What Makes a Crib Mattress Good?
Creating a safe and comfortable space in the crib ensures your baby will get great-quality sleep, which significantly aids their development. Choosing the best crib mattress for your baby’s crib is arguably the most important factor in creating such an environment.
A quality crib mattress should fit the crib perfectly and ideally be breathable, washable, and waterproof. However, above all, a good crib mattress should be firm. The firmness of the mattress is a critical factor in reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and similar sleep-related infant deaths.
An appropriately firm crib mattress is typically made with inner springs or foam.
As the name suggests, innerspring crib mattresses contain metal springs surrounded by foam or polyester layers (need to know how to choose the best crib mattress? Read here). Innerspring mattresses are usually more durable but are also among the most expensive crib mattresses on the market.
Foam mattresses are typically made of dense polyurethane foam or latex. Although a foam mattress costs less than an innerspring mattress, it can give off harmful chemicals unless it’s GREENGUARD Gold certified.
Parents looking for a highly breathable crib mattress should look into the latest “air core” products. These mattresses have a woven mattress core made from food-grade polymer, making them incredibly cool and breathable.
9 Best Crib Mattresses
Here are the 9 best crib mattresses perfect for you for your baby’s crib (if you want the best crib to go with your perfect mattress, check out our guide here).
1. Newton Essential Crib Mattress
Thanks to an impressive set of attributes, the Newton Essential Crib Mattress tops our list of best crib mattresses.
This Newton baby crib mattress boasts the innovative Breathe-Thru Technology, reducing the risk of suffocation. As a result, you can rest assured your baby will stay safe, comfortable, and cool throughout the night.
You also won’t have to worry about allergens, since this Newton crib mattress is hypoallergenic. It’s also GREENGUARD Gold Certified and foam-, glue-, and latex-free. Instead of these materials, this Newton mattress uses the company’s patented Wovenaire Core, made from 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer.
This Newton baby crib mattress is also fully washable, from the core to the removable cover. You can wash the core in the shower or hose it down outside. After that, you can leave it to air dry while avoiding direct sunlight. The soft, quilted, machine-washable cover allows a quick turnaround in case of a major mess.
The Newton baby crib mattress comes in several versions of varying thicknesses. The Essential mattress is four inches thick and features a low-profile core. This mattress is made to last and will provide your baby with the right level of support for several years.
- Allows maximum air circulation
- Washable core and cover
- Not dual-sided
- Not made with organic materials
2. Avocado Organic Crib Mattress
Although there are many organic crib mattresses on the market, the Avocado Organic Crib Mattress stands out as the best among them.
This green mattress combines organic materials with non-toxic and eco-friendly features. The entire mattress is made with GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton and wool and GOLS-certified (Global Organic Latex Standard) latex.
The wool is produced at the company’s farms in the Himalayas, which operate following the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). Unlike synthetic latex, the organic latex used for this mattress isn’t stuffy or hazardous for your baby’s health.
The core contains GOTS-certified coconut husk that contributes to the mattress’ breathability and support. All these elements combined result in a mattress that’s firm enough to enable adequate support for your little one yet gentle enough to provide a soothing experience while your baby sleeps.
What’s more, your child will sleep peacefully for several years since this mattress is dual-sided. One side is designed for infants while the other is the perfect toddler mattress. In addition, both sides are marked with “infant” and “toddler,” respectively, to avoid confusion.
This Avocado crib mattress is GREEENGUARD Gold certified, meaning it’s free from any substances that could harm your baby. In fact, the mattress undergoes a rigorous screening process to ensure no ingredient harmful to humans, animals, or the environment makes it into its core, including chemical flame retardants.
These certifications guarantee that this Avocado mattress meets the strictest ecological and social responsibility standards.
- Made from organic materials
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- Not washable
- On the heavier side
3. Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress
The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress is one of the best convertible options on the market, making it the perfect crib mattress for babies and toddlers. Newborns will rest safely on the density foam side, while a toddler bed will benefit from the mattress’ softer side. This allows parents to avoid buying other crib mattresses as their babies grow up.
The mattress is protected by a flexible medical-grade knit fabric cover that boasts multiple impressive features. This waterproof cover will come in handy after accidents. Plus, it’s antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and odor and stain-resistant.
The mattress’ core is no less impressive. It is non-toxic and free of PVC, lead, antimony, and vinyl. As a result, it won’t irritate your baby’s skin or cause allergic reactions. Instead of potentially harmful substances, this Moonlight Slumber baby crib mattress contains CertiPUR-US-certified foam. It’s also GREENGUARD Gold certified, containing a woven fire barrier instead of fire retardant chemicals.
The company prides itself on using only premium materials and innovative manufacturing processes, which is why it backs all its mattresses with a lifetime warranty against defects.
- Reversible sides
- Waterproof cover
- Firm yet comfortable
- Lifetime warranty
- Not washable
- The waterproof cover can be a bit flimsy
4. Saatva Crib Mattress
The Saatva Crib Mattress was built with the baby’s safety in mind. Its recycled steel center coil unit has been reinforced to keep babies in the center of the crib. This sturdy unit is topped with an extra firm support layer to ensure the baby remains safe even after flipping. The company refers to this side of the mattress as “extra firm.”
This incredibly firm mattress has another distinct side. While the toddler mattress side is softer than the infant side, it’s still rather firm. The supportive sleep surface has been topped with a breathable layer of natural latex to keep the mattress comfortable during restless nights.
This Saatva mattress comes with a removable organic cotton cover that makes accidents and spills a breeze to clean. This results from a safe and eco-friendly treatment that makes this cover water-repellent and washable. This cover is also breathable, keeping up with the theme of a comfortable and cooling sleeping surface.
As for the mattress’ core, it’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it contains no harmful emissions, formaldehyde, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The core is handcrafted using organic wool, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial organic cotton, and a chemical-free flame barrier cover. This combination results in a safer sleeping environment for your child.
At six inches, the Saatva baby’s crib mattress is one of the tallest entries on our best crib mattresses list. It has the maximum allowed height for a crib mattress in the U.S.
- Double-firm support for babies
- Firm support for toddlers
- Washable cover
- Lifetime warranty
- Not washable
5. Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress
The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress is one of the best crib mattresses for parents looking for more high-end options. This model is also the lightest crib mattress that this organic mattress powerhouse offers since it features no traditional springs.
This U.S.-made crib mattress is reversible, doubling as a baby crib and toddler mattress. Naturally, the baby side is much firmer. It also features reinforced edges to ensure the baby doesn’t dip to one side while sleeping. The mattress’ seams are waterproof, preventing liquids from seeping into the sides and keeping bugs and dust mites out.
All the materials used for Naturepedic products are organic, non-toxic, vegan, and GREENGUARD Gold Certified. This model uses certified organic cotton and is free of polyurethane foam, fire-retardant chemicals, and adhesives. All the materials follow federal regulations for flammability and sustainable requirements for farming and chemical emissions.
The Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress includes a removable and machine-washable layer, a non-toxic waterproof layer, and a free mattress protector. This allows you to wipe the mattress clean in case of accidents or spills without worrying about staining.
- Fully organic and non-toxic
- Lifetime warranty
- Can sink over time
6. Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress
Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress is the most affordable entry among our top crib mattresses, making it ideal for parents on a tighter budget.
This crib mattress is designed to fit any standard crib or a toddler bed, making it an excellent choice for babies and toddlers. The core uses a memory foam material that offers the perfect combination of firmness suitable for infants and breathability.
The polyurethane foam used for the core is CertiPUR-US certified. The mattress is also GREENGUARD Gold certified and has been screened for over 10,000 VOCs and chemicals known to pollute indoor air.
The Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress comes with a flexible cover that’s also water-resistant and machine-washable, making it a lifesaver when an accident occurs.
At seven pounds, this mattress is exceptionally lightweight, so you can carry it to the baby’s room or flip it over hassle-free. Keep in mind that this mattress ships compressed and comes in a box, so you’ll have to let it rest at room temperature and expand before using it. This process can take up to 72 hours but guarantees the optimal performance of this mattress. After that, this durable mattress will serve you for years to come.
- Machine-washable protective cover
- Needs to expand before use
7. Emily Organic Crib Mattress
The Emily Organic Crib Mattress is one of the most popular crib mattresses on the market, and for a good reason.
This green mattress is made with a layer of breathable, GOLS-certified coconut coir, creating a supportive, firm, and pressure-relieving sleeping pad. The coconut fibers are bound together using organic latex.
The Emily Organic Crib Mattress has a breathable crib cover made with organic cotton and wool. This material combo acts as a natural flame retardant, thus protecting the baby from hazardous off-gassing in polyurethane foams and chemical flame retardants. This cover also promotes air circulation, keeping the baby cool and comfortable all night.
The mattress core is made using hypoallergenic latex. The brand behind this eco-friendly mattress uses only organic latex sourced from the rubber tree. This latex is moisture-wicking and resistant to dust mites, mildew, and mold, which could affect your baby’s health. The material is also heat-regulating, preventing your baby from getting too hot or sweaty while sleeping.
The mattress is upholstered on two sides and should be flipped once a month for the first three months to ensure it breaks in evenly. After the first three months, it can be flipped and rotated once per season to prevent body impressions.
- Made with high-quality organic materials
- Supportive and firm
- Fully certified
- Easy to clean
- Not waterproof
- Needs breaking in
8. Halo DreamWeave Crib Mattress
Unlike most crib mattresses, the Halo DreamWeave Crib Mattress is 100% recyclable when your child outgrows it. This will probably happen after approximately four years since this eco-friendly mattress can be used from the newborn into the toddler stage of their development.
The toddler side of this mattress is waterproof, which will come in handy during potty training. Although the infant side isn’t waterproof, the mattress core is 100% washable to prevent germs and eliminate bacteria.
This GREENGUARD Gold-certified crib mattress is named after the core in question – the brand’s signature DreamWeave core. Designed for continuous airflow, this core is fully breathable. It’s also hypoallergenic and free of latex, foam, glue, springs, and flame retardants. This makes it extra gentle on the baby’s delicate skin.
This mattress comes with a machine-washable waterproof cover made from multiple layers of breathable mesh. The unique combination of baby-safe materials used for the core and the cover makes this Halo crib mattress significantly more breathable than traditional crib mattresses.
- 100% recyclable
- 100% washable
- Hypoallergenic and free of toxic materials
- Highly breathable
- Only the toddler side is waterproof
9. Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Breathable Crib Mattress
The Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Breathable Crib Mattress is a highly comfortable crib mattress designed to nurture your little one into a deep sleep while keeping them safe.
This cozy mattress features a polyester foam core covered by a food-grade polyethylene layer. The top layer is highly breathable, allowing excellent 360-degree airflow through the fabric and under the baby. Besides preventing the baby from suffocating, this layer improves temperature regulation and reduces overheating. These mattress features are ideal for families living in hot or humid climates.
While the company emphasizes the mattress’s breathability, it doesn’t sacrifice its hygienic properties. As a result, the mattress is fully encapsulated in a washable cover. This cover can be removed and has a waterproof backing that keeps the mattress clean and protected from spit-up, urine, and other messes.
This crib mattress isn’t made using organic materials but contains no PVC, vinyl, phthalates, antimicrobials, or known allergens. In addition, this non-toxic mattress passes flammability standards without any flame retardants.
This Lullaby Earth crib mattress is dual-sided, with a firmer side for newborns and a softer side for toddlers. Thanks to a patented WaveSupport design, the mattress provides optimal support and creates the ideal surface for safer sleep.
- Waterproof cover
- Highly breathable
- Firm yet comfortable
- Not organic
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Crib Mattress
Since safety and comfort are paramount, the task of purchasing a crib mattress warrants careful consideration. Here are the factors you should consider when researching the best crib mattress options.
Firmness is arguably the most essential consideration when purchasing a crib mattress. Babies inevitably roll over while they’re sleeping. If the mattress is too soft, they might suffocate. For this reason, you should only place your baby on a firm and flat sleeping surface. Of course, you shouldn’t go too overboard, either. The best crib mattresses should still allow your baby to sleep peacefully.
A crib mattress should fit so snugly inside the crib that you struggle with changing the crib sheet. For this reason, you should double-check the mattress size before ordering it. The standard crib size is around 28 by 52 inches, and a full-size crib mattress should match these dimensions. If the mattress is smaller, your baby might sink into the crib’s sides and potentially get stuck.
Of course, portable cribs are smaller, so they won’t fit standard crib mattresses. Generally speaking, mini cribs typically have a 24-by-38-inch crib frame and require mini crib mattresses.
Crib mattresses come in various materials, including cotton, wool, foam, and polyester. In general, there’s no right or wrong choice as long as you consider the material’s construction. The right crib mattress should be free of chemicals and toxins. So, when shopping for a mattress, look for designations like “non-toxic mattress,” “organic wool,” or “hypoallergenic materials.” This way, you’ll ensure the mattress doesn’t irritate your baby or cause allergic reactions.
If your baby runs hot, you should prioritize breathable materials. A breathable mattress will remain cool throughout the night, keeping your baby comfortable at all times.
Besides keeping your baby cool, a breathable mattress plays another crucial role. Namely, it will ensure your baby can still breathe even when flipped on its stomach. The mattress’ breathability depends on its material. So, the best crib mattresses will be made from lightweight and breathable materials, such as latex foam and hyperelastic polymer.
Most crib mattresses fall under two categories: single or dual-sided. A dual-sided crib mattress offers different firmness on each side. One side is firmer, making it safe for babies. The other side is slightly plush, serving as the perfect toddler bed mattress.
Parents-to-be on a budget should consider purchasing dual-side mattresses, as they double as toddler mattresses and can be used for several years.
As first-time parents will quickly learn, diapers aren’t always leak-proof. For this reason, they should look for waterproof crib mattresses or at least mattresses that come with a waterproof cover. These features become all the more important, considering that accidents aren’t the only thing to worry about. Your baby might also spit, drool, or vomit on the mattress.
Whatever happens, waterproof crib mattresses can be easily wiped down. If you go the waterproof mattress cover route, make sure it’s also made from non-toxic and organic materials.
Unfortunately, even some of the best crib mattresses are only partially washable. Those that are fully washable can be hosed down outdoors or cleaned in the shower. However, many mattress covers are machine-washable, so purchasing one for your mattress is highly recommended.
Have Peace of Mind During the Night Shift
With so many choices floating around the web, selecting the best crib mattress for your baby might seem daunting, especially if you’re a first-time parent. However, this vital task becomes significantly more manageable when you know what to pay attention to and how to approach the selection process.
Generally speaking, there’s no wrong choice, provided the mattress is firm enough to support your baby and contains no hazardous materials. Other features boil down to your budget and preferences.
The ultimate goal is to purchase a mattress you trust to keep your baby safe while you or your partner aren’t around.