New parents want everything that their baby touches – and that touches their baby – to be as safe as possible. And they certainly want their clothes and bedding to be as comfortable as possible, and easy to launder is nice as well. When it comes to the bedding for their first crib or bassinet one question new parents often have is what is the best fabric for crib sheets?
Most parenting experts feel that the best fabric for crib sheets is cotton. 100% cotton if possible, and if it is organic cotton that is even better. This is because cotton boasts most of the best attributes a crib sheet can have – breathable, hypoallergenic, durable, easy to launder and very readily available.
Cotton is far from the only choice parents have when it comes to crib sheets, and there are other modern fabrics that may be just as suitable. Here we are going to take a closer look at crib sheets in general, including the best fabric for crib sheets, to help you make the right buying decision for your baby’s first bed.
What is a crib sheet?
In the US, a crib sheet is defined as any sheet that is specifically made for use with a standard crib mattress. Such a mattress measures 27 1/4 inches wide and 51 1/4 inches long to meet the guidelines laid out by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, and this is the size that almost all crib mattresses sold in the US are found in.
The same standards require that any crib mattress be no more 6 inches deep and meet standardized flammability testing requirements. If you come across a crib mattress that does not meet the right safety standards – and you can view them all here – you should NOT make use of it.
Standard crib sheets measure 51 5/8 inches long by 27 1/4 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches thick to accommodate a standard crib mattress. They should be fitted sheets that will cover the crib mattress completely. Loose bedding is no longer considered safe for babies under three months of age, so most little ones should start their lives sleeping on a comfy mattress and a well-fitting crib sheet and little else. If they need to be warmer, they can be swaddled in a baby blanket.
What to look for in a crib sheet?
The very first thing parents should look for in a crib sheet is labelling that states the sheets meet CPSC safety standards.
After that you should consider whether the fabric is breathable, if it is hypoallergenic – babies can be extremely sensitive, especially their skin – and as they are going to need to be washed very often that they are easy to launder.
You should also check the measurements to ensure they will fit the crib mattress you will be making use of snugly.
What’s the best fabric for crib sheets?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this piece, most experts consider cotton to be the best fabric you can choose for crib sheets. There are different options when it comes to cotton crib sheets though, which can make shopping a little more complicated!
Many parents feel organic cotton is the best choice, but as it is usually more expensive, and can be slightly rough until it has been washed a few times, a high-quality standard cotton can be just as good. Some of the least expensive cotton crib sheets may be a blend, usually with polyester, and while many are OK, they do not quite match up to the real thing.
Other crib sheet options include bamboo which is another excellent choice – especially as it is naturally antibacterial and exceptionally durable, but bamboo crib sheets are harder to find in stores, and microfiber, which has an incredibly soft feel and launders well, but some babies find itchy.
5 Best places to buy crib sheets
You can pick up crib sheets in all kinds of places, including all kinds of stores both on and offline. To help you get your crib sheet shopping off to a great start here is a look at five of our favorite shopping destinations to buy crib sheets.
Target – or Tarjay if you prefer – offers some wonderful bedding choices for the whole family, and their selection of crib sheets is both high quality and attractive, available in all kinds of colors, designs and themes. There are even crib sheets offered by some big-name designers.
One of the wonderful things about Target is that they have a serious commitment to creating clothing, bedding and more that is truly unisex, a plus if you are buying crib sheets before Baby is born and you have opted not to spoil the surprise!
Some of our current favorite Target crib sheet offerings include the Honest Baby Organic Crib Sheet Collection. (Honest Baby is a company founded by actor Jessica Alba) and the Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Crib Sheet Collection. Both collections offer a wide range of fun, attractive unisex patterns and the sheets are made using ethically sourced organic cotton. The fact that these are essentially designer crib sheets at a very affordable price is another big plus as well.
Crate and Barrel
Maybe Crate and Barrel would not be the first store that springs to mind when it comes to shopping for baby décor, but the fact is that this multi-specialty home goods store carries an extensive range of baby bedding, including some great crib sheets.
If you want to buy some really cute crib sheets for either a boy or a girl – and do good at the same time – take a look at the Crate and Kids collaboration with the Jane Goodall Foundation. It offers all kinds of great kid bedding, but the Tropical Birds Organic Cotton Crib Sheet set is especially wonderful, and part of your purchase price goes to a worthy cause!
Newton Baby specializes in offering safe, durable, and amazingly comfortable crib mattresses. So obviously they also offer some great crib sheets to go along with those mattresses that will also fit any standard size crib mattress.
Their crib sheet sets feature colorful, unisex patterns such as this stardust collection and are made using soft and breathable organic cotton. They are also easy to wash and retain their bright whites and colors through lots of washes.
The Ultimate Green Store
The Ultimate Green Source strives to be just that; a one-stop shop for eco-friendly, ethically sourced, and crafted home goods of all kinds. Their baby bedding selection is extensive and feature crib sheets made with certified organic cotton that is free of artificial dyes.
These crib sheets are a little more expensive, but they are exceptionally durable, and feel exceptionally soft to the touch even right out of the package. Our current favorite pick is the striking black and white Casablanca Organic Cotton Crib Sheet that features a design that is not at all ‘baby-ish’, which means that you could keep making use of it for years, all the way up to the time when your child graduates from a toddler bed to the ‘real thing’!
On Amazon you can find thousands of crib sheet options offered by sellers from all over the world. It is almost impossible to pick favorites here when there are so many wonderful choices but to make sure that you get the right crib sheets do not forget to set filters when you search, especially for things like fabric and safety compliance.
That all having been said don’t you think that these Bert’s Bees Baby crib sheets – which are all 10% organic cotton are adorable? They are made to the same high organic and ecofriendly standards as the Burt’s Bees cosmetics we’re all come to know and love (we cannot survive a winter without their lip balm) and the patterns are original and hugely varied, although we are very partial to the Hello Moon!