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Best Crib Mattress Pads
Updated on
January 4, 2024

Best Crib Mattress Pads

By Babylist Team
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Best Crib Mattress Pads.
Protect your crib mattress from whatever's coming its way with one these pads.Best Crib Mattress Pads

For the next several years, your life is going to get a whole lot messier. All kinds of fluids from your baby will end up in places you never imagined, and at some point it will all make contact with their mattress.

After spending so much time choosing a crib mattress (not to mention the money!), you definitely don’t want it to get ruined. Mattress pads—especially waterproof ones—protect the crib mattress so you can use it through toddlerhood and for subsequent children too. Even if you bought a waterproof mattress for the crib, a pad is a safe way to make your baby’s bed cushy and comfortable without using pillows, bumpers and blankets (keeping these out of baby’s crib can help decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths).

There are three types of mattress pads:

  • Fitted ones that wrap around the entire mattress like a fitted sheet.
  • Pads that lie flat and have elastic corner straps to hold onto the mattress.
  • Smaller pads that cover only a portion of the mattress.

All mattress pads are meant to be used with a fitted sheet over them. The lie-flat pads can sometimes shift under the sheet when you change them. And fitted mattress pads offer a snug fit all the way around for coverage that won’t come loose. But they aren’t as easy to pull off during middle-of-the-night changes as the other types of pads.

You can also pick from regular or waterproof versions. Whichever type of mattress pad you choose, you’ll want to add two of them to your baby registry or purchase extras on your own. (Having a backup one to use in the middle of the night is a must.)

Take a look at the ones we like most.

Organic Option

There’s no need to worry about bringing any plastic-smelling products into the nursery with this fitted pad. It’s certified to be free of emissions, toxins and formaldehyde. A bottom polyurethane layer creates a waterproof barrier and is topped with absorbent, organic cotton muslin and soft, organic cotton flannel. It comes in a traditional rectangular shape as well as an oval design for cribs and bassinets. Keep in mind, this is the priciest mattress pad on our list.

Best Bargain

Vinyl keeps leaks from making their way to the mattress, while quilted polyester provides a layer of comfort and eliminates any crinkly sounds when your baby moves around. We love the low, stock-up price—in fact, get a two-pack. Be sure to wash on a gentle cycle. High heat settings can melt and warp the vinyl or cause it to easily rip.

Breathable Protection

This mattress pad not only helps protect your crib mattress from messes with its waterproof backing, but it turns any standard-size mattress into a breathable one. It maximizes airflow between baby and the mattress, which keeps baby cool and dry while sleeping.

Super-Soft Bamboo

Made from breathable bamboo fabric, the Swaddlez mattress protector is silky soft and great at wicking away wetness. It has a waterproof bottom layer and is machine washable. Like most waterproof mattress pads, though, you’ll need to use the gentle cycle and low heat when washing this. They also make a version for playards and mini cribs.

Spot Coverage

Only measuring 27 inches by 36 inches, these protector pads aren’t meant to cover the entire crib mattress. But they act like a shield against nighttime accidents wherever you place them. They’re also perfect for travel—pack a couple to put on hotel cribs or for overnights with friends and family. Since the Gerber pads only cover a section of the mattress, they are best used for young babies who don’t move around much or for on-the-go needs.

Choosing What’s Right For You

Mattress pads help you create a safe and comfortable crib for your little one. Even better? They make cleaning the crib so much easier, which you will come to greatly appreciate after a 2 a.m. poopsplosion or when everyone in the house comes down with the flu. Be sure you get at least two so you’ll always have a backup close at hand.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.