Some stores sell "organic mattresses" or "non-chemical" mattresses (consisting of 'all-natural' latex, as if latex were not a chemical) for children.

Some of them make health claims, with an implication is that non-organic mattresses are going to give your kid some kind of horrible disease.


Components used for the production of polyurethane memory foams

Components researched: isocynates; methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane; acetone; benzene; ethylene oxide; formaldehyde

Biological Monitoring - Is memory foam safe?

Clinical evaluations conducted by Duke University; Source ATSDR - Public health advisory Public Health Implications: The exact amount of TDI required to cause adverse health effects is unknown. People have become sensitized after being exposed to as little as 20 parts per billion (ppb). After sensitization there is no amount of TDI that one may be exposed to safely. Studies have shown that in sensitized individuals, asthmatic attacks can occur after exposed to TDI air concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb.

Testing Results: Of 113 participants tested, 10 participant (9%) developed antibodies.


In this day and age of chemical living, it is so important to limit baby's exposure to toxic chemicals. Non-organic cotton sheets are often treated with formaldehyde. Non-organic crib mattresses and non- natural crib mattresses contain polyurethane foam as well as phosphorus, arsenic, and antimony compounds as preservatives and fire retardants. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is thought to be related to these chemicals in crib mattresses.

Click HERE to read more about chemicals in baby products, how these chemicals are related to SIDS, and why you should choose an organic baby mattress, baby bedding, and sleepwear.

Is there any truth to the idea that organic mattresses are healthier than their non-organic counterparts?

I'd accept almost any criterion for a definition of 'healthy'-- less earaches, less asthma, lower incidence of SIDS, less diseases in general, , etc.

I want to know if this is yet another product to separate the nervous parent from their money, or if there is any validity to the claim.

  • 7
    Maybe these chemical-free mattresses will be healthier for the bed bugs? Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 20:10
  • 2
    they taste better too.... Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 4:46
  • 2
    I'd take those "organic mattresses are better" claims with a pinch of salt. In most cases, organic material is supposed to be recycled by nature -i.e. by insects, microbes, fungi, humidity, oxidation, etc.
    – Andy
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


The belief that they are healthier came from an article that was published in Midwifery Today, Issue 61, Spring 2002. The article claimed that a fungus growing on the mattress could interact with chemicals such as phosphorus, arsenic or antimony, which could then create "toxic nerve gases". This hypothesis has failed to be proven in subsequent studies. The claim that "not a single child has died sleeping on a covered mattress" is unsubstantiated.

The midwifery today website has a disclaimer on the original study: "Editor's Note: Subsequent research has failed to establish the link between baby mattresses and SIDS that this article asserts. Midwifery Today, Inc. does not endorse the research cited above, but presents it as part of the overall effort to prevent SIDS." [1]

[1] http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bedding.asp

  • 1
    Infrequent but terrible events like SIDS skew peoples' thinking. They will do almost anything to avoid a disastrous consequence, even if it probably will not help. Add up lots of dumb ideas... maybe prevent one death? Sounds good to most people. Wait, I just invented advertising.
    – user29285
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 2:02

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