Updated: May 30
Although it may not always feel like it, babies typically sleep 16-18 hours a day for the first years of their life. Because they will be spending MOST of their day sleeping...how they sleep, where they sleep, and what they sleep on are all very important things to consider and make sure you are making informed decisions about.
When it Comes to your Baby, Safety is #1
While most new parents are aware of keeping their babies' sleep environment safe by what they can see, they may be completely missing the hidden dangers that could be lurking under the sheets in the crib mattress itself. Let’s go over the most important features to look for when choosing a crib mattress and why these brands got our top spots!
How Do I Choose My Favorites?
I choose products based on the overall VALUE it offers. This is a combination of the features it offers for the best price and always includes safety, functionality, and ease of use. This does not always mean the product is the least expensive one in the category, but affordability is definitely a plus in getting my Experts Top Choice.
Must-Have Features to Look for in a Crib Mattress
What really matters?
Non-Toxic/Chemical Free Did you know that MOST crib mattresses on the market are made with toxic flame retardants and other unhealthy chemicals? These toxins will actually off-gas from the mattress and will be breathed in by your baby. Since babies spend so much of their life on the mattress, this feature is clearly number one on our list. In fact, it is one of the few products that we insist on making a toxin-free choice.
Breathability for Air-Flow Mattresses that “breathe” or allow air to flow through them, will keep your baby cooler and help to prevent overheating which can increase their risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The breathability feature helps to keep your baby cooler and their temperature more regulated for safer sleep, while also keeping them more comfortable so they stay sleeping. That’s important!
Water-Resistant Because babies are unpredictably messy - water resistance is a must. Not only will it save you time, but it will eventually save you money and protect your baby’s health. Mattresses that are not water-resistant are not able to be kept clean as the liquid gets into the mattress. This can grow mold and bacteria you can’t see but can be a health hazard for the baby.
Expert's Choice - Best Overall Value Crib Mattress
"Next level" features that will keep your baby safe and comfortable for years to come.
The Bundle of Dreams Celsius Crib Mattress got our Expert's Choice TOP SPOT with all of our must-have features and so much more!
Zero Harmful Emissions, Zero VOC's, Zero Off-Gassing, No Foam, No chemical flame retardants
Bundle Fiber with Memory Technology provides lasting comfort with no off-gassing of toxic chemicals.
The Celsius also has reversible water repellent, machine washable cover that gives you the option to switch sides between Organic Cotton or Celsius Cool.
100% Breathable; air easily flows through the entire mattress keeping your baby comfortable while they rest.
2" firm, full perimeter edge support will keep baby safe as they begin to stand
The entire sleep surface is Water Repellent
2-Stage: Extra Firm Infant Support and more supportive plush side for toddlers
Hypoallergenic & Recyclable
Greenguard Gold Certified
The cooling Celsius fabric is made with Tencel and Glacier cooling yarns and reinforced with GlacierChill, a water-based cooling application (prop 65 compliant) to keep your little one cooler and more comfortable (and safer!) while they sleep. The Celsius literally has it all and then some, plus it comes with a Lifetime Warranty which says it all in our book!
Heavy-duty 150 coil innerspring
A toxin-free mattress made with 150 coil heavy-duty innerspring for long-lasting support and durability.
100% organic cotton fabric and filling. No Flame Retardants, PVCs or PU Foam
150 COIL HEAVY DUTY INNERSPRING: For long-lasting support and durability
Food grade PE surface is non-toxic and can be wiped clean with just water & soap
2-stage dual firmness will grow with your child
With no toxins and a fully waterproof surface, the Naturepedic Classic 2-stage is a great choice, as it includes almost all of our most recommended features. While the mattress is made from 100% organic materials, the polyethylene coating that is used to make the mattress waterproof is not breathable and does not allow any air to pass through, which does not have the added benefit of helping to prevent overheating while your baby sleeps. Definitely not a deal-breaker and better than most on the market, but not enough to win our top spot.
Hybrid 2-in-1 Crib Mattress
Dual sided crib mattress without harmful chemicals.
Ultra Soft Cotton Blend Cover with Waterproof Backing
Chemical-Free Rayon Cloth Flammability Barrier
GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US Safety and Performance Standards Certified
Infant Side Features Extra Firm Eco Foam Made with Plant Oils and Coated with KulKote Gel for Optimal Temperature Regulation and Comfort
Toddler Side Features Durable and Supportive Microcoils For Increased Breathability, Pressure Relief, And Posture Support
The Colgate Hybrid 2-in-1 Crib Mattress made our list as it has many great features we look for in a crib mattress. It is hypoallergenic, odorless, and certified safe for no harmful emissions. Check. It is a dual-firmness mattress with a firmer infant side and a softer, more comfortable toddler side for lasting use. Check. The infant side uses a cooling technology called KulKote for optimal temperature regulation of the mattress. Check. Here is where the mattress comes up a bit short...The Colgate Hybrid 2-in-1 has a waterproof mattress cover that will protect the top of your mattress, however, it does not completely cover the entire mattress and the mattress itself is not waterproof or even water-resistant. Given the right circumstances (and they inevitably happen!) liquids could potentially enter on the sides of the mattress.
Lightweight Crib Mattress
Lightweight (only 8lbs) and practical design that makes that middle-of-the-night sheet changes a breeze
2-stage flippable dual firmness, with reinforced edges and food-grade waterproofing.
“Breathable” cover on the surface of the mattress provides safety and temperature regulation
Under the breathable layer is a fully functioning waterproof crib mattress that can be used while the breathable layer is in the wash.
GREENGUARD Certified, Eco-friendly non-toxic design.
LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY
The 3D airflow fabric of the Lullaby Earth Breeze mattress cover maximizes airflow between your baby and the mattress to reduce heat and sweating. It Is made with no harmful chemicals or off-gassing, which is a must-have in our book. The dual-sided design keeps your infant safe and your toddler comfortable. At only 8lbs, we love the lightweight and practical design that makes that middle-of-the-night sheet changes a breeze (no pun intended!). While the mattress is waterproof and you can sleep your baby directly on it without the breathable cover, the mattress itself is not breathable which can cause overheating. There is no cooling material in this mattress to overcome this design deficiency.
Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress
Dual-sided mattress is also waterproof made out of their patented Wovenaire core.
Breathable with innovative Breathe-Thru technology
Long-lasting, 2-stage mattress that transitions from infancy to toddlerhood
Greenguard Gold Certified for low VOCs and harmful emissions
Waterproof with patented Wolvenaire Core with 2-stage cover
In terms of crib mattresses, we found Newton’s Crib Mattress to be a worthy contender. With their patented Breathe-Thru technology and hypoallergenic properties, there were many features we did like. Newton’s breathable mattress produces a temperature regulating product. The mattress is GREENGUARD GOLD CERTIFIED for lowest emissions, lowest for VOCs, contains no foam, latex, springs, glue, or allergens and it is 100% recyclable. All a big plus. This dual-sided mattress is also waterproof made out of their patented Wovenaire core and also a dual-sided cover with a waterproof toddler side. While the core is washable (one of the only mattresses we have seen with this feature), we do question the practicality of this design, especially for the higher price. While having the ability to rinse the mattress in the shower is definitely a plus if your baby happens to “go” through it, it doesn’t really sound like much fun in the middle of the night. Oh, and where does the baby sleep while you are waiting for it to dry? Just saying...
Additional Features To Keep In Mind
Investing in a dual-sided crib mattress will help you keep your infant safe with a side that has a nice, firm surface, while also making your toddler happy with a side that is softer and more comfortable. This option makes the transition from infant to toddler bedding as easy as flipping your baby’s mattress. Since we LOVE the value of products that last, a dual-sided crib mattress is a must.
The longer the warranty, the better. Especially when it comes to higher-priced products that you are expecting to use for years to come. Not only does it protect you against manufacturer defects and wasted money, but it also SPEAKS VOLUMES about the confidence a manufacturer has in their own product!
If I invest in a high-quality crib mattress, how long should it last?
When you purchase a crib mattress made from premium materials, you can confidently expect it to last from three to four years, reducing the need to buy multiple mattresses as they grow into their toddler years. Not only could a good mattress support your baby until they need a regular bed, but it can also even be repurposed for a second child. This is just another reason we only buy the most functional, value-packed baby products.
How do I know a mattress will fit my crib?
Crib mattresses are made to fit a standard crib. To make certain you are buying a mattress that will fit your crib, I highly suggest verifying that the mattress in question is of a standard size. The majority of crib mattresses will have this information on their packing information or even on their website should you be shopping online.
When should I flip my mattress to transition my baby?
The soft, more cushy side of the crib mattress is designed to provide your baby with a more comfortable sleep environment as they grow. If you are unsure of whether you should flip your mattress, it is generally recommended that you wait until they reach 12 months.
The Right Crib Mattress Spells Happiness for Mom and Baby
If there is one thing we as parents can agree on, its the dire need for sleep within that first year. With the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes, we are already losing hours each night with a new baby. By choosing one of our ‘Expert’s Choice’ selections, you keep baby comfortable and happy, while increasing the amount of sleep you each family member receives.
Written by: Shari Criso MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC
Founder of MyBabyExperts.com and Amazon Live's Baby Expert
For the past 30 years, supporting and caring for new and expectant mothers has been not only my career, but my passion. From providing guidance during those sacred months of pregnancy to delivering over 600 babies, supporting thousands of new moms to breastfeed, and helping them discover and find the best possible baby products - I have done it all! As a mother myself, I understand how challenging new motherhood can be. As an RN, a Certified Nurse Midwife, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant I spend my days supporting and educating moms worldwide. With my Amazon Live Channel, With my social platforms and , and online breastfeeding classes and hundreds of episodes of my WebTV show, My Baby Experts, I am committed to serving mothers in this important stage in life and beyond. Allow me to help you overcome the fear and celebrate the beauty of motherhood.