An Exhaustive Guide to PVC-free Mattress Covers

Guide to Non-Toxic Mattresses
We searched for PVC-free mattress covers to help reduce off-gassing from VOC’s in mattress and we also delved into the safety of polyurethane since it’s a commonly used material too.
An Exhaustive Guide to PVC-free Mattress Covers

While searching for PVC-free mattress covers, it became apparent that many allergy relief/bed bug mattress encasements are made of polypropylene, polyethylene, or polyester instead of PVC vinyl which is great news.

We also decided to delve into the realm of polyurethane since so many mattress covers and encasements tout a waterproof, breathable barrier that fully protects mattresses.

It's well-known that polyurethane foam is extremely toxic, but what about thermoplastic polyurethane film (TPU)?

According to,

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a unique category of plastic created when a polyaddition reaction occurs between a diisocyanate and one or more diols.

In short, there are several different types of TPU, and the differences are achieved when various chemicals are added to the basic formulation (i.e. in the formulation of polyurethane foam). The basic TPU formulation is still petroleum-based, however, it's quite inert, not requiring plasticizers like phthalates to achieve flexibility.

All of the mattress covers and encasements with a polyurethane barrier in our guide have been confirmed to be composed of the most basic type of TPU, the same formulation often used in medical applications.

The Washington Toxics Coalition, Healthy, and Debra Lynn Dadd all agree that the polyurethane film found in mattress covers and encasements is a safer choice for those seeking to avoid toxins. We've provided polyurethane-free options in all categories as well, including crib mattress covers and encasements.

Each recommendation is water-resistant or waterproof, PVC and phthalate-free, and not treated with any type of anti-microbial application.

Mattress Wrapping to Reduce Off-gassing of VOC's

The best remedy to a toxic mattress would of course be the purchase of a toxin-free mattress, but what if you simply can’t afford to make the investment right now? We say start saving up and wrap your mattress in the meantime. A good place to find the information you need is in our guide to mattress wrapping.

BabeSafe is another excellent resource for information on toxins in mattresses that contribute to the occurrence of SIDS. They offer polyethylene crib mattress encasements specially designed to protect babies from off-gassing toxins while they sleep, and they provide a mattress wrapping protocol as well.

Fitted Mattress Protectors

Mattress Encasements

Puddle Pads and Fitted Crib Mattress Protectors

Crib Mattress Encasements

Guide to Non-Toxic Mattresses

  1. thank you sooo much for researching this- thrilled that i have options. boy- you gals are a great resource!

  2. Thanks so much! I’ve wondered about this for a while. I bought my mattress encasements from Achoo Allergy. Looks like I didn’t get PVC free ones? 🙁

  3. Do you have any knowledge on whether or not AllerZip or American Baby Organic mattress covers are “safe”? Thanks!

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    I guess we thought Naturepedic would be a given because they’re labeled as PVC-free, but it wouldn’t hurt to add them for folks who don’t already know!

    Thanks for the suggestion,


    1. Glad I read the comments, this was my question! 🙂 I was in search of a PVC mattress cover that is also organic, Naturepedic seems to fit the bill!

  5. What an excellent resource! Thank you for researching this and providing an easy way to decipher. Padding IS nice and comfy, but you often times doing what’s better for you and your family requires sacrifice!

  6. Thanks very much for compiling this resource. Just so I’m clear, I can buy a “normal” mattress for my daughter and as long as I use one of these products – probably an encasement – my daughter will be safe from mattress off-gassing and toxic exposure. Is that correct? Thanks again!

  7. now, could you please find me some affordable wool/organic cotton twin protectors? Not comfortable with any synthetic material at all on our organic mattress but not comfortable with the price tags either! YIKES

  8. I have been searching for a pvc free mattress cover for our crib and found one for less that $15 via BRU Especially for Baby…is this too good to be true?

  9. Like other people I am wondering if any of these mattress covers prevent off-gasing. I bought a babesafe mattress wrap for our co-sleeper and crib, but can not find anything similiar for our queen mattress.
    I am concerned when the manufacturers boost breathability.
    According to the New Zealand cot death study, we should trap the fire retardents elements phosphorus, arsenic or antimony – or more specifically the gases that are created when the mold Scopulariopsis brevicaulis consumes these elements.

    So, does any one know of a mattress protector that prevent off gasing? Dr. Sprott recommends 125 microns thick polythene (polyethylene) plastic to prevent off-gasing.
    Thanks to anyone that can help – I have spent hours and hours looking, but all I find are other people looking for the same product.

  10. I am looking for a mattress encasement that is waterproof, pvc and all the other bad stuff free, but that doesn’t absorb urine. I bought an Aller-Ease cover for my son’s bed but returned it because I tested it with a few drops of water before using it. It absorbed the water, at least some of it, and would absorb urine too. I don’t want to have to wash the cover every time he wets the bed. So, I want a plasitc like encasement that doesn’t have all the bad stuff that comes with plastic. Is that asking too much? Please help if you can. Thanks!

  11. This will probably be my last post for a short time – baby comes on Monday so I’ll be laid up for a bit. But before I go, I wanted to post this last thing because I’ve gotten the question a few times and I had this own challenge myself.

  12. I wound up making my kids mattress covers. I bought some opaque PEVA shower curtains to use. I cut off the grommets and carefully cut out the magnets at the bottom. They were wider than I needed them to be so I cut off the extra after taking careful measurements of the bed. They were shorter than I needed them to be so I sewed the trimmed strip to what would be the bottom of the cover. So, there is a seam near where their feet go. This is less than a foot from the end of the bed so its not a problem for overnight wetting, which was our issue. You could also put it up near the head of the bed, but I figured it was safer to put it at the foot in case of nosebleeds, drooling or vomit.

    If I had a way to heat seal the pieces together I would have, but didn’t want to risk melting through the cover and ruining it. I used a sheet tutorial I had already used to make crib sheets to calculate how to cut the corners before sewing them together. Its a square with two triangle pieces added to the sides making a wing like shape. I added some thin elastic around the head and foot of the cover and I was done. It took me a couple of hours to make two of them and cost me about $20. They serve my purpose and didn’t smell because they are PEVA. I can feel good that the mattresses are protected and my kids aren’t breathing bad fumes. I’m so happy and my kids are too. I am subscribed to this thread, so if you have questions about what I did you can post here and I’ll see them.

  13. The Bed Bug Blocker from Brylane home lists its materials as 50% polypropylene, 50% polyethylene (the picture shows a polyethylene layer and a polypropylene blend layer), but it also says it is made of a “microporous 3-layer fabric.”   What is the 3rd layer?  I’m trying to confirm that it’s not a polyurethane membrane. 

  14. Brilliant blog. Most blogs you read online don’t offer much information. This was really helpful.Its really a superb post.Keep in touch with us in future too.Thanks.

  15. Love your site – thank you for the great info 🙂

    I understand the polyethylene are safe but are those that contain polypropylene safe as well, such as the Brylane? 

  16. Nice blog. I have just bookmarked this page so I
    don’t miss any more of these.I would never have normally come here to read the
    blogs but I’m really glad I did.I will definitely be coming back

  17. can anyone please help how safe is the polurethane membrane on waterproof mattress protectors – i thought polyurethane was a very toxic product but it keeps being offered as an alternative to pvc. Are there different grades of polyurethane? thanks

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