Breathable Crib Mattresses - Alternate Designs

Here are two other approaches to making crib mattresses breathable and why we chose not to go down these roads. In both cases, these alternate designs increase the likelihood of mold and bacterial growth and are difficult, and in some case impossible to clean. Also, some of these designs require additives like flame retardants. Would you even want your baby breathing into a mattress containing flame retardants and bacterial buildup? For these and other reasons, we chose not make our breathable mattresses this way. Which brings us to a very obvious conclusion. There's a smart way and a not-so-smart way to do breathability!

Here Are Two Design Approaches We Chose To Avoid

Completely Porous Mattress

Requires flame retardant chemicals mixed into the plastic

Presents major hygienic problems without additional breathability benefits

  • Every time your baby's diaper would leak, guess where it would go? That's right, inside the mattress, along with spit up, leaky bottles and other unmentionables!
  • Once inside the mattress, mold, mildew and other bacteria can grow as it's nearly impossible to reach and scrub clean (especially if it has dried). Even dramatic attempts to sanitize these mattresses like rinsing in the shower or soaking in a bath would unlikely remove all the microbial contamination.
  • After an accident, there would be no clean mattress to put your baby back to sleep on. (Would have to disassemble, rinse in shower, wait to dry, then reassemble hours later.)
  • Would require flame retardant chemicals mixed into the plastic core to pass Government flammability standards.
"There are potential issues with "breathe into the interior" designs... can create serious hygienic issues which can lead to medical concerns. More specifically, if the mattress is porous... to the point that a baby can breathe into the interior, then bacteria/microbial/microorganism/or related contamination from urine, fecal material, spilled milk, etc. can also make their way into the interior of the mattress... the baby can be breathing into these contaminated materials."
Edwin Simpser, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell University"
Breathable Crib Mattress Facts

Non-Waterproof Mattress

While this design would be "breathable," it's really just "not waterproof," presenting major hygienic problems

  • This approach would generally be spot-clean only and very problematic in the event of an accident, as urine and other fluids soak into the fabric.
  • Must use a waterproof pad, which actually eliminates all of the breathable benefits.

The Right Way To Do Crib Mattress Breathability

The "right way" should provide all the breathable safety benefits of a completely porous mattress but without the drawbacks. It should achieve a low suffocation risk score while being easy to clean and keep free of contamination. The way to achieve this is by separating the breathability component into a new layer that can be easily removed and laundered. This approach achieves the best of all worlds and is the clear winner for safety and convenience.