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3 Things That Make a Crib Mattress More Breathable
Updated on
September 11, 2023

3 Things That Make a Crib Mattress More Breathable

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3 Things That Make a Crib Mattress More Breathable

If you’re deep in crib mattress research, you’ve probably noticed all kinds of talk about mattress “breathability.” Sounds great! But “breathable” is one of those baby gear terms that can mean so many different things. So we’ve partnered with Naturepedic—makers of some of the safest crib mattresses around—to break down which features actually count.

What’s a Breathable Crib Mattress?

First, why would it matter that your crib mattress is extra breathable if babies sleep on their backs? Well, newborns snooze anywhere from 14-17 hours each day. Which means they spend a lot of time breathing in the air around their crib or bassinet. Breathable mattresses can allow for more airflow through their mattress—which helps moisture evaporate and heat to dissipate more efficiently—and can impact the quality of the air your baby breathes. Here’s what can make a difference.

What’s Inside Breathable Crib Mattresses?

Similar to grocery store labeling, where claims like “natural” aren’t necessarily regulated, there’s no “breathable” standard for mattresses. Some brands promote mattresses you can stick your face into and breathe through in case baby rolls over, while others have designs that promote more airflow around your baby (Naturepedic’s Organic Breathable Baby Crib & Toddler Mattress does a little bit of both).

But there’s one key element that you might not think to consider when shopping for a breathable crib mattress: is it waterproof? (Not all breathable mattresses are.) It doesn’t matter how lightweight or permeable your mattress is—if moisture gets inside and mold grows, that inherently makes your baby’s sleep space less breathable.

In addition to a machine-washable waterproof cover, Naturepedic’s breathable mattress features seamless waterproof edges that not only help keep moisture out, they also keep dust mites and bed bugs out (because there are no thread holes to slip through).

How to Tell If a Crib Mattress is Breathable

Breathability is about more than just the mattress itself. It can also be about the air your baby breathes when they’re inside their sleep space. One thing you can look for is a certification from a third-party agency that investigate how household goods impact your indoor air quality, such as:

GREENGUARD Gold: You know that new car or furniture smell? It’s caused by chemical emissions that hang out in the air we breathe. Since babies actually breathe more than adults (in comparison to their body weight), a mattress that’s GREENGUARD Gold certified helps to keep their air quality healthier by keeping those emissions—especially the really toxic ones like formaldehyde—as low as possible (Naturepedic’s breathable crib mattress is actually 100% UL formaldehyde-free).

GOTS: Organic cotton is naturally one of the most breathable fabrics. Anything in the baby aisle with a GOTS label must contain at least 70% certified organic fibers—meaning natural fibers that have been grown without using synthetic pesticides, herbicides or GMOs. And if the label also says “organic,” like the fill and the cover on Naturepedic’s breathable mattress, then it has to contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers (along with any GOTS-approved accessories).

Naturepedic’s Organic Breathable Baby Crib & Toddler Mattress is both GREENGUARD Gold certified and GOTS Organic (it’s also MADE SAFE certified, which means it’s been screened for over 6,500 ingredients like flame retardants, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and more).

One thing to keep in mind: just because a mattress is more breathable, doesn’t make it safe for baby to sleep on their tummy. You should still put your little one down on their back without any blankets, pillows or other soft objects in the crib.

How to Find a Breathable Crib Mattress

Shopping for a crib mattress can sometimes feel more complicated than shopping for an adult mattress. If you’ve found your standards have shifted from “Does it fit my budget and can I lie down flat on it?” to “How will the threadcount of the mattress cover impact my baby’s REM cycle?” then a breathable mattress might just give you the extra peace of mind you need to know that baby is getting safe, comfortable sleep.

For more on what to look for in a breathable mattress, Naturepedic has the 411 (they were founded by an Environmental Engineer, so they’re kind of obsessed with this stuff). Or you can try a breathable mattress for yourself for 100 days, risk-free.*

This article is sponsored by Naturepedic. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves

100-day guarantee applies only to mattresses purchased at

Babylist Staff


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