5 things to consider before buying a crib mattress

November 6, 2014

Picking the right crib mattress will help your child — and you  — get a healthy night's rest.

To get started, check out the features that matter the most.

5 things to consider before buying a crib mattress

1. Mattress types

There are two main mattress types: foam and innerspring.

  • Foam mattresses are lightweight, which makes it easier to change crib sheets. However, you should avoid certain types of polyurethane foam that can release volatile organic compounds, which have been linked to allergies and respiratory problems.
  • Foam crib mattresses made from recycled polyester fibres or natural materials, like cotton and wool, are better choices.
  • Innerspring mattresses are heavier than foam mattresses, but they don't have any other noticeable advantages.
  • If you prefer innerspring crib mattresses, look for one with at least 150 coils.
  • While the best support available comes from continuous coil mattresses, quality bonnell coil and steel innerspring mattresses with a high coil count also can provide a safe and comfortable sleeping surface.

2. Cover options

While shopping, also check the exterior of the mattress.

  • Coil count or foam quality is most important, but most high quality mattresses will have a thick, puncture-resistant cover made from laminates or thick cotton.
  • Be prepared to buy a washable mattress cover for sanitary purposes.

3. Mattress sizing

Correct mattress sizing is essential to prevent your child from getting wedged between the crib and the mattress.

  • Most cribs and mattresses come in standard sizes to prevent this safety hazard, but you should do a quick check before taking off the wrapper.
  • You shouldn't be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib at any point.
  • Also, make sure that the height between the top of the mattress and the top of the rail is at least 66 centimetres when the crib bottom is fully lowered.

4. Mattress firmness

Mattresses that feel comfortable to you are often too soft for babies. Infants require very firm support to prevent suffocation once they're able to roll onto their stomachs.

  • Try testing the resiliency of a mattress by pressing into it with your hand and seeing how quickly it rebounds.

5. Warranties

A high-quality crib mattress should last as long as your baby needs it. If you follow the guidelines for mattress sizing, quality, firmness and cover material, it's unlikely you'll ever need a replacement.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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