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Ensuring your child stays comfortable and safe at night guarantees a better sleep for you and your infant, and finding the perfect crib mattress is one way to do so.
To help find the best crib mattress for your baby, we researched the top waterproof and sustainable options available, considering the size, material, and firmness of each one. The Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed checked all of our boxes, being machine washable, dual-sided for long-time use, and breathable yet firm for optimal safety for infants.
Here, the best crib mattresses for a good night's sleep.
Best Overall : Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed
Easy to clean
Breathable yet firm
Some users have found a strong plastic smell upon opening, but this goes away after washing
For peace of mind during the night, we recommend the Newton Baby Crib Mattress as our best overall pick. It boasts innovative, breath-through technology that reduces the risk of suffocation and rebreathing carbon dioxide. This feature also ensures your baby stays cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Also, the entire mattress is washable, from the removable cover to the mattress. Constructed without foam, glue, latex, or springs, parents won't have to worry about allergens when their baby sleeps either. Made from recycled materials and GreenGuard Certified, which guarantees this product has low chemical emissions, Newton Baby proves to be an eco-conscious company that consumers can feel good buying from.
Satisfied parents love the breathability and cooling features of this mattress, so they don't have to worry about their baby overheating during the night. In terms of safety, parents feel confident letting their child sleep on their stomach on this pick. While expensive, the Newton Baby mattress easily grows with your child from an infant to toddler.
One thing to note, some users reported a strong smell of plastic upon opening. Luckily, this seems to go away after the first wash.
Best Budget : Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress
Thick and supportive
Comes with protective cover
Needs to be fluffed and expanded before use
For those on a tight budget, the Graco Premium Foam Mattress provides a comfortable and safe space for your baby to sleep at an affordable price. Screened for over 10,000 chemicals and VOCs known to pollute indoor air, this mattress features a flexible and water-resistant, machine-washable cover in case of spills or accidents.
The memory foam material boasts breathability but also firmness suitable for infants. Compact in a box for easy shipping, this mattress will need to expand for a few hours when taken out of the box. Afterward, you have a dependable and cozy mattress to use for years to come.
Best Organic : Naturepedic Organic Crib Natural Mattress
Waterproof outer layer
Organic and nontoxic
Can sink over time
Naturepedic products ensure all of the materials used in your baby's crib mattress are organic and nontoxic. Without traditional springs, this option proves to be lightweight yet sturdy. The breathability materials follow federal regulations for flammability as well as sustainable requirements for farming and chemical emissions.
The firm base and reinforced edges ensure your baby stays safe all night without dipping to one side. The waterproof seams prevent liquids from seeping into the sides while keeping bugs and dust mites out. Simply wipe off your mattress in case of spills or accidents without worrying about stains.
Best Splurge : Avocado Organic Crib Mattress
Nontoxic and organic
Sturdy and long-lasting
Expensive for the duration it'll be used
Ensure there are no harmful chemicals or toxins in your child's mattress by picking an organic option, like this one from Avocado. Its blend of latex, wool, and cotton ensures your baby has a soft and comfortable sleeping place while being breathable and soothing.
Avocado claims to sustainably source its wool and cotton in India without pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, protecting your child and the environment. These organic materials last longer and feel sturdier than competitor options, but they feel heavier, resulting in a 28-pound mattress. Still, the clean materials and practices and dual-sides for babies and toddlers make this pick worth the heavy weight and price tag.
Best Convertible : Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress
Holds up well over time
Firm yet comfortable
Waterproof cover feels a bit flimsy
As babies get older, they transition to a softer crib mattress that keeps them comfortable while sleeping. Instead of buying two mattresses, consider one with two sides designed for two stages of your child's life, like this one from Moonlight Slumber. One side contains extra-firm plant-based foam ideal for infants. The other boasts soft and plush foam that toddlers can melt into.
The medical-grade stretch knit fabric holds up well over time while resisting water, odors, bed bugs, and dust mites. Parents can feel good about this PVC-free, phthalate- and lead-free, non-toxic, antimony-free, and vinyl-free mattress that won't irritate your baby's skin or allergies while sleeping. It also comes with a waterproof cover, which proves helpful in case of accidents.
Best Breathable : Colgate Eco Classica III Eco-Friendlier Crib Mattress
Some reported a slight chemical smell at first
Finding a breathable crib mattress makes sure that if your baby flips onto their stomach during the night, they will still be able to breathe. The certified safe, high-quality foam in this pick ensures that your baby does not suffocate and will not be breathing in any harmful allergens or toxins.
The dual-sided option features a built-in waterproof backing so no liquids can seep into the mattress and cause stains. As the name suggests, Colgate's Eco Classic Mattress includes "eco-foam" infused with plant oils for an environmentally-friendly purchase. The firm yet lightweight and nontoxic compositions make this a must-buy.
Best Mini : Delta Children Serta SleepTrue Mini Crib Mattress
Made from recycled bottles
Thicker than competitor picks
Firm enough for infants
Not very cooling
Mini cribs require a special smaller mattress that still must have all of the safety considerations of that of a traditional size. Delta Children's Serta SleepTrue Mini Crib Mattress checks all our boxes, including a nontoxic construction, waterproof cover, and 10-year warranty.
The firm fiber core is made from recycled bottles and reaches four inches thick for optimal comfort for your baby. The dual-side ensures you will have this mattress for years or at least until your child outgrows it. At just 4 pounds, this is also a great choice for taking on the go.
Best Waterproof : Sealy Baby Firm Rest Waterproof Standard Toddler & Baby Crib Mattress
Cover can make noise
Finding a waterproof crib mattress or cover is pivotal for keeping a clean sleeping space for your baby. It makes it much easier to wash and clean up spills or accidents without fear of staining or damage. We love this pick from Sealy, which features an antimicrobial and odor-resistant waterproof cover with lock-stitched binding, so nothing can seep through.
The heat-tempered interlocking steel coils in this innerspring option ensure your baby stays cool and content throughout the night. Additionally, the all-around secure edge heavy gauge steel border rods keep them from sinking into one side or getting stuck anywhere on their bed. The cover can make some noise throughout the night, but the cleanliness it provides makes it worth the risk.
Best Innerspring : Kolcraft Pure Sleep Therapeutic 150 Waterproof Toddler & Baby Crib Mattress
Easily wipes down
Sides are not as sturdy as other options
Innerspring mattresses feature internal coils that make for extremely firm, sturdy, and long-lasting products. For infants, the coils prevent them from sinking or falling to one side. Toddlers appreciate the springiness that moves with their bodies, making for optimal comfort.
This Kolcraft mattress comes with a waterproof and stain-resistant non-removable cover that wipes down easily with a damp cloth. Although you cannot remove the cover, it is made from hypoallergenic and breathable materials that remain safe and comfortable for your baby or toddler.
For a breathable, firm, and cooling option, we love the Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed Best. All of the components are machine-washable for great sleep for your baby and an easy clean-up process for you. For a more budget-friendly pick, we recommend the Graco Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress. This comfortable foam option includes a waterproof outer cover, free from chemicals and allergens.
What to Look For in a Crib Mattress
Avoid ordering a mattress just for it to not fit in your child's crib by double checking the size. A standard crib is about 28 by 52 inches. You want your mattress to fit snugly in your crib without any gaps. This avoids your baby from sinking into the mattress or slipping to one size and potentially getting stuck, says Lindsay Albutt, RN. "These are all recommendations supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics," she says.
Mini or portable cribs will require a different size mattress. Mini cribs are usually only 24 by 38 inches, so be sure the mattress you are purchasing will fit in your desired space. This is the first step to building a safe and comfortable space for your baby to sleep.
Crib mattresses come in a variety of materials, from foam and cotton to wool and polyester. Perhaps more important than the actual material is the construction of said material. You want to make sure the materials of the crib you purchase are non-toxic and free of chemicals—this prevents your child from breathing in toxins when sleeping. Look for words such as "organic," "non-toxic," and "hypoallergenic" when shopping. This guarantees your mattress will not irritate your child or trigger any allergies.
The material of a mattress can also affect how hot or cold it feels throughout the night. If your baby runs warm, consider buying a cooling mattress that ensures they won't overheat.
Albutt shares that placing babies on their back on a firm, flat sleeping surface can reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. According to her research, out of 3,400 deaths that occur every year from SUIDS, 72 percent occur in unsafe sleeping environments. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to take small measures to prevent any harm to your child at nighttime.
"Firmness ensures that when babies inevitably roll over, they won't suffocate," Mommywise founder Natalie Nevares explains, and it does not have to sacrifice comfort. "If I wouldn't want to sleep on the mattress, I don't want my baby sleeping on it," she adds.
Nevares says along with firmness, breathability is most important to her when shopping for a crib mattress. A breathable mattress ensures that if a baby flips over onto their stomach, they can still breathe, and most mattresses are made with this in mind. Different fabrics can be more breathable than others, but looking for products that pride themselves on being lightweight and breathable is always a good idea.
"Avoid anything with pillow tops or comfort tops as they can lead to a sleeping area that is too soft," says Elizabeth King, founder and CEO of Sleep Baby Consulting. "These soft spaces allow baby's face to get trapped and can inhibit breathing," she shares.
While not always pivotal for ensuring safety or comfort, many crib mattresses boast environmentally conscious materials and practices that can be appealing to a consumer. "When choosing the right mattress for your baby, I recommend looking for a firm mattress that is Greenguard Gold Certified. This certification ensures that the interior of the mattress is low in chemical emissions," says certified sleep consultant Kaley Medina. This means safer materials for your baby and the earth.
In case of accidents, waterproof crib mattresses are easy to wipe down or throw in the washing machine for a quick turnaround. Some options on this list come with non-removable waterproof covers that are stitched together to ensure no liquid gets through. Others have removable options that you can wash, swap, and reuse. For any option on this list, you can consider adding a waterproof cover on top to make the cleaning process a little bit easier.
One thing to note—waterproof covers can often be loud or crinkly. They are often made from plastic or vinyl that may not the most comfortable to sleep on. If not already included on the mattress, look into the materials of a waterproof cover before purchasing. While a brand may boast an organic, non-toxic mattress, these claims may not carry over to the waterproof cover. You don't want to ruin all of the hard work you did in searching for a non-toxic, organic, allergen-free mattress just by covering it up with something not as clean or safe.
How do you clean a crib mattress?
Most crib mattresses are made with cleanliness in mind. Many options on this list include a mattress and a cover that can easily be thrown in the washing machine weekly or immediately after spills or accidents. Others include waterproof covers that easily wipe down to avoid stains and liquid seeping through. Look into the care instructions before taking the plunge to prepare for inevitable messes.
Do crib mattresses make a difference in a child's sleep?
Medina and Navares agree that the crib and mattress do not have the biggest impact on your child's sleep. Still, creating a safe, comfortable space for your baby is a great way to start. "The single most important thing you can do to get your child sleeping well is teaching how to fall asleep independently, without the assistance of any sleep associations or sleep props," says Medina. Ensuring that your child feels good in their crib and all of the safety precautions are taken only aids in this process.
Nevares adds, "Sleep and development go hand in hand. Once they're getting great-quality sleep, then their development skyrockets." Thus, anything a parent can do to improve a baby's sleep, including finding the perfect mattress, contributes to your baby's development.
What do babies need to sleep?
In a crib, babies need a good flat mattress and a fitted sheet. This sheet should be as tight on the mattress as possible to prevent the baby from suffocating if they roll over on their stomach. "The mattress with the fitted sheet are the only two items that should be in your baby's crib...no mobiles, blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumpers, etc., for safest sleep," says Medina. Because an infant requires so few products to sleep, it becomes important to ensure these few products are as high-quality and safe as possible.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, and more.
Expert advice was provided by Lindsay Albutt, RN, Elizabeth King, founder and CEO of Sleep Baby Consulting, certified sleep consultant and founder of Live Love Sleep Kaley Medina, and Mommywise founder Natalie Nevares.