The Top Play Tunnels without Flame Retardants: The Dangers of These Chemicals

These are some of my absolute favorite pictures because you can tell just how much they love our play tunnel. In one of them, my husband is outside setting up a new grill and D is intently watching while it’s clear he recently moved his play tunnel to be near them. 🥰 He is just yearning to be outside “helping.” In the other photo, both of these silly boys playing in the tent and just having a blast!

One of my favorite items is a play tunnel! Once your kiddo is on the move these things are amazing! They are awesome for strengthening their crawling, playing hide and seek, and just overall entertainment. My kid loves just grabbing an end of it and dragging it around the room, too. The imaginative possibilities are endless!

BUT these crawl tunnels typically have flame retardants. I did a lot of research to try to find one that doesn’t contain these toxic chemicals and was surprised to find there aren’t many on the market. Even back in 2011 (and I’m sure prior to that too) studies were showing that flame retardants are harmful and should be pulled from the market. I’ve linked a couple of studies and articles for you to take a look at if you please.

The Main Reasons to Avoid Flame Retardants

Brominated flame retardants have been found to build up in our tissues and potentially cause

  • Neurological damage
  • Endocrine and thyroid disruption
  • Cancers
  • Reproductive complications
  • Hormonal issues
  • Lower IQ
  • Behavioral issues (hyperactivity, aggression, etc.)

I know that parents hear the words “flame retardants” and think that this is probably something they want. I mean, it protects us in the case of a fire, right? Well, not exactly. There are many fire safety experts out there that say that the chemicals actually aren’t as effective in slowing down fires.

This leads me back to wanting to get a tunnel for my kid without these chemicals. After my research, I landed on the HABA Croco Kuno Crawling Tunnel. It had everything we wanted- fun colors, an intriguing design, and, of course, flame retardent-free. It’s a fan favorite in our house BUT it looks like they don’t sell it anymore.

Top Picks for Flame Retardant Free Play Tunnels

I’ve compiled a couple of other options for you if you are also looking for a flame retardant-free tunnel. Let me know if you have come across any others, or grab one of the ones below!

Crunchy & Curious, LLC recommends products that are genuinely loved and well-researched. Many of these links are affiliate. If you end up purchasing through an affiliate link, I may earn a commission (at no extra charge to you.) Commisionable links will be marked with an asterisk*. You can see my full disclaimer, here.

The Organic Cotton Play Tunnel by Lovevery

When I was searching for a tunnel this was my number one choice. There is no other tunnel out there made with organic cotton. The only problem, it was a new product and they were sold out for months! People love this thing and they couldn’t keep it stocked. I had to eventually look elsewhere but if I were going to purchase another today, this would 100% be it! You can purchase on Amazon, or directly through lovevery*


The Organic Cotton Play Tunnel by Lovevery – Pop-Up & Collapsible Play Tunnel with Organic Cotton Carrying Case, Multicolor

The Monty Cotton Play Tunnel

Made of 100% cotton. This play tunnel is free of flame retardants, PFAs, and PFOAs. This play tunnel is made to last and boasts its durability. It even comes with a custom storage case which allows it to easily move from room to room or even come with you on vacation! The neutral color is also a great additional to any home decor.

kids-concept-play-tunnel-in-off-white-517947_600x.jpg
*image from kidsconcept.com

Lalo Play Tunnel

The Lalo Play Tunnel is made of 100% cotton. Customer service confirmed that this tunnel is free of flame retardants, PFAs, and PFOAs. Oeko-Tex Certified! Additionally, all Lalo products meet and exceed ASTM safety standards and are Prop 65 compliant.

Sage Green Lalo Playtunnel
*image from lalo.com

I am still on the search for more options and awaiting some responses from customer service departments. I will update this list as I come across any additional items to include!

References/Studies

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/flame_retardants_508.pdf

https://e360.yale.edu/features/pbdes_are_flame_retardants_safe_growing_evidence_says_no

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es2007462

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0303720719303685?via%3Dihub#appsec1

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