There are many people who think that buying a mattress for their baby is a simple and straightforward process; after all, it’s just like buying a miniature adult mattress, right?
Wrong. Crib mattresses are designed and built differently from the mattresses we grown-ups use, and those differences are very important to remember.
Crib mattresses are firmer, to better support your child’s fragile and developing body while they rest, and are made of different materials to ensure a healthy sleeping environment for your child.
There are also a variety of factors to consider when buying a crib mattress, and it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed when there are so many products available claiming to be the best choice for your child.
But we know that this purchasing process can be daunting whether you’re shopping for your first child or your fifth, so we’ve assembled some helpful information that can assist you along the way.
We’ve also included with our own top choices for the best crib mattresses currently on the market in the hopes of helping you narrow down your choices.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Guide for Choosing the Best Crib Mattress
- 2 Top 8 Best Crib Mattress Reviews 2017
- 2.1 1. Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer – Best Choice for Overall High Quality
- 2.2 2. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib Mattress – Best Choice for Firmness
- 2.3 3. Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Crib Mattress – An All-organic Mattress
- 2.4 4. Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress – Best for Durability
- 2.5 5. Lullaby Earth 2-Stage Super Lightweight Crib Mattress – Best Light-weight Mattress
- 2.6 6. Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress – Best Choice for High-quality Materials
- 2.7 7. Colgate Eco Classica III – Best Choice for an Eco-friendly Mattress
- 2.8 8. Simmons Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers – An Affordable High-quality Innerspring Mattress
- 3 Is It Safe to Reuse a Crib Mattress?
- 4 How to Care for and Clean a Crib Mattress
- 5 Conclusion
Our Guide for Choosing the Best Crib Mattress
Shopping for your child is always an important duty, but the importance of shopping for a crib mattress that’s right for your baby is often overlooked, and some parents aren’t even sure what to look for when they go shopping.
With this in mind, we’ve assembled some important information that will hopefully help you navigate the crib mattress market with a little more ease.
First, here’s a list of pointers on what to keep in mind when selecting a crib mattress.
- Check the Firmness – As mentioned previously, the firmness of the mattress is important. The mattress needs to be hard enough to support your baby and stay flat without crumpling or caving in on them when they move or roll around.
- Materials – The materials your baby’s mattress is made of is also an important factor. Make sure the mattress is made of baby-safe materials and is either waterproof or has a waterproof cover to prevent dangerous molds that could grow in a moist environment. There are also mattresses made of all organic materials if you’re looking for more all-natural options, but keep in mind that organic mattresses are generally more expensive.
- Size – Make sure the mattress fits the crib you’re using. If you’re using a standard crib it shouldn’t be too hard to find a mattress that fits snugly, but always double-check the measurements to be sure the mattress isn’t too small or too large; gaps between the mattress and the crib can be dangerous for your child.
The next thing you’ll want to think about when shopping for crib mattresses is the type of mattress. There are three main types, each with its own unique features. Here is some basic information on them, so you can be better informed when you choose one.
- Innerspring – This type of mattress is popular on account of its durability and firmness. The design involves strong steel coils in the center and layers of cushioning materials on the outside. Typically, innerspring mattresses are rated by how many springs they contain, since the more coils they have the more supportive the mattress will be, so make sure to pay attention to coil count if you choose an innerspring mattress.
- Foam – This kind of mattress is well-liked for how light-weight it is, as well as how inexpensive when compared to the other types of crib mattresses. Things to keep in mind with a foam mattress are how dense the material is (a denser mattress equals a firmer mattress, so aim for a higher density) and also how quickly the foam regains its shape after bearing weight (this quality is called resiliency, and it’s better for you and your baby if the mattress regains its shape quickly).
- Double-sided/2-in-1 – These mattresses are a popular choice because their unique design incorporates a firm side for use with babies and a softer side for use with toddlers. This makes it a good selection if you don’t want to go shopping for an entirely new mattress once your child grows out of the infant stage and becomes a toddler; all you need to do is flip the mattress over and you’re all set!
Top 8 Best Crib Mattress Reviews 2017
Now that we’ve given you general information on crib mattresses and what to keep in mind when choosing one, here is our list of the eight mattresses that we consider to be some of the best (in no specific order).
1. Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer – Best Choice for Overall High Quality
This crib mattress is on the more expensive side, but it is also one of the most widely-acclaimed crib mattresses currently on the market. The double-sided design has a firm side for babies and a softer side for toddlers, making it a good choice for your growing child.
The fabric of the mattress is particularly notable for being medical-grade performance-knit material that is stain, water, and odor resistant; it’s also easy to clean, which is always a plus.
It is also very light and easy to pick up, weighing in at around ten pounds, and is made without PVC, vinyl, chlorine, and other such toxic compounds, making this mattress both baby-safe and eco-friendly.
Additionally, this mattress is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty, and in general is considered to be one of the best crib mattresses around.
The main downside is that this mattress is, as previously mentioned, more expensive than several other crib mattresses on the market, although most parents would argue that the high-quality of the mattress makes the high cost worth it.
2. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib Mattress – Best Choice for Firmness
This mattress is not dual-sided, but does fit pretty much any crib. It is also hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for any child, but particularly important if they are sensitive to any allergens.
The high-density core makes this mattress very firm, a good quality for providing proper support to your child’s fragile and growing body. It is also very lightweight and incredibly easy to clean, and is without a doubt one of the less expensive high-quality crib mattresses currently available.
On the downside, this particular mattress is not very breathable, so be very careful to check it every now and again to make sure it’s not retaining moisture; this could lead to mold and mildew, which can in turn negatively impact your baby’s health (the most obvious health issue being respiratory infections and similar issues).
3. Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Crib Mattress – An All-organic Mattress
This dual-sided mattress is also very popular, primarily due to being all organic and made of incredibly high-quality materials.
Made of organic cotton with an easy-to-clean waterproof surface (made of polyethylene), this mattress is stain-resistant and water-proof, and the cover also functions as a barrier to keep out bed bugs and dust mites.
And not only is the filling made of organic cotton, but the mattress is rated as incredibly firm thanks to heavy-duty 150 innerspring coil interior, making this a good choice if you want strong support for your baby.
The heat-sealed water-poof seams not only prevent bed bugs and other small insects from nesting in your baby’s mattress, but also give the mattress a more modern look, as well as increasing the durability of the mattress as a whole because these seams will not tear, burst, or fray.
The main potential downside of this mattress is that it is slightly wider and thicker than other brands, so finding sheets that fit properly might be a struggle, as well as finding a crib that will hold the mattress without damage to either the crib or the mattress itself.
Also, an improper fit could also result in the mattress dipping or bunching up while your baby moves around, so do exercise caution and make sure to check all measurements beforehand.
4. Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress – Best for Durability
Made by the Sealy company, who are well-known for their high-quality adult mattresses, this crib mattress has, as the name states, a strong foam core made of renewable soybean materials, resulting in a very light-weight but also ultra-durable mattress.
It is also made without phthalates, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals and materials, and features a waterproof and stain-resistant cover as well.
This mattress is also easy to fit into almost any crib thanks to its standard size and well-shaped corners; this also makes fitting the sheets on easy and straightforward. Additionally, it is made in the USA and backed with a lifetime warranty in the event of any problems.
There are some reports of this mattress sagging at the edges over time, but thanks to the lifetime warranty it is usually not too difficult to contact customer service and obtain a replacement mattress if this happens to you.
Overall, this is a good choice if you want a good quality crib mattress for a relatively low price.
5. Lullaby Earth 2-Stage Super Lightweight Crib Mattress – Best Light-weight Mattress
This dual-sided mattress is, like all dual-sided mattresses, a good choice if you want a crib mattress that will last you from your child’s infant years into their toddler stage.
It is also very lightweight, waterproof, and durable, making it a good choice for ease of care over time. The squared-off corners also make it a good choice for fitting snugly and securely into the crib itself. This product also comes with a limited lifetime warranty in the event of any problems.
One of the main downsides to this mattress is that the water-proof material of the cover is not as breathable as that of other mattress brands, so your child might become sweaty or overheated depending on the temperature and humidity in their bedroom.
Also, while this mattress is of good quality, it is slightly more expensive than other mattresses of similar design, so keep that in mind if you’re on a budget and need to get the most for your money.
6. Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress – Best Choice for High-quality Materials
This particular crib mattress is of very high quality, and made with your baby’s health and comfort in mind.
It is 100% breathable, to help reduce the risk of overheating and suffocation, and is also completely hypoallergenic and made of washable materials. It also contains no foam, springs, latex, or glue, for a more natural mattress; it’s even 100% recyclable!
This crib mattress is also dual-sided, so you can use it for both babies and toddlers, and being easy to clean and maintain means it will last longer than other mattresses. It also comes in two sizes, standard (28” x 52” x 5.5”) and mini (24” x 38” x 5.5”).
The only real downside to this particular crib mattress is the price; it’s significantly more expensive than other crib mattresses, so it might not be the right choice for you if you’re on a tight budget. If you decide to buy directly from the manufacturer, however, a payment plan might be available.
7. Colgate Eco Classica III – Best Choice for an Eco-friendly Mattress
This mattress is 6 inches thick and is dual-sided to accommodate both younger babies and toddlers. It is also eco-friendly and made from sustainable plant products with an incredibly soft all-organic cotton cover that has waterproof backing to help keep out moisture.
This mattress is also hypoallergenic and phthalate-free, and certified safe for no harmful emissions. It is also handcrafted and fits all standard-size cribs and toddler beds. Additionally, it features inverted seams to help increase long-term durability.
The primary downside to this mattress, like with some of our other top picks, the higher price. Also, there are a handful of consumer reports about receiving the incorrect mattress after purchasing online from secondary sources; make sure to verify that you’ve received the correct product and contact customer service if you’ve been sent a mislabeled mattress.
8. Simmons Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers – An Affordable High-quality Innerspring Mattress
This innerspring crib mattress is a good choice if you want a high-quality mattress for a reasonable price. It is dual-sided, with a firmer side for infants and a softer, more comfortable side for toddlers.
This mattress features 231 luxury-pocketed springs to provide firm support throughout the entire product, and the reinforced borders and corners provide additional stability and durability.
The cotton wrap around the mattress is certified non-toxic and has built-in fire protection, and the fabric cover features a medical-grade waterproof barrier to keep out moisture and is also stain-resistant.
This product also comes with a limited lifetime warrant that should cover most, if not all, problems that you might encounter with this product, depending on how recently it was purchased and how much damage it has sustained during that time.
The main downside to this mattress is that it is quite heavy, so changing the sheets might be difficult. Additionally, if you are purchasing it online, shipping is not available for those living Alaska or Hawaii, so additional transportation or pick-up will need to be arranged.
Is It Safe to Reuse a Crib Mattress?
It may be tempting to reuse an old crib mattress or buy one second-hand in an attempt to cut costs and save a little money, but honestly we need to advise you to be incredibly careful about doing this.
While buying second-hand sounds good in theory and might work for things like toys and even strollers or playpens, a mattress is an entirely different matter. The mattress is where you baby rests and sleeps; they’re going to be spending a lot of time on it, so you need to make sure it’s safe for them.
Used crib mattresses pose a risk, particularly if you’re not sure of the conditions it’s been used in previously. Did the previous owner clean it regularly, was it kept in a damp environment for storage, was their child seriously sick with something contagious while this mattress was in use?
These are all very important questions that need to be answered before you accept and use a second-hand mattress for your child. If the mattress was in a moist environment, it’s possible that the mattress might contain mold spores or harmful mildew that could make your baby sick.
The same rules apply if the mattress was used by a sick baby. If there’s any chance of those contagious germs still being on or within the mattress, it would be better to avoid using it; your own baby could get sick from the lingering contagions and given all the potential complications that can result for sick infants it’s better to ere on the side of caution.
Additionally, a used crib mattress will probably not be as firm as a newly purchased one. It’s already been used by one or more children, after all, and depending on how it was stored afterward it could have unpleasant lumps or dips in the material that aren’t good for your baby’s developing bones and muscles.
There are also some medical studies that show evidence of increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) linked to the use of second-hand crib mattresses. Additional research is needed in order to better determine the underlying reasons for this, but there’s no denying that the risk of SIDS goes up when used crib mattresses are involved.
Overall, between all the sanitary and safety concerns, it would probably be better for you and your child to steer clear of second-hand crib mattresses. That being said, the choice is ultimately up to you, and you can utilize a used mattress if you are absolutely certain that the mattress you are using is safe for your child.
How to Care for and Clean a Crib Mattress
Whatever crib mattress you choose should come with care and cleaning instructions, but we’ve put together our own set of directions for you just in case those original instructions are confusing or get misplaced.
- First, remove the cover and any bedding. Most covers can be thrown in the washing machine along with the bedding, but make sure to use a baby-friendly detergent.
- Next, try and find the care label on the mattress itself; it might not be as thorough as the care instructions that came with the product, but it will at least tell you which detergents and soaps are safe to use as well as what water temperature is best. If there is no care tag, try searching for care instructions online if possible; otherwise, the best option is probably warm water and a gentle detergent.
- Vacuum all surfaces of the mattress (top, bottom, and sides) to remove any dirt, dust, and debris. You can use a thinner vacuum attachment if you need to get into the seams of your mattress.
- Next comes the actual washing of the mattress. The best course of action is to scrub it clean with warm water and a gentle detergent, unless instructed otherwise by the care label. Make sure to wipe the mattress down carefully when you’re done, to remove any lingering bits of detergent.
- If your mattress has any stains that did not come out when you scrubbed with detergent, you can try mixing together equal parts water and lemon juice in a spray bottle and lightly spraying the mixture on the stains.
- Then, make sure to dry the mattress completely. The most common method for doing this is to press dry towels onto all sides of the mattress to remove as much moisture as possible and then put the mattress outside in a clean space to air-dry, in direct sunlight if possible. It is very important to make sure that the mattress is thoroughly dry before placing it back in the crib; any lingering dampness can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria.
- Next, once the mattress is dry, all you need to do is bring it back inside, put it back inside the mattress cover, and then return it to the crib and make up your child’s bed with all the appropriate bedding. And there you have it, you’re done!
As we’re sure you’ve realized, there is much more to the process of purchasing a crib mattress than meets the eye, but we hope that the information and advice we’ve provided for you within this article is helpful on your own quest to find and maintain a crib mattress for your growing baby.
If you have any additional comments, questions, or concerns, please feel free to leave us a message down below; we’d love to hear from you!