Figuring out how to choose the best crib mattress can be quite the hassle. There are many different things that you need to think about such as whether or not if you want to go organic, innerspring, foam, memory foam, or if you want a dual sided mattress.
After countless hours of research and hands on testing of over 13 highly recommended crib mattresses organic or otherwise, I’ve compiled this list of my top recommendations to save you some shopping time. Take a look at the different kinds of mattresses that ranked very highly in my crib mattress reviews.
How To Choose A Crib Mattress
I cannot tell you exactly how many crib mattresses are on the market today, but I can tell you that they aren’t all the same. They each have their own unique features and each performed differently with the tests I did on them. There are a few different qualifications that I believe make for a good sleeping surface for your baby. Here’s what to look for in a crib mattress that I think are important.
Support and Firmness
When it comes to a baby’s development, you definitely want a crib mattress with ideal support. One of the main reasons for this is to reduce the risk for SIDS. If you aren’t aware, SIDS is known as “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” A majority of the cases are due to suffocation whether it be from overheating, getting stuck face down, or unknown reasons.
If the mattress doesn’t have the proper support, there is that risk that a baby could roll over onto their stomachs and not be able to get back over because the mattress has indented under them. For all of the mattresses I tested, I made sure it had the right amount of support and firmness for a baby to sleep on.
Comfort is more for the toddler range in this particular category. Yeah, comfort may be an issue for some babies, but most just fall asleep anywhere if they’re tired enough. I’m sure a lot of you have witnessed your baby falling asleep on a blanket on the floor or in their exersaucer. Mine use to do it all of the time, proving that babies can sleep on anything.
When your baby is old enough to start fighting sleep because their mattress is uncomfortable, is where the comfort category comes in. When I was testing my mattresses, I had my toddler son sleeping on them. If it was too firm for him, I knew. I also kept in mind that firmness was ideal for babies. This is where dual sided mattresses are best, or ones that are meant for both to use on one side. When your child is ready to transition onto the more comfortable toddler side, all you have to do is flip it over. If it’s the kind that automatically adjusts to the child, as they get heavier, it will get more comfortable.
I never really thought about this until I started testing these. If your child is sleeping under a blanket in their crib and it gets to be too hot in the room, what’s going to happen? They’ll probably start to overheat and sweat. Believe it or not, this is another cause of SIDS. This is why, now, I take the breathability of these mattresses very seriously.
A lot of companies will claim that their beds have temperature regulation features, but how many of them are actually true? This is where my tests came in handy. I took a heating sock and a temperature gun and timed how long it took to get down to regular body temperature from a designated temperature of 130 degrees on the mattress. Most mattresses took around 20-25 seconds.
Most of the beds that had claims of breathability passed the test. There were only a few that failed. I also found that most of the mattresses that were made of cloth, retained more heat than ones made from vinyl. I cannot say for certain as to why this is, but that’s just how it turned out. Also, the memory foam ones that I tested performed better than the rest, which is kind of unique. Usually, memory foam retains heat, but not in this case.
Ease Of Cleaning
We all know it’s going to happen, that blowout that makes a complete mess everywhere. And what’s worse than the blowout? Staining and ruining that brand new mattress. It’s happened before, and it will happen again, in my house at least. My son also enjoys finger painting with his poop; that’s always fun to clean up!
Anyway, I found that the cloth types that did not have a removable cover were the worst ones to clean up and the ones with vinyl covers were the easiest. The ones in the middle are the ones with the removable covers. It may seem like a good concept, but sometimes removing and replacing the cover is more trouble than what it’s worth. Yes, removable covers are handy, I will give it that.
The vinyl-like ones were the easiest because the liquid didn’t go through the material and cleaning took minimal effort from a sponge and some soap. This was especially true for those finger painting days.
I could go on and on about what kind of qualifications are best for a crib mattress, but these ones are what I think is more important than all of the other ones.
Foam Or Spring Mattresses?
Yes, there are more than one type of mattress material. Not all of them are going to be made with that weird cotton junk that seems to crumble after a few years of use. Today, your two main options that are affordable are foam and innerspring. So, is one better than the other? Did they perform differently on tests? Let’s check it out.
The foam types were given to me the most to test out of all of them. But why is foam so popular? Well, they’re generally affordable. There is usually nothing fancy about them, unless they’re organic. They are usually made from polyurethane, which is the standard foam that is used, unless it’s organic or CertiPUR US certified or Greenguard certified.
Foam ones aren’t generally firm. They tend to be kind of squishy, for these, we want them to be resilient when you press your hand into them. If you are considering a foam mattress, you want to make sure they are no more than 6 inches thick, according to the crib mattress safety guidelines. You’ll also want to make sure that the surface isn’t too soft because it can conform to the baby’s shape, leading to an increased risk for SIDS.
These types of beds also tend to lack in the edge support department. If the mattress is too small for the crib, usually figured out by performing the two finger test, the lack in edge support can cause an issue. If the mattress is too small to begin with and the baby rolls to the edge, the edge can fold, trapping the baby between the crib and mattress, posing a suffocation risk.
This kind of ties in with edge support and firmness. As I mentioned above, I tested all of my mattresses for support. Most of them passed, but I noticed that the ones that were made from just plain polyurethane foam, performed quite poorly. Not so poor that I wouldn’t recommend it, except one of them, but poor enough to not make the cut as being part of the best.
If I could put my bowling ball on the mattress and it sank in more than it should, or if I laid my son on it and noticed him sinking in, I deemed it as unsupportive or lacking in the support area. This can disrupt your baby’s developmental milestones such as rolling and kneeling.
Over the years, the foam is going to take quite a beating. There is a good possibility that it’s going to wear out, leave indents, or fall apart. It is important that you consider the durability by looking for mattresses that are high in density. This will keep the foam intact longer and it’ll keep from indenting over the years.
Innerspring mattresses aren’t as popular as foam ones because they tend to be heavier and more expensive. The reason they are heavier is because on the inside are coil springs. The more springs there are, generally the firmer the mattress is going to be. You’ll also find border wire to keep the edges from falling apart. Let’s take a look what you should look for with these type of mattresses.
The firmness of innerspring beds all depend on how many coils are inside of it and the thickness of the gauge steel. For example, a mattress that has 150 coils with the same gauge steel as one with 250 coils, may be a little less firm. If the 250 coils are made with a thinner steel, or higher gauge, there may be no difference in firmness. The firmness can also be changed by the other materials that are inside of the mattress with the coils.
Edge support for most innerspring mattresses are quite spectacular. Out of all the innerspring mattresses I have tested, they all had outstanding edge support. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the edges are wrapped in coil so that the edges don’t start to give way while the other parts of the mattress remain sturdy. This is a great feature of innerspring because it adds to that quality and durability.
With these mattresses, I observed that they were quite supportive equally throughout the entire surface. Sometimes, with foam ones, you won’t get an equal weight distribution like you will with innerspring. They are also more resilient than foam mattresses. My son seemed bounce around less on the innerspring than he did on the foam ones. He was also making less of an indentation.
Mattresses are going to take a beating over the course of use from your child. It is going to be subjected to spills, accidents, finger painting with poop, and so much more. This is the only flaw that I have found with these mattresses, they can’t be easily cleaned unless they are vinyl. This could void any warranty you may have on it.
Other than the cleaning issue, they are overall more durable than foam types. The foam has no support other than the other foam that may be surrounding it. On the inside of these mattresses are springs that keep the mattress firm, supportive, and durable. There is a very low chance that these springs are going to get worn out.
Now that I have told you about what to look for and which types may be better than others, let’s take a look at my top 5 mattresses that had the highest ratings out of all of the ones I tested.
My Top 5 Crib Mattress Reviews
1. Naturepedic No-Compromises Organic Innerspring
- Lifetime warranty
- 30 pounds
- Dual sided
- 6 x 27.8 x 52 inches
The first mattress on the list is the top rated Naturepedic organic innerspring mattress. This is an organic innerspring hybrid mattress that performed very well. It’s non-toxic, it has a bed bug/dust mite barrier, dual firmness, and 150 coils on the inside. The inside of the mattress is made from a certified organic cotton and 13 gauge coils with a 9 gauge border wire to keep the edge supported.
The mattress was very comfortable for my son. He hadn’t been sleeping well for a few weeks and once he laid down on this one, he slept wonderfully. It was also super supportive. One side was firm for baby and the other side was a little less firm with a cushion layer for optimal comfort. This makes for an extremely safe mattress.
The Naturepedic passed the two-finger test with flying colors. This means that I couldn’t fit two fingers between the crib and the mattress. If I could, that means that it was too small for the crib and unsafe. The only downside to this mattress was that it held a little bit of heat. It took 44 seconds to cool down as opposed to 20-25. You can eliminate this with a cooling mattress pad for the crib.
Overall, this one performed wonderfully. Although it had a heat retention issue, my son didn’t sweat on it. It was very supportive, the whole mattress is seamless, which is great. This means that there is no chance of threads pulling or coming apart. This adds to the durability of the mattress. There was also no odor and the entire mattress is waterproof & easy to clean.
- No odor
- Comfortable on both sides
- Easy to clean
- Seems to be durable
- Has equal support
- Greenguard gold certified
- Retained heat a little
It was very supportive, the whole mattress is seamless, which is great. There was also no odor and the entire mattress is waterproof & easy to clean.
2. Simmons Beautyrest Beginnings Sleepy Whispers
- Limited Lifetime warranty
- 19.4 pounds
- Water resistant
- Dual sided
- 6 x 27.5 x 52 inches
Another innerspring on the list that performed well. This is one of the best rated on my list because of many different factors. It has a Greenguard gold certification, a CertiPUR-US certification, innofoam corner protectors, air holes for breathability, 231 luxury pocketed coils, and it’s dual sided.
It’s also hypoallergenic, water resistant, and has an extra comfort layer on the toddler side.
This mattress performed very well. There is definitely a difference in feel between the infant and the baby side when it comes to comfort. I put my son on each side and he definitely slept better on the infant side with the comfort layer.
It also showed superior support on each side. This is a good indication that the risk for SIDS is greatly reduced. My son could lay on it without sinking into it, thanks to those support layers.
The Sleep Whispers passed all of the tests I had done on it. I was unable to fit two fingers between the mattress and crib, there was superior edge support, thanks to the coiled edges, the corners aren’t sharp and fit into the corner of the crib nicely, there was an even amount of bounce, and it didn’t retain heat.
The only thing that I can say negatively about the mattress is that it is quite heavy. This may cause issues when it comes time to change the sheets, especially if it is one of those nights that you have to do it more than once. This is to be expected with innerspring mattresses though.
Overall, this is a pretty great bed, otherwise it wouldn’t be on my list. This is a highly recommended mattress because of all of its top notch features.
- It’s very supportive
- Very safe for babies and toddlers
- It has great edge support
- Good amount of coils
- Great durability
- No odor
- Greenguard gold & CertiPUR-US certified
- A little on the heavier side
This is a highly recommended mattress because of all of its top notch features.
3. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams
- 2-year warranty
- High-density, thermo-bonded foam
- 8 pounds
- Not dual sided
- 5.5 x 27.5 x 52.5 inches
I had three Safety 1st mattresses in my crib throughout my testing. Out of all of them, this one was the one that I preferred in comparison to the other two. It has a Greenguard gold certification, the cover is hypoallergenic, and it comes from the maker of some of the best baby products in the world.
The mattress itself is constructed of a high-density, thermo-bonded core and a vinyl cover. This core is built to last and has a high density, which is what you want to look for in foam mattresses, as I stated earlier. While being high density, it remains comfortable. My son slept pretty well on this mattress. His tossing and turning was also reduced and he slept longer and harder.
The Heavenly Dreams also has great edge support and fit in the crib tightly. I was unable to fit even one finger between the crib and mattress, which is pretty exceptional if you ask me. This mattress is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 8 pounds. This is perfect for middle of the night sheet changes and transportation.
This mattress does not come with any temperature regulation features, unfortunately. Although this may be true, it didn’t perform poorly when it came to the heat retention test. It did hold a small amount of heat, but nothing to get worked up about. I didn’t notice my son overheating or sweating, which means that somewhere, heat was escaping and it was regulating his body temperature.
Overall, with being as affordable as it is, it performed very well and I was quite impressed with the overall result. My son slept better, longer, harder, fell asleep quicker, wasn’t sweating, and he loved it. Actually, he is still sleeping on this one today.
- It’s waterproof
- Meant for toddler and baby
- Easy to clean
- Great edge support
- Toddler slept well on it
- Makes some noise due to the vinyl cover
- May hold a little heat
Affordable as it is, it performed very well and I was quite impressed with the overall result.
4. “My First Mattress” Memory Foam Mattress
- 10 year limited warranty
- CertiPUR-US Certified Memory foam
- 11.9 pounds
- Not dual sided
- 5 x 27.2 x 51.6 inches
The “My First Mattress” memory foam mattress is a highly recommended memory foam mattress for babies and toddlers. I know, a memory foam mattress for kids? It seems a little strange, but believe it or not, it is one of my top picks and it performed very well. It’s CertiPUR-US certified, hypoallergenic, mite-proof, anti-microbial, and phthalate & lead free.
The cover of this mattress is pretty wonderful. It can be removed from the mattress and throw right in the washer. It’s also very soft. It has a plush feel to it and my son loved sleeping on it. Just so you all know, I was able to wash it multiple times without it shrinking or falling apart. Love the durability factor of the cover.
The mattress itself was very comfortable thanks to the high density memory foam. We all think of memory foam as the type of foam that you sink into. Yes, this is true, but not for the crib mattress. Since it is high density, the baby won’t sink and it remains safe, yet comfortable, for both babies and toddlers. Not only that, but it is also very supportive. I was able to place a 16 pound bowling ball on it and there is minimal sinking. This is a good indication that an 8 pound baby isn’t going to cause any indentations or get stuck in a hole.
One thing that I want to take the time to talk about is the heat retention test. This mattress blew all of the other ones out of the water when it came to breathability. The average is 20-25 seconds to cool down, this one took an outstanding 7 seconds to cool down. This is beyond fantastic and means that the mattress is very breathable and there is little chance of overheating.
Overall, this is a highly recommended memory foam mattress if you are considering going down that route. I was a little skeptical at first, but once I realized how well my son slept and how safe he was on it, I was sold. It’s also very lightweight, unlike adult memory foam mattresses that weigh upwards of 120 pounds, this one only weighs 11. Tie all of this in with the breathability, support, durability, and comfort, and you have yourself one heck of a mattress for your child.
- Very comfortable
- Son slept great on it
- Great support
- Good quality
- Less tossing and turning from toddlers
- Good warranty
- May seem too firm for babies
5. Newton Wovenaire
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Woven food grade polymer
- 11 pounds
- Not dual sided
- 28” x 52” x 5.5”
I am so excited to tell you about the Newton Wovenaire. Out of all of the ones that I have tested, this one is by far the most unique. It is only made of two components, Wovenaire material and the 3-D spacer cover. The Wovenaire material is a block of woven food-grade polymer. It’s actually pretty cool how they make it. They essentially shoot liquid plastic into a pool of water and it makes the block of flexible plastic. The whole mattress is 10% polymer & 90% air, which is pretty awesome.
It is free of biocides and toxic fire retardants toxic that can be found in other mattresses. It has a significantly lower suffocation risk than other “breathable” mattresses on the market today.
My favorite thing about this mattress is that it’s 100% washable. You can take the cover off and wash it in the washing machine and you can put the woven plastic right in the shower or hose it off. Let it dry for about 8 hours and your have yourself a brand new, clean mattress. Along with being 100% washable, it is also super comfortable. My son slept extremely well on the Wovenaire while remaining supported in all of the right places.
This mattress passed the heat retention test with flying colors as well. I assumed that since it was 90% air, it would cool down quite quickly, which it did. It took 11 seconds to cool down. If you take a look at it, you can see that the cover has holes in it to allow air to escape. These holes definitely work and kept my son cool and comfortable throughout the night. Because of this feature, is recommended that a crib sheet is not used.
Overall, this is an amazing, revolutionary mattress that is going to raise the bar for breathable, organic mattresses. I cannot stress enough how much I loved this mattress. There was no odor to it, it was supportive, comfortable, breathable, washable, lightweight, and just an all around great mattress. Unfortunately, the price tag isn’t very nice, but the mattress is worth it, trust me.
- 100% washable
- 90% air
- Does not need a crib sheet
- It can be recycled
- Perfect hand-me-down mattress
This is an amazing, revolutionary mattress that is going to raise the bar for breathable mattresses.
I cannot tell you enough how well all of these mattresses are, but as always, there can only be one winner. In this case, I honestly have to go with the Newton Wovenaire. Out of all of the mattresses I tested, this one had the best features, it was the safest, it was the most unique, and the most breathable. I would have to say that this is the safest mattress on my list, and possibly on the market.