Buying Guide to Crib Mattresses


Considering that babies can spend up to three-quarters of their time sleeping, it's important that your crib mattress is cozy and safe when you put your child down for a snooze. Take a few minutes to review this guide and choose a mattress that will help everyone in the house get a good night's sleep.

Crib Mattresses

Why a crib mattress?

In order to support baby's growing bones and provide a safe sleeping environment, today's crib mattresses are constructed to be firm. For this reason, it is important to only use a crib mattress for your infant. Test the firmness of a mattress by pressing the sides, middle and corners, which should spring back immediately.

How can you tell if a mattress fits correctly in the crib?

A mattress should fit snugly in the crib. If you are able to easily slide two adult fingers in between the mattress and the side of the crib, the mattress is too small for that particular crib. Excess room around the mattress allows for the chance of baby becoming trapped and injured between the mattress and the slats of the crib.

Can you continue to use the crib mattress when your baby becomes a toddler?

Yes, you can use the crib mattress in a toddler bed once your child reaches the appropriate age. If you want the option of offering your toddler a softer bed, consider purchasing a dual firmness mattress, which has a firm side for infants and a less firm side for children one year of age and older. Always remember to review and abide by manufacturer's user's manual and instructions.

What is an organic mattress?

An organic mattress refers to the fact that the mattress materials are produced using certified organic materials.

Types of Crib Mattresses

When it comes to the construction of your crib mattress, there are two types from which to choose:

*Foam mattresses are comprised of foam that is usually made from polyurethane, and they are the most lightweight option. When choosing from this type of mattress, check for firmness by pressing on the mattress, which should spring back readily.

*Innerspring mattresses feature a spring unit in the interior of the mattress that consists of steel coiled springs of varying quantities and thicknesses which tend to make this mattress type more durable. Generally, the thicker the steel and the more springs used, the higher the quality of the mattress. Those beds that possess a border rod of steel that runs along the edges of the mattress also tend to be superior, as the rod keeps the edges of the mattress from sagging with use.

What should you look for in a mattress cover?

The composition of the mattress cover can impact how long the mattress will last. Also known as ticking, the cover should be waterproof or at the very least water resistant. Waterproofing on the surface of the mattress keeps stains and liquids at bay. Choose quilted vinyl or double- or triple-laminated ticking that is reinforced with nylon. Such material is also resistant to tears and holes, and some covers resist bacterial growth on the cover. Organic mattresses generally have cotton covers that are water resistant.

Why do some mattresses have what appear to be vents and others do not?

Manufacturer opinions vary as to whether vents in mattresses are beneficial, which is why you will find both types on the market. Some crib mattresses contain either small eyelet vents or larger round vents on the side of the mattress to increase air flow and keep the mattress fresh. It is thought that the vents allow the mattress to breath, which puts less stress on the seams.

The following accessories will enhance and protect your crib mattress.

*Mattress pads add another barrier between inevitable moisture and soiling and the mattress, and pads make cleanup easier. If baby wets or soils the bed, you simply remove the pad and replace with a new one, rather than having to wipe down the mattress itself. Buying three helps ensure that you always have a clean mattress pad on hand.

*Fitted sheets that are tight-fitting are another important addition to your create comfortable sleeping conditions for baby. Keep three on hand.

*Mattress encasements protect the mattress from soiling.