Non-Toxic Play Tents and Play Tunnels

When he was younger, our little guy loved playing in tunnels at our local indoor play space and inside his friends’ tents when we visited for play dates! When I began looking into purchasing a play tent, I learned that a good number of the polyester tents (and tunnels) contain chemicals of concern and our choices were limited.  Since this original post in 2013, there have been manufacturing updates which provide a greater selection of flame-retardant free options:

The Melissa & Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel contains PVC in the eye which can be cut out and removed. I did not choose to purchase this tunnel as I avoid all PVC and I had also read a review on amazon that indicated the product also contains flame retardants.  I have reached out to their customer service team to confirm the presence of flame retardants and will update the post once I hear back.

Pacific Play Tentsis another popular children’s play tunnel and tent manufacturer. We are happy to confirm that their play tents do not contain flame retardant chemicals of concern (Tris) and that this change has been in effect since December 2014.  In addition, Pacific Play Tents performs random sample tests on all of their products to test for lead and numerous other chemicals of concern (including BPA & Phthalates).

Pacific Play Tents also offer a great range of play tunnels and parachutes which we confirmed contain no flame retardants as of December 2014.  We applaud Pacific Play Tents for their work in getting CPSC approval required to make this change and for their manufacturing transparency.

HABA play tents are another great option! HABA tents are made of PVC free polyester & cotton and their products are BPA, chemical flame retardant and Phthalate free

As of April 2015, HABA offers a non-toxic play tunnel as well so there is another safe option to choose from! Check out my post on their Croco Kuno Crawling Tunnel for more information!

 

Unfortunately, we had discrepancies in the information that IKEA provided to us regarding their play tents and tunnels. After an initial email indicating that their products do not contain chemical flame retardants, one of our readers received information that they in fact do. After additional phone calls and emails, they have now stated that “products meet Federal Domestic fire standards, usually the fire retardants are mixed at the time of production. All IKEA products are tested and approved according to current regulations and standards.” We can’t recommend IKEA tunnels and tents due to the presence of chemical flame retardants and I’m pretty disappointed in the fact that their customer service team provided incorrect information to us initially.


 

1-2 Years, 2-3 Years, 3-5 Years, 9-12 Months, Child Gear , , , , ,

9 comments


  1. lisa

    I purchased the ikea tunnel and on the label it says it meets cpai 84 specs so I called Ikea and sure enough it has flame retardants on it. After looking everywhere I dont believe there is a safe play tunnel out there. If you have found one please let me know. thanks

  2. happytotmom

    Oh no! That must have changed very recently as this is the email Ikea had sent re: play tunnels and their tents:

    There are no PVC or chemical flame retardants used in the manufacturing of these items.
    Thank you for your interest in IKEA. We appreciate your inquiry.
    Best Regards,
    J.R.
    IKEA Customer Care

    Thank you for letting me know – I will reach back out to Ikea on their tents to confirm if they have changed as well and will update the post accordingly when I hear back. I’ll keep looking for other options!

  3. Jenn Rian

    Yes, it does say “this is made with flame resistant fabric which meets CPAI-84 specifications” on the label. But the email that the company sent me (that happytotmom posted in the comment above) stated that they don’t use any chemical flame retardants. This led me to believe one of two things. Either…
    1. J.R. from Ikea is a liar
    2. The fabric used is naturally flame resistant without any added chemical retardants.
    Which one is true, I couldn’t say. I chose to take J.R.’s word for it and I purchased the Busa tunnel and Busa tent, but I’m very disappointed to hear that I may have been given false information 🙁

  4. happytotmom

    Jenn,

    Looks like you were provided false information as I just received this email back from the IKEA customer service team regarding their tents and tunnels: “These products meet Federal Domestic fire standards, usually the fire retardants are mixed at the time of production. All IKEA products are tested and approved according to current regulations and standards.” I’ve updated the post accordingly – looks like HABA tents are the safe option and I haven’t found another play tunnel that is chemical FR free…..

    Lisa, thank you for bringing this to our attention!

  5. Heather

    This is the email I just received from IKEA:

    Hello Heather,

    Thank you for your interest in IKEA. We appreciate that you have taken the time to contact us.

    The 901.920.14 BUSA play tunnel is made of 100 % polyester and contains no flame retardants. All of our children’s products and toys are also BPA- and lead-free, completely non-toxic and entirely safe to use. IKEA follows the strictest laws and standards in the world, sometimes even making our own tougher ones. Please know that IKEA has zero tolerance for any safety or health risks in our children’s products.

    We hope that this information has been helpful, and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to assist you.

    Best Regards,
    Richard

    IKEA Customer Care
    IKEA US Contact Center
    Email: UScustomercare259@ikea.com

  6. Sabrina

    Goddammit IKEA!!!!

    I try not to poison my kid, and you put flame retardant in a 6-foot play tunnel??? What, do you think children are SMOKING in there? Or that they’ll be trapped inside during a raging house fire?!? The IDIOCY is staggering. First, of the government for not revising these standards since the rate of housefires has decreased dramatically since people stopped smoking. Second, for manufacturers for pumping known poisons into products that are exclusively used by children. Shame on you. SHAME. I’m going to drop off the play tunnel at IKEA and NEVER SHOP THERE AGAIN. Also, meet my large network of concerned moms on Facebook. 🙂

  7. Susanna

    re: pacific play tents, seems at least some of their play tents are flame-retardant:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Play-Tents-Safari-Tunnel/dp/B00083DD4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445658983&sr=8-1&keywords=play+tent+safari

    “The Safari Tunnel is constructed of spring steel with a nylon cover and padded interior for comfort and safety. The tent is made of flame-retardant 70 denier polyester meeting CPAI-84 standards. It’s washable and made of water-repellent nylon that withstands rough play, outdoor use, and spills. The tunnel measures 19 inches in diameter and is 4 feet long.”

  8. happytotmom

    Since I received the update from Pacific Play Tents recently and their manufacturing changes went into effect in Dec of 2014, the best thing would be to contact them directly prior to purchasing to ensure you will get a 2015 model. Perhaps the description hasn’t been updated on amazon but the only way to be certain the item you receive is chemical flame retardant free is to order from them directly.

  9. naturalmama

    My daughter really wanted a play tent for Xmas and just received one from a family member. I was worried which tent they would choose and was very happy when I saw they got her the Ikea brand because even though I don’t think Ikea is ideal (lots of stuff made in China) I still feel they have pretty good standards compared to some others. I was VERY disappointed when after putting the tent up I noticed a label on it saying it was made from flame resistant polyester. I emailed Ikea today to find out if this means fire retardants are added to the fabric, or only that polyester is naturally flame resistant. I haven’t heard back yet but have since researched it and fire retardant polyester IS treated with chemicals, just not sprayed with them after but made as part of the fabric. VERY VERY disappointed in Ikea! This tent is going back (if they give us some credit since we have no receipt) and now looking for a chemical free one. Good to know HABA is ok, we have several of their toys and I have seen their tents online (they are quite expensive though).

    It is so frustrating they treat even children’s tents with flame retardants! I never expected that! I am from Europe and America is obsessed with fire safety to a point of ridiculousness. I doubt the same tent is made with treated materials at Ikea in Europe, it has to do with the crazy US laws on fire safety. Everything has to be doused in the chemicals here because of the laws!

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