Crib mattresses come in all forms, including organic, non-toxic, ultra-supportive … so, which one should you choose? Like everything you purchase for your baby, you’re gonna be doing some intense research, especially when it comes to finding the best crib mattresses. And there’s bound to be some headaches to follow. Which baby crib should you go with? Which bed rails are the safest? Should you buy disposable or reusable cloth diapers? How many swaddles or sleep sacks does one infant need? And just as you’re ticking off every essential in your registry, the one thing you realize is missing is the crib mattress. This is a big-ticket item as far as commitment (you’ll have it for years) and price (you don’t have to spend a lot, but the pricing really varies).
Buying the best crib mattress for your baby is getting harder and harder as more information comes out about how harmful traditional mattresses can be. There’s so much info out there about organic versus non-organic, and latex fibers versus rubber or cotton. It’s enough to make a busy and already exhausted parent’s head spin.
What type of mattress is best for a baby crib?
“Crib mattresses should always be firm to provide the safest surface for babies,” Mitchell begins. “We also want crib mattresses to be durable to withstand the wear and tear they might receive over the years. Ideally, you are able to use the same mattress with your baby in the newborn stage through toddlerhood and maybe even afterward, and as children get older they are harder on the mattress.”
Mitchell adds, “We also know that children can have accidents and soak through the sheets, so I definitely recommend investing in a waterproof mattress.” Of course, a crib mattress cover is another smart way to protect your investment.
Jean Moorjani, MD, FAAP, and a board-certified pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, notes that whatever you choose, a good fit for your particular crib is key. “Even though it may seem like cribs and crib mattresses are all the same standard size, you want to select a crib mattress that fits appropriately in your chosen crib. Make sure that your crib mattress fits snugly in your crib without any extra spaces or gaps. Extra space might let your baby’s arm, leg, or head accidentally become trapped. Also, make sure that the crib sheets fit snugly so they do not slip off and potentially create a suffocating hazard for your baby.”
Essentially, you’re looking for something firm, thick, durable, waterproof, and the perfect size. It sounds like a lot, but trust us Mama, it’s out there — and it’s organic too! Mitchell’s recommendations include brands such as Avocado Mattress and Newton Baby (which you can find below!)
What is a standard-size crib mattress?
Standard crib mattresses are about 28 by 52 inches, but there can be small variations in both “standard-size” cribs and crib mattresses that can ultimately impact safety. That’s why it’s always best to check the dimensions of your crib before purchasing a crib mattress, then double-check the fit before Baby sleeps on it.
Is a toddler mattress the same as a crib mattress?
Many crib mattresses are dual-sided, with one side being for infants, one side for toddlers. The major difference is the firmness; the infant side is extra firm to ensure safety and reduce the risk of accidental suffocation. Dual-sided mattresses tend to be more expensive, but they’ll last you much longer because your child can sleep on it for several years.
We’re not here to cause you any more headaches, which is why we did all the work and research in narrowing down the top crib mattresses for you. Organic, non-toxic, foamless, PVC- and phthalate-free — no matter what specific certification, ingredient, or material you’re looking for. You and your baby can rest easy knowing every mattress on our list is non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals. And even better, many of these mattresses have a dual-side design so you can invest in one that will last you from infancy through the toddler years.
One major decision— and worry— off the list! (And yes, you CAN still add it to your registry.)
Best Affordable Crib Mattresses
A tried and true brand in the world of baby gear Graco’s Premium Foam Crib & Toddler Mattress is a nursery essential at an affordable price. Like the Abbott, this mattress only features one level of firmness. That said, its appropriate for both age ranges, so if your baby-turned-toddler is comfortable on it, then why spend more? Featuring lightweight foam, this 7-pound mattress ships compressed, and once it’s unrolled, it’ll start to expand. It’s breathable, features a soft waterproof cover, and most importantly, it meets (or surpasses) plenty of safety standards. For starters, it’s GreenGuard Gold Certified, plus it’s free of prohibited phthalates, lead, and mercury. It also complies with ASTM International and CPSC safety standards as well as applicable federal flammability standards. Finally, it also passes what’s arguably the truest test of all: It’s highly rated by Amazon reviewers.
First, let’s talk certifications: The Sealy Posture Perfect Hybrid 2-Stage crib mattress is GreenGuard Gold Certified for indoor air quality, passes CPSIA lead and phthalate testing, and does not contain any toxic fire retardants. It’s made in the USA with imported parts and features a lifetime warranty on both workmanship and materials. Now, let’s talk about the other good stuff parents look for in a crib mattress. Waterproof cover? Check. Hypoallergenic layers? Check. Firmness? Check. Speaking of firmness, this mattress grows with your baby, too, so start them off on the firmest side as an infant, then when they’re toddler age, flip the mattress over for a softer, comfier version perfect for preschoolers. You’ll also love Sealy Posture Perfect’s two hypoallergenic layers of cotton wrap that ward off allergens and keep the mattress breathable.
Best Organic Crib Mattresses
Naturepedic isn’t just for adults with bad backs. Believe it or not, it’s beneficial for your youngest family members, too. Certified organic and non-toxic by the Global Organic Textile Standard and GreenGuard, this crib mattress comes in at 10-12 pounds—it’s the lightest crib mattress available, making it easy-peasy to change out BB’s sheets. We love the 2-stage dual firmness that provides 24/7 comfort for infants and toddlers alike. As you know, accidents unfortunately happen, but there’s a silver lining. The non-toxic waterproofing allows you to wipe clean to ensure that the mattress your baby is sleeping on is *actually* clean and free of germs.
Raves one parent, “This mattress gives us peace of mind. The reason, because we spend a lot of our lifetime sleeping on a mattress. Making sure our mattress and our little guys mattress is free from chemicals was extremely important to us. When the mattress arrived it was packaged in plastic and then placed in a box. It’s labeled so you know which side to use, toddler or infant. You can definitely tell which side is the infant side due to extra firmness. What we liked about this mattress is the moment we took it out of the plastic there was absolutely no smell. The mattress is super easy to clean, we still use a mattress protector just for added protection. Also, we liked the fact the mattress is very lightweight allowing my 5ft tall wife the ability to change sheets easily.”
Wonder Buggy’s crib and toddler mattress certainly ticks off all of the boxes when it comes to combining safety and comfort. They use their healthier Breathe Fiber that provides a lasting comfort without the VOC’s or off-gassing. It’s also dual-sided so the mattress will grow with your little one through their toddler years. The water repellent cover is made of organic cotton, is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, and machine washable, so clean up is easy after any accidents. One happy parent raves, “Awesome quality crib. Very comfortable. Sleep quality is great. Back support for young infants and children is very important. This is soft yet firm enough. Great price and value!! Awesome mattress!! Very pleased and highly recommend!”
Careful now, moms. Don’t fall off your chair (man, we hope you’re actually sitting down) because this is the Luxury Organic Crib Mattress from Avocado Mattress. Sure, it’s expensive AF, but when you read through and realize how Avocado checks off all the safety and non-toxic boxes a parent could want, you might just re-think your budget. The Luxury Organic Crib Mattress is a part of Avocado’s new Conscious Luxury Collection, which features GOTS organic certified crib mattresses with a two-stage design: infants and toddlers. This mattress may be pricey, but at least you can rest assured that you won’t have to replace it once your infant turns into a toddler and then, a kid. It will last a long time, as it transitions and grows with your baby. Made from premium organic materials – including 170 ultra-premium cotton-wrapped coils – every material used in, on, and around this mattress has reached the standards of the most trusted and rigorous certifications. If you want that peace of mind, mamas, Avocado is the way to go.
Best Waterproof Crib Mattresses
Accidents happen, vomit is inevitable, and it can be a constant struggle dealing with the clean up. Not to mention it can start to cost $$$ if your baby’s mattress isn’t holding up like you hoped and you find yourself needing to replace it. Babyletto’s Pure Core crib mattress with a hybrid waterproof cover is the answer to your leaky diaper woes. And before you ask, the mattress cover is vinyl free! The inside of the cover has the waterproof backing while the exterior is soft cotton that is gentle on your baby’s face. One Amazon reviewer says “The firm side is perfect for his current age and the softer side will be great for when he’s a toddler. Love the waterproof cover that comes in it. It doesn’t make a crunchy noise like a lot of waterproof covers do so it doesn’t disturb the baby and it’s super soft. I appreciate that it doesn’t have any chemical flame retardants and it’s a natural mattress. Gives me peace of mind.”
Beautyrest’s Ultra Deluxe 2-in-1 Innerspring Crib mattress is a more budget-friendly option to the Babyletto mattress. It’s dual-sided design makes it worth the money knowing you can flip the mattress over for the softer side once you’re toddler-ready. The woven cover allows it to be both waterproof and stain resistant. Even the most insane diaper blowouts are no match for this mattress. This happy parent shares, “I was surprised at how good of quality these mattresses are. Both the infant side and told their side exceeded my expectations. The infant side of the mattress is VERY firm! The toddler side is perfectly soft. This mastress doesn’t off gas and the stitching and overall quality is great. I ended up buying another one. It came in the same great quality as the first one.” Beautyrest’s Sleepy Whispers mattress is Greenguard Gold Certified, non-toxic, and made without any harmful chemicals like: lead, formaldehyde, or PBDE fire retardants.
The Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Crib & Toddler Mattress is lightweight, durable, and chemical-free so you can both breathe a sigh of relief. It includes a removable waterproof mattress cover that’s specifically designed to be breathable (see a pattern, here?) so Baby can sleep comfortably, too. Explains one Amazon reviewer who’d been shopping around, “Read so many reviews; the team at Buy Buy Baby really helped us understand why you want a firm mattress, but we also wanted a breathable one; not [one] full of chemicals, but that had flame resistance. Finally found one that checked all the boxes.” This dual-sided pick can be used all the way through your LO’s toddler years.
Serta’s Tranquility Eco Firm is a great all-around choice for a mattress. Its eco-friendly, non-toxic build is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified, so that means it’s a safe, worry-free choice for your child. It’s also dual-sided for better comfort and stability, and its vinyl cover is waterproof for super easy cleaning. Not only is it made int he USA, but it brings a 35-year warranty. Shares this Amazon customer, “I decided to purchase this mattress to replace [the foam] mattress that came with our crib due to concerns about toxic emissions. This mattress carries the Green Guard certification for low chemical emissions, and is very well constructed – it seems like it will last for a long time. The mattress is a perfect fit for the standard crib – leaving no gaps are spaces along the edges. There is an infant side and a toddler side (the infant side is clearly marked on the mattress). This mattress is also very quiet – does not make crunchy noises when the baby moves around. Highly recommend!!”
No need to worry about toxic foam with the Colgate Eco Classica III. This mattress uses eco foam infused with plant oils, so you can rest easy knowing your baby is sleeping on one of the most all-natural mattresses available. Made in the USA, the Eco Classic features 6 inches of thick, orthopedic mattress that can fit most standard cribs and toddler beds. It also features extra seams for added durability and has all the eco-friendly and nontoxic certifications a parent could possibly want out of a crib mattress: GreenGuard Gold, CertiPUR-US certified, CPSIA compliant, and compliant with all federal and state flammability requirements. It grows with your baby, featuring a firm infant-friendly side and then a less firm side for toddlers who prefer more comfort. The cover is made from certified organic cotton and is also waterproof, so when spills happen, you know what to do, Mom. Throw it in the wash and you’re good to go!
Best Dual-Sided Crib Mattresses
There’s a reason why this Wovenair crib mattress by Netwon is a top-rated crib mattress. Actually, there are several reasons and they come in the shape of all the different awards this mattress has won. (And trust us – there are many.) It comes recommended by Dr. Sears. It’s also a winner of the JPMA Innovation Award and is GreenGuard Gold-Certified. This mattress works for both infants and toddlers — but unlike other 2-step mattresses, you don’t have to flip this one over. Instead, it accommodates both infants and toddlers with a mattress firmness that lives somewhere in between both firm and soft. Concerned about toxins? Not here! The Wovenair is free of foam, latex, springs, glue, or allergens. It’s also temperature-regulating on its own and features innovative Breathe-Thru technology that lets air pass freely and independently. This technology has been proven to reduce risk of suffocation and CO2 rebreathing. It even works to protect your baby as he rolls over throughout the night.
Your little dreamer can catch peaceful ZZZs on this crib mattress from Moonlight Slumber. Made in the USA and also GreenGuard Gold-Certified, this mattress is free of vinyl, polyethylene, PVC, lead, and phthalates (AKA all the bad stuff that could reside in a mattress). It’s non-toxic, waterproof, and features a nylon cover that’s as safe as it is durable. The infant side of this mattress features an extra firm high-density foam mattress, while the toddler side is made from regular firm foam, making it a softer, more peaceful option for your child as they grow. Hypoallergenic and made with CertiPUR-certified foam, the Moonlight Slumber mattress is also treated for antimicrobial protection to ward off bacteria, allergens, and dust mites. See? This mattress doesn’t just help your baby sleep; it also keeps them from getting sick! And instead of using harmful flame retardants, Moonlight Slumber uses a more natural woven fire barrier that protects your child all the same, without the toxic ingredients.
Now that you’ve got your baby’s crib all situated, check out more mom-approved baby gear!