How Do You Pick A Perfect Crib Mattress?
In many ways, picking a perfect crib mattress is like picking a mattress for yourself. It’s a similar product, after all! Of course, choosing a sleeping surface for your child comes with additional worries and concerns.
Babies can’t tell you directly if a mattress is too soft or too firm, but we all know that. What some may not realize is that babies won’t necessarily like what we like, or dislike what we don’t. Furthermore, what is safe and cozy for us may not be safe and cozy for them.
We would all like to provide what’s best for our little ones, but what IS the best? How can we tell? The most that we can do is make safety a top priority, and let everything else come after that.
How Can Our Crib Mattress Reviews Help?
We admit: We’re not babies! ? Haha. There’s no way that our crib mattress reviews come from firsthand experience. However, each crib mattress review does take a close look at the pros and cons of each product—in a very practical way.
Your baby’s safety is paramount, but that priority does not exist in a vacuum. There are other, sometimes unavoidable, elements that can affect your decision-making process. We don’t want to make the choice for you; rather, we want you to be equipped with the correct information to do so.
With this in mind, we looked at some of the most popular crib mattresses out in the market today and examined them closely. We applied some objective criteria that we’d previously used to conduct our mattress reviews, but mostly, we thought about what new parents and guardians would want to know.
With a specific set of questions we wanted to find answers to, we did a deep dive online: We read press releases, looked for verified customer reviews, and even had long discussions with some of the crib mattress brands’ support teams. Each crib mattress review is an easy to digest result of all of this research.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Crib Mattress?
Here are the questions that we referred to above! Our mattress reviews follow a format, but all of them try to answer these four. We thought these simple queries would be a great way to frame all the data we were putting together.
1. What Are the Materials Used to Make the Crib Mattress?
With typical mattresses, you also need to look at how thick it is and what the dimensions are. With crib mattresses, standard sizing is strictly regulated. That’s part of why materials make all the difference.
Mattresses for adults can amp up plushness by adding inches to thickness; and if you want all that extra room, you can get a California King for yourself. Crib mattresses mostly rely on what they’re made of and how they’re constructed to be set apart from the competition.
What scored high with Good Night’s Rest? For crib mattress materials, the most important considerations were your little one’s safety and comfort. Anything that’s waterproof, extra breathable and extra firm gets brownie points; as well as materials that are natural and hypoallergenic.
Some helpful follow-up questions: How durable is the crib mattress? What is its usable lifespan? Does it come with a warranty?
2. Does the Crib Mattress Pass the Two Finger Test?
We mentioned earlier crib mattresses have a standard size that is enforced by law. There is also an accompanying standard full crib size to go with those dimensions. Honestly, before worrying about a perfect crib mattress, you should be making sure that your little one’s crib is #SafeToSleep in.
One of the most essential components to your child’s safety while they sleep is the compatibility between their crib mattress and their crib. You can check this by using the two finger test! This simply means that you need to make sure that the gap between the crib mattress and the crib edges are not more than the width of two of your fingers.
If there are standard sizes for both full-size cribs and crib mattresses, why is the two finger test still needed? Simple: The requirements are not numbers that manufacturers need to follow to the last decimal point.
Crib mattresses need to be at least 27.25 inches by 51.25 inches and not more than 6 inches thick. Full-size crib interior dimensions are expected to be 28 inches by 52 inches, but there is an acceptable range of variance of a little over half an inch—plus or minus 5/8 inches or 1.6 centimeters, actually—for each side.
Some helpful follow-up questions: Does the crib mattress come with a return policy in case it’s not compatible with the crib to be used with it? Does the crib mattress brand have a great reputation when it comes to customer service?
3. How Easy Is It to Clean the Crib Mattress?
This is a consideration that we don’t really tackle much in our regular mattress reviews. With crib mattresses, though, this is often a deal breaker. Your little one will have accidents on their crib mattress, and you will not always have the energy and patience to deal with these accidents in a calm and collected manner.
What makes cleaning a crib mattress easy? We love products that have inverted seams—even better if they’re sealed and waterproof! A primary concern when cleaning mattresses is how thorough you need to be. If the mess is easily wiped away and is guaranteed to not be able to penetrate the mattress cover, that’s a big plus.
Weight also plays a part here. Even with a crib mattress that’s completely waterproof or covered with a mattress protector, you’ll want to change crib sheets for some messes. The lighter a crib mattress is, the easier it will be for you to do this.
Some helpful follow-up questions: Is the crib mattress cover washable? If so, is it hand wash only or machine washable? Does the crib mattress brand recommend a certain kind of mattress protector or a certain brand of crib sheets?
4. How Much Does the Crib Mattress Cost?
Price really is a significant consideration when it comes to any big ticket purchase. You may be tempted to overspend to guarantee that you will get what’s best for your little one, but remember: Cost isn’t always an indication of quality or compatibility. Also, a crib mattress isn’t something your child will use for more than three years at most.
On the other hand, you may be tempted to go for something that the most affordable and easiest on the pocket. Even if it’s in order to leave funds for a possible replacement due to the mattress being compromised or being outgrown, this is not a good strategy. The cheapest products will often be made of the cheapest materials.
We like to look for a happy medium when it comes to crib mattress cost. If it’s pricier than most, but has many positive qualities, that’s taken into consideration. If it’s a budget-friendly choice that may not have all the bells and whistles—but delivers on everything it promises to do—we consider that, too.
Some helpful follow-up questions: Does the crib mattress brand specifically state that it is a “dual-stage” or flippable product? Do you plan on getting your child a twin mattress and bed as soon as they reach their toddler years, or are you planning on stretching the use of your crib mattress?