How to Buy the Best Baby Crib Mattress

A checklist of what every parent should be looking out for...

If you're in the market for the best baby crib mattress, you're not alone. The problem arises when trying to figure out how to buy the BEST crib mattress for YOUR baby.

Purchasing a crib mattress is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make as a parent to be. An infant could spend as much as 19 hours a day asleep in a crib.

Before you start shopping for a new mattress online or in stores, review the list below for all the things to look for before you make this important purchase: 

How to Buy the Best Baby Crib Mattress

Square Corners & Fit to Crib

Square corners are a must so that your mattress fits snuggly into the crib. The size for all standard crib mattresses is regulated by the Federal government. The minimum size is 27 1/4” x 51 5/8”, not being thicker than 6 inches. Cribs are also regulated, but their interior dimensions have a “plus or minus” tolerance from the standard 28" x 52 3/8" rectangle.

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Waterproof & Antimicrobial Crib Mattress Cover

If you’ve purchased a convertible crib that will transition to a toddler bed or beyond, you’ll be using your crib mattress from birth through potty training. Going through the spit up stage, the heavy wetting stage, and the “accidents” stage will be so much easier with a waterproof mattress. Mattress covers that are labeled antimicrobial or antibacterial are more resistant to the growth of germs.

Two-Sided Crib Mattress

Two sided means that there is a firm side for infants and a softer side for a toddler. The infant side should be really firm; a firm mattress is the ideal platform on which your child will grow. Studies show that you can reduce the risk of S.I.D.S. by laying your baby on their back on a firm mattress for the first year of their life.

After the first year, your baby’s risk of S.I.D.S. is much lower and the softer (but still supportive) side will be more comfortable. A more comfortable mattress will help your baby sleep better through irregular sleep pattern stages.

Medical Grade Crib Mattress

Medical grade means that a mattress has to meet higher standards of bacterial resistance than consumer grade. Medical grade mattresses are made for multiple child use, which supersedes the American Academy of Pediatricians recommendation for buying a new mattress with each child.

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Ultrasonically Welded Seams

Bacteria can start to grow inside a typical crib mattress starting at just three weeks! Ultrasonically welded is just another way of saying sealed shut. No liquids, dust mites, bed bugs, or bacteria can get inside your mattress, which keeps it allergen free for life. You’ll want to avoid any mattress that has edge binding or air vents as this allows these toxins into your baby’s mattress.

No Fire Retardant Chemicals

There have been many recent studies about the seriousness of chemicals used in the production of crib mattresses. Every mattress has to meet federal anti-flammability laws. Look for a mattress that meets these standards with a natural fire barrier vs. the use of these know carcinogens.

Lifetime Warranty

You read that right: a good quality crib mattress will guarantee to be free of defects for the life of the mattress. Whether it’s baby #1 or baby #4, a mattress should be covered by a lifetime warranty.

While the list above highlights the most important elements to consider to help you buy the best baby crib mattress, of course there may be other factors you will want to consider based on your family's individual needs. We have some of our favorite crib mattresses in our Babywise shop, including the Moonlight Slumber Starlight Sleepwell Crib mattress.

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