Crib mattress pads are essential for protecting the crib mattress you meticulously researched to ensure your baby has a safe and comfy place to snooze. When your little one is in their crib for the night, they might be sound asleep, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still capable of making a big mess you’ll be responsible for cleaning later on. Your baby could end up leaking out of their diaper, having a blow-out in the middle of the night, or spit up their last meal (really, the possibilities are kind of endless), and if there’s only a crib sheet between them and the mattress, that means the mattress is going to get dirty. And trust us: Cleaning a crib mattress pad is a whole lot easier than cleaning a mattress.
Crib Mattress Pad vs. Crib Mattress Cove
For the record: A crib mattress cover and pad can be one in the same and the terms are often used interchangeably. If we’re getting technical, pad usually consists of a soft or quilted layer for added comfort, but many products are both a pad and cover in one.
There are different styles, too. Some crib mattress pads are similar to a fitted sheet that wraps around the mattress, some have elastic corner straps to keep them in place, and others simply lie flat on a mattress and can be moved around. One important thing to keep in mind is that a crib mattress pad (or cover) always goes underneath a fitted sheet. Your best bet is to opt for something waterproof that will really keep stains and leaks at bay.
All that said, it is never recommended to pad your baby’s mattress with a plush or squishy layer, as this can become a suffocation risk. Only use products from trusted brands and never use any kind of gel, feather, or foam layer for infants (you’ll want to avoid padding the crib with blankets, as well). When in doubt, ask your pediatrician for recommendations.
Ready to shop? To narrow things down, we’ve selected the best crib mattress pads out there, and they’re all below.
Best Waterproof Crib Mattress Pads
This Sealy crib mattress pad is almost like a fitted sheet — it features a SecureStay fitted stretch skirt that goes around and underneath the mattress for a super snug fit so it never budges. It doesn’t crinkle and it’s made with a PVC-free waterproof barrier for protection against leaks. It also repels and releases stains to keep both the pad and the mattress as clean as possible.
This white crib mattress pad lays flat on the mattress for a snug fit but still has a soft and quilted feel that will keep Baby comfortable. It’s also waterproof to keep leaks away, and it’s easy to clean — you can throw it in the laundry. It’s very durable and should last years, no matter how often you clean it. One reviewer noted, “We have washed it weekly with weekend laundry, also [although there have been] accidents it is still in great shape.”
These Gerber mattress pads are a little bit different than the others. They don’t wrap around the mattress or fit the entire mattress. Instead, you place them underneath the sheet wherever you think a leak might occur. While this can have its downsides, it’s also very versatile; you can use this in the crib, bassinet, or Pack ‘n Play, and it’s also excellent for traveling and doubles as a changing pad.
With over 24,000 reviews, this American Baby Company mattress pad is definitely a favorite among parents. It’s soft, quilted, and comfortable, with a waterproof layer for added protection. It has deep reinforced corners with elastic all around the bottom so that it fits securely and doesn’t move. There’s no crinkling noises that could disturb your baby while they’re sleeping, and overall, it’s just really great quality.
Whether your little one sleeps in their portable crib regularly or you just need something for when you travel, this Swaddlez option is a good one to consider. It’s made to fit a standard size portable crib mattress and fits snug and tight. It’s also made of bamboo, which is naturally sustainable and incredibly soft. It’s super breathable to help control Baby’s temperature and highly absorbent for any leaks that may occur.
NOTE: This quilted waterproof mattress pad is best for toddlers (as opposed to infants) because it features a down alternative pad. The Milliard Quilted Mattress Topper is cushioned for extra comfort and ventilated to increase airflow and regulate sleep temperature. It’s also ideal if you’re concerned about allergies because it’s made of hypoallergenic material that acts as a barrier to prevent allergy triggers like pollen, dust mites, and mold from getting to the mattress.
This hiccapop mattress pad will fit most portable crib mattresses perfectly, with rounded corners and superior edge support. It also grows with your little one, thanks to its dual sides: One side is firmer for infants, the other side is softer and plusher for toddlers. The Jacquard cover is waterproof and hypoallergenic and a zipper makes it easy to take off and put on.
This crib mattress pad has an emphasis on being really breathable. It’s a 3-dimensional structure that allows air to flow through the fabric and under the baby to keep them cool and dry no matter what. It has a waterproof backing to keep your mattress safe from leaks, and it’s made without any potentially harmful chemicals.