Babies Nurseries Cribs The Best Crib Mattresses for Safe, Sweet Baby Sleep These organic, foam, innerspring, and other types of mattresses just may help them drift off to dreamland. By Bridget Shirvell Updated on May 31, 2023 Medically reviewed by Tyra Tennyson Francis, MD Fact checked by Rich Scherr Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Parents / Alli Waataja Whether you're looking for something portable, all organic, or one that will grow with your little one there is a crib mattress that is just right for your family. There are thousands of options on the market made from various materials and offering everything from washability to breathability and more. We're here to help you choose the one that will help you and your baby sleep soundly—or, as soundly as any baby can sleep, anyway. While there are many factors to consider when purchasing a mattress for your baby, the most important one is safety. All cribs and crib mattresses sold in the U.S. have to meet safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but it’s up to you to make sure it fits snugly in your baby’s crib, where there are no gaps or other potential hazards. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants sleep on a firm, flat surface tightly fitting mattress in a safety-approved crib,” says Brittany Odom, M.D., a board certified pediatrician in New Mexico. Of course, you should also take into account price—which can range from $40 to $1,400—and how easy your mattress is to clean. “Babies can be messy with spit-up, diaper leaks, and sickness,” says mom of two and certified child sleep and behavior consultant Nichole Levy. “If a mattress is easily washable, this can save us time and possibly having to purchase a new mattress! Personally, I have the same mattress for both of my little ones. With my first daughter, I never had to wash the mattress, but my second spits up a lot, and I've had to wash it a few times, so I am grateful it is easily washable.” We spoke with experts and other parents, then looked at materials, construction, firmness, and price, and came up with this to set you on the right path to finding a mattress so great, you’d buy it twice. Our Favorite Crib Mattresses Best Overall: Newton Crib Mattress: The Original Best Budget: Dream on Me Twinkle Crib and Toddler Mattress Best for Mini Crib: Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Breathable Mini Crib Mattress Best Foam: Graco Premium Foam Crib & Toddler Mattress Best for Toddlers: Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Waterproof Baby Crib and Toddler Mattress Best Portable: Newton Mini Crib Mattress Best Organic: Naturepedic Classic Organic Crib Mattress Most Breathable: Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Breathable Crib Mattress 2-Stage Most Eco-Friendly: Avocado Eco Organic Crib Mattress Best Innerspring: Sealy Waterproof Standard Crib Mattress Best Overall: Newton Crib Mattress: The Original Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Newtonbaby.com Why We Like It: Not only does the removable mattress cover make for easy cleanup, but the interior can also be washed in the bathtub when messier accidents occur. But Take Note: At nearly $300, it is one of the more expensive options on the market. The Newton Original is our top pick because it’s very breathable, and the only crib mattress that's 100% washable from the cover to the core. Plus, it’s fully recyclable. The interior of the mattress is made up of food-grade polymer and “90% air,” according to the brand. Food-grade polymers are a type of plastic that have become popular in crib mattresses in recent years, as they provide a plant-based material waterproofing instead of the typical polyethylene plastic, which many experts advise against. Dr. Odom highly recommends this mattress, too. It comes with a removable mattress cover, and the interior mattress can also be washed in a bathtub (for those bigger messes we know will happen). While the Newton is on the pricier side, it is a dual-sided mattress with one side for babies and the other for toddlers, giving you more years of use out of it. It’s Greenguard Gold Certified, which according to Dr. Odom, means it meets the strictest qualifications for chemical emissions, emitting the least amount of chemicals and gasses into the air of your baby’s room. Price at time of publication: $300 The Details: Materials: Food-grade polymer (a plant-based plastic)Removable cover: YesDimensions: 52 x 28 x 5.5 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified Best Budget: Dream on Me Twinkle Crib and Toddler Mattress Walmart Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: This dual-sided hybrid mattress will take your little one from the baby through the toddler stage. But Take Note: It contains polyurethane foam which our experts advised against. If you’re looking for a decent quality, budget option, it’s hard to beat the price of this mattress. The hybrid innerspring, dual-sided mattress (one side has an extra firm foam layer for infants, while the other is plusher for toddlers) contains 88 coils with three layers of memory foam and a waterproof, stain-resistant cover that is easy to clean. The downside of this mattress is that, like the Graco mattress also on this list, it does contain polyurethane foam, which Dr. Odom advises against because it can be flammable and breaks down. This mattress, however ,does meet federal flammability tests. The mattress is also Greenguard Gold Certified and JPMA Certified, meaning it meets qualifications for chemical emissions and meets requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials. The toddler side also has a nice bounce to it for settling in for storytime. Price at time of publication: $40 The Details: Materials: Memory foam, innersprings, vinyl coverRemovable cover: NoDimensions: 52 x 28 x 5 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified, JPMA Certified and ASTM Certified Best for Mini Crib: Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Mini Crib Mattress Pottery Barn Kids Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: We love the 3-inch thick firm, comfortable support. But Take Note: While it says it fits standard mini cribs, check your mini crib dimensions to make sure it fits snuggly. Firm, yet breathable, this mini crib mattress isn’t the most portable, but that’s only because it’s thicker and firmer than many of the other mini crib mattresses on the market. The design has strong edges that provide this mattress with a lot of structural support, an important trait according to father of two Mark Joseph. “Edge support offers more stability, prevents sagging, and provides more even weight distribution,” he tells us. Dual-sided, it can be also used for infants and toddlers, just remember to make sure your toddler hasn’t maxed out the weight restrictions of your mini crib. Price at time of publication: $199 The Details: Materials: Food-grade PE waterproofing and recycled polyester fiber fillRemovable cover: YesDimensions: 38 x 24 x 3 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified and MADE SAFE Best Foam: Graco Premium Foam Crib & Toddler Mattress Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Wayfair Buy on Home Depot Why We Like It: It has a breathable foam core that offers enough firmness to keep babies safe yet comfortable, leading to longer nights of sleep. But Take Note: Foam mattresses, according to our experts, may not be as durable as innerspring. Think Graco and you’re likely thinking Pack ‘n Plays, strollers and car seats, but with its waterproof material and solid comfortable design the classic brand’s crib and toddler mattress is worth considering. Designed to fit cribs and toddler beds, it’s one of the least expensive mattresses on the market. Its breathable foam core offers a firm, yet comfortable feel. One of the nicest parts about this mattress is that its cover is water resistant and unzips for a deep clean in your washing machine. Price at time of publication: $90 The Details: Materials: polyester and polyurethane foamRemovable cover: YesDimensions: 52 x 27.6 x 5 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified and CertiPUR-US Certified Best for Toddlers: Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Waterproof Baby Crib and Toddler Mattress Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Target Why We Like It: The vinyl wipe clean top is ideal for potty-training toddlers. But Take Note: Like other boxed memory foam mattresses, you’ll want to let this air out a bit. With its vinyl, waterproof cover the Sealy Soybean Foam-Core mattress is a nice moderately priced option you can buy for your newborn and keep through their toddler years. It’s made of a soy-based foam core that is CertiPur-US Certified, a certification provided by the Polyurethane Foam Association for foam without many of the chemicals that are concerning in some foam mattresses. It’s firm, yet soft and breathable. While it doesn’t come with a removable cover it is still easy to clean. One downside is that this mattress is heavy, so changing sheets can be a bit of a pain. Price at time of publication: $130 The Details: Materials: CertiPur-US Certified foamRemovable cover: NoDimensions: 51.63 x 27.25 x 5 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified The Best Sleep Sacks, Tested by Our Own Babies and Toddlers Best Organic: Naturepedic Classic Organic Crib Mattress Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Wayfair Why We Like It: This mattress is organic, nontoxic, and firm enough for newborns. But Take Note: It is a bit pricey compared to other options. Both Levy and Dr. Odom love this mattress for its organic, nontoxic material and firmness, with Levy calling it the best mattress on the market. It’s made with an organic cotton cover and filling and includes edge support. That firm reinforcement can be helpful for toddlers that move around a lot, and it may even stop them from rolling off the bed, once the sides are taken down. While organic anything tends to be more expensive, study after study has shown that products created using organic farming are better for the planet and the people who make them. When it comes to our health, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are at a higher risk of the health effects from exposure to pesticides than adults. At the same time, the AAP has never made an official statement on organic products, so this is still a matter of preference, not a safety requirement. This mattress is handmade in a facility that only produces organic products, and it features a waterproof surface to blocks liquid from damaging it permanently. It’s available as a one-sided firm mattress ($269) or a dual-sided mattress (starting at $299.) The dual-sided lightweight option features one firm side designed for infants and a medium firm side for toddlers. Price at time of publication: Starting at $269 The Details Materials: Organic cotton fabric and fillRemovable cover: YesDimensions: 27.25 x 51.625 x 6 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified, MADE SAFE and Global Organic Textile Standard Most Breathable: Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe Breathable Crib Mattress 2-Stage Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on West Elm Why We Like It: Made of firm foam that meets safety standards, this mattress is super breathable, according to our experts. But Take Note: It might not be as durable as some of the other foam mattresses on the market. Dr. Odom recommends Lullaby Earth because its mattresses are made of firm, lightweight foam, and not only do they meet safety guidelines, but they’re also made of materials commonly used in food manufacturing that are recyclable (although you’ll have to check with your local sanitation department for details on that). The Breathe Safe mattress is made of recycled polyester fiber fill, and its removable waterproof and stain-resistant cover makes for easy clean up. Because it’s so light, it makes changing the sheets a snap, too. One side of this mattress is firm for infants and the other is medium-firm to grow with your child. Price at time of publication: $279 The Details: Materials: Food-grade PE waterproofing and recycled polyester fiber fillRemovable cover: YesDimensions: 51 x 5 x 4 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified, MADE SAFE Most Eco-Friendly: Avocado Eco Organic Crib Mattress Avocado Buy on Newtonbaby.com Why We Like It: Made from eco-friendly materials instead of fossil-fuel-based plastic. But Take Note: This mattress is not dual sided. Using a “farm-to-mattress” concept, Avocado sources its organic materials from sustainable farms and then produces the crib mattresses in its own organic-certified facilities. This non-toxic crib mattress checks all the boxes: It's Greenguard Gold Certified and GOTS certified, and it provides a firm, safe sleeping surface. “It has proven beneficial for my baby's development to use a mattress free from chemicals, fire retardants, and other toxins,” says Joseph. While there have not been many studies on flame retardants and human health, a few have shown that exposure has led to health concerns including lower IQ and behavioral problems. The only downside is that it doesn't come with a waterproof cover, but you can add this organic crib mattress protector to your order for an additional $69. Price at time of publication: $349 The Details: Materials: Organic coconut, hemp, wool, and cotton; steel innerspringsRemovable cover: Sold separately Dimensions: 28 x 52 x 4.75 inches Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, Greenguard Gold Certified, Climate Neutral, MADE SAFE The 7 Best Rocking Chairs and Nursery Gliders to Soothe You and Your Littles in 2023 Best Innerspring: Sealy Waterproof Standard Crib Mattress Wayfair Buy on Amazon Buy on Wayfair Why We Like It: This dual-sided, extra firm innerspring mattress comes at a great price. But Take Note: While it has a waterproof, stain-resistant cover, it is not removable. This Sealy crib mattress features 150 coils that have been tested for optimal firmness. Thanks to these steel coils, the surface keeps your baby's weight evenly distributed, ensuring it won't sag in the middle. When your child turns 1, you can flip the firm side of the crib mattress to the softer (yet still supportive) side. The baby bed has a waterproof cover to stop liquids from reaching the core. Price at time of publication: $70 The Details: Materials: Polyester, vinyl, innerspringRemovable cover: NoDimensions: 27.25' x 51.63 x 5 inchesCertifications: Greenguard Gold Certified Best Luxury: Avocado Luxury Organic Crib Mattress Avocado Buy on Avocadogreenmattress.com Why We Like It: Made from certified eco-friendly materials, this dual-sided mattress can grow with your child and has a 25-year warranty. But Take Note: This is likely the most expensive crib mattress on the market. This luxurious organic crib mattress might be on the pricier side, but it has a lot of incredible features you won't find in other models. The unique design combines the best of foam and innerspring crib mattresses with 170 innersprings wrapped in organic cotton, organic wool and flax pads; organic latex on the edges; and an organic latex foam core. Plus, these natural materials even help keep your child's sleeping temperature from getting too warm. Besides the price, the only downside is that it doesn't come with a waterproof cover, although you can buy one separately. Unlike the standard Avocado Organic Crib Mattress, this one has two sides to support your little one as they grow. Bonus: This crib mattress has a 25-year warranty. Price at time of publication: $1379 The Details: Materials: Organic cotton, steel innersprings, organic wool, organic hemp pads, organic coco-fiber, organic latex, organic latex foamRemovable cover: Sold separately Dimensions: 28 x 52 x 6 inchesCertifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, Greenguard Gold Certified, Climate Neutral, MADE SAFE, FSC Certified Our Review Process When choosing the crib mattresses for babies and toddlers, we researched dozens of highly reviewed options on the market, examining their customer reviews, specs, and features. We also spoke with Brittany Odom, MD, a board certified pediatrician in New Mexico; mom of two and certified child sleep and behavior consultant Nichole Levy; and a number of parents. We considered material, size, firmness, certifications, price, and ease of cleaning when crafting our list. “There are thousands of crib mattresses on the market for parents to buy, and of course lots of marketing for breathability, firmness, promises of a full night of sleep, organic, and certifications,” says Levy. “The most important combination to look for in buying your little one's crib mattress is a firm surface that fits snugly in the crib and meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission safety requirements for a crib mattress.” While we can’t promise our top picks will help your baby fall asleep the moment their back hits the mattress, all of our picks meet safety requirements and can help you create a calming sleep environment, essential for developing bodies and brains and their tired caretakers. Factors to Consider in a Crib Mattress In addition to safety and comfort, there are a number of other factors to consider when buying the best crib mattress for your child. Size Standard full-size crib mattresses should be at least 27.25 inches wide by 51.25 inches long and less than 6 inches thick, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The average size of mini crib mattresses is 24 inches wide by 38 inches long. The CPSC suggests using your fingers as a guide to know whether or not your mattress is a safe fit. If the gap between the mattress and the crib frame is wider than two fingers, the space is not safe for your baby. Large gaps increase the risk of injury and suffocation. Firmness While adults have preferences for mattress firmness, there's no safe option other than extremely firm for infants. This is because soft surfaces increase the risk of SIDS, due to the possibility of plush bedding conforming to their small heads. “The firmness of the mattress ensures that we have the safest sleep surface for our little ones,” Levy says. “Soft or memory foam mattresses leave room for your little one's nose to find a peak in the mattress and not be able to breathe. Infants only breathe through their nose, not their mouth so this is very important for safe sleep especially as your little one is rolling and sleeping face down on their mattress.” It's also important to note that babies should always sleep on their backs, as opposed to their stomachs or side, and shouldn't have anything in their cribs besides a tight fitted sheet. Type There are several different types of baby crib mattresses, including foam, innerspring, and hybrid mixes of both. Foam mattresses are a popular choice due to their availability and affordability compared to innerspring mattresses. According to Dr. Odom, innerspring mattresses tend to be of higher quality, a bit firmer, and more durable. She also recommends avoiding polyurethane foam if you decide to purchase a foam or hybrid mattress. “Polyurethane foam is highly flammable and not very durable, it tends to begin to break down within a few months,” Dr. Odom says. Room to Grow It's no secret that kids grow out of things quickly. To avoid having to buy another new mattress once your baby turns 1, choose a crib mattress that is reversible, with one firm side and one soft side. “Dual-sided mattresses...offer a bit more longevity with the ability to turn the mattress over once your baby becomes a toddler,” Dr. Odom says. Toddlers can sleep safely on mattresses that provide a balance of comfort and support. Certifications There are countless types of certifications out there. Here are a few popular ones, Dr. Odom suggests keeping an eye out for. Greenguard and Greenguard Gold Certified: Many household products emit chemicals into the air that we breathe. Crib mattresses that are Greenguard Gold Certified meet the strictest qualifications for chemical emissions, releasing the least amount of chemicals and gasses. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): GOTS requires that at least 95% of the materials (by weight) in a crib mattress be certified organic, and it prohibits the use of certain substances for the other 5%, such as chemical flame retardants and polyurethane. MADE SAFE: This certification means a crib mattress has been made with ingredients not known or suspected to cause human health harm. Reviews “One thing that I missed out on was researching the mattress company and reviews from other parents,” Joseph says. “Research before buying a crib mattress is highly recommended, as this can help you find important details such as the quality of materials used and customer service.” Materials A high-quality crib mattress should be made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear. A sturdy and stain-resistant cover is also essential for ensuring the mattress lasts longer Waterproof Surfaces It's normal for crib mattresses to get peed on and spit up on. Opting for a waterproof or liquid-repellent mattress can help lengthen its lifespan, and using a waterproof mattress protector can provide extra protection. Ease of Cleaning Look for a mattress that is washable or wipeable, or that comes with an easily washable cover. If it doesn’t, consider buying a mattress protector to prevent stains. How to a Use Crib Mattress Safely Your firm crib mattress should fit snug in the crib. Proper fit is crucial for mattress longevity and your baby's safety. While cribs are usually standard-sized, double-check that the mattress fits snugly and there isn't more than two fingers' width of space between the mattress and the crib frame. A mattress that slides around or has gaps can pose a risk to your baby. “The mattress should be firm enough that it does not change shape or conform to the infant's head when they're laying on it,” Dr. Odom says. “Having too soft of a mattress surface, including those made of memory foam, can increase indentation and increase risk of suffocation if the infant is in a compromised position or is on their stomach.” Remember to always place your baby to sleep on their back and not to place any other objects such as pillows or blankets in the crib as they can pose a suffocation risk. Once your baby reaches about 6 months of age, you’ll want to lower the crib mattress. If you have a dual-sided mattress, make sure to wait to flip it until your child is a toddler, or at your pediatrician’s recommendation. Your Questions, Answered How much should parents expect to pay for a crib mattress? The cost of a baby crib mattress varies depending on the size and materials used. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on your crib mattress for it to be safe and comfortable. Generally, you can expect to pay between $50-$500 for a quality mattress, with the average mattress costing around $200. “I got a high-quality mattress for my children within the $150–$200 range,” says dad of two Mark Joseph. If you have a limited budget, consider buying a foam or innerspring mattress that meets safety standards. Remember that price does not necessarily equal safety. “Price is more driven by the materials used and whether it is organic or not,” Levy says. “Some mattresses are more expensive if they have two sides, one more firm for infants and one for toddlers.” How should I determine when to lower a mattress? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lowering the mattress before your baby can stand. “To be safe, once your baby can sit unsupported, get on their hands and knees, or roll over, it's safe to adjust the mattress to the lowest setting,” Dr. Odom says, adding that this usually happens around 6 months, depending on your baby's development. Is it OK to use a second-hand crib mattress? If you're able, it's best to buy a new crib mattress for your little one. Your newborn will spend a lot of time on this mattress, so it's best to know their mattress is in pristine condition. Second-hand mattresses may be OK, but in order to determine this, Dr. Odom says you’ll need to check very closely for a few important factors. “The mattress should still be very firm, without any dips, soft spots, or indentations from previous use,” Dr. Odom says. “There should not be any springs out of place, rattling of the mattress, or unraveling of the stitching holding it together. The mattress should also be clean, so you would need to closely inspect for any unpleasant odors, signs of mold, or bed bugs. It's also very important to check for any recalls of the mattress that may have come out since it was originally purchased.” Who We Are Bridget Shirvell is a Connecticut-based journalist and freelance writer focused on parenting, food, and the environment. Her work has appeared in Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, and more. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC approves new federal safety standard for crib mattresses: rule to provide a safer marketplace for parents. American Academy of Pediatrics. American academy of pediatrics updates safe sleep recommendations: back is best. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Organic Agriculture: What are the environmental benefits of organic agriculture? Memon QUA, Wagan SA, Chunyu D, Shuangxi X, Jingdong L, Damalas CA. Health problems from pesticide exposure and personal protective measures among women cotton workers in southern Pakistan. Sci Total Environ. 2019;685:659-666. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.173 Protecting children from pesticides: information for parents. HealthyChildren.org. Vuong AM, Yolton K, Cecil KM, Braun JM, Lanphear BP, Chen A. Flame retardants and neurodevelopment: An updated review of epidemiological literature. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2020;7(4):220-236. doi:10.1007/s40471-020-00256-z Make baby’s room safe: parent checklist. HealthyChildren.org.