What’s Inside My Crib Mattress?
More Information about Your Mattress Filling
Crib Mattress Buying Guide
The filling inside an innerspring crib mattress helps create how firm or soft a mattress will feel. Mattress designer’s start with the steel innerspring core and build out with layers of polyester, organic cotton, wool, shoddy pads made from recycled clothing or carpeting, memory foam, latex foam and coconut coir. Here is some research about these types of materials:
Polyester cushioning is durable, resilient and comfortable. Some of the leading brands use very thick layers of polyester to create a firm and supportive sleeping surface that also provides comfort. You don’t want your baby feeling the coils so when you press onto the opposing surface where baby sleeps you should feel the cushioning, not the coil. Polyester also has a sustainable twist because a lot of it is made from recycled bottles, or PET, thus helping the environment from extra waste buried in landfills.
- Organic cotton:
Organic cotton cushioning has become more popular in recent years because it is natural and renewable. Organic cotton inside a mattress provides softness but it does not create a firm foundation. Therefore any mattresses with organic cotton inside it must be reinforced with some type of material to keep it from falling into the coils. Some use a non-woven fabric, others use netting. There are no 100% organic mattresses available because steel and other parts of the mattress are not truly organic. The word organic crib mattress is only used when a mattress contains some type of certified organic cotton.
- Shoddy pads:
Sometimes marketed as “ortho” pads, shoddy pads are sometimes used by manufactures to create a barrier between the coils and the cover. There is not a lot of loft to the shoddy pads found today and most manufactures no longer use this material. Shoddy pads are made from recycled carpeting and clothing held together with glues.
- Memory foam:
Often found on 2-stage crib and toddler bed mattresses, memory foam is petroleum based foam that takes the shape of the child sleeping on it. Memory foam is a closed-cell structure that tends to heat up and sink under a child’s weight. Most manufacturers only use ¼” of this so the effect of memory foam is lost since it is a very thin layer.
- Latex foam:
Latex foam is foam found in 2-stage crib and toddler bed mattresses. Latex bounces back into shape immediately and tends to be found in more premium mattresses. Latex foam can be natural, synthetic, or a blend of both. The natural part comes from the milky rubber tree sap that is processed into a variety of materials. Some people think that latex foam is the same as latex found in gloves or balloons, but this is not the case. The foam version is an open-cell structure that does not contain any proteins. Proteins are what can cause allergic reactions. However, they are removed from latex foam creating a hypoallergenic textile. This hypoallergenic foam is the material used in the most luxurious mattresses. Look for Oeko-Tex certified latex foam. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a global textile testing for substances. The leading manufacturers, including Kolcraft and Sealy, use up to a full inch of latex cushioning.