The right baby crib mattress not only provides a child pleasant sleep through the night but also improves healthy growth and ensures safety as well. It is a fact that babies and toddlers spend more than half of their first five years of life in a sleep environment of some sort. Newborn babies usually sleep about 16 hours a day, and children aged 3-5 years sleep an average of 11-13 hours. This is the reason why it’s obvious that their surroundings and bedding should be second to none. There are plenty of different toddler mattress brands on the market so it can be pretty annoying when it comes to choosing the best crib mattress. That is why we made this crib mattress review for you.
Foam crib mattress
A foam crib mattress is the cheapest and most basic type of crib mattress. As its name suggests, this is the only material inside this mattress is one or more blocks of foam. A foam mattress material is the lightest weight of all crib mattresses. That is why a foam mattress is the best solution if you have a portable crib that you fold up when not in use. Because of the light weight, removing the mattress is an incredible simple. There are many different foam types used to make up a mattress: polyurethane, bamboo fiber, and latex are just a few of the materials that can make up a foam mattress. It’s not a waste of time researching what type of foam is inside the mattress. Polyurethane foam, for example, is cheap but “sinks” easily while latex foam is longer lasting but more expensive. Don’t forget that not only does foam come in different densities but also varying levels of firmness. Generally speaking, the firmer and more dense a foam mattress is, the safer it is for your baby.
The thickness of a foam mattress can also vary from brand to brand. The thickness of the most foam crib mattresses is between 3 and 6 inches.
- The cheapest crib mattress;
- Light weight;
- Available in a wide range of sizes.
- Less durable than other mattresses;
- Not recommended as a long term solution.
Coil Spring Crib Mattress
Thanks to its steel construction, a coil spring mattress is significantly heavier than foam crib mattress. Many brands practice advertising the coil count of their mattress. Regardless of the importance of coil count, more coils do not always mean a firmer, more comfortable crib mattress. We suggest that you look at the gauge (thickness) of the steel used instead of that. Coils should be a steel gauge of 15.5 or lower. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel wire that makes up the each coil. Every coiled spring is joined to the next by a steel frame. When weight is placed on top of the mattress, every spring will compress to a certain degree. Don’t buy cheap coil spring crib mattresses. Bad quality coil mattresses will creak with each tiny movement your baby makes. This is definitely the last thing that a parent who is already sleep deprived will want to hear in the middle of the night.
- Long lasting
- One of the heaviest types of crib mattresses available
- More expensive than a foam mattress
- Poor quality coil springs can squeak
Pocket Spring Crib Mattress
As same as the infant mattress described above, a pocket spring mattresses uses coils of steel to support a baby. The main difference between these two types is that each spring is sewn into its own material pocket. The individual pockets provide each spring to move separately from each other. This means each spring will compress in compliance with the amount of weight placed upon it. The pocket spring supporting your baby’s back will compress more than the spring supporting your baby’s legs. As the result, you will have the perfect amount of support for your baby’s entire body.
- Excellent support
- Long lasting
- Incredibly comfortable
- One of the most expensive crib mattresses
Memory Foam Crib Mattress
Memory Foam Crib Mattress has temperature sensitive foam that molds to kid’s body shape. If you lift the baby off the mattress, the memory foam will slowly spring back to its original shape. For the case your nursery is cold, you will notice that the memory foam mattress is initially hard. Nevertheless, as you lay your little one down to sleep, the foam will slowly mold to its body shape. Since the memory foam hugs your baby’s body, air circulation is reduced. This can make the mattress feel warmer. This is the reason why a memory foam crib is a very popular choice in colder climates. Almost every memory foam crib mattress has a coiled spring core with a layer of memory foam on top. This results in preventing a memory foam mattress to be flipped over.
- Conforms to your baby’s body shape
- Springs back to its original shape
- Reduced air circulation results in warmth
- May be too hot in summer
- Cannot be flipped over
Natural and Organic Crib Mattress
A lot of parents try to avoid having their babies come to contact with harsh chemicals at such a young age. Conventional crib mattresses are made from petroleum by-products and treated with flame retardant chemicals such as boric acid. If you don’t like this fact, then a natural crib mattress is just the thing you need. As its name suggests, this type of baby crib mattress is made from natural materials and fibers. These are some of commonly used materials that find their way into natural crib mattresses include:
- Untreated wool – a natural flame retardant and dust mite resistant.
- Organic cotton- breathable and chemical free.
- Natural latex- a natural alternative to petroleum based foam.
- Coconut Fiber- highly breathable.
Unluckily, because of loose regulations, a mattress that advertises itself as being organic may only contain a small amount of natural material.
- Chemical free
- Gentle on allergies
- Long lasting
- Breaths well.
- Not as common as other crib mattresses
- More research is required before buying
- Firmness varies with materiels used
11 Important Features
The best foam crib mattresses are firm, on the heavy side, and resilient. To test this feature, press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. It should snap back readily and should not conform to the shape of your hand. It definitely has no sense to let your baby resting on something that will mold to the shape of her head.
In order to make the best assessment of foam density (the denser, the better) you should compare the weight of different models. How should you do it? Pick it up, place a hand on each side in the center, and then press your palms together. A dense mattress won’t allow you to press very far.
For the case you decide on an innerspring mattress, follow this general rule: the more layers, and the better the quality of those layers, the better the mattress. The weight of inner springs tends to increase when the mattress contains better-gauged steel and better-quality cushioning.
We don’t recommend you buying an innerspring mattress that lacks these rods, which go around the perimeter of the top and bottom. They provide extra firmness, durability, and strong side and edge support so the mattress won’t sag when your baby stands or walks near the edge.
The Insulator Pad
The insulator pad is placed on top of the steel coils in an innerspring mattress, which keeps the coils from poking through. The best insulator pads contain coir fiber, which is made up of shredded coconut shells. Fiber-wrap pads (also called “rag” or “shoddy” pads) are made from pressed scraps of cloth. Coir-fiber pads are more expensive than fiber-wrap ones, but both of them works well. The lowest-quality insulator pads are made from woven polyester. Because they’re less durable, they tend to form pockets over time. They also become concave where most of the baby’s weight rests, creating a safety hazard.
Cushioning Layer is the next layer above the coils. It is made of foam, cotton, or polyester. Foam and cotton are signs of quality, and they add to the price. Polyester, which is less expensive and increasingly pervasive because the cost of mattress components has been rising, isn’t ideal because of its tendency to form pockets. We don’t recommend you buying a mattress unless you know what the layers are made of. There should be a description in the store, on the mattress tag, or online at the manufacturer’s website. If you fail to find out what’s inside a mattress, don’t buy it.
A fabric or vinyl cover is placed around the entire mattress. Fabric breathes more than vinyl, but ventilation holes in a vinyl cover can help air circulate. A multilayered vinyl cover is resistant to punctures, tears, leaks, and stains better than fabric. You should look for at least a triple laminated (three-ply) cover, which will give a mattress a tougher shell, adding to its longevity.
For the case you pretend to convert your baby’s crib to a toddler bed, then dual-firmness convertible mattresses are the thing for you. This type of mattress is extra firm for infants on one side and cushier for toddlers on the other. Some of them have standard foam or springy memory foam for the toddler side. (You can flip the mattress after your baby’s first birthday when the risk of SIDS decreases.) Convertibility isn’t such an important category. The baby will still be happy with a firm mattress when it becomes a toddler. If the child is exposed to a more-forgiving mattress, he probably won’t want to go back. So if you buy a dual-firmness mattress, make sure you don’t flip it too soon.
If a mattress is completely waterproof, it won’t “breathe” through the surface. If this is a concern you can get a mattress with ventilation pockets.
Buying waterproof cover separately is a good idea, even if the mattress you select is leakproof because it will protect the mattress from stains. Mattress covers are not a suffocation hazard. That means they go under the sheet and will make your baby’s sleeping surface more pleasant. A waterproof cover will provide surface protection of your baby’s mattress from diaper leaks (it can be thrown in the wash). But it’s still a good idea to wipe down a crib mattress with a damp cloth and mild soap when it gets wet or soiled.
There are studies confirming Antimicrobial Covers can slow the growth of odor causing mold and bacteria, though they won’t prevent them. This trendy feature is not something really necessary. Actually, there’s concern about what some people think is an overuse of antibacterials in consumer products. To prevent the growth of bacteria, you need to keep your baby’s mattress clean by wiping it down with soap and water after any leaks. When you’re finished with it, put it in a snug-fitting crib mattress storage bag, preferably one you can see through (light inhibits bacterial growth). Then out it in a cool, dry place, not a damp basement or stuffy attic.
The Best 5 Crib Mattresses for Your Baby
In this review, we covered for you the best available crib mattress for each category.The following mattresses brands have been assessed by parents across the world as being the best that money can buy.
Best Natural Foam Crib Mattress
Soybean Foam Crib Mattress
- Water proof cover
- Stain resistant
- Fits standard cribs
- Firm and supportive
This foam crib mattress has a stain resistant waterproof cover. Making the mattress cover feel like a comfortable plastic, it makes the mattress surface waterproof at the same time as well, preventing night time diaper leaks from soaking into the mattress.
In comparison to the plastic or metal vents that are found on the side of other mattresses, the foam core mattress uses material pockets to allow the air to circulate inside. Even if the mattress is firm and supportive, it is light enough to easily change the crib sheets. On the subject of crib sheets, if you regularly fit this mattress with tight crib sheets you may notice the corners start to become slightly rounded. This has no influence on the functionality of the mattress. Sealy brand is confident in its product, offering in the same time a life time warranty on workmanship and materials.
Best Dual Firm Crib Mattress
Eco Classica III Dual firmness Eco-Friendlier Crib mattress
- Water proof cover
- Fits standard cribs
- Suits babies and toddlers
This crib mattress brand is made in order to accommodate your baby as he transitions to the toddler phase with a simple flip of the mattress. One side of the mattress is firm and supportive for infants while the other is slightly softer, providing additional comfort for your toddler. Anyone worried about off gassing (the bad smell that new mattresses give off) will be pleased to know that this crib mattress has almost none. Actually, the mattress is GREENGUARD children and schools certified meaning it passes all standards for indoor air quality. No harmful emissions mean your baby can sleep easily and so can you!
Best Memory Foam Crib Mattress
My First Memory Foam Mattress
Brand: Kittrich Bedding
- Water proof cover
- Fits standard cribs
- Suits babies and toddlers
Memory foam made a huge burst in popularity so it is not a surprise that it has found its way into crib mattresses. It is also interesting the fact that the mattress is a great contender for the best crib mattress.
This product features a removable velour cover that can easily be thrown through a washing machine cycle. The cover is waterproof, too, preventing diaper leaks from seeping into the mattress. Besides, it is made of synthetic foam, the mattress is phthalates and lead-free while meeting the federal flammability standards. This mattress model is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, so it is a great solution for infants with allergies. Don’t forget the fact this mattress is firmer than what you would expect from a memory foam product. This firmness is by design as a soft memory foam mattress would be unsafe for an infant. One more very important information is that Kittrich Bedding stands behind the mattress, offering a 10-year limited warranty.
Best organic Crib Mattress
No Compromise Organic Cotton Crib Mattress
- Water proof cover
- 100% organic
- Dual firmness
This is definitely the most expensive crib mattresses, but if you are looking for an organic crib mattress, this is the right thing for you. Inside of the mattress and outside are both made from 100% organic materials with no chemical flame retardants. This mattress is a dual firm meaning it is suitable for both your baby and toddler. Besides, it is natural and you will also be pleased to know that this crib mattress is incredibly easy to clean. A 100% polyethylene surface actually meets food contact standards. (yup, you could literally prepare food on this crib mattress and eat it). What makes this surface special is that it does not absorb liquid and is incredibly easy to wipe down. The only disadvantage of this crib mattress is the price but you definitely get what you pay for, an amazing product backed by good customer service. If you are a fan of a natural sleep solution for your baby,then look no further.
Best cheap crib mattress
Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress
Brand: Safety 1st
- Easy clean cover
- Hypoallergenic surface
- Dual firmness
This is a very affordable crib mattress option that is available that still offers your baby a comfortable nights sleep. Besides, it is a foam crib mattress that retains its shape really well with many parents declaring that it lasted through the entirety of their little one’s toddler years. The foam is high density and provides a firm sleeping surface for your infant. Besides, the vinyl cover is not only tear resistant, it is also resistant to stains and smells. The cover is easy to wipe down with a cloth. The vinyl is even able to take off by undoing the zipper, in case you wanted to wash it or change it out.
4 FAQs Answered
We answered below to some of the most commonly asked questions about crib mattresses.
What is a crib mattress?
A crib mattress is, in fact, a mini mattress designed to fit snuggly inside your baby crib. A crib mattress is designed to provide a safe and supportive surface for your baby to sleep on.
When should a crib mattress be bought?
New parents usually buy a crib mattress at the same time as a baby crib. Most mothers look to buy a crib mattress while they are still pregnant, just before the beginning of the third trimester.
How long will your baby use a crib mattress?
Your baby will sleep on a crib mattress as long as a crib is used. Many parents continue using the same crib mattress when their child transitions to a toddler bed and that is ok.
When should I replace the crib mattress?
A crib mattress can be used around three years if properly maintained and cared for. This time coincides with the time that your toddler should no longer be sleeping in the crib. Visible signs of wear and tear are for sure sign that it is time to replace your baby’s crib mattress.
4 Tips to consider when buying a crib mattress
When people buy crib mattress they usually look for one that provides comfort, support, and possibly pain relief. Most of them forget about safety when it comes to our own bedroom purchase. When choosing for children, safety is the one thing that we shouldn’t forget. Choosing which baby crib mattress to buy is probably one of the most important nursery decisions you’ll make when it comes to safety. The factors below are crucial for anyone in the market for a baby mattress.
Mattress and Crib Size
Size is a very important factor, so much so that the United States government has regulated the standard crib mattress size to ensure safety for babies, and peace of mind for parents. The dimensions of your new baby mattress depend on the interior dimensions of the crib itself. According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the interior crib dimensions are defined to be that of 28 ± 5⁄8 inches width x 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches length. The actual mattress size must be a minimum of 27 1/4 inches width x 51 1/4 length. If you own a very old baby crib it’s worth checking the interior dimensions because it was probably manufactured before regulations were set and your baby could potentially be at risk.
The CPSC recommends using a firm, flat surface in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If the surface is too soft it can create depressions and increases the risk of suffocation.
All crib mattresses must be in accordance with 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 federal flammability standards. If you decide to buy an organic mattress, the best way to tell if it’s truly organic is by checking whether it is certified by the GOTS. Although there are many GOTS approved certifiers throughout the world, the largest certifier in the US is OTCO.
Prices vary depending on the quality and type you opt for. The cheap, thinner foam mattresses are in the low budget range. The better and denser models will cost a little more. Innerspring models are the more popular option and belong to the mid-range. Organic mattresses are slightly pricier but are worth it.