Choosing an Eco-friendly Crib: Affordable Green Options

Note: This post has been edited since publication. Some of the cribs we mentioned in the original post are no longer available.

Both Joy and I chose secondhand cribs for our little ones—a very green but actually controversial decision. Many safety experts warn new parents to never, ever, ever use a previously-owned crib. You could lose the directions, assemble it wrong, or inadvertently buy a recalled product.  After weighing the options, we felt fine about our secondhand cribs, which we discuss in more detail in our upcoming book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.

However, we realize that some people do want to buy a new crib—and they want something “green.” A green crib should use earth-friendly materials that don’t contain noxious glues or paints that can damage baby’s little respiratory system. We found a few options that range from affordable to . . . well, not-so-affordable. But the best part is, you don’t necessarily need to pay more than you would for a conventional crib.

DaVinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib $149

A mini-crib made from sustainable pine. Formaldehyde- and BPA-free.

Atlantic Furniture Eco-Friendly Richmond Convertible Crib $400

Transitions from a crib to a toddler bed to a daybed to a platform bed for your teenager! Made out of eco-friendly hardwood.
Hiya Crib $675-925

These cribs are stylish, and that comes at a price. They use low-VOC non-toxic paints and MDF made from recycled/reclaimed materials.

If any of you have purchased one of these cribs, please chime in with your reviews! And for those of you still on the hunt for the perfect crib, here’s the place to discuss the options with other green-minded parents. Stay tuned for affordable organic crib mattress options!


  1. I really like the modern look of the Hiya crib and the Babi Italia crib. Both are very cute!

  2. What about IKEA cribs? The SNIGLAR crib is 80 bucks, is made of Solid beech, and coverts to a toddler bed, so you get more wear out of it. Plus, with the money you are saving, you can get organic cotton sheets :)

  3. I have the Dakota crib from Wal Mart, it is really good quality, especially for the price. We are very happy with it. I also have a solid wood IKEA crib – it pales in comparison in quality to the Graco crib (which is made by the makers of Bonavita/Babi Italia).
    We also have an LA Baby organic mattress from Costco for ~$100 that has two sides – firmer for babies and softer for toddlers that we love and would recommend. Costco also sells an LA Baby soy foam mattess that is nice for around the same price.

  4. I just purchased the Babi Italia Eco-Friendly Crib from Babies r Us. I was very happy with the purchase, especially since I found it on your list of eco friendly cribs.

    I did however, look it up on, and for some reason, it lists a California Proposition 65 warning. I am going to assume that has made an error.

  5. do you know if the Graco/Dakota crib has any particleboard or MDF? I can’t find any information about whether any of the materials may have formaldehyde…

  6. Katy, I looked into it and I’m fairly confident that the Graco Dakota crib does not contain formaldehyde. No parts are made from particle board or MDF. The sides are solid wood with a water-based finish. The platform that the mattress rests on is made out of metal, from what I understand. If anyone has any more information, please let us know!

  7. Christie says:

    Under product details (on there is a category for California residents which states that this eco-friendly product does contain harmful material (it elaborates). I’m not clear on exactly why California residents are more special than the rest of us to get warnings on products. I’ve looked at this crib on several other websites and there has been no mention of hazardous materials from the companies or reviewers.

  8. I emailed Graco and asked for clarification of how eco-friendly could also mean toxic for my baby…they neatly sent me the number of the actual manufacturer: Lajobi Industries 877-440-2224. I’m not bothering with the crib. If the company that sells it doesn’t make an effort to defend it, just passes the buck (and possibly blame) to someone else then I don’t want it.

  9. California passed Proposition 65 requiring manufacturers/vendors to provide clear and reasonable warnings when their products contain chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm, such as formaldehyde. Other states may not have a similar law in place and so such companies are not required to disclose that information except for products advertised for sale in California.

    I would love to believe that the Graco Dakota crib ($150ish on Amazon) is non-toxic but it’s hard to obtain reliable information outside of buying a crib and having it tested by a neutral 3rd party which just saying that out loud seems silly. As an expecting parent mindful of these issues I am very concerned about reliable information which unfortunately is lacking.

    Rebecca, your endorsement of the Dakota crib is very similar (almost verbatim) to the information published by the manufacture. May I ask what independent research you did regarding the toxicity levels in the glues, paints and finishes for this crib?

    Here’s the rub – “non-toxic” is a very loose term because there are few state and federal regulations relating to toxicity levels. Actually California recently implemented some toxicity regulations which is nice. However, the term “non-toxic” remains very open for interpretation. Manufacturers therefore can be liberal with their use of such terms and unfortunately the consumer has to navigate through the b.s. Which is why, as you will notice, I’m so frustrated with all the misinformation out there.

    Anyway, you have a neat website and I’d appreciate your further input.

  10. Nat, I did use the product information provided by the company when writing this up. They say the woods are FSC approved and that they use water-based finishes. I later searched around to determine what the platform of the crib was made out of and found that it is metal. It is my understanding that formaldehyde and other toxic substances are a concern with particle board and MDF, and from what I can tell, this crib doesn’t contain any.

    Of course, there could still be dangerous substances in the glues or finishes. Christie mentioned upthread that the product details for Californians reveal that there are toxic chemicals in this product. She later called Graco for clarification and was given the number for Lajobi Industries, the maker of the crib. I’ll try calling them tomorrow and see what they say!

  11. I made the same inquiry and in my opinion received unhelpful feedback from Lajobi. It represents that the paints/finishes in its products are low VOC and water-based. It did not elaborate on the levels of off-gassing which goes back to my earlier comments regarding the ambiguity of terms such as “low VOC” and “non-toxic” absent uniform regulation. “Water-based” and “Low VOC” are feel good marketing terms like “organic”. In my opinion, Lajobi’s response did not improve my confidence in their products.

  12. Nat, hmmm. It sounds very much like Graco was trying to sell cribs with an “eco-friendly” label to lure in customers, but that the product doesn’t really meet all of our criteria for an eco-crib. I will put a note in the main article!

  13. I actually came across your website because I am interested in an Atlantic Furniture crib. What do you know about their products, besides the hardwood material?

  14. Any additional info. on the Atlantic Furniture crib? Do they use water based low or no VOC stains?

  15. Stephanie says:

    Hello, I recently read your book and was very sad when I found out the amish made bed from thecleanbedroom is no longer available. The ones that you are suggesting here don’t seem to be made of solid wood. Do you have any additional suggestions to replace that mid-range choice. Thanks.

Speak Your Mind