Topic: Baby Products

Moisture Control in Mattresses and Bedding

Moisture control in mattresses and bedding.

Often overlooked by traditional manufacturers, moisture control in mattresses and bedding is probably the most important factor in creating a successful sleep environment.

When we sleep we perspire.  If that moisture remains next to our body we get clammy and hot.  Often to alleviate this issue we will throw off the blankets causing the moisture to evaporate quickly and cooling us so fast we get a chill.  Then we repeat the process over and over destroying any hope of a decent night sleep.

To ensure the comfort of our mattress and bedding products we use two natural fibres – Wool and Alpaca.  I will expand on Alpaca later but first let’s look at why wool is great for moisture control.  Wool will continue to feel dry even when it has absorbed 30% – 50% of its weight in moisture.  Capillary action (wicking) moves the moisture along the fibres and away from your body.  Wool has a very fast drying rate so it releases the moisture that has been drawn away from you into the air keeping you warm and dry; not hot and sweaty.  Alpaca’s fibre is hollow and it works like wool but even better with faster drying and better capillary action.  It does not contain lanolin which we love for its antibacterial and anti-dust mite properties so we use Alpaca in pillows and duvets, blended with 30% to 50% wool.

In closing, research with tell you there are many synthetic wicking fibres on the market today.  They are used in sportswear and some traditional mattresses and show excellent capillary action. Unfortunately tests show they do not offer the quick drying ability of wool and also have the problem of trapping fats and bacteria in the fibre pores resulting in odour.  Most of us have purchased these high tech garments and have been stunned by the seemingly impossible to remove smell after just a few workouts.  Manufacturers combat this problem by adding even more chemicals to combat the odour – something none of us need in our chemical soaked environment.  This is why we have no doubt Wool and Alpaca are the best fibres for moisture control in mattresses and bedding.

We should know better…

Is the old crib mattress that you got from your friend or family member as a gift, because it’s just like new, good enough for your baby? How about the one you used on your first baby, should you use it again?  Please read below and then answer that question.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the surface material used in nearly all baby mattresses, is widely considered to be one of the most toxic and environmentally unfriendly plastics in use today.

Phthalates, associated with asthma, reproductive effects, and cancer, make up 30% by weight of the PVC surface of a typical baby mattress. Phthalates are not bound to the plastic and leach out.

The FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued general warnings regarding the use of phthalates, yet the PVC surfaces of baby mattresses still contain phthalates.

DEHP (the most commonly used phthalate in baby mattresses), together with several other phthalates, have already been banned across Europe for use in many children’s products.

The PVC surface of a typical baby mattress is also treated with toxic fire retardant chemicals such as antimony. Various biocides are often added as well.

Polyurethane foam, the predominant filling material used in baby mattresses, typically contains various problematic ingredients including chemical catalysts, surfactants, emulsifiers, pigments, and other chemical additives. These frequently include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and other well established toxic chemicals such as organotin compounds.

Polyurethane foam (essentially solid petroleum) is extremely flammable. To combat this hazard, industrial toxic fire retardants are added. The most common chemical fire retardant used to treat polyurethane foam has been pentaBDE, a toxin associated with hyperactivity and neuro-behavioral alterations. PentaBDE is not bound to the foam, and leaches out into the surrounding air.

PentaBDE has been recently banned. However, there is currently no planned government action to recall the millions of baby mattresses presently in use that contain pentaBDE.

Other common materials found in baby mattresses include “shoddy” pads made from scraps swept off the floor of textile mills or “hair” pads made from pig hair.

Children are far more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than adults, especially within their first few years of life. Considering that children spend over 50% of their early life on a baby mattress, it would be prudent to use materials that don’t contain such dangerous chemicals.

Dormio has a full line of natural baby products…doesn’t your baby deserve the best?

Dormio Organic Beds…naturally better

Best selection of natural and organic quality mattresses and bedding in the Toronto area!

Why Natural Crib Mattresses

Why Natural Crib Mattresses?

Traditional crib mattresses are a primary source of chemical poisoning in babies.  Several scientists even claim that toxic gases released from crib mattresses, when breathed or absorbed by a sleeping baby, can cause crib death or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)  These claims have not been 100% scientifically proven, nor have they been disproven, and there is urgent need for more research.

The majority of mattresses today contain polyurethane foam, vinyl (PVC), phthalates, chemical fire retardants, and an extensive list of added industrial chemicals.  These chemicals can leach out of the mattress or off-gas to expose us through inhalation and through the skin which can cause minor skin irritations, to allergic reactions to major health issues.  This can also happen through the womb.  Women that are expecting need also to stay away from these sorts of mattresses.

A mattress exposure is particularly problematic to babies because it is so up-close and personal.  Sleeping on a typical crib mattress, babies breathe and absorb these chemicals for ten to fourteen hours a day or more for a period of two or more years during the critical developmental period of their brains, nervous systems and immune systems.

Dormio Baby Room


Buying a natural or organic crib mattress can eliminate the threat of harmful chemicals or phthalates.  Dormio’s collection of crib mattresses fit these criteria.  We use latex (natural rubber) in the core of most of our models as it creates a firm supporting core, and then we add natural or organic wool and cotton.  Organic materials are definitely important when choosing a mattress, but the main thing to look for is whether the mattress in non-toxic and safe for your baby.

Wool is used in mattresses and bedding since it is naturally fire resistant, does not provide a favourable environment for dust mites, and handles moisture well, retaining 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet.  Dormio’s wool crib pads can also be added on top to protect the surface of the mattress from moisture, as it is naturally moisture resistant and dries quickly.  Wool can also help in maintaining a proper temperature while the baby is sleeping.  Not too cold, or too hot.

Organic cotton is the perfect material for covering the crib mattress, and for other crib bedding, since it is natural, non-toxic, and highly breathable.

Buying a proper, healthy crib mattress and bedding for an infant is one of the more important decisions a parent can make, as it is the environment for up to 70% of their child’s early life.  New and expecting parents should do some research and become informed before making these important purchases.

At Dormio our mattresses and bedding accessories are natural or organic.

Dormio Organic Beds… naturally better!