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A safe, comfortable crib mattress can play an important role in ensuring that an infant sleeps safely and soundly.

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Getting enough good quality sleep plays a vital part in ensuring infant health and well-being. It is typical for a newborn to sleep for 14–17 hours per day and for an infant to sleep for 12–15 hours per day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a crib with a firm mattress as a safe sleep environment for infants.

Putting an infant to sleep on their back can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The use of a crib and crib mattress can provide a flat and immovable surface that can further reduce the likelihood of SIDS and suffocation.

The AAP provides the following recommendations for crib mattress safety:

  • A crib mattress should be firm and fit the crib properly, leaving no gaps at the side.
  • Cover the crib mattress with a fitted sheet that is suitable for the mattress.
  • Any mattress toppers or sheets should fit tightly on the mattress so that they do not move, bunch up, or create gaps during sleep. They should never cover the infant.
  • People should not try to use alternatives to a crib mattress, such as cushions or pillows. Also, do not use these in addition to a crib mattress.
  • Do not use damaged or worn crib mattresses that may change shape during sleep.

The AAP also states that commercial products that claim to prevent SIDS may not offer any actual benefits.

Learn more about safe sleep in infants.

Please note that the statements below are based on research. No one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried any of these products.

Best organic crib mattress
Naturepedic Classic Organic Crib Mattress Lightweight

This lightweight mattress is certified organic and nontoxic by the Global Organic Textile Standard. This means that it meets strict environmental standards and contains no harmful materials or chemicals.

The two-sided design makes it suitable for both infants and toddlers. It also features organic cotton batting, which reportedly provides firmness and comfort.

This mattress has a stain-resistant, food-grade polyethylene waterproof surface that is easy to clean. It also has a built-in dust mite and bed bug barrier.

Best flippable crib mattress
Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Mini Crib Mattress

This crib mattress is suitable for both newborns and toddlers. People can flip it depending on what they require. For example, the infant side consists of firm, high-density foam, while the toddler side uses cool gel memory foam.

The mattress is nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and resistant to both odors and stains. It is also polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free and eco-friendly. It is GREENGUARD Gold certified, meaning that it contains no harmful chemicals.

The manufacturer states that there are no indentations or stitching, which are possible sources of germ buildup.

Best lightweight crib mattress
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Mattress

This GREENGUARD Gold-certified mattress features what the manufacturers call a high density, thermo-bonded foam core. The core offers support and is 100% polyester.

There is a wipe-clean cover that is waterproof and stain and odor resistant. The mattress is also tearproof and designed to withstand wear.

The mattress is also lightweight, weighing under 8 pounds (lb). However, it is worth noting that it can only bear up to 50 lb.

Best recyclable crib mattress
Lullaby Earth Super Lightweight Eco-Plus Crib Mattress

This GREENGUARD Gold-certified mattress is lightweight, at just over 7 lb. The mattress has a patented WaveSupport core, which reportedly provides comfort and support.

This crib mattress is waterproof and made from recyclable, food-safe materials. It is also easy to wipe clean.

It contains no vinyl, PVC, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds, or allergens.

Best low-cost crib mattress
Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

This GREENGUARD Gold-certified mattress is light and affordable. It features a removable cover that is hand washable.

This mattress comes conveniently rolled up. However, people must lay it out flat within 2 weeks of purchase and allow it to expand over 72 hours before use.

The foam mattress is firm and contains no lead or phthalates. Its material consists of antimicrobial and antistatic substances.

Best eco-friendly crib mattress
Colgate Eco Classica III Crib Mattress

This two-sided mattress can suit both infants and toddlers. The firm infant side provides support for newborns and infants, while the softer side offers comfort for toddlers.

The mattress is water-resistant and easy to clean and features a soft cotton cover that is certified organic. While these mattresses are not 100% organic, Colgate makes them using sustainable plant oils.

This mattress is GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certified, making it safe and eco-friendly. It is also hypoallergenic and phthalate-free.

Best firm crib mattress
Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress

Sealy constructs this mattress using soybean oils produced by United States farmers. This use of natural, renewable resources makes it an environmentally friendly product. It is GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.

The mattress has a removable waterproof cover and is odor resistant and stain resistant. However, it is worth noting that people cannot wash the whole mattress.

It is also very firm, which is ideal for infants, but it might be too firm for toddlers.

Best hypoallergenic crib mattress
Milliard Hypoallergenic Baby Crib Mattress

This mattress features a removable bamboo cover that is 100% waterproof. This cover is also machine washable. The mattress is hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US certified.

Milliard states that the memory foam design helps increase weight distribution for a more restful sleep.

The design of this mattress allows for maximum airflow to regulate sleeping temperatures.

Best breathable crib mattress
Newton Crib Mattress

Newton claims that infants can breathe directly through the mattress, reducing the risk of suffocation and overheating. However, research does not support this claim, so this product may not be safer than other crib mattresses.

The mattress is easy to clean and 100% washable. The removable cover is machine washable, while people can fully rinse and clean the woven mattress beneath.

This mattress is hypoallergenic, 100% recyclable, GREENGUARD Gold certified, and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission certified.

The following are common questions and answers about crib mattresses:

How should a person choose a crib mattress?

People should consider the size of the crib and choose a mattress that fits it properly, with no gaps.

They may also wish to choose a mattress from a reputable brand. Looking for customer reviews from multiple online sources can help identify reliable brands and products.

Some companies also have third-party certifications, such as CertiPUR-US certification, which identifies products free from harmful chemicals. These certifications can help with identifying safe and high-quality products.

Is it better to buy new or used crib mattresses?

While used crib mattresses are often low-cost and a more eco-friendly option, they are not as safe as a new crib mattress. They may have wear and tear that can pose choking or suffocation hazards. Bacteria and mold may also be present but undetectable in these products.

With this in mind, it is best to buy a new crib mattress when possible to ensure it is clean and safe.

What can people do with old crib mattresses?

It is possible to recycle used mattresses at specified locations or with certain providers.

Learn about recycling mattresses safely.

A firm crib mattress that fits the crib properly can help ensure safe and comfortable sleep for an infant.

Researching brands and products is important, as different mattresses have varying features and specifications. People may also wish to explore reputable brands and products with many positive reviews.