So far in this series on eco-friendly, non-toxic cribs, I’ve talked about when you’ll need a crib and how to figure out the right kind of crib for you and your family. I’ve also looked at safety concerns with cribs, including issues with toxic chemicals in most cribs on the market. In this article, I’ll look at 5 of the best companies making non-toxic, eco-friendly cribs from hardwood, and list a few runners up.
As we’ve discussed elsewhere in this series, the safest option for a crib is a 100% hardwood crib with a food-grade finish such as linseed oil, and either no glue or soy-based or water-based glue. For top marks, you want a crib without composite wood (no MDF, plywood, etc.), laminates, or paints, stains, or adhesives that contain formaldehyde and other VOCs.
I’ll look at the best hardwood cribs in this article, and I cover softwood cribs and other options here.
The best companies for non-toxic hardwood cribs
Just a handful of companies make hardwood cribs that are non-toxic and available online. Because of the weight of a hardwood crib, it’s best to buy one in person at a store, or from a company close to you. Obviously, that cuts down your options even further, but it’s worth asking around; there may be a small company making hardwood cribs near you that just doesn’t have the budget to advertise online or do much marketing. If you find a real gem, let me know!
5. Baby Eco Trends – beautiful hardwood furniture made by Amish craftsmen (but be careful of the finishes)
Baby Eco Trends are an excellent option for solid hardwood bassinets, cradles, and cribs made with hardwood and without composite or engineered wood or toxic chemicals. These cribs are handmade in Ohio by Amish craftsmen, using solid wood sustainably harvested in the US, and can be delivered anywhere in the contiguous US. The wood is kiln dried rather than chemically treated, and the craftsmen use mortise and tenon joints rather than glues to make the crib.
So, while it’s a shame that the company doesn’t carry any eco-certifications or Greenguard Gold Certification, it’s a pretty safe bet that their cribs are non-toxic, simply because they don’t use glues. That said, because you can choose to have the crib treated with standard or formaldehyde-free finish or paint, this means that some toxic chemicals may be knocking around in the factory where the cribs are made. Make sure you choose a formaldehyde-free finish or paint to keep your crib non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Prices range from $1,000-$2,300, with almost all cribs able to be converted into a toddler bed, day bed, and full bed. They also offer low profile (low-rise) cribs, which are great if you’re a little shorter (like me!) and find it hard to reach down low into a crib. Most Baby Eco Trends cribs also have three adjustable mattress positions, so you can have newborns up high, older infants a little lower, and potential-escapees on the lowest setting. Cribs fit standard aby crib mattresses and comply with all required standards (CPSC, ASTM), in addition to being third-party lab tested and approved.
Some models have an optional Baby Changing Tray that attaches to matching Dressers / Baby Changers for extra security and can easily be removed when no longer needed. You can also choose custom stains, finishes, paints and hardware as well as other wood species by emailing the company. To make sure your new crib has the right aesthetic, you can request samples of hardwood and stain/paint selections (for a price; refundable upon return of the samples).
Cribs take around 8-12 weeks to complete, plus packing and shipping time. Free curbside delivery is available, and assembly instructions are provided.
4. Natart Juvenile – a good option with solid wood slats and some certifications
Natart Juvenile make Greenguard Gold Certified cribs ranging from around $1,160-$1,500. These solid wood cribs are made in Canada with beechwood, oak, or birch, and use solid wood mattress supports. Natart offer a range of styles, including more contemporary modern designs and some classic curved designs. Most models convert into a toddler bed at least, with some 5-in-1 models converting into a toddler bed, daybed, double bed headboard and complete double bed.
The cribs, as with all Natart Juvenile furniture, have a full bottom dust cover. They also have anti-tip hardware (which features a leather strap), and some models are upholstered with a choice of leather or washable fabric. So, if you’re vegan like me, these cribs might not be quite right for you and your baby, unless you’re willing to install your own anti-tip system.
I love that these cribs have solid wooden slat mattress supports instead of metal, and I appreciate that Natart list the broad range of certifications they carry for their products, including Greenguard Gold certification, and 16 CFR Part 1303 – Ban of Lead-Containing Paint and Certain Consumer Products Bearing Lead-Containing Paint, as well as California’s Proposition 65 for Phthalates, and the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. All cribs adhere to required CPSC and ASTM standards, as well as Health Canada standards. I’d still like Natart to explicitly state that they don’t and won’t use any VOCs or other toxic chemicals in their products, however, as they only say that they use ‘low-VOC’ materials.
Still, as cribs go, Natart Juvenile is a great option for a solid wood crib with excellent certification.
Natart Furniture is a small family owned company founded in Rome, Italy in 1988 as an adult furniture manufacturer. The company relocated to Quebec, Canada, in 1995, and launched their juvenile division in 2001. They added their Tulip Juvenile line of modern furniture in 2008, and in 2014 added Nest Juvenile and Natart Gliders to their kids collection (see more below on Nest and Tulip).
3. Romina – top choice if you have the money and an eye for design and customization
Romina clearly have a passion for building beautiful cribs and other safe, durable, and desirable furniture. This Romanian company makes cribs from 100% solid hardwood, organic glues, and non-toxic, water-based, organic oil finishes (free of VOCs, lead, and formaldehyde). All of Romina’s cribs are GreenGuard Gold Certified, as is all their other furniture. Cribs meet and exceed CPSC standards and range in price from $975-$1,495, or more depending on the options you choose for any given model.
Romina offer a variety of stylish cribs, most of which can be converted to a toddler bed, day bed, and full bed when the time comes. These cribs come with a 3-year warranty and Romina make it really easy to order any replacement parts or conversion accessories through the website.
The company is a family-owned business established in 1991 to continue the woodworking traditions passed down over three generations. Romina began offering furniture for sale in the US in 2006 and now have more than 85 retailers in the US, Canada, and elsewhere in the world. You can buy a Romina crib online or find an authorized specialty store in the US or Canada using their “Find a Store” tool.
One thing I like about Romina is that they have complete control over their production facilities in Europe, which means they know exactly how each crib is made. They also design and make other beautiful furniture, meaning that you could kit out your whole nursery (even your whole house) with Romina products. One downside is that all of the cribs seem to have metal mattress supports, which may mean some sagging once your child is older and heavier. If their cribs had wooden slat supports, Romina cribs would be my top choice for a safe, eco-friendly, non-toxic crib.
2. Green Cradle – scrupulous safety standards, but out of reach for most
One company consistently earns top marks from eco-minded parents for their hardwood, non-toxic cribs: Green Cradle. This company goes above and beyond in terms of transparency, and specializes in making organic and all-natural products without toxic chemicals. Their cribs start at around $995 and range all the way up to around $4,400 if you opt for the most expensive model in the priciest hardwood (walnut) with all the accessories to convert the bed into a toddler bed, day bed, and full bed, plus an organic natural latex crib mattress.
Most of the cribs have adjustable mattress positions as standard and contain absolutely no composite wood products. Instead, they’re made with 100% solid Oak, Brown Maple, Hard Maple, Walnut or Cherry hardwoods. All finishes are hand rubbed onto the wood three times over many days, and finishes are 100% VOC free, not just low-VOC like most other cribs. Green Cradle don’t use any chemical preservatives, have high environmental standards, claim to be carbon neutral, and note that the finishes they use are food-safe and compostable.
If I had the money and lived closer to Sherman Oaks California, a Green Cradle crib would be my top choice for an eco-friendly crib. I’d probably also be buying their clothing, mattresses, bedding, toys, organic and natural health and body care, and furniture. Shipping a hardwood crib to Canada seems rather silly, however, and far from eco-friendly, so I’ll go with something built closer to home from local wood or something shipped en masse to a nearby store.
Shipping for cribs from Green Cradle seems to be a flat rate of $325 in the contiguous US, and state taxes may also apply depending on where you live. Most models ship within 11-12 weeks of order, and there is an optional ‘rush order’ upgrade to get your crib shipped in 7-8 weeks for an additional cost.
1. Silva Furniture – Balancing budget, beauty, safety, and durability
Silva is a sister brand to Romina, making similarly high-end cribs and other furniture, but without the Greenguard Gold certification. It seems to me, though, that the company adheres to the same principles of using only safe, healthy materials and no toxic chemicals in finishes, glues, or elsewhere. And, presumably because the cost of certification isn’t absorbed into the products, all of the cribs from Silva cost just $795, compared to around $1,000 minimum for Romina cribs.
Silva currently offer three crib designs: Serena, Edison, and Jackson, all for $795. These cribs are convertible into a toddler bed, day bed, and full size bed, although conversion kits and toddler guard rails must be bought separately.
Like Romina, Silva cribs are made in Europe, in Romania, using European materials. They use beechwood (like Romina), only use non-toxic, organic, no-VOC finishes (like Romina), and use dovetailed drawer designs and mortise and tenon joints (like Romina). They also employ the same Romina soft-closing drawer system to avoid fingers getting caught and use drawer ‘triggers’ to prevent the drawers being opened by little fingers (like Romina). I’m sure you get the point by now.
There is one other difference (aside from certification) between Silva and Romina. The former has fewer designs and fewer customization options. If you’ve got ‘menu fatigue’, though, this might be a good thing.
It might seem counterintuitive in an article on the best eco-friendly, non-toxic cribs to give my top recommendation to a crib without any eco-certifications, but I feel pretty darned confident that Silva, as an off-shoot of Romina, are a solid bet for a safe, healthy, and slightly cheaper hardwood crib. They explicitly claim to only use natural, baby-safe ingredients, without formaldehyde, lead, or other VOCs, which is arguably better than Natart and others who have Greenguard Gold certification for being low-VOC, but not no-VOC.
If you’re looking at a softwood crib for around $500 and plan on having more than one child or would like to pass the crib on once your baby’s done with it, see if you can find that extra few hundred bucks. Silva is worth it. You can find Silva cribs at more than 60 retailers across the US, Canada, and elsewhere in the world. Yes, it would be preferable to buy a crib made closer to home from local BC timber (in my case), but I take some solace in the fact that Silva ship to at least one store near Vancouver (Richmond, BC), meaning that there’s a modicum of energy efficiency involved in getting the crib when it’s time.
First Runner-Up – Nest Juvenile and Tulip Juvenile (Made in Canada):
Nest and Tulip are two other Canadian brands you might want to consider. They are both manufactured by parent company Natart Juvenile (see above) and offer Greenguard Gold Certified cribs, but for a slightly lower price than Natart, seemingly because some models use wood veneer on top of hardwood or don’t specify the kind of wood they use.
Tulip cribs are more modern-looking, while Nest offer a more classic crib aesthetic. As with Natart Juvenile, Nest and Tulip specify that cribs are certified low-VOC, but not no-VOC.
The Nest Emerson 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is $799, with a toddler rail costing $189 and other accessories such as double bed conversion rails and footboard also available for around $250-290. Prices are similar for the Milano design, with the Provence design a little more expensive at around $1,099 and the Bruges a little less costly at around $699. Tulip cribs are made with hardwood and cost around $1,099, with limited style and color options.
How about if a hardwood crib is too costly, heavy, impractical, or simply not to your taste? Well, fortunately, there are other companies out there making softwood cribs that are also relatively non-toxic, if not necessarily as robust. I offer an overview of the best companies and cribs made with softwood here.
There are also some fun metal cribs that you might want to consider, such as Million Dollar Baby’s Bixby 3-in-1 Metal Crib, which combines solid beech with powder-coated metal and costs around $750. Babyletto’s Jubilee 3-in-1 Convertible Metal Crib in Gold is another good option and costs around $800.
If the idea of a metal crib concerns you because you’ve heard it could pose a risk of acting like an EMF antenna, you’ll want to read this and then come right back here to look at metal cribs in a whole new light.
All in all, my top pick for a company making safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly cribs is Silva, who make hardwood cribs at a reasonable price point. That said, when the time comes, I’m much more likely to go for a softwood crib that’s a little less expensive and spend the money I save on a lovely organic crib mattress and bedding.