Following up the eco-friendly crib mattress post, I’ve had some people recently ask me where they can find eco-friendly, natural cribs. This can be a tough one to find as well, since many cribs these days are coated in toxic finishes, not to mention made with some not-so-pleasant chemicals and glues. There are all sorts of VOCs in both the construction of the wood as well as the stains and finishes. What the heck are VOCs anyway? The Environmental Protection Agency has a good, simple introduction, explaining that VOCs refer to a wide range of chemicals that are emitted as gases. Many different household and consumer products releases these gasses, and they are linked to a plethora of health problems including headaches, nausea, asthma, skin reactions and cancer. The level of VOCs is normally higher inside than it is outside, which is a great reason to get outside as much as possible, and also air out your house by keeping windows open whenever possible and including plants that filter out the toxins. When it comes to cribs, a big issue too is that a lot of cribs contain “wood products” such as fibreboard, MDF and other kinds of plywood, all of which release much higher levels of VOCs than solid, natural wood. Why? Because “wood products” need a lot of glue and other adhesives to hold them together, all of which are loaded with chemicals. The stains, paint and finishes used on cribs are also full of chemicals that emit nasty gasses.
Luckily, there are alternatives short of making a crib yourself. Believe me, I thought of that option as my hubby is a skilled craftsman! I’ve rounded up a few different options for eco-friendly cribs from all price ranges, including a bargain crib from Ikea. Starting with a natural, solid wood crib is a good idea. Ideally the wood will also be from a sustainable source. If you already purchased a crib, let it air out for a while. Open all the windows and let the fresh air do its job by helping those VOCs off-gas a bit.
Natart Barcelona Crib
A small family-owned company, Natart began in Italy, then moved to Quebec, Canada in 1995 in order to expand and keep up with the demand for high-end, natural furniture in North America. All of their products are made from 100% solid wood, and are Greenguard certified for extremely low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other harmful chemicals. Their eco-friendly cribs range in price, but the most affordable is the Barcelona, which is made of solid beech and also converts to a daybed. It’s one gorgeous eco-friendly crib.
Oeuf Rhea Crib
Focusing on creating modern, eco-friendly children’s furniture and clothing, Oeuf has a great assortment of cribs ranging in price. They are definitely at the higher end of the price range, but the Rhea crib is probably the most affordable of their cribs. Like all their furniture, the Rhea crib is made from sustainably sourced wood and finished with non-toxic, water-based coatings and paints. It also converts into a toddler daybed to get more use out of.
Babyletto Hudson Convertible Crib
Ikea Sniglar Crib
Coming in at the lowest end of the price range is Ikea’s solid-wood Sniglar crib. Made from solid beech, it’s a super simple crib, but it does the job. The one rail can also be removed to turn it into a daybed/toddler bed. The Sniglar line also contains a toddler bed. The price of this crib cannot be beat. If you are looking for a budget, eco-friendly crib free of toxic finishes, this is a good option. I’d suggest finishing it with something like food-grade linseed oil.