Last Updated on
It is the parent’s general notion that their children deserve the best possible care and products they can afford.
One of the most important things in the healthy development of your child is a night of good sleep. Proper bedding systems should help your baby to sleep well, and provide the necessary support for their spine and neck.
If you are a parent looking for the ultimate crib mattress for your baby or toddler, choosing a good one is not an easy task. Check out the article below to aid you in your search for the best crib mattress for your little one.
3 Main Types of Crib Mattresses
The foam crib mattress is made of polyurethane. It remains a very popular choice for parents and is generally cheaper than innerspring or organic options.
Like other types of mattresses, foam mattresses are also available in a variety of different depths, the most popular being between 3 and 6 inches.
They are also the lightest of the three options which make cleaning the baby mess and changing the sheets an easier task.
Most polyurethane models out there weigh less than the innerspring. However, its significantly lesser weight is good once you think about how many times you’ll be cleaning it or changing the sheets.
Basically, a typical polyurethane baby mattress weighs approximately 7 – 11 pounds.
Although an innerspring baby mattress is usually more expensive than the polyurethane counterpart, this still remains a hugely popular option.
The firm level of support provided by the coils or springs of the mattress is great for orthopedic support and safety.
Moreover, an innerspring type of mattress is one of the most popular choices for full-size mattresses. Thus, parents tend to stick with what they have experience with and what they already know is of high comfort.
Comfort and support are measured in the number of coils inside. Common coil numbers are between 50 – 200; the more springs inside mean more cost, but this isn’t the only way to measure firmness.
Wire thickness, if stated in the product description is a handy way to measure firmness level. A lower gauge means a thicker wire, which is stronger and therefore firmer. For best results look for one with 150+ coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower.
Over innerspring and foam, when it comes to price, the organic crib mattress is usually the most expensive; however, there is a good reason for its significantly higher price.
Organic mattresses are the healthiest available as the 100% organic material, which is usually cotton, eliminates potentially harmful chemicals and allergens.
Of the many different materials used in foam mattresses, some can be harmful to your child’s health, especially if they are prone to allergies.
Considering that your child will be in close contact with the surface of the mattress and its contents on a daily basis for some years, it’s important to recognize the potential long-term hazards of using traditional polyurethane types instead of a healthier organic mattress.
How to Choose the Perfect Crib Mattress
When adults are looking to buy mattresses, we most commonly look for one that provides comfort, support, and possibly pain relief after a hard day at work.
However, when it comes to our own bedroom purchase, we ironically often forget about safety. With this thought in mind, when choosing for children, safety is the one thing that we absolutely cannot neglect.
Weighing up which baby crib mattress to buy is probably one of the most important nursery decisions you’ll make when it comes to your child’s safety and well being.
Finding the best crib mattress is no easy or quick choice, and that’s why the below factors are crucial for anyone in the market for choosing the perfect crib mattress.
All crib mattresses must comply to 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 federal flammability standards. If buying a product with foam, it should be CertiPUR-US® certified.
CertiPUR-US® verifies that the polyurethane foam inside the mattress meets standards for content, emissions, and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
The GREENGUARD certification is also worth taking note of as many products will advertise it.
The GREENGUARD certification assures the customers that the products they purchased which are designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors.
When it comes to buying an organic mattress, the best way to tell if it’s genuinely organic is by checking whether the GOTS had already certified it.
Although there are many GOTS approved certifiers throughout the world, the largest certifier in the US is OTCO.
Most of the experts have the same opinion regarding the firmness level of a mattress. it’s already known in the industry that it is better to have a firm crib mattress over a soft mattress.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the main death cause for infants in the United States of America is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or commonly known as SIDS.
SIDS is caused by suffocation hazards which are a consequence of a soft sleeping surface. Therefore, it is important to note that the bedding should snap back when you press it on the center and the thresholds.
Experts have repeatedly emphasized that a mattress shouldn’t conform to the baby’s head shape. It is recommended that the bed should be resilient enough to regain its shape quickly after applying hand pressure on it.
However, there are various types of foam which have two levels of firmness. The first level is soft, which is meant for toddlers.
The second one has a slightly higher firmness level intended for infants. As far as infants are concerned, it’s safer to go with the firm rather than soft.
A well-designed mattress should not only make your baby’s sleep more comfortable but should also give support for healthy spine development.
The mattress’ material is one of the most important aspects you should consider. Try to find a long-term, comfortable bed since your child will probably sleep in a crib until the age of three.
A mutual opinion on whether a foam or innerspring type is better for the baby doesn’t exist so you should carefully research before you buy.
When it comes to buying a good baby crib mattress, you might not want to try bargain shopping. However, you should also know that buying an overpriced one won’t do you any good.
The price of a standard crib mattress is normally a good indicator of quality, but there are other important aspects you should look into.
Although there are other factors to take into consideration, usually the price all depends on the quality and type of crib mattress you opt for.
Generally, the cheap and thinner foam mattresses are in the low budget range. The better and denser models will cost a little more. However, the price is usually tolerable once you understand that the more expensive ones are of much higher quality.
In the mid-range, Innerspring models are the more popular option and fall. Organic mattresses are slightly pricier but for a good reason. Usually, organic types are the most expensive among all the other types of mattresses.
There is no right or wrong size. However, there are some regulations. The minimum size proposed by the government is in a range between 27 5/8″ to 28 5/8″ of width and 51 3/4″ to 53″ in length.
The minimum size should be 27 1/4” x 51 5/8” and the bedding shouldn’t be thicker than 6 inches. The main rule is to have it fit the crib snug or moderately snug.
The depth differs between 5 to 6 inches for coil crib type and 4 to 6 inches for foam-based products. Generally, if the gap is more than two fingers, the mattress is too small.
The gap between the mattress and crib sides can pose a severe risk of suffocation which is why a gap of no more than 1.25″ should be present between the edge of the mattress and the frame.
Some places you will read this as “no more than two fingers” but this is not accurate advice, 1.25″ is the correct measurement.
The depth or thickness of a U.S compliant standard crib mattress size can be no more than 6″ from top to bottom when laid out flat.
Lastly, one common thing that often leads to confusion is the difference between a toddler mattress and baby crib mattress.
The truth is there is no difference; concerning size and compatibility, they are the same. So for example, if you have a 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 convertible baby crib, once your baby is ready to transition from crib to toddler bed, the same one can be used.
When choosing the right crib mattress, it is a good idea to buy a waterproof mattress.
A good indicator that a mattress is water resistant is a double or triple ticking bolstered with nylon. This kind of content will also show high resistance to being teared up or soaking other solids or liquids.
Most of the products have covers made out of cotton and you might want to buy waterproof covers instead. You should also take notice of the airflow in and out. It should have venting holes which will release the odor from leaking diapers.
Best Crib Mattresses of 2019
Newton Crib & Toddler Mattress
The Newton Crib Mattress is one of the highest rating crib mattresses which offers a unique solution as far as organic “green mattress”.
The mattress is GreenGuard certified complies with all standards as it is free of harmful chemicals, HDPS’s, Vinyl, LDPE’s, and PP’s PS’s. The risk of suffocation by SIDS is lower with the Newton, while it emits no odor.
The Newton Wovenaire is 100% organic. The mattress is made of two components: the Wovenaire material and the 3D spacer cover.
The product’s material consists of a block of the woven food-grade polymer. It is designed specifically to provide maximum airflow and deals with heat retention successfully.
The model is hypoallergenic and so there is no risk for your baby by sleeping on this surface.
It’s 100% machine washable. You can easily remove the mattress’ cover and wash it. Then let it dry for 8 hours and it is brand new.
Overall, this is an amazing, high-quality choice with innovative features which can provide a safe, relaxing, sleep, being extremely breathable, organic and lightweight. All around, a wonderful choice, although a bit pricey.
Features and Design
- 2 layers of highly breathable fabric
- 90% Free Air 10% Food Grade Polymer
- 100% machine washable
- 100% organic
- GreenGuard certified
- 100% washable and recyclable
- Very breathable
- Made in the USA
- Does not require a sheet
- Perfect hand-me-down mattress
- Recipient of the 2015 JPMA Innovation Award
- Free of harmful chemicals
- A bit expensive
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual Firmness Crib Mattress
This bed is an eco-friendly crib choice and one of the most trending models the brand has.
This is a dual-firmness foam mattress, which means you can use it both for a crib and a toddler bed.
The exterior consists of a waterproof non-toxic nylon fabric cover and can be easily cleaned with a wet rag.
The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is CertiPUR-US certified and it is free of vinyl, polyethylene, PVC, and phthalates free, while no flame-retardant chemicals were used in its construction.
You will be happy to hear that the mattress also complies with the Green Safety Shield Quality Assurance Program.
The stitching of the Little Dreamer is on the side of the mattress which means that if anything spills on the mattress, it won’t be wrapped around the edges.
Overall, although the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is not a budget option, it is excellent and is worth the investment
Features and Design
- Non-toxic Medical Grade Nylon Fabric Cover
- Natural Internal Fire Barrier
- Extra firm High-density foam which supports the infant until they are 9 months old
- Firm High-Density Foam which is plusher and caters for the toddler’s comfort
- Affordable price
- Dual firmness
- It is side stitched
- CertiPUR-US certified, Green Safety Shield, 16 CFR Part 1633
- It is a bit expensive yet it offers what it promises
- Some customers note that the infant side is a bit too firm
- There are complains that it does not fit standard cribs
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams
Safety 1st is a very affordable choice out there with high ratings and is definitely worth considering it.
The Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams is a very lightweight mattress which is approximately 8 pounds. It offers sufficient support for your baby, whether new-born, while at the same time it hugs the body providing enough comfort for a toddler.
The bed has a Greenguard Gold certification which ensures a good level of air quality and low chemical emissions. It is also hypoallergenic. Moreover, the mattress is suitable for children up to 30 pounds.
The Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams is a mattress that is firm although it has no springs or coils and sleeps really comfy. Quite handy, you can zip off the cover and easily clean it.
It comes wrapped in plastic and comes in a brown box.
Overall, this mattress is quite cheaper compared to others of the same magnitude yet it is a great choice to have for your baby whose bones are not yet fully developed.
Features and Design
- High-density thermal-bonded foam core surrounded by a polypropylene-laminated vinyl cover which makes it waterproof
- It has a diameter of 5 inches x 27.5 that lets it fit most standard crib mattresses
- The mattress is 5.5 inches thick
- Waterproof, stain and odor-resistant cover
- Easy to clean – removable zippered cover (not machine washable)
- Phthalate & lead-free
- It’s a Greenguard certified
- Very Affordable Price
- Extremely lightweight and durable
- No sagging
- Not dual-purpose (baby and toddler side)
- It seems that it is not as breathable
- There are complains that it does not fit standard-sized cribs
- Supports children up to 30 pounds which is half that of other similar models
The Milliard Hypoallergenic is an affordable choice for a great hypoallergenic crib mattress which is built with memory foam and provides the right amount of comfort and support for your baby.
It does a great job offering enough support for the baby’s body while it contours to its natural shape. It is however firm enough to prevent the risk of SIDS.
In addition, the mattress performs well in terms of edge support while the foam does not allow much sinkage or loss of shape. The polyester cover adds an extra layer of support and stiffness so the baby doesn’t sink and prevents suffocation.
On the other hand, the mattress is specifically designed to offer enhanced comfort with the memory foam construction and deals well with muscle pains, aches and the stress a baby endures.
It’s CertiPUR-US certified so it is free of harmful chemicals.
What is more, the polyester cover is hypoallergenic, keeping it safe from dust mites, allergens, etc.
Overall, a very good crib choice for its money, which we would recommend. The only downside is it’s has been reported strong odor which takes a few or more days to dissipate once unpacked.
Consequently, you may want to buy the mattress ahead of time and let it air outdoors for a while before you let your baby sleep on it.
Features and Design
- Premium high-quality Memory Foam
- Polyester cover
- The Milliard is a good medium-firm feel with a 32 ILD and 28D density.
- It’s a CertiPUR-US certified
- Very Affordable Price
- Has an attractive pattern on the cover
- Provides enough comfort and support
- It has a strong smell which takes a while to dissipate
The Colgate Eco Classica III Dual Firmness Eco-Friendlier Crib Mattress
The Colgate Eco Classica III is a quite lightweight model so lifting it or changing sheets won’t be an issue.
This 6 inches thick orthopedic mattress is dual-sided, meaning one of the sides is firmer so you can use it for an infant first and later on as a toddler bed! Nice touch, right?
The infant side is firm and does not allow sinkage, while it gently hugs your baby’s body and supports it during sleep.
The Colgate Eco Classica III is one of the safest options for a crib mattress. It is manufactured from natural organic materials all around, so rest assured that your baby is not exposed to dangerous chemicals or materials.
It is both CertiPUR-US certified and GreenGuard certified, while it is naturally designed with rayon cloth flammability barrier which is free of chemicals.
The waterproof cover is durable and hypoallergenic.
There is virtually no smell with the Colgate Eco Classica III, which is always a bonus.
Overall, an eco-friendly, comfy and safe option manufactured in the USA which we absolutely recommend if you can afford it as it is a bit more expensive being a “green” crib mattress.
Features and Design
- 100% certified organic cotton cover
- Plant-based foam
- Eco-friendly with all certifications
- Waterproof and hypoallergenic 100% organic cotton cover
- Provides enough comfort and support
- No smell
- Dual-sided. Double firmness for both infant and toddler use
- Standard fit
- Difficult to remove persistent stains
- Rounded edges instead of squared which can cause trouble matching a crib
Good sleep is vital for promoting a child’s health. The best baby mattresses not only help children sleep cozy through the night but also helps promote healthy growth and ensures safety too.
Babies and toddlers spend more than half of their first five years of life in a sleep environment of some sort.
Generally, newborn babies tend to sleep an average of 16 hours a day, and children aged 3-5 years sleep an average of 11-13 hours. For this reason alone it’s obvious that their surroundings and bedding should be second to none.
There is an abundance of toddler mattress brands and products available on the market but choosing the right one can be pretty daunting, to say the least. Consequently, it is always best to keep the top-rated crib mattresses in mind.
Was this post helpful?
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic