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How To Choose The Best Crib Mattress. The most Conclusive Guide

Updated on March 26, 2015

There is a wide collection of crib mattresses which are already available in the market and each manufacturer or retailer always claims to have the best crib mattress. Going through different adverts looking for a good crib mattress for your baby can sometimes be a challenge. Here is an ultimate guide on how you can identify the best crib mattress from other types when shopping.

What are crib mattresses?

Crib mattresses are typically babyish mattresses which are designed to specifically fit into your baby's crib. Crib mattresses provide a safe and secondary surface on which your baby can sleep on.

Why do you need to get the best crib mattress?

Most of the time your baby will be spending his/ her time inside the crib, therefore you need to ensure that the crib's mattress will be as safe as possible and very comfortable to your newborn baby or babies. The top quality crib mattresses are designed to remain firm/ flat even after your baby has rolled to his/ her stomach. Furthermore, good mattresses have been re-enforced and made tougher to support the healthy growth of your baby's bones. When looking for top quality crib mattress ensure that you get a crib mattress which is wet-proof; this will allow easy cleaning of its surface and molds won't get the chance to grow in/ on it. Molds grow inside the core of crib mattress where it won't be easy to see and this poses a great risk of infection to your newborn. This is one reason why you shouldn't purchase a second hand crib mattress because you don't clearly know its history. It might have traces of molds growing inside its core.

When will you be required to buy a crib mattress?

In many instances, crib mattresses are usually purchased when the baby's crib is bought. Though some mothers may prefer buying first the crib mattress (especially during their 3rd semester) as they are still planning to buy the baby's crib. The right time to buy the baby's crib mattress solely depends on the mother's decision or plans.

For how long is the baby's crib mattress supposed to be used?

Your newborn can sleep on his/ her crib mattress for as long as he/ she uses the crib. Some parents decide to use the equivalent mattress till their baby moves to toddler stage. The mattress can as well be used till your baby no longer fits in his/ her crib. This will ultimately depend on the mother's decision.

When is the right time to replace the crib mattress?

The crib mattress should be used only for 3 to 4 years maximum then replaced. This time duration is equivalent to the period during which your baby is outgrowing his/ her crib and can no longer use it. However, if you see any signs of wear and tear even before the 3rd or 4th years elapses, this is a go ahead sigh you need to replace your little one's crib mattress.

How can you identify the different types of crib mattresses?

This common quote "what's on the inside matters a lot" greatly counts when looking for the top rated crib mattress for your little one. The comfort and firmness of the crib mattress will majorly depend on the content/ material which has been used to make the core of the mattress. Many crib mattresses are named according to the material which has been used to make its core. After clearly understanding the benefits and probable problems which might arise when using a particular crib mattress containing a specific material in its core then you can wisely decide on the best crib mattress to buy for your new born child. Below are some of the best crib mattress types which are already available in the market.

Coil-Spring Crib Mattress

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1. The Coil-Spring Crib Mattress.

This mattress is sometimes referred to as the "inner-spring" mattress because of the steel coil springs which have been used to make its inner core. This type of mattress is slightly heavier than the other types of crib mattress because of the steel coils used to make the mattress. When this mattress is advertised by its manufacturer's, they majorly focus on the coil count of the mattress. However, having a higher coil count does not guarantee that you will buy a coil-spring mattress which is very firm and comfortable. The secret when selecting a coil-spring crib mattress which is firmer and more comfortable is by making sure you put your focus on the gauge or thickness of the coil springs which have been used to make the core of the coil-spring crib mattress.
The gauge dimensions of the coil spring used to make the core of the mattress vary from 15.5 and below. The lower the gauge dimensions, the thicker each coil spring will be. The coil springs are conjoined to each other with a steel frame. When shopping for coil-spring crib mattress only go for top quality spring mattress because low quality spring mattresses start squeaking (after using for a couple of months) at any slight movement your baby will be making and this noise can be very irritating especially during the night when you need to have a peaceful sleep.

Advantages of Coil-Spring Mattress

a) They are durable.
b) They are very comfortable.
c) Can last for many years.

Disadvantages of Coil-Spring Mattress

a) They are heavier when compared to the other types of crib mattress.
b) They are slightly expensive.

Foam Crib Mattress

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2. Foam Crib Mattress.

This type of crib mattresses are the cheapest and are the commonly used crib mattress in many households. The core of the mattress is mainly blocks of foam and this is one reason as to why it is referred to as foam crib mattress. This mattress is the lightest of all the crib mattresses because of its inner core material. It is a great mattress to use in case you have one of those portable cribs which can be folded and kept when not in use. Since it is very light, removing the mattress is a very easy task! The foam material which is used to make the core of the foam crib mattress are of different types/ brands and they include bamboo fiber, latex and polyurethane.
Before buying ensure you know the specific foam material used to make the inner core of the mattress because they have different qualities for example, polyurethane will start to sink in after using for some months whereas the latex material will last for longer period before it starts to sink in when your baby sleeps on the mattress. However, since latex mattress last longer, they are the most expensive of the foam crib mattress type. When choosing this mattress, it is recommended to pick the crib mattress which is firmer and more comfortable; this will be very safe for your newborn.

Advantages of Foam Crib Mattress.

a) They are cheap.
b) They are light in weight.
c) These mattresses come in a variety of sizes and densities.

Disadvantages of Foam Crib Mattress.

a) They are slightly less durable when compared to the other types of foam crib mattress.
b) These type of mattresses are not recommended for long term use.

Memory Foam Crib Mattress

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3. Memory Foam Crib Mattress.

The memory foam crib mattress features a sensitive and unique feature of molding into the body shape of your baby and when the baby is lifted from the mattress it springs back to its original shape. The mattress becomes harder when cold and when the room temperature is slightly warm it folds into your baby's shape when he/ she sleeps on it. One main reason why this mattress is very ideal when it comes to keeping your baby warm is because it hugs his/ her body reducing air circulation. This has made the memory foam mattress to be highly preferred during the cold seasons.The inner core of many memory foam mattresses have two layers; a lower coiled spring core and a top layer which contains the memory foam core.

Advantages of Memory Foam Crib Mattress

a) It is capable of springing back to its original shape after the baby is lifted from the mattress.
b) Keeps the baby warmer
c) Are very comfortable to sleep on.

Disadvantages of Memory Foam Crib Mattress.

a) The mattress can become too hot especially during hot weather conditions.
b) You cannot flip over this mattress.

Natural or Organic Crib Mattress.

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4. Natural or Organic Crib Mattresses.

Natural or organic crib mattresses are type of mattresses which are made using only natural materials. Some of the commonly used natural materials to make this type of mattress include:
-Coconut fiber: This material is highly breathable and makes great inner core material of the natural or organic mattresses.
-Natural latex: This can be used naturally when making the inner core of mattresses other than using the petroleum based foam.
-Organic Cotton: This material is highly breathable and is free of chemicals.
-Untreated wool: This material is dust, mite resistant and flame retardant.
Unfortunately, due to strict regulations and laws, the manufacturers who make the natural or organic crib mattresses only add a small amount of the natural material. Before you can purchase a natural or organic mattress, ensure you first contact the manufacturer so you can specify the amount or percentage of natural material to be added in the inner core of the mattress.

Advantages of Natural or Organic Crib Mattresses.

a) These mattresses do not contain any chemicals because they are only made of natural materials.
b) Natural or organic mattresses are very gentle and rarely result to allergies.
c) These type of mattresses can last for ages.
d) The material contained in the inner core of the mattress allows for free circulation of air.

Disadvantages of Natural or Organic crib Mattresses.

a) They are rare as compared to the other types of crib mattresses.
b) Firmness and comfort of the mattress majorly depends on the material used to make the core.
c) A lot of research about the mattress will be required before purchasing.

Pocket-Spring Crib Mattress.

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5. Pocket-Spring Crib Mattress.

The pocket-spring crib mattress also uses coil springs to support your baby when placed on the mattress. The only difference with the coil spring crib mattress is that instead of the steel spring joined to each other with steel frames, the coils springs in the pocket-spring crib mattress have been sewn into each pocket for each spring. This mattress is very firm and comfortable; when the baby is sleeping on it the springs on the back region compress more that the springs on the legs giving the baby a comfortable sleep.

Advantages of Pocket-spring Crib Mattress.

a) Is durable.
b) Its very comfortable.
c) Has great support.

Disadvantages of Pocket-spring Crib Mattress.

a) It is a very expensive type of mattress.

What are the qualities which you must consider before buying any crib mattress?

1) The material used to make the cover of the crib mattress. The two main purposes of the crib mattress cover is to protect the core of the mattress and prevent the inside of the mattress from falling out. Different mattresses have different types of mattress cover; some have covers made from thin materials whereas others have covers made from tough nylon material to protect the core.
2) Firmness of the mattress. A mattress which is firm will be very safe for the baby but a mattress which is very soft can easily suffocate the baby when sleeping.
3) If the crib mattress is less allergic. Ensure you identify a mattress which will be hypo-allergic. This will be very safe for the baby in case he/ she has been diagnosed of asthma. The baby will be less irritated when sleeping.
4) How ventilated is the mattress? A mattress which has free circulation of air in its core is the best mattress because chances of it growing molds on/ in the mattress will be very slim.
5) How heavy is the mattress? You might want to change and wash your baby's sheet(s) more often and for this to be easily done the mattress needs to be as light as possible.
6) If the mattress is flame retardant. When looking for a mattress, ensure that you only get mattresses which will not easily catch fire in case of an accident. It will protect the baby first before you can rescue him/ her.

Which of these top 5 crib mattresses do you have?

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How to Choose the Best Crib Mattress.

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