The crib is where your baby will spend most of his time in (more than 16 hours a day!), so it is vital that you choose a safe and comfortable crib mattress. Often than not, parents are clueless when it comes to choosing a crib mattress for their newborn – what are the things to look out for especially when all that you see in the market claim to be the very best? What’s the best cot mattress to buy?
You will be surprised at just how many different types of crib mattresses are available in the market and that not all are safe. In fact, you will be shocked by the statistics found of how SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is linked to crib mattresses. This will be reviewed more in depth in the latter part of this guide as well as other information that you should know about the crib mattress but for now, let’s look at the top 5 best baby crib mattresses that are not just popular but are also rated top as the safest and most comfortable baby crib mattresses.
1. Top 5 Best Crib Mattresses
Amongst all Colgate’s (no, nothing related to the toothpaste) crib mattresses, the Eco Classica III is their best selling crib mattress and it is not hard to see why. In fact, we think it is the best crib mattress out there and that is saying something, given that all other crib mattresses featured in this review are amazing products of exceptional high quality.
First of all, the Eco Classica III is a dual-sided mattress where the firmer side is for the infant stage (click here to see why your baby should sleep on a firm surface) while the other side is for toddler when s/he outgrows the crib. Despite being 6 inches thick, you will have no trouble flipping the sides around as it weighs 9.4 pounds only. This is not bad at all, especially for a dual-use mattress. And you do not have to worry about its size as it is of the standard size regulated by the CPSIA that fits all standard size cribs and toddler beds.
Material wise, you can have 100% peace of mind as Colgate uses only CertiPUR certified safe organic cotton cover closest to baby’s skin in its mattresses. Plant oils instead of petroleum based oils is used to ensure this is one eco-friendly crib mattress. It also has waterproof backing to make sure no water goes into the mattress.
It has also passed the toughest GREENGUARD standard of no harmful emissions and is constructed with more than 10,000 volatile organic compounds so you won't find any strange smell with this crib mattresses. Because of this, it is also safe to regard the Eco Classica III to be the best non-toxic baby crib mattress in the market.
There really isn’t much that we can fault this baby crib mattress and at just this price, it is not hard to see why the Colgate Eco Classica III is the best colgate crib mattress, and overall the best 2-in-1 crib mattress around. Oh, and it is fully manufactured in USA, which is certainly a plus point!
This is also one of the best 2 in 1 crib mattress that comes close to the Colgate Eco Classica III. In fact, we would say the Little Dreamer is equivalent in terms of excellency in all aspects to that of the Eco Classica III. The reason we rate it second is because of its price, which while justifiable, is slightly more expensive than the Eco Classica III which has similar features.
If you are one that thinks that the Eco Classica III is a tad too firm (it is by far the firmest mattress we have tested after all), then the Little Dreamer is the best baby mattress for you. While it is softer than the Eco Classica III, it still incorporates extra firm high density foam on the infant side and firm high density foam on the toddler side to ensure it is safe for your child’s health and development.
Moonlight Slumber takes the extra step of producing a
- Vinyl FREE
- PVC FREE
- Phthalates FREE and
baby crib mattress in the Little Dreamer and high quality medical grade foam is CertiPUR certified, meaning it is free of toxic chemicals. It is also treated with ultra fresh for antimicrobial protection so that it is hypoallergenic and waterproof which you can easily clean with a damp sponge.
All in all, the Little Dreamer is another top rated baby crib mattress that is fully manufactured in the US and bears the Greenguard Gold Certification. It is an excellent baby crib mattress that many parents love and do not mind shelling out the extra dollars for.
If you are looking for the best memory foam crib mattress, look no further. My First Premium Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Baby Crib Mattress is made from CeriPUR-US certified foam that provides extra firm high-density support yet is still very comfortable for infants. Do not be alarmed if you feel that it is firmer than what you would have expected from a memory foam product because this is all within its design.
This mattress has a removable velour cover that is soft to baby’s tender skin you will definitely love it! The cover is machine washable and waterproof which help to prevent nasty mold and bacterial growth. Phthalates and lead free, you will be pleased to know that it is also hypoallergenic, mite-proof and anti-microbial. It also meets and exceeds federal flammability and CPSC standards, so this is one baby crib mattress that you can have peace of mind in letting your baby sleep on for long hours.
If you experience mild scents when you first open up the mattress (which is machine rolled and compressed and may take up to 72 hours to regain its full shape), don’t worry, this is expected of memory foam mattresses. Such “odor” is by no means harmful or unhealthy. Simply air it out and the smell will dissipate quickly.
My First Premium Memory Foam Hypoallergenic crib mattress is produced by Kittrich Bedding which is renowned for having all their foam products underwent and satisfied independent tests for safety purposes. If that is not enough, it also comes with a 10 year limited warranty so you can be assured that this is one of the best mattress for your baby crib.
Our best budget crib mattress is the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams. At an incredible deal, you get a high-density thermos-bonded core mattress that has firm support for your baby. Despite its high density, it is still lightweight which makes it easy for you to manoeuver and flip.
The Safety 1st Heavely Dreams is a durable mattress that can last long throughout your child’s development as it is made from foam which enables it to retain its shape well even after years of usage. This makes it an ideal choice for convertible crib-to-toddler beds as measuring at 52.5 x 27.5 x 5.5 inches, it fits most standard cribs and toddler beds.
It comes with a vinyl cover that is waterproof, meaning any spills can be wiped clean easily so this is one mattress that is resistant to stains and subsequently smells. If you wish to wash it thoroughly, the zip allows you to do so.
As with all other mattresses that we've reviewed to determine if it fits to be a top rated baby crib mattress, we look at whether one is hypoallergenic. We are pleased to find that the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams is hypoallergenic and is free of phthalates and lead.
Further, it meets the standard for low-chemical emissions, thus earning itself a Greenguard Gold certification. It also meets federal flammability standard 16 CFR 1633 without the use of potentially harmful chemicals. With all these standard safety measures met, you can rest assured that your child is tucked in safe and comfortable in this foam crib mattress.
However, if you are keen to avoid polyurethane foam, then this may not be the best baby crib mattress for you as the foam that it uses is the typical polyurethane foams. By all means, this does not make it a bad mattress, in fact, it is one of the best inexpensive crib mattress you can find in the market compare to others at a similar price point. Nonetheless, if you have a bigger budget, you may want to consider other brands on our list of baby mattress reviews.
Voted as the best Sealy crib mattress amongst all other Sealy's crib mattresses, the Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Infant/Toddler Crib Mattress is another top baby mattress that we love for its many amazing features.
The extra firm yet lightweight foam is made with soybean oils provided by American farmers. Such soy-based foam-core offers improved durability over traditional foams and the use of renewable resources results in the use of less crude oils. As a result, this mattress also has higher breathability and is one of the best breathable baby mattress in the market. Not to mention that is so lightweight, it makes changing bedding a breeze - you can even do it with one hand!
This baby crib mattress is also loved for its pearl embossed waterproof and stain-resistant cover which makes it an easy-clean product. We are also super impressed with the thoughtfulness put into the lock-stitched binding design as this prevents any leaks from seeping inside the mattress. The is often overlooked by many so this is a very useful tip to look out for when you are choosing your baby crib mattress. Also, the square corner design ensures a snug fit in standard cribs.
Like all top crib mattresses, the Sealy Soybean Foam Core is Greenguard Gold Certified (meaning low chemical emissions for a healthier sleeping environment for your baby) and uses CertiPUR-US approved foam for durability and air quality. Other chemical-free standards such as phthalates, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, PBDES, TDCPP and TCEP flame retardants are also met which otherwise would be a concern in non-certified foams.
However, some parents have reported that they found this mattress cracked and spoilt after a year's of use while others said that it sinks slightly after some time. This is something to take note of, regardless, this 100% US-made crib mattress is backed with a lifetime warranty on all workmanship and materials so there is not much to worry about. Also, do note that many other parents do not find such a problem at all and say that it lasts through its recommended 0-5 years of use.
For a dual-use baby crib mattress with features like that of the Sealy Soybean Foam Core, its price is reasonably affordable and is not as expensive as the Colgate Eco Classic III or the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer. And with all the awards under its belt (winner of the Women's Choice Award for America's Most Recommended Mattress & Bedding for 4 consecutive years), you can be sure the Sealy Soybean Foam Core is one top baby crib mattress.
2. Organic Baby Crib Mattress
For parents who want it 100% natural without any chemicals, an organic baby crib mattress is the way to go. Do note that there are manufacturers who deliberately mislead consumers with the word "organic", and that not all "organic baby crib mattress" are safe, so it is important that you make an informed decision before purchasing one.
Fortunately, we have done the job for you by eliminating inferior products and have came up with the best organic baby crib mattress in the market for you.
Amongst all that are available in the market, the Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 150 Seamless Dual Firmness Crib Mattress is the best organic crib mattress in our opinion.
Both the inside and outside of this crib mattress is made of 100% organic material with the outside being made of polyethylene waterproof surface that meets food standards. Not only is a waterproof surface easy to clean, it also means that there is an impenetrable barrier to dust mites and is therefore hypoallergenic.
With a 100% organic crib mattress like the No Compromise, you can be sure that this crib mattress is free from all toxic chemicals (that means no latex, coir, wool or other potential high allergy materials). It also exceeds all federal and state flammability standards without the use of potentially harmful fire retardant chemicals.
This is by far the healthiest organic baby crib mattress available and with dual firmness, it can be used from infant till toddler stage. The only downside is that it is also one of the most expensive baby crib mattress so that may be a deterrent to some. However, if this fits within your budget, we would highly recommend getting this Naturepedic No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress as it is truly 100% organic, excellent and trustworthy and safe to use.
3. What is a Crib Mattress?
A crib mattress basically means a mini mattress designed to fit snuggly inside your baby crib.
4. Do I need to buy a specific baby crib mattress?
Yes, you should definitely get a baby crib mattress, mainly for safety reasons. Crib mattresses have a standard size to follow which means most will fit well in baby cribs. If you use other mattresses, you may have to either fold it to fit inside your crib which in turn increase the risk of suffocation (if baby’s head is caught between the folds) or risk baby’s head falling into gaps if the mattress is too small. Either way, this is a serious safety hazard for babies.
Do you also know that a soft sleeping surface can be a suffocation hazard and raise the risk of SIDS? Soft mattresses can conform to the shape of your baby’s head or face and this increases the risk of suffocation. This is precisely why you should buy a mattress specifically designed for infant/crib as mattresses designed for older children and adults may not be firm enough.
5. What to look for in a Crib Mattress?
There are two general types of crib mattresses – foam and innerspring. One is not necessarily better than the others, rather, it is more about choosing a top quality one in whichever type you decide to go for. At a glance, here are the differences between the two:
- Less Expensive
- Lighter in general
Because of these two factors, foam mattresses are generally more well-received from parents.
However, do note that there are still low-cost foam mattresses that use cheap packing foam so you should stay away from those as they will deteriorate over time.
Our tip? The heavier a mattress is, the more dense and firm it is. Press it down to see how far it goes. A good foam mattress shouldn't let you press too much into it. Nonetheless, weight is also important as you will need to change the sheet often so strike a good balance between the two.
- More expensive
Innerspring mattresses are generally the same type as that you are using yourself.
For baby crib mattress, choose one with around 135-150 coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower. Remember, it is not the case that the more coils there is, the better.
Another thing you should look for is to see if it comes with border rods. These are rods that surround the perimeter of the mattress, both on the top and bottom to prevent sagging when babies go near the edge.
As mentioned above, a high quality foam mattress is as good as a top quality innerspring mattress so there is no reason of choosing one over the other. Our top rated mattress - the Colgate Eco Classica III - is a foam mattress and we think it serves its purpose well without having to spend too much on it. And there is always the organic mattress to go to if you wish to go 100% natural.
As the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development recommends:
The firmer, the better is the philosophy we believe in when it comes to choosing the best crib mattress for baby. Even if it may feel a tad too stiff for you, a firm crib mattress is the best for your infant because not only will it make bedtime more comfortable, it also supports an infant’s growing bones and keeps him safe while sleeping.
The best baby bed mattress should be dense so that it provides adequate firmness for baby but still be light enough for parents to manoeuvre and flip around. All mattresses recommended in our baby crib mattress reviews above are of a good weight that does not compromise quality.
A crib mattress needs to fit comfortably in the crib. A good rule of thumb is to check if you can fit two fingers of space between the side of the mattress and the crib frame. If there’s more space than that, it means that your mattress is too small which automatically raises the risk of suffocation and entrapment hazard.
Another easy way to ensure a good fit is to check in the store whether the labelled size adheres to the standard legal size regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), which should be at least 27 1/4 x 51 5/8 inches and no more than 6 inches thick.
Waterproof & machine washable cover
Trust us, you will certainly want to find a crib mattress that is waterproof and easy to clean as you cannot avoid accidental leaks and spills from your baby onto the mattress. A waterproof mattress will ensure these irritants do not seep into the mattress thus preventing bacteria and other nasty stuffs from manifesting your baby's sleeping environment.
Hypoallergenic and Flammability
A simple, fool-proof tip to ensure you get a safe, non-toxic and chemical free baby crib mattress is to see if it there is the CertiPUR-US foam label as well as Greenguard Gold certification on the packaging. If there are, it is less likely you will go wrong and get an inferior product. All reviewed crib mattresses we recommended above bear these two certification.
Consider how much you are willing to spend on a crib mattress and this will help ease your choosing process. There are top rated baby mattresses of different price points listed in our crib mattress review above so you can definitely find something that suits your budget.
6. Should I buy a new or used crib mattress?
ALWAYS, and we cannot stress enough, ALWAYS buy a new baby crib mattress. NEVER buy used or accept hand-me-down mattress, or any other baby products in fact.
There have been studies that found the use of old crib mattresses links to an increased risk of SIDS - this report published by the British Medical Journal shows that there is valid statistical association between the two. Apart from this, we also do not recommend using an old mattress for the following reasons:
- Non-hygienic. You just never know how an old baby mattress is maintained by its previous owner. Poop and pee are common occurrences on a crib mattress, so if one is not cleaned and maintained well, such germs will remain inside the mattress. Trust us, you do not want to put your baby in such an environment.
- Dust-mite / bedbugs. As with the point above, you will not know if dust mites or worse, bed bugs exist in an old, used crib mattress. You also risk infecting your other furniture with these nasty bugs.
- Safety hazard. An old crib mattress will more or less lose its life as it has been used before. It will not be as firm as a brand new mattress and you may not know if it has became too soft that it now poses a safety hazard to your baby.
It is simply not worth it to put your baby through the risks of using an old hand-me-down mattress from someone else. If you have otherwise a well maintained, well-cleaned crib mattress from your firstborn which you now wish to use for your second child, you can certainly do so - at least you know it has been on good hands and is well preserved.