Best Crib Mattress 2020
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Best Crib Mattress 2020
Newborns spend most of their time sleeping, so the crib mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll make as a new mom or dad (no pressure, right?). First and foremost, it needs to be supportive and made with safe materials. On top of that, it should be easy to clean for inevitable accidents and have dual firmness if you want to continue using it when your baby becomes a toddler.
The Good Housekeeping Institute scientists, engineers, and parenting experts review baby gear of all kinds, with a big emphasis on sleep-related products like cribs, swaddle blankets, sleep sacks and more. We’ve picked the top crib mattresses ahead that offer something for everyone, no matter what your preferences are for your baby’s crib. But first, here’s what to consider as you shop for a crib mattress:
The best mattress for a newborn is one that’s extra firm; in fact, it should be so hard that as an adult, you can’t imagine it possibly being comfortable to sleep on. When the baby is about a year old, they can have a slightly softer (yet still firm) surface to sleep on. Many crib mattresses are reversible with infant and toddler sides so you can use them same one for several years.
Just like the inner materials in an adult mattress, for crib mattresses, you’ll commonly choose between an innerspring or foam. Innerspring mattresses have steel coils to make it sturdy (the more coils, the more supportive it’ll be), while foam mattresses are usually made of dense yet lightweight polyurethane foam. Foam mattresses safe for your child to sleep on as long as they’re firm enough. Lastly, to make certain that you’re not exposing baby to harmful levels of off-gassing VOCs, check that the mattress is GreenGuard gold certified, which means the product has been reviewed to ensure low emissions.
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.
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.
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.
Crib Mattress FAQ
Crib skirts, or as some may call them, dust ruffles, are great pieces of crib bedding that can add a lot of character to your nursery, and not to mention, storage space (depending on your crib). They’re not all that complicated. There’s typically just a top panel that is hidden by the mattress and side panels that hang down to hide the space beneath the mattress with openings at the corners (to accommodate crib hardware). It’s essentially the same thing as a bed skirt that goes on top of a box spring on a regular bed just baby-sized to fit a crib.
WHAT KIND OF CRIB DO YOU HAVE OR WANT TO PURCHASE?
Many newer model cribs are either bulky and boxed in at the bottom or provide their own storage beneath the mattress, which will probably hide a decent portion of the crib skirt. More traditional cribs will be open at the floor with only the bottom of the railing covering the crib skirt. So what does this mean? When thinking about your crib bedding remember to picture it on your crib. Crib bedding product images are just that – images that show off the crib bedding, so they’ll typically be shown on more traditional cribs where they are most visible, or at times with the side railing taken off completely. If your crib isn’t a traditional type of crib or has a thick bottom to the railing you’ll want take that into consideration when shopping and know that details may get covered up. If your crib is more traditional-like and open at the bottom, you’ll probably get to see and show off more of the details of the skirt, such as ruffles, patterns, or designs.
WHERE WILL YOU BE PLACING THE CRIB IN THE NURSERY?
This is important to think about since some crib skirts will only be 3-sided. Crib skirts that come with 3 sides will typically only have one long panel and the 2 shorter ones. If you plan on placing the crib in the middle of the room or with one of the short sides against the wall you will need to make sure you choose a crib skirt with 4 sides. [The majority of Caden Lane crib skirts are 4-sided, and if they aren’t it is noted in the product description.]
WHAT LENGTH CRIB SKIRT WILL WORK BEST FOR YOUR CRIB?
Cribs will typically have a mattress support that can be raised or lowered to 3 or 4 different positions as your baby grows. This means that your crib skirt may be too short to reach the ground at its highest level or puddle at its lowest level. While there’s not a standard height for the different positions (other than the lowest level must be at least 26” from the mattress support to the top of the railing), we’ve found that a length of 17” tends to fit most cribs well at higher levels and then can be tucked under the mattress to “shorten” it at lower levels. If you’d like to get an idea of the length crib skirt you’d like, you can measure from the mattress support to the floor at each mattress level on your particular crib. All Caden Lane crib skirts have a 17” drop.