8 Best Crib Mattresses of 2021
Best Crib Mattresses of 2021
January 5, 2021

Best Crib Mattresses of 2021

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Best Crib Mattresses of 2021.
Crib mattresses are one of the most confusing purchases for your baby. What’s important and what’s not?Best Crib Mattresses of 2021

During the first few months of life, your baby will spend more time asleep than awake—although it won’t always seem that way! Part of getting your little one to sleep soundly is creating a good sleeping environment.

In this article:

What Are the Types of Crib Mattresses?

There are different types of crib mattresses to choose from, but what matters most is getting a quality one. Which type you end up buying is more a matter of personal preference. Here are the options:

Innerspring mattresses: This traditional mattress type has steel coils inside, which makes it resilient and sturdy. Above the coils, innerspring mattresses have layers of different cushioning materials, such as polyester, cotton or foam.

You’ll see innersprings described by their coil count (that’s the number of steel coils in the mattress; the more coils, the more supportive) and steel gauge (the thickness of the coil; the lower numbers are thicker). Some models also have metal border rods that provide stability around the edges.

Innerspring mattresses can be pricey, especially if you’re looking into higher coil count. Reliable brands range from $80 to $300. These mattresses also tend to weigh more (something to consider for when you have to change crib sheets in the night).

Foam mattresses: These are typically made from polyurethane, a foam resin. Foam mattresses can be a great choice because they’re lightweight and durable, and are also usually the least-expensive mattress option.

When choosing a foam crib mattress, you want to make sure it’s resilient. Test this by pressing your hand on the mattress and seeing how long the surface takes to regain its shape (the faster, the better).

Also, look for a mattress that has a higher density, which makes it firmer. You can test this by how heavy it is (denser mattresses are typically heavier) or by squeezing the sides of the mattress (you won’t be able to press that hard on denser models).

Double-sided mattresses: 2 for 1! These mattresses have a firmer infant side and a softer side that is more appropriate for toddlers who still use a crib or convertible toddler bed. Just flip it over to give your tot a softer, more comfortable mattress.

Keep in mind though, these models might be more expensive than some infant crib mattresses. And, you’ll have to remember to place the correct side of the mattress facing up when you’re changing the crib sheets.

How to Choose a Crib Mattress

Crib mattresses are similar to adult mattress, but with a few special considerations. Here’s what to look for in a crib mattress:

  • Firmness: Crib mattresses are firmer than adult ones in order to keep babies safe and to support growing bones while they sleep. Make sure the mattress is rated for infant use.
  • Waterproof: Crib mattresses should have a vinyl or polyethylene surface to make them waterproof and resist mold. If yours is fabric be sure to use a waterproof cover.
  • Fit: The mattress should fit snugly against the frame. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib. If you choose a mini crib or bassinet, the same sizing rules apply.
  • Materials: Some parents prefer mattresses made from natural and organic materials to avoid chemicals used in standard mattress production. (Note: No health effects have been evaluated yet).

Crib Mattress Safety Guidelines

Obviously, your baby’s safety is a top priority. Here are a few safety basics to keep in mind when choosing a crib mattress:

  • Avoid second-hand if possible: Because of the dangers associated with mold and bacteria, it’s best to avoid a used mattress, especially if you don’t know the history of the product. Reusing one from another one of your children? Make sure there aren’t any openings in the waterproof cover where mold could’ve taken root.
  • Keep the crib empty: Although they look lovely, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets shouldn’t be in a baby’s crib. That’s because they can wind up covering your baby’s face and be a suffocation hazard. Keep it to a fitted sheet only.
  • Place baby on their back: The safest sleeping position for your baby is on the back. It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
  • Check before you flip the mattress: If you have a double-sided mattress, check with your pediatrician to see if the time is right to flip it over to the toddler side. Most parents make the switch when their children are about 12 months old.

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How We Chose Our Best Crib Mattresses

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best crib mattresses.

Best Organic Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

Sweet dreams are made of…luxurious organic cotton. This alternative to synthetic fabrics and foams helps parents rest easier, knowing their little one is snoozing on safe materials. And when things get messy (which they will), the food-grade polyethylene waterproof surface creates a stain-resistant, waterproof barrier you can wipe clean. Designed for two stages (with a firm side for infants and a more cushioned side for toddlers), it’s a splurge that’ll last for years.

“Love that it’s completely non-toxic!”

Keep in Mind

You won’t get your arm workout in by changing the sheets on this mattress. It’s much lighter than heavy-duty innerspring mattresses, but delivers the same firmness and durability.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Firm, easy to change sheets, has integrated cover so no need for mattress pad (wipes off…hello less laundry!), like how it’s good quality and minimal chemicals used.” -S.C.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 10 pounds
Weight 27.5” x 52” x 6”

Best Budget Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

You can’t beat the price of the Heavenly Dreams Mattress. The high-density, thermo-bonded fiber core sets your little snoozer up with firm support as they grow. It’s Greenguard Gold certified, meeting standards for low chemical emissions. And the water-resistant vinyl cover stands up to stains, odors and mildew.

Keep in Mind

At just over seven pounds, this also is a great lightweight choice.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 7.39 pounds
Weight 27.5” x 52.5” x 5.5”

Best Breathable Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

For the absolute ultimate in breathability when it comes to crib mattresses, the innovative Newton is the clear winner. Every inch of this mattress is designed with your baby’s health and safety in mind. The Newton’s core is made from 90% free air (yup, you read that right), so your little one can literally breathe right through it. The wraparound fabric that encases the mattress is also completely breathable, and it unzips for easy washing. (There’s also a waterproof version if you’d prefer that.) The mattress is also comfy, temperature-controlled and the cover is made from material that prevents bacterial growth.

Keep in Mind

We also love this mattress for what it doesn’t have in it—no polyurethane foam, no adhesives or glue, and no metal springs. It’s non-toxic, hypoallergenic, recyclable, Greenguard gold certified and verified by a CPSC accredited lab to reduce the risk of suffocation and CO2 rebreathing. You’ll pay for all of this, however; it’s one of the pricier crib mattresses out there.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Such a cool mattress! Not only is it perfectly firm for a newborn but it is made in such an innovative way that I wonder how no one else came up with this sooner! Love the mattress and think its a must-buy for any new parent. Worth the money!” -Seema

Additional Specs
Dimensions 28” x 52” x 5.5”
Weight 11 lbs

Best Mini Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

A mini crib is a great option if you’re tight on space or simply want a crib with a smaller footprint. This one is perfectly sized for a mini crib, yet still offers many of the same benefits as a full-size crib mattress would. It’s double-sided (firmer, high-density foam for the infant side and plusher foam for toddlers) and made in the US from premium materials. It’s also Greengaurd Gold certified and made from performance fabric that’s waterproof, hypoallergenic, and odor and stain resistant.

Keep in Mind

Looking for a breathable organic mattress option for your mini crib? Check out the Naturepedic Organic Breathable Mini Crib Mattress.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 24” x 38” x 5”

Best Mattress in a Box

Why We Love It

The Casper of baby mattresses, this Graco mattress in a box is just as fun to watch expand as its full-size counterparts and is quickly climbing the list of best crib mattresses for its many great features. This premium foam mattress is lightweight and easy to carry, making it a convenient choice if you’ll be lugging it up stairs or storing it before baby arrives (before you expand it, of course). It features a water-resistant, removable cover, mid-range firmness and is designed to fit any standard full-size crib. Note that Graco recommends unrolling the mattress within two weeks of purchase to allow for proper expansion in a room temperature setting.

Keep in Mind

One thing we don’t love: the outer cover is hand-wash only, not machine-washable.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 27.6” x 52” x 5”
Weight 7 lbs

Best Eco-Friendly Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

Looking for a greener mattress option? The core of Bundle of Dreams mattresses are made from something called “bundle fiber,” which is a safer, healthier alternative to foam. This protects your little one from harmful toxic emissions, and also won’t cause any off-gassing. (That’s the chemical smell that happens when you open a mattress made with foam.) We also appreciate the organic cotton sleep surface and ample support.

Keep in Mind

This mattress is Greenguard Gold certified, recyclable and completely hypoallergenic.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 28” x 52” x 5”
Weight 10 lbs

Best Two-Stage Crib Mattress

Why We Love It

Babies need a super-firm mattress for sleep safety. But toddlers are more focused on their comfort (and asking you no fewer than 100 questions to put off bedtime). This 2-stage non-toxic mattress is made from high-density infant foam on one side and softer, plusher foam on the other that’s better suited for toddlers. (There are arrows on the mattress so you know which side is which, don’t worry!) It’s packed with other great features like a waterproof and antimicrobial top and an Airflow cover that enhances air circulation during the newborn months, and it weighs only ten pounds, making it a lot lighter than many other dual-sided mattresses on the market.

Keep in Mind

The toddler side of this mattress features a layer of OxyFlo CoolGel memory foam—a great feature if your little one tends to get sweaty while they sleep.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 27.25” x 52” x 5”
Weight 10 lbs

Best Lightweight Mattress

Why We Love It

Changing sheets on your own bed is no fun, and we’re sorry to report that changing your little one’s crib sheets may be worse. That’s because you have to lift the entire mattress out of the crib each time—which is why lots of parents opt for a lightweight mattress option. This one weighs only seven pounds but doesn’t sacrifice comfort or quality. The WaveSupport core provides extra support for babies, and the mattress is waterproof with a wipe-clean surface and made from recyclable and food-safe materials.

Keep in Mind

This mattress scores well on chemical safety tests. It meets all flammability regulations and is free of anything you may not want in your baby’s crib mattress like vinyl, PVC, phthalates, PFCs and known allergens. It’s not, however, organic, so keep that in mind.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 27.5” x 52” x 6”
Weight 7 lbs

Other Crib Mattresses on Our Radar

You might also want to check out crib mattresses by these brands that are on our radar:

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