need help with a "natural" mattress for kid

My head is spinning trying to find a chemical free reasonable mattress for my kid. I am based in bay area and have spend the last 3 weeks searching, reading and realizing that i would rather undergo another root canal then read more about different certification types. I am in serious need of help. I started with Nest Bedding Love bed, but they apparently completely changed their mattress and no longer have latex and are no longer oeko tex certified. we tried European sleep works in berkeley, and they seem ok but i dont understand if their natural claims are valid or not. we also looked at essentia, but then read this website and i dont think we want to buy it anymore. we also looked at earthsake, but i read that wool if not organic can be bad because dust mites and other crap. :silly: :blink: :S HALP! any thoughts on european sleep works or earthsake? (Naturepedic is a no go cause its not comfortable at all)
Requirements: as chemically free as possible. reasonably firm (3 year old), full size, under 2k
thank you!

Hi besiaka,

The only reliable way to to assess the “safety” of different materials in more general terms is based on lab tests and the certifications they have for harmful substances and VOCs so that you have some assurance that any harmful substances or VOCs are below the testing limits for the certification (see post #2 here for more information about some of the more reliable “safety” certifications). If the materials in a mattress or the mattress itself has a reliable “safety” certification then for most people they would certainly be “safe enough” … regardless of the type of material or the name of the manufacturer on the label.

The old version contained polyfoam in the quilting and the base layer and only contained Oeko-tex certified latex in the comfort layer. Their new version contains a high performance polyfoam in the comfort layer instead of the latex but the polyfoam in all their mattresses is Certi-Pur certified so for most people it would be “safe enough”.

I think highly of European Sleep Works and they generally describe the materials in their mattresses accurately.

You’ve probably read some of this but there are some comments about Essentia and some of the misleading claims they make and some forum discussions with them (as well as some of the FTC issues they have had about their claims) in this thread and this thread and posts #3 and #4 here). Some of the discussion in this topic may be helpful as well.

The “bottom line” is that there isn’t any “natural” memory foam and I certainly wouldn’t treat the information on their website (or on some of the other websites I’ve seen that write about them either) as a reliable source of “fact based” information. I would also make some very careful “value” comparisons before considering any Essentia mattress because they tend to be in a much higher budget range than other mattresses that use similar materials as well.

I certainly wouldn’t agree with this and some of the “non organic” wool that many manufacturers use in their mattresses is a very high quality and “safe” material (see post #2 here).

The most natural materials would be 100% natural latex (see post #18 here), natural fibers (such as wool, cotton, flax linen, silk etc), rubberized coir, and depending on how you are defining natural … perhaps steel innersprings or microcoils as well (steel isn’t natural but most people would consider it to be “natural enough” and “safe enough”).

Most people that are looking for an “organic” mattress are usually concerned more with “safety” than whether the materials have an actual organic certification. There is more information about the three different levels of organic certifications in post #2 here and some of the benefits of an organic certification in post #3 here and there is more about the different types of organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and more about some of the differences between organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and there are some comments in post #42 here that can help you decide whether an organic certification is important to you for environmental, social, or personal reasons or whether a “safety” certification is enough.

While it may be more information than you are looking for … there is also a lot more information in post #2 here and the more detailed posts and information it links to about safe, natural, organic, “chemical free”, and “green” mattresses and mattress materials that can help you sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you differentiate between them and answer “how safe is safe enough for me” or “how natural is natural enough for me” and that can help you decide on the type of materials and components you are most comfortable having in your mattress or on the certifications that may be important to you. These types of issues are complex and are generally specific to each person and their individual sensitivities, circumstances, criteria, beliefs, and lifestyle choices.

There is a great deal of information in post #2 here and the topics it links to about mattresses and children and “suitable” and “safe” materials including a link to some general guidelines for children in post #2 here. It also includes a number of links to the better forum posts and topics about mattress and children as well which have more information about many good options for children which would be well worth considering.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in and around the San Francisco/San Rafael/Oakland/Berkeley areas (subject to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here) are listed in post #2 here. You certainly have some good options in the general area.

Your concerns about chemicals in mattresses … particularly in mattresses that use materials that have a reliable certification … may not be completely justified and I would keep in mind that there is a lot of “fear mongering” in the industry that is designed to convince consumers to buy more costly mattresses than they really need to.


Thanks! lots of useful info! i think we are going with european sleep works

Hi besiaka,

Their children’s mattress would certainly make a good quality/value choice and with the natural materials and the certifications they have it would certainly make a very “safe” choice as well.

Assuming that you decide to pull the trigger … congratulations on your new mattress :).

I’m looking forward to any comments and feedback you have the chance to share once you’ve received it and your child has had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.