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Finding the Best Crib Mattresses is a Slog, So We Did the Work For You

Because baby sleep is a very big deal.

Babies sleep. A lot. Getting a great night’s rest isn’t just important for parental sanity — it’s fundamental to healthy infant and toddler development. When you lay your infant down on his or her baby mattress, you want to know they’ll be safe and slumbering for as long and as soundly as they need. That’s where the best crib mattresses come into play. While the best baby mattress won’t guarantee you a delightfully restorative night of shut-eye, it can make bedtime more seamless for you, and more comfortable for your infant. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers concrete guidelines that help parents narrow down their options. First and foremost, your baby should sleep on a flat surface, whether in a crib, bassinet, or play yard. Nothing else should be in the sleep space except for the baby — no blankets, no soft toys, no bumpers. 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.

  • You can choose between innerspring mattresses, or foam mattresses, usually made from polyurethane. With innerspring mattresses, more layers generally equal a better mattress. 

  • If you’re planning to convert your baby’s crib to a toddler bed, as most parents do, opt for  dual-firmness convertible mattresses. The newborn sleeps on the firmer side, while the toddler sleeps on the softer side. 

  • If you opt for an “organic” mattress, you should know that there’s no concrete industry standard governing exactly what that entails. But it should be GREENGUARD-certified, at the very least, because that’s a group that tests products for harmful chemical emissions.

  • Air out a mattress for at least 48 hours before sleeping on it.

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 CPSC’s safety standards.

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The CPSC recommends that a mattress used in a full-size 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 meet the criteria above because let’s all be honest: Shopping for crib mattresses, while important, is hardly the most scintillating thing parents want to do. 

This stellar foam baby mattress is made without vinyl/PVC, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), polyurethane foam and flame retardants. The surface is made of breathable organic cotton. This crib mattress has a stain-resistant and waterproof surface. And it's been certified according to the GREENGUARD GOLD program for minimal chemical exposure and uses organic cotton as its filling. It's two-sided, so can be used for both babies and toddlers. It measures 27 1/4 x 51 5/8 x 6 inches.

This GREENGUARD GOLD-certified mattress is fully washable, which is something parents of babies can appreciate because, well, babies. The Newton crib mattress measures 28 x 52 x 5.5 inches and is designed to fit all standard size cribs. It's made without foam, latex, or adhesives, and is two-sided for babies and toddlers.

This GREENGUARD GOLD-certified mattress is waterproof and odor-resistant. It’s also certified to be free of toxic flame-retardant chemicals. The hypoallergenic cover can be easily cleaned with a damp sponge. 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.

This foam mattress, like others on this list, is GREENGUARD GOLD-certified and is made without toxic fire retardants. It's dual-sided and has a fiber core that offers extra firmness for babies, as well as an additional layer of foam on the toddler side for more comfort. It measures 27.5 x 52 x 6 inches and has a woven waterproof cover.

An ultra-lightweight mattress, this one has the aforementioned two-stage design (firmer on one side), and layers of organic cotton to add firmness. It's GREENGOLD-certified, and is made with certified organic cotton fabric and filling. You just spot clean as necessary with a solution of cold water and mild soap.

You truly can't beat the price on this GREENGUARD GOLD-certified foam mattress. It has a waterproof, washable outer cover and it measures 27.6 x 52 x 5 inches. The mattress is made of polyurethane foam,

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 GREENGUARD GOld- and CertiPUR-US certified to be filled with safe, high quality foam. The mattress measures 27.5 x 51.7 x 6 inches and it's double-sided, so there's a firmer side for babies and a softer side for toddlers.

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