Non-Toxic Play Mat

Non-Toxic Foam Play Mat Options –

Our home has tile and wood floors and therefore, we wanted to create a soft space for our baby with the use of floor mats.  There are many foam mats on the market including ones with colorful letters and numbers but most of these mats contain formamide which is a cancer-causing chemical.  This chemical can be absorbed by children through breathing or through the skin.  Belgium became the first European country to ban these foam mats and as of 2011 they are now illegal to sell.

There are healthier options!  I contacted a number of companies and have included the information below for reference.  In the end, we chose to use the Softtiles product and have been very happy with our play area!

Skip Hop Playspot


The Skip Hop Playspot is made in China and meets or exceeds regulatory safety standards in the USA and Europe.  It is BPA, phthalate and PVC free.  Per their email response on the use of Formamide:

We do not add Formamide to Playspot, although it can be a byproduct of the EVA foam manufacturing process (which includes such items as flip flops and many bath toys).   That said, due to these concerns, we have tested Playspot using ISO 16000 methods.  

We are pleased that our Playspots received the lowest possible score, <2ug/m3 (less than 2 millionths of a gram per cubic meter) for Formamide emissions, the lowest measurable result with this testing method.  These tests show that – within the limits of the test – its presence is essentially not detectable.  Therefore, the Playspot is a safe EVA floor mat option for children and you should feel confident that we have specifically tested for this issue.  

Check out the Skip Hop PlaySpot on Amazon.com!

 Image source: www.amazon.com

One Step Ahead Foam Mats


The One Step Ahead foam mat is made in China and is formamide, acetaphenone, 2 phenyl 2 propanol free.  I did not see on the website that the mats were BPA and phthalate free so contacted their customer service department.  Per their email response:

I received response back from our product specialist and the foam mats are BPA free and Phalate free.

On their website, they do note the following which was a personal concern as this was one of the main complaints on user feedback that I noticed:

When you first unwrap your puzzle mat, you may notice a “funny” foam smell. Don’t be concerned; our mats are safe! (They’ve passed extensive safety testing.) Let the pieces air out for a few days, and the odor will dissipate.

Check out the One Step Ahead Foam Play Mat on Amazon.com!

 Image source: www.amazon.com

SoftTiles


SoftTiles foam mats are made in Taiwan and have been tested free of formamides, BPA, phthalates, latex and fire retardants.  Their website actually links to the independent lab testing they have had performed on their mats to validate their claims.  You can purchase the mat tiles separately and therefore can custom your colors and ensure that you will fit the exact space you are looking to cover. Our SoftTiles covered play area is still going strong after 4 years of heavy use!

Image source: www.softtiles.com

Non-Toxic Rubber Play Mat Options

Kutchu Children’s Play Mat

For those looking for a foam-free option, there is now a play mat available made of natural rubber! The Kutchu play mat was designed by a new mom in 2013 who was looking for a safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly play mat. The mat is manufactured in Taiwan, using non-rainforest natural rubber from South-Asian origin. It is free from phthalates and chemical flame retardants that can be found in synthetic materials. As stated on their website, those with latex sensitivities should use caution since natural rubber may contain trace amounts of latex. Check out the Kutchu Children’s Play Mat for your little one!

Image source: www.kutchu.com

3-6 Months, Child Gear , , , , ,

8 comments


  1. zoorang

    Hope this will help you to choose right play mats for your precious little one!
    There is a shop who sells Eco-friendly & Nontoxic Play-mat, Pillobebe. They recently launched new product which is made of natural cork. This is from their website. http://www.pillobebe.com

    “We are extremely excited to announce CorkiMat™, a brand new baby/toddler/kids play mat exclusively designed and developed by Pillobebe!!! The main component of CorkiMat™ is natural cork! Cork is Eco-friendly, Organic, Naturally Anti-bacterial, Anti-microbial, Anti-fungal, and Naturally flame-retardant. It has No harmful chemicals like Formamide, Flame-retardants, etc. It provides similar protection compare to toxic foam play mats widely sold and used in the world today.”

    You can watch this Youtube video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9jWLRJYQCg

  2. D M Pehler

    Is there any information available about the manufacture and content of the Verdes foam mat products?

  3. happytotmom

    I have not heard back directly from them regarding the presence of certain chemicals. I have viewed other online postings which claim that their foam mats contain non-detectable levels of Formamide. I am still waiting on a response and will update when I receive one!

  4. Nat

    Hi there, thanks for this great list of options for parents who want a safer option than regular foam play mats. As a mom myself, I had those same concerns when my son started to crawl, and I had a hard time finding a play mat that met my expectations. For that reason, I decided to create the Kutchu play mat. It is the only children’s play mat made of natural rubber, which is a safe, non-toxic and eco-friendly material. The Kutchu play mat was safety-tested and certified to meet all North American toy safety standards (Canadian and US standards). What’s great about natural rubber, on top of the safety factors, is that it’s eco-friendly, compared to plastic or foam-based synthetic materials. NR is a renewable resource which comes from the sap of the rubber tree, and it’s also bio-degradable which means it will not leave a permanent footprint in the landfill at the end of its useful life the way plastics do. Please visit my site or contact me for more information! http://www.kutchu.com

  5. happytotmom

    Thank you for the information and it’s great to hear that there is another safer option! I will update my post to include your product!

  6. nancy

    Thank you for sharing! it’s very helpful in our research!

  7. Cindy

    I bought Proby Eco friendly play mat 2 month ago for my son and this mat is toxic free mat and i love to recommend to other moms.

    check this out:
    http://www.littlebabygenie.com

  8. Catherine

    hello! I really hope you can provide some solid advice on the topic of safe play mats for baby.

    I have been on the search for a non toxic play mat for quite some time now.. one that doesn’t include all the nasties like BPA, PVC, PHTHALATES, FORMAMIDE, LATEX, OR LEAD.

    I’ve read all your blogs including a handful of other green mommas and cannot determine if EVA foam mats are safe, even if their testing claims to have non detectable amounts of formamide. If they are safe… and they have a smell that comes with the packaging in the beginning, is it enough to just air it out?

    A few months ago I had already purchased the babycare playmat and I know that one includes PVC… If we lay a blanket on top, will that eliminate the toxins (if any) from being emitted onto our bodies?

    I would love to be able to afford the organic cotton options like Pillobebe, but unfortunately my husband thinks they are WAY overpriced and too expensive for our budget.

    Please help! Any thoughts are deeply appreciated. I would really like to have a peace of mind when purchasing the mat… and really put this matter behind me once and for all!

    Thank you!

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