Last Updated: March 2017
A high-quality crib mattress is designed to provide a safe, inviting sleeping environment for a newborn baby. Babies sleep up to 16 hours every day, so it is essential to provide an ideal place set up in the right way to promote quality sleep to help them grow and develop over the coming months. If you are looking for the best crib mattress in 2017 then continue reading our report below.
There are quite a few crib mattress brands to choose from when looking at selecting the right one. Our crib mattress reviews will help you identify the best crib mattresses to keep your child safe and comfortable while they sleep. We will look at the materials used in the mattress products and any certifications the products carry confirming that they were made using the safest materials.
What you need to know
Crib mattresses now benefit from standards for sizing, thickness, and materials to ensure conformity. The product is thoroughly tested and once certified bear either the CertiPUR-US logo indicating they are free of various toxins or the GreenGuard logo indicating that the materials have a low chemical emission standard.
Parents don’t need to be confused about the right size for their crib mattress because sizing has been standardized. It is important to ensure that there is no gap greater than 1.5-inches between the baby mattress and any side of the crib.
There is a good range of foam, innerspring, and organic building materials with parents able to choose which one is right for their child’s mattress. Each type has its pros and cons which this guide aims to outline clearly.
Some parents dislike using foam or innerspring baby mattresses because of the foam used which they’re concerned may contain harmful chemicals despite assurances otherwise by the CertiPUR-US and GreenGuard standards. Organic baby mattress ends that discussion because it uses no chemicals in its production. Organic is quite a bit more expensive, though.
Avoid buying older mattresses made before standards were established. These have been found to be dangerous in some cases with wider gaps between the mattress and the side of the crib than is safe. The cost saving is simply not worth risking your child’s health and safety.
Best Crib Mattresses in 2016 & 2017
*5 Star Rating: this is based on the percentage of consumers who rate the mattress 10/10.
The best crib mattress isn’t necessarily the one that comes with the highest rating on a website or in a parenting magazine. In many cases, the top rated crib mattress reflects the biases of the reviewer. For caring parents, their first consideration needs to be what material is acceptable on a baby mattress? Once this decision has been made, it helps to narrow down which products are still in the mix and eligible for purchase.
Foam is the least expensive option for parents. Foam materials provide firm support and are made to high standards ensuring the chemical emissions are at a safe level.
Innerspring baby mattresses provide great support from a bed of coiled springs. These types of mattress often use some foam in their construction, but considerably less than with all foam crib mattresses. These types of mattresses are more expensive than the foam ones.
The organic crib mattresses use a variety of materials, but all avoid chemicals and other unnatural products to qualify as organic. For parents with deep enough pockets and who wish to rule out any possible issue with foam emissions, this is their only choice. Making this decision comes at a financial cost, though.
Our 3 Best Crib Mattress Recommendations
Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress
The Sealy Mattress is one best suited to providing an ultra-firm feel which helps the product’s durability over several years of planned use. The soybean foam passed strict testing including the GreenGuard Gold certification for healthy home environments for babies. The whole mattress is certified for low chemical emissions to maintain a healthy air quality.
The mattress is made up of multiple layers that all play their part in creating a quality product. The top two layers are waterproofed via the pearl embossed cover, toughened corners, and edges that are lock-stitched to prevent bursting open. The cover resists stains and is easy to wipe down to keep it hygienic for repeated use. A simple baby wipe or a gentle cloth with a non-fragmented soap is all that’s needed to wipe the cover down successfully.
The soybean oil used within this mattress come from American farmers. The foam is enhanced by the soybean oil, the first of its kind in America, which means that less crude oil is required to create hypoallergenic foam. Soybeans are a renewable resource, unlike oil, which also makes this product eco-friendlier too. The high-density foam is CertiPUR-US certified which should allay any concerns about the safety of this soybean-based product. The improved density when using soybean oil also helps maintain the foam’s firmness and durability over years of use.
The design of the Sealy Mattress includes cut square corners which assist the mattress fit nicely inside modern cribs. The bed size measures 51.63 x 27.25 x 5 inches. As the young baby grows and reaches toddler size, the same mattress may be used as a toddler bed mattress too for ages 0-4 years. The mattress is also lighter than some others on the market which make clean up or changing the sheets a quicker task.
This product has won the Women’s Choice Award with Sealy marked as America’s Best Brand for Baby products every year from 2013 to 2016. It is no wonder that Sealy has over 60 inspection areas to review the finished product thoroughly before it is approved.
The product arrives in frustration-free packaging for busy parents to unwrap more quickly. The workmanship and materials also come with a lifetime warranty.
My First Mattress Premium Memory Foam Crib Mattress
The My First Mattress is an extra firm foam mattress made of a high-density material that provides a reassuring sleeping surface without any worrying indentations that could cause a concern to parents. The polyurethane form is fully certified as CertiPUR-US confirming that it is safe from harmful chemicals and metals, whilst also exceeding federal regulations about foam flammability too.
The elastic memory foam adjusts to the shape of the baby lying on it. However, due to the firmness of the material, the amount of indentation from the foam is extremely limited due to its rapid reformation to its original shape. The product is lead and phthalates free, mite-proof, hypoallergenic and anti-microbial to avoid any buildup of bacteria from prolonged use. The extra attention to the avoidance of bacterial problems in the product help to prevent a baby having an allergic reaction.
The size of the mattress is 51-5/8 x 27-1/4 x 5 inches. The mattress is also designed with square corners ensuring that it will fit well into any modern crib while not leaving much free space along the sides or at the corners for the baby mattress to move around.
Memory foam is often an easier surface for infants to sleep on, just as long as it doesn’t create deep impressions which would be unsafe. The My First Mattress product uses extremely firm memory foam to avoid this issue while still providing a pleasing level of comfort for infants and toddlers.
The luxurious polyester velour cover is water-resistant (minor wetness will be fine, but a major spill will leak through the cover). It is a simple matter to wipe down any little spills with a baby wipe or soap and water to clean up quickly.
The My First Mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty. The product is made in China.
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress
The Safety Mattress is a thermo-bonded, high-density fiber core foam product that is ideal for both babies and growing toddlers too.
The mattress is certified for GreenGuard Gold confirming that it has low chemical emissions, free of phthalates and lead, and is safe for a baby to use. The 16 CFR 1633 federal flammability standard is also adhered to with the use of the fiber core with this product.
The density of the foam is such that it doesn’t leave an indentation or collapse in places during prolonged months of use.
A vinyl cover protects the entirety of the mattress and is hypoallergenic. The cover is also waterproof and only requires a baby wipe or soap water to clean off any spills.
The mattress fits well inside regulation size cribs and will also work with toddler beds too. The size of the mattress is 52.5 x 27.5 x 5.5 inches.
Average crib sheets fitThe Safety Mattress without any difficulty. The mattress can be rotated or flipped successfully to even out its use of time and extend durability.
Table of contents
- What is a Crib Mattress?
- What makes Crib Mattresses different?
- Things to Consider
- Best Crib Mattress Brands
- Crib Mattress Reviews
What is a Crib Mattress?
A crib mattress fits neatly inside the crib to provide a comfortable padded surface for your baby to sleep on. The idea behind this type of mattress is that it should feel like a cozy, warm environment for the infant or toddler to enable the little one to sleep two-thirds of the day as uninterrupted as possible.
What makes Crib Mattresses different?
Crib mattresses are made to a certain specification to ensure that it will be safe for babies to lie on. Infants need to be able to roll around naturally on the surface – sometimes ending up face down – and not have their airway obstructed preventing their unobstructed breathing.
A firmer mattress also helps a baby adjust their position more easily. Mattresses made of materials that depress heavily with an indentation during use and don’t recover their form quickly – something typical of some types of slow response memory foam – are unsuitable for crib mattresses.
Baby mattresses have a greater level of federal standards protecting what products hit the market. For parents, this provides the reassurance when kitting out their nursery with a crib and a mattress that what they’re planning is right and safe for their baby.
Things to consider
When searching for suitable crib mattresses for a baby, looking out for one that offers the right level of support and comfort. Safety is also a key consideration when buying a mattress for a nursery. The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is very real and the better crib mattresses do a lot to avoid this risk factor.
Mattress and Crib Size
The size used to be a varied thing with crib mattresses, but due to the need to ensure mattresses fit neatly inside a crib without gaps around the sides, size now come under regulation by the US government for both cribs and crib mattresses to ensure uniformity.
The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) state that the dimensions of the baby mattress are related to the size of the crib. Interior cribs are measured as 28 ± 5⁄8 inches in width by 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches in length. Crib mattresses must be at least 27 1/4 inches in width x 51 1/4 in length to meet the new standards. Older cribs not matching these interior dimensions were likely made before the regulations came into effect and pose a risk to health.
The gap between the mattress and the edge of crib is not allowed to be greater than 1.25-inches on any side. Sometimes wrong advice is given that no more than two fingers can fit inside the gap, but this is technically incorrect advice. Mattresses also cannot have a depth greater than 6-inches when lying flat.
It may also be possible to hear about a baby crib mattress and one for an older toddler. Actually, the mattresses type is the same whether it is used in a crib or a toddler bed. The exact same dimensions and compliance rules apply. However, some manufacturers now offer dual firmness mattresses with a greater firmness for infants on one side and a less firm one for toddlers on the other side.
The recommendation from the CPSC is to use a flat and firm surface with a baby mattress to avoid the risk of SIDS. Surfaces too soft may develop depressions which make it more difficult to breathe and bring on a fatal SIDS event.
For foam mattresses, a CertiPUR-US® certified mattresses ensures that the polyurethane foam meets high standards for durability, content, and emissions. Independent testing is carried out on mattresses to enable their certification.
A GreenGuard certification is used to certify chemical emission levels for products even in the home. Organic mattresses use a Global Standard (GOTS) certification
There is also a requirement for all crib mattresses to comply with both the 16 CFR 1632 and 16 CFR 1633 federal flammability regulations.
Types of Crib Mattress
Three types of crib and toddler mattresses make up the market: Foam, Innerspring, and Organic.
Foam come in as the lightest choice being made from polyurethane which isn’t a heavy material. The foam option is still popular because it is the least expensive option with many brands. Mattresses of this type have a depth of 3-6 inches and tend to be lighter than the alternatives which makes them easier to lift up for clean around and underneath. The majority of baby foam mattresses weigh no more than 11 pounds. Changing sheets is also easy to do with a foam mattress.
Safety Tip: Look for firmer mattresses that have little give when pushing a thumb into them to reduce the risk of SIDS or from suffocation.
Innerspring crib mattresses are popular with parents, but are more expensive than the foam versions. These types of mattresses are designed with coil springs, padding, foam, and a fabric cover. The coil springs inside innerspring mattress are safe to use with babies due to their spring back performance without mattress depressions, and they also deliver orthopedic support where needed too. These types of mattresses are also an easier choice for new parents who already own this type of mattress on their bed and wish to stick with what they know.
The level of support and comfort is derived from the number of coils inside the mattress and their thickness. A typical coil number ranges from 50 to over 200. More coils often mean a higher price point for the baby mattress. Wire thickness also plays a role in the firmness of the sleeping experience with a lower gauge meaning thicker wires and greater stability. A gauge of over 15 with 150 or greater number of coils is a good yard stick.
Organic crib mattresses are the most expensive option. The reason for this is because the materials are considered healthier due to not using chemicals or other additives that parents worry could be breathed in by their baby. Any baby diagnosed as having allergies will benefit from using an organic mattress, with one caveat that latex materials sometimes included in organic crib mattresses can cause some infants to have an allergic reaction.
Organic mattress use a variety of materials considered either simply organic or all natural. The most common is cotton, but coconut husk fibers, wool, plant-based foam, food-grade polymers, and natural latex are all possible fillers for mattresses under the broad organic category.
Best Crib Mattress Brands
Sealy, now part of Tempur+Sealy, is the largest bedding group in the United States. They have a number of prominent brands including Sealy, TempurPedic, Posturepedic, Optimum, and Stearns & Foster. Along with their Soybean Foam Core mattress, they also have Innerspring and Gel Memory Form series mattresses. With over 140 years of trade in mattresses, the full range of Tempur+Sealy mattresses is extensive.
My First Mattress
My First Mattress makes a good selection of baby and toddler mattresses for babies. Some have plain microfiber surfaces, others have quilted tops for added comfort, and the premium models use advance foam made in China. The company also makes cute pink memory foam nap mats with a raised pillow shape at one end for older babies.
Safety 1st began life in 1984 with its distinctive bright yellow Safety First sign that was seen the rear window of many vehicles. The company has since expanded into a multitude of product categories where safety is a primary concern. The product range now includes baby grooming kits, strollers, baby monitors, high chairs, protective gates, crib mattresses, and much more.
Milliard Bedding makes mattresses, mattress toppers, protective covers, a toddler & baby range, and even memory foam dog beds. The company produces a baby crib and toddler mattress, a crib mattress topper using memory foam, and a hypoallergenic toddler and next stage mattress for growing babies.
Colgate (no relation to Colgate Palmolive) was founded in 1955 and is still run by dependents of the founding Wolkin family. The company now has a five Colgate Kids collections (Classic Collection, Eco, Posh, EverTrue, and buybuy BABY) which use either foam or innerspring as their basis. Depending on the type of baby mattress, it may have one or more of the following qualities: Organic, Dual Firmness, Hypoallergenic, Waterproof or Antimicrobial. In most cases, their mattresses include several of these features in a single product.
Dream On Me
The award winning DOM family is behind the Dream On Me brand. They have been making baby products since the late 1980s and remain family owned and operated. The company still makes their mattresses and bedding products in the USA. There are also cribs, strollers, gears, and bedding in their wide assortment of products.
Graco begin in 1942 and is now a Newell Rubbermaid company. The TurboBooster SafeSeat is one of their most well-known products, but they also have high strollers, car seats, baby monitors, and mattresses.
Kolcraft was founded 70 years ago and has been making baby products ever since. The 1950s saw Kolcraft move into crib mattress manufacturing and the company today is still the largest producer in the United States. Kolcraft have their PolyFoam crib mattress, therapeutic, pediatric, and patterned Kolcraft Baby Dri Crib & Toddler bed mattress.
Moonlight Slumber aim to offer premium baby sleeping products to suit parents and their baby. Many of their mattresses come in standard crib, twin and full sizes, rather than crib size alone. The Starlight Dream model is their best-seller and has recently been improved. Moonlight Slumber also offer organic products like their Little Star mattress which is made from organic cotton.
Simmons Bedding Company begin life in 1870 and has been involved with mattresses ever since. The company originated the king and queen size mattress in the 1950s and in 2008 came up with the hybrid mattress concept which merges a coil spring with memory foam for a new type of product. Their Beautyrest range offers some of the top crib mattress in the market.
Crib Mattress Reviews
Milliard Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress Review
The Milliard Mattress is a good mattress with the standard 52″ x 27.5″ x 5.5″ measurement to fit newer cribs perfectly. The mattress corners are squared, rather than square, which does leave a tiny gap at each corner of the crib which is a minor issue.
This is a blended firm foam mattress that also includes some spring back when lying and moving around on it. The vinyl cover is waterproof and still allows the mattress to breathe with space to vent air and heat on the bottom and sides of the mattress.
The product is CertiPUR-US certified confirming that it is safe to use in the home because it doesn’t use any unsafe materials. The foam used is anti-microbial, hypoallergenic, resists mold, bacteria and dust mites, and is a good bed for babies with allergies or even early asthma.
The Milliard Mattress fits a standard crib fitted sheet for easy changes and washing.
Colgate Eco Classica III Crib Mattress Review
The Colgate Mattress is a modern product for the latest American standard size cribs. The bedding solution for babies is especially firm for proper orthopedic support of their little bodies, plus it has memory foam to provide a gentler sleeping experience.
The foam used is more ecofriendly than others because it uses plant-based oils rather than crude oil-based ones. The mattress is certified CertiPUR-US and also GreenGuard certified to confirm there no harmful materials were used in the foam and that the emission levels are acceptably low.
The mattress weighs only 8.5 pounds, so it is not too difficult to lift it up or turn it over when flipping the mattress or changing the sheets. The organic cotton cover resists tears, non-allergenic, and waterproof. Cleaning the cover is as easy as wiping it down carefully with a wet wipe or soapy water.
Dream On Me Spring Crib Mattress Review
The Dream Mattress uses 80 interwoven coils to provide a base structure and sleeping support for infants and toddlers. There are two hypoallergenic layers included to provide added comfort and avoid creating irritations, allergic reactions, and asthma issues. A 6-gauge steel wire is used around the mattress’ perimeter to lend the product some rigidity.
The lock stitched binding is antibacterial to avoid a buildup of mildew, mold and unwanted odors. The binding is also waterproof too. Independent testing for federal flammability (16 CFR 1632 /1633) saw this product pass with flying colors.
The dimensions of this mattress are 52″ X 27″ X 6” and it should fit in any standard modern crib.
For some people, the only downside to this mattress is that it is noisier than other products that only use foam or a natural material.
The product is made in the USA and has a 10-year limited warranty on defects and materials used.
Graco Premium Foam Crib Mattress Review
The Graco Mattress is a foam mattress that arrives compressed and takes 48 hours to decompress back to its original shape and size.
The foam used is high-density, yet breathable for a firm surface. The mattress measures 52 x 27.6 x 5 inches and fits into any modern crib. There is an inner fabric lining which is water resistant for small spills only.
Federal flammability standards relating to foam have been adhered to. The product is also free of lead and phthalates too. To avoid allergies and other issues, the mattress is also anti-microbial and anti-static.
The product is large enough and comfy enough that some people buy this mattress for their large dog to sleep on even when they don’t have small babies in the home.
Kolcraft Pure Sleep Therapeutic 150 Crib Mattress Review
The Kolcraft Mattress uses a five-layer structure to provide different types of benefits.
The top layer is a waterproof laminated cover that protects the layers below from spills or accidents which could damage them. The second layer is a lock stitched binding that’s also waterproof and helps keep the cover free from leaks. The third layer uses a treated hypoallergenic foam to provide support while sleeping.
The fourth layer is a 150 steel coil innerspring system to provide consistent cushioning. The innerspring system uses heavy gauge heat-tempered steel that bounces back quickly to deliver a truly responsive sleeping experience. Finally, an air pocket at the bottom helps air and any odors dissipate to keep the mattress fresh over years of use.
The mattress measures 51.625 x 27.25 x 5 inches and fits into any modern crib. Certified for the GreenGuard Gold standard ensuring low emissions and a safe home environment for babies and toddlers.
The product is made in the USA and covered by a 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship.
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress Review
The Moonlight Slumber Mattress is made using medical-grade foam which is firm to the touch providing excellent support for the little one. The sleeping surface is dual-sided with one side extra firm for infants and the other side firm for toddlers. Meanwhile, a top to bottom switch is possible to extend the wear time. The antimicrobial protection keeps this mattress clean and, just a baby wipe or sponge are needed to wipe it down when necessary. The side stitched seems is also a nice touch.
The company specializes in baby products specifically which is appealing. Their foam is certified with the CertiPUR-US certification confirming that it is free from phthalates, lead, PVC, vinyl and other toxins. GreenGuard Gold certification also confirms that the level of off-gassing is at a low, safe level. There is also a natural internal fire barrier built into a foam layer increasing the safety level.
The soft nylon cover is long-lasting and waterproof to prevent small spills leaking through to the cover underneath.
The product is made in the USA.
Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers Crib Mattress Review
The Simmons Kids Mattress is an ideal mattress for parents who either are already planning for the progression from baby to toddler or who have both an infant and a toddler in the home already. One side of the mattress is extra firm for infants and the other side is a little less firm which is more suited to toddlers.
There are 231 pocketed coil springs inside the mattress with strengthened Innofoam corner protectors delivering a responsive, supportive sleeping bed for either day or night. A woven fabric cover made of natural cotton that is non toxic and exceeds federal fire standards helps protect the mattress from spills and stains over time. While not waterproof, the cover is certainly water resistant.
The product comes with certifications for both CertiPUR-US and GreenGuard Gold which ensure there are no toxins present and the air quality is good after installing the mattress in the crib.
The mattress measures 52 x 27.5 x under 6 inches and weighs 26 pounds. Made in the USA with a limited lifetime warranty.
Q: How do I know if the baby mattress will fit the crib we already have?
A: For newer cribs that conform to the established US standard size for baby cribs, modern mattresses are designed to fit correctly leaving only a minimal 1.5-inch gap between the edge of the mattress and the crib on each side. Older cribs likely won’t fit the mattress properly and under this circumstance, the crib needs to be replaced for the safety of the infant.
Q: Is it possible to get a memory foam crib mattress?
A: A few manufacturers make a memory foam mattress for infants. However, the mattress needs to be extremely firm to prevent any indentation problem which could cause suffocation. As such, only buy memory foam baby mattresses that have been certified as safe.
Q: Does CertiPUR-US or GreenGuard matter or is it just more red tape?
A: Yes, they do matter. The CertiPUR-US certification program tests the safety of mattresses for emissions from the foam used inside the mattress to ensure it is at a safe level. The testing program also looks at metals and other undesirable components to verify that the mattress is free of these. The GreenGuard certification program looks at harmful air emissions in products to certify that they are safe to use in the home environment.
Q: Are mattresses with springs better than all foam ones for babies?
A: Many parents feel more comfortable with the idea of a spring mattress when they already use an innerspring type in their master bedroom. For other parents, foam or organic infant mattresses make for good options too.
Q: How long will a good crib mattress last?
A: Many crib mattresses last multiple years and some are even sold with 10-year limited warranties.
Q: Do I need to buy crib mattress sheets?
A: A set of sheets is a good idea to keep the mattress cleaner as food accidents or spills do happen.
Q: Is it easy to clean crib mattresses?
A: Most mattresses comes with their own easy to clean cover that repels water and other spills reasonably well. Not all are completely waterproof, which is why using a crib mattress sheet is also a good idea.
Related Consumer Guides
If you are interested in reading more about shopping for a mattress, please be sure to check out our other consumer guides which I have highlighted below.
- Our guide to the best Air Mattresses available
- Suffer from back pain? Read our guide to the best mattresses for back pain
- Do you have a baby? Make sure they sleep in comfort with our best crib mattress guide
- Find out how Latex mattresses compare to others
- Find out how Memory Foam Mattress compare to others
- Find out how Pillow Top Mattress compare to others
- Be sure to protect your new mattress with the best mattress protectors
- Are you a side sleeper? Read our guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers
- Find out how Spring Mattresses compare to others
- Get some extra comfort out of your mattress with our guide to the best mattress toppers
- Find out which mattress is the best with our mattress reviews