Selecting Safer Mattresses: Natural & Organic

08.04.09 Selecting Safer Mattresses: Natural & Organic

organic mattress

If we’re lucky, our babies spend half the day (or more!) sleeping. Most parents will do just about anything to make this happen: relaxing mobiles, noise machines, and even hiring sleep trainers to help their babies get some zzzzzs. But what about the mattress?

(WARNING: Only read the following on a full night’s sleep, danger of high anxiety may occur.) A conventional mattress is typically made of polyurethane foam, polyester, and vinyl (PVC) and is treated with chemical fire retardants, all of which have come under scrutiny in recent years. Polyurethane foam has been found to off-gas volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.’s), which have been linked to respiratory irritation and other health problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. PVC coverings contain phthalates which have been found in human tissue, and have been linked by some researchers to cancer, hormone disruption and developmental problems. Some organic mattress advocates also link the use of Boric Acid, Antimony (a heavy metal similar to arsenic), and other flame retardants in mattresses to an increased risk of SIDS. Lastly, animal studies have suggested that the type of fire retardent known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or P.B.D.E.’s. causes impaired development of the nervous and reproductive systems.

So, does sleeping on a conventional mattress lead to one’s ultimate demise? We can't know the answer definitively, but given how much time we spend in bed, how susceptible babies and children are to toxins and how little control we have over the other environmental toxins we’re exposed to it makes sense to us to prioritize purchasing an organic mattress. And there are many wonderful (and comfy) options!


  • Look for an organic mattress. But beware, not all organic mattresses are created equal so shop carefully. A company can simply put an organic cotton cover on a conventional mattress and call it "organic."
  • Avoid chemical fire retardants in your child’s mattress. Instead look for options that use higher-quality materials such as wool that are naturally flame retardant.
  • Choose organic cotton bedding and wool or non-PVC mattress pads to accompany your mattress.

At MightyNest we provide only the best organic mattresses and bedding. No chemical flame retardants, no heavy metals, and no PVC.

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