New baby? Then you’re going to need the best crib mattress around. Life as you know it is about to become way more awesome. But with great power comes great responsibility, which officially puts you in charge of taking care of this tiny little human. Aside from bathing them, clothing them, feeding them, making sure they’re healthy and teaching them how to make the right choices in life, there’s also the matter of sleeping.
Infants, babies, toddlers, children; they all need as much as sleep as possible when they’re “growing up so fast”. So choosing the right mattress for the baby’s crib isn’t just about comfort, it’s also about making sure that the baby is safe and won’t turn around face down into the mattress and suffocate. This is why we’re bringing you vital information on what a crib mattress should be like and hopefully, we’ll help you find the best crib mattress out there.
What to Look For?
When you’re shopping for a mattress for your baby’s crib, there are a few things that you should pay close attention to.
Mattresses for cribs have pretty standard sizes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that crib mattresses have to be at least 51 ¼ x 27 ¼ inches in size and have a maximum of 6 inches in thickness. It’s also very important for the mattress to fit the crib exactly, without leaving any gaps between the walls of the crib and the edges of the mattress. Babies can get their hands or feet trapped in the smallest of spaces.
Support & Firmness
We can’t possibly talk about support without referring to SIDS a little bit. Short for “sudden infant death syndrome”, SIDS is sometimes known as crib death, and as horrible as it may sounds, every parent should be aware of its existence. SIDS is when a child dies for no apparent reason, and it occurs in children who are below the age of 1 year. Even if SIDS can be a cause of low birth weight, a respiratory infection, or can be caused by brain defects, it can also be induced by the sleeping environment.
There are four of these factors that can lead to SIDS:
- Overheating (when the child sleeps in a very warm environment).
- Side or stomach sleeping (as both of these positions can cause breathing difficulties in babies).
- Having a soft sleeping surface (like a soft mattress or a comforter that can suffocate the baby).
- Bed-sharing (babies that sleep with their parents or siblings are at risk).
That brings us to the matter or proper support for your baby. In order to prevent SIDS, you will have to provide your baby with a flat sleeping surface and make sure they always sleep on their back. This position makes it easier for the child to breathe, but it also means that you have to pay close attention to the baby’s spinal alignment. You want a mattress that will prevent the baby from rolling to the side or on their stomach, which is one of the major causes of SIDS.
Firmness is a factor that goes hand-in-hand with support. For babies, you want a firm crib mattress. buying a softer one can cause the child to sink into the surface of the bed, which increases the risk of suffocation. You can switch to a softer mattress when your baby grows into a toddler and has more control over their movements.
This is another important factor to look out for in a crib mattress. Edge support refers to the level of compression of the mattress when weight is being exerted on the edges. You want a mattress with as little compression as possible. As the baby grows, they will have the tendency to try and switch positions, which means that they will often end up rolling to the edge of the mattress. One that has proper supports on the sides will not allow the baby to sink in too deeply.
Since one of the risk factors for SIDS is overheating, you might want to look for a mattress that comes with breathability factors. For example, memory foam mattresses can have a gel-infusion, which absorbs the heat eliminated by the body and leaves your baby’s skin feeling refreshed. Latex mattresses, for instance, have an open-cell structure that makes them naturally more breathable compared to standard memory foam.
The cover of the crib mattress plays a very important role both in the comfort of your baby, as well as in the durability of the bed. The best crib mattress should come with a waterproof cover. Alternatively, you can buy a mattress cover that comes with waterproof features.
If the cover isn’t waterproof, you can expect wet accidents to ruin your baby’s mattress ahead of time. Not only that but once the mattress retains moisture, it creates an environment favorable for bacteria to thrive, which puts your baby’s health at risk.
However, choosing a mattress with the right kind of cover is more than just opting for a waterproof fabric. For example, covers made from cotton are safe for the baby (especially if you buy a bed made with organic cotton) but they aren’t waterproof. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics (like nylon) are better at resisting fluids but might be unsafe for the baby, especially if they contain phthalates or plasticizers.
Top 5 Crib Mattress Reviews
Now that you know what are the features that you absolutely have to pay attention to when you’re out shopping for a crib mattress, let’s examine the top 5 choices of parents worldwide and see what the internet’s top-rated mattresses have to offer.
While more expensive compared to conventional baby crib mattresses, the Newton is a champion in many aspects. While the construction might not impress you at first, rest assured that this product has been approved by plenty of parents and it meets all the items on our checklist of what a good crib mattress should be like.
This is a washable crib mattress, which is a pretty cool feature that you don’t normally see in a bed. It is designed for infants that are in stage two of their lives and debuts with a soft cover that’s made from polyester. The core of the mattress is made from food-grade polymer, which means that it’s baby-safe.
It’s important to note that this is a flippable mattress, which has a firmer side for your baby that can be switched over to the softer side for toddlers. For those of you who are interested, there is also a smaller version of this mattress, which measures 24 x 38 inches, and has the same 5.5-inch thickness.
Who Should Purchase This?
This is one baby crib mattress that parents absolutely love. It has plenty of features that make it ideal for crib use, like the fact that it’s safe from a construction point of view, it offers high breathability, and it can be washed.
- Dual firmness levels (flippable).
- Ability to regulate temperature.
- Can be washed entirely.
- Available in two sizes.
- Four color choices.
- Cover fabric feels cheap.
Here is the baby equivalent of the traditional mattress-in-a-box. The Graco mattress is bed made entirely out of foam, with plenty of features that have made it popular among the internet’s community of parents.
When you receive your mattress, it will be all rolled up, which means that you need to give it about 24 to 74 hours so that it can return to its original shape. The seller advises that you leave the mattress in a well-ventilated room during its expansion.
The mattress is encased in a quilted polyester cover, which is pretty much what’d you’d expect at this price point. The core is made from a large block of polyurethane foam that promises to deliver the right firmness for kids to get plenty of body support without causing their tiny bodies to sink into the surface of the mattress.
Who Should Purchase This?
This is the most popular mattress among parents who are looking for an inexpensive but good-quality product for their children. It gives you the opportunity to buy a bed that other parents trust, and at a really good price.
- Very affordable.
- Customer favorite.
- Removable and washable cover.
- Greenguard Gold certified.
- Needs about 72 hours to expand.
Naturepedic delivers today’s best organic mattress for your baby’s crib, with materials that are completely safe to be around a baby. The cover is made from organic cotton fabric and it features a waterproof coating that should be able to prevent wet accidents from penetrating the surface of the bed and oozing to the core of the mattress. The polyethylene coating that covers the mattress is made from sugarcane and doesn’t use any toxic materials, like adhesives or glue.
The firm support layer of this mattress is made from plant-based material, which is baby-safe and promises that it will support the body of your baby without being too firm as to cause any discomfort.
The bed itself has two sides: one that is firm and suitable for babies, and the other one that is softer and much more suited for toddlers. Two other important features include the waterproof seams (which prevent any fluid from actually surpassing the barriers on the sides) and the fact that the mattress is built according to pediatrician recommendations.
Who Should Purchase This?
Naturepedic is a brand that we often come across when we’re looking into beds made with organic materials. This is why their mattress has made it to the top of our list, and it’s a product that we recommend for parents who want the peace of mind knowing that their babies are sleeping on non-toxic materials.
- Made with organic materials.
- Cotton cover.
- Waterproof cover coating.
- Contains plant-based material.
- Two sides.
- Waterproof seams.
- Doesn’t fit all cribs.
Safety 1st is a crib mattress designed for parents who are on a tight budget. But what can you expect to get from a mattress at this price? First of all, the cover is made from vinyl and it’s waterproof. That means that liquid accidents won’t reach the core of the mattress, which is what you want in terms of durability and baby bed safety.
The core of the mattress features thermo-bonded fibers that are of high density and promise to offer your baby the support they need. The bed is GREENGUARD Gold-certified, which means that it passes the required standards and has low emissions of volatile organic compounds, making it, once again, a baby-safe product.
Who Should Purchase This?
As much as they are cute, babies are also high-maintenance, and we are perfectly aware that parents are in need to cut costs most of the time (as much as we’d like to pamper them with everything needed for the ultimate comfort). In the spirit of helping parents save money, we’ve added the Safety 1st mattress to this list, because sometimes you just have to buy less expensive things.
The cover can be wiped when it gets wet, plus it keeps nasty odors away from the bed.
- Tight seams.
- Waterproof cover.
- Good firmness level.
- Not very breathable.
The last mattress on today’s list is also a dual-sided bed that offers two firmness levels for when your baby grows and could use a softer bed. The toddler side is designed to have a plush sleeping surface, so you won’t have to invest in a new baby mattress any time soon.
The cover is made from stretch-knit polyester, which is waterproof. We’ve never been fans of polyester covers, but when it comes to babies, it’s sometimes a much better option than cotton, which can absorb liquid and ruin the mattress.
Aside from keeping nasty liquids away, the cover does a really good job of keeping the mattress odor-free. the antimicrobial coating is another big plus because germs and babies simply don’t mix. The firmer side, the one designed for infants, is infused with plant oils, while the toddler side has a neat gel memory foam support.
Who Should Purchase This?
We are fans of this crib mattress, and we want to let more parents know about it because it’s awesome. Guaranteed it’s not the cheapest mattress out there, but the quality of the materials used and the fact that it’s super safe for babies leads us to believe that it should be in the top 5 mattresses that you should look into if you’re on the market looking for a solid crib mattress.
It’s expertly designed with two layers of foam to provide the right firmness for your baby at all stages.
- Made with gel-infused memory foam.
- Infused with plant-based oils.
- Waterproof cover.
- Cover with increased air circulation.
- Toddler side is not as plush as advertised.
Regardless of your favorite brand, being one of these or another, it’s very important to choose a crib mattress that’s safe for the baby. You want to steer clear of those that contain potential chemicals, as there is no telling what allergic or skin reaction the little one may have if the mattress is filled with dubious materials.
You also want a mattress that’s rather firm, because SIDS is real and it’s a danger that every parent should be aware of and try their best to prevent from happening. If you don’t buy a waterproof mattress, you can always opt for an additional waterproof cover, because it’s the best option for your child’s comfort and safety (considering the bacteria-prone environment that moisture creates).