Best Crib Mattresses – What Does Your Baby / Toddler Need?
While some of you may neglect the importance of a high-quality mattress for yourself, a baby’s safety, comfort, and proper support are essential for ensuring a healthy growth. For a growing body, there are tons of things that need to be taken care of – spinal alignment, cleanliness, lack of allergens, proper and even support, etc… As your little one will be sleeping for up to 16 hours a day in their first months of life, and between 11 and 13 hours for some 4 to 5 years more, it’s essential to invest in a high-quality crib and toddler mattress for them.
Our little guide is here to show you the most important aspects of choosing a crib or toddler mattress, and explain some of the most important features of these products. In any case, you want to make sure you go for a firm, sturdy mattress that is not too soft and preferably made of all natural materials. This will keep your little one in a healthy position, and prevent allergies, rashes, and other reactions of the sensitive skin.
- 1 Top Rated Crib Mattresses for Babies
Top Rated Crib Mattresses for Babies
1. Moonlight Slumber – Little Dreamer
The Moonlight Slumber – Little Dreamer, is a steal in terms of price vs. quality. This mattress has four different layers, a medical grade nylon cover for a safe contact with the baby’s sensitive skin, a natural internal fire barrier, a layer of extra firm high-density foam and a firm density foam. These two last layers double this product as a crib and toddler mattress, as you can flip it over to have a soft or firm side. The rigid side is perfect for infants, while the softer one will work great for your toddler. The nylon cover is vinyl, polyethylene, and PVC free, phthalates and lead-free, non-toxic and waterproof, making it perfectly healthy to use with newborns.
The mattress measures 27.5 x 5 x 52 inches, and weighs a little over 10lbs, making it perfect for parents to handle. The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is made from high-density foam and complies with the CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD GOLD safety standards.
The Moonlight Slumber might be a little over the budget for some people but will pay off after a while – especially since you can use it for at least a couple of years on the toddler side. Shop the latest price for this product here:
2. Naturepedic – Organic Cotton Classic
If you’re looking for an entirely organic, all-cotton crib mattress, this Naturepedic one might be ideal for you. This mattress is an innerspring unit, ensuring what is probably the best firmness for a crib mattress, and has a 100% cotton inlay to come in direct cotton with the skin. Grace to this, the mattress is hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and can be cleaned easily. Inside of it, 150 coils plus edge support will ensure that your little one maintains a healthy position during slumber and that his bones and joints grow correctly.
The mattress measures 27.75″ x 52″ x 6″, and comes with square corners for a snug fit in the crib. It is also GOTS and GREENGUARD certified so you can shop with peace of mind – the materials are indeed all organic, and the mattress is safe to use indoors. Much like the Moonlight Slumber, this unit has a firmer and a softer side, so it will “grow with your child,” as they put it, and you will get a lot of use out of the money spent once.
However, this mattress is no cheap accessory. If you’re on a rather tight budget, you might consider a different alternative – there are plenty of high-quality non-natural material products out there.
Shop the latest price for this product here:
3. Colgate – Eco Classica iii
Another option for an ecologic crib mattress, the Colgate Eco Classica has several layers of natural materials, which make for a versatile and all-in-one product. It is also slightly cheaper than the Naturepedic above so you might want to check it out if that one has been too pricey for you.
The Colgate Eco Classica is composed of a CertiPUR-US certified plant extract core, which is a high-density material that provides support for the baby’s posture. The layer is sandwiched between two other memory foam layers, one firmer and another one softer, which, as you might have guessed, double this product up as a crib and toddler mattress. In addition, the unit comes with a cotton cover that ensures that the contact with the baby’s skin is made from an all-natural material as well. The cover is also antibacterial and waterproof, making the cleaning process a tad bit easier. The whole unit is also GREENGUARD Gold certified for no harmful emissions.
This mattress measures the recommended 6” in height and weighs no more than 9.3 lbs. Overall, it’s a great option for those who want to keep their child in a healthy sleeping environment without investing a fortune. You can check the latest price here:
4. Sealy – Soybean Foam-Core
This mattress is famous for winning the America’s Best for Baby Women’s Choice Award for several years in a row, which kind of speaks for itself – the mattress is the epitome of comfort and safety for your little one. It measures 51.63 x 27.25 x 5 inches, being the perfect size to fit in any crib or toddler bed. It has perfect square edges, which avoid the formation of gaps between the mattress and the crib.
The unit consists of 5 different layers, the core being a soybean extract foam base layer, followed by two cotton comfort layers on each size, and covered with a thin waterproof and antibacterial fabric that comes in contact with the baby’s body. The Sealy Soybean is entirely made of natural extracts and fibers and is CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified.
However, if you plan to double this as a toddler mattress, it might not work as well as any of the previous units, as it tends to be rather dense and firm. The firmness of this mattress will be perfect for an infant, yet might be too hard for a bigger child. In terms of price, this unit is a great deal for an all-organic, natural product. Shop the latest price for it here:
5. Simmons – Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers
If you want to invest in a mattress that will double as a crib and toddler unit, the Simmons Beautyrest Beginnings might be the right choice for you. This mattress is a very durable and supportive one, having 231 metal springs that sustain a proper height for the baby crib. Those are isolated by several layers of hypoallergenic foam, both on the surface and around the edges, ensuring that the spring won’t poke through even when the child will grow big enough to jump on them. The mattress is wrapped in a natural cotton cover, which is non-toxic, non-flammable, waterproof and stain proof. This will ease the cleaning process of the mattress, making it last even longer.
This mattress measures 52 x 27.5 x < 6 inches, and is one of the heaviest units from out top-5 – it weighs around 26 lbs, due to the metal coils. However, the good part is that you can flip it over once your infant grows up and double it as a toddler mattress as well – this unit comes with both a firm and a soft side.
The Simmons Beautyrest Beginnings is GREENGUARD GOLD & CertiPUR-US certified for a healthier indoor environment, and also a great deal for the price. Check out the latest price for this product here:
There are several things you must consider before buying a crib mattress. Before hitting up your local showroom or Amazon, you might want to go through these:
1. Mattress size.
Here’s to some boring legal stuff you need to know before going shopping. There’s this so-called CPSC, which stands for the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission and states the exact minimum dimensions you should get for your little one. These imply that the crib should not be smaller than 28 ± 5⁄8 inches in width and 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches in length. The mattress size should be no less than 27,1/4 x 51,1/4 inches. These guidelines have gone so far as to mention the optimal distance between the crib and the mattress – it should be no more than 1,25”, so as to prevent suffocation hazards. Some articles may state it as “no less than two fingers,” but you might need to know the exact measurements, especially in case you own an old baby crib.
The thickness of a baby mattress should not be over 6”. Anything above that is considered too soft and dangerously high for your little one.
When it comes to the difference in size between the crib and toddler mattresses, there’s none. The optimal size for a crib will also be ready to act like a toddler mattress when your little one is ready to make the transition.
The CPSC has also stated a regulation regarding the recommended firmness for a crib mattress. As they put it, you have to press in the center of the mattress and around the edges. The mattress should spring back up immediately, and not leave a visible imprint of your hand or finger. Now, this might be an issue if you’re shopping online, but the high-quality products will have a “CPSC standards” label included somewhere in the description.
3. Compliance standards.
These refer mostly to the material the mattress is made from and certify that it does not have any easily flammable compounds, harmful or fuming chemicals, or are made from all natural materials. Here’s a short list of the most common certifications:
CertiPUR-US- certifies that foam mattresses meet the durability, firmness, and chemical safety standards.
GREENGUARD – ensures that the mattress is safe to use in indoor spaces (where else could you put a baby crib?) and meets strict chemical emission limits.
GOTS/OTCO – when purchasing an entirely organic mattress, it’s pretty mandatory to look for an OTCO certification, which ensures that it is truly natural.
16 CFR 132 and 133 flammability standards – all mattresses, regardless of material, must comply with this specification.
Although some of the product listings might not have them in their product descriptions, it’s best to inquire about compliance standards before making a purchase.
The cheapest crib mattresses out there tend to be made of foam and be thinner, while the most expensive ones are the innerspring and organic ones. Whichever you choose, make sure it meets the legal standards and offers enough support for your baby.
This last statement probably brings you to another question – how can you make sure that the crib mattress provides enough support for your baby? This is mostly influenced by the material you choose, and there are three most common crib mattress materials:
1. Foam. Foam crib mattresses are made from polyurethane and are the most lightweight alternative on the market. Many parents prefer to opt for such a mattress, as the amount of cleaning you will be doing will imply a lot of moving around for the mattress. A foam crib mattress weighs between 7 and 11 pounds, which makes its weight manageable for a single grown up.
In terms of support, foam mattresses will offer a pretty sturdy base, but make sure to check for the density of the foam. It might not be specified in the description of the product, but you can grab a calculator and make a simple equation – 1 divided by the area of the mattress (width x length) divided by the weight of it (this is usually specified). Anything above 3lb is a recommendable firmness and will provide proper support.
2. Innerspring. Innerspring mattresses were very popular choices in the 20th century, not only for the crib but also for adult mattresses. They have been cast aside since the boom of latex and foam mattresses, but are still a great option for crib mattresses. The number of springs or coils will influence the durability of the mattress. Look for something that has between 150 and 200 springs, as well as some kind foam padding that will make the mattress soft. You might also look for the wire thickness, as this determines the firmness of the mattress – an ideal gauge would be 1.15 or lower, which stands for a thick wire. If you can’t find anything of the kind in the product description, it’s a good idea to inquire the seller first.
3. Organic. These are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, as the eco-friendly has hit the market. These crib mattresses are usually made from cotton, eliminating the hazard of harmful chemicals, out-gassing or allergen formation. However, these can also be pretty pricey, as the natural fibers are harder to obtain and manufacture. If the density or firmness of the mattress is not specified, you can use the same equation to calculate it.
This would be everything you need to know when looking for the perfect crib mattress. In the following section, we’ve gathered a top 5 of the best-rated crib mattresses out there. You will find something for every budget and preference in here, and, of course, all these products come with a warranty and several compliance certifications.
As you could see in our guide and top-5, the market is saturated with choices when it comes to crib mattresses, and you can find one for every budget and preference you might have. Our main recommendation is to stay loyal to the CPSC size standards and look for specific compliance standards, such as anti-flammability, organic material, or non-toxic chemical. It’s also important to choose a mattress that can double up as a toddler bed as well, so you won’t have to purchase a whole new one when the baby grows up. The only difference between the two is the firmness of the mattress – while crib mattresses have to be rather firm, those for toddlers lean more towards the soft side.
If we were to make a recommendation regarding the best crib mattress of 2017, we would be splitting the award between the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer and the Naturepedic Organic Cotton. Both have a long lifespan, a lot of certifications proving that they are safe to use even on the most sensitive skin, double up as a toddler mattress and have a great value regarding the price/quality balance. The only difference is that one is completely organic (Naturepedic), and the other one is not. A 100% organic mattress is certainly better for an infant, but non-toxic, non-flammable foam might be just as rewarding. At this point, it’s only a question of budget.
To sum it up, you need to consider your budget and satisfaction in the long run. All the products we included in this top are great quality so you won’t miss by choosing any of them.