When I was expecting my first child in 2009 I wanted to make the nursery as green and safe as possible. I splurged on a crib made in the USA from sustainably harvested wood and stocked up on organic cotton sheets. But when I went to the local fancy baby store to complete my purchases and asked about an organic crib mattress, the store clerk didn’t really know what I was talking about. I actually felt like maybe I was overreacting and “shopping scared,” so I just took the crib that came with the mattress and bought an organic mattress cover to help mitigate some of the off-gassing.
Five years later my son is sleeping on a twin sized organic mattress with an inhaler by his side. I would never go so far as to entirely blame a mattress for his asthma – it was probably brought on by a wide variety of cumulative causes, not least of which genetics. Just about every city preschooler we know has some degree of breathing issues, which makes off-gassing even more pressing for new parents who want to give their babies the best start.
But then I decided that four years of off-gassing was enough for me to feel OK about passing that mattress down to my now one-year-old. Our income was even more tapped by baby #2 and I just couldn’t justify spending big bucks on a brand new natural crib mattress. I figured it had done the majority of its damage, having years for toxic chemicals to dissipate, and I would protect my baby with extra layers of organic fabric. But I won’t lie and say it doesn’t bug me from time to time, wondering if I did the right thing.
So when I was offered a NaturalMat Coco Mat for review I was ecstatic – an opportunity to make the remainder of my baby’s crib years safer! Who knows – maybe extra comfort would even help her sleep through the night?
This baby is truly natural, filled with coir – made from coconut husks – from the only certified organic coir plantation in the world. The supportive and breathable coir is then wrapped in organic lambswool which is bathed in a mixture made from extracts of lavender, lemon and eucalyptus making it completely anti-dust mite as well as maintaining the excellent thermal insulating properties of natural wool. The whole thing is handcrafted in England. Sounds dreamy!
So I would expect something like this to cost well over $1000. But amazingly the Coco Mat is only $399 (I know – I sound like an infomercial, but seriously!)
And I was not disappointed. This thing is a what a proper mattress should feel like – soft, warm, and just firm enough.
Honestly, when I uncovered what we had been using I was stunned by the comparison. It’s sad that the conventional standard for babies’ mattresses are cheap, toxic hunks of plastic. Even at $399, an organic crib mattress is not an expense that most families can easily afford. But considering that babies spend at least 50% of their time sleeping and mattresses can be passed down to other children, it is one investment I wish I had made sooner.
Disclosure: Naturalmat sent me a sample for review. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here.