Ultimate Guide to Choose Crib Mattress Update 11/2023

Best Crib Mattress

It is crucial to provide a secure sleeping area for your infant. Here are ten options for infant bedding that have earned high marks from parents for their durability, comfort, and ease of care.

Newton Baby Crib Mattress

The revolutionary Newton is the best option if you’re shopping for a crib mattress that allows for maximum air flow. This crib mattress has been created with your child’s safety as a top priority. The Newton’s innermost layer is 90% air, so your child can breathe freely while wearing it. Additionally, the mattress’s encasing fabric is fully permeable and zips off for straightforward laundering. (If you’d rather, there’s a watertight variant.) In addition to being soft and temperature-regulating, the mattress’s cover is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic.

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There is no polyurethane foam, glue, or metal springs used in its construction.

Recyclable, hypoallergenic, and free of toxins.

The highest GREENGUARD rating possible was achieved.

Commission for Safety of Consumer Products-approved

Graco Premium Foam Crib Mattress

Graco has been producing high-quality infant gear for over 65 years. While Graco is best known for their strollers and car seats, their Crib and Toddler Mattress has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers. Numerous awards have been bestowed upon the infant bed, the latest being the National Parenting Product Award for 2021. Why is it so exceptional? Babies can sleep soundly for longer stretches of time thanks to the mattress’s breathable foam core, which provides the ideal balance of firmness for safety and comfort. The cover can be removed and washed in the washing machine without affecting its waterproof qualities.

Crib Mattress Buying Guide (2023) - Mattress Clarity

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Waterproof

Breathable

Verified by GREENGUARD

The conventional size for a baby crib or toddler bed is 27 inches wide by 52 inches long.

Crib Mattress: Sealy’s Waterproof Standard, Best Innerspring

The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress Is the Best Natural Option

The Most Eco-Friendly Baby Mattress is Made from Avocados

The Hiccapop Portable Crib Mattress is the Best Option.

Allswell’s The Essential Crib Mattress is the Best Memory Foam Option.

The Newton Essential Mini Crib Mattress is the Best Option for Mini Cribs.

Big Oshi’s Waterproof Two-Stage Standard Crib Mattress is the Best Option.

Most Worthwhile Investment: An Avocado Organic Luxury Crib Mattress

Dual-Sided Baby Crib Mattress by Moonlight Slumber for Your Little Dreamer

Lullaby Earth’s Eco-Plus Superlight Crib Mattress

FAQ

What To Look For in a Crib Mattress

You’ll need to do a lot more homework before buying baby necessities than you would for anything else. In the sections below, we’ve outlined some of the most crucial aspects to keep in mind when shopping for a crib mattress.

Size

The CPSC recommends that crib mattresses be no more than 6 inches thick and 27.25 inches wide by 51.25 inches long for a standard full-size crib. Miniature crib mattresses are usually between 24 and 38 inches in width and length.

Fit

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using your fingers as a gauge to determine if your mattress is a good fit. If you can fit more than two fingers in the space between the mattress and the crib frame, it is too large for a baby to sleep comfortably. Injury and suffocation are both more likely to occur in spaces with big gaps.

Firmness

Adults can choose how firm their mattress is, but infants need one that is extremely firm. This is because there is a higher chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when babies sleep on soft surfaces like pillows and blankets because their delicate skulls can better fit into those shapes. Babies should always sleep on their backs, not their stomachs or sides, and their cribs should be kept completely clutter-free except for a snugly fitted sheet.

Place to Expand

We all know that children outgrow things quickly. Choose a crib mattress with a firm and soft side so you won’t have to buy a new one when your child turns one. Mattresses that meet the needs of both comfort and support are ideal for toddlers.

Certifications

What does the GreenGuard Gold Certification mean, as it appears on many crib mattresses? This mark guarantees that the product has undergone rigorous testing for harmful chemicals and was found to release minimal amounts during the testing process. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is yet another certification that ensures at least 70% of the fibers used in the product are organic. Finally, the CertiPUR-US certification indicates that the product makes use of safe, flexible polyurethane foam.

There’s a baby mattress out there for you and your budget, whether you’re looking for organic materials or not. Please scroll down to view the most highly recommended crib mattresses currently available.

Consumer report

What We Found

An Overview and Introduction

Choosing a mattress for a baby’s crib may seem like a tedious chore, but it’s actually quite important. We suggest spending as much as you can on the mattress, as it will be used both in the crib and later on by your child.

The relevance of this question is unclear. Your infant will spend a lot of time in his crib, for one thing. Incredibly (especially if you’ve ever gotten up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying infant), infants can sleep for up to 18 hours a day.

Be sure there are no sharp corners or other hazards between the mattress and the crib’s frame. Furthermore, a firm mattress is recommended. The risk of suffocation or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is greatly increased when the one you use molds to the shape of your baby’s head or face.

Both foam and innerspring mattresses are suitable for use in a baby crib. If they are high quality, both types will retain their form well and offer great support for infants and toddlers. Although, there are distinctions. Foam, typically made from polyurethane, is lighter in weight than an innerspring mattress (typically 15 to 30 pounds, versus 5 to 13 pounds for foam). Because of this, a foam mattress may be more manageable when changing your baby’s sheets, even though you’ll likely only be lifting a corner at a time. Since foam is not as springy as other materials, it is less likely to be misused as a trampoline as your kid gets older. However, in the United States, parents tend to favor innerspring crib mattresses. This is likely due to the fact that most adults also prefer innersprings for their own beds.

Choose Only the Best

Try to find a high-quality mattress no matter the type you end up buying. Thin vinyl covers and edges on the cheapest foam and innerspring mattresses tear easily and dry out over time, making them less comfortable and less safe to sleep on. For more money, you can get a cover that is more durable and resistant to punctures, has double or triple laminate protection, or is made of fine organic cotton. A heavier weight is indicative of a higher quality innerspring mattress, which includes a heavier gauge of steel and more or better quality padding. It’s the same with a higher-density, higher-quality foam mattress.

You don’t have to try out as many mattresses as the Princess and the Pea to know that you’ve found a good one, though, and you don’t need to spend a fortune doing it. Your baby will be fine on a bed that costs you anywhere from $90 to $200. Foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses have similar price points, ranging from $50 to $400 and more. (The more high-end options use natural materials like organic cotton or latex.) We recommend avoiding models that cost less than $90 because they may be too flimsy and mushy to use. Modes with a higher price tag are typically more sturdy and secure.

Nothing Is More Imprecise Than a Mattress Cover

Almost all of a mattress’s useful features are located within. Some crib mattresses may seem sturdy and reliable when you first bring them home, but they may start to show their age once your baby begins using them. It has been our experience that salespeople, even at reputable stores, are not always reliable sources of information. One person argued convincingly that innerspring mattresses were superior to foam ones because the latter “breaks down” after about 18 months. Perhaps that was the case 25 years ago, but not any longer. Atlanta-based manufacturer Colgate Juvenile Products Company’s director of marketing Dennis Schuetz claims that a high-quality foam crib mattress will last as long as an innerspring model under typical conditions. There has been a dramatic increase in the longevity of foam used in baby crib mattresses.

Crib Mattress Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Crib Mattress - Sleep Reports

Go Out and Shop

Once you have an idea of what’s available in various price points, it’s time to head to the store to get a feel for what a good crib mattress actually looks like and feels like. Maybe there’s just one place to begin? That label. The law requires manufacturers to disclose the mattress’s raw materials. If the manufacturer or store doesn’t make this clear in the product’s description, on display, or in the technical details, don’t buy it. The building blocks of each layer should be discernible. You should feel your hand spring up from the mattress when you press down on it. One of the most common errors Schuetz sees parents make is choosing a mattress that suits their own preferences. Selecting a crib mattress that is a bit firmer than desired is preferable. “If it feels good to you, it’s too soft for your baby,” he warns, adding that infants require more cushioning than adults do.

Buy New

If at all possible, you should invest in a brand new mattress for the baby’s crib. Cleanliness of the mattress is ensured, for one thing. You can never be sure of the prior owner’s level of care or storage conditions when acquiring or accepting a pre-owned mattress. Crib mattresses that haven’t been properly cleaned and dried can become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria from spills like diaper leaks and spit up. If you buy a brand new one for your first child, wash it thoroughly, and store it somewhere dry, you can reuse it for your second child.

Put on a Mask

Protect the mattress from spills and keep the baby’s sleeping area as clean and germ-free as possible by using a washable, waterproof mattress cover.

Ensure Compatibility by Taking a Test Drive

Full-size crib mattresses are required by law to be at least 27 1/4 inches wide and 51 5/8 inches long, and at most 6 inches in thickness. Try to find a store that has sample cribs available so you can test the mattress inside one to make sure it fits before making a purchase. A mattress is too small for a crib if more than two fingers fit between it and the base of the bed.

To Put Your Mind at Ease Regarding Warranties

There are mattress options with one-year, seven-year, and even lifetime warranties. Don’t be fooled by the length of a mattress’ warranty, and don’t shell out more money for one. “Warranties are mostly a marketing tool to entice the consumer to spend more,” argues Schuetz. Provided the cover doesn’t get torn or ripped, a good crib mattress should last as long as you need it.

Unfortunately, none of these baby mattresses have been tried and tested by us.

Types

As long as it is high quality, an innerspring or foam mattress is acceptable. Both are highly supportive and will retain their form well for your young child.

Innerspring

The price and level of comfort of an innerspring mattress are both affected by its number of layers, the materials used in those layers, and the quality of its cover. You can easily clean the vinyl cover of this Sealy Perfect Rest mattress (approximately $80) by wiping it with a damp cloth. To add to its durability, it weighs in at 12 pounds and features border rods (see Features). Another vinyl-covered option is the Simmons Kids Pampering Sleep Supreme 234-coil baby crib and toddler mattress ($150). This mattress has a foam ‘baby’ side and innerspring ‘toddler’ side, similar to other models you may have seen. Refer to Alternating Firmness in Features to learn more about these innovative mattresses.

Foam

Polyurethane is a common material for these beds. Dream On Me’s shown orthopedic firm foam crib mattress, for instance, retails for $70, weighs only 8 pounds, and is waterproof.

Features

Density of Foam

The most desirable qualities in a mattress are firmness, heaviness, and durability. Apply pressure to the middle and the sides of the bed. It shouldn’t give in to the shape of your hand and should snap back easily. You shouldn’t put your baby on anything that will adjust to the shape of her head.

Density of Foam

Comparing the weight of various models is a good way to evaluate foam density (the denser the foam, the better). Finding that information in a store can be difficult, but you can find it online. A mattress’s density can be checked by picking it up, putting your hands on opposite sides in the middle, and pressing your palms together. You won’t be able to exert much force on a dense mattress.

Discrete Spring-like Layers

The rule of thumb for selecting the best innerspring mattress is this: the more layers it has and the higher the quality of those layers, the better the mattress will be. There is a correlation between the thickness of the mattress and the density of the innersprings, so opting for a higher quality mattress with thicker steel and more padding will result in a heavier overall mattress.

Security Rods for the Border

These rods should always be present on the top and bottom of an innerspring mattress before purchase. For a mattress that doesn’t sag when your baby stands or walks near the edge, look for one with extra firmness, durability, and strong side and edge support.

Gauge of Steel and Number of Coils

A common selling point for innerspring mattresses is the number of springs or steel coils they have. However, the firmness of a mattress is not always proportional to the number of coils in it. According to Colgate Juvenile Products’ Dennis Schuetz, ‘the spring unit in an innerspring mattress is evaluated based on the amount of the steel in the spring, not the number of the coils. There may be fewer than 80 coils in the most inexpensive of the innerspring crib mattresses and more than 280 in the most expensive. Even so, a mattress with 150 coils might be firmer than one with 200. If that’s true, then how is it possible? Perhaps the steel used for those 150 coils is a heavier gauge than that used for the 200 coils in the other mattress. Coils used to make crib mattresses can be anywhere from 19 to 12.5 gauge thick (the lower the number, the thicker the steel). Schuetz suggests aiming for something with a high coil count (moderately so is fine too). An acceptable middle ground is around 150. The steel gauge should be no higher than 15.5.

The Colgate Cradletyme Ultra II 150 coil innerspring crib mattress has a weight of 22 pounds, border rods, and coir fiber for a price of around $170. (More on coir fiber is provided below.) Waterproof nylon ticking protects the interior, while air vents and 150 coils of 13.5 gauge steel ensure its functionality. Its constructional layers are laid bare for inspection.

The Soundproofing Pad

Innerspring mattresses prevent the steel coils from poking through by placing a thick insulator pad on top of them. According to Schuetz, a mattress’s insulator is one of its most important parts. A mattress with a low-quality insulator may feel comfortable while shopping, but it may not last long. ”

Coir fiber, which is produced from shredded coconut shells, is an essential component of high-quality insulator pads. Pads made from pressed scraps of cloth are known as fiber-wrap pads (or “rag” pads). Pads made of coir fiber are more expensive than those made of fiber wrap, but both types of padding are effective. Pads made of woven polyester are the lowest quality insulators available. The lack of durability causes them to develop pockets over time. There is a safety issue because they become concave where the baby’s weight is concentrated.

Schuetz says that in addition to coir fiber, some manufacturers use hard felt as an insulator; this material is compressible and has the same properties as carpet padding. He also claims that some mattresses’ insulator pads are made of low-quality plastic mesh instead of woven polyester.

Protective Pads

The padding, which may be foam, cotton, or polyester, is the layer that sits atop the coils in a mattress. Quality indicators like foam and cotton also raise the price. Due to the rising price of mattress components, polyester has become more widely used despite being less than ideal due to its propensity to form pockets.

You shouldn’t buy a mattress unless you’re familiar with its construction. There ought to be some kind of description either on the tag in the store or on the manufacturer’s website. Don’t buy a mattress if you can’t inspect the inner components first.

Cover

The entire bed mattress is protected by a fabric or vinyl cover. Fabric is better at allowing air to pass through than vinyl does, but a vinyl cover with holes cut into it can still be useful. Punctures, tears, leaks, and stains are no match for a vinyl cover’s multiple layers. The more layers of protection a mattress has, the longer it will last, so it’s important to find one with at least three.

Convertibility

Dual-firmness convertible mattresses, which can be found in the upper price range, are worth considering if you plan to transition your baby’s crib to a toddler bed. One side is more supportive for infants, while the other is more comfortable for younger children. The toddler side of some beds is made of standard foam, while others use springy memory foam. After the first year, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome decreases, so you can flip the mattress. For around $180, you can purchase a Sealy Posturepedic Springfree crib mattress with a side made of soybean foam, ideal for newborns, and a side made of softer latex foam, ideal for toddlers, and covered in a water-resistant soft fabric.

You can file away convertibility as a “not required” feature. After the baby stage, a firm mattress will still suit your toddler just fine. If he tries out a softer bed, he might not want to go back to the old one. Thus, if you invest in a mattress with two different levels of firmness, you shouldn’t flip it until the first firmness has fully worn in.

Free-Air Spaces

A mattress that is completely waterproof will not “breathe” through the surface. If you’re worried about this, look into purchasing a bed with built-in air ducts.

Coverage That Won’t Leak

Even if the mattress you choose is completely waterproof, it is still wise to invest in a separate waterproof cover to safeguard it from spills and stains. As they are placed beneath the sheet, mattress protectors pose no suffocation risk and provide a more comfortable sleeping environment for your infant. Without it, the fitted sheet’s low thread count won’t be able to keep the vinyl mattress cover from making her shiver. Your baby’s mattress will be safe from diaper accidents with a washable waterproof cover. A crib mattress should be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap whenever it becomes wet or soiled.

Fabrics Treated to Prevent the Growth of Germs

Although these covers won’t completely eliminate mold and bacteria, their manufacturers claim they can significantly reduce the growth of these odor-causing organisms. Do you require this hip function? Certainly not. As a matter of fact, some people worry that antibacterials are being overused in consumer goods. Washing your baby’s mattress with soap and water after a leak will help keep it clean and free of bacteria. Once you’re done using the crib mattress, seal it up in a storage bag that fits it tightly; a see-through bag is ideal because light prevents bacteria from growing inside. Then put it away in a dry, cool place, not a musty cellar or hot attic.

Going Organic

There are many “natural” or “organic” crib mattress options available if you want to avoid chemicals in your child’s bedding or prioritize buying environmentally friendly products. Regrettably, no jurisprudential guidelines exist for this type of claim. The term “organic” may or may not mean anything; for example, the cotton used in the covering may have been grown using organic methods.

Since we haven’t looked into the safety of organic mattresses for infants, we can’t say for sure if they are better. Natural materials like wool may not require additional chemicals to make them flame resistant, which is a plus if you’re worried about the chemicals used to prevent fire damage.

Eco-Friendly

Colgate states that the majority of renewable and sustainable materials, such as cotton, fast-growing bamboo, coir, plant-based foam, and natural latex (rubber from tree sap that has been injected with air), are used in the production of eco-friendly foam and innerspring mattresses. In addition, as Dennis Schuetz of Colgate points out, “the manufacturing process for some eco-friendly crib mattresses tends to produce fewer carbon emissions.”

Some professional groups have developed their own criteria for success. Schuetz states that the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an honest organization that conducts product emissions testing. However, the criteria for what makes a mattress “natural” are not regulated by any particular body. It’s important for parents to ask detailed questions about a mattress’s construction before buying.

A mattress may be labeled as organic when in fact only the cover is organic and the inner fillings are not. A “natural” or “organic” crib mattress can be purchased that contains only 5% organic or natural materials. Schuetz claims, “One of the newest mattresses on the market has one layer of organic cotton, but is probably 85 percent plastic,” adding that it is not a Colgate mattress. “This is misleading the customer. ”

As an alternative, you can purchase a mattress that claims to be all-natural but is actually covered in vinyl or plastic. If that’s all you need to know, then great. It is possible to end up with something that isn’t quite what was advertised, but shopping in this category will require additional research.

What makes a mattress waterproof is not natural or organic, Schuetz says.

The USDA seal of approval that consumers may find on organic textiles is related solely to the cultivation of the fiber and not to any subsequent processing. There is also the European and Japanese textile label to consider. As the Oeko-Tex label from the International Oeko-Tex Association attests, the product has undergone screening for potentially hazardous substances. It also considers the manufacturing process, which includes the inclusion of any dyes or other materials used in the construction of the mattress.

The Oeko-Tex label is found on some mattresses sold in the United States, but it often applies only to a small section of the mattress rather than the whole thing. A layer of Oeko-Tex-approved coir fiber and natural latex measures 5 inches in thickness in the Colgate Natural I mattress, for instance. Inquire about the specific ingredients to learn how organic or natural they are. Knowing the standard is also useful for establishing a value comparison.

You might also hear about GOTS, which stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard. However, it hasn’t gained widespread acceptance yet. It’s a specification for the treatment of organic fibers in textiles. For a textile product to be GOTS-certified, at least 70% of its fiber content must come from organic sources.

Offers That Can Be Obtained

Eco-friendly mattresses typically cost more than traditional mattresses. Take a look at some of the available models here.

The cover of the $280 organic cotton and wool Pure Rest innerspring crib mattress is 100% certified organic. To top it all off, the manufacturer claims that it satisfies federal flammability requirements and features a “chemical-free wool layer” sourced from ethically farmed sheep.

Pictured here is a crib mattress by Naturepedic called the No-Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 150. It is filled with “U.S.-grown organic cotton” and has a polyethylene plastic waterproof surface that is, according to the manufacturer, free of vinyl/ PVC, phthalates, lead, and antimicrobial biocides. The price tag is $260. This mattress’s protective cover may reduce the amount of toxins a sleeper is exposed to.

Soybeans and other plant oils are used in the production of some eco-friendly foam mattresses. The Sealy Posturepedic Springfree, for instance, is built around a core of “soy-enhanced foam. The manufacturer boasts that the mattress’s fabric cover is “wet-resistant,” and its light weight of under 12 pounds backs up their claim. The 8-pound, $190 Colgate Eco Classica I crib mattress features foam “made with plant oils,” a damask-style cover with a waterproof backing, and a total weight of 8 pounds.

Some characteristics of an environmentally friendly mattress are as follows.

Embraced in Cloth

Most “eco-friendly” mattresses are not covered in vinyl. (Vinyl has been used for traditional mattresses for years due to its durability, ease of care, and low cost.) Instead, you’ll find covers made of cotton, organic cotton that hasn’t been bleached or dyed, bamboo yarn, or a combination of these materials. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, and its fiber has antimicrobial and antifungal properties due to their naturally occurring chemical composition.

The Best Mattress Options for a Baby - Naturalmat Baby

The problem with using a cloth cover is that any wetness from a baby’s diaper will eventually soak through and create a bacterial breeding ground on the mattress, unless a waterproof layer is added, typically made of polyurethane or polyethylene plastic. You should always use a waterproof mattress protector, even if the natural mattress you buy is advertised as waterproof.

The quilted organic cotton cover on the toddler side of the Naturepedic 2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra is water resistant and antimicrobial, while the waterproof and antimicrobial surface is ideal for newborns. There is a $400 price tag on it. There is an option for a crib mattress without the waterproof coating from this manufacturer. The price of the Organic Quilted Cotton Deluxe is $360.

Eco-friendly, leak-proof mattress protectors

These typically have a layer of organic cotton, but if the pad is truly waterproof, a layer of polyurethane is also used. The Snoozy Organic Cotton Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad is a good example, selling for $25. Produced with organic cotton, the manufacturer guarantees that the polyurethane coating will not leach lead or phthalates.

Pillowcases made of wool

Wool mattress pads are an alternative to chemical products for protecting your baby’s mattress from accidents. However, be wary, as some parents have reported that wool pads are only “water resistant,” not waterproof.

Priced at $195, Pure Rest’s fitted cover for their organic moisture pad for cribs can be yours for only $120. Another wool pad, the Natura Puddle Pad, retails for around $70.

Layers of Cushioning

The manufacturer claims that the fabric covering the Sealy Posturepedic Springfree Soybean & Latex Foam-Core Crib Mattress can withstand some moisture without becoming damaged. ”

Some mattresses are padded with natural latex rubber, which is derived from the sap of tropical trees. (Some infants have latex allergies, but if the latex is sewn into the mattress, it may not be a problem. Avoid a latex mattress at all costs if you have any reservations about sleeping on one.

Coir

Coir, which consists of shredded and woven coconut shell husks bound with latex adhesive, was frequently used as an insulator pad on top of the coils of higher-quality innerspring crib mattresses prior to the advent of the green movement. It’s been incorporated into the production of numerous modern “natural” foam and innerspring mattresses. Instead of using foam or innersprings, the Colgate Natural 1 ($370) and the Coco Mat from Natural Mat ($400) use coir as the primary filling, encasing it in cotton padding, lamb’s wool, or mohair fleece. Although coir is biodegradable and sustainable, it adds significant weight to a mattress.

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