As every parent knows: If baby doesn’t sleep well, nobody sleeps well. Getting a great night’s rest is important for infant and toddler health and development. And that’s why you need a great crib mattress.
Sleep is no joke, and not a topic to be taken lightly. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep happens to be the primary brain activity during early childhood development. Infants need time to develop their sleep-wake cycles, which will be well established by six months. By age two, most kids spend more asleep than awake. Overall children will spend 40 percent of their childhood sleeping.
Just from those stats, you can see why a crib mattress is a vital investment. With so many on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are the safest and most comfortable crib mattresses. Fortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers guidelines that help parents narrow down their options. Your baby should sleep on a flat surface, whether in a crib, bassinet, or play yard, per the AAP. Nothing else should be in the sleep space except for the baby. In addition to fitting snugly within the crib, a mattress should be firm. In other words, it shouldn’t indent when baby rests on it.
Bedside sleepers that meet CPSC safety standards may be an option for some parents, but the AAP points out that in fact, there are no published studies that have examined the safety of these products.
The AAP also cautions against being swayed by crib mattress manufacturers that claim their products can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as there’s no evidence that this is true. Instead, the AAP recommends using mattresses that meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards.
The CPSC recommends that a mattress used in a full-sized crib be at least 27 1/4 inches by 51 1/4 inches, to prevent the possibility of head entrapment and suffocation between the mattress and crib sides, and the mattress should not be thicker than six inches.
We found the best crib mattresses that not only offer baby a good night’s sleep and provide parents with peace of mind, but will also last long enough that your child can easily use it both as an infant, and during his or her transition to a toddler bed.
Made in the U.S. with medical-grade fabric, this mattress is waterproof and odor-resistant. It’s also certified to be free of toxic flame-retardant chemicals and has minimal impact on indoor air due to low volatile organic compounds (VOC). The hypoallergenic cover can be easily cleaned with a damp sponge.
Pros: The Little Dreamer’s dual surface serves as a two-stage sleep system, meaning you can use the extra firm layer for your infant and, then, as baby grows into a toddler, flip it so he or she can enjoy the softer, more plush side. This mattress measures 27.5 x 5 x 52 inches.
Cons: The mattress is a bit of an investment.
Beautyrest has been a trusted name in mattresses for over a century. This crib mattress gets high marks as it features a natural fire protection wrap as well as a waterproof barrier thanks to its superior woven fabric.
Pros: Baby will sleep easy as 231 luxury pocketed coil springs provide an even, firm, and supportive surface. You can flip this mattress and let your toddler enjoy the other side, which includes an extra layer of foam for added cushioning. This mattress measures 52 x 27.5 x 6. It’s six inches thick.
Cons: Several parents noted that the seams ripped over time.
Free of toxins and harmful chemicals, this 5” mattress won’t flatten out over time thanks to its uniquely designed foam, which was created to mimic the womb.
Pros: Parents appreciate the affordable price point. Plus, Milliard foam is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria and dust mites, making it ideal for allergy and asthma sufferers. This mattress measures 27.5 x 52 x 5 and is five inches thick.
Cons: Parents complain that this mattress isn’t waterproof.
Colgate, a family-owned and operated business, has expertly engineered this dual-firmness crib mattress and packed it with six inches of eco-friendlier foam made with sustainable plant oils. It’s CertiPUR-US certified to be safe, high quality foam.
Pros: Parents say this mattress holds up well over time and shows no signs of wear even as baby grows. The mattress measures 51.7 x 27.5 x 6 inches. It’s six inches thick, as required by law.
Cons: Some consumers received mattresses with “sloppy stitching.” Others found it almost “too firm.”
This mattress is made with innovative breathe-through technology which allows air to flow freely.
Pros: Parents of older babies who roll over and prefer sleeping face down say this mattress has provided them with peace of mind because of its breathability, which many have tested out for themselves. It doesn’t wear or indent over time either, they note. The Newton crib mattress measures 52″ x 28″ x 5.5” and is designed to fit all standard size cribs.
Cons: This mattress is pricey and some say it arrived with a chemical smell that wore off after being aired out.
This crib mattress is lightweight yet ultra-durable. It features a soybean foam-core that uses a percentage of natural and renewable soybeans grown by American farmers, which offers firmness for infants and and softness for toddlers
Pros: This mattress is easy to clean because of its waterproof and stain-resistant cover. Its lock-stitched binding helps to keep liquids from seeping inside at the same time household allergens like dust and dander can be wiped away instead of sticking to the mattress surface. (Anyone who’s ever had a cat climb into a crib can appreciate this!) Parents say it holds up well after years of use. The mattress measures 51.63 x 27.25 x 5.25 inches and fits both USA standard size cribs and toddler beds
Cons: Because it’s made of foam, it can make baby warm while sleeping.
This crib mattress is made without PBDE fire retardants, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, phthalates and other potentially harmful materials.
Pros: This two-in-one mattress grows with your child, so to speak. The mattress features a firm, soy-enhanced foam core serious support. It has a dual-sided design that offers infants firmness, while the toddler side is more plush and comfy. The mattress features a naturally blended woven cotton cover that has waterproof backing. The mattress measures 52 x 27.5 x 6 inches.
Cons: Parents say the mattress has a strange smell, albeit not a chemical one.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.