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Sleep is crucial for your newborn (let’s face it: for you, too!). Ensuring your baby’s space is set up with a proper sleep environment is an important part of prepping for your little one to come home — and that includes picking a crib mattress.

When it comes to choosing a mattress for your baby’s crib, we know safety is likely top of mind — and there are lots of options for suitable mattresses. So, we’ve got you covered with some general information about what to consider when choosing a crib mattress and our recommendations for those that stand out above the rest.

Aren’t all crib mattresses the same? Not really. When trying to decide which crib mattress you would like to invest in, there are a variety of different types to sort through:

Double-sided mattresses

These mattresses are designed for both the baby and toddler years. One side will be slightly firmer for when you have a newborn, and the other side will be softer for when your child becomes a toddler.

While this can help you to get a little extra mileage out of your mattress purchase, many toddlers are fine continuing to sleep on a very firm surface, so it may not be necessary.

Breathable mattresses

While some mattresses advertise that they are made of breathable materials like mesh, this does not mean that you should place your baby face down to sleep in them — babies should always be put to sleep on their backs!

So what is the benefit of these mattresses? Mattress companies will say that they provide extra airflow to regulate baby’s temperature and keep them safe if they happen to roll over onto their stomach in the night.

However, while the materials might make for a breathable surface, there’s no evidence that a breathable mattress is better at reducing your infant’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as the term isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However, if the idea of extra airflow in your infant’s mattress brings you peace of mind, there’s no real harm (except maybe to your wallet).

Certified

If you’re concerned about sustainability, chemical emissions, or indoor air quality, mattresses that are certified by Greenguard Gold or CertiPUR-US may catch your attention.

With a mattress certified by one of these two organizations, you can rest assured that your baby’s bed does not contain certain chemicals, meets emissions standards, and produces only low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are considered better for indoor air quality.

Another certification to keep an eye out for is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, which requires the textiles used in a product to be made with at least 70% organic fibers. Not only does this help ensure that your mattress won’t have tons of toxic compounds, but the certification helps ensure farmers follow international organic farming practices.

However, you can also rest assured that the manufacture of crib mattresses is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). So any new mattress you purchase in the United States adheres to CPSC guidelines.

When considering what crib mattress, you’ll want to consider:

  • Quality. Will this mattress stand the test of time? Remember that your little one will (hopefully!) be spending many hours sleeping on it.
  • Price. What does your budget allow? Crib mattresses are small, but they can be rather pricey.
  • Safe size and fit. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you’ll want a firm, if not hard mattress. It shouldn’t indent when the baby is lying on it. You’ll also want a mattress that is an exact fit for your crib frame to prevent injury to your baby. If it’s not firm and doesn’t fit the frame, it’s not a safe choice for your baby or your crib.
  • The cover. Crib mattresses typically come with either a fabric or vinyl cover. Fabric covers are more breathable, but vinyl covers are more resistant to punctures, leaks, and stains.
  • Used vs new. With a used mattress, you run the risk of not knowing about bacteria, mold, and stains. It’s better to buy new.

Safe sleep habits are one of the best ways to lower the risk of SIDS, so it’s imperative to always place your baby to sleep on their back in a crib without bumpers, pillows, blankets, or other soft bedding. Toys and stuffed animals are another no-go for babies in cribs. When in doubt, remember: “Back is best.”

A well-designed crib mattress is a firm mattress (one that won’t mold to the shape of the baby or allow them to sink too deeply) that exactly fits the shape of the crib.

According to the CPSC, gaps between the edge of the mattress and the crib frame should not be bigger than two fingers, as it can be a safety hazard. In other words, your baby’s bed should not be easy to make!

Lastly, you should always check to make sure a mattress has not been recalled before using it.

When considering which crib mattresses should make the cut, we considered quality, price, safety features, and reviews from real parents like you. All measurements below are in inches.

Price guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$199
  • $$$ = $200–$300
  • $$$$ = over $300

Best breathable crib mattress

Newton Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 28 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping: free shipping
  • Trial and returns: 100-night trial with free return

Created without springs or foam, this mattress is designed of recyclable, breathable, food-grade polymer, which the manufacturer says results in increased airflow beneath your baby.

This mattress has a unique design, with a core that’s “90 percent air and 10 percent polymer,” according to the manufacturer.

The company claims this makes the mattress extra-breathable, and many parents seem to agree. Consumers are also impressed with the firmness and note that the mattress distributes weight evenly.

This mattress is Greenguard Gold certified and dual-sided so it will grow with your little one. As an added bonus, not only is the cover machine-washable, but the core can be fully submerged in water to clean.

Pros

  • Even the core of this mattress can be cleaned.
  • It is “two-stage,” so you won’t have to buy an additional toddler mattress.
  • The mattress is Greenguard Gold certified, and it’s completely recyclable.

Cons

  • There are cheaper options available.
  • The breathable material also allows pee to pass through the mattress.
  • Using a waterproof pad on the mattress may reduce breathability, so you’ll have to pay more for the waterproof version of the mattress if you want breathability and waterproofness.

Best two-stage mattress

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual-Sided Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: must be returned within 30 days in original condition (not used or damaged) for a full refund, if bought through the Moonlight Slumber website

This mattress wins major points with parents for being bedbug and dust mite-resistant (little ones with allergies will appreciate this, too!), easy to clean, made in the United States, and Greenguard Gold certified.

The mattress is vinyl covered and has a very firm infant-friendly side, and a more plush, foam toddler side for when baby gets older. This double-sided feature can save you money, and when you account for this mattress’s already low cost, it’s a good buy. Not to mention, it’s also easy to clean.

Pros

  • The mattress is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.
  • It has an infant and toddler side, so you won’t need to quickly buy another mattress.
  • It’s waterproof and hypoallergenic for little ones with allergies.

Cons

  • The product must be returned in unused and undamaged condition.
  • A number of buyers complained that it “caved in” after a few months.
  • Some complain the mattress they received was slightly shorter than 52 inches and wasn’t sufficiently snug in the crib.

Best organic crib mattress

Naturepedic Organic Cotton Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: can be returned for free for 30 days if bought through the Naturepedic website; otherwise, consumers must follow the return policy of the retailer where the mattress was purchased

This mattress from Naturepedic is two-sided: The outer fabric is a food-grade, waterproof organic cotton that’s GOTS certified. It’s easy to wipe clean. The inner filling is chemical-free, organic cotton.

Parents say this mattress is great for both newborns and toddlers, but early reviews were mixed when it came to the bed’s structural integrity. A few folks mention sagging in the middle or sides with early versions, but the company says it made improvements based on this feedback. Recent reviews don’t mention the sagging.

Pros

  • The mattress is GOTS, Made Safe certified, and Greenguard Gold certified.
  • It comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
  • The mattress is double-sided, so you have a slightly softer option for when your baby becomes a toddler.

Cons

  • This is more expensive than other crib mattresses on the list.
  • The mattress is covered with organic cotton, but also has metal spring coils and a waterproof polyethylene coating on the infant side of the mattress.

Best mini crib mattress

Dream On Me 2 in 1 Spring Coil Portable Crib Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 38 inches x 24 inches x 3 inches
  • Shipping: free on Amazon and some other sellers
  • Trial and returns: anything purchased from the Dream on Me website isn’t returnable unless it arrives damaged upon delivery; Dream on Me products purchased from other retailers may follow different return policies

If you’re looking for a smaller mattress for a mini crib, this one from Dream On Me might be the right fit. It’s specially designed with lightweight, interwoven coils to prevent sagging, and is Greenguard Gold certified and waterproof.

Parents appreciate that despite its small size, this mini crib mattress includes many of the features of regular-sized crib mattresses — it’s hypoallergenic, double-sided, and so on — and it even comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Worth noting: This mattress is thin, and one parent says it feels more like a changing pad than a mattress. And while it’s small, it’s still important to make sure the mattress is a snug fit within your crib’s frame for safety.

Note that this is not sized to fit play yards.

Pros

  • This mattress is a very budget-friendly option.
  • It comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
  • It’s Greenguard Gold certified.

Cons

  • The mattress is much thinner than many other options.
  • Some parents say the two sides felt nearly identical in firmness.

Best waterproof crib mattress

Lullaby Earth Breeze 2-Stage Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.5 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and returns: 30-day money-back guarantee and free returns when purchased through the Lullaby Earth website

Breathable and incredibly waterproof, this two-stage mattress from Lullaby Earth includes several layers of chemical-free material, a seamless wipe-clean surface, and a snug protector-pad with waterproof backing.

Parents say it lives up to its waterproof claims, but that removing the cover for washing was tricky due to a snug fit.

Pros

  • Mattresses include a lifetime limited warranty.
  • The two-stage design can mean cost savings as your little one grows as you won’t have to worry about a toddler mattress.
  • It’s Made Safe and Greenguard Gold certified.

Cons

  • It’s one of the more expensive mattress options on our list.
  • Some users felt removing the cover for washing was a bit tricky.

Best budget-friendly crib mattress

Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 27.6 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free through Amazon and some other distributors
  • Trial and returns: mattresses can be returned for free within 30 days if purchased through the Graco website; the company doesn’t specify condition requirements

As a brand, Graco has long appealed to parents hoping to stretch their dollars, and this bed’s low price point doesn’t disappoint. This budget-friendly mattress doesn’t skimp where it matters: It’s Greenguard Gold certified and has a machine washable cover. Plus, like many adult mattresses these days, it shows up conveniently at your door, compressed into a cylinder.

On the plus side, the reviews are mostly positive. Parents say it’s lightweight, water-resistant, and firm.

But like most mattresses in a box, there’s a funky off-gassing smell when it’s first opened. The manufacturer (and several parents) suggest giving it at least 2 weeks outside the box at room temperature to properly expand and neutralize — a hassle that could be worth it for the low price.

Pros

  • The price is budget-friendly.
  • This mattress is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.
  • It comes with a 6-year limited warranty.

Cons

  • The mattress has a smell when it’s first opened and decompresses.
  • You’ll want to leave the mattress out to expand for about 2 weeks before putting it to use.

Best lightweight crib mattress

Nook Air Lightweight Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 53 inches x 28 inches x 4 inches
  • Shipping: additional shipping fees depend on which retailer you purchase it through
  • Trial and returns: 100-night free trial when registered

Weighing in at only 9 pounds, this mattress is easy to lift, which can make changing the sheets easy. The mattress is lightweight by design. It also has air channels that help maximize airflow to keep your little one cool while they sleep.

It’s also dual-sided, water-resistant, and made from CertiPUR-US certified foam.

That’s not to say it’s a perfect mattress. A few folks say they wished it was thicker. Like the Graco mattress, this one is compressed and rolled for shipping, and families say it has a strong odor that takes a while to go away when it’s first unwrapped.

Pros

  • The mattress is lightweight and easy to lift for sheet changes.
  • It’s dual-sided, so you can use it longer, and your toddler can have a slightly softer bed.
  • The mattress is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.

Cons

  • It’s one of the thinner mattress options on our list.
  • It can take a while for the mattress to fluff up once it’s unrolled — and as with many mattresses that come in a box, it stinks initially.

Best luxury crib mattress

Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$$$
  • Measurements: 52 inches x 28 inches x 6 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: 100-night trial with free return

The Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress is handmade from materials that have passed some of the most rigorous tests crib mattresses can go through. In fact, this mattress has more certifications than just about any other on our list.

It’s Climate Neutral, Made Safe, and Greenguard Gold certified, and uses GOTS certified fabric. What’s more, it’s certified formaldehyde-free by Underwriter Laboratories, so you can rest easy knowing that your little one is not inhaling harmful chemicals, and your purchase won’t take a huge environmental toll.

Unlike many other mattresses, this one is made to order in Los Angeles using products from the company’s farms. (If you like what Avocado stands for, but the price tag is outside what you’re willing to pay, the company also sells a regular organic crib mattress that’s more budget-friendly, but still expensive compared with some of the other options on this list.)

Pros

  • The mattress is dual-sided, so your baby can have a softer mattress as they grow older.
  • It comes with a 100-night trial.
  • The mattress is GOTS, Climate Neutral, Greenguard Gold, formaldehyde-free, and Made Safe certified.
  • Its long warranty will well outlast your child’s infant and toddler phases.

Cons

  • It’s far more expensive than any of the other mattresses we included.
  • This mattress weighs more than a lot of the other options, which can make it harder to move around.

Best crib mattress for allergies

Sealy Perfect Rest Crib and Toddler Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 51.7 inches x 27.3 inches x 5.25 inches
  • Shipping: free through Target, Amazon, and many other retailers, but check the policy at the store you’re shopping
  • Trial and returns: no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

If you’re worried that your little one has allergies, Sealy’s Perfect Rest mattress has a waterproof cover that provides protection from bacterial growth and is easy to wipe down. This cover also keeps dirt, dust, and even urine from getting into the mattress.

As a bonus for those with concerns about potential chemicals in foam, this mattress takes advantage of air cushioning instead. Don’t think that means the mattress won’t be as firm as foam options — parents who use it say their babies are still well supported.

Pros

  • It’s budget-friendly.
  • It’s double-sided, so it can help little one transition into the toddler phase.
  • The mattress comes with a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship.

Cons

  • The packaging on this mattress didn’t always hold up during the delivery process, according to reviewers.
  • It’s not as eco-friendly as some of the other options on our list.

Most portable crib mattress

Hiccapop Dual Sided Pack ‘n Play PlayPad

  • Price: $
  • Measurements: 38 inches x 26 inches x 3.25 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: free returns within 90 days with no questions asked, when bought from the Hiccapop webpage

If you’re headed out and about, a crib mattress that can fit a play yard is useful. Hiccapop’s mattress stands out because it’s double-sided (including memory foam on the toddler side), has a cozy cover that zips right off for easy cleaning, and weighs 5 pounds.

While you’ll want to double-check that it safely fits inside your desired play yard, it should fit almost any standard-sized one.

Pros

  • This mattress is budget-friendly.
  • It’s double-sided and includes memory foam on the toddler side.
  • The cozy cover is easy to unzip and wash.

Cons

  • The size won’t work with traditional cribs.
  • Some parents worry the infant side isn’t firm enough.

Best eco-friendly crib mattress

Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Measurements: 51.6 inches x 27.25 inches x 5 inches
  • Shipping: free
  • Trial and Returns: no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

If being environmentally friendly is important to you, you may appreciate that this mattress uses soybean oils — as opposed to fossil fuels, like many foam mattresses — from crops grown by U.S. farmers. According to the company, soybeans are renewable. The fact that the materials for this mattress are grown in the United States might also be a bonus for some buyers.

This mattress is also Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified. It comes with a removable waterproof cover that is odor and stain-resistant.

One thing to keep in mind is that while parents like how firm the infant side was, some feel the toddler side is too firm to be comfortable.

Pros

  • This mattress is made using a renewable resource.
  • It’s Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.
  • The waterproof cover is easy to wipe down.

Cons

  • The toddler side might be too firm for your little one.
  • Some users complain about how the packaging held up during delivery.

Wondering how the mattresses stack up against one another? Here’s a chart to help you compare:

CribPriceSize (in inches)CertificationsTrial period
Newton Crib Mattress$$$52 x 28 x 5.5Greenguard Gold certified100-night trial with free returns
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual-Sided Crib Mattress$$52 x 27.5 x 5Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
must be returned within 30 days in original condition (not used or damaged) for refund if bought through the Moonlight Slumber webpage
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Crib Mattress$$$52 x 27.5 x 6GOTS certified,
Greenguard Gold certified,
Made Safe certified
crib mattresses can be returned for free for 30 days if bought through the Naturepedic website; other sellers’ return policies may vary
Dream on Me 2 in 1 Spring Coil Portable Crib Mattress$38 x 24 x 3Greenguard Gold certifiedanything purchased from the Dream on Me website isn’t returnable unless it arrives damaged upon delivery; Dream on Me products purchased from other retailers may follow different return policies
Lullaby Earth Breeze 2-Stage Crib Mattress$$$52 x 27.5 x 6Greenguard Gold certified,
Made Safe certified
30-day money-back guarantee and free returns when purchased through the Lullaby Earth website
Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress$52 x 27.6 x 5Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
mattresses can be returned for free within 30 days if purchased through the Graco website
Nook Pebble Air Lightweight Crib Mattress$$53 x 28 x 4Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
100-night free trial if you register; the trial begins on your baby’s birth date, or the date of purchase — whichever is later; returns will incur a return shipping free
Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress$$$$52 x 28 x 6GOTS certified,
Climate Neutral certified,
Greenguard Gold certified,
formaldehyde-free certified,
Made Safe certified
100-night trial with free returns
Sealy Perfect Rest Crib and Toddler Mattress$51.7 x 27.3 x 5.25Greenguard Gold certifiedbuyers who purchase this mattress on Amazon can return it for free, but it must be in unused condition
Hiccapop Dual-Sided Pack ‘n Play PlayPad$38 x 26 x 3.25CertiPUR-US certifiedcustomers who purchase directly from Hiccapop can get free returns within 90 days, with no questions asked
Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress$$51.6 x 27.25 x 5Greenguard Gold certified,
CertiPUR-US certified
no return shipping charges on this product if purchased with Amazon, but must be returned in new and unused condition

What size is a crib mattress?

The CPSC requires a full-sized crib mattress to be 27 1/4 inches wide by 51 1/4 inches long, with a maximum thickness of 6 inches.

The standard is set to protect infants from suffocation, according to the CPSC. Making sure the mattress fits snugly prevents the infant from falling into the gap between the mattress and the crib rails, which could lead to injury or suffocation.

When to lower a crib mattress?

The crib mattress should be lowered before a baby is able to sit up and again prior to a baby being able to pull up, as falls generally occur when babies try to climb out of the crib, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. These milestones will usually happen between 5 or 6 and 8 or 9 months of age, respectively.

Depending on your crib structure, you may only need to lower it a half notch or full notch before your baby can sit up, but it should be placed on the lowest setting in advance of them pulling themselves up.

When to flip a crib mattress?

Many babies are ready to have their crib mattress flipped around 12 months old. However, your baby may be ready earlier or later than this, it just depends on factors like their weight, growth, and development.

It’s a good idea to check with your pediatrician before flipping your crib mattress, or deciding to add extras, like a pillow. (Generally, kids aren’t ready for pillows until they’re 18 months old, and that’s not to say all children can use pillows at this age.)

Is there a difference between a toddler mattress and a crib mattress?

The main difference between a toddler mattress and a crib mattress is the firmness. A toddler mattress is usually softer than a crib mattress.

However, toddler mattresses are often the same size as crib mattresses, so if you opt for a double-sided crib mattress, your baby may be able to sleep on it through their toddler phase, too. The mattresses can generally be used in cribs or with a more open-framed bed when your child is ready for it.

Whatever mattress you choose, focus on making sure it fits properly in your crib, offers a firm surface, and that you’re following other safe sleep practices. Once you’ve done that, a peaceful night’s sleep for the entire household should follow!