Choosing a mattress for your baby is an important decision. It’s also a difficult one. With so many crib mattresses out there it’s enough to tear your hair out with despair, but just think of this one very significant detail when searching:
A good quality mattress can save your baby’s life.
Quality mattresses are proven to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). So which mattresses are these? Here I will tell you all you need to know about choosing the perfect mattress for your little angel.
Before we get into it, here are the top 7 best rated crib mattresses I would recommend:
- Top Rated: Naturepedic
- Most Wished For: Newton
- Sleep EZ
- Moonlight Slumber
- Colgate Classica III
- Lowest Priced: Milliard
Crib Mattress Buying Guide
Your little bundle of joy is going to be born soon, and he or she will need a comfy and most importantly SAFE place to sleep. So here’s what important to know.
Inside a Crib Mattress
A baby will spend about 70% of his or her time on a mattress, and 50% once he or she grows into toddlerhood. With this in mind, it’s vital to know exactly what’s inside the mattress your child will spend so much time on. If you research and inform yourself on what kind of components are best in a crib mattress you won’t risk your baby’s safety and will distinguish quality mattresses from the rest.
There will be decisions to make, (foam or innerspring?) and that’s why research beforehand is crucial.
Crib Mattress Firmness
Choose a firm crib mattress , one that isn’t too soft but firm enough for your baby to feel comfortable and safe. If a mattress sags, it’s not secure. A good quality mattress is firm and will keep its shape, great once your baby starts moving around in the crib and changing positions while sleeping.
Here are interior support systems that are important features in a firm mattress and prevent sagging:
These are located around the mattress perimeter and prevents the mattress from sinking around the edges or corners.
Interior Steel Vertical or X Frame Bars
They provide a continuous flat surface across the whole mattress. How will you know this?
Just try out the ‘Firmness Test’:
- Pick up the crib mattress
- Grip the edges with your hands placed around the middle with one hand on the left edge, and the other on the right edge.
The harder it is to squeeze, the firmer it is for your baby.
If it’s a quality mattress, it’ll snap back and won’t conform to the shape of your hand.
You should also check for soft spots to make sure the mattress is firm throughout.
Remember, denser is firmer. The densest foam mattress weighs 7-8lbs and the densest innerspring mattress 15-23lbs.
Also remember that your baby will most likely use the mattress as a playpen before falling asleep and just after waking up, so purchase a mattress that can be used and abused without losing firmness or quality.
Types of Crib Mattresses
The first thing you need to know is that there are two major crib mattress types: Foam and Innerspring.
Foam mattresses are generally lighter than innerspring ones and are a common choice for many parents. The foam used is polyurethane, and it’s best to check the density before purchasing, as denser foam is better for your baby.
Now, how to determine quality? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Weight: heavier foam usually means a better mattress
- Firmness: firmer foam is better
- Resilience: it regains its original shape quickly
A foam crib mattress is lightweight compared to an innerspring crib mattress, weighing about 7lbs. This helps tons when you’re changing the sheets. Plus, a quality foam mattress should have clear-cut corners that will prevent fitted sheets from slipping off.
Also, look a foam mattress with a quality vinyl cover that includes these features:
- Waterproof: it’ll be easier when accidents involving liquids occur.
- Durable: make sure it’s double stitched, it will resist wear and tear.
Memory Foam Mattresses
There are memory foam crib mattresses too, conforming to the contours of the body but these aren’t safe enough to be used by newborns since they’re softer and dent easier. Thus memory foam is best for toddlers.
There are many memory foam crib mattresses out there, so you need to take into account firmness and size. If the mattress is too soft, it can pose as a health risk for your child, and if it’s too small for the crib then your baby can become trapped in the gaps.
The best innerspring baby mattress will always have higher quality layers of support than lower quality mattresses.
The innerspring crib mattress is a popular choice with first-time parents, using multiple layers to make up a firm, quality sleeping surface. These mattresses have an insulation layer to keep the upper cushioning layers from sinking into the coils and topped with a layer of padding. And remember, higher coil count doesn’t mean it’s better!
Coil Count and Coil Gauge Debunked
- Coil Count: This is the number of springs or steel coils inside the mattress
- Coil Gauge: This refers to the thickness of the steel coils and ranges between 12.5 (the thickest) and 19 (the thinnest).
So what to look for? We want a fairly high coil count, a good range is 135-150, and we want the coil thickness to be 15.5 or lower. Don’t settle for a cheap mattress with 88 coils or anything of the sort!
Keep in mind that a 160 coil mattress with a thicker steel gauge can be firmer than a 280 coil baby mattress made of thinner steel.
Remember to watch out for the sales pitch! I met a sales assistant that attempted to convince me to buy a mattress with over 280 coils. Thankfully, I already knew that a high coil count wasn’t beneficial if the coils were thin. I chose a mattress with less but thicker coils.
Also, make sure the mattress has a good insulator pad and border rods!
More and more parents are opting for organic mattresses as a safer alternative for their babies. Why? Because of the natural materials used. The organic crib mattress is typically made from components like natural latex, organic cotton and wool, and other natural elements.
Mini and Portable Crib Mattresses
If you’re dealing with a very small sleeping space and there’s not enough room to put a full sized crib, you should consider a mini crib. And if you travel often with your baby, you should think of a portable crib. Just remember if you buy a portable crib mattress or a mini crib mattress, these won’t fit in a regular crib.
Round crib mattresses are unique and innovative sleeping places that add to safety measures. You can custom make the crib and mattress for a perfect fit, and that means they should be the same size. Remember, if the mattress doesn’t fit the crib it could be uncomfortable as well as harmful for your baby. These are a tad more costly than other mattresses.
Knowing what the standard crib mattress size is will be important, as not all mattresses come in the standard size which is 51 5/8 inches long and 27 ¼ inches wide. Making sure the mattress and the crib fit perfectly determines your child’s safety and comfort.
[Also Read: What is the best fabric for crib sheets?]
What is the Standard Crib Mattress Size?
Most mattresses on the market are standard size and will fit standard size cribs. However, some may vary in length or width and can be a potential safety hazard if not fitted to match the crib, so take your measurements seriously.
Thickness doesn’t affect the safety of your baby’s mattress but be sure to use the correct sized crib sheet!
Your ideal crib mattress should have the proper dimensions:
- 51 5/8 inches long and 27 ¼ inches wide
With a depth that:
- Should never be greater than 6 inches
- Ranges between 4 and 6 inches for foam mattresses
- Ranges between 5 and 6 inches for coil mattresses
Check out baby mattress size for accurate measuring tips.
Crib Mattress Prices
Okay, so you have a list of options for crib mattresses, and most probably a set budget. How much is the crib mattress going to cost? First of all it depends on the type of mattress you’re going to buy. One thing you should keep in mind is that your baby won’t care what the mattress or crib looks like or how it’s decorated or if it’s the new trend, he or she just wants to sleep comfortably and has all the right to.
You won’t find a good crib mattress for under $100. I suggest that you spend a hundred less on the crib and a hundred more on the mattress, simply because your baby doesn’t need an expensive and fancy crib or stroller. A quality mattress, however, is a must.
I say that the best crib mattress for your baby is one that:
- Is extra firm
- Is the right size for the crib
- Isn’t cheap
If you’re considering a regular foam crib mattress you’ll generally find foam mattresses from $50 onwards, but always invest in a good quality mattress even if it means having to pay a bit more for it.
Innerspring mattresses are a common choice so they come in a wide range of prices. You’ll most likely find innerspring mattresses that cost up to $200.
And if organic mattress is the way you want to go than expect higher prices. Organic is always better for your baby but these mattresses are more costly than regular ones, but if you ask me in the long run organic is the best crib mattress for your money.
The Best Crib Mattress
This was not an easy section to create since there are so many good mattresses in the market as well as so many different price points. These are the safest and most comfortable baby crib mattresses (organic, foam, innerspring etc.) in the market all with high ratings and reviews. I hope this list helps. Make sure you also check out buyer’s guide and recommendations on the best crib sheets.
If you can afford it I would highly suggest going with an Organic Crib Mattress.
One of the safest and most reliable crib mattress you can buy for your newborn is the Naturepedic No Compromise Crib Mattress. This US-made and fully organic innerspring hybrid mattress is made from durable high-quality materials, has dual firmness, coil core construction with 150 coils on the inside, border rods to prevent edge sagging and heavy duty innerspring is built to last. Comes with lifetime warranty, has seamless waterproof edges and a firm easy to maintain non-toxic waterproof cover.
You won’t expect anything short of a quality product from this leading manufacturer, they are GOTS certified and their products meet the strictest GREENGUARD certification standards for eliminating chemical emissions. This isn’t a cheap crib mattress, but if you’re looking for the best for your baby or toddler I would highly recommend this award-winning organic crib mattress.
The Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress is a good choice if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic mattress that will serve your family for many years. A very popular choice with parents, this multi-award mattress is a little pricier than others.
It features the most important qualities every mom wants for their baby: comfort, safety, and durability and fits into standard-sized infant cribs and toddler beds. An ideal mattress for those who are planning on having a multi-child household. The mattress provides support and comfort for your child since it’s well-padded with 2 layers of highly breathable spacer fabric. The patented Wovenaire core is 90% air and 10% food-grade. It’s sturdy and is designed to retain its shape and firmness even after many uses. Having passed flammability and toxicity tests, the Newton Wovenaire is safe to use. Also, the wet-proof polyester zippered cover is easy-to-clean and provides a water-tight barrier to liquids and stains. One of the improvements I’d like to see in this mattress is to make the cover a little softer but overall this a great mattress choice for your child.
If you’re looking for a safe and natural crib mattress that is fairly firm, cooling and lasts a long time, we recommend this latex mattress from Sleep EZ.
It’s made up of 6″ 100% natural dunlop latex with an organic cotton cover which helps if your newborn sleeps a little hot at night – since latex is well known for it’s cooling properties. It’s firm providing orthopedic support in accordance with pediatrician and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) but soft enough and lightweight, which helps when needing to change sheets. This hypoallergenic latex crib mattress measures 28”x 53”x 6” and is free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.
Looking for a durable yet comfortable crib mattress for your baby or toddler? The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamers features a firm supportive sleeping surface for your baby and a softer side for your growing toddler. The Little Dreamer crib mattress fits any US standard sized crib. It’s also available in custom sizes along with twin/full. This 5 inch-deep US-made mattress is made out entirely out of top quality, eco-friendly materials, is waterproof and comes with a lifetime warranty. The filling is medical grade foam, the fire treatment of the mattress is non-toxic, and it uses no allergenic materials, so it creates a safe and chemical-free sleeping environment for your infant. On the outside, the flexible medical grade nylon fabric cover is water and stain-proof in addition to being hypoallergenic. I particularly like it is odor-free and super lightweight so changing sheets is a breeze. Overall, the Little Dreamer is an eco-friendly plant-based hypoallergenic crib mattress with a smooth surface and a breathable cover – a fantastic choice of a comfortable and safe dual sided crib mattress at an affordable price.
The Colgate Classica III Foam Crib Mattress is one of the best in its class because of the level of comfort and support it provides due to its extra firm foam. Recommended by medical experts, the lightweight Classica I has an orthopaedic design and a triple layer wet proof cover. These features makes it stand out among other foam crib mattresses in its class.
A number of popular baby and consumer products publications have been recommending this crib mattress for over fourteen years. It has a firm side for newborns and medium firm side for toddlers. Its extra firm foam provides the needed support for your child that is recommended by doctors. The hypoallergenic foam helps avoid irritation and allergic reactions.
The Colgate Classica III Foam Crib Mattress is known to be top-of-the-line in form, features, and function because of its tear-resistant reinforced vinyl cover, eyelet vents, and adherence to both Federal flammability and CPSIA safety standards. The firmness, which some parents report is a little too firm, is the right type of firmness that your newborn needs for good night’s sleep. This is a popular crib mattress and amongst the most highly rated foam crib mattress.
The Sealy Soybean Foam-core crib mattress is a big hit with moms and is one of the top selling foam crib mattresses. It’s unique feature – the Soy based foam– allows for very limited sagging and improved durability when compared with other crib mattresses.
In addition, it has an extended life because it grows with your infant. It is usable first as a crib mattress and then can be later used on a toddler bed. It has CertiPUR-US certification and has been tested for durability, indoor emissions, and contains no trace of mercury, lead, or heavy metals.
One of the main features I like about this crib mattress is that is very lightweight so it’s easy to change the crib sheet by yourself and the square cut corners allow the sheets to fit very snug on the mattress without any gaps. The only dislike is the plastic covering on the mattress, however this water resistant component is what makes this mattress waterproof, easy to clean and blocks allergens from penetrating the mattress. This soybean foam crib mattress will provide all of the required support needed by infants and provides a comfortable surface for toddlers helping them to get a good night’s sleep.
If you’re looking for a budget crib mattress that comes highly recommended by other parents have a look at the Milliard Crib Mattress. It has just the right firmness, is hypoallergenic mattress and comes with a waterproof encasement. Both sides have equal firmness. The mattress is made of CertiPUR-US certified foam helping with even weight distribution of your little one. With regards to the longevity of the mattress, a concern for many parents, this budget infant mattress has seen of usage of 3 years+ with little wear and tear. It fits standard cribs and toddlers’ beds and uses regular crib sheets. The mattress measures 52”L x 27.5”W x 5”H. Overall, this is a good value crib mattress for your newborn or toddler with raving reviews.
Best Rated Crib Mattress
Drum roll please! This was not an easy decision since there are so many quality mattresses on the market but I have to admit this mattress stood out from the rest in many ways.
If you can afford it, I would highly recommend ending your search for a crib mattress and go with this year’s best crib mattresses the Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Crib Classic 150 Mattress.
One of the big bonuses is that it’s organic so you can rest assured your baby is not sleeping on a chemical infested mattress.
You might also be interested in checking out our review of the best mattresses for pregnancy.