When it comes to choosing the best crib mattress for your newborn baby, things can get very confusing and stressful very quickly. It may not be the most exciting thing you'll purchase for your baby, but it is by far one of the most important.
With newborn babies sleeping on average 15 - 17 hours a day and toddlers spending on average 10-14 hours, it is essential that you purchase a good crib mattress that provides support, comfort and a safe sleeping environment.
There are many baby mattresses on the market, and distinguishing which one is the best one for your baby is no easy feat. After many hours of research, I have put together a guide with some of the best crib mattress reviews and a helpful comparison table to help make your decision easier and save you valuable hours of researching. This way you can spend time purchasing the fun things such as cute clothes and your baby stroller!
- Top 5 Comparison Table
|#||Image||Model & Brand||Type of Mattress||Weight||Rating|
|1||Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress||Foam||10.5 lbs (4.7 Kg)||4.8|
|2||Sealy Soybean Foam Core||Foam (Plant Based)||8.3 lbs (3.7 Kg)||4.4|
|3||Colgate Eco Classica III||Foam (Plant Based)||9.4 lbs (4.2 Kg)||4.5|
|4||Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams||Foam||7.5 lbs (3.4 Kg)||4.1|
|5||Naturepedic No Compromise||Organic||16 lbs (7.2 Kg)||4.2|
- How to Choose the Best Crib Mattress for your Baby
A good baby crib mattress not only helps your newborn baby sleep more comfortably through the night, but it has also been proven to aid growth, prevent spinal scoliosis and even help your little one's blood circulation.
There are many factors that you need to think about when buying a crib mattress. Your baby's safety is the most important, and one thing that no parent should compromise on. Below are some crucial factors to consider for any parent looking to purchase a baby mattress.
Mattress and Crib Size
One of the most important things to consider is the crib mattress size. The mattress needs to fit snug into your baby's crib. A gap between the crib and the mattress can pose a danger to your baby.
You can perform an easy gap hazard test by using two fingers to poke around the sides of the crib. If you cannot fit two fingers between the crib and the mattress then your crib mattress is safe.
Standard crib mattress dimensions should measure approximately 27.5" wide, 52" long, and about 5-6" thick. This is the standard mattress size for baby cribs. This size should not be confused with the smaller sizes for playpens or bassinets. By law, a crib mattress must be at least 27.25" wide and 51.625" long, and a maximum of 6" thick. Thicker crib mattresses pose a risk for a standing baby to climb and fall out of the crib.
Note: If you own an old crib it is important to check the interior crib dimensions. Many older cribs case may have been manufactured before standard crib mattress size regulations were set.
Support and Firmness
When it comes to your baby's development, you should ensure you purchase a crib mattress that provides maximum support. The CPSC recommends using a firm, flat mattress to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
A soft crib mattress is not recommended as it poses a risk of your baby sinking into it or rolling over onto their stomachs and not be able to roll back over because the mattress has indented underneath them.
TIP: To ensure that you have bought a firm crib mattress, press the center of the mattress with the palm of your hand. If it is a firm mattress it should not fix to the shape of your hand, instead, it should immediately snap back.
Ease of Cleaning
Let's be straight here, all babies pee and poop and a blowout from the sides of the nappy is inevitable, right? So a crib mattress that is easy to clean is essential because no one likes sleeping on a poop stained mattress and no parent wants to be scrubbing of the remnants of your babies.
Look for a non-toxic crib mattress cover or a wipeable waterproof or vinyl surface. In my (limited but previous) experience, these have been the easiest to clean. Alternatively, a crib mattress with a removable cover which can easily be washed is just as good.
One of the most important factors to consider other than safety is the breathability of the crib mattress. A breathable crib mattress provides your baby with a safe sleeping environment that is allergen-free.
A good quality crib mattress should allow air to easily circulate through the mattress material. Fresh air helps to prevent mold, mildew, and odor from building up inside the crib mattress.
A breathable crib mattress also aids your baby to regulate their temperature, prevent overheating and therefore lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Look for small holes on the sides of the mattress that let air flow in and out. A crib mattress will smell and breath better if it has plenty of vent holes to let odors escape. Also consider that if your baby is pressed up against the mattress, vent holes prevent the re-breathing of carbon dioxide.
While the crib mattress weight is not a super important factor, a lightweight crib mattress will come in handy for late night sheet changes and portability.
The CPSC and the American Society for Testing and Materials have specific safety standard to meet when it comes to baby crib mattresses. The main crib mattress certification to look out for is a GREENGUARD® Certified crib mattress. GREENGUARD® measures the air quality and chemical emissions of a crib mattress. If you see this label, you can rest assured that the mattress has been designed for use in indoor spaces and meets strict chemical emissions standards.
Go one further and invest in an organic crib mattress, which will usually be certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
Dual Firmness Crib Mattresses
Dual Firmness Crib Mattresses or 2-in-1 dual crib mattresses feature two different sides with varying softness.
These types of mattresses have an extra-firm side for babies and a softer, more comfortable side for toddlers.
If you have purchased a convertible crib, consider a dual-firmness convertible crib mattress. While these can be a little pricier, it will be a worthwhile investment since the one crib mattress can be used longer instead of purchasing an additional toddler crib mattress.
TIP: Flip the mattress after your baby's first birthday, when the risk of SIDS decreases significantly.
- Always Go New
Even though your baby will only use the crib mattress for just a few years, resist the urge to use a second-hand mattress and buy a new one. While it may make sense and save you money to use a used mattress, there are more pros for buying a new one.
Used crib mattresses are unsanitary
You can never guarantee that a used mattress is sanitary. Babies pee and poop constantly, and while the surface of the mattress maybe clean, there could be a huge amount of bacteria lying underneath. You also have no idea how the mattress was stored while it wasn't in use, which could mean that there could be mold or harmful bacteria from nappy leakages that have been festering just below the surface.
Used crib mattresses are unsafe
Numerous studies have shown that used crib mattresses are linked to an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). According to research published in the British Medical Journal, there is a direct link between SIDS and used second-hand crib mattresses.
If you buy a new mattress for your first child, you can use it for your next child providing the mattress is stored in a dry environment, is cleaned before storage and it stays firm.
- Types of Crib Mattresses
There are three main types of toddler and baby crib mattresses, which are foam, innerspring and organic. Either type of crib mattress is fine as long as it is good quality and provides the support your baby or toddler needs to have a safe and comfortable nights sleep.
Spring Vs Foam
The truth is, there is not a "best kind" of crib mattress, as each type has their pros and cons. The important factor to concentrate on is the quality of the mattress. By taking the time to learn about the pros and cons associated with each material, you will be able to make a better-informed decision as to which crib mattress is best for your baby.
- Foam Crib Mattress
Foam crib mattresses are a very popular choice amongst parents as they tend to be cheaper than innerspring or organic options. Foam mattresses are usually made from polyurethane, which makes it extremely light and a good choice for portable cribs.
If you’re going to buy a foam crib mattress, there are a few things to look out for:
As a rule of thumb, the heavier the mattress, the more dense and firm the mattress will be. While you don’t want a heavy mattress, having a firm mattress that supports your baby is very important. A soft mattress can conform to the baby’s shape, leading to an increased risk for SIDS.
To assess foam density, press on the center of the mattress and at the edges. It should snap back quickly and should not conform to the shape of your hand. This is difficult to test if you purchase online, however information on the density of a crib mattress is often described in good reviews.
The thickness of a crib foam mattress can also vary from brand to brand. The thickness of most foam crib mattresses will fall between 3 and 6 inches. Remember, that mattresses over 6 inches thick pose a risk for standing babies as they may fall out of the crib.
- Most affordable crib mattress
- Very lightweight, typically weighing between 8 and 13 pounds. This makes it very easy for middle of the night linen changes.
- Great option for portable cribs, since its lightweight material allows for easy removal, and can be folded for storage.
- Less durable compared to other types of crib mattresses.
- It is not recommended for long-term use.
- Innerspring Crib Mattress
Also known as coil spring mattresses, they get their name from the coiled steel that makes up the mattress core. These mattresses are usually more expensive and heavier than foam crib mattresses but are still a popular choice.
If you’re going to buy an innerspring crib mattress, there are a few things to look out for:
Coil Count and Steel Gauge
Look to buy a mattress with around 135-200 coils. When the coil count increases, the coils are closer together which helps to create a firmer mattress.
Many brands will focus on the coil count, however, you should also consider the gauge (thickness) of the steel used. An innerspring crib mattress with 150 coils could be firmer than one with 200 if the gauge of the steel used in the 150 coils is thicker than the 200 coil count mattress.
A lower gauge means a thicker wire is used, which is stronger and therefore firmer. For best results look for one with 150+ coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower.
Higher quality innerspring coil crib mattresses include a border wire or border rods, which is thick steel wrapped around the edges of the crib mattress. It is not recommended to purchase an innerspring mattress that lacks these rods since they provide extra firmness, and edge support so the mattress won't sag down when your baby stands or walks near the edge of the mattress.
- Innerspring mattresses are more durable than foam mattresses and will last a long time.
- Better ventilation - the spaces between springs allow easy ventilation of our body heat unlike foam mattresses.
- They are much heavier than foam mattresses
- Quality of mattress can differ greatly - if you purchase a poor quality mattress is is prone to squeaking and sagging.
- Organic Crib Mattress
A popular choice for environmentally friendly parents, organic crib mattresses are made with natural or organic materials, including organic cotton, untreated wool, coconut fibers, and natural latex.
Organic crib mattresses are the most expensive baby mattress option compared to foam and innerspring.
Unfortunately, due to loose regulations, the environmentally friendly baby product marketplace is confusing, and misleading so I have written a guide to choosing organic crib mattresses that you may want to take a look for more information.
- Crib Mattress Reviews
#1 Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer
Providing a firm, comfortable, easy-to-clean sleeping environment, the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is the perfect crib mattress for your child, with its dual firmness taking them from infancy into the comforts of a big-kid bed.
Its squared corners allow for a tight and safe fit and its 11 pounds weight makes for easy sheet and mattress pad changing.
It is also CertiPUR-US® certified and free of vinyl, polyethylene, PVC, phthalates and lead.
#2 Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress
This budget friendly baby mattress has a lot going for it and is regarded as one of the top rated crib mattresses on the market.
At almost half the price of our top pick, the Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress is the best option for parents looking for a firm, easy to clean, lightweight, hypoallergenic natural mattress for close to $100.
Similar to our top pick, this crib mattress comes complete with GreenGuard (low emissions) and CertiPUR-US certifications. Although marketed as a natural mattress with soybean foam, note that its foam contains 73% polyurethane, meaning the composition is less than 25% soy foam.
#3 Colgate Eco Classica III
Colgate Eco Classica is one of the first-class leading companies in the crib market. Another dual firm mattress, it offers a very firm support for small infants on one side, and when flipped over has a softer yet firm comfort layer for toddlers.
For those with eco-friendliness in mind, you'll be pleased to know it features a certified organic cotton cover and a CertiPUR-US® certified foam core made with plant oils rather than petroleum based oils.
This is a fantastic lightweight, waterproof, eco-friendly, safe and comfortable mattress. Although more expensive than entry level crib mattresses (you pay for quality), your baby is ensured a healthy and safe goodnights sleep!
Safety 1st is one of the leaders in child safety products, including car seats, travel system strollers, baby gear and safeguarding solutions for more than 30 years.
Its Heavenly Dreams crib mattress is one of the top selling budget infant mattresses, coming in at under $50.
This hypoallergenic, GREENGUARD GOLD certified crib mattress is made from high-density thermo-bonded foam core, offering your little one plenty of firm support. It is also very lightweight (7.5 pounds) and easy to maneuver and flip.
Naturepedic's No Compromise is one of the GOTS certified best organic crib mattress brands in the market.
If you are looking for an organic crib mattress for your baby then look no further. Made from 100% organic materials, this dual firmness baby mattress is very high quality and it is one of the most expensive mattresses out there.
This particular mattress has won numerous awards, so if you are looking for a natural, healthy and comfortable sleeping environment for your baby - this is it!