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How Long are Crib Mattresses Good for?

Updated September 16, 2019

As a new mom, you may be curious to know how long a crib mattress is going to last. If you are going to make such an important and potentially expensive investment, it’s natural that you would be curious about the lifespan of it. Funny enough, my friends seem to call me the “crib mattress expert.” Although i’m no expert, I do have many years of parenting under my belt and I have done more than enough research and testing to fill you in on the secret life of crib mattresses.

 

Making Them Last

Honestly, if you take care of them and do everything the manufacturer advises you do to, your mattress should last quite a while. Your baby is going to sleep on this mattress for most of his first year. It can last long enough for them to use as a toddler bed mattress as well. In order to make it last, here is what you need to look for and do.

 

Material

The saying goes, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters,” and in this case, it’s true. The inside of your mattress matters in terms of durability. Foam mattresses tend to lose their shape and are more prone to indentations over time, although, they have recently improved in quality and durability. If your plan to use this for your next baby or this is a hand-me-down, you need to make sure there are no indentations or sagging. This is a SIDS risk.

Innerspring mattresses tend to last longer because they are made of coils and springs that have been made to not lose their shape. They are also more durable than foam, but the one thing you need to look out for with these types, is the cover. If there is a weak spot in the cover, the spring could poke through. If this happens, throw away the mattress, no matter how old.

 

Durability

The cover of the mattress is the key ingredient to recipe that makes it last longer. If your crib mattress only has a thin vinyl covering, it’s not going to last very long. This is especially true if you are using it for a toddler bed and you have a child that likes to jump around.

If you have a mattress that is made of a double or even triple reinforced layer of covering made from nylon or other strong materials, your mattress will last much longer because it will be harder to compromise its integrity.

 

Mattress Care

Crib mattress care is extremely important when it comes to making last even longer. If you have a cloth cover that can be washed, make sure you wash it whenever it gets wet or there’s an accident. The reason for this is because if you let the spill sit on it, it’s going to leak into the mattress. This can lead to mold or mildew buildup and it can void your warranty.

The waterproof feature of a crib mattress is generally one of its key selling points.

If you are worried about your warranty or keeping the mattress out of the way of leaks and spills, invest in an encasement or protector. These will keep any kind of moisture from the inside of your mattress, keeping it clean, sanitary, and long lasting.

 

Storage

I have 4 kids and I like to save money, so naturally I wanted to save my mattress for each child for as long as I could. The best way to do this is to store it in a place that isn’t filled with moisture or bugs. You wouldn’t believe how easily a bug can make a home in just about anything.

If you can, find some plastic or even a crib mattress box, and place it in that for the time being. You can then place it either in a spare room, closet, attic, or garage, as long as it isn’t prone to getting wet.

After you take it out of storage. Inspect it thoroughly for critters or bite marks. You can even give it a good scrub-down to ensure that it really is clean enough for your baby to sleep on.

Follow our instructions on How to Store a Mattress: A Simple Guide.

 

Is It Still Safe?

Here’s the tricky part when trying to decide if the crib mattress is still good, figuring out whether or not it is still safe for use. Crib mattresses are meant to be firm, unless they are specifically meant for toddlers. Even then, they are still firm but are usually made with a comfort layer or are dual sided.

So what makes it unsafe? For one, indentations. Indentations are bad if you are wanting to use it for a baby. The reason is because they can get stuck in these and suffocate. Especially if they are just learning how to roll.

If the mattress has loose threads or is cracking, it’s probably not the safest thing to use. Kids love to pull on thread, especially mine. They can either swallow these or they can make a hole causing the fluff to fall out. This will compromise the mattress and make it unuseable unless you can get it sewn back up.

 

Conclusion

To sum everything up and answer the question completely, there is no set time frame as to how long your mattress will last. It all depends on how well it is taken care of and what it is made from. You could have the most expensive mattress in the world, but if you don’t take care of it, it’s just going to turn out to be a waste of money. If you are looking for a good quality mattress that will last a while, check some of these out.