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:
- The mat has to be unquestionably non-toxic (so no EVA foam or PVC).
- 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.
- The mat has to be large enough for a baby/toddler to actually play on.
Truly non-toxic play mats:
- Folding Play Mat by Cream Haus (the only foam play mat company on this list – read my review here)
- Modular Play Mat by Cream Haus
- CorkiMat & CorkiMat Lite by Pillobebe
- Organic Cotton Play Mat by Pillobebe (read my review here)
- Quilted Play Mat by Peppermint Pinwheels (read my review here)
- Panda Mat
- Kutchu Children’s Play Mat