Last Updated on January 1, 2023
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A night of good sleep is vital for promoting a child’s health. The best baby mattresses not only help children sleep cozy through the night but also helps promote healthy growth and ensures safety too. Babies and toddlers spend more than half of their first five years of life in a sleep environment of some sort. Generally, newborn babies tend to sleep an average of 16 hours a day, and children aged 3-5 years sleep an average of 11-13 hours. For this reason alone, it’s obvious that their surroundings and bedding should be second to none.
There is an abundance of toddler mattress brands and products available on the market but choosing the right one can be pretty daunting, to say the least. That’s why we have selected and shortlisted the top rated for you. See below for general information and essential buying guide, plus our chosen top 10 reviews and summary of the best crib mattress for babies.
Crib Mattress Reviews
Sealy Soybean Foam-Core
If you haven’t heard of Sealy, their mattresses and pads were voted America’s Best for Baby winning the Women’s Choice Award in 2013 and 2014. This Soybean model is an award-winning addition to their portfolio. Although it’s not double sided like others in the toddler mattress reviews here, it offers a firm yet comfortable sleeping surface for kids by way of a high-density core with added cotton cushioning for balance.
The pearl embossed cover is 100% waterproof and stain-resistant. The hypoallergenic foam core is CertiPUR-US® certified made with soybean oils which is a healthier option than petroleum-based alternatives.
It features a square cornered design for added safety and quality of fit; it passes ASTM standards and is GREENGUARD Gold certified. The Soybean Foam Core crib mattress is a valid choice for anyone looking to buy a quality product and definitely gets a thumbs up from us.
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer
This 5″ thick beauty is one of the best rated in our top 10 reviews. The CertiPUR-US® certified model is free of vinyl, polyethylene, PVC, phthalates, and lead. It’s a double sided mattress which will last from early days well into toddler years due to an extra firm infant side, and when flipped over, a lesser firm toddler side.
It has dropped side-stitched seams, is hypoallergenic, waterproof and weighs a mere 10.5 lbs. Some of our verified owners of this baby mattress say the square and cornered edges of this model provide an excellent snug fit into the crib, so there are no worries about unsafe gaps. This is not a cheap crib mattress, but you really do get the quality and safety you pay for with this one.
Colgate Eco Classica III
The Atlanta based team have been specializing in the baby bed mattress field for over half a century, so it’s no wonder their product appears in our top 10 comparisons. The Eco Classica iii is a GREENGUARD certified orthopedic style double-sided mattress.
The dual firmness offers a very firm support for infants on one side, and when flipped over, has a softer yet firm comfort layer for toddlers. The CertiPUR-US® certified core is plant-based which means the healthier plant oils substitute the petroleum-based oils for less harmful air emissions and no nasty off-gassing odors.
At a lightweight 9.3 lbs, it’s wrapped in a certified organic cotton cover with a waterproof backing, which puts healthy cloth closest to baby and the waterproof backing lets nothing seep in. This is an all-around very healthy option for parents keen to keep their child in a natural sleep environment.
Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers
Another prominent American contender who seems to keep providing some of the best crib mattresses time after time; the Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers is no exception.
The double-sided innerspring design boasts 231 pocketed coil springs for even support for your baby or toddler; one side provides ideal firmness for newborns and the flip side offers a layer of convoluted foam for accommodating growing toddlers.
It comes GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US® certified which ensures this product is ideal for a healthier indoor environment. It is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, water resistant, and the natural cotton fire protection wrap has no chemicals. This one has everything you could ask for at a great price too.
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Classic
This is another top quality product from one of the leading manufacturers in the organic mattress field. They are a GOTS certified manufacturer who also meets the strictest GREENGUARD certification standards for eliminating chemical emissions.
This particular baby crib and toddler bed mattress has won numerous awards for providing a natural, healthy and comfortable sleep environment. The No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Seamless 150 is double-sided, with a firmer infant side, and flippable softer side for older children.
It has seamless waterproof edges, 150 coils, edge support, 100% organic cotton throughout, and a firm easy-to-clean non-toxic waterproof surface. Again this is not exactly a cheap mattress for babies compared to some foam and innerspring alternatives, but for an organic option, this sets the standard.
The Newton Wovenaire baby crib mattress is GREENGUARD certified and has won awards like the JPMA innovation award. Made of a 3-D spacer cover and Wovenaire material, this mattress is firm, yet comfortable, making it suitable for both infants and toddlers.
The 90% air polymer material makes the mattress lightweight. It also helps to avoid harmful chemicals found in most foam crib mattresses. Moreover, its lower suffocation risk makes it one of the more breathable mattresses on the market. Wovenaire is 100% washable, so you can keep it free from mold and bacteria. Just take the cover off and throw it in the washing machine. Allow it to air dry thoroughly, and you’ll have back a clean and fresh smelling mattress and blanket. The Newton crib mattress is breathable, comfortable, supportive, lightweight, and washable, making it one of the best crib mattresses that offer excellent value for money in these competitive times.
Serta Tranquility Eco Firm
The Serta Tranquility is a traditional innerspring mattress for cribs or toddler beds, which is made with an inner composition of 120 heavy-duty coils. This means it’s not as lightweight to move around as some of the other foam options in our crib mattress reviews here but has plenty of other benefits. The Serta has an ortho-insulated layer which makes it comfortable and durable. Moreover, it’s GREENGUARD Gold certified and has passed the CPSIA testing; it doesn’t contain phthalates, lead, or toxic fire retardants.
Although the Serta is a mattress for babies, parents can also use it. While you may not be able to sleep on it because of the dimensions, due to its durability you can enjoy playtime with your baby when sitting on the mattress. The toddler side has a blended cotton layer. This ensures that your baby is comfortable throughout the night. Also, it fits snuggly on the crib as it has square corners. The Serta is a firm crib mattress, so bear this in mind when compiling a shortlist.
This one should last many years throughout your babies infancy and will unlikely need replacing until it is outgrown.
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams
Safety 1st is a renowned brand for safe baby products, and the Heavenly Dreams doesn’t disappoint. We should also add that it’s 2017 Women’s Choice Award as Amerca’s Most Recommended Brand for Crib & Toddler Mattress.
Apart from being hypoallergenic, the mattress for cribs and toddler bed has a GREENGUARD Gold certification. Constructed of a thermos-bonded core that is high-density and has a vinyl cover, this one is built to last. The high-density foam doesn’t affect how comfortable the mattress is when your infant is sleeping. You’ll love how it fits in the crib tightly and how it has excellent edge support. The Safety 1st mattress is lightweight weighing at only eight pounds and allows you to change sheets in the middle of the night comfortably.
The mattress cover is hypoallergenic and odor-resistant, which makes it perfect for babies who may be sensitive to allergens. Although the mattress doesn’t have temperature regulation features, it doesn’t hold a significant amount of heat to cause sweating or overheating. The vinyl cover is easy to clean and waterproof, meaning you don’t have to spend lots of time cleaning your child’s mess when you should be enjoying your sleep.
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams has no phthalates or lead. Having earned the GREENGUARD Gold Certification, the mattress has met the set safety standards for low emissions, and in our opinion, could easily be the best crib mattress for this year.
Graco Premium Foam
The Graco Premium Foam is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something that lessens your child’s heat buildup. This mattress is not only high-quality, but it’s also breathable, which makes air flow easily when your baby is asleep.
The waterproof lining keeps the bed dry even when your child is sweating at night. To keep your baby’s bed hygienic and safe, Graco has incorporated an antimicrobial and anti-static feature. While this mattress for babies isn’t 100% organic, it’s made using safe materials.
What’s more, Graco Premium is lightweight, weighing only seven pounds. It’s reasonably priced compared to other products reviewed here, too and has been designed to fit any full-size crib or toddler bed.
It’s also free of lead and phthalates for your child’s safety. The mattress is one of the few in the market that comes with a six-year, limited manufacturer’s warranty. Graco premium is also not as bouncy or noisy like cheaper alternatives in the market. For added safety, you’ll be pleased to know that the mattress meets flammability standards set by the Federal Government.
Millard Crib and Toddler
The Millard crib and toddler mattress provides the right firmness which ensures optimal comfort.
With a CertiPUR certification, you’re assured that the foam used within is safe. Also, it’s non-toxic and completely organic, making it a healthy option for your infant or toddler. The foam doesn’t use TCEP, TDCPP, or PBDE flame retardants. This means you don’t have to expose your child to harmful manufacturing byproducts. The Millard mattress has a protective cover which prevents any spills and also protects against dust mites, allergens, mold, and mildew.
You’ll love how the mattress fits within a standard crib; it doesn’t leave out spaces on the edges, creating a reassuringly tight fit. Its 90-degree edges fill in the crib corners easily which means your child is safe from unwanted gaps within the crib.
This mattress is manufactured and designed in the US and comes with a 30 days warranty. It is safe, comfortable, and reasonably priced, making it an excellent purchase indeed.
Things To Consider When Buying a Crib Mattress
Here are some pointers from BabyLeague about what to look for when searching for the best baby mattress:
When adults are looking to buy we most commonly look for one that provides comfort, support, and possibly pain relief. We often forget about safety when it comes to our own bedroom purchase. However, when choosing for children, safety is the one thing that we cannot neglect. Weighing up which baby crib mattress to buy is probably one of the most important nursery decisions you’ll make when it comes to safety and well-being. It’s no easy or quick choice, and that’s why the below factors are crucial for anyone in the market for choosing the best toddler mattress.
Mattress and Crib Size
Size is critical; in fact, the United States government has regulated the standard crib mattress size to ensure safety for babies, and peace of mind for parents.
The dimensions of your new baby mattress depend on the interior dimensions of the crib itself. According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the interior crib dimensions are defined to be that of 28 ± 5⁄8 inches width x 52 3⁄8 ± 5⁄8 inches length. The actual mattress size must be a minimum of 27 1/4 inches width x 51 1/4 length. If you own a very old baby crib, it’s worth checking the interior dimensions because it was probably manufactured before regulations were set and could potentially be at risk.
Snug Fit, No Gaps
The gap between the mattress and crib sides can pose a severe risk of suffocation which is why a gap of no more than 1.25″ should be present between the edge of the mattress and the frame. Some places you will read this as “no more than two fingers” but this is not accurate advice, 1.25″ is the correct measurement. The depth or thickness of a U.S compliant standard crib mattress size can be no more than 6″ from top to bottom when laid out flat.
Lastly, one common thing that often leads to confusion is the difference between a toddler mattress and baby crib mattress. The truth is there is no difference; concerning size and compatibility, they are the same. So for example, if you have a 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 convertible baby crib, once baby is ready to transition from crib to toddler bed, the same one can be used.
The CPSC recommends using a firm, flat surface to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If a surface is too soft, it can create depressions and increases the risk of suffocation. Consumer Reports suggests this test: “Press on the mattress in the center and at the edges. It should snap back readily and should not conform to the shape of your hand.”
All crib mattresses must comply with 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 federal flammability standards. If buying one with foam, it should be CertiPUR-US® certified, which verifies the polyurethane foam inside meets standards for content, emissions, and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories. The GREENGUARD certification is also worth taking note of as many products will advertise this; it “gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors.” When it comes to buying an organic mattress, the best way to tell if it’s genuinely organic is by checking whether the GOTS certifies it. Although there are many GOTS approved certifiers throughout the world, the largest certifier in the US is OTCO.
The price all depends on the quality and type you opt for. Generally, the cheap, thinner foam mattresses are in the low-budget range. The better and denser models will cost a little more. Innerspring models are the more popular option and fall in the mid-range. Organic mattresses are slightly pricier but for a good reason and they will be the most expensive type.
Types Of Crib Mattress
There are three main types of crib and toddler bed mattress that you need to know about which are Foam, Innerspring, and Organic:
The foam crib mattress is made of polyurethane. It remains a very popular choice for parents and is generally cheaper than innerspring or organic options. Like other types, these are also available in a variety of different depths, the most popular being between 3 and 6 inches. They are also the lightest of the three options which make cleaning baby mess and changing the sheets an easier task. Most polyurethane models out there weigh less than the innerspring, but this is good; think about how many times you’ll be cleaning it or changing the sheets. A typical polyurethane baby mattress weighs approximately 7 – 11 pounds.
Although an innerspring baby mattress is usually more expensive than the polyurethane counterpart, this still remains a hugely popular option. The firm level of support provided by the coils (springs) is great for orthopedic support and safety; plus innerspring is one of the most popular choices for full-size mattresses, so parents tend to stick with what they have experience with. Comfort and support are measured in the number of coils inside. Common coil numbers are between 50 – 200; the more springs inside mean more cost, but this isn’t the only way to measure firmness. Wire thickness, if stated in the product description, is a handy way to measure firmness level. A lower gauge means a thicker wire, which is stronger and therefore firmer. For best results look for one with 150+ coils and a gauge of 15.5 or lower.
When it comes to price, over innerspring and foam, the organic crib mattress is usually the most expensive; however, there is a good reason for the higher price. These are the healthiest available as the 100% organic material (usually cotton) eliminates potentially harmful chemicals and allergens. Of the many different materials used in foam mattresses, some can be harmful to your child, especially if they are prone to allergies. Considering your child will be in close contact with the surface of the mattress and its contents on a daily basis for some years, it’s important to recognize the potential long-term hazards of using traditional polyurethane types instead of a healthier organic mattress.
Crib Mattress Features
When choosing the best mattress for cribs, several features are going to be important considerations. We discuss some of these below:
Waterproof Crib Mattress vs. Non-Waterproof
It’s highly recommended to buy a waterproof crib mattress for obvious reasons. Being water-resistant shows that it has a high resistance to being soaked in liquids such as milk, urine, vomit, and sweat, which are all liquids that will harm your baby and mattress if it absorbs in. Most of the mattresses for cribs are waterproof but don’t automatically assume they are (or aren’t for that matter).
You might find that some toddler mattresses have covers made out of cotton and are non-waterproof. In such a case, you might need to invest in a waterproof cover.
Types Of Baby Mattress Cover
Mattress covers are also known as the ticking. They are the outermost layer of the material on a mattress. Covers protect the mattress from spit-up and other bodily fluids. Damp mattresses provide the best environment for fungi, mold, mildew, and bacteria. All of these can lead to a toxic sleep environment. There are single or multi-layer waterproof vinyl covers ventilated to prevent leakage in case of accidents.
Some covers are made from cloth fabrics like cotton. However, these are not waterproof. Nylon covers have more fluid resistance compared to vinyl covers. Check to see if the cover has a certification label. As a parent, the safety of your child comes first.
Portable Crib Mattress
Back in the day, traveling was a nightmare as you had to think of an alternative place for your baby to sleep in. Now, you can enjoy the convenience of having a portable crib mattress that allows your child to enjoy ample cushioning no matter the place.
With a portable crib mattress, you can take your child to sleep with minimal disturbance. Furthermore, they come in handy when you have to travel. When shopping for a portable crib mattress, choose one that is waterproof and has a cover to prevent messes. Measure the size of your crib to ensure that the mattress will fit.
Opt for a hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial covering to avoid exposure to allergens. A mattress that passes toxicity, phthalate, and a lead test is also crucial. Light, portable mattresses also make your work manageable when you have to pack and go.
Double-Sided Crib Mattresses (Infant and Toddler Layers)
Double-sided mattresses offer you a two-in-one package. These have a softer side and a firmer side. Buying a double-sided mattress is essential when your child outgrows an infant mattress and needs something comfortable.
You’ll love the fact that you won’t need to get a new crib, you still get to use the same mattress. Flip over to change the sides, and you’re good to go. Each mattress has a tag that lets you know whether one side is for the infant or the toddler. You’ll realize that the toddler side has more cushioning for extra support.
Also, it’s flat for added safety. The double-sided mattress can be flipped when the baby is a year old. Nevertheless, this depends on the baby. Remember to avoid soft bedding to reduce the risk of suffocation.
Importance Of Addressing Edge Support
It’s critical to check the edge support when buying a crib mattress. Apply the two-finger sizing test where you place the mattress in a crib and try to see if your two fingers fit between the rods along the sides of the crib and the mattress.
Some poor-quality budget mattresses do not have reinforced support along the edges. This means that when a child rolls over, the edges sink and this can in the worst case lead to suffocation. Also, it can increase the risk of physical injury. The mattress should snugly fit inside your baby crib. Moreover, the edges should not sink deeply but should provide ample support. An Innerspring mattress for cribs will trump foam in this category because they have a coil lined edge which provides extra durability and prevents sagging.
Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress
A baby sleeps for an average of 16 hours a day. Your child spends most of their time in the crib. This makes it essential to get a breathable, hypoallergenic mattress. A breathable mattress has air vents that allow fresh air in and also allows the hot air out into the environment. This will keep their temperature regulated and also reduce the amount of bacteria growth within the mattress core.
Hypoallergenic crib mattresses are made from organic cotton and may have covers made of various materials that prevent your child from allergies. Other such materials are latex which is naturally anti-microbial, but these are much more expensive in comparison to foam or spring options.
Delivery and Assembly (Including time taken to reach shape)
Shopping for almost anything involves looking at its features, quality, and price. Likewise, after settling on a mattress for your baby crib, you’ll have to find out if it can be carried home with you or if the shop will deliver to your home. Most are small and light enough to be carried home. However, nowadays are purchased online, which would incur small delivery charges, but are much more hassle-free.
Also, you’ll need to find out if folded, how long it takes to stretch and reach shape, especially if you need to use it straight away. Like with full-size mattresses, most foam crib mattresses will be compressed and rolled, meaning you’ll need to wait some hours before it is ready to use.
Mattress Weight, Heavy vs. Lightweight
Most parents often confuse firmness with weight. A heavy mattress may not necessarily be firm. Although the sound of a heavier mattress may sound appealing due to perhaps quality or non-slip perceptions, in fact, a heavy baby mattress may be a burden. For example, you may want to wash the crib sheets on a weekly basis. This needs you to raise the mattress to fit the sheets. Lifting a heavy mattress is tedious and daunting.
A lightweight baby mattress, on the other hand, is an excellent option if you wish to make changing the sheets a simple task. Also, light mattresses prevent wrist injuries when lifting, flipping, or rotating. Most of the best baby mattresses that are light are made of foam, which typically would weigh about eight pounds. Innerspring crib mattresses weigh about 20 pounds, and in comparison are much heavier to lift. Choose a mattress by keeping in mind that you’ll need to raise a side of it or the whole thing when changing the sheets.
Once again our conclusion has brought us to a tough decision point. Our findings from the recent baby mattress reviews have made it difficult to choose a single best crib mattress, so we have decided to conclude with our top two favorites.
The best rated are two different types, one being traditional polyurethane foam (Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer) and the other being organic (Sealy Soybean Foam-Core). One is double sided (the former) while the latter is not, but don’t let that put you off. They both offer adaptive comfort, longevity, and value, they have passed stringent testing conditions, and they are approximately the same price. However, the real difference is that one is made of organic plant-based foam, and the other isn’t.
If we really had to choose one or the other, to ensure s baby’s maximum health and well-being, in this case, it would have to be the Sealy Soybean. This is because the Soy based foam-core is natural, non-toxic, and healthy material, creating a perfect sleep environment which reduces the risk of exposure to any type of chemicals and lowers the risk of allergy. The cotton wrap under the waterproof cover serves as a natural cushion for the baby, while the airflow pockets keep things cool and hygienic. There is a good reason why Sealy baby mattresses were voted America’s Most Recommended four years in a row by the Women’s Choice Awards.
That said, we aren’t against traditional foam in any way, which is why the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is joint top. People have been using foam crib mattresses for decades, they provide superior orthopedic support and comfort, and there is a price range to suit everyone.
When it comes to deciding on which is the best, you really do have to consider all the options, features, and products out there. What suits you may not be a requirement for others, but hopefully our crib mattress reviews will be helpful towards making the best choice for your baby.
Lindsay is a contributor and the senior editor of all content posted on this site. She is in this role due to her somewhat unrivaled expertise through previous retail experience in the mattress and bedding industry.