The 'How to Find the Best Crib Mattress' Buying Guide
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Everything You Need to Know about Buying a Crib Mattress

By Kim Proulx

We know that crib mattress buying can be quite stressful with all the features and options available. That's why we've put together this easy to follow guide to give you all the information you need to find the perfect mattress for your precious bundle of joy.

Once you've read our guide, you'll be an expert on crib mattresses. If being an expert isn't your goal, feel free to zoom in on the section that answers your specific questions. If after browsing our guide you still need some help please don't hesitate to contact our Nursery Specialists by clicking on Live Help or get one of our friendly Personal Shoppers to give you a call and walk you through your mattress selection. We're here to make your mattress buying experience fun and easy. For a detailed comparison of all of our crib mattresses see our Crib Mattress Comparison Chart.

Where do I start?

Why the crib mattress is important: Believe it your not, your baby will spend up to 16 hours a day snoozing in his crib so you want to choose a mattress that will keep your little one comfy and safe.

Sorting through mattress choices: There's an overwhelming number of mattress choices available and it can be difficult to know how to pick the right one. That's why we offer a hand-picked selection of quality mattresses and we also provide you with a breakdown of mattress options and features to help you make the right choice for your baby.

Choosing the Right Size

Get the crib before the mattress: Most cribs are standard size, but there are also mini and round cribs. It's easiest if you choose a crib before picking a mattress. If you already have a crib and you're not sure what size mattress you should get, pull that measuring tape out and check the width and length. Another thing to remember is that standard size crib mattresses are also used on toddler beds. The typical dimensions of a standard crib mattress are 27.25" width 51.625" length, but it's always good to measure or check product dimensions online before selecting a mattress.

Mattress research suggestions: We recommend you first create a target price range to help you narrow down your search. Next, we suggest you use our simple mattress selection menu feature. We've selected a number of mattresses that fit well with each of our cribs. We've put these selections in a drop down menu next to each product image to make your mattress selection process easier. If you currently own a crib type that we offer or if you plan to purchase one from us, then we recommend you go to that exact product page. When there, click on the Mattress Selection menu to see a list of mattresses that are a good fit for that exact crib.

To find out more about any of the crib mattresses on the list, we suggest you type that mattress name into our site's search box and click Go. Click on the mattress name to open to the product page to view the mattress features and options. Select a crib mattress that has features that you feel are best for keeping your baby comfortable and safe. (See our options and features section below for more details)

Do I have to spend a lot of money?

Mattress pricing options vs. quality: While we don't recommend skimping on your crib mattress by buying the cheapest one you can find, there are many great choices here for those budget minded shoppers. We offer a good variety of quality mattresses with standard size crib mattresses starting at $89.99.

Mattress Options and Features

Spring vs. Foam: Choosing between the two can be confusing so we'll do our best to provide you with enough info to help you decide.

Spring Mattress: A spring mattress has something called Coil Innersprings. The amount of coils can range from 80 – 280. The mattress size always stays the same no matter how many coils it has. The higher the coil count; the closer the coils are to each other, resulting in a firmer innerspring structure. An innerspring mattress may outlast a foam mattress because the coils add extra support as your baby grows to a toddler. So if youíre planning to reuse the crib mattress on a toddler bed then you might consider choosing a spring mattress over foam. Spring mattresses tend to be higher in price, but if you can use it longer it's worth it. Still, donít rule out the foam mattress because they also have their benefits.

Foam Mattress: Foam mattresses tend to be lighter in weight, making changing sheets an easier task and anything that can make life easier is a good thing, right! They are also quite comfortable and firm and provide the right support for your baby. Foam mattresses are also often lower priced and provide plenty of comfort and support to keep your little one happy.

What is a 2 in 1?: This is a crib mattress with one firm side and one slightly softer side. The firm side is designed for a baby and the softer side is to be used for toddlers. Since a standard crib mattress can be used with a crib or toddler bed, then a 2 in 1 mattress comes in handy. When your baby grows into a toddler bed you simply flip the 2 in 1 mattress over to the softer side and instantly have the perfect toddler mattress. Some of these mattresses include a border wire, on the firm baby side, that provides edge support and helps the mattress keep its shape and minimizes sagging.

Should I buy Organic?: This is up to you. Many mattress manufacturers are moving toward organic products. The quality is just as good as any other type of mattress, and we are all for saving the environment!

Is natural better?: An organic or natural mattress is simply made of natural organic materials such as wool or organic cotton. Due to US laws, all mattresses must be fire resistant. If a mattress is labeled as organic and made of only Organic Cotton then, by law, it must also include chemicals that add a fire barrier. If an organic mattress is made of a combination of cotton and wool then it may be 100% organic with no chemicals due to wools natural fire resistant qualities. Chemical free mattresses are better for the consumer and the production of Organic Cotton is good for the environment because of the non pesticide farming practices.

Firm vs. Soft mattresses: While many experts recommend using a very firm mattress for babies, there is no scientific evidence that a firm mattress is better or safer. We agree with the general thought that a more firm mattress reduces the chance of accidental suffocation. All the mattresses we carry meet or exceed U.S Safety standards and are considered firm mattresses.

Important Safety Tips

Mattress Fit is Very Important!: Once you put your crib mattress in the crib, ensure that there is not more than 1" of space between the mattress and the crib rails. This is an important safety measurement and will ensure that your mattress fits safely in your crib.

Should I use crib bumpers?: Some parents still use crib bumpers, but many parent and family associations are recommending that bumpers shouldn't be used because of possible links to (SIDS) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If youíre considering bumpers you might want to do a little research before making your decision.

How is bedding a safety issue?: We recommend that you use light bedding in the crib to minimize risk of suffocation. You can add bedding to adjust Baby's temperature. If youíre concerned because your baby might get chilly, we suggest you dress your baby in a warmer nightgown with footies or use a sleep sack. It's important not to add pillows or stuffed animals to your infant's crib because this could also pose a suffocation hazard.

How to shop?

  • Set your budget, know what price range works for you.
  • Make sure you know what size mattress you need for your crib before looking at selections.
  • Decide if you want to go with a spring or foam mattress.
  • Read the mattress features and know what you are purchasing.
  • Choose the mattress that best fits your budget and features you desire.

Recommended Products:

Naturepedic Dual Firmness Organic Cotton Classic 150 Seamless Crib Mattress
Naturepedic Dual Firmness Organic Cotton Classic 150 Seamless Crib Mattress