Newton Baby: The Science Behind the Safety

Newton Baby was created out of the founders’ mission to offer the safest, healthiest, and best sleep products for babies. As veterans of the sleep industry (and concerned parents themselves), they had a keen understanding of the market and where current offerings came up short. Thus, the “revolution-airy” Newton Crib Mattress was born.

The main component of the Newton Crib Mattress is Wovenaire®, a material comprised of food-grade polymer and 90% air by volume. Its unique, first-of-its-kind composition allows for the highest level of airflow for babies to breathe easily and sleep soundly, thus giving parents the peace of mind they need while their baby is sleeping in their crib at night.

Although experts recommend that babies sleep on their backs, all parents know that rollovers inevitably occur and some babies just prefer to sleep on their tummy. Traditional crib mattresses can still pose a suffocation risk, and thus Newton Baby sought to create a safer sleep environment in the event of these particular instances.

Study #1: Suffocation Risk

Parents often ask if the Newton Crib Mattress is really safer when all crib mattresses must meet certain safety standards - and the answer is yes! To ensure that the product fulfilled its purpose and reached the highest possible standards, Newton Baby submitted a sample crib mattress to a multinational, CPSC-accredited inspection/product testing laboratory for review in 2015 to gauge the risk of infant suffocation. They used a mannequin with the weight and respiratory capabilities of a six-month-old baby, and introduced three competing crib mattresses in addition to the Newton as benchmarks.

The Newton Crib Mattress showed the lowest risk of suffocation, which was half of that of two competitors, while the third showed an unusually high risk of suffocation. (Suffocation potential took into account the pressure for normal airway flow resistance and elastic recoil of the lungs and chest when the mannequin was face down and breathing through each of the mattress samples.) Additionally, the Newton measured significantly below the limit for a surface to be potentially fatal on account of airway obstruction (15 cm H2O), with an average measure across 30 tests at 2.12 cm H2O. (It is worth noting that the normal rate of unhindered breathing for a newborn is 2.0 cm H2O.)


During the final assessment stages, the Newton Crib Mattress was compared to being “just like breathing” by the technicians at the lab analyzing the data. The findings were then shared with a leading neonatologist (doctor specializing in infant care), who is also an expert in infant breathing disorders. The doctor agreed that the Newton Crib Mattress posed a considerably low risk of suffocation.

Study #2: Carbon Dioxide Rebreathing

New parents do their research which is why when it comes to crib mattresses many ask, “Even if a crib mattress is breathable, is there a risk of COrebreathing?” Newton Baby  conducted another study in the same year by the same inspection/product testing laboratory to measure carbon dioxide rebreathing rates. Carbon dioxide rebreathing increases respiratory effort, and the rebreathing of exhaled air is considered to be one possible cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly known as SIDS.

The researchers used a mannequin with a simulated respiratory system akin to that of a one-month-old baby, comparing its carbon dioxide rebreathing patterns on the Newton sample paired with a muslin cotton sheet along with that of a conventional waterproof mattress with a muslin cotton sheet; a long-haired sheepskin blanket; and a bean bag (mimicking a sinkable surface with waterproof lining).

The research showed that the Newton Crib Mattress significantly had the lowest amount of carbon dioxide retention, thus proving to be a “very benign” surface for a resting newborn. The bean bag proved to be the biggest hazard for carbon dioxide rebreathing, followed by the sheepskin blanket and then the non-Newton waterproof mattress.

The findings were then shared with the same expert neonatologist from the previous study. After reviewing the research, the doctor confirmed that the Newton Crib Mattress did not pose a significant hazard in terms of breathability for infants, while also noting that it posed a significantly lower risk of carbon dioxide rebreathing than a conventional crib mattress.

Study #3: Suffocation Risk for the Newton Crib Mattress Pad

In 2017, Newton Baby introduced its crib mattress pad to the market, and in the same year submitted a sample to the same inspection/product testing laboratory involved in the previous two studies. This time, a mannequin with a mechanical lung system akin to that of a one-year-old was used to gauge the risk of suffocation on the mattress pad, which was fitted over a Newton Crib Mattress sample.

The researchers conducted five trials with the mannequin face down, breathing through the mattress pad. Similar to the first study with the Newton Crib Mattress, the Newton Crib Mattress Pad showed a very low risk of suffocation. The Newton measured significantly below the limit for a surface to be potentially fatal on account of airway obstruction (15 cm H2O), measuring at 2.46 cm H2O, 2.05 cm H2O, 1.92 cm H2O, 2.42 cm H2O, and 1.87 cm H2O across the five trials.


Study #4: Suffocation Risk Assessment for the Newton Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper and Travel Crib & Play Yard

In an effort to provide families with safer, healthier, better sleep at every age and stage, Newton proudly launched its new Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper and Travel Crib & Play Yard in 2023. In the same year, to ensure that both products met (and exceeded) the highest standards in terms of suffocation risk, the Bassinet Mattress Pad and Play Yard Mattress Pad were submitted to a multinational, CPSC-accredited inspection/product testing laboratory for review. In addition, bassinet and play yard mattress pads for three of the leading competitors were submitted for assessment.

For the assessment, a mannequin representative of a child in the at-risk age group was used to evaluate the product’s potential to obstruct the passage of air into the nasal and oral airways. A mechanical lung system, representing an average one-year-old child, was utilized to simulate the human breathing mechanism with a 78 ml tidal volume and 24 bpm breathing frequency.

Potential airflow blockage was introduced by the product being placed close to the face of the mannequin, where the peak pressure inside the mechanical lung was measured to determine if breathing could be sustained. The mannequin was placed face-down on each sample and moved to different areas on the sample in order to identify a potential worst-case scenario.

The recorded values for both Newton products were below the threshold of 15 cm H2O; therefore, a low potential for fatal suffocation was assigned to these products. However, each of the competitor products for both bassinet and play yard mattress pads consistently recorded values greater than 15 cm H2O and, as such, a severe potential hazard for suffocation was assigned to them.

In summary, among the top three bestselling bassinets and play yards, respectively, only Newton did not pose a significant suffocation risk. See diagrams below:

suffocation risk chart for bassinets



Breathable is Better

There’s no doubt that when it comes to sleep products, especially ones designed for babies, that breathable is better. However, many companies claim safety and breathability without conducting the same in-depth suffocation and CO2  inspection/product testing as Newton. At Newton Baby, breathable isn’t just a marketing term. Thousands of parents have also tested the Newton Crib Mattress by smushing their faces into it for our #Breathe2Believe Challenge.

Are you ready to take the challenge? If you have more questions or concerns please contact or reach out to us on social - we're always happy to help!