The Best Baby Mattress

My First Mattress Mattress Premium Memory Foam

Our Top Pick for 2016: My First Mattress Mattress Premium Memory Foam
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $84.76*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

There are few activities as fun or intimidating as buying baby products. Unfortunately, one of the most intimidating but most important of these purchases is the crib mattress. It has to be safe, as it’s the one place baby will be unattended for up to 16 hours a day for his first 3 or 4 years, and it also needs to be conducive to healthy sleep. So while choosing a mattress is certainly not as exciting as picking baby’s going-home outfit, it merits thoughtful research and consideration. But with so many options, where do you start? Here’s a list of four home-run picks to make your life easier.

Table of contents

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Hypoallergenic
CertiPUR-US Certified
80 Interwoven Heat Tempered Coils
High Density Thermo-bonded Core
Extra Firm High-density Foam
Firm Foundation
Lightweight And Durable
Hypoallergenic, Mite-proof, Anti-microbial
Excellent Support
Outer Cover: Vinyl Laminated With Polypropylene
Exceeds Federal Flammability And CPSC Standards
2 Hypo-allergenic Layers
Greenguard Gold Certification
Cover Is Waterproof And Washable
Passes All Flammability Tests

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): My First Mattress Mattress Premium Memory Foam

My First Mattress Mattress Premium Memory Foam Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $84.76*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerWhen you start your search for the perfect crib mattress, you’ll probably be looking for the best that your budget can afford. Our #1 Gold Pick, “My First Mattress Premium Memory Foam Crib Mattress” has that perfect balance of affordability and quality. It has a medium-range price ($73.99 on Amazon) and more than 300 customers have rated it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

“My First Mattress” has tapped into the popularity of memory foam mattresses by creating a memory foam mattress for cribs. Because it’s made of foam, the mattress is light-weight (about 11 pounds) and comfortable. It’s also safe for infants. You’ll find when shopping for a crib mattress that one of the most important considerations is the mattress’s firmness. Firmer mattresses are safer for infants, who lack the ability to turn their heads and may suffocate if their faces bury too deeply in a surface. “My First Mattress” is made of extra-firm high-density foam rather than the softer foam used in adult mattresses. You can feel safe letting your baby sleep on this mattress, even after he learns to roll onto his stomach.

The flexible polyurethane foam used in “My First Mattress” has the added bonus of being independently tested and certified by CertiPUR-US, which means that it meets standards for chemical emissions and durability. It is also hypoallergenic, mite-proof, antimicrobial and lead-free. And with a 10-year limited warranty, you can be assured you won’t have to be buying a mattress again soon. “My First Mattress” transitions well to a toddler bed and is made to last through several children.

“My First Mattress” is attractively packaged in a vacuum-sealed roll (you won’t be lugging a giant box home!). It has a soft, inviting, cream-colored plush velour cover, which is waterproof and easily removable. A waterproof cover is a necessity on any crib mattress, as it discourages mold or bacteria growth and odor retention. You won’t need to purchase an extra mattress cover and can simply top the mattress with a fitted sheet. And due to its light weight, “My First Mattress” is a breeze to change, even during those middle-of-the-night emergencies. Mom or Dad can easily change the sheets without having to ask for an extra pair of hands.

“My First Mattress” meets the standard federally-regulated crib mattress size, 21 1/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches and 5 inches deep, and will fit any standard-sized crib. Be sure that whatever mattress you purchase fits snugly into your crib, with no more than two finger widths or 1 1/4 inches between the mattress and the frame. This prevents the baby from slipping into a crack and becoming trapped or suffocating.

Customers who have bought “My First Mattress” love that it’s quiet–it’s one of the only mattresses that does not have a vinyl cover that might crinkle. It’s also not bouncy, which discourages all of the attendant dangers of jumping in the crib (because babies eventually do learn to bounce!). And many reviewers claim that “My First Mattress” has helped their poor sleepers learn to sleep better than on a traditional mattress. Do be aware, however, that “My First Mattress” arrives vacuum packed and needs a few days to expand to its full size.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress

View it on Amazon for $45.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerIf you’re interested in a similar foam mattress, but hoping to spend a little less money, consider our #2 Silver Pick, the “Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress.” Like our Gold Pick, the “Safety 1st” mattress is a light-weight foam mattress. It is one of the most popular crib mattresses out there and offers the best bang for your buck. Over two thousand customers rate it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars, and it’s at least twenty dollars cheaper than our #1 Pick—it’s $51.99 on Amazon.

Safety 1st is one of the biggest names in baby products, and chances are you’ve already purchased something from them; you can feel secure buying from such a well-known name brand. The “Safety 1st” crib mattress meets all federal flammability and emissions regulations, is BPA-free, and has achieved one of the most prestigious certifications by Greenguard Gold.

The “Safety 1st” mattress’s high-density thermo-bonded foam core is firm and durable, and has been specifically engineered in the U.S. to last through your child’s development into toddlerhood. The mattress is easy to change and clean at 7.5 pounds. It has a permanent white vinyl waterproof cover that wipes down with a damp cloth. It’s also stain-resistant and odor-resistant. Note that you’ll have to buy an extra mattress pad for comfort, and that the mattress measures slightly larger than the standard crib mattress size. It measures 52 1/2 inches by 27 1/2 inches and 5 1/2 inches deep, so it should fit snugly in a standard crib.

Customers appreciate that the “Safety 1st” mattress does not crinkle and disturb babies and it does not have a chemical smell when it’s opened for the first time. The only cons to this value mattress seem to be that it may need to be rotated from time to time to prevent indentation. Some customers have also noted that the sides of the waterproof cover crack over time.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Dream On Me Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

Dream On Me Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

View it on Amazon for $35.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardIf you’re able to spend more money and would like to invest in one of the best-rated eco-friendly baby products available, go with our #3 Bronze Pick, “Sealy’s Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress.” Sealy is one of the best-known names in mattresses, and they make excellent crib mattresses as well. Sealy won the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best for Baby in both 2013 and 2014. With the “Sealy Soybean,” you know you’ll be getting a product you can trust. The “Sealy Soybean” is offered for $153.99 on Amazon and over four hundred customers rate it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

What sets the “Sealy Soybean” apart is all in the name—it is manufactured from soybean oils produced by American farmers. Containing approximately twenty percent soybean foam, this mattress naturally reduces the chemicals found in nearly every baby product and uses a renewable resource. (Please note that although it is made from soy, it still does contain polyurethane.) While there are a few 100% naturally-sourced mattresses out there, they cost two or three times as much. If you’re an eco-conscious shopper without a celebrity budget, the “Sealy Soybean” may be the perfect choice for you.

The “Sealy Soybean” is perhaps the most well-engineered mattress on our list. It has six layers, including a waterproof cover, a comfort wrap for a little more padding, a high-density firm foam core, and an airflow pocket that eliminates the need for the small side vents on traditional mattresses. It is certified by both CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold, so you know that it is one of the safest mattresses on the market. And with a lifetime warranty and rating of up to sixty pounds, this mattress should hold up well through all of your children.

On the practical side, the “Sealy Soybean” is one of the most light-weight mattresses on our list. Because the mattress weighs approximately 8 pounds, it is easy for Mom or Dad to change the sheets. It has lock-stitch binding around the edges for added durability during all of those changes and a permanent pearl-embossed waterproof cover, which means it won’t require the purchase of an extra waterproof pad. It’s also stain-resistant and wipes clean with soap and water.

Customers love that the “Sealy Soybean” is comfortable and durable. Few report any sagging, even after children have used the mattress for four years. They also appreciate that the bed is not bouncy and the cover is not noisy, so babies sleep without disturbance.

The only downside to the “Sealy Soybean” is its price; it’s at least three times as expensive as our other picks. But for the soy material and quality engineering, it is a value for a “natural” crib mattress.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Mattress

American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Mattress

View it on Amazon for $9.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickOur Budget Pick, the “Dream on Me Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress—Twilight,” is our pick for a basic crib mattress without any bells and whistles. “Dream on Me” is a popular baby product brand and each year they take a large share of the market. Their crib mattress is listed at $39.99 on Amazon, making it the cheapest on our list. Out of nearly five hundred ratings, it receives a 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Unlike our other picks, the “Dream on Me” is an innerspring mattress with eighty heat-tempered coils for durability and firmness. It also has a 6-gauge steel border to help it keep its shape. The coils are covered by a double-layer hypoallergenic polyurethane foam wrap for comfort. It weighs in at nearly 12 pounds, making it fairly light-weight for an innerspring mattress (some exceed 20 pounds).

The “Dream on Me” mattress passes all standard safety regulations, including federal flammability standards, and contains no lead or phthalates. It comes with a 10-year limited warranty against all manufacturer defects.

The “Dream on Me” mattress has a permanent triple-laminated and waterproof cover that easily wipes clean with soap and water. Although you cannot remove the cover, it is stain resistant and lock-stitched to prevent moisture from penetrating the surface. It has a brown cloud print on one side and plain white on the other.

Some customers complain that the cover is noisy, so be sure to check out the product in-store for yourself before purchasing. It’s also not as firm as other crib mattresses and may be more suitable for toddlers. The “Dream on Me” mattress may be the perfect pick for grandparents or other caregivers who don’t need a crib mattress for an extended period of time.


Pre-purchase considerations

Safety

Now that you’ve got a basic idea of some of the best mattresses available, how do you know which one is for you? Let’s look at a few basic considerations that should help you narrow it down.

Perhaps the most important consideration when purchasing a crib mattress is its safety. As we’ve already mentioned, the size and firmness of crib mattresses is essential to preventing SIDS. Test your favorite mattresses in the store, if you can, by placing them in sample cribs. Make sure the mattress fits tightly, with no more than two finger widths, or 1 1/4 inches, between the mattress and the crib frame. By law, crib mattresses must be a minimum of 24 1/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches, and no thicker than 6 inches. Also, the mattress should feel firm to you—more firm than you would prefer to sleep on. If the mattress is foam, it should not conform to your hand. Check how dense the foam is by comparing the weight of different mattresses. Firmer mattresses will be more dense and thus more heavy.

More and more parents are also becoming conscious of the chemicals used in manufacturing baby products. All U.S. crib mattresses must meet federal flammability standards. If you want to buy foam, look for mattresses certified by CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold. CertiPUR-US, an organization within the foam industry, labels products with low emissions and that are made without harmful flame retardants and other dangerous chemicals. Greenguard Gold, an independent certifier, has even stricter certification criteria and is widely held to be the best standard for eco-friendly products.

Mattress Type

After considering safety, the first real choice you’ll have to make is which type of mattress you want—foam or innerspring. The traditional style of mattress, innerspring, is naturally heavier (because it’s made of steel) and firmer than foam. Well-made innerspring mattresses will hold up and keep their shape. Make sure the mattress has no fewer than 80 coils and has a border rod that helps the edge keep its shape. Also check to see how many layers of cushion lie between the coils and the surface, to keep baby comfortable.

Foam mattresses are lighter and the best will be firm, dense, and not conform to the shape of your hand or your baby’s head. Today’s foam mattresses are just as likely to hold their shape over time as their innerspring counterparts. Foam mattresses have been known to keep sleepers warm, but satisfied customers have found that adding an extra fitted sheet keeps the temperature normal. Be sure to note that foam mattresses are typically made (at least in part) from polyurethane. If you’re truly concerned with staying away from chemicals, a foam mattress may not be for you.

Simplicity

Closely tied to the type of mattress is how easy the mattress is to use. Foam mattresses are usually 5 to 10 pounds lighter than innerspring mattresses and are therefore easier to change and carry around.

You’ll also want to make sure that the mattress you choose has a waterproof cover. A waterproof barrier is essential to preventing moisture from passing into the mattress, where bacteria and odor can grow. Some mattresses come with a plush, yet waterproof cover that can be removed and put in the washing machine. If you choose a mattress with this kind of cover, you may want to buy an extra waterproof mattress pad so that you don’t have to remove the entire mattress cover when you need to clean the bed. Other mattresses come with permanent waterproof vinyl covers that easily wipe clean with soap and water. These mattresses require an extra mattress pad, mainly for comfort.

Before you buy, find out how quiet and sturdy the mattress cover is—in-store if possible or by checking online reviews. The best vinyl covers are made up of several thick layers that do not rustle or crinkle when the sleeper moves. If your baby is disturbed by noise during sleep, the mattress will do you no good. Also make sure the cover is not thin enough to crack and lose its waterproof barrier and that it has vents along the side to let moisture and odors escape.

Cost

If you’ve made it through the other considerations—safety, type of mattress, and ease of use—your decision likely comes down to cost. It may seem obvious, but do not buy a second-hand mattress, even though you may be able to save money. You’ll have no way of knowing how well the mattress has been cared for, or if it has bacteria or odors. Other than that, remember that you generally get what you pay for.

The cheapest of mattresses likely have covers that tear easily, while the more expensive mattresses have more durable outer layers and a firmer core. You should be able to find a quality mattress for under $200. For anything over that, you are probably paying for all-natural or all-organic materials. If you are hoping to have a mattress that lasts through several children, look to pay a little more for long-lasting quality.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

By now, you have a good idea of what you should be looking for in a crib mattress. Make firmness and safety your first priority. Then consider durability and also if it’s important to you, the cost and ease of use. Scroll back through and determine if one of our four picks is right for you. Hopefully we’ve taken a lot of the stress out of this big decision.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. How to buy a crib mattress, Babycenter.com
  2. Nicole Blanckenberg, Your Guide to Buying a Crib Mattress, Comparaboo.com
  3. Top 5 Compared: The Best Crib Mattresses For Your Baby, Choosemattress.com
  4. Crib mattress buying guide, Consumerreports.org, November, 2012
  5. Best Crib Mattress, Memoryfoamdoctor.com
  6. Mom’s Guide 2016: The 5 Best Crib Mattresses For Safe Sleep, Momtricks.com, February 2, 2016
  7. Jess Miller, Best crib mattresses: The expert buyers guide, Parent.guide, July 25, 2015
  8. Lindsey (forum member), Crib mattress buying guide, January 3, 2013

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