Are you expecting your first little bundle of joy? Maybe even two?
If you are like most nervous new parents, you probably are wondering about the best products for your baby, including the best crib mattress.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry.
We have identified ten of the best crib mattresses you can buy and we are giving you all that you need to choose your favorite. Read on and discover for yourself. Don’t be surprised if you find the perfect crib mattress to last between now and when you buy your first set of bunk beds for your little treasure’s room.
The supportive, yet comfortable mattress helps to cushion growing bones and is firm enough to keep your baby breathing safely in any position.Read Our Review
How We Tested
Our information is based on over 10,000 customer reviews that were collected on the different products. All of our recommended mattresses have over 1000 online reviews and are rated at more than 4 stars out of 5.
We think more is better when it comes to testing, don’t you?
Rather than rely on a single sample of a mattress to test ourselves, we learned from the huge number of mothers who have already tested and already love their mattress so much that they want to write and share their find with others.
Shopping Secrets for Saving Money on the Best Crib Mattress
The best time to get a new mattress is in the first few months of a new year. Buy last year’s model and wait for a sale. President’s day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day will both have the last of the old models (which typically only differ by color) at bargain basement prices.Want to know a secret way to learn about quality?
Also, if you go to a store that offers a money-back guarantee after a certain time, ask your salesperson which mattress brands are most often returned, and which ones never come back to the store. This gives you one more way to gauge satisfaction.
- Online Shopping Secrets
If you’re saving up for a more expensive mattress, you can employ a five-step savings plan to help cover even more of the cost. If you aren’t using this trick for all of your shopping, start now! You may not be able to get all of the savings for every purchase, but you can often double- or triple-up on discounts.
- Do your research and figure out which stores sell the mattress. This is important.
- Check on Ebates to see if any of the stores that offer the mattress give a discount if you go there through the Ebates service. This turns into cash back in your bank account.
- Search gift card exchange sites to buy the item with a discounted gift card. You can often get them for 10-15% off of the value of the card.
- Look for promo codes or sale times to maximize the cost savings.
- Sign up for the app associated with the store. Some will price match local competitors and give you the difference back in cash.
General Crib Mattress Care
Mattresses are pretty simple to care for. When it is dry and clean, you need to do nothing more than change sheets. If your mattress gets wet with water, it can be toweled dry. However, bodily fluids and crib mattresses are often great friends. In these cases, you can clean a mattress the same way you would wipe down a counter.
Choose a cleaner you are comfortable having near your baby’s skin (if you use bleach, you will want to wipe it down with water afterward to avoid any chemical interaction seeping through your child’s skin). Let the mattress fully dry before adding new linens. You may want to use a mattress pad cover to help keep the mattress cleaner.
However, in the case of flu, blowout diapers, or other mysterious fluids leaking from your baby, you will still want to wipe your mattress down to be on the safe side.
Сrib Mattress Pad
How do they actually work?
Face it: Your crib will get messy and your baby will be the cause. If you’re lucky, this will only happen to you 100 times or so throughout infancy. If you’re more normal, that number may stretch into the thousands. When this happens, your sheets will be toast. A waterproof mattress is great for keeping the fluid out of the core and preventing moldy buildup.
However, if there is a lot of fluid, it will typically run off and drip under your crib.
This is where mattress pads come in.
They are also designed to get dirty but think of mattress pads like maxi pads. They soak up and contain the mess to prevent the spread. Mattress pads come in two forms (and you can double up on both kinds), the over-the-mattress protector and the mattress top blanket.
Both offer similar protection, but one looks like a fitted sheet and is placed in a way that it won’t slip and leave you vulnerable if you have a baby who likes to perform acrobatics in his or her sleep. While the fitted mattress protectors must be regifted or tossed after you move up a mattress size, the ones that lay on top can get a whole new life if you have an older child with a bedwetting issue.
But wait! There’s more!
They also work great to lay on top of sheets during bouts of stomach flu. You can lay them in layers, and if you have a sleepy kid who throws up, you can peel one layer off and clean off your kid without making a big production of changing the sheets.
Сrib Mattress Dimensions
Crib mattresses will typically be pretty close to standard. By law, full-size crib mattresses must be at least 27-1/4 inches by 51-5/8 inches and no more than 6 inches thick. This is to fit two important safety standards.The width and length are designed so that there is no more than a 2-inch gap between the mattress and the side of the crib. This is to keep little heads from becoming trapped in between and making it hard to breathe. The thickness rule has a similar safety background.
Thick crib mattresses can sink, and babies who sleep face-down may become smothered in the divot that a thick mattress provides. While neither of these things are foregone conclusions, they are all designed to use the science that is known about SIDS and try to keep your baby as safe as possible while they sleep.
Breathe easy knowing that these standards will help your baby do the same.
- What about Co-sleepers?
So co-sleepers and mini-cribs both require a smaller mattress. These mattresses are also typically thinner because it’s hard to get thickness and the right firmness on a smaller mattress. Be sure to buy your crib first and check the dimensions needed- if you don’t have a standard size, you’ll need to look for something that better fits your crib.
It pays to be safe with someone so precious, doesn’t it?
- What About Organic?
Organic mattresses have three qualifiers that they must meet to be allowed to call themselves this:
- They have no synthetic materials.
- They are not treated with chemicals (think fire-retardants, as this is the most common example).
- They comply with organic standards (the cotton, wool, or other natural fibers were grown/raised organically).
Organic mattresses rose in popularity partially because of the fact that many chemicals that have been fast-tracked for use by the regulatory agencies were later found to be somewhat to very harmful to the people using them.
This has spawned a movement to avoid using chemicals as much as possible in the manufacture of organic items. It is terrifying to know some of the chemicals that go into the manufacture of some of the cheaper mattresses, including formaldehyde (embalming fluid!), lead, phthalates (fire-retardant chemicals) and over 10,000 other volatile chemicals that are known to be poisonous at high levels.
While we don’t know for sure if these things are harmful in the small levels that they can appear in some mattresses, things like the huge increase in asthma and allergies over the past decades are believed by some to be related to all of the chemical exposure we now get.
Don’t worry, everything on the list above has been Greenguard and CertiPUR certified– they did the work for you to make sure your little one isn’t breathing these chemicals in their sleep.
But this is for sure…
Organic mattresses are going to be free of any plastics, which means no off-gassing of those chemicals. The cotton won’t have any residual pesticides on it and it remains fireproof by using wool instead of fire-retardant chemicals.
The waterproofing on these mattresses may not be as effective, you may need to shop around. They are also a bit more expensive. But, if you are someone who wants to keep your baby’s exposure to chemicals to the absolute minimum, this is a great way to do so.
Organic mattresses are a step back to traditional mattresses from generations before. What works then can work now, but technology makes it even better.
Who doesn’t like that?
Is the Crib Mattress Hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic means that something does not promote allergies. When it comes to sleep, two main kinds of allergies are common: dust mites and off-gassing from fossil-fuel based foams and plastics. If you know what your issue is, you can focus there.
A hypoallergenic crib mattress is typically made with a latex core that is surrounded by layers of cotton (this won’t be very thick for baby because of the safety laws and requirement of firm mattresses for infants). If dust mites are the issue, wash bedding frequently and consider a dust mite cover for the mattress. This is essentially a bag that you zip around the mattress that the mites can’t get through.
Want to hear something weird?
Dust-mite pillow and mattress covers are made from the same material as typewriter ribbon. This was a lucky discovery since there aren’t a lot of people who use a manual typewriter anymore.
Looking into the crib mattresses, we narrowed down the field into three niche finalists and one more general best based on overall pros. If you want a specific feature, then you will probably find your winner along with the niche choices.
- For Luxury and Innovation, the Newton Crib Mattress
If you must have the best of the best and you will stay up every night worried about your baby’s breath, then the Newton is the hands-down winner. Choose it if your main concerns are organic, quality, and green design. Don’t choose it if the price is your main concern or if you want a wipe-down waterproof mattress.
- For Budget Mattresses, the Safety 1st.
This crib mattress is easy to find, easy to wash, and reported to be long-lasting by mothers who have had a series of kids sleep on these mattresses. Choose it if you want your mattress to be simple, functional, and inexpensive. Don’t choose it if you have more specific needs like an organic mattress or memory foam.
- For Spring Mattresses, the Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings
If you want something that feels more like the kind of mattress that you sleep on, this is the only mattress that made our list. Use it if you want a reputable mattress brand that offers a coil design that has been time-tested. Don’t use it if you want a light mattress with a foam core.
That’s a tricky thing.
If you get a mattress with a warranty, read the fine print to see what it covers?
Does your warranty cover a two-year-old with scissors and a tantrum?
Probably not. But it will cover any manufacturing defects. If your mattress says its waterproof and you find water is seeping inside, you can typically return it. Mattresses can also sink a certain amount of depth within a given time frame and qualify for a return.
Don’t understand legalese? Get help.
Your best friend in understanding the mattress differences is the sales clerk in the mattress shop. They’re the ones who have to honor the returns in a lot of cases, so they are aware who offers the “no questions asked” kind of return versus one that is only available in a few specific situations.
Bonus! If you pay with a credit card, check your credit card benefits. Sometimes you get a purchase guarantee on items. In cases like this, even if the mattress store won’t refund your money, your credit card company may do it instead.
And how about the the overall winner?
We, like the Women's Choice Awards, give this Accolade to the Sealy Soybean Foam Core Mattress. It offers the highest number of things that new mothers asked for. It can be wiped down to clean, and it is waterproof. The foam core is plant-based, meaning that there are few to no off-gassing issues with volatile organic compounds from fossil fuels. It can break down in a landfill.
It has all of the major green certifications. It is reasonably priced, falling squarely in the middle of the different mattress costs. It comes from Sealy, a well-known mattress company that makes quality pieces and is known to guarantee their work and offer generous return policies.
Basically, this mattress offers a safe, clean, green sleep option that is reasonably priced.
Was this your favorite, too?
The best part about lots of choices is that you can always choose from any of your favorites. Congrats on your upcoming new bundle of joy, and wishing you and your little one a safe, clean, healthy night's sleep.