I’m looking for a natural / chemical free mattress option for my 2 year old’s big girl bed, which we want to last her as long as possible.
I stumbled upon a DIY site and am thinking that it may work for us. I’m thinking of doing a 3 inch layer of natural latex (I know it still has chemicals, but is much better than many other options) wrapped in a bit of wool batting for now. It will probably be uncomfy for hubby and me to lie in bed with her, but we will plan to add another 3 inch layer of latex as she grows/once the budget allows, and we are both smaller people—so I don’t think it will be TOO awful.
Here are my questions:
Could I cover a latex/wool mattress with a waterproof cover — specifically I was thinking of the naturepedic covers, which I have for my bed and my daughter’s crib mattress. I know this goes a bit against my “natural/chemical free” thing, but I don’t see a wool puddle pad as being a good option for us (no experience with it - and I want something waterPROOF with a toddler), I figure naturepedic is probably the safest option as far as chemicals/offgassing etc. go. Would the wool in the mattress need to breathe? Will this kind of cover be OK? If the twin covers are like my queen one, they just sit on top of the mattress and drape a bit over the sides, but don’t wrap around the entire sides, so it could still breathe on most of the sides/bottom.
I was thinking of a platform bed frame (slats). I have no concept of how “sinky” the latex will be. If I only have 3 inches of latex to start with, what would you think the maximum width of the slats could be? I’m looking at one that is 4 inches between slats.
Do you think this set up could work well? I was also looking at a buckwheat hull DIY bed, but am shying away for a few reasons, unless someone can convince me it may be a better option.
[quote]I’m looking for a natural / chemical free mattress option for my 2 year old’s big girl bed, which we want to last her as long as possible.
I stumbled upon a DIY site and am thinking that it may work for us. I’m thinking of doing a 3 inch layer of natural latex (I know it still has chemicals, but is much better than many other options) wrapped in a bit of wool batting for now. It will probably be uncomfy for hubby and me to lie in bed with her, but we will plan to add another 3 inch layer of latex as she grows/once the budget allows, and we are both smaller people—so I don’t think it will be TOO awful.[/quote]
Post #2 here and the topics it links to also has much more information about mattresses and children 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 also include more information about many good options for children which may also be worth considering.
While 3" may be OK for your child … it would probably be too thin for you and most likely wouldn’t be very comfortable for you at all and it may not be as suitable a choice for her either when she gets older and larger. You would probably be better off with something a little thicker if you are looking for something that will last you longer.
A mattress cover (ticking), mattress encasements, and mattress protectors are all completely different products that are designed for different purposes. There is more about the differences between them in the last part of post #6 here but since they are different components designed for different purposes I wouldn’t use one as a replacement for another. I would tend to choose a suitable tight fitting mattress cover for the mattress itself and then use a thin “membrane type” of protector that fits like a fitted sheet on top of it that has a waterproof membrane on either the top surface or on five sides and is more easily removed and cleaned.
Post #1 here has more about the different type of support systems that are generally suitable for different types of mattresses and in the case of latex I would use a firm non flexing slatted foundation or a platform bed which has less than 3" of space between the slats (most slats would be 1x3’s which are actually .75" x 2.5") and with a thinner mattress then less spacing would be better yet because you would be much more likely to feel the slats under a thin mattress. If you purchase a foundation or a platform bed where the distance between the slats is too wide or you can feel the slats through the mattress then something like the bed rug here or one of the slat conversions here (which has no flex at all) or even one of the Ikea slatted bed bases here (which has some flex which may change how the mattress feels and performs) or even a vinyl lattice like this could help increase the surface area and improve the support under the mattress and reduce how much you would feel the slats.
While some people may like the idea of sleeping on buckwheat … I personally wouldn’t be one of the people that would try to convince you to try it compared to using latex.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I was not using the correct terminology. I meant to say I was planning to get the naturepedic mattress protector for the bed. Wasn’t planning to use it as the ticking. I just wasn’t sure if that was OK with wool or if it needed to breathe more and required a wool pad as a sort of protector.
Thank you for all of the wonderful information and links! I have a lot to research now. I appreciate all of the help!
Oops … sometimes terminology can be confusing when the same words (such as a “mattress cover”) are often used to describe two different components so you may be asking about one and I can end up answering about another :).
In any case I hope the reply was helpful and the type of mattress protector you use would be more about the pros and cons of the different types of protectors themselves than the type of mattress you are using it on.
With a toddler, then a more waterproof protector (such as one of the membrane types) vs water resistant would be more important to protect against any accidents even if it’s a little less breathable.