My review of the Colgate Eco Classica III Dual Firmness Eco Friendlier Crib Mattress – based on our personal experience owning this mattress!
We’ve all heard the stats. Babies spend more than half of their first year sleeping, putting in as many 16 to 18 hours per day in their crib in those early days.
Recognizing 1) how much babies sleep during that first year, and 2) how vulnerable their little systems are to harmful chemicals sometimes found in crib mattresses (and crib bedding – ahem, heavy metals from dying and harmful dyes and inks), it’s reasonable that parents want a great crib mattress that’s non-toxic, meets standard safety requirements, and is durable enough to last well into the toddler years.
The question is: is the Colgate dual firmness foam mattress that mattress?
I bought an Eco Classica III and put it to the test in my own home to find out.
Below, you can read all about the pros and cons of the Colgate Eco Classica III dual firmness eco friendlier crib mattress and what I think about it based on personal experience!
- This post is not sponsored by Colgate. I bought and paid for this mattress myself, and all opinions are my own honest opinions. The links in this post are affiliate links, so if you purchase through the links I may be compensated.
- Pros of the Colgate mattress include: lightweight; dual-sided for the infant and toddler years; certified organic cotton cover; fits standard size American cribs; meets all safety requirements; Greenguard Gold Certified; hypoallergenic; great edge support; affordable compared to organic crib mattresses
- Cons of the Colgate mattress: while waterproof, the cover is prone to staining and isn’t removable; it’s made of foam; unclear what the fire barrier is made of (although we do know it doesn’t use chemical flame retardants).
- Overall, I think this is an excellent foam mattress, but feel as though the “eco friendlier” is a marketing term, and it’s hard to know if really is better for the environment (my personal opinion).
What Is the Eco Classica III?
The Colgate Eco Classica III is a foam crib mattress made by Colgate Mattress®, a company that has been making mattresses since the company was founded by a husband and wife team in Atlanta in the decade following WWII. Today, the company is still family-run by the children and grandchildren of the original founders.
The Eco Classica III is what Colgate calls an “eco friendlier” mattress, a label they give the mattress based on the fact that it uses CertiPUR® certified EcoFoam® and an organic cotton cover.
Check Prices and Availability
Although the Colgate Classica III (no “eco”) is available at a wide range of leading online (Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc), the Eco Classica III seems to have more limited availability. I have always been able to find it at Amazon, so would suggest you look there if you’re interested in buying it.
Eco Classica III Pros and Cons At a Glance
My Colgate Baby Mattress Review
Colgate has close to 75 years of experience making mattresses, so I think it’s fair to say they have a pretty good idea what they’re doing.
This led me to have fairly high expectations – after all, they’ve been in the crib mattress industry for a long time!
Below, I go into what I like – and what I don’t like – about this crib mattress.
Made in the USA
This dual sided mattress is made in the USA, which I honestly love about it. It’s made at Colgate’s factory in Georgia, in a suburb of Atlanta.
These days, finding things that are made in the USA is generally pretty tough, but with mattresses there are actually a number of brands that manufacture domestically, including Colgate, Naturepedic, Avocado Mattress, Lullaby Earth, and Nook Sleep to name a few.
A Firm Sleeping Surface for Infants
I think it’s important to find a safe, non-toxic crib – don’t get me wrong. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore the basics.
While all crib mattresses sold in the USA have to meet regulated safety standards, the fact is, some are definitely better than others when it comes down to it.
One of the most important basics when it comes to crib mattresses is firmness. It needs to provide a firm sleeping surface for your baby’s safety; and it needs to fit really well in your crib, with no gaps along the edges.
When I got my own Colgate mattress to check out, I immediately noticed that it’s firm. My daughter currently sleeps on a Naturepedic organic crib mattress, which doesn’t use any foam.
The Colgate baby mattress is actually about the same firmness as our Naturepedic crib mattress (top photo in the collage, below), which is a massive pro. It’s quite a bit firmer than our Nook Sleep Pebble Air (bottom photo in the collage, below), which is another “eco foam” crib mattress.
A firm sleeping surface is important for safe sleep guidelines and reducing the chance of SIDS. Beyond baby’s first year, a firm mattress continues to be important for a toddler mattress and even a big kid mattress when your kids are young, as it helps support their growing skeletons, which have different needs to an adult’s.
Dual Firmness With an Infant Side and Toddler Side
These days, most (but not all) crib mattresses are dual sided, which means you can safely and comfortably use them for your child throughout the infant and toddler years.
The Eco Classica crib mattress is no different: it’s a dual firmness foam mattress, with an extra firm infant side, and a slightly softer toddler side.
Why this distinction and dual firmness system?
Firm Side is for Baby’s Safety
Infants and babies within their first year of life require an extra firm sleeping surface, a safety requirement that is related to the risks of SIDS and suffocation.
While many adults might think the firmness infants require is over the top and uncomfortable, it works for babies, and really is the safest for the first year of life.
When you press down on your baby’s crib mattress with your hand – hard enough to make an indent – the mattress should immediately spring back up to it’s original position, not stay sunken for any amount of time.
Mattresses that are too soft will allow a baby’s head to sink into the mattress surface – a suffocation risk.
However, beyond the risks associated with SIDS and suffocation, a firm mattress also supports developmental goals, and actual skeletal development.
With a firm surface, slightly older babies (still within their first year of life) will be able to practice their moves, such as rolling over, getting up on their hands and knees, etc. This will no doubt be exhausting for you as a parent, but is indeed an important part of their development!
Regarding the Colgate mattress, here’s what the infant side looks like with some weight on it:
Compare that to 3 other popular crib mattresses I own and have tried: the Naturepedic Breathable; the Nook Sleep Pebble Air; and the Lullaby Earth.
You can see when compared to other baby crib mattresses, the Eco Classica III is very firm – as it should be. It is just as firm, or very close, as the Naturepedic and the Lullaby Earth.
It’s much firmer than the Nook Pebble Air, which is also marketed as an eco friendlier foam crib mattress.
Toddler Side is Slightly Softer
Once your baby is out of the first year dangers of SIDS, and once they are moving on their own fairly well, you can flip the crib mattress over to the toddler side, which is softer (for comfort), while still being firm enough to provide your baby’s growing and developing body with proper support.
I swapped my daughter’s normal crib mattress (this Naturepedic) for the Eco Classica III for a time to test out the comfort of the toddler side. At 4 years-old, it still worked great: comfortable but still firm!
Organic Cotton Cover
The surface of the mattress – the part your baby is going to actually come into closest contact with – is a certified organic cotton cover.
Whether an organic cotton cover is essential or not is debatable, but there’s certainly parents out there who share their baby’s sensitive skin is soothed when using organic cotton (this will apply more to using organic cotton crib sheets, admittedly).
However, organic cotton is definitely a better choice for the environment, so if you’re trying to lead an eco friendlier family life, this is welcome news.
One thing that’s nice about the Colgate mattress is the organic mattress is quiet when your baby wiggles around on it, if you use it as is (i.e. without adding an extra waterproof cover on top – see my thoughts on that below).
That said, we use our Naturepedic without the cover, and “loud mattress” has never actually caused a problem in our house.
I think the Eco Classica III does a lot of things right. However, the way the waterproofing is designed – as a waterproof backing, rather than a waterproof surface, is something I’m less thrilled about when it comes to this mattress.
Basically, the back of the certified organic cotton cover is lined with a waterproofing material, which Colgate describes as a food grade waterproof backing. This is great, because it prevents liquid accidents from soaking through to the foam in the inner core, where bacteria would be able to multiply out of sight. So from a sanitary point of view, it works.
But in practice, it’s not great.
I give you, Exhibit A.
The photo above shows my own Eco Classica III mattress – the one we have in our own home. You’ll notice there is a MASSIVE stain on the surface of the mattress. This stain started out as a “normal” baby stain – a bit of pee soaking through diapers and the crib sheet to end up on the mattress surface. Then, when that little stain was spot cleaned and scrubbed, it grew bigger, and bigger, and bigger.
Even small little marks are hard to clean due to the fact that the cover isn’t removable.
While the stain doesn’t effect the functionality or safety of the crib mattress – the stained cover has a waterproof backing, so the liquid didn’t actually soak through to the foam part of the crib mattress – it is certainly pretty unsightly.
It’s also impractical for middle of the night accidents (pee, spit up, vomit, etc) because it leaves the crib mattress cover wet. Even after you clean up the incident, the cover will be left at least a little wet which isn’t awesome or comfortable for your baby.
Once they are in the toddler years, you can simply flip it back to the infant side to get them through the night, and deal with the wet spot in the morning. But you can’t do that when they’re a baby, so will have to lay a towel down or triple up on crib sheets (which adds to your crib sheet inventory) – and this is what I think most people should do with this mattress – is use a separate and additional waterproof cover on the mattress, which you can wipe clean and dry before putting baby back to sleep.
I wish the organic cotton cover was removable and washable (as with the Nook Pebble Air mattresses (also the Pebble Pure), the Naturepedic Breathable, the Lullaby Earth, or the Newton Wovenaire), or the surface of the mattress itself was safely waterproofed (as with the Naturepedic and Lullaby Earth).
Eco Friendlier Foam
At the end of the day, the Colgate Eco Classica III is a foam crib mattress, and if I’m being honest, foam certainly isn’t my favorite material for crib mattresses.
Colgate says it’s an eco friendlier foam. So what does that mean, exactly?
Basically, the foam uses “sustainable plant oils” in place of petrochemicals in some of its manufacturing. To me this is honestly a bit of a marketing term, and you read more about my thoughts on plant-based foam here.
Personally, I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into this. Again this is my personal opinion,
Certifications and Flame Retardants
These days, it seems like it’d honestly pretty hard to gain market share in the crib mattress market without being Greenguard Gold Certified, so this isn’t particularly unique, but it’s still important.
GREENGUARD ® Gold certified means it’s been independently tested and verified for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and meets strict requirements. In other words? This mattress shouldn’t negatively impact the indoor air quality in your baby’s nursery, and it won’t “off gas” like some other mattresses (the chemical smell you notice when you un-package some products, including many mattresses).
The foam Colgate uses is also CertiPUR-US ® certified, a volunteer testing and certification process that ensures the foam used is: emissions, content, performance, and durability. Specifically, the foam is free from ozone depleting chemicals; the “tris” flame retardants (PBDEs, TDCPP, and TCEP); mercury, lead and other heavy metals; formaldehyde; CPSC regulated phthalates; and is low VOC.
While CertiPUR-US ® certified needs to be made without the tris fire retardant chemicals, Colgate has made the mattress without any fire retardant chemicals by using a chemical-free cloth fire barrier. The company doesn’t go into additional details about what that means, unfortunately.
Dimensions and Fit
The Colgate mattress is “standard” in terms of its dimensions, and will fit standard size American cribs.
It measures 27 1/2″ wide by 52″ long, and is 6″ deep (tall) and the mattress weighs 9.6 pounds.
Worth noting here, crib sizes and mattress sizes are standardized in different ways in different countries, so if you have an old European crib or crib bedding in the garage, for example, make sure it is standard size in the US.
(If buying new, it should be standard US sized; otherwise it won’t meet the import requirements into the US, although I suppose there’s always a chance on sites like Ebay etc).
Once you get your mattress home, do your own fit test to make sure it fits safely in your crib. Basically, you need to stick two fingers between the crib’s inner frame and the outer edge of the crib mattress. If your two fingers fit snugly, you’re good to go! If there’s still lots of space, it doesn’t fit.
In this case, I fit tested the Eco Classica in my daughter’s Kid Craft toddler bed (toddler beds are also meant to fit crib mattresses). I was able to get one finger comfortably between the mattress edge and the bed frame, but couldn’t fit two fingers. That means it’s a great fit!
Edge support on the Colgate Eco classica III is medium – it’s pretty good overall, but not the best I’ve seen. That said, I think it’s adequate for a baby and – more importantly – for baby’s safety.
While edge support in adult mattresses is usually described as the “tying your shoes” test (does the mattress edge hold firm if you’re sitting on the edge and leaning down to tie your shoes on the ground), this obviously isn’t an appropriate test for babies.
Rather, edge support in baby mattresses is all about whether the mattress edge holds firm against the inner crib edge, and can’t “sink down” in a way that the baby could get stuck between the mattress and the crib frame.
In this way, a proper fit and good edge support work hand-in-hand to keep your baby safe.
And in this regard, the Colgate Eco Classica III has good edge support. In the photo below, I’ve put the Eco Classica mattress in my daughter’s standard sized American toddler bed. You can see my hands pushing down on the mattress at the edges, and I am using a fair amount of force! You can see there are no gaps, and I’m not able to create a gap by pushing on the mattress edges.
Finishing Quality of the Seams, Corners, Etc. for Durability
When your little one is a baby, durability mostly comes down to washability, and it’s ability to withstand stains.
However, once you have a toddler? It’s a whole other ballgame.
I can’t tell you the number of baby and kids products I’ve seen destroyed over the years because of a toddler deciding to: pick at it; tug at it; jump on it; cut it; color it; etc. They’ll also likely turn it into a trampoline at some point, or a landing pad for huge jumps from the sofa (very popular in our house!).
So it’s worth looking at the finishing quality on any crib mattress you are considering and ask yourself how well it’s suited to a toddler’s hard-living ways.
The Colgate Eco Classica crib mattress does pretty well in this regard. The seams around most of the mattress are hidden or inverted (image on the left below). At one end, the seams are not inverted, and protrude on the outside (image on the right below).
This is on purpose, as it allows the company to finish filling the mattress at the end of the manufacturing process before sewing it all up.
The inverted seams not only looks nice, but it means you’re less likely to end of up with little holes that your toddler will spot, and make it their life mission to pick at it until its a huge, gaping hole.
Overall, the finishing quality on this crib mattress is quite high, but not exceptionally high. I do have a few loose threads on mine, for example. I think mattress durability will be pretty good over the years, both a baby mattress and a toddler mattress.
Safety Considerations of this Colgate Mattress
The Eco Classica has been designed with safety in mind, including the following:
- It is made with hypoallergenic materials, which is great if your child has a latex or wool allergy.
- It meets and exceeds required government safety standards.
- It holds additional certifications to ensure its made from safe materials that don’t off gas VOCs, and ensure it’s free from regulated phthalates and formaldehyde.
- Free from fire retardant chemicals, while still meeting flammability requirements with a fire resistant flammability barrier.
- Reduced petroleum-based oil content in the foam, with sustainable plant oils replacing an unspecified proportion of the petroleum-based content that makes up the foam.
All Colgate crib mattresses come with a conditional and non-transferable lifetime limited warranty that covers manufacturer defects for the original purchaser, as long as they own the mattress, with proof of purchase. Stains and tears in the mattress cover are not covered by the warranty.
Colgate Eco Classica III vs Naturepedic
My daughter has mostly slept on a Naturepedic Breathable Lightweight crib mattress (pictured above on the left, without the cover on), so it’s fairly easy for me to compare the two mattresses based on personal experience.
Certainly, the Naturepedic is the better mattress in my opinion. But it’s also the more expensive mattress, so the question is: is it better for your family?
The two things I really like about the Naturepedic compared to the Colgate is:
- It’s easy to clean after a wet accident. We actually don’t use the breathable quilted cover that comes with the Naturepedic Breathable, so it ends up being more like a Naturepedic Classic in terms of clean-up. Whenever there is a wet accident, we’re able to wipe the surface of the mattress quickly, dry it with a towel, and put a fresh sheet on. It gets our daughter back to sleep quickly, and there isn’t a wet spot left over to contend with. Over time, it looks better because it doesn’t develop stains like my Colgate did.
- It doesn’t use foam at all. I am not a huge fan of polyurethane foam – even CertiPUR certified. The Naturepedic is polyurethane free, which for me makes it worthwhile.
In the two points above, the first one is easy to solve by adding a non-toxic waterproof cover to the Colgate mattress. The second one isn’t easy to solve for, and is something each family will have to decide on for themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Colgate Eco Classica III Dial Firmness Foam Crib Mattress
Spot clean with mild soap or detergent and a damp cloth. The cover isn’t removable, so spot cleaning is the best option.
Colgate mattresses are made in the USA at a family-owned and operated factory in Cabbagetown, Georgia, near Atlanta.
The Colgate Eco Classica is designed for a baby’s safety, and is therefore appropriately firm. While it feels too firm for most adults, the mattress is still comfortable for babies, and parents and caregivers shouldn’t try to make it feel softer with additional blankets or padding, as this isn’t safe.
Once your baby is old enough (18 months+) you can flip the mattress to the softer toddler side.
Somewhat. The backing of the organic cover is waterproofed from the inside. However, it’s unclear whether the sides of the mattress are waterproofed. I recommend using this mattress with a separate non-toxic removable waterproof cover, such as the one Naturepedic makes.
It is durable, supportive, and safe, and comes with a number of certifications
When cared for properly, you should be able to use this crib mattress with multiple children
The Colgate mattress has a certified organic cotton cover, but isn’t an organic crib mattress, per se, as only the cover is organic.
If you’re looking for an organic crib mattress, you might want to consider the Naturepedic, Avocado, and Nook Pebble Pure.
Final Thoughts: Is the Colgate Eco Classica III a Good Crib Mattress to Buy?
The Colgate Eco Classica dual firmness eco friendlier crib mattress is a good mid-range foam crib mattress.
It meets or exceeds safety standards, and offers the additional peace of mind of having Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR certifications.
Price wise, it tends to be mid-range, albeit in the higher end of mid-range.
While it’s marketed as an eco-friendlier mattress, my personal opinion is this is mostly a marketing term. As I understand it, even plant foam still contains some raw materials that are petroleum based.