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Best Crib Mattresses: 8 Options for a Safe and Sound Sleep

Best Crib Mattresses
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Updated March 25, 2024

There are many baby products on the market that you can likely get away without buying, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget. However, a crib mattress is certainly not one of them. In fact, when I was shopping for baby gear when I was expecting, I considered the crib mattress to be one of the most important items since it’s where my baby would spend the majority of her time in those first few years.

I knew I wanted a quality mattress, but I also knew ensuring that it was safe, breathable, and non-toxic was vital for both her health and my anxiety. I wanted to feel rest assured that she wasn’t breathing in potentially harmful chemicals and that she was on a flat and firm surface which was breathable should she roll over onto her belly.

What to consider when buying crib mattresses

There are many important things to consider when shopping for a crib mattress, mainly in the areas of safety, comfort, and durability. Here are some key features to keep an eye out for when shopping for a crib mattress:

Firmness

Unlike when you shop for a mattress for yourself, the level of firmness has nothing to do with comfort but rather safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface to reduce the risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Most infant mattresses are firm—or have one side that’s firm and another that’s softer and meant for the toddler years.

Size

Your infant’s mattress should fit snugly inside the crib so there are no gaps around the edges, per the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While standard crib mattresses typically measure about 28 inches by 52 inches, it's important to double check your crib’s measurements before buying a mattress to ensure a proper fit.

Material

Infant mattresses are made from all sorts of materials, but many companies go out of their way to ensure that they use only the safest, non-toxic materials free from harmful chemicals, such as phthalates, lead, and formaldehyde. Check to make sure that your infant’s mattress is third-party certified, such as GREENGUARD Gold, CertiPUR-US, and MADE SAFE, or Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified, which indicates that it meets the rigorous safety and environmental standards set out by these organizations.

Waterproof cover

Some crib mattresses come with a removable waterproof cover that can seriously come in handy should your baby have an accident or spit up while in bed (which will happen at some point). If your crib mattress does not come with this, you can purchase one separately.

Warranty

Crib mattresses often come with warranties that ensure they can withstand daily use through the years. This can be reassuring if you wind up purchasing an expensive crib mattress.

Price

Last, but certainly not least, price matters when it comes to purchasing a crib mattress. Often, the higher-quality mattresses are more expensive. However, they tend to pay off in the form of durability, safety, and generous warranties.

Our top picks for best crib mattresses:

Best organic crib mattresses: Naturepedic Organic Breathable Mattress

Best organic crib mattresses
Naturepedic Organic Breathable Mattress

Naturepedic Organic Breathable Mattress

Made from organic materials, including organic fabric and filling, this mattress is free from potentially harmful chemicals and toxins, so you can feel rest assured that your baby is safe and comfortable. It has a breathable design thanks to an innovative airflow system that allows for ventilation and a waterproof surface that’s easy to clean in the event of accidents. It’s firm, designed to fit snugly in your baby’s crib, and is GREENGUARD Gold and MADE SAFE certified. This would make a great baby gift for newborns.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 27.25 inches x 51.6 inches x 6 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Price on publish: $359

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for an organic crib that’s free of harmful chemicals and meets rigorous product testing, this is a great (albeit pricey) purchase.

Get it here: Naturepedic Organic Breathable Mattress


Best budget crib mattresses: Serta Perfect Start Crib and Toddler Mattress

Best budget crib mattresses
Serta Perfect Start Crib and Toddler Mattress

Serta Perfect Start Crib and Toddler Mattress

If you’re looking for a crib mattress that won’t break the bank but will check off all the important features, this is a great one to consider. It’s durable, waterproof, and fits securely in your baby’s crib. It’s also GREENGUARD Gold certified, so you can feel rest assured that it meets the strict standards set out by key third-party organizations for low chemical emissions.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 27.5 inches x 52 inches x 6 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: 7 year limited
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $74.99

The bottom line:

This crib mattress has all the important bells and whistles at a fraction of the price of most crib mattresses on the market.

Get it here: Serta Perfect Start Crib and Toddler Mattress


Best breathable crib mattresses: Newton Waterproof Crib Mattress

Best breathable crib mattresses
Newton Waterproof Crib Mattress in Standard / Grey

Newton Waterproof Crib Mattress in Standard / Grey

Parents rave about the security they feel when they know their baby is sleeping on one of Newton’s breathable crib mattresses, which features their innovative Breathe-Thru Technology that lets your baby breathe fully even if they’re face-down. This crib mattress also comes with a washable cover that you can throw in the machine.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 28 inches x 52 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Price on publish: $349.99

The bottom line:

If you want to rule out the chance that your baby could have trouble breathing due to your crib mattress, this is a great one to buy.

Get it here: Newton Waterproof Crib Mattress


Best lightweight crib mattresses: Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

Best lightweight crib mattresses
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

he weight of your mattress is an important consideration, seeing as you’ll need to pick it up and remove it from the crib to change the sheets and/or wash the waterproof cover. That’s where a lightweight crib mattress like this one can come in handy. At just 8.2 pounds, it’s easy to pick up. It is dual-sided—featuring one firmer side for a newborn and a softer side for a toddler—and is both Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 27.5 inches x 52 inches x 5 inches
  • Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $199.99

The bottom line:

At a reasonable price, this crib mattress checks all the boxes and is lightweight to boot so you don’t have to break your back to change the sheets.

Get it here: Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress


Best mini crib mattresses: Juniper Dreams Mini Crib Mattress

Best mini crib mattresses
Juniper Dreams Mini Crib Mattress | 2-Stage Dual Firmness | Infant and Toddler Bed Mattress | Hypoallergenic and Water-Repellent | Greenguard Gold Certified Baby Bed Mattress for Cribs

Juniper Dreams Mini Crib Mattress | 2-Stage Dual Firmness | Infant and Toddler Bed Mattress | Hypoallergenic and Water-Repellent | Greenguard Gold Certified Baby Bed Mattress for Cribs

If you’re using a crib that’s smaller in size than a standard crib, you’ll need a mattress that fits like this one from Juniper Dreams. It checks all the important boxes—it’s made from chemical-free, hypoallergenic materials and is GREENGUARD Gold certified. It is dual sided for the infant and toddler years and comes with a water-resistant cover that’s made from organic cotton.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 38 inches x 24 inches x 5 inches
  • Weight: 7.88 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: No
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $129.99

The bottom line:

This mini mattress meets all of the important qualifications for a safe and durable infant mattress just at a smaller size to accommodate smaller nurseries.

Get it here: Juniper Dreams Mini Crib Mattress


Best cooling crib mattresses: BEDGEAR Air-X Performance Crib and Toddler Mattress

Best cooling crib mattresses
BEDGEAR Air-X Performance Crib and Toddler Mattress

BEDGEAR Air-X Performance Crib and Toddler Mattress

This crib mattress has a Ver-Tex® top cover that wicks away sweat and deters heat to keep your baby cool and comfortable while they sleep. It allows for maximum airflow and is waterproof to protect it from spills or stains. One drawback is that this mattress isn’t organic nor is it GREENGUARD Gold certified, which may be a deal breaker for some parents. It’s also quite heavy.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 52 inches x 28 inches x 6 inches
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $299.99

The bottom line:

Thanks to moisture-wicking and ultra-breathable materials, this crib mattress keeps your baby nice and cool through the night—the drawback is it’s not organic or GREENGUARD Gold certified.

Get it here: BEDGEAR Air-X Performance Crib and Toddler Mattress


Best foam crib mattresses: Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

Best foam crib mattresses
Graco Premium Foam Crib And Toddler Mattress, White

Graco Premium Foam Crib And Toddler Mattress, White

Made from 100% polyester, this GREENGUARD-Gold certified mattress comes with all the important features parents are looking for, including a machine-washable and waterproof cover, plus a core made from CertiPUR-US certified foam that ensures a firm texture. It’s designed to fit a standard full-size crib and is lightweight for easy storage.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 52 inches x 27.6 inches x 5 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: 6 year limited
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $149.99

The bottom line:

This crib mattress from Graco is affordable, has incredible reviews, and comes with all the necessary bells and whistles.

Get it here: Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattre


Best washable crib mattress: Halo DreamWeave Breathable Crib Mattress

Best washable crib mattress
Halo DreamWeave Breathable Crib Mattress

Halo DreamWeave Breathable Crib Mattress

This 100% washable mattress can be rinsed off in the shower and the cover is machine washable. It fits a standard size crib, is made of fully breathable quilted mesh, and it’s GREENGUARD Gold certified. The mattress can even be recycled after it’s no longer in use.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 52 inches x 28 inches x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Sleep trial: No
  • Price on publish: $224.99

The bottom line:

Customers love this HALO mattress that’s breathable, GREENGUARD Gold certified, and 100% washable.

Get it here: Halo DreamWeave Breathable Crib Mattress


Selecting the right size and type

To ensure you’re purchasing a crib mattress that is the correct size, it’s a good idea to take measurements of your actual crib. Opt for a mattress that fits snugly within your baby’s crib and is designed for its dimensions. The type of mattress can vary and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Choose the crib mattress that you’re most comfortable with. (And if you happen to also be shopping for a new mattress for yourself and wondering about the right fit for you, read our mattress size and bed dimensions guide.)

Why a quality crib mattress matters

Since your baby is going to spend a significant amount of time on their crib mattress, it’s important that you select one that’s high quality. This means that it meets safety standards and regulations, is firm and flat, and is durable so that it can withstand the test of time.

What do all these certifications mean?

GREENGUARD Gold certification and CertiPUR-US indicate that a mattress has been third-party tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals that can off-gas from materials used in mattress construction, and that they have met the very strict standards.

According to their website, MADE SAFE certified means a product has been “screened to ensure that over 6,500 Banned/Restricted List substances have been avoided or constrained, thereby eliminating the worst hazards commonly found in products used in our homes and daily routines.”

EWG verification indicates that a product doesn’t contain any ingredients that they deem unacceptable to health and the environment. Their criteria was developed by scientists and toxicologists.

How to maintain and clean crib mattresses

To maintain a clean crib mattress, follow these key steps:

Invest in a waterproof mattress or cover

Ideally, you want to purchase a crib mattress that is waterproof, but if you do not, be sure to purchase a waterproof cover that can help prevent stains and moisture buildup.

Change the sheets regularly

For optimal cleanliness, change your baby’s crib sheets at least once a week if not more in the case of accidents or spit-ups.

Follow manufacturer guidelines

Keep the pamphlet that is provided by your crib mattress manufacturer upon opening your mattress, as this contains specific care instructions and guidelines for cleaning and maintenance.

How I tested and selected the best crib mattresses

I received several samples of crib mattresses to test and try out firsthand. I looked for key features such as firmness, breathability, size, and water resistance. Customer reviews also helped guide my recommendations.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best type of mattress for babies?

The best type of mattress for babies is one that fits in the crib perfectly and does not allow for any gaps. It should also be firm and flat and be made of non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials. If it’s made with a waterproof cover, that’s a major plus, as it makes for easier cleaning and care.

What is the safest kind of crib mattress?

The safest kind of crib mattress is one that is firm, flat, has a snug fit, and meets safety certifications such as those set out by GREENGUARD Gold or CertiPUR-US. These organizations ensure that the mattress meets rigorous standards for safety, quality, and environmental sustainability.

What is the best thickness for a crib mattress?

The most ideal thickness for a crib mattress is between four and six inches.

Is foam or spring mattress better for a baby?

While both are suitable choices, the AAP notes that spring mattresses may be the better option for a baby.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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