Crib Mattress & Bedding

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Organic Crib Infant Mattress

June 2012

I am looking to purchase an organic crib infant mattress and am curious what others have gone with. I have been looking at RockaBye Organics ( b/c I like that they have 100% organic items (no plastic, fire retardants, etc.). They carry Ecobaby, Natural Mat, Vivetique mattresses. Do any of you have any reviews on these? I would appreciate feedback. Thank you! Looking for a Baby Mattress

We have a Colgate Kids organic crib mattress. The version is the Natural I with cior fibre (coconut husks bonded with natural latex) My son is almost 4 and still using it in his toddler bed. It's held up really well and is so comfortable for him. It was one of the least expensive organic mattresses we found too. I found a good deal searching for it online.

Nook. Expensive, but the best. Katie

Crib Sheets too &*%# tight!

Oct 2009

Can anyone recommend a brand of crib sheets that fit snugly but aren't impossible to get on? I don't want to endanger my son, but the sheets I got at Babies-R-Us are so snug that the seams are ripping from me forcing them on to the mattress. Changing the sheets makes me curse. Any suggestions for a better way? Clueless about crib sheets

Lands' End has very good sheets and they usually have deep pockets on their fitted sheets. THe folks who answer their phones are very helpful, and they can probably forward you to a sheet expert on staff who can talk withyou in detail about their product, especially if you call during mid-west working hours. Anon

I have been using QuickZip crib sheets from this website and I am extremely happy and satisfied with them. It is a snap to change them because you only change the top portion and you do not have to get the mattress off the crib. It has been 4 years that I got them and they are like new. Suna

Get the jersey knit (tee shirt material) crib sheets - they stretch and are super-soft, too. JP

I learned from my nanny to put a folded up receiving or other type of blanket on the crib sheet. This helps keep the crib sheet cleaner for a little bit longer. Otherwise, don't know of a solution for the too tight sheets. Jennifer

All I have to say is WORD! Glad I'm not the only one dealing with uber tight sheets. I'll be looking forward to seeing the suggestions! anon

I've used The Company Store crib sheets and they are great. They have elastic around the entire sheet (cheaper ones have elastic only around the corners) and fit snug but are not impossible to change. Send me an email, I have a couple of extra ones. sinbad

You'll probably get a lot of replies about this product, but there are zip-on crib sheets from a company called Clouds and Stars that make changing sheets very easy. There's a base part that fits around the entire mattress and then a top part that zips on to cover only the top of the mattress. You have to lift out the mattress to put them on initially, but then to change them you just zip off the top and zip on another. You can order the top part separately so you can have an extra top or two handy. I also found some crib mattress pads that don't wrap around the entire mattress, just sit on top, so you can tuck it under the edges of the bottom section of the sheet and change it easily as well if there's a huge mess or for regular washing. I think the pad was from Babies R Us, and the Clouds and Stars website is Debbie

I don't use them anymore, but wow, I could have written that post! I thought I was the only person who had ever ripped crib sheets trying to get them on!

I found that some were much easier than others. Character sheets - Sesame Street, Disney - went on much easier. But the easiest of all - the ones from Ikea. They were lifesavers. Cryin' over crib sheets no more

Which organic crib mattress?

April 2008

I want to buy an organic crib mattress, but there seem to be zillions out there. Anyone either have one that was affordable that they love or know of a website that evaluates such things? Thanks! Melanie

Rockridge kids carries them, as does organic mama

We got our organic crib mattress from Ecobaby Organics ( through O!BabyBaby, the eco-friendly baby shop at the top of Solano. They have a frequent buyer program there -- something like 'you get a $50 gift card for every $500 you buy' -- so we were that much closer to our gift card! Plus the people who run the shop are wonderful and the mattress was the one I'd wanted anyway. I think Ecobaby mattresses are made in San Diego and they're around $300. I'm very very happy with the quality and comfort, and it was shipped quickly to the store (I'm not sure if you can get it shipped directly to your house if you order through O!BabyBaby). Alexandra

I highly recommend Life Kind for organic mattresses of all types and sizes. They're based near Grass Valley, CA and I've purchased a few for various beds in the house. Love them!

Does crib mattress have to be so hard?

Jan 2008

I know crib mattresses are supposed to be firm but my daughter will only sleep on her side and I can't help but feeling like a little give in the mattress would make her more comfortable. Is there any crib mattress or mattress topper with side sleeping in mind? Or, alternatively, should I put a small folded blanket under her head? Am I just projecting my own ideas onto her (as my sister says) and just leave it alone? anon

I think she's probably perfectly comfortable. I also worried about how comfortable it would be for my baby to sleep on her side without a pillow, until I realized babies' heads are huge compared to ours. For us to sleep on our side without a pillow, the head sort of would hang down from where the shoulder touches the mattress. But their heads are so large compared to the rest of their bodies, that I think their heads naturally touch the mattress even without a pillow to raise it up. And since soft mattresses and extra bedding (especially around their faces) are associated with strangulation and SIDS, I think it's best to leave her alone. sarah

It would be worth entertaining the idea that you are projecting your own concerns onto your child. Is she having any trouble sleeping? Do you have any evidence to suggest that she is having a problem?

We have found ourselves surprised at the positions, temperatures, etc. that our son finds comfortable. Head in a corner, no covering, legs in the air....As long as he is sleeping, I don't change a thing! If it ain't broke....

My eldest baby (who's now 5!) had trouble sleeping in his crib when he was a young infant. I had a firm crib mattress and very thin mattress pad for safety. The bed seemed so hard so I bought some ''ultra mattress pad'' from Babies 'r us that was a lot more plush. Immediately he was able to sleep in his crib for longer stretches. Seems safer than putting a blanket under their heads. Neither of my children started using pillows until they were out of their cribs, around 2 1/2. Good luck

Organic crib mattress at a reasonable price?

April 2007

Any recommendations on organic crib mattresses, preferrably at a reasonable price? I'm looking for good brands and/or where to find them.

I bought our organic crib mattress at which is actually based in walnut creek. The owner is a very sweet woman, Daliya Robison. She gets the best prices i could find. also has sheets, bumpers, etc. we also, by the way, bought our totally natural, non-toxic wool carpet from her and it was SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than anything else I could find (and i did a lot of research for that huge purchase.) Lisa

I found a good organic crib mattress online at DaxStores. it was more expensive than a conventional one but cheaper than other organic ones. overall their prices are better on such things than other companies and their service is personable and excellent. no chemicals please

i bought an organic mini co-sleeper mattress (futon actually) through tiny birds organics ( that i really liked. i don't think they sell the futon anymore but they have a few choices for other organic mattresses starting at around 200 bucks (not cheap but i think you get what you pay for...).

they also have some good choices at dax ( i bought a secondhand one through bpn that was originally purchased at earthsake on 4th street in berkeley. we also have been very happy with that mattress (you can also purchase their mattresses online ( html/cribmattresses.html). i really like knowing that my baby sleeps on an organic mattress and organic sheets. i haven't bought one yet but am considering getting a wool puddle pad to put on top of the mattress or a yard of wool fabric from tiny birds organics that they say you can use for the same purpose.

just a side note - if you take good care of your mattress i think it would be very easy to sell on bpn when you are done and at least make back some of the money.

good luck! another mama who doesn't want her baby breathing in chemicals all night

Non-toxic, non-offgassing organic crib mattress

Sept 2003

I am interested in buying a non-toxic, non-offgassing organic cotton and wool crib mattress. I have looked at a number of websites that sell these mattresses including: EcoBaby, Organic Bebe, Abundant Earth, Allergy Buyers Club, and Nirvana Safe Haven. [I have also checked the BPN website for recommendations, but they are older and not very specific.] I'd like to find a local seller if possible because you can't actually feel the mattress first if you buy it online, and the shipping time can be up to four weeks. We'd like to buy one sooner if possible. But, I'd also like to hear from anyone who bought one online. Has anyone purchased one of these? Are you happy with it? Was it firm enough (I prefer quite firm -- for safety)? Is there anywhere in the Bay Area to purchase this type of mattress in person? [Please note: I am not interested in buying a crib futon, foam mattress, conventional mattress, or latex mattress.] Thanks! Emily

Well, I sort of found the answer to my own question! So, in case anyone else is interested . . .

After lots of research, I think the best deal is the ''SNQ-Crib'' model mattress made by Crown City Mattress. They have a good reputation for manufacturing ''green'' products. They have two crib mattresses. The cheaper one referred to above is made from organic cotton and Pure Grow wool. It is machine quilted and tufted. There are many re-sellers online who sell it for a variety of prices. The cheapest I could find (cheaper even than direct from Crown City) was at ( for $264. Their other mattress is with the same materials, but hand tufted and with more of the materials to make it thicker and loftier. It is around $430.

Other websites sell a Canadian-made organic crib mattress, but I couldn't find much information about it and decided to go with this one. I'm still interested in hearing what others might have to say! Emily

Hi! We bought an firm, organic wool crib mattress from Earth Sake (on fourth street) about two years ago. I can't remember the brand, but i am sure they can help you out. We have been extremely happy with it, no complaints!

We bought organic mattresses for ourselves (double size) and our son (twin size) at Earthsake on 4th Street in Berkeley. So far, we have been very happy with them. They have several different organic styles and firmness levels on display, so you can check them out there. They also have a website. I don't know if they offer any of the mattresses in crib size, though. Their number is 559-8440. R.K.

What brand of crib mattress?

July 2003

I need recommendations for what kind of crib mattress to buy and where to buy it. I looked at previous recommendations but couldn't find any for my dilemma . The mattress that I'm using now for my 19 months old is very used (by others). The reason I want to replace it now, is because I suspect it may be the reason for her cough and having some asthma episodes. I'm not looking for a top-of-the-line kind, since I'm going to invest in a hypoallergenic cover specially made to protect from dust mites and other allergens. Thanks for any recommendation.

There's a book called something like ''Baby Bargains'' (narrow format, i think the cover was green) that recommended mattresses, among other equipment. It bases its recommendations on consumer reports and other such research. I leant the book to someone, so can't give you details. But our crib mattress is a Colgate Ultra II, and I'm pretty sure it was highly rated by the book.

By the way, I think the best part of the Baby Bargains book is not the ideas it gives for low cost shopping, but the evaluations and ratings of products. I recommend it. mary

Have you considered an all-cotton crib futon? They are foam- free, chemical-free, and naturally hypoallergenic. We got one at Matsu ( on Solano Ave., and paid only $70 for an 8-layer futon. The people who work there are really knowledgeable, and worth talking to if you're at all interested! Monica

About 3 1/2 years ago I bought our crib mattress at Toys R Us. It's a big-name one, like Serta or Simmons, and it was about $60.00 for the deluxe one, well worth the price. It's plastic covered, and is still in new condition (it's on kid #2, who is now 18 months). Heidi

The problem with baby mattresses is the material used in them. Cotton as a crop is heavily sprayed with pesticides and then cotton material is treated with chemicals to finish it, so organic is preferable. Then the mattresses are treated with flame retardant - which sounds good in theory but you may have seen the article in the SF Chron the other day about the health hazards of flame retardant and babies are just more vulnerable to that stuff. That's why I'd recommend an organic cotton mattress. Ecobaby, a San Diego based mail order business has them - on line or call for a catalogue (sorry don't have the number handy). Unfortunately, not cheap but check it out, you may not find it too much. susan

Many crib mattresses, especially those for small children, come packed with flame retardant and for good reason too. Recent information suggests that these chemicals may be harmful to susceptible children. Dr.Lendon Lee, a pediatrician, wrote about research in New Zealand that showed that SIDs was greatly reduced there when the baby mattresses were wrapped in a special mattress cover. The cover prevented the normally occurring household bacteria from dining on the chemicals and producing toxic gas by-products that hovered close to the surface of the mattress. The article appeared in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients and I reported this in an earlier post, which I hope can be found in the archives. You could also do a search at to locate the information. Perhaps simply wrapping the mattress would be helpful for your child. Nori Hudson

When you look at the study recommended in the last newsletter a couple of things quickly pop up:
1) they are selling a product (a baby safe mattress cover)
2) the study had all folks who ''wrapped'' their mattress also placed their child on the back to sleep, which has been shown in many studies to reduce the risk of SIDS
3) No sample size was given, no longitudinal studies, nothing else was given in the Mercola article. It's very hard to figure out whether the study is relevant at all.
4) Fire Retardence clearly is one of the most cost-effective life saving interventions (see Five Hundred Hundred Life Saving Interventions and their cost-effectiveness, (Harvard School of Public Health ) and the risk that your child faces from fire is actually higher than the risk of SIDS

I think assuming that any one product can ''save'' a child from SIDS is somewhat dangerous, and is likely only to blame a parent for not purchasing a product. Public Health Educator

New crib mattress = dangerous fumes?

April 2003

We are considering buying a new mattress for our 6-month-old son. However, my sister told me that there is concern that new mattresses can give off fumes that may be harmful to infants. Does anyone know about this? Is there a source for fume-free mattresses? If we go ahead and buy a new mattress, would it help to let it ''cure'' unwrapped & unused for a few weeks? Thanks in advance! Patrick

There has been some concern that the chemicals that off-gas from mattresses can do harm to the people, adults as well as children, who sleep on them. My perspective was that there was so much I couldn't control about the amount of chemicals that my baby was going to be exposed to throughout her life - this was one thing I did have control over. There are many different organic mattresses on the market made with chemical-free wool or cotton, or a combination of the two. You will have to decide if the added cost is worth it to you, versus investing your money in some other aspect of your baby's well-being. Ecobaby sells several models of organic crib mattress and futons ( The Earthsake store on 4th street in Berkeley has organic adult mattresses; you might call to see if they carry crib size too. steadman

A good friend just sent me this link regarding cribdeath and new mattresses. The study was conducted in New Zealand. Wrapping my mattress

Go with an organic mattress! No fumes, no poisons to the ground that grew it, no chemicals used and dumped in the process of making it - safe and wonderful for your baby. A great source is Lifekind Products,

This was a big issue for me when my son was born. I was quite concerned about outgassing (from mattresses certainly but also from the crib itself, a new dresser, the rug ...). I read a book called ''The Natural Nursery'' which made new, vinyl covered mattresses sound quite dangerous, especially now that babies are sleeping on their stomachs and have their faces right up against the mattress. I looked around for a toxin-free solution, but I wasn't able to locate an affordable ''green'' mattress that I felt comfortable with -- I found ones without the vinyl covering or foam inside, but I was concerned about my son peeing in bed and soaking the mattress. The ''non-toxic'' mattresses I found also cost 3x the price of a regular mattress at Babies-R-Us. My husband and I ended up buying a regular foam-free crib mattress and letting it out-gas for a couple months (unwrapped) before we used it. I feel like we may have compromised too quickly, though, and in hindsight I wish that we had investigated getting a used mattress from a friend. Kathryn

Kathryn wrote: ''especially now that babies are sleeping on their stomachs and have their faces right up against the mattress'' And I became extremely alarmed. Babies are NOT supposed to be put on their stomachs and should ALWAYS be put on their backs. The SIDS organizations have been trying to get the word out through advertisements, etc. for parents to be sure to put their babies to sleep on their backs! Please don't put your baby to sleep on his/her stomach - this has been found to be one of the leading causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! Anon

Hi everybody - I wanted to thank the anonymous person who corrected my recent post, and I wanted to apologize to the network for not proofreading more carefully. When I wrote my response, I had meant to convey that I believe it is unhealthy for babies to sleep on brand-new mattresses and (in my opinion) it is probably especially unhealthy if they are on their stomachs on new mattresses. I don't know where my brain was when I totally jumbled that thought and implied that kids are supposed to be on their stomachs to sleep. Again, THANK YOU anonymous person for not letting my mistake go unnoticed! I really value this network and feel terrible that I accidentally contributed incorrect information. Kathryn

Re-using a crib mattress

Feb 2003

I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything about how you aren't supposed to use a crib mattress for more than one baby. My brother and his wife recently went shopping for baby furniture and when they were looking at mattresses the person at the store was telling them that you shouldn't re-use one unless it is the expensive kind that is waterproof and scotchguarded and what not. She said that when the baby throws up, pees, or whatever on the less expensive ones it goes into the mattress and stays there. So even though the first kid had no troubles, the next child may not be immune to the same things and could then get sick from it. I hope I'm making sense. It sounded better when he said it. But anyways, it still kind of sounds like a load to me. It just seems a little over-cautious. Has anyone else heard this and is it legitimate? Or is the lady just trying to sell a more expensive bed? She also mentioned buying a waterproof mattress pad if you want to re-use the mattress but don't want to spring for the extras. But a water resistent mattress pad isn't good enough. Of course that's what we have. Ah well. Thanks for your input! Sarah

Sounds like a sales pitch to me, too. Urine is practically sterile; gut bacteria from feces and vomit don't survive drying out too well, and it's unlikely your baby will have his mouth on the mattress, since presumably you are using a clean sheet and pad.

Tot #2 WILL get sicker than tot #1, though--it's the sheer math of two sets of playmates coming into contact with the baby. Not to mention that with your attention divided, #2 tends to a lot more dirt and crud, too. I wouldn't blame it on the crib mattress, though.

In my opinion, you are right, that IS a load. My now 2 year old son is using the crib that was his cousin's (and her sister's before that!) I bought two new waterproof mattress pads so I can be cleaning one and still have one on - and just washed them before I put them on. Then, of course, there is a sheet on top of that. How can months-old pee, spit-up, etc even GET to the baby? It sounds like a good way to sell more mattresses to me. Go with your gut - you're probably right!
A thrifty mama

There have been two studies linking reusing a crib mattress to SIDS. Both showed a small but significant positive correlation between a reused crib mattress and the baby dying of SIDS, with a stronger correlation if the mattress came from another family. Researchers (and crib salesmen) hypothesize that the reason for this link is that bacteria get into the mattress and can then sicken baby number two, though no one actually knows why this correlation appears. The problem with these studies is that, although the second one tried to control for socioeconomic factors, it is almost impossible with a retrospective study. I mean, let's face it. How many people of limited means are going to throw out a perfectly good crib mattress just so the new baby can have an unused one? That's the main criticism I've read of the conclusion.

My opinion: I think it is premature scientifically to conclude that buying a new mattress will protect your baby from SIDS or other health problems. This is the sort of recommendation that is easy for doctors to promote, and easy for worried parents to latch onto, and it doesn't hurt that there is an entire industry benefitting from the anxiety. I'd wash the mattress cover and not worry about it.

The concern about mattresses is related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death. The theory is that some of the fire-retardant chemicals in the mattress react with naturally occuring mold (which gets a boost from moisture coming from baby). This reaction releases toxic gases. Wrapping the mattress with a water proof cover which does not contain the chemicals in question works both by keeping moisture away from the mold, but more importantly keeping gases away from babies. There is more info at the link below:
safety dad

My instinct is that a used crib mattress is probably safer than a new one because it has had more of a chance to offgas. Chemicals used in the manufacture of crib mattresses are suspected of being related to an increased incidence of SIDS. We chose a crib futon instead, to avoid these toxins, but if I had to I'd use an old mattress over a new one. Here is more information: The source we got the crib futon from, admittedly biased has a bit of information on this topic... look in the crib section:
avoiding indoor air pollution!

Where to buy crib bedding?

Jan 2003

Can anyone recommend a place to buy crib bedding? I am looking especially for a bumper and quilt set that is good quality and a bit more original than the sets I have seen at Babies R Us. Possibly someone knows of a linen store that might carry baby bedding? Thank you! Molly

Try Eddie Bauer and Lands' End. Eddie Bauer has a couple of cute, original patterns that are good quality and not as expensive as those you'd find in baby boutiques. I bought my daughter's crib sheets from Lands' End and they are GREAT. Very high quality... and they have not shrank at all. No fighting and pulling and stretching to get it on the mattress!

I just went through an exhaustive search for affordable crib bedding.

Every used store said that they don't carry crib bedding because it usually doesn't come in in good condition.

Pottery barn sells their sets as separates (ie crib sheet, bumper, all sold seperate) and they total around $250 if you get everything. I checked those out at the Pottery Barn Kids store at Corte Madera. They were pretty cute but the material didn't feel great.

In the east bay, Baby's World has about 20 crib sets, plus individual bumpers that are solid colors, and crib sheets. Prices were from $100-500. I didn't like most of them, but they have a variety. Cotton and Kids had really nice ones: adorable patterns, wonderful material, but they were expensive, from about $300-600. sarah

You can find a nice selection of crib bedding online at or Also locally I ordered some very nice bedding for our first child through Baby World on Piedmont Avenue. I have also seen nice bumper sets at Lauren's closet in Alameda, the consignment store (sheet sets were new and cribs were consigned.) Good luck! cheryl

I bought my crib bedding at Pottery Barn Kids. There is a new store at the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville. Or you could go online and check out what they have on sale. Their ''lines'' go on sale every 3-4 months so you can get some good deals--I got bumpers for as little as $8.99!! If you see something that's not on sale now that you like and you can wait, it will eventually go on sale. Also, the website has closeout stuff that is no longer in stores. pbkidslover

Try online: there are dozens of retailers and discounters offering every imaginable pattern/quality of baby bedding, and even e-Bay has some good stuff. I actually got something from babies'r'us through Amazon, and it's a very nice quality, non- gender specific, cutesy-character free set in patchwork plaid, with a very well made quilt. The brand is Kidsline, and it seems to be holding up well. The main thing about buying baby bedding sets is to look for sales and discounts, because they really gouge you: for example, I was able to find Carter's brand crib sheets that match reasonably well with my set at Ross for $4 per sheet: I've seen single sheets of comparable quality for $12 or $16 each! Alexa

Good crib bedding can be found at Their bedding is made of organic cotton, so it is pretty pricey. However it is a nice, healthy alternative to most crib bedding available at large chain stores. Melissa

Crib mattress seems too hard and I'm worried about chemicals


I currently have a Simmons Baby Beautyrest Backcare IV mattress for my six month old baby. However, from day one it has always seemed so hard. We often compare it to sleeping on a wood floor. I didn't let it bother me since I felt it would be safer for her but I just can't stand seeing her sleeping on it any longer. I am looking for a mattress that is firm but still comfortable.

Also, since trying to research one on the Internet I have come across lots of information regarding the dangers of chemicals found in commercial mattresses. Is it really better or worth it for a natural chemical-free mattress or is this a lot of hype to sell expensive mattresses? Is there a place where one can go to buy these besides the Internet? Thanks for any info you might be able to offer me. Liza

Regarding the chemicals in new mattresses, I avoided them by buying a used crib mattress. Jennifer

The best crib mattresses are the lightweight ones because you change the sheets so constantly. Buying an expensive equivalent of an adult mattress is unnecessary & bad for your back. The best lightweight ones are simply foam, which can be very very firm or softer. If foam exhudes chemicals it's news to me but aren't you going to encase it in plastic anyway, then a cotton mattress cover? I'd let the plastic air for a day or two & then forget about it. Mary Ann

I did a lot of research on crib mattresses when we were decorating our son's bedroom. I found a fabulous book in the Berk. public library's downtown branch about eco-friendly, non-toxic stuff for children. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the book, but I'm sure you could peruse the bookshelves of the library or Cody's and find it.

We bought a Crown II mattress from Lullaby Lane in San Mateo. Very reasonable, about $120.00. Sturdy coils, and very little(1/4 foam. Foam is the material you want to avoid in mattresses. I had read it off-gasses formaldyhyde(sp?). Any mattress you purchase should be aired out for at least a few days outside before putting your child on it. Maya

I saw the posting about the recommendation to buy a used crib mattress. I would caution you about using a used mattress for your newborn or very young baby. You run into issues about mold, contamination from urine,bacteria, etc. Also, can you really verify the complete history of a used mattress? How many kids slept on it? Was it ever stored improperly? My sister-in-law cautioned me about buying a used mattress after she had read an article about the link between used/well worn crib mattresses and SIDs. Maya

I bought a 100% cotton futon for my daughter at Discount Depot in Berkeley. They will make one to fit your crib, it cost me less than $100. Ecobaby sell an organic cotton futon that is crib size but it costs about $400 plus shipping. Foam mattresses should be avoided (by both babies and adults) because of the off gassing of chemicals which you inhale while sleeping. Mary