Finding the Best Crib Mattress for Your Baby – 2017 Buyers’ Guide

We all know how important sleep is and it’s the very reason why most people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on the best mattress. As an adult, you’ll know just how bad things can get if you don’t get ample zzz’s, so just imagine just how vital sleep can be for newborns. In fact, newborns need up to 17 hours of sleep (8-9 hours during the day, another 8 hours at night) to stay in top shape. While these hours don’t have to be continuous, the total amount of their slumber should still amount to around this number to keep them healthy.

Ensuring an infant’s sleep shouldn’t be that difficult. Most techniques that apply to you will also apply to them. A quiet room, optimal temperature, a dry nappy, full stomach, and a comfortable sleeping surface will also help them doze off easily. This is why if you’re ready to shell out a decent amount of money on the mattress you sleep in, you should also be ready to look for the best crib mattress for your baby.

The Best and Safest Crib Mattresses for Your Precious One

Want your baby to sleep in the best mattress? Here are a few great products that you can consider getting for them:

1. Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Infant/Toddler Crib Mattress

Hailed by many users as the best crib mattress in the market today, the Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Mattress is definitely worth checking out. Made by one of the biggest names in the mattress industry, you can already be guaranteed of their products’ quality.

This foam mattress takes pride in its Greenguard Gold certification and use of Certipur-US approved materials. It has also won the America’s Best Brand for Baby and Women’s Choice awards for four years in a row (2013-2016), so you’re pretty much guaranteed that it is a high-quality product that can offer so much to your little one.

What's Great About It: What sets this product apart is its use of soybean foam for its core. This renewable material is a popular bedding option as of late, as its hypoallergenic and very eco-friendly. It’s also very durable, so you can count on it to last for years despite heavy use. 

In terms of comfort and safety, it’s very firm and fits most standard-sized cribs perfectly so you don’t have to worry about your little one’s time in her crib. As it doesn’t use harsh chemicals, you can count on it to be non-toxic, making it a healthy choice for most households.

2. Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual Firmness Crib Mattress

Want to get more use out of your crib mattress? Then this Moonlight Slumber product is something you should check out. The Little Dreamer is not just meant for infants and newborns, but because its other side is equipped with a softer surface, it can be easily used for toddler beds as well.

Aside from its practical design, the Little Dreamer is also loved for its non-toxic construction. Made with a plant-based foam on the firmer infant side and plusher high-density foam on the toddler side, it offers great comfort for your little one for years to come.

What's Great About It: While it’s not an all-natural product, it has taken strides in avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. It’s actually free of lead, phthalates, vinyl, polyethylene, and PVC, so you can rest assured that there are not a lot of things that can harm your little one’s health in their sleep. It’s also GreenGuard Gold certified, further making it an excellent choice for your baby’s safe and sound slumber.

We also chose this product as one of the best crib mattresses because of its nice cover design that is a combination of a woven fire barrier and a medical-grade, stain and water resistant, and antimicrobial cover. It’s also very easy to clean, so you won’t have to worry about keeping it clean and safe for your little one to use.

3. My First Premium Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Baby Crib Mattress

Combining safety and great support is the My First Premium Memory Foam crib mattress. Like the Little Dreamer, this is also a dual firmness crib mattress as it has a memory foam layer on one side and a polyurethane surface on the other. This design makes it ideal for infants, toddlers, and your budget as it can last for a few years without a hitch.

Made from flexible premium CertiPUR-US certified polyurethane foam, this product is firm yet supportive at the same time. It’s often compared to adult mattresses as even mom and dad can sleep comfortably in it. However, as it does use memory foam, you need to spend some time airing it out to get rid of the residual scent.

Despite its choice of materials, it has also exceeded the safety standards set for crib mattresses in terms of flammability. This guarantees its safe use, so you can rest assured that this affordable option won’t endanger your little one’s health. It’s also mite-proof and anti-microbial so you’ve pretty much checked all the boxes in keeping out everything that will pose risk to your child in their bed.​

What's Great About It: Made without harmful chemicals as fire retardants, this product is guaranteed to be non-toxic as it is also formaldehyde, mercury, and lead-free. We also love how soft its velour waterproof cover is, guaranteeing great comfort for its sleepers.

​4. Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress

Some parents aren’t really fond of foam mattresses, no matter how non-toxic they may be. This is mostly because memory and polyurethane foam always use chemicals, which a lot of parents aren’t too thrilled to expose their little ones to. So as an alternative, Naturepedic’s innerspring crib mattress has become one of the top models in the market today.

Providing cushioning for this mattress is 100% US-grown organic cotton filling. This makes it free from chemicals and foam materials, making it a true blue organic mattress. It’s also hypoallergenic as it doesn’t use other materials that can trigger adverse reactions in your child’s immune system.

What's Great About It: Despite its unique construction, you don’t have to worry about clean ups as this mattress makes use of food-grade polyethylene, making it waterproof but completely free from harmful chemicals. It also has a dust mites barrier and has a GreenGuard certification, ensuring its safe use. As it’s also designed with dual firmness, your little one can also use it until he becomes a toddler, making it a pretty good investment.

​5. Colgate Eco Classica III

Another popular option for a crib mattress is the Colgate Eco Classica III. Made by one of the most respected brands in the industry, it’s a no-brainer to include this mattress in this list. Featuring an orthopedic style, it guarantees great firm support that your little one can use until their early toddler years thanks to its dual firmness design.

Made of Eco foam with plant oils, it’s guaranteed to be environmentally-friendly and composed of natural materials. While it weighs 10 lbs, it’s not too bad as it’s still very manageable and substantial at the same time.

What's Great About It: Certi-PUR-US and GREENGUARD Children & Schools certified, this product also takes pride in meeting the highest standards in ensuring children’s safety and indoor air quality. We also love its organic cotton cover that guarantees it won’t harm your child’s skin. If you’re worried about moisture and other bodily fluids seeping into the mattress, fret not as the covers are lined with waterproof material, preventing liquids from getting into the core of the mattress. This makes it more hygienic and easier to maintain as you’ll only need to wash the cover to ensure the mattress’ cleanliness.

It also doesn’t have any residual smells even if it’s made of foam, which is a great plus in our book. Because foams are notorious for their scent, you’ll be pleased to know that this product doesn’t have to be aired out before use or worry about harmful off-gasses.

​6. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress

Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you should skimp on your baby’s comfort and safety. This is why, if you’re not ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a crib mattress, Safety 1st’s Heavenly Dreams crib mattress is something you should consider.

This product even has a dual firmness, so you can stretch your baby bed budget even more until your little one’s toddler years. Equipped with a high-density thermo-bonded fiber core, it offers fantastic firm support for your newborn. Flip it to the other side and your toddler will be able to get a great sleeping surface with ample back support.

What's Great About It: Lead and phthalates-free, this lightweight foam mattress is also GreenGuard certified so you’re guaranteed that even if it’s not as expensive as the other items in this list, it has still met safety standards. We also love that it’s perfect for most standard-sized cribs, so you got every base covered when it comes to your little one’s safety. Topped with a water resistant vinyl cover, it’s also very easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe it down and call it a day, so we’re totally into it.

Affordable and fuss-free, this budget crib mattress can be a good option for practical parents. As it can already do as good a job as its pricier competitors, you can bet that a lot of parents love this product.

7. Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings

Another innerspring option for your little one’s crib mattress is the Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings. It promises the same quality, support, and performance as your beloved full-sized Beautyrest mattresses, making it a solid choice for parents who have fallen in love and soundly asleep with the Simmons brand.

Think of the Beginnings as a luxury mattress for your tiny one. With its 231 pocketed spring coils, your little one can enjoy excellent support and firmness like no other. It also has a 100% natural cotton wrap with fire protection, making it non-flammable and compliant to federal laws without having to use harmful chemicals. This makes it perfectly safe and comfortable even for a newborn. To top it all off, it’s also designed with dual firmness, so your child can use this mattress well into their toddler years giving you more value for your money.

What's Great About It: We love the details added to this wonderful mattress. The Innofoam corner protection, combined with the reinforced border edges make it a safer sleeping surface for your child as it won’t easily give under your child’s weight even if they sit, stand, or roll to the side. This can prevent any limbs or heads from getting stuck in gaps, guaranteeing utmost safety.

​8. Newton Crib Mattress

If you’re a fan of the latest technologies in the mattress industry, then you’ll love the Newton Crib Mattress as we do. Also known as the Newton Wovenaire, it’s touted as a “better than organic” option because of its choice of materials. It’s also recommended by many pediatricians, making it a legitimately good choice for many first-time parents.

Award-winning and completely washable, you’ll actually find its price easily justifiable because of how promising this product is. It stands out from the crowd because of how unique its construction is. This product is completely organic as it’s only made of two materials: Wovenaire and a 3D spacer cover, making it 90% air and 10% polymer. You’d want to look up how this product is made as it’s a really interesting process.

What's Great About It: Wovenaire is a revolutionary material that’s breathable and safe. Made to replace foam, it’s actually composed of 100% recyclable food-grade polymer, so even you can safely eat on it. As it’s 90% air, it’s very breathable. This makes it a perfectly great option for tiny stomach sleepers as you can basically breathe through it. Just pair it with highly breathable and snug fitting sheets, and you’re good to go.

We also love that this product is completely washable. Not a lot of crib mattresses can withstand being actually washed as they won’t really dry out thoroughly, making them inviting breeding grounds for mold and mildew. As you can basically scrub this whole thing down without worrying about not drying it completely as soon as you need it, it really makes for an excellent alternative to traditional units.

As it doesn’t use any kind of foam that might also double as allergens, it’s also a completely healthy option for kids with specific sensitivities.

​9. Lullaby Earth Healthy Support Crib Mattress

Most of the mattress on the list promises to be the healthiest option for your little one and it’s easy to say that most of them really are fantastic choices. It’s actually entirely up to you which one to go for as different kids have various sensitivities and particularities that having ample options in healthy mattresses can be the best way for every child to be healthy. The Lullaby Earth Healthy Support is one great example of such crib mattresses as it is deemed as a non-toxic pick.

Award-winning and made in the USA, the Healthy Support is well-loved by many for being a healthier alternative to regular mattresses that expel harmful gasses and chemicals. It’s made of 100% food-grade polyethylene, making it completely safe to sleep in since you can actually eat off it.

Like most of the other items in this list, this product is also available in dual firmness option. This ensures that your child will be able to use it until his toddler years, stretching your dollar to its limit. As it also comes with a very friendly price tag, it’s definitely worth every penny.

What's Great About It: There are a few notable things about the Lullaby Earth Healthy Support crib mattress. For one, it has firm edges which make it perfectly safe for your little one. This design makes it impossible for the sides to give when weight is put on it, ensuring that your child won’t get trapped in between the crib and the mattress. Two, while it’s not exactly all-natural, it still doesn’t contain harmful materials like PVC, vinyl, or polyurethane that often outgas toxic smells that can affect your baby’s health and development. Three, it has no chemical-based fire retardants. It makes use of wood pulp, baking soda, and the same kind of hydrated silica that’s found in our body to make the mattress non-flammable.

​10. Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress

For parents who are who a tight budget, shelling out hundreds of dollars on an item that will be only used for a year or two can seem impractical, so finding a more affordable alternative is important. Dream On Me’s Foam Pack and Play Mattress is a versatile and affordable option, making it the perfect addition to our list.

As the name suggests, this product is made not just for your little one’s sleep. You can actually easily take it out of the crib to use it as a cozy surface where your baby can play in during the day. This will give you more use out of your purchase, allowing to get more bang for your buck.

What's Great About It: Designed for versatility, you can be sure that this mattress can double duty at any time of the day. For one, it’s light weight makes it very easy to lug around. It won’t break your back to move it from the crib to the living room as it only weighs 2 lbs. It’s waterproof, wipe clean, hypoallergenic cover is also a great plus as it ensures proper hygiene and your little one’s good health.

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Crib Mattress and Creating a Safe Sleeping Space for Your Baby

Everyone, no matter what the age, needs to get comfortable to sleep better. However, this need is amplified for infants and newborns as they really can’t handle stress and discomfort that well just yet. Sleep also plays a huge part in their physical and cognitive development, so you really have to meet their sleep requirements if you want them to be in their top shape as they grow.

Their sleeping surface has a great effect on the achievement of all of these, so it’s vital that you pay close attention to which mattress to get for their crib. Why, exactly? Allow us to elaborate further on the importance of the best crib mattress for your little one.

SIDS and the Serious Danger in Choosing the Wrong Crib Mattress

The most pressing concern when it comes to crib mattresses is the alarming danger of SIDS or the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Also referred to as “crib death,” this condition is the unexpected death in seemingly healthy infants and newborns during their sleep. While this condition is more of a blanket term for the many things that can go wrong in a young child’s body during sleep, it is also used to describe deaths caused by the baby’s sleeping environment. It has caused 3700 deaths in 2015 alone.

Aside from medical problems, SIDS can also be caused by suffocation, which can be a result of sleeping on a soft surface, the wrong sleeping position, a crowded crib, or sharing the bed with parents. Because a baby can’t really move independently and control his body to its full capacity, a soft mattress can cause your little one to sink into the mattress and potentially find their face pressed into the soft “walls” their weight has created. As they can’t really shift to correct their position, this can cause suffocation and even death when not dealt with immediately. This is the same with the wrong sleeping position, so experts reiterate that young kids should always be put down in their crib with their backs on the mattress to ensure safety.

A crowded crib can also be very dangerous for infants. The Consumer Product Safety Commission even has a hashtag campaign, #BareIsBest, for cribs, advocating against adding lots of other stuff inside a baby’s crib. Additional accessories inside your crib, including pillows, blankets, pillow-like bump guards, and even loose sheets can be grabbed on and placed on top of a baby’s face and cause suffocation. So by keeping a crib bare, the fewer chances will there be anything to obstruct their air intake.​

Bedsharing is strongly discouraged by pediatricians as well. While they do recommend that parents and infants sleep in one room, they still have to be in separate beds to lower the risks of SIDS. There are just lots of dangers in a newborn sleeping right next to someone else, especially if the bed partner isn’t aware that the infant is there.​

What to Keep in Mind when Shopping for a Crib Mattress for Your Little One

While the wrong mattress is just one of the many safety risks for young kids, it’s still one of the easiest things to deal with right away. So, to help you choose the best crib mattress for your baby, here is a few things that you should keep in mind:​

Firm Up

Crib mattresses should be firm so their surface won’t conform to your baby’s face and cause suffocation. It will also help babies stay in one position, so they won’t find themselves face down in the mattress with limited oxygen supply.

If the Mattress Fits…

Because babies can get trapped in spaces and won’t be able to correct their positions on their own, you should lessen the risks of such in their crib by getting a mattress that perfectly fits their crib. This will guarantee that their little arms, heads, or legs won’t get caught in between two things which can have fatal results.

Always Buy Quality

You wouldn’t want to put your baby in something that will easily get damaged, right? So make sure to choose a quality mattress as well.

Options, Options, Options

Just like in full-sized mattresses, you also have tons of different options when it comes to crib mattresses. You can opt for spring coil or foam mattresses, depending, of course on your preference. Whatever kind you buy, though, make sure that it’s also well-ventilated so your child won’t sleep in a hot surface especially during warm summer nights.

Ensure its Cleanliness

A dirty mattress can also cause illnesses to your little one. Allergies and other infections can be contracted from an unhealthy sleeping surface as they will be in close contact with it for hours, so you also have to be very particular about the cleanliness of the mattress you’re getting for your little one.

Flame Retardant

It is mandated by the US law that all crib mattresses should be flame retardant. This way, it won’t increase the dangers your little one will be exposed to. However, this has pushed manufacturers to use chemicals to reduce their products’ flammability. This can have other adverse effects on your child, so you have to be more discerning and careful when shopping for a crib mattress.

Crib Mattress Safety FAQs:

To help ensure your baby’s safety, here are a few more details that you should know about crib mattresses.

Q: Is it safe to opt for a used crib mattress?​

A: No. Experts actually recommend that you only buy new for your baby’s crib mattress for the following reasons:​

  • A new mattress is cleaner. A used mattress will already have discarded skin, mold, dried urine and other bodily excretions, bacteria, and debris. All of these will pose additional dangers to your little one.
  • A used mattress might already have lost its shape and integrity. It might have already lost its firmness, making it insufficient for your baby’s needs. It might also already have springs popping out or its frame bent, so it might also bring discomfort to your child instead of ensuring her great slumber. No one wants to sleep on a sagging mattress, and you can bet that your baby will feel uncomfortable in one, so it’s just best to skip used mattresses altogether.

Q: How perfect should the mattress fit inside the crib?

A: As you might already know, the government has a standard sizing in place for full-sized cribs to fully ensure your baby’s safety. As for mattresses for full-sized cribs, they should be about 6 inches thick and 27 ¼” x 51 ¼” in size. However, as some manufacturers don’t really give out their exact measurements, buying a crib and mattress separately can be quite tricky. So what we recommend that you should do is to test the product out. If you can squeeze in 2 fingers between the mattress and the crib’s side, it’s too big and will already be dangerous for your little one to use.

Q: What kinds of materials are best for crib mattresses?

A: If you can keep away from products made with harsh chemicals, the better odds you’ll have at bringing home a healthy crib mattress. However, you should also keep in mind that not because a product is all-natural or organic does it mean that it won’t get dirty or trigger allergies. It still depends on your child whether their system has adverse reactions to certain ingredients, so you have to pay close attention to such as well.

Q: How do I keep my crib mattress clean?

A: Using a waterproof and easy to clean mattress cover is a must to keep your baby’s crib mattress in top shape. Keep in mind that the cover should fit tightly so it won’t find its way to your baby’s face and cause suffocation.

Q: Will swaddling help minimize risks of SIDS?

A: Studies have shown that swaddling does not significantly lessen the risks of SIDS. Also, if you’ve already cleared out your baby’s crib from stuff that she can grab and get on top of her face, you might not really need to swaddle anymore.

Conclusion

Choosing the best crib mattress for your baby isn’t just about your baby’s comfort, but also for their complete safety. This is why it’s imperative that you don’t settle for anything less than perfect for your baby’s sleeping surface. We hope our list gives you a few good ideas in which products to choose so you can quickly find the perfect solution for your baby’s safe and quality slumber.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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