The $300 Newton crib mattress‘ big draw is its”Wovenaire” core, which is made up of 90% air and 10% of a food-grade polymer. The company claims this design “allows air to flow freely for optimal breathability and temperature regulation,” pointing to a study that says the Newton mattress “had a significantly lower suffocation risk than leading ‘organic” and ‘natural’ mattresses.”
Newton doesn’t provide any details of this “independent test,” except for a graph on its web site which purports to show the Newton mattress has a lower suffocation risk than three other competitors.
Sigh. Where to do begin?
Any time we hear a company claim their mattress is “breathable,” it immediately raises red flags—the obvious implication is that this mattress will prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
So let’s say it again—no mattress can prevent SIDS. The safest way for your baby to sleep is on his or her back. . . no matter what the mattress is made of. And no matter what a mattress implies about breathability, it is unsafe to put baby to sleep on her stomach. (Back in 2000, the CPSC cracked down on similar claims made by so-called “breathable” crib mattress makers).
As to Newton’s other claims of superiority (since the mattress has no foam, latex, springs or glue, the company says it has “no off gassing, toxic chemicals or allergens”), that is dubious. We do like the fact that the Newton is GREENGUARD Gold certified, an independent verification that the mattress is emissions free. But we should also note that there are other crib mattresses made of foam, spring coils and the like that are also GREENGUARD certified.
The entire Newton mattress (cover and core) is washable, which is impressive.
FYI: The Newton mattress is similar in design to Colgate’s Nuzzle Nest (reviewed here). Interestingly, Colgate doesn’t make any claims about suffocation risk, but instead touts the “AirWeave” technology as a way to keep baby from overheating or cooling.
Newton was started by Michael Rothbard, the owner of a high-end mattress store in New York City (the Sleep Studio).
Reader feedback on the Newton has been positive and the company’s customer service gets good marks. Normally, we’d give a mattress with this level of positive feedback an A, but we’re docking Newton a letter grade for the sketchy claims of “lower suffocation risk.” And implying that other competing mattresses are dangerous. The Newton crib mattress should be able to stand on its own without such dubious claims. Rating: B