Organic Baby Mattress
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the developed world saw an explosion in infant deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The increase in SIDS cases was enough to spark scientific research into a possible cause, but to date, the tragic syndrome remains largely unexplained. Doctors attributed some cases to suffocation from blankets, stuffed animals, or the babies being unable to lift their faces off the mattress. Others suggested the possibility of chemicals in the synthetic baby mattresses being the culprit.
Twenty years later we are no closer to proving the cause of SIDS. Nonetheless, the possible involvement of mattress chemicals has sparked a movement by child advocates and others to switch to organic mattresses in the crib. The rationale behind this trend is the belief that truly organic materials don't harm anyone. If chemicals are a factor in SIDS, they can be eliminated by going organic.
Synthetic Vs Organic Mattresses
Synthetic baby mattresses are made with materials like polyester, polyurethane foam, vinyl, and antimony (a fire retardant). We already know that antimony is a possible carcinogen and has been linked to heart and lung disease, and the chemicals let off by vinyl have been linked to respiratory issues, allergies, liver and kidney disease, and nervous system disorders. The only question left unanswered in regard to synthetic mattresses is whether or not these chemicals exist in high enough concentrations to be dangerous.
Organic baby mattresses, on the other hand, are made with materials such as organic cotton, wool, and organic latex foam rubber. A 100% pure organic mattress poses no health or safety risk from the standpoint of chemicals. Therefore, if SIDS is proven to be somehow linked to mattress chemicals, using an organic crib mattress mitigates the issue.
Why Else Should You Go Organic
Putting the SIDS question aside for just a moment, there is another reason for going organic. It helps to reduce the likelihood of babies developing air borne allergies. The wool used in organic mattresses doesn't attract dust mites like polyester does. The wool stays cleaner, thus the crib does as well, and that reduces the risk of allergies later on. The same can be said about developing allergies or skin rashes from contact with the vinyl covering of a synthetic mattress. On the other hand, organic baby mattresses do have one allergy issue of their own; that being the possibility of developing a latex allergy.
Between the SIDS question and the allergy and rash question, more and more parents are choosing to purchase organic baby mattresses. The industry is seeing good growth to the extent that what was once a niche product is being produced en masse by many major manufacturers. The trend is even spreading to adolescent and adult mattresses as well.
The cost seems to be the only thing prohibiting organic from taking over the sleep furniture industry. Organic farming costs more, so anything made from organic material will naturally be pricier. But there are plenty of features to suggest it might be worth it.