Preparing for the arrival of a new baby can be stressful. There are many things you must prepare to ensure that your baby has everything they need to be happy and healthy. One of the biggest items you will be purchasing for your baby’s new room is their crib. While most new parents put a lot of thought into the quality and style of crib they choose, many neglect to put the same amount of consideration in the mattress.
Crib mattresses are just as important, if not more so, than the crib itself. It’s the surface that your newborn baby will be sleeping on for the next couple of years. Despite all of those late-night cry sessions, babies actually spend more time sleeping than being awake. This is especially true during the first few months of life. Mattresses play an important role in your baby’s overall comfort and safety.
These mattresses aren’t miniaturized versions of adult mattresses. They’re specifically designed for a baby’s developing body. A high-quality crib mattress offers great support to your baby’s growing bones while also keeping them safe throughout the night.
The market is filled with many great crib mattress options to choose from. To get one that’s right for your baby’s needs, there are a lot of things to consider. Here’s a selection of great crib mattresses that can keep your baby comfortable, safe, and happy.
This crib mattress from Milliard is a great option for keeping your baby safe from bacteria and other allergens. It has a tough cover that’s hypoallergenic and waterproof. Messes can be cleaned up with a simple cloth. The mattress itself is made out of thick, high-density foam that holds its shape through repeated use. On the bottom of the mattress, there’s a unique panel that helps to prevent mold. While the tops and sides are non-penetrable, the bottom allows air to circulate through the foam. Not only does this help to prevent mold from developing, but it can keep your baby cozy in any season.
Fits standard cribs
Made of high-density foam
Hypoallergenic and waterproof cover
Easy to clean
May come with strong foam smell
Cover cannot be washed in a washing machine
The premium foam crib mattress from Graco offers multiple layers of protection and comfort. At its core is thick polyurethane foam. The foam is breathable. Air can flow through the material to regulate temperature and keep your baby comfortable. Around the foam is a barrier that can prevent fire spread. Then, there’s a secondary separation barrier to keep the foam safe from accidents and spills. Finally, the outer layer is comprised of a water-resistant polyester cover.
Fits standard cribs
Made of polyurethane foam
Embossed water-resistant cover
Features a separation layer and fire barrier
Cover is easy to remove with zipper
Water-resistant cover doesn’t provide full protection from accidens
Cover must be hand washed
The Heavenly Dreams mattress from Safety 1st is a simple, yet effective mattress option. It’s won numerous awards thanks to its safe and comfortable design. One of the most useful features is the vinyl cover. The material is water resistant and helps to prevent any diaper leaks from soaking through to the material underneath. The mattress is made out of durable foam. It has a high-density core made out of the thermo-bonded polyester fiber. Overall, the mattress is firm, yet lightweight for easy maneuverability.
Fits standard cribs
High-density foam core
Water-resistant vinyl cover
Cover can’t be removed
This unique mattress from Dream On Me can benefit your child for many years. On one side, the mattress is designed for young babies. When your baby gets a bit older, you can flip the mattress over for a different sleeping experience. The baby side features a breathable material that regulates temperature. The toddler side has a waterproof cover. Inside the mattress, 88 springs are used for firmness. The springs are heat-tempered for lasting strength and durability. The perimeter of the mattress is reinforced as well for safety.
Fits standard cribs
Firm coil mattress
Ventilated layer on baby side
No waterproofing on baby side
The Twinkle Stars mattress from Delta Children is designed to keep your baby as safe as possible. It’s GreenGuard certified, which means that it has very low chemical emissions. There are also no potentially toxic fire retardants used. As a result, your baby’s sleeping environment is safe and comfortable. The foam mattress features a polyester fiber core. It’s covered by a laminated vinyl cover that’s waterproof for easy cleaning.
Fits standard cribs
Polyester fiber core
Made out of firm foam
If you want a mattress that your child can use well into their toddler years, consider this option from Colgate. It’s a foam mattress with two levels of firmness. On one side, you’ll find a firmer foam that’s ideal for babies. On the flip side, there’s a softer foam that your child can enjoy once they get a bit older. One unique thing about this mattress is that it has eco-friendly foam made out of plant oils. As a result, it’s incredibly healthy for your baby. It’s GreenGuard certified and hypoallergenic as well.
Fits standard cribs
Two levels of firmness
Made out of eco-friendly foam
Organic cotton cover
No waterproofing features
Sealy is a brand name that’s often associated with high-quality adult mattresses. This crib mattress has that same great build. It’s a coil mattress that utilizes 204 heat-tempered springs. There’s also multiple layers of padding, including hypoallergenic foam. Along the perimeter of the mattress, there’s steel wire to help the product keep its shape. When it comes to waterproofing, Sealy uses hospital-grade techniques. There are an antibacterial cover and tight lock stitching.
Fits standard cribs
204 coils and border wire
Cover can’t be removed for cleaning
Crib Mattress Buying Guide
Not all crib mattresses are made the same. As with any other baby-centered product, it’s important that you take some extra time into choosing one that’s right for you and your family. This is going to be something that your baby uses every single day, so even small details can have a big effect on how your baby sleeps. Here are something to consider.
Firm Body Support
One of the first things you should look for is firmness. Crib mattresses should be significantly firmer than products made for adults. While many new parents always go for the softest and plushest baby gear they can find, it’s important that you do the opposite when it comes to crib mattresses. You see, the firmness helps to support your baby’s growing body.
Babies grow quite rapidly during the first few months. They take on weight fast. With a soft mattress, your baby’s body will sink down into the material. Essentially, the material will conform to their shape. This provides no extra room to grow. Firm mattresses are built to stay flat, even as your baby starts to get bigger and roll around.
In addition to being firm, a high-quality crib mattress should have ample support around the perimeter. Many options have built-in border rods to prevent the edges from sagging. Mattresses tend to be a bit weaker around the perimeter due to a lack of support. As your baby gets a bit older, they’ll start to stand up and jump on the mattress. The last thing you want is a weak mattress that’s just going to give way at the edges. This could lead to your baby falling and getting injured.
Different Types of Crib Mattresses
There are a couple of different types of crib mattresses available. Both options can be beneficial to your baby as long as they’re well-designed and built for safety.
As the name might suggest, these mattresses are made out of thick foam. Most manufacturers use multiple layers of polyurethane. Some also use different types of closed-cell foam. These mattresses tend to be a bit lighter and easier to move around. Because they contain no intricate parts, foam crib mattresses are also known to last much longer than the alternatives.
If you’re thinking about getting a foam mattress, you’ll need to pay attention to firmness and density. Denser foams offer the most support. They tend to be on the firmer side and have less give than light options. One good way to check the density of a foam mattress is to press your hand into the surface and see how long it takes for the material to bounce back to its original flat state. The quicker this happens, the better. Many manufacturers also advertise the density of the foam or the overall weight of the mattress. Heftier products utilize denser foam.
Innerspring crib mattresses are very similar to traditional adult mattresses. They have a core made up of steel coils. This layer is surrounded by foam and cushioning for comfort. Innerspring mattresses are incredibly sturdy and can provide lasting support even to the most rambunctious baby.
There are a few different design aspects to think about if you decide to go with an innerspring mattress. The first is the thickness of the coils and how many are included. It’s always best to go with a mattress that has more coils. With more coils, the mattress is able to distribute pressure and weight evenly across the entire surface. The thickness of the coils affects the strength and firmness of the mattress. Thickness is measured by the gauge of the steel. A lower gauge number represents thicker coils.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the layers that surround the coils. While manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that the coils are as safe as possible, accidents do happen. The material can easily poke through the mattress if it’s not surrounded by a thick protective layer. To keep your baby safe, go with products that utilize multiple layers of foam or have a durable insulator pad.
Mold is a very real threat when you’re dealing with an accident-prone baby. It can develop underneath the mattress as urine seeps through. Mold can be a serious problem that puts your baby’s health at risk. Needless to say, it’s crucial that you avoid it at all costs. The best way to do that is to invest in a waterproof crib mattress.
Many mattresses have an outer layer made out of vinyl or plastic. In addition to helping prevent mold, a waterproof layer will make cleaning the mattress a breeze. All you’ll have to do is wipe it down. If your mattress doesn’t have a waterproof layer, you can also purchase a liner for protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long should my baby use a crib mattress?
Typically, they’ll be using the crib mattress for as long as they can fit the crib. Once they’ve outgrown the crib, you can move onto a more plush mattress that offers better comfort. Many crib mattresses also come with a weight limit as well that you can use to determine when it’s time to move onto a different mattress.
Q: Is memory foam good for a crib mattress?
A: Memory foam is used a lot in premium adult mattresses and is praised for all the benefits it provides. However, it should never be used on a baby mattress. Babies need firm support, not something that conforms to their body shape. Otherwise, they can’t grow properly.
Q: How should a crib mattress be cleaned?
A: It’s important to clean your crib mattress regularly. Urine, dirt, and bacteria can quickly accumulate on the mattress surface. How you clean the mattress will depend entirely on the cover material. Most waterproof covers can be wiped down with some mild soap. If you have a cloth cover, simply remove it for a good wash.
Q: Which is better: foam or innerspring?
A: Both foam and innerspring mattresses have their benefits. The option that’s right for you really comes down to personal preference. Innerspring mattresses are the traditional choice that has been used for decades. Foam mattresses are becoming more popular because of their lower price tag and lightweight design. As long as the mattress is firm, either option will be just fine.
Q: Do crib mattresses come in multiple sizes?
Manufacturers have made things very easy for parents by coming up with a universal standard size. Most crib mattresses measure approximately 27 inches wide by 51 inches long. It’s still a good idea to take measurements of your crib before you choose a mattress. Some options are designed to fit bassinets or miniature cribs, which have their own size standards. As a good rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and crib frame.