If you are in a hurry to figure out what is the best crib mattress, we recommend the Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress as the best one.
Choosing a crib mattress might not seem like the most exciting task, but selecting a good one is crucial. Newborns spend a lot of time in their crib so you’ll want to make sure it’s safe and comfortable.
A suitable sleeping area will help your little one sleep well. Good support for the baby’s spine and neck is essential, and a quality mattress will provide that.
Here is our top list for the best crib mattress of this year:
Types of Baby Crib Mattresses
There are two types of baby crib mattresses. They are defined by the materials the mattress is made of. Let’s take a look at their features.
Foam Baby Crib Mattresses
Baby crib mattresses that are made of foam are lighter and often more affordable than their innerspring counterparts. They have an inner core, which is constructed out of—you guessed it—foam.
These mattresses weigh around 5 to 13 pounds. They mostly consist of polyurethane, but some also of latex or soy.
This mattress type has the widest variety. Possibilities include memory foam or gel foam. Even organic foams are available.
Innerspring Baby Crib Mattress
Innerspring mattresses weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. On the inside, you will find springs that offer support. These more substantial mattresses are often more durable so last longer.
The coil count—the amount of springs—adds to the firmness of the mattress. The more springs, the more support your baby will get. Steel gauge also plays a role here. A lower measure means that the wire is thicker and the thicker the wire, the greater reinforcement there is.
On the springs are insulator pads. These go over the top part of the springs and keep them from poking through the mattress.
The quality of this mattress type usually coheres with the following features:
- The number of layers it has.
- What those layers are made of.
- The quality of the cover.
What to Choose?
Both types have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you want, you can make a comparison and decide. With a lower budget, you might opt for a foam mattress. If you are looking for something more durable, the innerspring is a suitable choice.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Crib Mattress
You might not expect it, but even in crib mattresses, there’s a lot of variety. Deciding what’s best for your child can be very stressful. Here’s what to look for when you go mattress shopping.
With any type of mattress, this is a crucial trait. You want to be able to use it for as long as possible, so it needs to be durable.
There are a few guidelines that can help when looking for a high-quality object:
- The higher the price, the better the quality.
- The heavier the mattress, the higher the quality.
Purchasing a good quality mattress also means avoiding dangerous chemicals that can be found in cheap mattresses. Look for certifications that the mattress you select is chemical-free or the best organic crib mattress can be a top choice.
Between the mattress and the crib, there shouldn’t be any gaps. They have to connect perfectly. Any opening can lead to a baby getting stuck, injured or even suffocation. Find out the exact measurements of your crib before you start shopping.
If you have gone for a unique oval or circle crib, even the best round crib mattress should fit tightly in the space.
A crib mattress should not be soft, as it won’t provide enough support for your little one’s head and spine. In rare cases, soft mattresses can even turn into suffocation hazards.
When you select a mattress, ensure that it’s slightly harder than what an adult would sleep on. Babies need a firm mattress to sleep safely.
Some advice I can give you is to do a little test when you’re shopping. Push in the middle and on the sides of the mattress and check what happens. The material should snap back into place immediately. If it does, it’s a good option.
Turn a baby crib mattress about once a year. This will help to reduce pressure points on specific places and let the mattress wear out evenly.
Research has shown that overheating can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A baby shouldn’t be too warm while sleeping, and that’s where the breathability of the mattress can help. A mattress with good airflow helps to keep your baby’s body dry during the night.
Once you’ve selected a suitable mattress, make sure to choose a breathable cover as well. It would be a pity to block the ventilation with a cover that doesn’t let air pass.
Another advantage of a breathable mattress is that mosquitoes will be less attracted to a baby that’s not sweating.
The best place to see what the mattress is made of is on the label. But, even when shopping online, you should find a detailed description.
That’s because a manufacturer is required to reveal all used materials. This way, you know exactly what’s inside the mattress of your preference. Stick to safe and natural materials that you recognize.
The most essential advice I can give is to buy a new mattress instead of a second-hand one. You might find a good deal on a used crib with mattress for the sake of saving money or because you believe in recycling products. However, there are several reasons why not to go through with the purchase:
- The surface is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs. There’s no way for you to know how the previous owner kept or cleaned the mattress.
- You can’t look on the inside where bugs might be crawling around, or mold is starting to pile up. This can cause serious infections.
- The longer it’s used, the more it starts to sag. If that happens you can’t be sure it will be firm enough to support your little one.
You might strongly believe that you can clean it and make it good-to-go. Unfortunately, you can never be sure. Therefore, either foam or innerspring, always buy new.
Cover It Up
The entire mattress is overlaid by a cover. This can be made of fabric or vinyl. Vinyl has required a bad name because of the use of phthalates to soften it and make it flexible. Several types of these chemicals are banned in the US.
Separate covers are a useful accessory. They often have helpful features (e.g., antibacterial or waterproof) and facilitate how to keep the mattress sanitary. Antibacterial covers reduce the amount of germs that can grow on the surface. Waterproof covers, on the other hand, stop spills and diaper leaks from soaking into the mattress.
Some good points about covers:
- Easily taken off and washed, while they help keep the mattress sanitary.
- Help to avoid tears or cracks in the top of the mattress, so increase durability.
- Add extra strength to the mattress.
Once your baby becomes a toddler, you no longer need a very firm mattress. Dual mattresses respond perfectly to this. This type can be flipped onto a softer side, which is perfect for bigger kids. You’ll be able to use this kind of mattress for a more extended period if you start using it with your newborn.
Many crib mattresses have been adapted to provide babies with allergies or asthma soundly sleep as well. If your baby has one of these illnesses, it’s definitely worth the money.
Precautions and Safety Guidelines for Baby Crib Mattresses
A newborn spends about 70 percent of their time in a crib. Therefore, creating a safe sleep environment for your child is of great importance.
When it comes to the mattress, there are a few safety instructions to consider.
The mattress should be covered by a tightly fitted sheet and not be too soft, because this can lead to an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It should also fit the crib perfectly, so there are no gaps around the sides.
Be sure to keep your baby’s crib mattress clean. Otherwise, you risk it becoming a foster place for germs and mold.
How to Clean a Baby Mattress?
When you have a spill in your baby’s crib, you can wipe it off with a wet cloth or simply wash the sheets. From time to time, however, you’ll need some deep cleaning.
This cleaning can be done in a few simple steps. Start by vacuuming and then scrub the mattress using a soft scrubbing brush with water and laundry detergent. After this, rinse it with a damp and clean cloth and make sure not to leave any detergent behind. If there are still stains, disinfect them with rubbing alcohol.
The last step is to dry the mattress. Check if yours can be tumble-dried. If not, the only option is to let it dry by the air. Never use any products that can leave behind dangerous chemical residues as this might cause irritation.
For more information about how to clean up the mattress, here you can reference the video to learn more in detail:
The Best Baby Mattress Reviews
Now that we’ve established the importance of your baby’s mattress, it’s time to hit the shops. You’re probably surprised by how much choice there is for something that seems such a simple item.
Here are my reviews of the best baby crib mattresses on the market.
1. Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress – Best Baby Crib Mattress
The Graco Premium mattress fits in standard-sized cribs and toddler beds.
It’s a foam mattress but doesn’t just exist out of one piece. Different layers are added to increase protection. One of those layers is a flame retardant cover. Another layer has been equipped with a moisture cover—perfect for protecting the mattress from fluids.
Also to decrease moisture is the removable water-resistant cover. It can be zipped off to be cleaned, but only by hand wash with cold water. The inner foam core is extra breathable due to airflow technology.
The biggest downside of this product is its compressed state. After opening the package, it needs to be extended. It helps when you fluff it like a pillow, but the mattress is obviously more extensive than that. My advice is to walk on it a bit with extra care to the corners. Some parents reported that their mattress didn’t extend completely.
- Comes with a removable waterproof cover.
- Breathable foam maximizes airflow.
- Flame retardant cover.
- Doesn’t always extend completely.
- The cover is hand wash only.
2. Milliard Crib Mattress, Dual Comfort System – Best Dual Side Crib Mattress
The Milliard crib mattress is dual-sided. It has a firmer side for newborns and a softer side for toddlers. The advantage of this is that you’ll be able to use it over an extended period as your baby grows.
This mattress has a memory foam layer and a water-resistant, hypoallergenic natural cotton cover. It can be removed and is machine washable but can be challenging to put back on as it’s a really tight fit.
A minus of this product is that it’s not always clear which side is for infants and which for toddlers. The manufacturer hasn’t included any directions, so it can be difficult to figure out. I had the same issue with my eldest’s crib mattress and was advised to put a little stitch through it to mark a side. Once you discover which is which, it might be worth the try.
- Dual sided.
- Hypoallergenic, machine washable cotton cover.
- Not clear which side is which.
3. Dream On Me 3″ Playard Mattress – Best Affordable Crib Mattress
The Dream On Me mattress is a basic foam mattress that‘s affordably priced. For this price, it may seem to be lower quality compared to others. However, this might just be the idea the plastic feel of the mattress gives when you touch it.
The cover is not only waterproof but also antibacterial. This means that there’s protection against spills, odors and bacteria. Unfortunately, it’s not removable so you can only wipe it clean.
As it is not very firm, the mattress is designed to be used from six months up, so it’s not suitable for newborns.
- Antibacterial, waterproof cover.
- Cover is not removable for washing.
- Not suitable for newborns.
4. Kolcraft Pure Sleep Therapeutic 150 Toddler and Baby Crib Mattress – Best Mattress for Newborn
The Kolcraft Pure Sleep baby crib mattress is a firm innerspring mattress with a heavy gauge. This feature makes it a contender for the best mattress for newborn babies. The coils are placed close to each other to increase the solidity of the object.
It comes at quite an affordable price and—on top of that—with a 10-years warranty on materials and workmanship. Such an amount of time will cover the whole period your baby needs to use it. This means you can be sure your little one will sleep comfortably.
A minus of the mattress is that the outer liner is quite noisy. When a child lying on it moves or turns, it crinkles. Some babies might be interrupted by it during their sleep, but others might not even notice.
- Heavy gauge.
- Long-lasting firmness.
- 10-year warranty.
- Noise when baby moves.
- Cover is wipe clean only.
5. LA Baby Waterproof Portable/Mini Crib Mattress – Best Mini Crib Mattress
The LA Mini crib mattress is only 2 inches thick. The most considerable advantage is how easy it is to take with you. Whether you are going on a family holiday or a sleepover at the grandparents, you can carry the mattress around with you.
As a foam mattress, it attracts dust mites four times more than the innerspring ones. Therefore, the manufacturers implemented it with a dust mite barrier. Apart from that barrier, it also comes with a stain-resistant outer cover. You will be pleased to hear that this will facilitate cleaning the mattress and help to keep it sanitary.
The downside of this object is that it’s a mini mattress. Perfect to use for a short period of time, but in the long term, my advice would be to provide your little one with a regular mattress.
- Very portable.
- Dust mite barrier.
- Stain-resistant outer cover.
- Not really suitable as a permanent mattress.
6. My First Crib Mattress, Memory Foam Crib Mattress – Best Memory Foam Mattress
This mattress is designed for your little one’s comfort. The memory foam layer will help your little one to sleep and relax. It’s developed to contour their small bodies to help them doze off faster. The softness means it’s better for older babies and toddlers.
The machine washable cover that surrounds it is very soft and will be gentle to your baby’s skin.
The downside to this item is that it’s less affordable. All this extra comfort for your babe comes at an extra price. Compared with other memory foam mattresses, however, it’s a very reasonable price/quality ratio.
- Memory foam.
- Soft quilted cover.
- Not firm enough for newborns.
7. Big Oshi Foam Crib Mattress – Best Toddler Mattress
The Big Oshi crib mattress is made out of a thick foam core. Some toddlers will use their bed as a trampoline and bounce on their mattress. This one stays sturdy enough so it can’t be ruined.
Leading pediatricians have recommended the mattress. It passed all the security tests and is equipped with a hypoallergenic cover.
The cover is made to prevent mold and bad smells. Thanks to this cover, it’s also easily cleaned with a wet cloth.
Some parents have reported the mattress to wear out quicker than others, so it’s good that a warranty is included.
- Recommended by pediatricians.
- Wears out easily.
8. Milliard 2-Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Crib/Toddler Bed Mattress Topper – Best Mattress Topper
This memory foam mattress topper is the perfect item to help your baby make the transition to their baby bed. Some parents let their little one sleep in their bed, so sometimes it’s hard for them to change. A less firm mattress with memory foam resembles an adult mattress, so it facilitates the change.
As it is medium soft, the topper is less suited for newborns. It is, however, very suitable for toddlers, who prefer a softer surface to sleep on anyway.
When it first comes out of its package, you might detect a smell. Give the mattress the chance to air out before placing it in your child’s crib and it should disappear.
- Helps transition to baby bed.
- Medium soft for toddlers.
- Smells when first unpacked.
In my opinion, the best baby crib mattress is the Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress. Many protective layers and a thick foam core add to its firmness.
An anti-flammable layer, moisture layer and washable waterproof cover increase the lifespan and help keep the item sanitary.
Your top choice might be different as your child is also different. Once you start shopping, take a few things into account. Your baby’s age (newborn or toddler), the crib size and which material you prefer. Armed with all this information, you’ll soon be able to make the best decision for your child.