Category: Safety

Best Non-Toxic Foam Play Mat: Cream Haus Folding Play Mat Review

Non-Toxic Foam Play Mat Cream Haus ReviewI have to preface this review by saying that I did not think there was a foam play mat on the market that I would consider to be truly non-toxic. I was wrong. But if the thought of using plastic anything bothers you, you should just stop reading here. (You can also check out my Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby guide for a comprehensive list of all non-toxic play mats.)

When Cream Haus USA contacted me, requesting a review for their Folding Play Mat, I was skeptical about the mat’s non-toxicity claims. I had never heard of this company but I soon learned that Cream Haus is a premium South Korean brand which, until recently, was not available in the US.

When speaking to Brian, the US distributor for Cream Haus, about the properties of the play mat, he was immediately and unabashedly transparent – something I found very refreshing when dealing with a baby play mat company. He attached two complete and unredacted ASTM reports from a CSPC certified lab for both the polyethylene foam material and the polyurethane leather cover which showed non-detectable limits of heavy metals, lead, and phthalates.

Upon further inquiry, Brian also confirmed that the play mat has been tested for and is free of flame-retardants, formamide, formaldehyde, VOCs and azo dyes.

(These reports have since been published on their website here and here.)

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Best Non-Toxic Play Mat: Peppermint Pinwheels Quilted Play Mat Review

Non Toxic Play Mat Review - Peppermint PinwheelsI’ve come to realize: I have a thing for play mats. I’ve always liked fabrics, blankets, and comfy, cozy things. I guess that translates into a love for beautifully designed, high-quality, non-toxic play mats. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce that I have found a winner with the Peppermint Pinwheels Quilted Play Mat.

Awhile back, when I was doing research for my non-toxic play mats guide, I came across a few recommendations for Peppermint Pinwheels but I was reluctant to include it on my list. I could not find many in-depth reviews and I was concerned that the quilted play mats did not provide sufficient padding for hardwood floors.

But these beautiful and unique play mats made an impression on me and have always stayed in the back of my mind. Since Alexa is becoming more and more mobile (and has hit her head on our floors more times than I care to admit), I decided to buy a play mat for our living room area. I reached out to the owner of Peppermint Pinwheels, Stacey, and she generously provided me with a discounted mat for review.

Peppermint Pinwheels play mats are all handmade, by Stacey, from thick, canvas-weight 100% cotton fabrics and are completely non-toxic. The play mats come with padding that is either a single or double layer of 100% unbleached cotton batting. There is an option to add a triple layer of batting to make the mat thicker and/or a waterproof PUL layer to make the mat waterproof. (It is worth noting that PUL, polyurethane laminate, might have toxicity concerns. However, the PUL will be sandwiched between thick cotton layers so any exposure to potential toxins will most likely be inconsequential.)

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Best Non-Toxic Play Mat: Pillobebe Organic Cotton Play Mat + Giveaway

Pillobebe Organic Cotton Play Mat Review + Giveaway

When I was pregnant with Max and researching non-toxic play mats, there were very limited options available. I ended up with a Baby Care Play Mat – which is a GREAT play mat (you can read my review here) – but for the fact that it is made out of PVC. The company claims that the PVC is non-toxic. Nonetheless, it is PVC. If I were to err on the side of caution, and I could do it all over again, I would stay away from all PVC. And, if there are good alternatives, why take the risk, right? (I have since compiled a list of The Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby that I have found.)

Recently, Max started rolling out of his toddler bed and onto our hardwood floors. Seeing his head smack the floor while he was dead asleep and hearing the accompanying thud is not a vision I ever want to relive.

That’s when I started my search anew for truly non-toxic play mats.

I came across Pillobebe, an amazing company, started by Lauren because she was having the same issues I had – she couldn’t find any good non-toxic play mats. So she created her own!

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Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby [Updated 2017]

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Now that I have a second baby in the household and I need a larger play space, I recently started researching non-toxic play mats again. I previously used and loved the Baby Care Play Mat (which I have reviewed here). But, despite the company’s claims that the mat is made from non-toxic, phthalate-free PVC, I’ve always had my reservations about how safe PVC mats can truly be. Thankfully, I am now better informed about what makes a play mat truly non-toxic.

[Read the report published by Healthy Building Network regarding phthalate-free PVC. In sum, “even without phthalate plasticizers, the lifecycle of PVC has inherent toxicities that cannot be avoided” and plasticizers – phthalates or not – will still leach from PVC products.]

EVA foam play mats are also commonly touted as being non-toxic. However, EVA foam has been found to off-gas formamide. Currently, there are NO 100% formamide-free EVA foam mats on the market. A company can claim that its mats are formamide-free but it can do so because formamide is only tested to a certain level. [Read this article to see why I consider EVA foam still to be toxic.]

After much research, I have compiled a list of truly non-toxic play mats which I will go into more below.

My criteria for non-toxic play mats that make the cut are as follows:
  1. The mat has to be unquestionably non-toxic (so no EVA foam or PVC).
  2. There has to be sufficient protection against bumps and falls on hardwood floors. Otherwise, it’s easy enough to throw an organic cotton blanket on the floor and call it day.
  3. The mat has to be large enough for a baby/toddler to actually play on.
Truly non-toxic play mats:
Questionably “non-toxic” play mats (but at least not made from EVA foam or PVC):

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The Ultimate Amazon Baby Registry Guide [Updated 2017]

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

The Ultimate Amazon Baby Gift Registry GuideWhen it came time to create a baby registry, I went with Amazon. For better or for worse, Amazon has successfully ensnared me in their clutches (I just renewed my Amazon Mom Prime membership) and I don’t know if I’ll ever be free. Amazon generally offers the lowest prices, tends to have reviews on all their products, and has blazing fast shipping.

Five reasons why I chose Amazon for my baby registry:

1. I didn’t register at any of the big box baby stores because I hate buying things at full retail when I know I can get it cheaper online. It’s the one area I’m a total scrooge.

2. When I do make purchases online, I hate paying for shipping. Amazon offers free two-day shipping for Prime members. Non-Prime members still receive free shipping but only on orders over $49.

3. Unless your friends and family have been living in a cave, they’ve heard of Amazon. Brand recognition is important for a registry because some people may be wary about buying gifts from an online retailer. (Plus, when I buy people gifts, I prefer to buy from their Amazon registry because I feel like I’m getting more value for my money.)

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