Baby Health: Are foam mattresses and other materials safe?

There is a lot of dialogue regarding baby deaths due to poorly fitting mattresses including cot mattresses, and or these being too soft but it seems to me there is little focus on the mattress material and possible causes to unwellness in the baby. For example back in my baby days I had two very thin foam mattresses for my babies bassinet as the mattresses would become very wet due to perspiration and if not dried out each day they became mouldy even though there were “breathing holes” in the bottom of the bassinet. This probably occurs to many mattresses without the parent realising so why is this not addressed during research.

Further why are mattresses for human use considered to be okay health wise when they contain so much foam (and I dont know what other materials covered in what chemicals) which emits chemical vapour that can cause health issues? How long should I wait until my mattress is “less” chemically vapourous (sorry I cant think of the right word/s to use)? Will my mattress along with those baby and child mattresses ever be chemically safe?

My last question is why are mattresses hot…this could be an age issue lol


Thanks for raising the issue @Iris. I agree, I couldn’t find much one way or the other regarding scientific studies to assess the potential risk of mattress materials or the chemicals they may or may not contain.

There was a class action lawsuit in the US, but it looks like it was related to false advertising rather than safety. This one from Yale360 is interesting, although it’s a bit old and while it raises concerning questions, it doesn’t seem to draw strong conclusions to my reading.

If anyone has any experiences in this area, please share them below. We’d also welcome links to reputable sources to help inform the discussion.

Also the next article looks at a number of plasticizers that are being used in replacement of phthalates but of interest in the mattress context was the compound called DINCH which was identified in cot mattresses so I included the article here even though not much evidence yet points to any issues.

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Excellent, thanks for these @grahroll :wink:

Hope they help you get the information you need. I would also suggest contacting Brandon E. Boor (Ph.D.) as his info profile indicates his interests coincide with many of those that Choice has and you may be able to develop research links that would benefit both parties.

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