Navigating the world of safety features and certifications when shopping for baby bedding can be overwhelming. A baby’s skin is delicate, so providing not only the softest, but the safest modern baby bedding and crib mattresses is of upmost importance. Here’s a guide and glossary of safety terms and certifications for baby bedding to help navigate these features.
No Flame Retardants
Standard baby mattresses can contain foam that’s riddled with toxic chemicals that were initially designed to decrease flammability, such as CFC’s, PBDE’s or TDCPP, all of which either off-gas or accumulate in household dust. Since a baby comes in close contact with their mattress for extended periods of time, it’s best to opt for a mattress that is flame retardant-free. Other safe materials include Oeko-Tex®-safety-certified PETE, CertiPUR®-US foam and all-natural latex, and organic wool is used instead as a natural flame retardant.
Firm mattress support is recommended for infants, and coconut coir is a natural, chemical free fiber that provides durable, lasting firm support. Coconut coir is composed of the course fibers that are extracted from the husks of harvested coconuts. The coir is naturally fire retardant, anti-microbial, breathes for temperature regulation and is liquid resistant.
Mattresses with all natural eucalyptus help to regulate your baby’s temperature while sleeping. Eucalyptus draws heat from the infants’ skin helping to keep the temperature in the crib consistent so your baby won’t wake up from over heating.
Zinc infused fibers help to create a surface that is resistant to microbes, mites, and odor. Textiles with zinc make cleaning up messes faster and easier, so parents can clean up quickly and get back to bed.
Natural latex foam is made from rubber serum, the sap that comes from rubber trees. Rubber trees provide sustainable and long term harvesting, as a rubber tree can yield latex for up to 30 years. Natural latex breathes in ways conventional mattresses can’t, and a mattress made of natural latex can last three times longer than a standard mattress.
Certified Organic Cotton
Baby bedding and textiles that are made from 100% certified organic cotton ensure that your baby is sleeping on chemical free sheets and blankets.
Certified Organic Kapok
Kapok fiber comes from the fluffy fiber surrounding the seeds of the tropical kapok tree. It is a light and natural fiber that’s been given the name “silk cotton.” It’s lighter than cotton, and their hollow fibers allow them to act as a thermo-regulator, making it a more breathable material. Kapok fiber is also water resistant, making it an excellent choice for baby bedding as it wicks away moisture, giving your baby a more comfortable sleep. Certified organic Kapok is free of toxins, synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and GMO’s.
Organic Pigments and Dyes
Some colored dyes can be toxic, but organic pigments and dyes are gentler and safer for use around babies. But if you’re not sure, opt for unbleached organic white bedding, as it is more likely to have been left untreated with harsh chemicals.
Creating a safe environment for you child requires lots of research and investment in the right products to support their needs. I hope you find this guide useful as you prepare for the arrival of your newest family member and as you continue to support your growing family.
Nicole is the Sr. Site Merchandiser for Accessories, Kids, and Textiles at YLiving. She is obsessed with great design in all forms with a special love for jewelry, wine bottle labels, and tableware. When she’s not exploring the many museums and art galleries of the Bay Area, Nicole spends time looking for and visiting obscure and unusual destinations (locally and abroad) while practicing her photography skills.