Best Crib Mattress for 2024 – CNET

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$225 at Halo

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Halo DreamWeave Breathable

Best breathable crib mattress

$68 at Amazon

Safety First crib mattress Safety First crib mattress

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams

Best budget crib mattress

Your baby will sleep 12 to 18 hours daily in their first year. That means they spend most of their early life in a crib, and you’ll want to ensure that space is as comfortable and safe as possible. That last bit is critical: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a mattress that’s not firm enough or is too small for the crib can be dangerous. Soft sleep surfaces and gaps between the mattress and crib increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Safety should be your top priority when shopping for a crib mattress, but you should also consider the materials and how easy it will be to use and clean. A lightweight mattress can make changing sheets and adjusting the mattress height much easier. Crib mattresses with easy-to-clean waterproof covers can also be a lifesaver during diaper blowouts. You also want to consider material quality — luckily, many crib mattress manufacturers are now using organic and nontoxic materials in their beds.

As a father of two myself, I have learned what to look for when it comes to crib mattresses. With all that in mind, here are seven of the best crib mattresses currently on the market.

Best crib mattress for 2024

Mattress price scale:

$ = Budget: $799 and below

$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699

$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up

These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

Traditional innerspring crib mattresses are typically firmer and more durable than foam mattresses. Sealy Baby’s FlexCool crib mattress shines in this category with its 204 coils and anti-sag steel bars for support. A higher coil count translates to a firmer mattress, as there are fewer gaps between each coil. Innerspring mattresses tend to sleep cooler because air can flow freely between the springs.

The FlexCool is a two-stage crib mattress with an extra-firm side for infants and a softer side for toddlers. The mattress is Greenguard Gold certified, which means it’s tested to ensure it doesn’t emit chemicals that could affect the air your child breathes. One downside of innerspring crib mattresses is that they’re heavier than their foam counterparts. The FlexCool weighs just shy of 15 pounds. That might not sound like a lot, but the extra weight could make changing sheets more of a chore.

Pros:

  • Flippable for two firmness options
  • More affordable price range
  • Hypoallergenic and Greenguard Gold Certified 

Cons:

  • Heavier than an all-foam mattress
  • Cover is not machine washable

Additional details:

  • Type: Innerspring
  • Feel: Firm
  • Mattress weight: 17.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 51.63 x 27.25 inches
  • Thickness: 5.5 inches
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Price: $

Sealy FlexCool 2-Stage Crib And Toddler Mattress

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

With the rise of brands such as Casper and Purple, the mattress in a box has carved out a niche in the mattress space. It should come as no surprise that this business model has made its way into the crib mattress category. The Graco Deluxe is a standard foam mattress that’s compressed, rolled up and crammed into a box for easy shipping. Like other mattresses packaged this way, the Graco expands when it’s removed from the box. Once fully expanded, the mattress is ready to be placed in your crib. However, some owners report that the mattress never fully expands to its correct 4-inch thickness. Contact the retailer and ask for a replacement if this happens with yours.

The Graco Deluxe is Greenguard Gold certified and comes with a removable water-resistant cover that’s machine-washable, something you’ll appreciate at 3 a.m. when your little one wakes up with a leaky diaper. Though the mattress is suitable for both babies and toddlers, both sides share the same firmness level.

Pros:

  • CertiPur-US Certified foam core
  • Machine washable cover
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Both sides have the same firmness level

Additional details:

  • Type: Polyurethane foam
  • Feel: Firm
  • Mattress weight: 7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 52 x 27.6 inches
  • Thickness: 5 inches
  • Warranty: 6-year limited warranty
  • Price: $

Graco Deluxe Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

If you have a bigger budget, the waterproof crib mattress from Newton Baby is an excellent option. Newton prides itself on breathable materials and construction, including innovations like Newton’s proprietary Wovenaire core. It’s made of food-grade polymer mesh, which is 90% air by volume. This allows air to flow freely through the mattress, reducing the risk of suffocation. As a bonus, it also lets you hose down the mattress if it gets super-gross — just be sure to set aside for two to six hours to let it dry. The cover is also washable and waterproof. Hopefully, that’s enough to catch messes before they hit the mattress, but it’s nice to have options just in case. 

The Newton is a dual-stage crib mattress with a fully breathable side for babies and a waterproof side for toddlers who may be potty training. The mattress is not organic, though the company says the materials are hypoallergenic. It’s also Greenguard Gold certified, which is good if you plan to put those breathability claims to the test (I see you, curious dads). Though it’s pricey, the Newton could give you extra peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Mattress is 100% washable, even the core
  • Innovative breathable technology
  • Waterproof barrier on toddler side 

Cons:

Additional details:

  • Type: Food-grade polymer
  • Mattress weight: 14 pounds
  • Dimensions: 52 x 28 inches
  • Thickness: 5.5 inches
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Price: $$$

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

The Newton boasts some impressive tech, but it’s not the only breathable crib mattress in town. Halo, a safe-sleep pioneer known for its sleep sacks and swiveling bassinet, has a breathable crib mattress that’s worth a look. Called the DreamWeave after its breathable mesh core, the mattress is made of food-grade polymers, but it’s mostly pockets of air. The mattress cover is also breathable and has two sides: a 3D mesh quilted side for infants and a waterproof toddler side to protect against accidents. Should a mess make it through the cover, the mattress itself can be rinsed off like the Newton.

The Halo DreamWeave is Greenguard Gold certified and made with hypoallergenic materials. Though this mattress is still among the category’s pricier picks, it’s cheaper than the Newton and offers similar features.

Pros:

  • Open strand core for increased airflow and breathability 
  • Completely washable 
  • Waterproof lining

Cons:

Additional details:

  • Type: Food-grade polymer
  • Feel: Two firmness levels; firm side for infants
  • Dimensions: 52 x 28 inches
  • Thickness: 4.5 inches
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Price: $$

If you want your baby to sleep on a crib mattress made of organic, natural materials, Naturepedic is worth a look. Its mattresses use a food-grade polyurethane WaveSupport core and organic cotton for filling. The waterproof cover is made of non-GMO sugarcane and wipes clean easily. The mattress has Global Organic Textile Standard certification for organic and sustainably sourced materials. It’s also Greenguard Gold certified.

This particular crib mattress has the same firmness on both sides, but Naturepedic also makes a two-stage version. If your baby has sensitive skin and you don’t mind paying extra for organic materials, an organic crib mattress might make sense for you. 

Pros:

  • 100% certified organic and nontoxic 
  • 100-night trial and free returns
  • Removable, machine-washable cover

Cons:

Additional details:

  • Type: Lightweight and innerspring options
  • Feel: Firm and medium-firm sides
  • Dimensions: 51 5/8 x 27 1/4 inches
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Price: $$$

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

Not everyone has several hundred dollars to throw at a crib mattress. Fortunately, there are still good options at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Safety 1st is well known for its competitively priced baby products, and the brand’s focus on value carries over to its crib mattress offerings. The Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams crib mattress is a sub-$100 option that offers a surprising amount of value for the money. Its core is made of high-density thermo-bonded polyester fiber, while the waterproof cover is vinyl. It’s also lightweight at just 7.5 pounds. 

You might not think you can get Greenguard Gold certification for under $100, but Safety 1st delivers. The two-stage version of Heavenly Dreams is currently unavailable, but at this price, you could buy the toddler version when you’re ready to upgrade and still spend less than you would on many two-stage mattresses on the market. If you don’t need premium features or organic materials, the Safety 1st is a solid bet. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • GreenGuard Gold Certified 
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Nonremovable cover

Additional details:

  • Type: Memory foam
  • Feel: Extra firm
  • Mattress weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 52 x 27.5 inches
  • Thickness: 5 inches
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price: $

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Baby Crib & Toddler Bed Mattress, Waterproof Cover, Firm, Fits Standard Size Cribs & Toddler Beds, White, 1 Count (Pack of 1)

Screenshot/Nasha Addarich CNET

There are many reasons to choose a mini crib over a full-size crib. They have a smaller footprint than their full-size counterparts, which means you’ll have an easier time fitting one in your room. Some mini cribs fold and have legs with lockable caster wheels, making them easier to store and move. If you decide a mini crib is the right fit for your baby and living space, then you’ll need a crib mattress to go with it. 

Though full-size cribs must accommodate a standard mattress size, there’s no such regulation for mini cribs. Manufacturers tend to stick to a certain size (24 by 38 inches), but measuring your mini crib is still important to ensure you’ll have a close fit. If your mini crib is a common size, the Dream On Me is a standout choice. It’s Greenguard Gold certified, has a waterproof cover and is exceptionally lightweight at just 2.5 pounds. On top of all that, it’s very affordable at under $50. 

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Portable and durable
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons:

  • Does not fit standard crib size 
  • Hand wash only

Additional details:

  • Type: Fiber
  • Feel: Extra firm
  • Mattress weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 38 x 24 inches
  • Thickness: 3 inches
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price: $

Dream On Me Holly 3” Fiber Portable, Greenguard Gold Certified, Waterproof Vinyl Cover, Lightweight Mini Crib Mattress, White

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby’s bed should be firm for a few reasons. In their early stages of development, an infant’s skeletal structure needs firm support to ensure proper alignment of their spine and bones. It’s best to have a firm crib mattress that fits tightly in the crib — ensure there are no gaps along the edges or any loose objects or fabric materials that could potentially become a breathing hazard.

Generally, crib mattresses fall into two main categories:

Innerspring mattress: An innerspring crib mattress is a more traditional mattress that relies on internal coil springs for support. The higher the number of coils, the more supportive the mattress. Because they include hundreds of steel coils, innerspring mattresses are almost always heavier than their foam counterparts. They also tend to be pricier.

Foam mattress: Foam crib mattresses make up the vast majority of the market. They’re typically made of polyurethane foam and can be relatively inexpensive, thanks to their simpler construction. Within the foam crib mattress category, there are breathable mattresses with woven polymer cores that allow air to pass through more easily. 

You might like the pillowy, sink-in feel of a soft mattress, but your baby needs to sleep on something a good deal firmer for their safety. A good crib mattress must be firm and supportive as a precaution against SIDS, according to Alex Savy, a certified sleep science coach and founder of SleepingOcean. The American Academy of Pediatrics says soft mattresses, including those made of memory foam, can form indentations that increase suffocation risk.

“A crib mattress should not be cushioning and hugging,” Savy says. “Instead, it must spring back quickly when the pressure is applied.”

You’ll often see this certification on crib mattresses and many other baby products. Greenguard Gold certification signifies that a product has passed a battery of testing for chemical emissions called Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are released as a gas from paints, cleaning supplies and other materials. A Greenguard Gold certified product emits a very low amount of VOCs, if any. 

Though Greenguard Gold is the most prevalent certification among crib mattresses, you’ll see others. CertiPur-US is similar in that it certifies a product has low VOCs, but a mattress with this certification has also been made without ozone depleters, toxic flame retardants or phthalates. However, Greenguard Gold is generally considered the more stringent standard.

All standard-size crib mattresses are required by law to measure between 51 and 5/8 inches and 53 inches long and 27 and 1/4 and 28 inches wide. So yes: In theory, any standard crib mattress on sale today should fit any standard crib, but some will fit better than others. For instance, some mattresses’ corners are square while others are rounded, leaving gaps. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two adult fingers should not be able to fit between the mattress and the crib’s sides. 

Read moreBest Diaper Bags of 2024

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.


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