Given that infants sleep up to 18 hours a day, buying a crib mattress becomes a fairly important decision. There are many factors to weigh while buying a crib mattress. Read on to find out what parameters you need to consider before picking a crib mattress for your baby’s nursery –
1. The right size
Ensure that the size of the mattress complies with the recommendations on size and depth given by the crib manufacturer. The mattress size should be at least 27 ¼ x 51 ⅝ inches, and should not be more than 6 inches thick. Babies and toddlers can get their arms or legs stuck between the crib and the mattress if there are gaps. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that the mattress fits the crib well. Check to see that there is no more than two fingers gap between the mattress and the crib. Before buying a crib mattress, be sure of the measurements of your crib and make sure that the mattress will be a snug fit with your crib.
While buying a crib mattress, the most important factor to consider is the size of the mattress. Make sure there is no more than a two finger gap between the crib and mattress.
Crib mattresses primarily come in three sizes – standard size that fit full-size cribs, playard mattresses that are good for pack n plays and other playards, and portable crib mattresses that fit mini cribs or portable cribs.
is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a crib mattress. An overly soft mattress or sleeping surface can increase the baby’s risk of unexpected fatal injuries, suffocation, and SIDS, especially if an infant rolls over onto their tummy. A hard mattress can create issues with your baby’s body posture, along with making them susceptible to bad sleep cycles. Use a firm sleep surface that is compliant with standard parameters for infants and toddlers.
To be sure, do the Hand Press Test –
The Hand Press Test is a good way to find out the firmness of the crib mattress.
- Press your hand/palm down the center and sides of the mattress
- Take your hands off
- Check to see if there is a mark or depression on the mattress
- If there is a mark or the mattress does not return to its original shape quickly, it indicates that the mattress is too soft and not advisable for infants
- If it returns to its original condition immediately, the mattress has the right amount of firmness
3. Types of crib mattresses
Broadly speaking, crib mattresses come in three types – foam, spring and fiber. They all have their pros and cons and what you choose depends on your budgetary considerations and what is important to you.
Foam crib mattresses – The biggest advantage of foam core mattresses is that they are lightweight which makes changing sheets and cleaning the mattress easy. They are also a lot more economically priced when compared to spring mattresses. The other good aspect about these is the fact that there are many eco-friendly foam crib mattress options available for parents to choose from.
The disadvantages of foam mattresses are that they might lose shape over a long period of time, particularly in the center. Some foam mattresses lack edge support which can be risky if the mattress is not a snug fit with the crib. In such cases, there is the danger of babies rolling over and getting stuck in the gap between the crib and the mattress.
If an affordable, lightweight mattress is what you are looking for, then a foam crib mattress might be a good choice
Coil or innerspring mattresses – are a popular crib mattress choice for a variety of reasons. In general, coil mattresses provide better support and last longer. They also have a better edge support.
The main disadvantages of coil mattresses are the fact that they are heavier (Do consider the fact that you will be changing the mattress sheets quite often) and they are more expensive when compared to foam mattresses.
If you are leaning towards buying a crib mattress with coil innerspring, do make sure that it is constructed out of interwoven or interlocked heavy-duty coils and has at least 150 coils.
Innerspring or coil crib mattresses provide optimal support for newborns
A newer category of crib mattresses that is gaining popularity is the fiber mattress. These could have a polyester fiber core or one that is made of a natural material such as coconut coir fiber. Coconut fiber-based mattresses are firm and naturally breathable and moisture resistant. They are good at resisting dust mites and also help regulate the sleep surface temperature better. Fiber mattresses are recyclable making them gentle on the environment. Cons include the weight of the mattress (heavier than foam) and durability (not as durable as innerspring mattresses). Mattresses with polyester fiber cores provide adequate support for babies and those with Greenguard Gold certifications are perfectly safe to use in your nursery as they are constructed using non-toxic materials.
Coconut fiber based mattresses are naturally moisture resistant
4. Important certifications to looking for while buying a crib mattress
Many third-party organizations test and certify mattresses on a variety of parameters. Greenguard Gold is one such trusted and popular certification.
A Greenguard Gold certification tests products for thousands of chemical emissions that could affect the health of your baby and family.
- Tests for over 10,000 chemicals
- Tests for more than 360 VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Tests for harmful pollutants that affect health
If you are keen on getting a foam crib mattress, look for the CertiPUR-US certification that tests for volatile organic compounds and guarantees that the mattress is free of ozone depleters; PBDEs, TDCPP, and TCEP flame retardants; mercury, lead, and other heavy metals; formaldehyde; and phthalates.
Another important and well-recognized seal to look for is the JPMA seal. The JPMA certification seal means that a baby product has been tested by an independent facility and meets the guidelines set by standards developer ASTM International.
5. Waterproof Covering
When it comes to babies, accidents are inevitable, so it’s essential to look for a mattress that comes with a waterproof cover or buy a good quality waterproof cover for the mattress separately. The best waterproof mattresses prevent liquids and fluids from seeping in and help provide your baby with a dry and healthy sleep environment.
Make sure your mattress has a waterproof cover or invest in a good quality removable waterproof cover
6. Other important features to look out for –
- Dual-sided – Many crib mattresses are reversible and feature a firm infant side and comfortable and cushioned toddler side. If you are planning to keep the mattress for a few years, this is an important point to consider as your baby outgrows the crib and moves on to a toddler bed.
- Meet requirements for flammability – It is important that your baby’s crib mattress passes all inflammability tests. Equally important to note if the mattress is devoid of chemical-based fire retardants and has a chemical-free fire barrier.
- Crafted of hypoallergenic, non-toxic materials – Providing your baby with a healthy sleep environment is of utmost importance so pay particular attention to the materials used in the construction of a crib mattress.
- Made in the USA – Mattresses manufactured in the USA are subject to more stringent laws so you can rest easy knowing that brands have to adhere to strict norms and regulations.
Dream On Me is one of North America’s most trusted nursery furniture and baby products manufacturers with a wide range of mattresses designed to meet the varying requirements of parents. All of our mattresses are Greenguard Gold and JPMA certified and designed and manufactured in the USA.