresses
Polyurethane foam, a highly flammable petroleum product, is the most common material used in crib mattresses. Benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and many other toxic chemicals found in the additives used with polyurethane are quite harmful to babies.
Crib mattresses have a waterproof covering made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which has high toxicity and an enemy of good health. The Vinyl Chloride compound in PVC, a combination of chlorine and petroleum is a well-known carcinogenic agent for humans.
The plasticizers in PVC leach out toxins or emit obnoxious and harmful gases. To impart flame retardant properties to the mattress materials, chemicals that are more toxic find its way into crib mattresses. The chemicals emitted from fire retarding materials pollute the air.
Organic crib mattresses are the answer
Although organic crib mattresses are the only answer to the problem of toxicity, you must ensure that besides the filling material or foam all other materials used for mattress making are safe and non-toxic. It makes no sense to use non-toxic foam with PVC covering, as it would still be harmful. Similarly, check the quality of the fire retardant material used in the mattress because this is another potential source of toxic chemicals. Therefore, just settling for organic crib mattresses is not enough unless you know that all the elements used in making crib mattresses are entirely free from toxic chemicals.
Focus on the fiber
Organic is a term that refers to agricultural products that follow environmental and human-friendly methods of producing and processing the materials. When we talk about organic crib mattresses, the focus is on the fiber used for creating the foam effect. It can be either wool or cotton produced by the requirements of organic farming and processed without using harmful chemicals. Ensure that the fiber products meet the standards set by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).
Organic cotton is ideal for filling material in crib mattresses as it is firm, non-toxic and breathable. Just ensure that the waterproofing material is made from non-toxic plastic to make the mattress entirely safe for babies.
About the author: Gordon Fowler is a green activist and freelance writer who advocate the use of environmentally friendly products in our daily lives. He has contributed to creating the list of top 10 best mattresses by sharing his knowledge on the subject. Gordon travels a lot because he likes to mix with people.