How to Buy a Good Crib Mattress

image001 When picking out sleeping stuff for your baby, you may forego getting a good crib mattress in favor of finding the perfect crib or cute beddings. This is a big no-no, as a good crib mattress can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one for you baby. It will also ensure that your baby remains safe throughout the night.

Many of you may be concerned about how to buy a good crib mattress style=. When buying your baby’s mattress, remember that it will stay with your baby all the way to toddler years. Thus, it must be able to withstand his/her weight as your baby jumps and walks all over it. Later on, you can use the same mattress when he/she transfers to a proper bed. Since your baby will be using the mattress for a while, it’s best to make sure that it will be an excellent one. Our guide below will help you do just that.

What Should You Know about Crib Mattresses?

Most mattresses measure 515/8 x 271/4 inches and are 4 to 6 inches thick. They are usually covered with vinyl and sealed with fabric binding to ensure durability. Vent holes in the sides help keep the mattress levelled even as your baby moves, and also allow foul odor to escape from the inside. To provide extra protection for your baby, mattresses may also be waterproof, hypo-allergenic, flame-retardant, stain-resistant, and bacteria-resistant.

No matter what kind you select, it is of utmost importance that you pick one specially designed for babies. Other regular mattresses lack firmness and may pose a risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

What Types of Crib Mattresses Can You Buy?

If you want to know how to buy a good crib mattress, learning some infromation about the types of crib mattress can help you get a good crib mattress.

1. Foam Mattress

Mattresses with foam stuffing are the most affordable selection and have densities of approximately 1.5 pounds per cubic foot. However, in case densities are not indicated on their packaging, it is a good idea to check their weight. Regular foam mattresses weigh approximately 7 to 8 pounds, while those made of memory foam can weigh up to 20 pounds.

Although it is advisable to select a firm mattress for your baby, it is not always best to purchase one that is too heavy. You will still have to hoist it up to change the sheets and you will not want it to be very heavy. Resilience is also important in a foam mattress style=. Your baby will leave an impression on the mattress while he/she sleeps, and if it does not regain its normal shape, he/she will be trapped and unable to switch positions.

2. Innerspring Mattress

Though usually pricier, innerspring mattresses are more durable than foam ones. A greater number of metal coils are the primary indicator of firmness, though lower wire gauge and more turns per coil also contribute to this. Select a mattress with 135 coils or more and a wire gauge lower than 15.5.

3. Organic Crib Mattress

Foam and innerspring mattresses made with cotton or wool are also becoming popular. Though they can be expensive, they are completely free of the reportedly harmful flame retardants, vinyl, polyurethane foam, and latex used for ordinary crib mattresses. If you are on the lookout for an organic mattress, select one with the globally uniform Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, which is a sign that chemicals and heavy metals were not included in its production.

Want to know more about the types of crib mattresses? Check out the video below:

What to Look for When Buying a Crib Mattress

What to Look for


The right size

A too-small mattress can be a suffocation and entrapment hazard for your baby. A proper one should have dimensions of no less than 515/8 x 271/4 inches and a thickness of no more than 6 inches. It should also be less than two fingers of space away from the edge of your baby’s crib so that he/she does not get trapped between the mattress and the crib when he/she curls up near its edge.


A soft mattress can easily adapt your baby’s form, making it difficult for him/her to move and creating a risk of suffocation and SIDS. A firmer surface will be a lot safer, and will not be uncomfortable, either. To check if a mattress is firm enough, press on it and observe if it regains its original shape quickly.

Mattress cover

A composition of double-laminated or even triple-laminated ticking with nylon makes a good mattress cover. It is water-resistant and less likely to tear, develop holes, and it can absorb diaper leaks.

Enough venting

Vent holes in the mattress sides are great for keeping it stable while your baby moves. They also promote better ventilation, allowing the foul odors from diaper leaks to escape.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials have set safety standards for crib mattresses that must be met by manufacturers. For organic mattresses, Oregon Tilth and the Global Organic Textile Standard are the biggest providers of certification.

More Safety Tips on Crib Mattresses



No used or second-hand ones

Using second-hand mattresses has been said to increase the risk of SIDS. The previous user’s bodily fluids may have trapped bacteria inside the mattress, compromising the safety of the next baby. However, second-hand mattresses have only been associated with SIDS, and not identified as a direct cause.

No improperly stored mattresses

Mattresses that are stored improperly may accumulate fungus, creating a health hazard for their next users. Never buy a second-hand mattress unless you are certain it has only been in a clean environment, and even then, it is still advisable to get a new one.

No air mattresses

Air mattresses are a huge suffocation hazard for infants. The CPSC has issued a warning against using them and other soft surfaces, stating that infants should never be placed on air beds, water beds, and beds not designed for babies’ use.

Check the firmness

The ideal crib mattress should stay flat and unyielding. Check if it can hold its original shape after you put pressure on it.

Check the height

Make sure your baby’s mattress fits well with the crib sheets you are planning to use. Loose and ill-fitting fabric can suffocate your baby.

Pick a crib sheet

The CPSC promotes using fitted crib sheets that cannot be pulled loose by your baby. Test if the sheet overlaps with the mattress when inside the crib.

Exterior fabric must be fire resistant

Serta has developed a FireBlocker protection, which prevents the spread of fire in the event that the mattress does catch a flame. This provides more time to safely distance your baby from the fire.

Want to know 12 best baby crib mattresses? Check out the video below: