Crib Mattress How To Choose

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How to Choose a Crib Mattress

Joel Forman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

One of the most delightful parts of expecting a child is putting together the nursery. It’s also one of the most important. While the perfect paint shade and cutest bedding are nice, safe sleeping space is essential—and that starts with picking the best crib mattress for your baby.

While a mattress may just seem like, well, a mattress, there are specific safety considerations to keep in mind, as well as features that are worth looking (and budgeting) for.

Crib Mattress Safety Standards

Because safety is central to choosing a crib and mattress, the dimensions of full-size cribs and mattresses have been standardized under federal regulations. That makes it easy to buy the two separately without worrying about fit.  

The aim of these regulations is to prevent accidental head entrapment and suffocation between the mattress and the crib sides. The laws were enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and officially went into effect in 2011.  

The same rule doesn’t apply to non-full-size cribs, however. Therefore, by law, these must be sold with the mattress included.

Remember that even if a mattress or pillow happens to fit inside the crib you choose, you should not use it unless it is a specifically designed crib mattress. Nor should you add a foam topper or other non-standard crib mattress cover to it.


A full-size crib mattress must be at least 27 1/4 inches wide, 51 1/4 inches long, and no more than six inches thick. At these dimensions, the standard crib mattress will fit safely in a full-size crib, which can have an interior width of between 27 3/8 inches and 28 5/8 inches, and an interior length of between 51 3/4 inches to 53 inches.  

These dimensions and those of the mattress must be listed on both the retail carton and assembly instructions. Non-standard crib mattresses (say, for round or mini-cribs) can vary in size, but must meet non-full-size crib standards, and all non-full-size cribs must be sold with mattress included.  

When a mattress is placed in the center of the crib, there cannot be a gap of more than a half-inch at any point. If the mattress is pushed to one side, there cannot be a gap of more than an inch at any point. Again, this shouldn’t be a worry for consumers, as non-standard cribs and mattresses are sold assets. But it may be a concern if you are considering using an older, hand-me-down crib.  

Note: The Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions against using a crib that is older than 10 years. 

What to Look for in a Full-Size Crib Mattress

Since the federal regulations dictate an acceptablerangein mattress dimensions, there can be a slight variation in the width, length, and depth. Before heading to the store or ordering a mattress online, check the label on your crib to make certain you purchase a mattress with the exact measurements needed.

Other things to consider:

  • Firmness:As a rule, firm mattresses are better for babies than overly soft ones. In fact, the firmer the better. Soft sleeping surfaces create a suffocation hazard for infants and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). One way to test firmness is to press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. When you release it, it should snap back immediately.  
  • Depth and weight:Mattress depth doesn’t necessarily translate to mattress firmness. Coil-spring mattresses tend to be on the thicker side—between 5 to 6 inches deep—whereas foam crib mattresses are closer to 4 to 6 inches deep. Foam mattresses tend to weigh less (with the exception of memory foam mattresses), which makes them easier to lift when you’re changing sheets.  
  • Duration of use:Some crib mattresses are reversible, with a firm side for babies and a slightly less firm, more cushioned side for toddlers. These are sometimes called "two-stage" mattresses, and they are clearly marked so you know which side to use when. (If you opt for one of these, talk to your pediatrician about when it’s safe to flip the mattress from the baby side to the toddler side.)  

While you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to buying a crib mattress, you also don’t have to blow your entire nursery budget either. According toConsumer Reports, a good quality mattress will cost between $90 and $200.  

However, some special features come with a higher price tag. If you are looking for a mattress made of strictly organic materials or one that has an allergen-reducing cover, for example, you may need to spend more than $200.

If you are considering buying a used crib mattress to save money, you may very well find one that is suitable and up-to-standard. But confirming that is quite difficult, considering that it may be hard to determine if it was stored properly or was ever soiled. If at all possible, buying new is best.

Crib Mattress Covers

Many crib mattresses come with a cover to help protect your investment from diaper accidents and other spills. They can also be purchased separately. You may want a cover that offers:

  • Waterproofing
  • Breathability (to keep baby cooler and more comfortable)
  • An anti-microbial layer (bacterial protection)
  • A hypoallergenic barrier (to keep allergens out)

Regardless of the features, it offers, check to see if the cover’s seams appear sturdy. Plastic seams can have sharp edges, so you will want to avoid those. Check fabric seams to make sure they are not stretched/strained and liable to rip.

Two Is Better Than One

Many parents appreciate have two mattress covers handy—one to put on the crib and one extra, just in case of accidents.

Replacing a Crib Mattress

If you need to replace the mattress in your crib, always check the warning label on the crib for the correct dimensions. If you don’t see a label, it may be that the crib is older or has been modified. If in doubt, replace the crib entirely.

If you buy a mattress and find it doesn’t fit correctly, return it immediately and get another one that does. Never try to make do by shoring up the edges with fabric or foam.Anything other than a snug fit should be considered a safety hazard. 

In this regard, while online shopping may be convenient, you may be better served shopping for mattresses at a brick-and-mortar store. You can then do a proper check of dimensions and firmness before making a purchase.

Crib mattress how to choose

Getting Started
Choosing a crib mattress might seem like a boring task but it’s one that warrants careful consideration. The mattress is as important as the crib, and we recommend buying the best one you can.

Why does it matter? For one thing, your baby will spend a lot of time in his crib. It might seem hard to believe, especially when you’re getting up to feed a fussy baby in the middle of the night, but infants sleep up to 18 hours a day.

You’ll want to make sure the mattress fits properly in the crib you’ve selected without gaps that could pose a danger to your baby. And the mattress should be firm. A soft one can conform to the shape of your baby’s head or face, increasing the risk of suffocation or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
There are two general types of crib mattresses: foam and innerspring. Both types—if they’re good quality—will keep their shape well and provide excellent support for infants and toddlers. There are differences, though. Foam—usually made from polyurethane—tends to be lighter (about 5 to 13 pounds) compared with an innerspring mattress (about 15 to 30 pounds). So although you’ll probably be lifting just a corner at a time when changing your baby’s sheets, it might be a bit easier with a foam mattress. Foam is also less springy and therefore less likely to be used as a trampoline when your child is older. Still, innerspring crib mattresses are more popular in the U.S., possibly because most adults sleep on innersprings, too.

Look for Quality
Whichever type of mattress you chose, look for quality. The cheapest foam and innerspring mattresses have thin vinyl coverings and edgings that can tear, crack, and dry out over time. As prices increase, coverings tend to be thicker, puncture-resistant, reinforced double or triple laminates, or very fine organic cotton. An innerspring mattress that has more or better-gauge steel and better-quality cushioning will weigh more. The same goes for a foam mattress that’s made of denser, better-quality foam.

Still, you don’t have to spend a fortune or try as many mattresses as the Princess and the Pea to get a good-quality one. A mattress that costs between $90 and $200 will generally serve your baby well. Prices for foam and innerspring mattresses are comparable, ranging from $50 to $400 and up. (The more expensive ones are made with organic cotton or natural latex.) Low-priced models (less than $90) might be too soft and flimsy. Higher-priced models tend to be firmer and therefore safer.

You Can’t Tell a Mattress by Its Cover
With a mattress, almost everything that matters is on the inside. Some crib mattresses feel great in the store but begin to falter once your baby starts to use it. We’ve learned that you can’t depend on sales staff, even at reputable retail outlets, to give you accurate information. One told us, quite convincingly, that innerspring mattresses were better than foam because foam tends to "break down" after 18 months. Twenty-five years ago that may have been true, but not anymore. "A top-quality foam crib mattress will hold up just as long as an innerspring crib mattress with normal use," says Dennis Schuetz, director of marketing for the Colgate Juvenile Products Company, a manufacturer in Atlanta. That’s because foam crib mattresses have become much more durable.

Hit the Stores
Once you get a sense of options in different price ranges, you should go to a store to see what a quality crib mattress looks and feels like. One place to start? The label. Manufacturers are required by law to reveal what a mattress is made of. Don’t buy one from a manufacturer or retailer that doesn’t tell you this with in-store information, displays, or online specifications. In fact, you should be able to find out the components of each layer. And when you push down on a mattress, your hand should spring right up. Schuetz says the biggest mistake parents make is picking a mattress that’s comfortable for them. It’s better to pick a crib mattress that’s harder than you would like it to be. "If it feels good to you, it’s too soft for your baby," he says, adding that babies need more support than adults.

Buy New
Buy a new crib mattress, if possible. For one thing, it ensures that the mattress is sanitary. If you buy a used mattress or accept a hand-me-down, you won’t know for sure how it was cared for or stored. Mold can grow in improperly stored crib mattresses, and bacteria can fester on the surface from liquids (diaper leakage, spit-up) that weren’t properly cleaned up. If you buy a new one for your first child and keep it clean, you can use it for your next child if you store it in a dry environment and it stays firm.

Use a Cover
Use a tightly fitting, washable waterproof mattress cover to protect the mattress and keep the baby’s sleeping environment as clean and sanitary as possible.

Test the Fit
By law, all full-sized crib mattresses must be at least 27 1/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches, and no more than 6 inches thick. If you can, shop in a store that displays crib mattresses on the selling floor, and check the fit by putting it inside a sample crib before you buy it. If you can squeeze more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small.

Don’t Worry About Warranties
Some mattresses offer warranties for one year, seven years, or even a lifetime. Don’t be swayed by a long warranty, and don’t pay extra for a mattress with a warranty. "Warranties are mostly a marketing tool to entice the consumer to spend more," Schuetz says. In general, you can expect a quality crib mattress to last as long as you’re going to use it as long as the cover doesn’t rip or tear.

We have not tested any of these crib mattresses.

How to buy a crib mattress

The lowdown on crib mattresses

A good mattress not only makes bedtime cozier – it supports your growing baby and keeps her safe. Consider cost, comfort, and durability, as your baby will probably sleep in a crib for up to 3 years.

Types of mattresses

Foam mattressesare generally the lightest option. These are available in a variety of thicknesses, usually between 3 and 6 inches. Look for foam mattresses that are firm, on the heavier side, and resilient when you press your hand on them. Too soft a surface can conform to a baby’s shape and create a risk of suffocation and a sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) hazard.

Innerspring mattressesare coils covered with foam, padding, and fabric.

Better-gauge steel and higher-quality cushioning is heavier and more expensive, as well as firmer and more durable.

Organic mattressesare made with all-natural or organic materials, including cotton, wool, coconut fibers, food-grade polymers, plant-based foam, and natural latex. These mattresses can be innerspring, foam, or other – it’s hard to classify a mattress stuffed with coconut-husk fibers.

Organic crib mattresses can be expensive, but some people say the peace of mind is worth the price. They contend that chemicals and industrial compounds used in standard mattresses – flame retardants known as PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), vinyl, and polyurethane foam, for instance – emit toxic gases, and that the substances used to make mattresses could harm babies. Others say materials like latex can produce an allergic reaction in infants.

As researchers continue to analyze issues of toxicity, advocates for going organic point out that if these chemicals could be harmful, the safest thing to do is to buy a crib mattress that doesn’t use them.

“Breathable” mattresses, made of materials that are supposed to allow a baby to breathe freely even if his or her face is pressed up against it, are getting more popular. Experts haven’t yet weighed in on their efficacy.

What to look for when buying

The right size:A mattress needs to fit snugly in the crib, with no space between the side of the mattress and the crib frame. If there’s a space, the mattress is too small and could be a suffocation and entrapment hazard. The size of both crib mattresses and cribs is standardized by the federal government, but due to slight variations in each, not every mattress will fit perfectly in every crib.

Firmness:The firmer the crib mattress the better (mattresses designed for older children and adults may not be firm enough). Even if it feels very stiff to you, your baby will adjust to it.Consumer Reportssuggests this test: "Press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. It should snap back readily and should not conform to the shape of your hand."

Density:You want high density so it’s firm enough to keep your baby safe while sleeping. Most foam mattresses don’t list density on the packaging, but weight can be a good indicator. As for innerspring mattresses, manufacturers often equate the number of coils with firmness, but the gauge of the wire is just as important. Lower gauge means thicker wire, which is stronger and therefore firmer. Look for a mattress with 135 or more coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower.

Resiliency:When you push your hand down into the middle of the mattress and remove it, how quickly does it regain its shape? Faster is better; sleeping babies make an impression on the foam, and it can be difficult for them to change position if the mattress retains their shape. Some foam mattresses are “2-stage” or “dual firmness,” with a firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers.

Weight:A typical foam mattress weighs about 7 to 8 pounds, although mattresses made of memory foam (an especially dense form of polyurethane) can weigh close to 20 pounds. Innerspring crib mattresses are heavier in general, weighing in at about 15 to 25 pounds. Keep in mind that you’ll be hoisting up a side of the mattress, or lifting the whole thing, when changing your baby’s sheet.

Mattress cover (ticking):For water resistance, look for double- or triple-laminated ticking reinforced with nylon. This composition is also more resistant to tears, holes, and soggy diapers. Organic mattresses usually have cotton covers; parents may want to consider a fitted waterproof mattress cover.

Venting:Look for small holes on the sides of the mattress that let air flow in and out. A mattress will smell better if it has plenty of vent holes to let odors escape. Diapers do leak, so this is important.

Cleaning:Most traditional mattresses suggest spot-cleaning only. Some have removable covers that can be machine-washed. The innards of at least one crib mattress on the market can be hosed down in the tub once its washable cover is removed.

Certification seals:Crib mattresses for sale in the United States must meet safety standards defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials. (The Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association does not test or certify crib mattresses.) A manufacturer’s claim that a product is organic can mean a variety of things, but look for an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification (a worldwide uniform certification), which assures you that certain flame retardants and heavy metals were not used to make the mattress.

Important safety notes

  • Use caution with used or secondhand crib mattresses. Some studies link used mattresses to an increased risk of SIDS, although researchers aren’t sure whether the mattresses caused the increase in risk or were simply correlated with an increased risk. (Theories that fungal activity or toxic gases in used mattresses caused SIDS have been largely laid to rest.) Experts recommend that parents avoid old, worn mattresses, particularly those with foam/padding exposed – which can increase the potential for bacterial growth – or those that hold an indentation after your hand is placed firmly on the surface, then removed.

  • Air mattresses are not safe for babies. The soft surface is a suffocation hazard. As the CPSC warns, "Never place infants to sleep on air mattresses or other soft surfaces (such as water beds and adult beds), which are not specifically designed or safe for infant use."
  • No matter what mattress parents choose, they should continue to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe-sleep guidelines and put babies to sleep on their backs on a firm, bare surface.

What it’s going to cost you

Crib mattresses start at about $40 and can range to more than $350. Organic mattresses start at about $80 and can reach $400.

Best Crib Mattress Reviews 2020 – Top 10 Compared

Good sleep is vital for promoting a child’s health. The best baby mattresses not only help children sleep cozy through the night but also helps promote healthy growth and ensures safety too. Babies and toddlers spend more than half of their first five years of life in a sleep environment of some sort. Generally, newborn babies tend to sleep an average of 16 hours a day, and children aged 3-5 years sleep an average of 11-13 hours. For this reason alone it’s obvious that their surroundings and bedding should be second to none.

There is an abundance of toddler mattress brands and products available on the market but choosing the right one can be pretty daunting, to say the least. That’s why we have selected and shortlisted the top rated for you. See below for general information and essential buying guide, plus our chosen top 10 reviews and summary of the best crib mattress for babies.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Crib Mattresses Comparison Table

Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Our #1 Choice
  • Type: Foam (Plant Based)
  • Size: 51.6 x 27.2 x 5 Inches
  • Weight: 8.3 lbs
View Price →
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer
  • Type: Foam
  • Size: 52 x 27.5 x 5 Inches
  • Weight: 10.5 lbs
View Price →
Colgate Eco Classica III
  • Type: Foam (Plant Based)
  • Size: 51.7 x 27.2 x 6 Inches
  • Weight: 9.4 lbs
View Price →
Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings
  • Type: Innerspring
  • Size: 52 x 27.5 x 6 Inches
  • Weight: 25.6 lbs
View Price →
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Classic
  • Type: Organic
  • Size: 52 x 27.8 x 6 Inches
  • Weight: 16 lbs
View Price →
Newton Wovenaire
  • Type: Organic
  • Size: 52 x 28 x 5.5 Inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs
View Price →
Serta Tranquility Eco
  • Type: Innerspring
  • Size: 52 x 27.5 x 6 Inches
  • Weight: 16 lbs
View Price →
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams
  • Type: Thermo-bonded polyester
  • Size: 52 x 27.5 x 5 Inches
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs
View Price →
Graco Premium Foam
  • Type: Foam
  • Size: 52 x 27.6 x 5 Inches
  • Weight: 10.7 lbs
View Price →
Millard Crib and Toddler
  • Type: Foam
  • Size: 52 x 27.5 x 5 Inches
  • Weight: 9.59 lbs
View Price →

Things To Consider When Buying

Here are some pointers from BabyLeague about what to look for when searching for the best baby mattress:

When adults are looking to buy we most commonly look for one that provides comfort, support, and possibly pain relief. We often forget about safety when it comes to our own bedroom purchase. However, when choosing for children, safety is the one thing that we cannot neglect. Weighing up which baby crib mattress to buy is probably one of the most important nursery decisions you’ll make when it comes to safety and well being. It’s no easy or quick choice, and that’s why the below factors are crucial for anyone in the market for choosing the best toddler mattress.

Mattress and Crib Size

Size is critical; in fact, the United States government has regulated the standard crib mattress size to ensure safety for babies, and peace of mind for parents.

The dimensions of your new baby mattress depend on the interior dimensions of the crib itself. According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), theinterior crib dimensionsare defined to be that of 28 ± 5⁄8 inches width x 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches length. The actualmattress sizemust be aminimumof 27 1/4 inches width x 51 1/4 length. If you own a very old baby crib, it’s worth checking the interior dimensions because it was probably manufactured before regulations were set and could potentially be at risk.

Snug Fit, No Gaps

Thegapbetween the mattress and crib sides can pose a severe risk of suffocation which is why a gap of no more than 1.25″ should be present between the edge of the mattress and the frame. Some places you will read this as “no more than two fingers” but this is not accurate advice, 1.25″ is the correct measurement. Thedepthor thickness of a U.S compliant standard crib mattress size can be no more than 6″ from top to bottom when laid out flat.

Lastly, one common thing that often leads to confusion is the difference between a toddler mattress and baby crib mattress. The truth is there is no difference; concerning size and compatibility, they are the same. So for example, if you have a 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 convertible baby crib, once baby is ready to transition from crib to toddler bed, the same one can be used.

Firmness Recommendation

The CPSC recommends using a firm, flat surface to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If a surface is too soft, it can create depressions and increases the risk of suffocation. Consumer Reports suggests this test: “Press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. It should snap back readily and should not conform to the shape of your hand”.

Compliance Standards

All crib mattresses must comply to 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 federal flammability standards. If buying one with foam, it should be CertiPUR-US ® certified, which verifies the polyurethane foam inside meets standards for content, emissions, and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories. The GREENGUARD certification is also worth taking note of as many products will advertise this; it “gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors.” When it comes to buying an organic mattress, the best way to tell if it’s genuinely organic is by checking whether the GOTS certifies it. Although there are many GOTS approved certifiers throughout the world, the largest certifier in the US is OTCO.

Price Range

The price all depends on the quality and type you opt for. Generally, the cheap, thinner foam mattresses are in the low budget range. The better and denser models will cost a little more. Innerspring models are the more popular option and fall in the mid-range. Organic mattresses are slightly pricier but for a good reason and they will be the most expensive type.

Types Of Crib Mattresses

There are three main types of crib and toddler bed mattress that you need to know about which are Foam, Innerspring, and Organic:

The foam crib mattress is made of polyurethane. It remains a very popular choice for parents and is generally cheaper than innerspring or organic options. Like other types, these are also available in a variety of different depths, the most popular being between 3 and 6 inches. They are also the lightest of the three options which make cleaning baby mess and changing the sheets an easier task. Most polyurethane models out there weigh less than the innerspring, but this is good; think about how many times you’ll be cleaning it or changing the sheets. A typical polyurethane baby mattress weighs approximately 7 – 11 pounds.


Although an innerspring baby mattress is usually more expensive than the polyurethane counterpart, this still remains a hugely popular option. The firm level of support provided by the coils (springs) is great for orthopedic support and safety; plus innerspring is one of the most popular choices for full-size mattresses, so parents tend to stick with what they have experience with. Comfort and support are measured in the number of coils inside. Common coil numbers are between 50 – 200; the more springs inside mean more cost, but this isn’t the only way to measure firmness. Wire thickness, if stated in the product description is a handy way to measure firmness level. A lower gauge means a thicker wire, which is stronger and therefore firmer. For best results look for one with 150+ coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower.


When it comes to price, over innerspring and foam, the organic crib mattress is usually the most expensive; however, there is a good reason for the higher price. These are the healthiest available as the 100% organic material (usually cotton) eliminates potentially harmful chemicals and allergens. Of the many different materials used in foam mattresses, some can be harmful to your child, especially if they are prone to allergies. Considering your child will be in close contact with the surface of the mattress and its contents on a daily basis for some years, it’s important to recognize the potential long-term hazards of using traditional polyurethane types instead of a healthier organic mattress.

Crib Mattress Features

When choosing the best mattress for cribs, several features are going to be important considerations. We discuss some of these below:

Waterproof Crib Mattress vs. Non-Waterproof

It’s highly recommended to buy a waterproof crib mattress for obvious reasons. Being water-resistant shows that it has a high resistance to being soaked in liquids such as milk, urine, vomit, and sweat, which are all liquids that will harm your baby and mattress if it absorbs in. Most of the mattresses for cribs are waterproof but don’t automatically assume they are (or aren’t for that matter).

You might find that some toddler mattresses have covers made out of cotton and are non-waterproof. In such a case, you might need to invest in a waterproof cover.

Types Of Baby Mattress Cover

Mattress covers are also known as the ticking. They are the outermost layer of the material on a mattress. Covers protect the mattress from spit-up and other bodily fluids. Damp mattresses provide the best environment for fungi, mold, mildew, and bacteria. All of these can lead to a toxic sleep environment. There are single or multi-layer waterproof vinyl covers ventilated to prevent leakage in case of accidents.

Some covers are made from cloth fabrics like cotton. However, these are not waterproof. Nylon covers have more fluid resistance compared to vinyl covers. Check to see if the cover has a certification label. As a parent, the safety of your child comes first.

Portable Crib Mattress

Back in the day, traveling was a nightmare as you had to think of an alternative place for your baby to sleep in. Now, you can enjoy the convenience of having a portable crib mattress which allows your child to enjoy ample cushioning no matter the place.

With a portable crib mattress, you can take your child to sleep with minimal disturbance. Furthermore, they come in handy when you have to travel. When shopping for a portable crib mattress, choose one that is waterproof and has a cover to prevent messes. Measure the size of your crib to ensure that the mattress will fit.

Opt for a hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial covering to avoid exposure to allergens. A mattress that passes toxicity, phthalate, and a lead test is also crucial. Light, portable mattresses also make your work manageable when you have to pack and go.

Double-Sided Crib Mattresses (Infant and Toddler Layers)

Double-sided mattresses offer you a two in one package. These have a softer side and a firmer side. Buying a double-sided mattress is essential when your child outgrows an infant mattress and needs something comfortable.

You’ll love the fact that you won’t need to get a new crib, you still get to use the same mattress. Flip over to change the sides, and you’re good to go. Each mattress has a tag that lets you know whether one side is for the infant or the toddler. You’ll realize that the toddler side has more cushioning for extra support.

Also, it’s flat for added safety. The double-sided mattress can be flipped when the baby is a year old. Nevertheless, this depends on the baby. Remember to avoid soft bedding to reduce the risk of suffocation.

Importance Of Addressing Edge Support

It’s critical to check the edge support when buying a crib mattress. Apply the two finger sizing test where you place the mattress in a crib and try to see if your two fingers fit between the rods along the sides of the crib and the mattress.

Some poor quality budget mattresses do not have reinforced support along the edges. This means that when a child rolls over, the edges sink and this can in the worst case lead to suffocation. Also, it can increase the risk of physical injury. The mattress should snugly fit inside your baby crib. Moreover, the edges should not sink deeply but should provide ample support. An Innerspring mattress for cribs will trump foam in this category because they have a coil lined edge which provides extra durability and prevents sagging.

Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress

A baby sleeps for an average of 16 hours a day. Your child spends most of their time in the crib. This makes it essential to get a breathable, hypoallergenic mattress. A breathable mattress has air vents that allow fresh air in and also allows the hot air out into the environment. This will keep their temperature regulated and also reduce the amount of bacteria growth within the mattress core.

Hypoallergenic crib mattresses are made from organic cotton and may have covers made of various materials that prevent your child from allergies. Other such materials are latex which is naturally anti-microbial, but these are much more expensive in comparison to foam or spring options.

Delivery and Assembly (Including time taken to reach shape)

Shopping for almost anything involves looking at its features, quality, and price. Likewise, after settling on a mattress for your baby crib, you’ll have to find out if it can be carried home with you or if the shop will deliver to your home. Most are small and light enough to be carried home. However, nowadays are purchased online, which would incur small delivery charges, but are much more hassle-free.

Also, you’ll need to find out if folded, how long it takes to stretch and reach shape, especially if you need to use it straight away. Like with full-size mattresses, most foam crib mattresses will be compressed and rolled, meaning you’ll need to wait some hours before it is ready to use.

Mattress Weight, Heavy vs. Lightweight

Most parents often confuse firmness with weight. A heavy mattress may not necessarily be firm. Although the sound of a heavier mattress may sound appealing due to perhaps quality or non-slip perceptions, in fact, a heavy baby mattress may be a burden. For example, you may want to wash the crib sheets on a weekly basis. This needs you to raise the mattress to fit the sheets. Lifting a heavy mattress is tedious and daunting.

A lightweight baby mattress, on the other hand, is an excellent option if you wish to make changing the sheets a simple task. Also, light mattresses prevent wrist injuries when lifting, flipping, or rotating. Most of the best baby mattresses that are light are made of foam, which typically would weigh about eight pounds. Innerspring crib mattresses weigh about 20 pounds, and in comparison are much heavier to lift. Choose a mattress by keeping in mind that you’ll need to raise a side of it or the whole thing when changing the sheets.

Top 10 Crib Mattress Reviews

Sealy Soybean Foam-Core

If you haven’t heard of Sealy, their mattresses and pads were votedAmerica’s Best for Babywinning the Women’s Choice Award in 2013and2014. This Soybean model is an award-winning addition to their portfolio. Although it’s not double sided like others in the toddler mattress reviews here, it offers a firm yet comfortable sleeping surface for kids by way of a high-density core with added cotton cushioning for balance.

The pearl embossed cover is 100% waterproof and stain-resistant. The hypoallergenic foam core is CertiPUR-US ® certified made with soybean oils which is the healthier option to petroleum-based alternatives.

It features a square cornered design for added safety and quality of fit; i t passes ASTM standards and is GREENGUARD Gold certified. The Soybean Foam Core crib mattress is a valid choice for anyone looking to buy a quality product and definitely gets a thumbs up from us.

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer

This 5″ thick beauty is one of the best rated in our top 10 reviews. The CertiPUR-US ® certified model is free of v inyl, polyethylene, PVC, phthalates, and lead. It’s a double sided mattress which will last from early days well into toddler years due to an extra firm infant side, and when flipped over, a lesser firm toddler side.

It has dropped side-stitched seams, is hypoallergenic, waterproof and weighs a mere 10.5 lbs. Some of our verified owners of this baby mattress say the square and cornered edges of this model provide an excellent snug fit into the crib, so there are no worries about unsafe gaps. This is not a cheap crib mattress, but you really do get the quality and safety you pay for with this one.

Colgate Eco Classica III

The Atlanta based team have been specializing in the baby bed mattress field for over half a century, so it’s no wonder their product appears in our top 10 comparisons. The Eco Classica iii is a GREENGUARD certified orthopedic style double sided mattress.

The d ual firmness offers a very firm support for infants on one side, and when flipped over has a softer yet firm comfort layer for toddlers. The CertiPUR-US ® certified core is plant-based which means the healthier plant oils substitute the petroleum-based oils for less harmful air emissions and no nasty off-gassing odors.

At a lightweight 9.3 lbs, it’s wrapped in a certified organic cotton cover with a waterproof backing, which puts healthy cloth closest to baby and the waterproof backing lets nothing seep in. This is an all-around very healthy option for parents keen to keep their child in a natural sleep environment.

Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers

Another prominent American contender who seems to keep providing some of the best crib mattresses time after time; the Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers is no exception.

The double-sided innerspring design boasts 231 pocketed coil springs for even support for your baby or toddler; one side provides ideal firmness for newborns and the flip side offers a layer of convoluted foam for accommodating growing toddlers.

It comes GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US ® certified which ensures this product is ideal for a healthier indoor environment. It is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, water resistant, and the natural cotton fire protection wrap has no chemicals. This one has everything you could ask for at a great price too.

Naturepedic Organic Cotton Classic

This is another top quality product from one of the leading manufacturers in the organic mattress field. They are a GOTS certified manufacturer who also meets the strictest GREENGUARD certification standards for eliminating chemical emissions.

This particular baby crib and toddler bed mattress has won numerous awards for providing a natural, healthy and comfortable sleep environment. The No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Seamless 150 is double sided, with a f irmer infant side, and flippable softer side for older children.

It has seamless waterproof edges, 150 coils, edge support, 100% organic cotton throughout, and a firm easy-to-clean non-toxic waterproof surface. Again this is not exactly a cheap mattress for babies compared to some foam and innerspring alternatives, but for an organic option, this sets the standard.

Newton Wovenaire

The Newton Wovenaire baby crib mattress is GREENGUARD certified and has won awards like the JPMA innovation award. Made of a 3-D spacer cover and Wovenaire material, this mattress is firm, yet comfortable, making it suitable for both infants and toddlers.

The 90% air polymer material makes the mattress lightweight. It also helps to avoid harmful chemicals found in most foam crib mattresses. Moreover, its lower suffocation risk makes it one of the more breathable mattresses on the market. Wovenaire is 100% washable, so you can keep it free from mold and bacteria. Just take the cover off and throw it in the washing machine. Allow it to air dry thoroughly, and you’ll have back a clean and fresh smelling mattress and blanket. The Newton crib mattress is breathable, comfortable, supportive, lightweight, and washable, making it one of the best crib mattresses that offer excellent value for money in these competitive times.

Serta Tranquility Eco Firm

The Serta Tranquility is a traditional innerspring mattress for cribs or toddler beds, which is made with an inner composition of 120 heavy-duty coils. This means it’s not as lightweight to move around as some of the other foam options in our crib mattress reviews here but has plenty of other benefits. The Serta has an ortho-insulated layer which makes it comfortable and durable. Moreover, it’s GREENGUARD Gold certified and has passed the CPSIA testing; it doesn’t contain phthalates, lead, or toxic fire retardants.

Although the Serta is a mattress for babies, parents can also use it. While you may not be able to sleep on it because of the dimensions, due to its durability you can enjoy playtime with your baby when sitting on the mattress. The toddler side has a blended cotton layer. This ensures that your baby is comfortable throughout the night. Also, it fits snuggly on the crib as it has square corners. The Serta is a firm crib mattress, so bear this in mind when compiling a shortlist.

This one should last many years throughout your babies infancy and will unlikely need replacing until it is outgrown.

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams

Safety 1st is a renowned brand for safe baby products, and the Heavenly Dreams doesn’t disappoint. We should also add that it’s2017 Women’s Choice Awardas Amerca’s Most Recommended Brand for Crib & Toddler Mattress.

Apart from being hypoallergenic, the mattress for cribs and toddler bed has a GREENGUARD Gold certification. Constructed of a thermos-bonded core that is high density and has a vinyl cover, this one is built to last. The high-density foam doesn’t affect how comfortable the mattress is when your infant is sleeping. You’ll love how it fits in the crib tightly and how it has excellent edge support. The Safety 1st mattress is lightweight weighing at only eight pounds and allows you to change sheets in the middle of the night comfortably.

The mattress cover is hypoallergenic and odor-resistant, which makes it perfect for babies who may be sensitive to allergens. Although the mattress doesn’t have temperature regulation features, it doesn’t hold a significant amount of heat to cause sweating or overheating. The vinyl cover is easy to clean and waterproof, meaning that you don’t have to spend lots of time cleaning your child’s mess when you should be enjoying your sleep.

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams has no phthalates or lead. Having earned the GREENGUARD Gold Certification, the mattress has met the set safety standards for low emissions, and in our opinion could easily be the best crib mattress for 2020.

Graco Premium Foam

The Graco Premium Foam is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something that lessens your child’s heat buildup. This mattress is not only high-quality, but it’s also breathable which makes air flow easily when your baby is asleep.

The waterproof lining keeps the bed dry even when your child is sweating at night. To keep your baby’s bed hygienic and safe, Graco has incorporated an antimicrobial and anti-static feature. While this mattress for babies isn’t 100% organic, it’s made using safe materials.

What’s more, Graco Premium is lightweight weighing only seven pounds. It’s reasonably priced compared to other products reviewed here too, and has been designed to fit any full-size crib or toddler bed.

It’s also free of lead and phthalates for your child’s safety. The mattress is one of the few in the market that comes with a six-year, limited manufacturer’s warranty. Graco premium is also not as bouncy or noisy like cheaper alternatives in the market. For added safety, you’ll be pleased to know that the mattress meets flammability standards set by the Federal Government.

Millard Crib and Toddler

The Millard crib and toddler mattress provides the right firmness which ensures optimal comfort.

With a CertiPUR certification, you’re assured that the foam used within is safe. Also, it’s non-toxic and completely organic, making it a healthy option for your infant or toddler. The foam doesn’t use TCEP, TDCPP, or PBDE flame retardants. This means you don’t have to expose your child to harmful manufacturing byproducts. The Millard mattress has a protective cover which prevents any spills and also protects against dust mites, allergens, mold, and mildew.

You’ll love how the mattress fits within a standard crib; it doesn’t leave out spaces on the edges, creating a reassuringly tight fit. Its 90-degree edges fill in the crib corners easily which means your child is safe from unwanted gaps within the crib.

This mattress is manufactured and designed in the US and comes with a 30 days warranty. It is safe, comfortable, and reasonably priced, making it an excellent purchase indeed.


Once again our conclusion has brought us to a tough decision point. Our findings from the recent baby mattress reviews have made it difficult to choose a single best crib mattress, so we have decided to conclude with our top two favorites.

The best rated are two different types, one being traditional polyurethane foam (Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer) and the other being organic (Sealy Soybean Foam-Core). One is double sided (the former) while the latter is not, but don’t let that put you off. They both offer adaptive comfort, longevity, and value, they have passed stringent testing conditions, and they are approximately the same price. However, the real difference is that one is made of organic plant-based foam, and the other isn’t.

If wereallyhad to choose one or the other, to ensure s baby’s maximum health and well-being, in this case, it would have to be the Sealy Soybean. This is because the Soy based foam-core is natural, non-toxic and healthy material, creating a perfect sleep environment which reduces the risk of exposure to any type of chemicals and lowers the risk of allergy. The cotton wrap under the waterproof cover serves as a natural cushion for baby, while the airflow pockets keep things cool and hygienic. There is a good reason why Sealy baby mattresses were voted America’s Most Recommended four years in a row by the Women’s Choice Awards.

That said, we aren’t against traditional foam in any way, which is why the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is joint top. People have been using foam crib mattresses for decades, they provide superior orthopedic support and comfort, and there is a price range to suit everyone.

When it comes to deciding on which is the best, you really do have to consider all the options, features and products out there. What suits you may not be a requirement for others, but hopefully our crib mattress reviews will be helpful towards making the best choice for your baby.

Best Crib Mattresses of 2020

Choosing a crib mattress can be confusing. Here’s what to know to have your baby sleeping like, well, a baby.

During the first few months of life, your baby will spend more time asleep than awake—although it won’t always seem that way! Part of getting your little one to sleep soundly is creating a good sleeping environment.

In this article:

What Are the Types of Crib Mattresses?

There are different types of crib mattresses to choose from, but what matters most is getting a quality one. Which type you end up buying is more a matter of personal preference. Here are the options:

Innerspring mattresses:This traditional mattress type has steel coils inside, which makes it resilient and sturdy. Above the coils, innerspring mattresses have layers of different cushioning materials, such as polyester, cotton or foam.

You’ll see innersprings described by their coil count (that’s the number of steel coils in the mattress; the more coils, the more supportive) and steel gauge (the thickness of the coil; the lower numbers are thicker). Some models also have metal border rods that provide stability around the edges.

Innerspring mattresses can be pricey, especially if you’re looking into higher coil count. Reliable brands range from $80 to $300. These mattresses also tend to weigh more (something to consider for when you have to change crib sheets in the night).

Foam mattresses:These are typically made from polyurethane, a foam resin. Foam mattresses can be a great choice because they’re lightweight and durable, and are also usually the least-expensive mattress option.

When choosing a foam crib mattress, you want to make sure it’s resilient. Test this by pressing your hand on the mattress and seeing how long the surface takes to regain its shape (the faster, the better).

Also, look for a mattress that has a higher density, which makes it firmer. You can test this by how heavy it is (denser mattresses are typically heavier) or by squeezing the sides of the mattress (you won’t be able to press that hard on denser models).

Double-sided mattresses:2 for 1! These mattresses have a firmer infant side and a softer side that is more appropriate for toddlers who still use a crib or convertible toddler bed. Just flip it over to give your tot a softer, more comfortable mattress.

Keep in mind though, these models might be more expensive than some infant crib mattresses. And, you’ll have to remember to place the correct side of the mattress facing up when you’re changing the crib sheets.

How to Choose a Crib Mattress

Crib mattresses are similar to adult mattress, but with a few special considerations. Here’s what to look for in a crib mattress:

  • Firmness:Crib mattresses are firmer than adult ones in order to keep babies safe and to support growing bones while they sleep. Make sure the mattress is rated for infant use.
  • Waterproof:Crib mattresses should have a vinyl or polyethylene surface to make them waterproof and resist mold. If yours is fabric be sure to use a waterproof cover.
  • Fit:The mattress should fit snugly against the frame. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib. If you choose a mini crib or bassinet, the same sizing rules apply.
  • Materials:Some parents prefer mattresses made from natural and organic materials to avoid chemicals used in standard mattress production. (Note: No health effects have been evaluated yet).

Crib Mattress Safety Guidelines

Obviously, your baby’s safety is a top priority. Here are a few safety basics to keep in mind when choosing a crib mattress:

  • Avoid second-hand if possible:Because of the dangers associated with mold and bacteria, it’s best to avoid a used mattress, especially if you don’t know the history of the product. Reusing one from another one of your children? Make sure there aren’t any openings in the waterproof cover where mold could’ve taken root.
  • Keep the crib empty:Although they look lovely, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets shouldn’t be in a baby’s crib. That’s because they can wind up covering your baby’s face and be a suffocation hazard. Keep it to a fitted sheet only.
  • Place baby on their back:The safest sleeping position for your baby is on the back. It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
  • Check before you flip the mattress:If you have a double-sided mattress, check with your pediatrician to see if the time is right to flip it over to the toddler side. Most parents make the switch when their children are about 12 months old.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

How We Chose Our Best Crib Mattresses

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best crib mattresses.

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