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Sleep is crucial for your newborn (let’s face it: for you, too!). Ensuring your baby’s space is set up with a proper sleep environment is an important part of prepping for your little one to come home — and that includes picking a crib mattress.

When it comes to choosing a mattress for your baby’s crib, we know safety is likely top of mind — and there are lots of options for suitable mattresses. So, we’ve got you covered with some general information about what to consider when choosing a crib mattress and our recommendations for those that stand out above the rest.

Is crib mattresses the same? Not really. There are different types of crib mattress to choose from when trying to decide which one to buy.

Double-sided mattresses

The mattresses are designed for babies and toddlers. When you have a newborn, the side that is softer will be the side that is harder when your child is a toddler.

Many toddlers are fine sleeping on a firm surface, so it may not be necessary to have this done.

Breathable mattresses

While some mattresses advertise that they are made of breathable materials like mesh, this does not mean that you should place your baby face down to sleep in them — babies should always be put to sleep on their backs!

“What is the benefit of these mattresses? If a baby rolls over onto their stomach in the night, mattress companies will say that they provide extra air to regulate the baby’s temperature.”

However, while the materials might make for a breathable surface, there’s no evidence that a breathable mattress is better at reducing your infant’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as the term isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“If the idea of extra air in your baby’s mattress brings you peace of mind, there’s no harm.”

Certified

If you’re concerned about sustainability, chemical emissions, or indoor air quality, mattresses that are certified by Greenguard Gold or CertiPUR-US may catch your attention.

“If your baby’s bed is certified by one of the two organizations, you can be sure that it does not contain any chemicals, emits no emissions, and is good for indoor air quality.”

Another certification to keep an eye out for is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, which requires the textiles used in a product to be made with at least 70% organic fibers. Not only does this help ensure that your mattress won’t have tons of toxic compounds, but the certification helps ensure farmers follow international organic farming practices.

However, you can also rest assured that the manufacture of crib mattresses is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). So any new mattress you purchase in the United States adheres to CPSC guidelines.

You should consider what crib mattress.

  • Quality. Will this mattress stand the test of time? Remember that your little one will (hopefully!) be spending many hours sleeping on it.
  • Price. What does your budget allow? Crib mattresses are small, but they can be rather pricey.
  • Safe size and fit. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you’ll want a firm, if not hard mattress. It shouldn’t indent when the baby is lying on it. You’ll also want a mattress that is an exact fit for your crib frame to prevent injury to your baby. If it’s not firm and doesn’t fit the frame, it’s not a safe choice for your baby or your crib.
  • The cover. Crib mattresses typically come with either a fabric or vinyl cover. Fabric covers are more breathable, but vinyl covers are more resistant to punctures, leaks, and stains.
  • Used vs new. With a used mattress, you run the risk of not knowing about bacteria, mold, and stains. It’s better to buy new.

Safe sleep habits are one of the best ways to lower the risk of SIDS, so it’s imperative to always place your baby to sleep on their back in a crib without bumpers, pillows, blankets, or other soft bedding. Toys and stuffed animals are another no-go for babies in cribs. When in doubt, remember: “Back is best.”

“A crib mattress that fits the crib perfectly is a firm mattress that won’t mold to the baby’s shape or allow them to sink too deeply.”

According to the CPSC, gaps between the edge of the mattress and the crib frame should not be bigger than two fingers, as it can be a safety hazard. In other words, your baby’s bed should not be easy to make!

Lastly, you should always check to make sure a mattress has not been recalled before using it.

We considered quality, price, safety features, and reviews from real parents when choosing a crib mattress. All of the measurements are in inches.

Price guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$199
  • $$$ = $200–$300
  • $$$$ = over $300

Best breathable crib mattress

Newton Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 28 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping: free shipping
  • Trial and returns: 100-night trial with free return

The mattress is made without springs or foam and it is said to increase air flow beneath the baby.

The mattress has a core that is 90 percent air and 10 percent plastic.

“Many parents agree with the company’s claim that the mattress is extra-breathable. Consumers like the fact that the mattress distributes weight evenly.”

The dual-sided mattress is Greenguard Gold certified and will grow with your child. The cover can be washed, but the core can be submerged in water to clean.

Pros

  • The core of the mattress can be cleaned.
  • “It is a two-stage mattress, so you won’t have to buy an additional toddler mattress.”
  • The mattress is Greenguard Gold certified.

Cons

  • There are cheaper options.
  • The pee can pass through the mattress.
  • If you want to be able to use the mattress in the rain, you will have to pay more for a waterproof version.

Best two-stage mattress

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual-Sided Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: must be returned within 30 days in original condition (not used or damaged) for a full refund, if bought through the Moonlight Slumber website

“This mattress is easy to clean, made in the United States, and Greenguard Gold certified, so it’s a great choice for kids with allergies.”

The mattress is made of vinyl and has a firm side for infants and a more plush side for toddlers. This double-sided feature can save you money, and it is a good buy if you account for the low cost. It is also easy to clean.

Pros

  • The mattress is CertiPUR-US certified.
  • “It has a toddler and infant side, so you won’t need to buy another mattress quickly.”
  • It is waterproof and is very easy to live with for little ones with allergies.

Cons

  • The product must be returned undamaged.
  • A number of buyers complained that it caved in after a few months.
  • Some complain that the mattress they received was too small and not enough snug in the crib.

Best organic crib mattress

Naturepedic Organic Cotton Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: can be returned for free for 30 days if bought through the Naturepedic website; otherwise, consumers must follow the return policy of the retailer where the mattress was purchased

This mattress from Naturepedic is two-sided: The outer fabric is a food-grade, waterproof organic cotton that’s GOTS certified. It’s easy to wipe clean. The inner filling is chemical-free, organic cotton.

Parents say this mattress is great for both newborns and toddlers, but early reviews were mixed when it came to the bed’s structural integrity. A few folks mention sagging in the middle or sides with early versions, but the company says it made improvements based on this feedback. Recent reviews don’t mention the sagging.

Pros

  • The mattress is made safe and Greenguard Gold certified.
  • It has a limited warranty.
  • The mattress is double-sided, so it is a bit softer when your baby is a toddler.

Cons

  • This is more expensive than other crib mattresses.
  • The mattress has a waterproof coating on the infant side and metal spring coils on the covered side.

Best mini crib mattress

Dream On Me 2 in 1 Spring Coil Portable Crib Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 38 inches x 24 inches x 3 inches
  • Shipping: free on Amazon and some other sellers
  • Trial and returns: anything purchased from the Dream on Me website isn’t returnable unless it arrives damaged upon delivery; Dream on Me products purchased from other retailers may follow different return policies

If you are looking for a smaller mattress for a mini crib, this one from Dream On Me might be the right one for you. It is Greenguard Gold certified and waterproof, and is designed with lightweight, interwoven coils to prevent sagging.

The mini crib mattress is small and has many of the features of a regular crib mattress, but it comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Worth noting: This mattress is thin, and one parent says it feels more like a changing pad than a mattress. And while it’s small, it’s still important to make sure the mattress is a snug fit within your crib’s frame for safety.

This is not the right size to fit play yards.

Pros

  • This mattress is very affordable.
  • It has a 10-year limited warranty.
  • It is Greenguard Gold certified.

Cons

  • The mattress is very thin.
  • The parents say the sides felt the same.

Best waterproof crib mattress

Lullaby Earth Breeze 2-Stage Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: 30-day money-back guarantee and free returns when purchased through the Lullaby Earth website

Breathable and incredibly waterproof, this two-stage mattress from Lullaby Earth includes several layers of chemical-free material, a seamless wipe-clean surface, and a snug protector-pad with waterproof backing.

Parents say it lives up to its waterproof claims, but that removing the cover for washing was tricky due to a snug fit.

Pros

  • There is a lifetime limited warranty on Mattresses.
  • “As your little one grows, the two-stage design can mean cost savings as you don’t have to worry about a toddler mattress.”
  • It is Greenguard Gold certified.

Cons

  • It is one of the more expensive mattress options.
  • The removal of the cover for washing was difficult for some users.

Best budget-friendly crib mattress

Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.6 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free through Amazon and some other distributors
  • Trial and returns: mattresses can be returned for free within 30 days if purchased through the Graco website; the company doesn’t specify condition requirements

As a brand, Graco has long appealed to parents hoping to stretch their dollars, and this bed’s low price point doesn’t disappoint. This budget-friendly mattress doesn’t skimp where it matters: It’s Greenguard Gold certified and has a machine washable cover. Plus, like many adult mattresses these days, it shows up conveniently at your door, compressed into a cylinder.

On the plus side, the reviews are mostly positive. Parents say it’s lightweight, water-resistant, and firm.

But like most mattresses in a box, there’s a funky off-gassing smell when it’s first opened. The manufacturer (and several parents) suggest giving it at least 2 weeks outside the box at room temperature to properly expand and neutralize — a hassle that could be worth it for the low price.

Pros

  • The price is reasonable.
  • This mattress is CertiPUR-US certified.
  • It has a limited warranty.

Cons

  • The smell of the mattress is when it first opens.
  • You should leave the mattress out to expand for about 2 weeks before you use it.

Best lightweight crib mattress

Nook Air Lightweight Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 53 inches x 28 inches x 4 inches
  • Shipping: additional shipping fees depend on which retailer you purchase it through
  • Trial and returns: 100-night free trial when registered

The mattress is easy to lift and make changing the sheets easy. The mattress is light. It has air channels that help maximize the amount of air that flows through it.

It is CertiPUR-US certified foam and dual-sided.

It is not a perfect mattress. Some people wish it was thicker. The mattress is compressed and rolled for shipping, and families say it has a strong odor that takes a while to go away when it is first unwrapped.

Pros

  • The mattress is easy to lift.
  • It is dual-sided so you can use it longer and your toddler can have a softer bed.
  • The mattress is CertiPUR-US certified.

Cons

  • It is one of the thinner mattress options.
  • It can take a while for the mattress to fluff up after being unrolled, and as with many mattresses that come in a box, it stinks initially.

Best luxury crib mattress

Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 28 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: 100-night trial with free return

The Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress is made from materials that have passed some of the most rigorous tests crib mattresses can go through. This mattress has more certifications than any other.

It’s Climate Neutral, Made Safe, and Greenguard Gold certified, and uses GOTS certified fabric. What’s more, it’s certified formaldehyde-free by Underwriter Laboratories, so you can rest easy knowing that your little one is not inhaling harmful chemicals, and your purchase won’t take a huge environmental toll.

“This mattress is made to order in Los Angeles using products from the company’s farms. If you like what Avocado stands for, but the price tag is outside what you are willing to pay, the company also sells a regular organic crib mattress that is more budget-friendly, but still expensive compared with some of the other options on this list.”

Pros

  • The mattress is dual-sided so it will be softer as your baby gets older.
  • It comes with a trial.
  • The mattress is made safe and has a number of certifications.
  • “It will last well past your child’s infant and toddler phases.”

Cons

  • It is more expensive than any of the other mattresses.
  • The mattress can make it harder to move around, because it weighs more than other options.

Best crib mattress for allergies

Sealy Perfect Rest Crib and Toddler Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 51.7 inches x 27.3 inches x 5.25 inches
  • Shipping: free through Target, Amazon, and many other retailers, but check the policy at the store you’re shopping
  • Trial and returns: no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

“Sealy’s Perfect Rest mattress has a waterproof cover that protects againstbacteria and is easy to wipe down, if you are worried that your child has allergies. The cover keeps urine and dirt out of the mattress.”

“This mattress takes advantage of air cushion instead of foam, which is a bonus for people with concerns about chemicals. Parents who use the mattress say their babies are still well supported, so don’t think that means it won’t be as firm as foam.”

Pros

  • It is budget-friendly.
  • It can help little one transition into toddler phase.
  • The mattress has a lifetime warranty on materials.

Cons

  • “Reviewers said that the packaging on the mattress didn’t always hold up.”
  • It is not as eco-friendly as other options.

Most portable crib mattress

Hiccapop Dual Sided Pack ‘n Play PlayPad

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 38 inches x 26 inches x 3.25 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: free returns within 90 days with no questions asked, when bought from the Hiccapop webpage

A crib mattress that can fit a play yard is useful if you are headed out and about. The mattress by Hiccapop is double-sided, has a cozy cover that zips off for easy cleaning, and weighs 5 pounds.

It should fit almost any standard-sized play yard, even if you double check that it fits inside.

Pros

  • This mattress is budget-friendly.
  • It has memory foam on the toddler side.
  • The cover is easy to clean.

Cons

  • “The size won’t fit in traditional cribs.”
  • Some parents worry that the infant side is not firm enough.

Best eco-friendly crib mattress

Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 51.6 inches x 27.25 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

If you care about the environment, you may appreciate that this mattress uses oil from crops grown in the U.S. The company says that soy are renewable. The materials for this mattress are grown in the United States, which may be a bonus for some buyers.

This mattress is CertiPUR-US certified. It has a waterproof cover that is odor and stain resistant.

“Some feel the toddler side is too firm to be comfortable, and that’s something parents like to see.”

Pros

  • This mattress is made from renewable resources.
  • It is CertiPUR-US certified.
  • The cover is waterproof.

Cons

  • The toddler side might be too firm for your child.
  • Some users complain about how the packaging held up.

Wondering how the mattresses stack up? You can use the chart to compare.

Crib Price Size (in inches) Certifications Trial period
Newton Crib Mattress $$$ 52 x 28 x 5.5 Greenguard Gold certified 100-night trial with free returns
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual-Sided Crib Mattress $$ 52 x 27.5 x 5 Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
must be returned within 30 days in original condition (not used or damaged) for refund if bought through the Moonlight Slumber webpage
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Crib Mattress $$$ 52 x 27.5 x 6 GOTS certified,
Greenguard Gold certified,
Made Safe certified
crib mattresses can be returned for free for 30 days if bought through the Naturepedic website; other sellers’ return policies may vary
Dream on Me 2 in 1 Spring Coil Portable Crib Mattress $ 38 x 24 x 3 Greenguard Gold certified anything purchased from the Dream on Me website isn’t returnable unless it arrives damaged upon delivery; Dream on Me products purchased from other retailers may follow different return policies
Lullaby Earth Breeze 2-Stage Crib Mattress $$$ 52 x 27.5 x 6 Greenguard Gold certified,
Made Safe certified
30-day money-back guarantee and free returns when purchased through the Lullaby Earth website
Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress $ 52 x 27.6 x 5 Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
mattresses can be returned for free within 30 days if purchased through the Graco website
Nook Pebble Air Lightweight Crib Mattress $$ 53 x 28 x 4 Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
100-night free trial if you register; the trial begins on your baby’s birth date, or the date of purchase — whichever is later; returns will incur a return shipping free
Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress $$$$ 52 x 28 x 6 GOTS certified,
Climate Neutral certified,
Greenguard Gold certified,
formaldehyde-free certified,
Made Safe certified
100-night trial with free returns
Sealy Perfect Rest Crib and Toddler Mattress $ 51.7 x 27.3 x 5.25 Greenguard Gold certified buyers who purchase this mattress on Amazon can return it for free, but it must be in unused condition
Hiccapop Dual-Sided Pack ‘n Play PlayPad $ 38 x 26 x 3.25 CertiPUR-US certified customers who purchase directly from Hiccapop can get free returns within 90 days, with no questions asked
Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress $$ 51.6 x 27.25 x 5 Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

What size is a crib mattress?

The CPSC requires a full-sized crib mattress to be 27 1/4 inches wide by 51 1/4 inches long, with a maximum thickness of 6 inches.

The standard is set to protect infants from suffocation, according to the CPSC. Making sure the mattress fits snugly prevents the infant from falling into the gap between the mattress and the crib rails, which could lead to injury or suffocation.

When to lower a crib mattress?

The crib mattress should be lowered before a baby is able to sit up and again prior to a baby being able to pull up, as falls generally occur when babies try to climb out of the crib, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. These milestones will usually happen between 5 or 6 and 8 or 9 months of age, respectively.

If you have a crib structure that only requires a half notch or full notch, you should place it on the lowest setting in order to allow your baby to pull themselves up before they sit up.

When to flip a crib mattress?

Many babies are ready to have their crib mattress flipped. Your baby may be ready earlier or later than this, depending on factors like their weight, growth, and development.

It’s a good idea to check with your pediatrician before flipping your crib mattress, or deciding to add extras, like a pillow. (Generally, kids aren’t ready for pillows until they’re 18 months old, and that’s not to say all children can use pillows at this age.)

Is there a difference between a toddler mattress and a crib mattress?

The toddler mattress has a different firmness than the crib mattress. A toddler mattress is softer than a crib mattress.

If you choose a double-sided crib mattress, your baby can sleep on it through their toddler phase, as it is the same size as a toddler mattress. When your child is ready for a bed, the mattresses can be used in a crib or a more open-framed bed.

“Make sure the mattress you choose fits in your crib, that it has a firm surface, and that you follow other safe sleep practices. A peaceful night’s sleep for the entire household should follow after that.”