Babies spend a ton of time in their crib, so buying a safe and comfortable mattress is very important. There are important standards to follow for infant mattresses, and it can be hard to find information narrowing down which mattresses are safe or not. Putting a baby to sleep on a mattress that isn’t intended for babies increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and doesn’t provide the support that a growing baby body needs. There are many different factors that need to be considered before you buy your first baby mattress. It can be overwhelming, but hopefully, this guide will help you make your decision.
The Differences between Types of Mattresses
Generally, foam mattresses are less expensive than innerspring mattresses. Some of the least expensive foam mattresses may break down over time, however. When it comes to baby mattresses, the denser the mattress is, the better it is for a baby. Dense foam mattresses are going to weigh quite a bit more than the less dense options, but it will still weigh less than most innerspring mattresses. To check the density of a foam mattress, press really hard on both sides of the mattress. If the mattress is dense, you will not be able to push very far. Foam mattresses are typically between 3″ and 6″ thick.
Innerspring mattresses have coils inside and tend to be more expensive and heavier than foam mattresses. While you have to pay attention to the density of an innerspring mattress, it is a little more tricky than checking the density on a foam mattress. The number of coils on the inside factors into the density of a mattress, but so does the amount of metal. A quality innerspring baby mattress should have 135-150 coils in it, and the coils should have a gauge of 15.5 or lower. The lower the gage, the thicker the coil is, which means a more firm mattress.
- All Natural
All natural mattresses can be made with cotton, wool, coconut fibers, food-grade polymers, plant-based foam, or natural latex. The organic material tends to be more expensive than non-organic material, so the mattresses are more expensive than both foam and innerspring. While normal, non-organic baby mattresses contain chemicals that make them fireproof, organic mattresses do not contain these chemicals.
So, Which Mattress Type is Better?
It is important to remember that one mattress type isn’t better than the other. This, too, all depends on preference. There are quality mattresses of each type.
Some of the important aspects to consider when choosing which mattress type is right for your baby are that:
- Foam mattresses are MUCH lighter than innerspring mattresses
- Foam mattresses are less expensive than innerspring mattresses
- Organic mattresses do not contain flame retardant.
- Organic mattresses are more expensive.
- Organic mattresses are made of all-natural products and have no chemicals.
New or Used?
It might be tempting to put a used baby mattress in your baby’s crib, but you should definitely avoid doing so. Some studies have shown that placing your baby on an old mattress can increase the risk of SIDS. Another reason to avoid putting a used mattress in your baby’s crib is that baby mattresses get poop and pee on them, so you don’t want your child being exposed to bacteria. There also could be dust mites inside of the mattress. One other thing to consider when it comes to an old mattress is that it could be worn out and sagging in the middle, even if you aren’t able to see it very well, and that makes it unsafe for a baby to sleep on. Your best bet is to buy a brand new baby mattress to make sure your child stays healthy, safe, and comfortable.
A crib mattress should be between 27 5/8″ and 28 5/8″ wide, and between 51 3/4″ and 53″ long. By law, you cannot use a crib mattress that is smaller than 27.25″ by 51.25″, and the mattress cannot be any thicker than 6″. Using a mattress that is too small for the crib can be dangerous for the baby because their head can get caught in gaps, even if they are small.
The weight depends on the type of mattress. Foam mattresses weight anywhere from seven to 20 pounds. Innerspring mattresses are between 15 and 30 pounds.
The Best Baby Mattresses
The best baby mattress depends on what exactly you are looking for. Everyone has different preferences, so you may love a mattress that someone else isn’t a fan of. This makes it even more complicated to buy the perfect mattress. Luckily, here is a guide of three of the best baby mattresses.
The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Dual Sleep Surface Crib Mattress is a foam mattress that is waterproof, so it will clean up easily if your baby has an accident. It is also hypoallergenic and lightweight. It has two sides; one side is extra firm for an infant, and the other side is plush for a toddler. It also has SafeSewn seams, which makes it resistant to dust mites and bed bugs.