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These baby mattresses are without unwanted chemicals

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has tested baby mattresses intended for cribs for content and emission of a wide range of unwanted substances. See which mattresses we recommend.

Katja Laukkonen Ravn · Foto: Getty Images · 8. marts 2024
nyfødt baby sover i tremmeseng

Baby equipment such as baby mattresses is not covered by the same rules as toys when it comes to chemicals. This is despite the fact that children are also in frequent and prolonged contact with, for example, a baby mattress.  

In our test, nine out of 12 mattresses are without unwanted chemicals.  

Nine baby mattresses without unwanted chemicals  

In the test, nine out of 12 baby mattresses receive the best chemical rating, the A-rating. This means that the mattresses are free from a range of unwanted chemicals that we tested for.

These are:  

  • BabyDan Dreamsafe - Mattress & Top mattress  
  • IKEA Drömmande  
  • IKEA Krummelur  
  • IKEA Pelleput  
  • Jysk Gold F45 Dreamzone  
  • Leander Luna Comfort 700809  
  • Nordisk Fjer Babymadras  
  • Träumeland Sea of Clouds  
  • Änglamark crib-junior mattress  

Three baby mattresses contain unwanted chemicals 

 In the test, three baby mattresses receive a medium rating, the B-rating.  

This is because unwanted chemicals have been found in the form of: 

  • Low emission of a substance suspected of damaging our genetic material (phenol)  
  • Low content of an allergenic substance (MI, methylisothiazolinone).   

Baby mattresses do not pose a health risk  

None of the chemicals found are illegal in baby equipment, and there are no limit values for the content or emission of these substances for baby mattresses. 

The mattresses in this test with unwanted chemicals do not in themselves pose a health risk, unless you already are allergic to MI and therefore risk reacting to even small amounts of MI in the mattress.  

However, the mattresses can contribute to an overall exposure to unwanted chemicals that we believe should not be in baby products.  

Mattresses that emit chemicals also contribute to poor indoor air quality. 

Six tips for the child's bedroom 

  • Always ventilate the nursery during the day and especially before bedtime. A few minutes of ventilation reduces the content of chemicals in the air before bedtime.  
  • Unpack the new mattress and let it air out for a few days before use, preferably outdoors if possible. 
  • Smell the mattress. If it smells very chemical, or if the smell last for more than the first few days, you can contact the retailer and possibly return the mattress.  
  • Wash the cover of the new mattress before using it. Also, always wash new bedding before use. 
  • Choose mattress and duvet cover, sheets, and other textile for the bed that are eco-labeled. Alternatively, you can also look for the organic label GOTS or the health label Oeko-Tex, which sets requirements for the content of chemicals in the textile beyond legal requirements.  
  • Ask about unwanted chemicals when buying the mattress.  

About the test

  • The Danish Consumer Council THINK has tested baby mattresses.  

    They all measure approximately 60 x 120 centimeters.  

    They are intended for a typical crib.  

    The test has examined the mattresses for the content of, among other things, the following substances:  

    • Flame retardants (suspected carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting)  
    • Phthalates (suspected endocrine disrupting)  
    • Various fungus- and bactericidal substances, including isothiazolinones (allergenic) 
    • Selected pesticides (suspected endocrine disrupting) 
    • Nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylate (suspected endocrine disrupting and allergenic) 
    • Other phenol compounds (various effects including suspected carcinogenic) 
    • Formaldehyde (allergenic)  

    The test examined the chemical content in both foam and cover of the mattress.  

    Emission of a wide range of volatile compounds from the mattresses was also examined 3 days after unpacking. In addition, the smell from the mattresses was recorded 3 days after unpacking.  

    The test is updated continuously  

    We have tested baby mattresses multiple times. You can see on each product when they have been tested for unwanted chemicals.

    • 9 out of 12 baby mattresses are free from problematic chemicals that the test examines. These mattresses receive the best chemical rating, the A-grade. 
    • In 3 baby mattresses, we have found small amounts of unwanted chemicals either in the form of an allergenic preservative, MI, or limited emission of chemicals including a suspected carcinogen (phenol). These mattresses receive a medium chemical rating, the B-grade.  


    Phenol is classified in the EU as suspected of being able to damage our genetic material. There are no mandatory limits for the content or emission of the substance in baby equipment, but there are limits for the content of phenol in, for example, toys. 


    Methylisothiazolinone, also known as MI, is a preservative. It is typically used in liquid, water-based products such as certain cosmetic products and paint. The substance is added to inhibit bacterial growth. Methylisothiazolinone is highly allergenic. Therefore, the law sets limits for the use of the substance in, for example, skincare products that remain on the skin, as well as in certain types of toys. However, there are no regulations for the content of methylisothiazolinone in products such as mattresses and other children's equipment. But children are in repeated, prolonged contact with the mattress. In addition to direct contact, it is also possible that the substance can emit from the product. This can happen with MI when it is found in paint. Therefore, it is unwanted in baby and children's products such as mattresses. It is unclear why the substance can be found in mattresses and similar products.  

    Smell from the mattresses  

    The smell from the mattresses is recorded 3 days after unpacking. Many mattresses smell quite a bit right after unpacking. In many cases, however, the smell is diminished 3 days after unpacking, although it may not necessarily be completely gone. The smell is not rated but mentioned in text under each product.  

    The Environmental Protection Agency investigates baby mattresses 

    The Environmental Protection Agency investigated the emission of chemicals from foam products including baby mattresses in 2020 “Mapping and risk assessment of VOC in PUR foam products - Environmental Protection Agency” ( The agency found high emission of unwanted chemicals from 1 baby mattress, which it warned consumers about. In addition, the agency found minor emissions from several other mattresses, but the emissions were assessed not to pose a risk to children sleeping on the mattresses. In the study, it was found that emission of chemicals from the mattresses decreased from the first measurement one hour after unpacking to the second and last measurement 3 days after unpacking. Therefore, always let baby mattresses and other foam products air out for a few days, preferably outdoors, before use in the children's room.