Of course, choosing the right crib mattress won’t magically get your baby to sleep through the night, but it can provide you with some peace of mind. Ensuring that your baby sleeps in their own separate sleeping surface, such as in a crib with a mattress, can help reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Here’s what to consider when choosing a crib mattress for your baby.
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Choosing a Crib Mattress: What to Look For
So, what are you looking for when you set up your baby registry or start shopping for a baby mattress? Let’s take a look at what you should consider:
- Fit. Cover the basics first by measuring your crib and comparing it against the measurements of each mattress you consider. A good fit is important since gaps between the mattress and the walls of the crib can create space where your busy baby or one of their tiny limbs could get stuck.
- Components. Not all mattresses are built the same. Some parents prefer baby mattresses to be made of organic components, while others may prefer a mattress with waterproof tops for easy clean-up.
- Firmness. Firmness is another important thing to consider. While we’re still unclear about exactly what is behind the tragedy of SIDS, there are some researchers who believe that rebreathing plays a role in some cases. This theory suggests that some infants are more vulnerable to rebreathing carbon dioxide in their sleep because a brain abnormality prevents them from rousing. The AAP explains that soft sleeping surfaces come with risk of suffocation and rebreathing and that parents can create a safer sleep environment by sticking with a firm mattress, putting their infant to sleep on their back, and keeping blankets, toys, and bumpers out of the crib.
- Cost. We know that safety is your top priority, but it isn’t the only thing on your mind when on the hunt for the best mattress. We also looked at cost, keeping in mind that many parents are looking for something that fits their budget.
- Longevity. Lastly, we considered longevity too, knowing that getting more than a year’s use out of a mattress saves money and decreases unnecessary purchases and waste.
Because choosing a crib mattress is such an important choice with so many factors to consider, it can feel like an overwhelming decision. We’re here to help. We’ve done the research and we rounded up the best crib mattresses out there with high safety ratings and an affordable price tag.
Editor’s Pick: Best Overall Crib Mattress
When considering which crib mattress deserved this title, we knew we wanted one that checked all the boxes. We looked at safety ratings, longevity, and affordability and the Serta Perfect Start Deluxe Fiber Core/Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress caught our eye.
Our love for this mattress starts with its safety ratings. CPSIA testing is carried out by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure children’s products meet a baseline of safety standards, and Serta’s mattress passes these tests with flying colors. It was also tested to make sure things like lead, phthalates, and flammability aren’t a concern.
Continuing its safety streak, Serta’s mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified. This certification is given to products that have low chemical emissions. Lastly, the polyester fiber core in the mattress gives it the firmness new parents desire to create a safe sleeping environment for their baby.
We also can’t ignore the longevity of this mattress. It’s a two-sided mattress that fits both standard cribs and toddler beds. Stick with the infant side, which is designed with the firmness a new baby needs, until your baby has graduated to toddlerhood. Then, flip the mattress to get another couple years out of this smart investment.
If you’ve done much shopping for crib mattresses, you know just as well as we do that you can spend a lot on your baby’s sleep. Spending a fortune isn’t necessary, according to Consumer Reports, with many mattresses between $80 and $200 providing a similar level of safety and comfort for infants. At a reasonable price, Serta’s Perfect Start Deluxe isn’t just good for baby; it’s good for the budget, too.
Getting expert opinions is important, and we love all the safety ratings that have come with this mattress, but we couldn’t neglect what experts in the trenches have to say. With 701 parent reviews and a 4.7 star rating on Amazon, this mattress is highly-rated by the people who are putting their babies to bed on it day after day.
Best Crib Mattress on a Budget
Shopping on a budget doesn’t have to require a compromise in safety. Are you looking for an inexpensive option that will still give you the peace of mind you need while your baby sleeps? The Dream On Me 2 in 1 Breathable 132 Premium Coil Inner Spring Standard Crib and Toddler Mattress might be the pick for you.
This mattress didn’t get our best-of-the-best rating, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. It passes all the important safety ratings you want for your baby’s sleep, including flammability tests and those for dangerous materials. Plus, the Dream on Me 2 in 1 is a breathable crib mattress made with hypoallergenic materials.
Like Serta’s mattress, this one will work for your baby in their crib and then in a toddler bed, so you won’t have to buy another mattress until they’re big enough for a twin. One side offers the firmness an infant needs to reduce the risk of SIDS while the other is softer and plusher for comfortable sleep during the toddler years.
The one thing that could have pushed this mattress into the number one spot for the team here at Truly Mama is more parent feedback. With very few reviews on Amazon, we would have loved to know more about what the parents using this mattress think.
Best Mini Crib Mattress
Will your baby be sleeping in a mini crib or do you need a mattress for a portable crib for travel or family visits? There aren’t as many options out there, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck sacrificing safety or quality. The Moonlight Slumber Mini Mattress has almost 5-stars on Amazon with 253 reviews. It’s also a 2-in-1 option. On the infant side, firm density foam gives your baby a firm place to sleep. Once your baby transitions into toddlerhood, flip over the mattress so they can sleep on memory foam and temperature controlling cool gel.
A GreenGold certification guarantees chemical emissions are low with this choice. Plus, the foam used in the mattress is CertiPUR US Certified Foam, which is manufactured without flame-retardants, phthalates, mercury, lead, and formaldehyde.
Best Organic Crib Mattress
If your ideal crib mattress is organic, the 2020 model of the Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is top notch. This mattress has earned a GOTS, or Global Organic Textile Standard seal of approval, because all the materials used are organic.
Like the other mattresses on this list, the Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is a 2-in-1, with a firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers. The edges of this mattress are also made to be firmer, which lowers the risk of your baby getting caught between the crib and the mattress.
Lastly, the usability of this mattress is fantastic. It is lightweight, so those midnight sheet changes are a little less cumbersome. The entire mattress is covered with a waterproof cover, so a leaky diaper only requires a quick clean up with a disinfectant wipe.
Best Breathable Crib Mattress
The Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed is one of the most uniquely made mattresses out there. Their mattresses are made with something called a Wovenair core, a material they created that has a lot of nooks and crannies for air. This makes this mattress incredibly breathable, and their company claims this can help reduce the risk of re-breathing even if your baby ends up on their stomach.
Something else that sets this mattress apart is that it’s 100% washable. The cover can be removed and thrown in the washer, while the mattress itself can be cleaned in the shower or the bathtub. The biggest downside of this mattress is the price—it is the most expensive mattress on the list.
Overall, when choosing a crib mattress for your little one, keep in mind that safety is the only non-negotiable. Once you’ve found options that are firm enough for a newborn and rigorously tested for toxins, the rest is up to you and your personal preferences.
Whatever your choice, whether you decide to sleep train your baby or not, we hope it gives you the peace of mind you need to rest easy while your baby sleeps.
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