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You must be prepared with everything that’s necessary for when your infant arrives so why not consider purchasing the best baby and toddler mattress you can afford, too? You probably bought the crib already and now it is time to find a suitable mattress that offers your newborn comfort, safety, and support.
Finding the best one from so many different choices can be quite nerve-racking. For that reason, I have created this comprehensive guide on how to find the best crib mattress and all the things you should keep in mind before purchasing it.
How to Find the Best Mattresses for Babies and Toddlers – a Brief Buying Guide.
1. What to Consider When Buying a Baby or Toddler Mattress?
a. Choose the Right Size
The two-finger test is the best method to find out the perfect size that suits your baby’s crib. You must use this method to lower the risks of any issues like safety-related hazards.
Simply put, the space between the crib’s structure and the mattress shouldn’t be larger than a maximum of two fingers. Otherwise, your child’s legs or arms might get stuck in between.
Another aspect to consider is the height of the mattress. Toddlers have the tendency to climb the crib’s fence so you should lower it as much as possible. This way, in case they do fall, at least, they won’t fall from a high point.
b. Use a Cover
The best thing to do in order to prevent stains and have a longer-lasting mattress is by using a waterproof cover. This way, it won’t be damaged by potential spills which are very common when you have a baby.
Covers that aren’t waterproof can lead to mildew or even mold building underneath it over time from all that moisture that gathers up. Both mold and mildew can result in health problems like allergies and asthma.
c. Select the Proper Firmness Level
At first, the mattress your newborn sleeps on must be firm in order for him or her to experience a safe and healthy bone structure development.
Softer alternatives present higher suffocation concerns. Also, you don’t want a product that molds to your child’s body because the infant’s organism needs very good support.
Test the mattress before buying it. You can do that by placing an object or your own hand on the mattress. As long as there aren’t any prints left on the surface, then you’re good to go.
d. Be Cautious with Fabrics
The materials that a mattress is made of are very important. Newborns are more vulnerable when they come in contact with synthetic fabrics which are included in the production of mattresses quite often.
Organic pads, as well as waterproof covers, are strongly recommended, especially if the mattress is manufactured from petroleum-based materials. The best option is to purchase an organic product but that will definitely cost more.
e. Always Clean the Cover
Whenever the cover gets stained or dirty, clean it right away. Use a sponge or a damp cloth to do that. If you have a removable mattress cover, then you can clean it in the washing machine. If the product doesn’t come with a pad or a cover, you should buy one if you want the mattress to have a longer lifespan.
Organic cotton materials are the best when searching for a proper cover. Make sure the pad fits the mattress in a snug manner. Find here the best mattresses pads here:
f. Price Range
When it comes to finding the best baby and toddler crib mattress, you need to shop while keeping in mind the quality of these products rather than their prices. In other words, bargain shopping isn’t something you should try in this situation.
On the other hand, buying an overpriced mattress isn’t always the best idea either. According to clients, a good-quality mattress usually costs between $90 and $350. Organic options have a price range of $80-$400.
2. What Types of Mattresses for Your Baby’s Crib Are There?
a. Foam Mattresses
Mattresses made with foam are very lightweight. In terms of thickness, these products start from 3 inches but they can go up to 6 inches. Even if you opt for a foam mattress, you should consider buying a firm one to avoid any safety risks.
This kind of product allows you to easily verify the way it conforms to your baby’s body. To achieve that you must apply enough pressure on all four edges as well as in the center of the mattress to see if it goes back to its initial shape.
If you ask me, foam mattresses are better suited for toddlers rather than newborns because bigger kids don’t require a very firm sleeping surface anymore.
Although these products are commonly manufactured with safe organic fabrics, they present the risk of suffocation. Find here the best Foam Mattresses models here:
b. Innerspring or Coil Mattresses
These have metal coils which make them reliable and firm. Parents think about these products because, after all, most adults sleep on innerspring mattresses.
These items offer plenty of support due to the placement of the coils which are located in specific pattern schemes. Coil mattresses usually cost more than foam alternatives. Still, the price varies based on the model.
These products also come with an insulator pad that represents an essential element if you want to protect your infant from feeling the metal coils. They aren’t as lightweight as the foam ones but they last longer.
Finally, most of these mattresses come with a cover made from vinyl that, in time, might tear or crack.
c. Organic Mattresses
Usually, organic mattresses are made of natural fabrics such as cotton, latex, or wool. They are considered very safe because they are free of chemicals and flame retardants.
According to research, chemical-based materials that are found in mattresses might release toxic gases into the air that your little one is breathing.
Other studies have shown that non-organic latex can cause allergies. Still, there’s no clear evidence that shows whether or not organic mattresses are really better than regular ones. Find here the best Organic Mattresses models here:
d. Double-Sided Mattresses
When you think about the price-value ratio, these products are the best ones because you can use them for a very long period, from the moment your baby is born and even when he or she grows and becomes a toddler.
One of the mattress’ sides is firmer and offers more support that’s suitable for newborns while the other side is smoother and softer and it is appropriate for toddlers. Even though these products tend to cost more, they are also great in terms of overall value.
3. Baby Mattress Care Tips
If you purchase the right kind of mattress, your infant will sleep safely and smoothly. Also, you won’t stress about things such as chemical inhalation or other usual problems that parents are concerned about.
It is important for the mattress to have the proper level of firmness in order to protect your little one’s bone development. Make sure to follow the guidelines listed below to provide your baby with the best sleep possible.
a. Wipe Any Mess Immediately
Any spill or potential accident represents a sanitary concern, especially if you don’t clean it properly and right after it happens. Moreover, you should be aware that certain spills might lead to bacterial development that can affect your baby’s health in a negative way.
Follow the care tips written on the mattresses’ label, the ones that show how to wipe the product clean of stains while also avoiding ruining the cover. It is best to wrap the mattress in a pad or cover for an easier and quicker clean up.
b. Rotate It on a Regular Basis
You must rotate the mattress once in a while to avoid the material and the filling from sinking or wearing too much. By rotating it, you will have a lump-free mattress for a longer period.
Also, this way, your baby will feel much more comfortable sleeping on it. My advice is to rotate it once per every two weeks. Another option is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
c. Air Out the Mattress
Once you purchase this kind of product, it is best to air the mattress out for a couple of days before using it. This method is proven to take out the nasty smell that most new products come with.
Furthermore, it releases any potential volatile organic compounds that can be trapped in the packaging and which are extremely harmful to one’s health.
d. Clean the Mattress Regularly
Once in a while, you should vacuum your baby’s mattress to get rid of dust, dirt, and other particles, some of which cannot be seen just by looking at the item’s surface. Scrub the stains thoroughly and then rinse those areas carefully. Last but not least, disinfect the product and air it out before using it again.
The Best Mattresses for Babies and Toddler – Top 7 Choices
*The following products were listed in no particular order. I have chosen them due to their customer reviews, ratings, features, and reliability.
1. Eco Classica Organic Cotton Crib Mattress by Colgate
Colgate’s Eco Classica Mattress is lightweight yet firm while also being hypoallergenic. It has received the GreenGuard gold certificate and it has an orthopedic style. This organic mattress enables you to change sheets in no time and the fabric is breathable.
It is free of chemicals. As a replacement, the foam was infused with natural oils made from plants. The product suits both infants and toddlers due to the fact that it is a double-sided mattress.
- It is a safe and certified mattress;
- It has a dual design;
- This product is resistant to moisture and water;
- There isn’t any chemical smell because it is free of chemicals;
- The cover is made from organic cotton;
- It will be very easy to clean;
- The foam is lightweight, natural, and eco-friendly;
- It has a sleek design;
- It has a 6-inch thickness.
- You won’t be able to clean the cover separately because it isn’t removable.
2. Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress by Milliard
The Milliard Crib Mattress has a foam base with is quite firm but the best part about it is its memory foam filling that provides all these characteristics combined: comfort, durability, and support.
Another great advantage is the product’s cover which is manufactured from soft fabrics and it is both removable and machine-washable. Although this is considered a premium or luxury item, its price makes it pretty affordable.
- The product is easy to clean due to its removable cover;
- Its material is of great quality and the brand is a well-known and reputable one;
- The cover is waterproof while the mattress is hypoallergenic;
- Your baby will sleep in a comfortable way due to the product’s memory foam;
- It has a foam base that makes it firm;
- You can use it for infants and toddlers alike;
- It provides great value for the money.
- For small infants, a memory foam mattress might be a potential safety hazard.
3. Baby Bluebird Waterproof Mattress by Moonlight Slumber
The Baby Bluebird dual firmness mattress comes with an outstanding feature: there’s a temperature control function. So, you will be able to keep your child as cool or as warm as you want.
This feature is possible due to the product’s gel memory foam but it is recommended only for toddlers, not for infants. The cover is machine-washable and removable which allows for almost effortless cleaning.
The foam filling is infused with plant oil which makes this mattress safe to use as well as relaxing and comfy. It provides a lot of support and the cover is made from organic cotton.
- It has received the Greenguard Gold certificate;
- It works great for newborns in terms of support;
- The cover is organic and anti-microbial;
- This mattress is safe to use because it is free from chemicals, latex, lead, and BPA;
- It is easy to clean;
- It comes with a dual design which means you can use it for both infants and toddlers;
- The gel foam filling balances your baby’s body temperature;
- It has a lightweight design;
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- It costs more compared to many other mattress models;
- There aren’t any air pockets or vents;
- They say that the cover is organic but it isn’t 100% organic;
- The cover makes creases quite easily.
4. NaturePedic’s Infant Mattress with Dual Firmness Sides
The filling of NaturePedic Crib Mattress is completely made of organic cotton which ensures a safe and non-toxic sleeping environment that your child will benefit from.
It is a firm mattress due to its 150 coil springs which is why your baby will receive a lot of support. The cover is waterproof as well as hypoallergenic. The seamless edging stops bacteria from forming and dirt built from developing.
- It is an allergen-free mattress;
- The filling is organic;
- Its cover is waterproof;
- Clients receive a lifetime warranty;
- There aren’t any chemicals used in this product’s manufacturing process;
- It is a safe mattress for newborns because it offers a lot of support and firmness.
- Changing sheets can be quite challenging because this product isn’t as lightweight as you might expect;
- Some say that the cotton filling can sink over time.
5. Soybean Waterproof Crib Mattress by Sealy
This Mattress by Sealy manufactured and marketed by Sealy is breathable, durable, lightweight, and firm. It provides a superior level of support. In fact, the mattress’ filling is quite an innovation in the industry by being made of soybean oils sourced from multiple American farmers.
The soybean foam has anti-sag characteristics. The cover is made of cotton which is resistant to water, stains, moisture, and odor. The base is very firm yet lightweight.
- It is suitable for both newborns and toddlers;
- The lining is waterproof;
- The cover is comfy and soft because it is made from plush cotton;
- Its filling is infused with soybean oils which are a natural alternative;
- The surface of the mattress will keep your baby’s optimal body temperature.
- You can clean the cover but you won’t be able to wash the entire mattress;
- It might be a tad too firm for toddlers;
- The cover is waterproof but it isn’t removable.
6. Hypoallergenic Baby Crib Mattress by Newton
Newton is a manufacturer that puts safety first when it creates their baby mattresses, and, Newton’s Crib Mattress makes no exception. It is a long-lasting mattress that many pediatricians recommend.
Moreover, it comes with the Gold certification received from Greenguard. This hypoallergenic product provides a safe and hygienic surface for your infant to sleep on. Its clever design allows easy airflow which lowers the risk of suffocation.
- The fabrics are completely organic and free from allergens;
- The waterproof cover is machine-washable as well as removable;
- There’s a very nice 3D cloud design that your toddler will definitely enjoy;
- Users have the possibility to clean and wash the whole mattress;
- The materials are completely recyclable;
- Your baby’s body temperature will get balanced due to the mattress’ breathable fabric;
- Its design is appealing and lightweight.
- This mattress might work just fine for a newborn but, for a toddler, it can be a tad too firm;
- One client stated that the mattress came with a strong plastic odor;
- This product is a bit on the pricey side.
7. Flip Baby Mattress Combo by My First Mattress
There are mattresses and mattresses out there but make no mistake about this one. The Flip Crib Mattress marketed by My First Mattress is a premium product and one of the best of its kind. It is an allergen-free mattress that suits both babies and toddlers.
This is a very durable option that will last you for plenty of years. The filling is made with foam and there’s also a memory foam alternative. The cover is waterproof and you can easily clean in the washing machine. You will be pleased with how firm the base part is.
- It is easy to clean this mattress by removing and washing its cover;
- The memory foam filling makes it perfect for a comfortable sleep;
- The cover part is both waterproof and hypoallergenic;
- Most clients use it until their children reach the age of five years old so it is very sturdy;
- The mattress doesn’t make any noise whatsoever when your baby sleeps on it.
- If you want to achieve a smooth overall appearance of the cover, you will have to iron it regularly because it tends to make creases.
Other Mattresses to Consider:
Crib Mattresses FAQ
You must use a mattress that was specially created for infants and toddlers in order to keep your little one safe and sound. Many parents tend to place their babies next to them in their beds or use bassinets. However, using a crib mattress is a lot safer and healthier for the child. To grow up with a strong and healthy spine, small children need firm support during sleep.
Opting for a used mattress might be cheaper but it is less safe than purchasing a new one. For starters, it can come with numerous sanitary concerns like stains, bacteria, mildew, and even mold. Over time, a mattress loses its firmness, develops clumps, and might present tear and wear signs. All these issues should concern you. Finally, older mattresses were made to suit old or outdated crib models that might not be marketed today.
Only buy those mattresses that are certified and specially created to maintain your infant safe during sleep. If your budget allows it, you should search for products made from organic materials because they have lower risks of allergic reactions. Also, these types of mattresses have environmentally-friendly fabrics. The best ones are those that received the CertiPUR-US certification. They don’t contain flame retardants, lead, or any other harmful substances such as mercury. For what’s worth, these alternatives are also more durable.
On average, this product lasts at least 3 years but it can last up to five years, based on multiple factors such as the conditions in which you maintain it, fabrics and materials, the quality of the mattress, and whether you use it properly or not. For example, a mattress that’s both resistant to mold and waterproof will definitely last longer but the price will also be higher. Another important aspect if you want to prolong the life this type of product is to always use a cover.
How to Find the Best Baby and Toddler Mattresses – Summing Up
All parents should make their child’s safety a top priority. Before deciding what mattress to purchase, you should carefully think about the needs and the growth stage of your baby.
Browse through my recommendations and follow the guidelines I provided in this article to make sure you choose the perfect product that suits your preferences and budget.