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Top 5 Best Crib Mattresses of 2020

Top 5 Best Crib Mattresses of 2020

best baby crib mattress

Even though my little guys are now 6 and nearly 4 (he’s still 3, okay?), I vividly remember what it was like when we were shopping to put together a nursery. I recall all the million questions and concerns. Listening with as much patience as possible, I sifted through the mostly unsolicited, seemingly endless, albeit well-meaning, advice from people about parenting. I knew that what I really needed was clear, concise facts.

Mama & Papa, I got you. I’m here to help with this list of the Top 5 Best Crib Mattresses of 2020. After seeking out the perfect crib (which we all know was enough work on its own!) it’s time to search for the next most important item on your nursery list. The crib mattress. Here we go parents. First, let’s answer a few of those million questions you have about the best crib mattress for baby. 

What Are the Best Mattresses for Babies?

The best mattresses for babies are the correct mattresses to fit their sleep space. A baby in a bedside co-sleeper needs a mattress that fits the co-sleeper. A little one in a standard, full-size crib needs a standard, full-size crib mattress. An infant in a travel crib needs the mattress suited to that crib design. You get my drift here. There’s no across the board best crib mattress for baby. Below are some elements to consider in choosing the appropriate crib mattress for your unique baby and crib. 

What Are the Different Types of Crib Mattresses?

There are essentially two categories here and you can find safe, quality mattresses of both types on our list. You’re the best judge of what’s right for your family and baby, all the way down to details. Find all the relevant info below to help you decide what type of mattress best suits your baby and crib.

Innerspring Crib Mattresses 

  • An innerspring mattress uses steel coils to offer support.
  • More coils equals more support and lower numbers mean thicker gauge coils.
  • Coils are padded for comfort, sometimes using the same materials as a foam mattress.
  • Usually pricier than a foam mattress. 

Foam Crib Mattresses 

  • A foam mattress can be made of a variety of materials and in varying densities.
  • Choose a thicker density for greater durability. 
  • Typically lighter weight than an innerspring mattress. 
  • More economical than innerspring mattress options.

How Do I Choose a Crib Mattress?

You want to choose a crib mattress that will fit your crib correctly, so shop for a mattress made to fit the crib you’ve chosen. Mattress manufacturers are required to use federally regulated standardized dimensions. This makes it easy to ensure that your crib mattress will fit safely inside your baby crib.  

A standard full size crib mattress is 27 1/4 inches wide by 51 5/8 inches long and no more than 6 inches high. 

A good rule of thumb, quite literally, is that there should be no more than two fingers width of space between the crib mattress and crib walls. 

Also, it’s worth noting that if you have a bassinet or play yard style crib, the mattress may be included. When the mattress is included with any style crib, you should use it as-is without attempting to pad or modify it. 

What to Look For in a Crib Mattress?

As always, safety first. One of the most important factors to consider is firmness. You want a mattress firm enough that baby won’t be able to sink into an indentation in the mattress. Try this quick test. Press your hand into a mattress. See how deep an indentation you create and how quickly the mattress recovers its original form. This test can help you gauge appropriate mattress firmness. Basically, the less of an indentation and the faster the recovery time, the better.

Do I Need a Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad?

Will it get wet? The answer is yes. So many times, in so many ways you haven’t yet considered, soon-to-be parent. Thus, another important detail is waterproofing, and how you want to do it. 

Current NIH Safe to Sleep guidelines say a crib mattress with a tightly fitted sheet is the best sleep surface for baby. That means a waterproof mattress cover isn’t actually recommended. If the mattress protector in no way affects the fit of the sheet, you may consider a waterproof crib mattress cover. 

However, crib mattress manufacturers also create mattresses with a waterproof covering. A waterproof mattress or mattress cover helps avoid mold and bacteria growth that can create health complications for baby. 

In other words, you’ll have to make this decision for yourself. Just remember, whichever mattress you end up choosing, make sure it’s easy to clean. Whether or not to waterproof, leads us directly to our next question. Should I buy an organic mattress to avoid all those chemical treatments on baby’s sleep surface?

Does My Baby Need an Organic Crib Mattress?

Here’s another one you need to do your research on, Mama. I’m going to offer you a brief overview here, but you’ll ultimately have to decide this one for yourself. The long and the short of it is this, people are studying whether or not the materials used in the manufacturing and waterproofing of baby crib mattresses can release toxic gases into baby’s sleep environment and thereby contribute to instances of SIDS and other sleep-related injuries. 

The Mom Docs at Children’s Hospital of St. Louis say, absolutely yes. Ardent advocates of avoiding added toxins at all costs, they ask,

“[h]ave you ever wondered why we use PVC piping for home drainage pipes but not home water supply pipes?  It’s because PVC contains phthalates. As a society we have decided not to use phthalates in children’s toys and home water supply pipes. But pthalates are still permitted in crib mattresses.”

Yet, the New York Times points out that it’s hard to tell what an organic crib mattress even is and if it makes a difference at all because,

“[n]o government agency regulates the labeling of mattresses as “organic” or “natural,” and trade groups like the International Sleep Products Association and the Specialty Sleep Association offer their members no guidelines for using the terms.” 

I tell you, parents-to-be, you’ve got your work cut out for you with this decision. The list will feature organic options and non-organic ones as well. In the end, you know yourself and your baby and you’re the one who has to be able to sleep at night with your decision. 

Are Toddler Mattresses and Crib Mattresses the Same?

More or less, yes. That is, they’re typically the same size and will fit a crib or toddler bed. Many convertible cribs now transition with your growing baby directly into toddler beds. Most convertible cribs use the same frame and mattress, simply changing out the railing to a more open configuration as baby becomes a toddler.

That’s the more or less part. Although it’s the same in size, we’ve already covered that infants need a more firm mattress for safe sleep. Toddlers, on the other hand, may find the ultra firm infant mattress uncomfortable. And, it’s okay to give them a softer sleep surface at the toddler stage to help them feel cozy in their changing sleep space.

You could purchase a crib mattress for your infant and later a toddler mattress as baby begins to grow. Or, another option is any of the 2 stage crib and toddler mattress you’ll find on the list below! These mattresses are typically designed with a firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers. 

With our questions answered, let’s go find out which mattresses made the list and why. Hopefully, you’ll feel a bit better prepared to choose baby’s crib mattress by the time we make it to the end, and if not, you’ll definitely be better informed about your options. 

Best Breathable Crib Mattress

Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed

Why We Picked It

Breathability is a hugely important factor when choosing a crib mattress for baby. Even though it’s unknown exactly what causes SIDS, there’s a lot of research around the idea that it has to do with the availability of fresh, breathable oxygen in baby’s sleep environment. The Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed really does offer the best in breathability for baby. 

Safety & Certifications

The Newton Baby Crib Mattress is Greenguard Gold certified for low chemical emissions, a Mom’s Choice Award winner, and a Family’s Choice Award Winner. Also, the Newton company reports on their website that, 

“In a third-party CPSC accredited laboratory, tests showed that a baby gets 97% more air while breathing through a Newton Crib Mattress Pad than on a conventional waterproof crib mattress.”

Material & Design

The excellent breathability of this crib mattress is due to the fact that the company has created something they call Wovenaire technology for their crib mattresses. This means that the core of this mattress is actually 90% air and 10% food grade polymer.

Plus, this Newton crib mattress eliminates the need to decide on a mattress cover or seek out a properly fitted crib sheet. The mattress comes encased in its own removable, washable, breathable cover that baby can sleep on directly. There’s a waterproof option available, too.

Bonus Details

If you purchase directly from the company, Newton offers a 100 Day home trial. If at the end of the 100 nights you and baby aren’t feeling so dreamy about the crib mattress, you can return it for a full refund at the company’s expense. 

Specs 

  • Measures: 52″ x 28″ x 5.5″
  • Weighs: 11 pounds

Best Organic Mattress

Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress – Classic 150 Coil – 2-Stage – Non-Toxic Baby and Toddler Bed

Why We Picked It

If organic is the route for you, then the Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is everything your sweetest non-toxic, certified organic dreams are made of. With no shortage of respectable references to validate it’s claims, it’s easy to see what makes this crib mattress stand out. 

Safety & Certifications

This crib mattress meets Global Organic Textile Standards and Global Organic Latex Standards. It is Greenguard Gold Certified for low chemical emissions and UL validated as formaldehyde free. The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is also certified by Made Safe as toxin free. 

Material & Design

Made with 100% cotton fabric and filling plus a 150 coil innerspring design to offer baby comfort and support. The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is also a two stage mattress. Baby will feel fine and dandy on its firm side. Then, just flip the softer side up when it’s time for toddler to enjoy. Plus, it has a lifetime warranty to keep your investment in a non-toxic nursery secure.

Bonus Details

Remember when we said, whichever mattress you choose, you want one that’s easy to clean? The Naturepedic Organic Mattress fits that bill, for sure. With a food grade PE surface, whatever mess baby can manage, wipe this mattress down with soap and water and you’re good to go.

Specs 

  • Measures: 27.75″ x 52″ x 6″
  • Weighs: 20 pounds

Best Foam Crib Mattress 

Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress in a Box

Why We Picked It

Foam mattresses are preferred by parents who choose them for some pretty good reasons. They’re lightweight, breathable, and easy to clean which makes them a pretty great pick all-around, as far as crib mattresses go. The Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress in a Box will offer you all you’re looking for in a foam crib mattress. 

Safety & Certifications 

Graco is a reputable baby brand and their certifications and safety ratings speak to that. Their Premium Foam crib mattress is Greenguard Gold certified for low chemical emissions. It is also free of prohibited phthalates, lead, and mercury. Additionally, it meets or exceeds all applicable ASTM International and CPSC safety standards. 

Material & Design 

This Graco foam crib mattress comes complete with it’s own cover. The 100% polyester cover is water-resistant, machine washable on delicate, and needs to be hung to dry. The polyurethane foam crib mattress core is made of high-quality, breathable foam that maximizes baby’s air flow. It’s also the recommended firmness for baby crib mattresses to keep baby sleeping safe and sound. 

Bonus Details

The Graco Premium Foam Crib Mattress will arrive compressed in a box and you get to open it up and see how it adjusts to the room temperature and expands to its standard full-size crib mattress measurements. Graco recommends you open the mattress and give it at least two full weeks to be ready for baby to dream on. 

See Also
crib safety
Crib Safety: Everything You Need To Know

Specs 

  • Measures: 27.6” x 52” x 5”
  • Weighs: 7 pounds

Best Innerspring Crib Mattress

Colgate Ecospring 2-N-1 Orthopedic Crib and Toddler Mattress

Why We Picked It

The Colgate Ecospring 2-N-1 Orthopedic Crib and Toddler Mattress offers innerspring support combined with environmentally friendly materials to ensure that baby isn’t breathing in toxins from their sleep surface. This two stage innerspring coil mattress is from the Colgate Cradletyme Naturals collection, which Colgate calls their “eco-friendlier” line of baby bedding items. 

Safety & Certifications

Backed by trusted names in baby safety, Colgate is a JPMA member and the  Ecospring 2-N-1 is Greenguard Gold Certified, like each of the other picks on our list. This crib and toddler mattress also has a CertiPUR-US certification as well as being CPSIA compliant. 

Material & Design

This eco-friendly crib and toddler mattress offers a firm and supportive side for infants with a comfier side for toddlers. Made with high-quality, natural, renewable, and sustainable materials, the Ecospring 2-N-1 has a lot of good things going for it. 190 6.0 gauge coils are padded with coir fiber made from coconut shell husks, eco-foam made with plant oils instead of petroleum based oils, and natural cotton batting. The mattress cover is organic cotton and has waterproof backing to keep little one cozy and the mattress clean and dry.

Bonus Details

This orthopedic crib and toddler mattress offers maximum support and comfort at a full 6 inches thick. This is the maximum thickness allowed under the CSPC guidelines and one of only 2 mattresses featured on our list that has 6 inch thickness. 

Specs

  • Measures: 51.8” x 27.5” x 6” 
  • Weighs: 23.6 pounds

Best Parents-Picked-It Mattress 

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib & Toddler Bed Mattress

Why We Picked It

Just like the category says, this is the crib mattress picked by best parent ratings and reviews. The Heavenly Dreams Crib & Toddler Bed Mattress offers safety, quality, and dependability. Thousands of satisfied parents have given this crib and toddler mattress excellent marks. Plus, it’s got a budget friendly price tag that parents are bound to love. 

Safety & Certifications

Not only that, this crib and toddler bed mattress also boasts Greenguard Gold Certification for low chemical emissions. Additionally, the overall brand, Safety 1st, has received the Women’s Choice Award as an America’s Most Recommended brand for Baby Crib & Toddler Mattress. It’s clear that you and baby both will rest easy with this well-loved crib and toddler mattress. 

Material & Design

It has a high density thermo-bonded fiber core to give baby the firm support needed for a safe night’s sleep. The 100% vinyl outer cover is water resistant and makes this mattress ultra easy to wipe clean. Plus, with its 10 year warranty, you’re easily covered for the life of the mattress.

Bonus Details

A Supreme version of the Heavenly Dreams Crib & Toddler Mattress is also available. What’s the difference? A higher price tag, of course. But the material seems to be a primary distinction. The supreme mattress has a high-density thermo-bonded cotton, wool, and polyester core. And, it features a Bamboo rayon and polyester outer cover that is water resistant, removable, and washable.  

Specs 

Standard Version

  • Measures: 52.50 x 27.50 x 5.50 inches
  • Weighs: 7.5 pounds

Supreme Version

  • Measures: 52.50 x 27.50 x 5 inches
  • Weighs: 11.57 pounds

Closing Comments

Choosing the right crib mattress for you and your baby is ultimately up to you, Mom-and-Dad to be. Think Differently About Kids produced this list of the Top 5 Best Crib Mattresses to help you make an informed decision.

Let’s recap what we’re looking for in a crib mattress.

Like all things baby, you need to feel secure that your purchase meets safety standards and guidelines.

Maybe you’re trending toward organic or eco-friendly. Whichever you prefer, you want a crib mattress that will offer your little one a breathable sleep surface with low-to-no chemical emissions.

For infants, look for ultra-firm mattresses. For toddlers, softer support is okay. You could also choose a two stage mattress that can transition as baby grows.

Waterproofing is extremely important but you’ll need to make the call on whether that comes from the mattress itself or from a mattress cover.

Finally, make sure it fits correctly in your crib to ensure that baby will have sweet dreams in a safe space.

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