11 Organic & Non-Toxic Play Mats For The Most Eco Friendly Fun
As a new parent you’ll quickly discover the value of play mats.
Aside from staging the cuuuuutest baby photos, they provide a clean and safe surface for feeling, discovering, and development.
Between tummy time, crawling, rolling, tumbling, and playing, little ones spend a lot of time on their mat.
But that also means they come into close contact with materials that pose a risk to your baby’s health. Playtime should be fun, not fraught with concerns.
That’s why we’ve done some discovering of our own and turned over brands like Makemake Organics and their ethically-made organic play mats.
Organic cotton is one of the best materials for a baby play mat, so that’s why we love every item by Lovevery, especially their non toxic play mat and learning gym combo.
If you want purchases for your small human to support their growing minds, Etsy shop Finch & Folk create play mats with brain-stimulating designs.
BEST Organic Play Mats
1. MAKEMAKE ORGANICS
Makemake Organics’ Organic Cotton Play Mats
Makemake Organics’ washable organic cotton play mats are available in three quilted, round, reversible styles.
They’re perfect for both tummy time and playtime, featuring a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover dyed with non-toxic dyes and OEKO-TEX-certified polyfill filling.
The high-quality materials ensure long-lasting play, which is very handy as a pass-me-down to a younger sibling.
And if it can’t be handed down though, the cover is entirely compostable. Just be sure to remove the filling.
About Makemake Organics
Florida-based Makemake Organics produces a range of organic, non toxic products that all promise pure materials, minimalist designs, and quality.
They utilize ethical, fair trade Indian manufacturing (a team of mostly women) and rigorously test products throughout the supply chain to ensure they’re free of harmful chemicals at all stages.
Available: Makemake Organics
2. FINN + EMMA
Finn + Emma’s Organic Play Mats
Finn + Emma’s boho-chic playmats are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton and super-soft heirloom-quality cotton.
Perfect for babies and toddlers, the roomy playmats have a removable, machine-washable cover and are filled with OEKO-TEX certified polyester fiber.
They are dyed with non-toxic and eco-friendly dyes and are free of PVC, acrylic, esters, and petrochemicals.
About Finn + Emma
This brand was mom-founded, and you know what they say… Moms know best!
Between their affordable organic baby clothes, cozy blankets, and adorable pajamas, they can fill a nursery with non-toxic goodies.
Like everything in their supply chain, the organic cotton play mats are made with fair trade raw materials in fair paying factories in India that employ mostly women to help them achieve economic independence.
Available: Finn + Emma
Lovevery’s Organic Play Mat
Designed for ages 0-4, the Play Gym is an organic cotton jungle play mat combined with a removable organic cotton cover and FSC-certified wood frame, all free of PVC, BPA, and flame retardants.
Much more than just a mat, this Parent’s Choice award-winning activity gym also comes with batting and teething toys, hiding and finding pockets, texture tools, and learning card sets.
Then there’s the Organic Nap Mat and Organic Baby Quilt (with reversible, high-contrast patterns designed to promote brain development). Both are made with 100% organic cotton and OEKO-TEX-certified poly filling.
Lovevery focuses on stage-based play to optimize baby brain development.
Everything is made in ethical factories in Ningbo, China, and sent via carbon-neutral shipping that funds Green-e® certified renewable energy projects, though they hope to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
By 2023, they aim to launch a secondhand marketplace. By 2025, 90% of product and packaging materials will be either biobased, renewable, or recycled.
4. TOKI MATS
Toki Mats’ Non Toxic Foam Play Mats
The non toxic foam play mats by Toki Mats are designed with a firm (yet comfortable) OEKO-TEX natural dunlop latex foam or GOLS certified organic latex filling to help little ones get on their feet.
The flame retardant-free filling is anti-bacterial, self-ventilating, non-allergenic, and biodegradable.
They can easily be folded for travelling, and have several removable cover options, either made of 100% organic cotton, OEKO-TEX-certified water resistant bamboo, or vegan leather.
The latter is in the Everywhere Mat Covers, made with OEKO-TEX-certified, water-based microfiber polyurethane (PU) that is weather-resistant and easy to wipe clean (but not machine washable).
Still, given the potential health concerns with PU, we’d opt for the organic cotton mat covers instead.
About Toki Mats
Toki Mats was born during naptime, inspired by a mother’s need for a safe, comfortable, and supportive platform for her and her newborn to spend time playing on the floor.
We’ll reach out to see if we can learn more about where these mats are manufactured.
Available: Toki Mats
5. HEMP ORGANIC LIFE
Hemp Organic Life’s Organic Hemp-Filled Play Mats
Hemp Organic Life provides our babies and toddlers with organic hemp products.
They offer a few simple organic play mats to choose from. All non-dyed with a quilted linen cover and organic hemp filler (two of our favorite sustainable fabrics).
While hemp is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, babies are still messy. Luckily, these organic hemp play mats are machine washable and dryer-friendly.
About Hemp Organic Life
The Ukrainian Etsy shop sources organic hemp locally from local, chemical-free farms.
All products are also manufactured in Ukraine by a small team of four seamstresses who craft sleeping bags, eco friendly bedding (for adults and babies), floor cushions, and more.
Oh, and for those who’s only baby is their fur baby, they also made eco friendly dog beds.
6. FINCH & FOLK
Finch & Folk’s Organic Baby Play Mats
For a non toxic play mat from Australia, flit on over to Finch & Folk.
They have 13 organic baby playmats to choose from, so you’re sure to find the one your baby will love—especially as they all feature gender-neutral designs.
The soft, GOTS-certified organic cotton top is combined with an OEKO-TEX certified polyester inner layer, all ethically made by a small family-run business in India.
For budding artists, some feature a reusable coloring cloth that can be decorated and doodled on, washed, re-colored, and even hung on the wall.
About Finch & Folk
Hailing from Australia, Finch & Folk has some of the best eco friendly gifts on Etsy for parents and their little ones.
In addition to their playmats, their blankets, soft books, and eco friendly toys are all made with 100% organic cotton.
Pillobebe’s Organic Play Mat for Baby
The CorkiMat® is what sets Pillobebe apart.
This organic non foam play mat is OEKO-TEX 100-certified and features a removable organic cotton cover (some of which is non-dyed) with an anti-slip bottom. The insert tiles are made with hypoallergenic layers of compressed polyester.
They also have an Organic Cotton Play Mat range that has a 100% organic cotton designer print cover and 100% organic cotton inner batting.
Pillobebe got their start when they needed a play mat for their son—but then learned about the cancer-causing formamide found in foam mats.
So they invented one an eco friendly alternative, along with an organic baby blanket and several burping cloths.
Everything is handmade in the USA and free of formamide, formaldehyde, flame retardants, PU, PVC, BPA, BPS, phthalates, lead, latex, and VOCs.
Non Toxic BabY Play Mats
8. WANDER & ROAM
wander & roam’s Eco Friendly Play Mat
wander & roam – the most aptly named brand on this list, wouldn’t you agree?!
Behold the wander mat: a one-piece, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, nonflammable, easy-to-clean, comfy mat for babies, toddlers, kids, pets, and adults.
The non-toxic reversible foam mat features a single piece of eco-friendly, biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foam that’s been tested as exceeding all US and European Toy Standards.
Being free of latex, BPA, formamide, and PVC, TPU “does not harm the environment in production, use or disposal.” It’s often used in medical devices, replacing PVC and EVA as a non-toxic alternative.
The durable mats are easy to wipe clean and designed to last for many years.
About wander & roam
Mama-founded wander & roam also started with a search for an easy-to-use play mat. After some at-home product testing, the wander mat was born.
We couldn’t find any information about where these are made and any ethical precautions in place, so we’ll reach out and ask.
Available: wander & roam
9. ALZIP MAT
ALZiP Mats’ Eco Friendly Play Mats
ALZiP Mats have taken something as simple as an eco friendly play mat and poured an impressive amount of thought into optimizing it.
They developed a unique absorbent structure, featuring nine layers of high-density polyethylene foam.
Parents: Take comfort in the mat’s impact-absorbing layer for babies who have just started toddling and noise-absorbing layer for toddlers who just won’t stop.
All mats utilize this structure but there are several options to choose from.
Their Eco Color Folder is a non toxic foldable play mat with a reversible vegan polyurethane leather cover that is free from hazardous substances.
The Eco Silicone Mat is also made with a waterproof eco PU leather cover, but it’s coated in FDA-certified food-grade silicone—making it safe for curious children to bite and suck on.
That’s just the start…
You can literally cover your entire living room with their impressive mat selection, just like you would an organic rug.
About ALZiP Mat
ALZiP Mats is an award-winning and highly certified brand—by the FDA, ECO Label, LOHAS, SGS Testing, and KCR Testing—so you can rest easy knowing your baby’s playtime is as innocent as it should be.
The brand is based in South Korea, which is also where all raw materials are sourced.
Having started as a PU leather company three decades prior, they really know their stuff about the material.
All manufacturing is done by hand in-house (no third parties or outsourcing).
Available: Wunderkids | Amazon Canada
CreamHaus’ Eco Friendly Folding Play Mats
All CreamHaus mats feature a non-toxic, non-off-gassing, fully recyclable PE foam core laminated into 10 layers (using a chemical-free adhesive).
The modular rearrangeable cube mats and folding mats top that with a PU leather cover that’s high-heat cleaned to remove toxic chemical residue.
To avoid PU, the plush Bumper Mat (with optional added canopy) has a 100% hypoallergenic cotton cover over the PE foam inner and chitosan-based (made from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish) antibacterial and waterproof surface.
These are effective for keeping babies contained without the use of a crib. That’s because its padded sides can fold up to create a little bumper for curious crawlers.
If you’re not sure which is right for you, check out their handy comparison chart.
All mats are certified by OEKO-TEX 100, CE EN71, and ASTM, and are free of PVC, EVA, TPA, BPA, lead, phthalates, fire retardants, formamide, formaldehyde, and VOCs.
Did you know babies spend much more time on play mats than strollers, play yards, or cribs?
That’s why “proud father” Brian founded this brand in the first place, and with branches across the world, CreamHaus provides safe mats for parents everywhere.
We’re not sure where the mats are made, but we’ll be reaching out to confirm.
Pehr’s Eco Friendly Play Mat for Babies
Browsing the selection by Pehr is like a peer into what your non-toxic nursery could look like.
Their playmats are made with 100% cozy quilted cotton, screen printed by hand into several designs using natural, AZO-free dyes.
They’re also washer and dryer friendly.
The female-founded, female-led company also prioritizes working with women, and they partner with groups like Care & Fair and Good Weave that provide opportunities for women in developing nations.
Pehr is a regular contributor to Good + Foundation, an organization that supports low-income parents with needed essentials.
They’re also on their way to eliminating single-use packaging and adopting more sustainable manufacturing practices.
WHY NON TOXIC & ORGANIC PLAY MATS?
Got a little one who’s scooting around or a babe in need of a soft landing for tummy time?
Looking for the best eco friendly play mat is time well spent.
Because babies spend a lot of their own time on the ground, of course. As curious tiny humans, they also love to lick, suck, and bite nearly any—and every—thing they come in contact with.
For the same reason parents are increasingly seeking out everything from organic baby shampoo to organic baby skin care products, moms and dads are now also considering some of the other problematic materials babies come into contact with.
This leads to the important question more parents should be asking: are play mats toxic?
Like most items around the house, they certainly can be, and that’s extra dangerous for babies.
With an immature body and a still-developing system that would struggle to process and metabolise chemicals, many products—even those designed for babies—can become toxic as the baby breathes in or ingests it.
EVA foam and formamide
Ah, the burden of being a new parent… more questions! Are foam mats safe for babies? Are EVA foam mats toxic?
EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, is commonly found in foam-based products. Think: sporting equipment, costumes, craft materials, and, yes, play mats.
But it is also dangerous.
Although a safer alternative to PVC, it’s associated with toxic off-gassing of a chemical called formamide, which has been linked to reproductive issues and cancer. This has resulted in play mat-related formamide bans in a few European countries.
While recent conflicting research sometimes suggests the safety of EVA (unless a child were to practically eat the mat), it’s also not recyclable or biodegradable—giving it a thumbs-down from us.
PVC and dangerous phthalates
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is found in play mats, balls, dolls, inflatable swimming pools, and more.
Unfortunately, as flexible and useful as this type of plastic is, it is the worst kind, as it releases lead and phthalates linked to cancer, premature puberty, reproductive and developmental disorders, and more.
It’s also responsible for releasing cancer-causing dioxins into the environment. It emits 160 toxic gasses when disposed of.
Flame retardants are often from a class called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which have been linked to negative health effects for children, including early puberty and delayed development.
Polyurethane and potential VOCs
The jury’s still out about polyurethane (PU) play mats. Although considered to be non-toxic, the material is flammable, meaning it may be treated with those pesky flame retardants.
Additionally, in a study looking at PU foam mattresses, a significant release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was reported. Because of their smaller body weight, babies inhale 10 times as much of these dangerous compounds as adults.
Still, polyurethane is considered to be one of the least dangerous materials often used in baby products. If you do go with a PU playmat, avoid those treated with flame retardants.
This option is fully recyclable, making it one of the less insidious plastics out there.
XPE foam is often marketed as “non-toxic” material, but it’s thin and lacks the softness found in TPU.
It’s also made of cross-linked polyethylene (PE) foam, which presents a similar risk as PE itself (i.e. offgassing, leaching plastic additives).
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST NON TOXIC PLAY MATS
Whew, that’s a lot of chemical exposure to expect when you’re expecting!
Fortunately, playtime isn’t canceled.
In order to make the best organic play mat for babies, these brands have looked high and low for earth friendly materials and processed them in a way that’s better for people and our planet.
What is the best material for a baby play mat?
Not only are they processed with fewer chemicals, are hypoallergenic, and more breathable, but they also have a far better end-of-life story.
From a durability and washability standpoint, however, some synthetic fabrics have a place in the playpen.
Polyurethane is strong, long-lasting, and good at absorbing shocks for little ones learning to walk. However, it does present some risks if treated with harmful chemicals.
Considered to be a safer alternative, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) is also strong and durable, but unlike PU it does not off-gas VOCs, nor does it contain BPA, BPS, BPF, or plasticizers that can irritate skin or lead to other health problems.
No matter the material, we always look for “free of” claims, chemical testing, and third-party reassurance. Certifications are the best way to ensure safe, non toxic baby play mats.
- Certifications: OEKO-TEX® 100, GOTS, Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS); Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
Supply chain & business practices:
The best non toxic baby play mat will contribute to a world worth raising our kids in. AKA one in which we actually care about the well-being of our planet and everyone on it.
That means we prioritize brands utilizing ethical manufacturing, paying fair wages, and supporting disadvantaged populations.
While a lot of these brands did not quite have the manufacturing transparency we usually like to see from our slow fashion, some certainly did, especially since most have very small supply chains.
For those that didn’t, we will reach out directly to them and update this guide when they confirm.
Green business practices:
We were extra goo-goo-ga-ga over non toxic and organic play mats from brands that also took extra steps to look after the environment.
This included using carbon-neutral shipping via carbon offset programs, plastic-free packaging (anyone else trying to raise a zero waste baby?!), and goals to keep improving their manufacturing practices.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ORGANIC & NON TOXIC PLAY MATS
Nothing puts a pause on playtime like toxic materials.
Fortunately, as this list shows, the fun doesn’t have to end.
You can’t totally baby-proof your home, and make it safer (and supportive) by choosing consciously-made products like eco friendly diapers and, of course, organic kids play mats.
But in all our baby fever, it’s important we don’t forget that toxins exist in many other conventional products. And if we keep talking about this issue, manufacturers will have no choice but to adapt and evolve.
So let’s keep the rolly polly momentum by sharing this article with some new or expectant moms and dads.