Best Baby Crib Mattresses | Baby Care

What Should I Know About The Baby Crib Mattress?

Your little baby will spend more than 15 hours sleeping on his bed – especially during the first few months.

That’s said…

Along with lots of love and a well-balanced diet, other crucial necessities that your growing baby needs are a good, deep and relaxed sleep.

If all of these imperatives come together in the crib mattress you want to purchase, you can be sure of its quality. 

In this article we will cover:

  • The size, price, and common types of crib mattresses
  • Foam vs. spring baby mattresses
  • The recommended firmness of the crib mattress
  • Lots more…

Let’s dive in and find out all the details… Stay tuned!

You can read our full review of the Top 8 Crib Mattress of 2021 here!

The Different Types of Baby Mattresses

Baby mattresses are made of very different materials classified into two categories: mattresses made of synthetic materials and mattresses made of natural materials.  

The crib mattress in synthetic materials:

Synthetic baby crib mattresses are the most common and affordable. 

Most of the time, they are made from quality synthetic foam or latex. 

The advantage of these materials is that they are warm, comfortable, and relatively light. 

Latex and foam mattresses have also generally undergone a non-harmful antibacterial and anti-dust mite treatment.  

The crib mattress in natural materials: 

A crib mattress made from natural material is often more expensive than a foam or synthetic latex mattress. 

Among the most popular natural materials, we find:  

  • Natural latex: combines the qualities of synthetic and natural materials.  
  • Cotton: offers an optimal comfort and is very insulating.  
  • Wool: which has thermoregulatory and insulating properties.  
  • Coconut fiber and bamboo fiber: two hypoallergenic, breathable, anti-dust mite and soft materials.  

Mattresses made of natural materials are generally more advantageous regarding their hypoallergenic and anti-mite aspect, but they are generally more expensive. 

It’s up to you whether you want to opt for this option because your baby’s mattress will have to be replaced by a children’s mattress around 2 years old.  

Here is the Best Breathable Crib Mattress

The dual-sided crib mattress:

If you want an even better mattress for your baby’s comfort, you can opt for one with two sides. 

The first side may have a cotton cover or ticking and foam filling to ensure good rigidity, softness, and warmth. 

The second side can be in another material, such as natural latex, for more flexibility, with a cover in bamboo or coconut fibers for thermoregulation and absorption. 

This type of mattress has a higher purchase price, but it is very popular with many parents.  

Here is the Best Two-sided Crib Mattress 

How Should a Crib Mattress Cost? 

After looking in the market and seeing the different options available, you may be asking yourself: How much should you pay on a crib mattress? 

A rule of thumb: Always look for a mattress with high-quality features! 

Cheaper foam and spring mattresses have thin vinyl liners, and the edges can break or dry out over time. 

As prices go up, the liners are thicker, puncture-resistant, with two or three layers of excellent quality cotton. 

A higher quality, better cushioning spring mattress will be heavier, as will a higher quality, denser foam mattress.

Anyway, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or try many mattresses to find one of the necessary quality. 

Baby mattresses that go from about $100 to $250 are worth perfectly!

You can find many cheaper or higher options than this range, yet each provides different values. 

How Much Should a Crib Mattress Cost? 

baby boy on his crib

After looking in the market and seeing the different options available, you may be asking yourself: How much should you pay on a crib mattress? 

A rule of thumb: Always look for a mattress with high-quality features! 

Cheaper foam and spring mattresses have thin vinyl liners, and the edges can break or dry out over time. 

As prices go up, the liners are thicker, puncture-resistant, with two or three layers of excellent quality cotton. 

A higher quality, better cushioning spring mattress will be heavier, as will a higher quality, denser foam mattress.

Anyway, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or try many mattresses to find one of the necessary quality. 

Baby mattresses that go from about $100 to $250 are worth perfectly!

You can find many cheaper or higher options than this range, yet each provides different values.

How Often Should I Replace the Crib Mattress?

  • Look for any sagging in the mattress: 

Indeed not only this state makes the mattress uncomfortable for the baby, it also risks choking if it ever gets stuck there. 

  • Look for dips or bumps:

Besides sagging, the presence of dips or bumps is a sign that the bedding needs to be replaced.

  • Look for any signs of skin irritation:

Another sign is the appearance of signs of allergies on the skin of the child. 

Baby girl doing silly face

This is because the mattress has not been cleaned regularly or if it has been cleaned but not correctly. 

Indeed, dust and mites easily accumulate there. 

At some point, it is too late for intensive washing; the only solution to adopt in this kind of case is to replace the mattress.

Noting that the crib mattresses usually fit the toddler bed as well. You can keep it until your kid is around 5 years old.

Do All Crib Mattresses Fit All Cribs?

Blue baby room

A mattress intended for a crib must be adapted to its size. 

Generally speaking, a full size crib mattress measures 33 x 72 cm (27 ¼ inches x 51 ⅝ inches); this is its standard size. 

For the dimensions, also pay attention that the thickness is sufficient but not too great. 

Needless to say,

..an ill-fitting cradle mattress is also dangerous because it is inefficient to use.

Opting for a mattress smaller than the standard can lead to increasingly frequent cases of occasional entrapment as well as suffocation.

This happens when the baby inadvertently gets an arm or leg caught between the mattress and the curtain frame.

On the other hand, using a mattress slightly larger than the cradle makes it difficult or impractical to change the sheets frequently.

A well-fitting or comfortable mattress should NOT leave more than two fingers gap with the crib’s frame!

Here is the Best Mattress That Fits All Full-sized Cribs

Are Spring or Foam Mattresses Better For Babies?

  • The best foam mattresses are firm and sturdy: 

Put some pressure on the center and edges of the mattress; it should return to its shape quickly and should not conform to the shape of your hand. 

Note: you don’t want your child to rest on something that can be molded into the shape of the head.

  • Foam density:

To evaluate the density of the foam (the denser, the better), we will compare the weight of the different models. 

baby wearing a teddy outfit

It is not always easy to find this information in stores, but you can search the manufacturer’s official website. 

Make a density test by placing the mattress’ center between your hands and press to bring the palms together.

A dense mattress will not allow the hands to get too close together.

Spring Crib Mattress:

In spring mattresses, the number of layers, the layers’ material, and the quality of the cover increase the level of comfort and the price.

A higher comfort level means a higher price…

  • Layers of internal springs: 

The more layers and the better the quality of these layers are, the better the mattress is. 

Weight increases when the springs are made of higher gauge steel and provide more cushioning.

  • Edge rods:

Don’t buy a spring mattress that lacks the edges that go around the top and bottom perimeter. 

They provide additional firmness, durability, solid lateral support, and firmness on the edges or edges of the mattress. 

Most importantly…

…this ensures that the baby mattress does NOT sag when the child stands up or walks on the edge of the mattress. 

cute baby boy

High-quality spring mattresses do not have the rod but have unique high-resistance stitching (but it is not usual and is found in some brands).

  • The number of springs:

The number of springs is used commercially to measure the firmness of a mattress of this type. 

The cheapest mattresses can have about 80, while the most expensive models can reach 280. 

  • The insulating pad:

There is a layer that goes over the springs that isolate them from the surface. 

It is also something to consider; the higher the quality of this layer, the less the springs feel. 

And some, although they insulate well, they lose capacity with time. 

Higher-quality layers contain coconut fiber and lower-quality polyester, going through the pressed fabric and other materials.

  • Padding layer:

The next layer above the springs is the cushioning layer made of foam, cotton, or polyester. 

Foam and cotton are a sign of quality and raise the price

Polyester is less expensive and becoming more widespread because mattress components have been on the rise. 

It is not ideal due to its tendency to form ‘bags’.

How Firm Should a Crib Mattress Be?

Baby Hands - while sleeping

Firm crib mattresses determine a safe sleep, but you must consider that your baby is growing too.  

Thickness and density are often confused, but they are two completely independent things. 

The ideal firmness of a baby mattress is between 8 and 10 cm, and thickness is between 10 and 12 cm

A mattress that is too thin would be uncomfortable, and a thickness greater than 12 cm does not provide additional comfort.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the density of the crib mattress should be firm enough to stay in shape and doesn’t conform to the head shape of the baby. 

Using a firm crib mattress reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A firm mattress is both comfortable and supportive and allows a good development of the child. 

Too firm a density could be detrimental to a baby’s comfort by creating pain. 

In contrast, on a mattress of too soft density, the baby could sag, parts of the body in the chest and abdomen would sink into the mattress, there would be less support, and the spine would be unbalanced… causing suffocation hazard!

How Can I Clean the Crib Mattress?

To choose the best crib mattress, you should also consider its washability

Indeed, a quality mattress must have an easily washable removable cover – make sure to get extra mattress covers just in case!

For maintenance, follow the instructions on the product label of your cradle mattress. 

But before putting it back into your child’s bedroom and bed, make sure it is completely dry.  

Keep in mind, though, 

Mold can grow on mattresses that have not been stored properly.

Bacteria can also appear from fluids that have fallen to the surface from diaper leakage or spit-up and have not been properly cleaned.

Conclusion

You now have all the information you need to know which crib mattress to choose. 

Whether its material is synthetic (foam or latex) or natural (cotton, bamboo), the important thing is that it is comfortable, breathable, absorbent, and does not encourage the installation of bacteria and mites. 

Avoid getting a used crib mattress…

..having a new crib mattress helps your little one to get a better sleep.

In addition, it must fit in  the size of the crib, be easily washable, and comply with all safety standards in force.

Hope you enjoyed our article, and don’t forget to check out the definitive review of the Best Crib Mattresses of 2021

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