Choosing the Best Crib Mattress for Safety

Authors: Heidi Holvoet, PhD & By guest writer Chanda Mulenga

Finding the right crib mattress for your baby is much like finding the right mattress for any other bed in your home, except the consequences are far more serious if you choose unwisely.

Crib Safety and Best Crib Mattress Reviews

If you select the wrong mattress for your own bed you could suffer some uncomfortable nights, but if you choose the wrong mattress for a newborn baby you will suffer many nights of complete sleeplessness and the safety of your baby could be at risk.

This is why most parents take the time to read crib mattress reviews before they make this type of purchase. You select the crib, bassinet or Moses basket with complete care, so why wouldn't you do the same for the mattress that goes in it?

Safety First

The best crib mattress for your home will always be the one that doesn't put your baby's safety at risk. Crib safety starts with purchasing a sturdy crib with four unmoving sides and ensuring it is set up correctly and placed away from windows, blind cords, and other dangers.

Then select your mattress wisely by carefully verifying size , firmness , production quality , anti-bacterial , anti-allergy and non-flammability properties. For each of these I strongly recommend you double-check that no toxic chemicals were used while trying to provide each of these qualities.

1. Measure your crib and then get exact measurements for each mattress you consider buying. Make sure the mattress will fit snugly without gaps around the edges. If you can get even a couple fingers between the crib and the mattress, it is not a safe fit.

2. Make sure the mattress is firm enough for a newborn baby. The well-known Colgate Eco Classica III is an excellent example.

Adults may prefer mattresses that conform around the body, but babies need firm surfaces to support their bodies.

Some mattresses are firm on one side and softer on the other, so they are suitable for newborns and can be flipped for growing toddlers later on.

Air flow in sealy crib mattress

3. If shopping for a crib mattress in a store, look at the seams to make sure they aren't going to split open easily. If shopping online, read mattress reviews to make sure other parents have not experienced split seams.

4. Anti-bacterial coating comes on some mattress surfaces, such as the much-recommended Sealy Baby Firm Rest . This will reduce the collection of bacteria and germs from spit-up, diaper leaks, and other mishaps that are bound to happen.

5. If your baby has known allergies , or there are allergies in your family, remember to add an anti-allergy encasement. This ought to keep out the dust mites, mold, pollen and bed bugs. Consider the Bargoose Allergy Relief Zippered Crib Mattress Encasement if you can get one, or similar.

6. Crib mattresses should be coated to ensure they are not flammable as well. Look for safe, chemical-free coating.

Comfort Second

Anti-allergy mattress casement

Comfortable babies will always sleep better than babies who are uncomfortable.
You don't want a mattress that is so poorly constructed or so cheap that the springs can be felt from the surface. You can now find innerspring mattresses covered with layers of foam as well as crib mattresses with solid memory foam or latex cores.

Foam mattresses can still be just as supportive and firm as innerspring mattresses, but they will add a higher degree of comfort as well. You just have to watch that they are firm enough for a newborn baby sleeping.

Mattress buying tip: higher density memory foam and higher coil counts signify more durable mattresses. Cheaper mattresses tend to be lower in coil count and foam density, which is why you pay less for them!

Price Third

The problem with very cheap mattresses is they include lower density foams and/or fewer coils, which means they will wear down and fall apart much faster. You then have to spend more money replacing them then you would have spent to just purchase a higher quality mattress to begin with!

The crib mattress will almost never be the cheapest one you can find in some local store. It is best to read mattress reviews and determine what the mattresses are.

So, what if you don't have that kind of time to shop around online? You can still find great deals by reading crib mattress reviews to identify the most-suited crib mattress options for your home. You can then do fast price comparisons online to find the best deal.

Keep the tips listed above in the "Safety First" section in mind while you consider and shop for different mattresses. Make sure all of the safety points are covered and then consider the materials inside the mattress to determine how healthy and comfortable they may be for your new baby.

Article Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD - Founder, senior sleep consultant

Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 15+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.

Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books. Also, Baby Sleep Advice was awarded "Most Trusted Infant's Sleep Solutions Company 2023" in the Benelux Enterprise Awards 2023.

Heidi continually conducts personal research and participates in continued education and in that way stays up to date with current scientific and pyschosocial infant care.

Association of Professional Sleep Consultants

She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.

Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.

As well as the award-winning baby sleep programs, Heidi offers popular 1:1 consults and easy-access 30-minute SOS Sleep sessions.