The Best Crib Mattresses of 2022

After over 10 years reviewing crib mattresses, we have a confession to make: there is no perfect crib mattress! If there were, here is what it would look like:

✔️  Dual-firmness.
✔️  Breathable cover & core.
✔️  Natural or organic materials.
✔️  Washable waterproof cover.
✔️  Lightweight construction.
✔️  Greenguard GOLD Certification.
✔️  MADE SAFE Certification.
✔️  Ships flat, no unrolling.
✔️  Quality stitching and seams.
✔️  Reasonably priced.
❌  No polyurethane foam.
❌  No chemical flame retardants.
❌  No vinyl covers.

In our desperate search to meet these criteria, every year we put about a dozen crib mattresses to the test. Some are newly introduced to the market, and others are revamped classics. Only the best crib mattresses we find make it onto this list.

Below we list our top 5 crib mattresses, followed by in-depth reviews of about 10 different options.

Because mattresses tend to perform well on some factors but not others, we try to clarify exactly what makes the crib mattress worthy of inclusion: is it the breathability, organic materials, ease of cleaning, versatility, or longevity? We'll leave it up to you to prioritize what is most important for your family. At the most basic level, it needs to fit in the crib; at the most advanced level, it needs to fit your materials sourcing and sustainability needs.

Modern parents are very aware of safety-related issues like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic flame retardants, and heavy metals. Mattress companies have followed suit, making breathable mattresses with low or zero VOC emissions, and carefully testing for heavy metals and other toxins.

To be fair it's very challenging and expensive to make a mattress that honestly and reliably meets these goals. While unfortunately common, there is no excuse for misleading advertising and claims of natural, organic, or otherwise safe materials. Below are the best crib mattresses we've found, followed by a lengthy list of alternatives that are decent but not highly recommended.

Full disclosure: Some of these mattresses, including the Newton, Avocado, and Emily models, were sent to us as free test samples by the manufacturer.

Here are the Best Crib Mattresses of 2022!

best crib mattress newton wovenaire

1. The Newton Crib Mattress.

The Newton stands out as the safest crib mattress on our list, with its completely breathable (and washable!) design. This top-rated Newton Wovenaire crib mattress is recommended by Dr. Sears, made right here in the USA, Greenguard GOLD certified, and the winner of the JPMA innovation award. Different from other crib mattresses, the Newton isn't dual firmness; in other words, it doesn't have one firm side for babies and a softer side for toddlers. Instead, Newton found a sweet spot between firm and soft for the entire mattress, so you never have to worry about which side of the mattress your baby is sleeping on. We recently got our hands on the Newton for testing (thanks for the samples, Newton!), and we loved it! Out of the box, we were worried that it might be too soft for an infant and not soft enough for a toddler, but honestly they did an excellent job finding the perfect mattress firmness for both infants and toddlers. Foam would have made it easier to put a higher density foam on one side than the other. Instead, Newton developed a food-grade Wovenaire polymer core that allows them to completely avoid the use of polyurethane foam and metal springs.

best baby cribs nestig

There are three primary advantages of the Wovenaire core (see our picture of the core in our in-depth Newton crib mattress review). First, because it's 90% air the mattress is extremely breathable and lightweight. The high breathability can reduce suffocation risk, and the lighter weight makes sheet changes a breeze. Second, the Wovenaire core avoids the harmful chemical emissions from polyurethane foam, and has much higher durability. Third, the core is completely washable: simply remove the zip-off cover and you can spray it with your shower head or garden hose! Made from recycled yogurt cups, Newton has received a ton of praise for their innovative core!

To summarize, we found the Newton crib mattress comfortable, a great fit for both of our test cribs, odor-free (no off-gassing), breathable (we tested it ourselves!), and super comfortable. Not only is there a lot to love about this Wovenaire crib mattress, there's also a lot of bad stuff that's missing: heavy coil springs, polyurethane foams, allergens, latex, toxic flame retardants, and adhesives. The mattress comes with a washable and highly breathable zip-off cover that Newton advises parents to use without a mattress protector or sheet, at least for the first few months (to increase safe sleep). The edges of the Newton mattress are nicely squared so that it fit snugly into our test crib without excessive gaps. Newton also claims that the core is entirely recyclable, though I challenge you to fit it in your recycling bin! As a downfall, there's nothing natural about a polymer core, though we do appreciate that it's food grade, Greenguard GOLD certified, washable, and free of polyurethane foams. All of this greatness comes at a price, the Newton Wovenaire costs about $299, though they often have discounts on the Newton site (Amazon listing is here). If you value high breathability, quality construction, and the outstanding convenience of a fully washable cover and mattress core, then this is definitely the mattress for your family! Who else considers the Newton a top pick? Our friends at Babygearlab, Babylist, WhatToExpect, and The Bump! Impressed? You can check out the Newton Crib Mattress here.

best crib mattress naturepedic breathable

2. Naturepedic Organic Breathable Toddler Mattress.

The Naturepedic crib mattress stands out for its high quality organic construction and breathable cover. We purchased the Naturepedic Breathable crib mattress late last year for hands-on testing, and we think it's truly amazing! This U.S. made organic mattress is made with high-quality materials, has dual firmness (one baby side and one softer toddler mattress side), and you can choose between a core with coil springs or lightweight wavesupport. We chose the more traditional coil core rather than the wavesupport polyethylene core. The coil core has 252 springs, organic cotton padding, and an organic cover. In our experience, a coil core helps the mattress avoid developing indentations or lumps over time, maintain good support over the course of several years, and you don't need to worry about nasty off-gassing from a foam core. While a bit heavier (19 pounds) and a bit more expensive, we think coil cores are a great option. This mattress meets Greenguard GOLD and GOTS certifications, is made with seamless edges, has squared corners, and excellent reviews. It is also hypoallergenic, and it's not just the cover that's organic, it's all materials (other than the springs themselves, of course). In our testing, we loved the breathable organic cotton cover that was extremely easy to remove and clean. The entire mattress was basically odorless, and we thought it fit very snugly in our test (Babyletto) crib. The construction quality was overall very high, and we anticipate this having great longevity. Inside the cover, the mattress tag indicates that it is made with organic fiber batting and non-GMO PLA batting (polylactide batting). Everything looks, smells, and feels fantastic with this mattress; for dual-firmness, the infant side is super firm and the toddler side is nice and soft. The seams and stitching are high quality, the cover is breathable and comfortable, and the waterproof core liner is organic cotton fabric with a waterproof coating.

One of the unique aspects of this mattress is that the breathable cover is not zip-off, it works like a fitted sheet. Why is this awesome? Well, this coil spring crib mattress is a hefty 19 pounds, which will make it cumbersome to completely pull out of the crib for cover changes. This type of cover, however, simply gets pulled on over the edges so you don't need to pull the mattress out of the crib. Nice touch! In addition to its Greenguard GOLD and GOTS certifications, this mattress is also MADE SAFE certified, which is one of the most stringent certification processes that exist (the Avocado also holds this certification). Parents can feel good about this mattress in terms of its materials (organic), manufacturing (in USA), certifications (numerous), and comfort. That's a slam dunk if you ask us!

There are two little things to point out, however. First, it's a pretty heavy mattress. If you're concerned about that, Naturepedic also makes a lightweight version that uses unique wavesupport polyethylene core (that's the same core material used by Newton). Second, the waterproof liner on the mattress core is great because it means that you're not going to ruin your mattress when an accident happens, and it's super easy to wipe clean. While we usually don't like waterproof coatings, it's worth pointing out that Naturepedic has a patented waterproofing technique that uses plant-based polyethylene production using non-GMO sugarcane. That combines the best of both worlds: an organic mattress cover and core with a plant-based waterproof coating that is food-safe and does not contain any phthalates, vinyl, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), or other hazardous waterproofing materials. The MADE SAFE certification is a powerful testament to that fact. Expensive? Yes, but we think it's worth it - highly recommended! Who else considers the Naturepedic a top pick? Our friends at Babygearlab, Babylist, The Bump, and WhatToExpect. Impressed? You can check out this Naturepedic Crib Mattress here!

best crib mattress emily natural

3. The Emily Crib Mattress.

The Emily crib mattress stands out for its natural construction, certified organic materials, and sturdy innerspring core. The Emily is made by My Green Mattress Company, which might sound cheesy but we promise it's amazing! Made right here in the USA, the Emily crib mattress is very high quality, uses certified organic materials, and holds GOTS, GOLS and Greenguard GOLD certifications. The Emily uses a coil spring core (150 springs) covered by a layer of organic wool and an organic quilted cotton cover. It has a highly breathable organic cotton cover with wool batting underneath, giving it very high breathability while keeping things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Under the plush and comfortable cover is a very high-quality mattress core with 150 coil innersprings, edge and corner supports, organic coconut coir, and organic wool batting.

As we learned in our hands-on Emily Crib Mattress Review (thanks for the samples, My Green Mattress!), the mattress comes shipped flat which is always our preference. Out of the box, we didn't detect any odor at all, which jives with the fact that it's Greenguard GOLD certified for very low chemical emissions. When we put it into the crib, it fit snugly into the edges and corners. It was firm enough for a baby but not too firm for a toddler, it's like the perfect firmness (very similar to the Newton Wovenaire) for comfort at all ages. For better or worse, the innerspring construction means it can be quite fun for a toddler learning to jump in their crib! The mattress is double-sided like the Newton (not dual-firmness), meaning it does not have different firmness levels on each side. On the one hand we prefer dual-firmness mattresses, but on the other hand it's nice to be able to turn and flip the mattress to avoid sagging and dips. Overall, we really like the Emily crib mattress, and after our longer-term testing it has worked its way up higher on this list! Cons? No dual-firmness, and you'll need to purchase a separate mattress cover or protector. Just like the Avocado, you do not want to have an accident on this beautiful mattress! Who else loves the Emily mattress? Our picky friends at Babygearlab! Interested? You can check out this Emily Natural Crib Mattress here.

best crib mattress avocado green

4. Avocado Green Crib Mattress.

This crib mattress stands out for its extremely high quality organic construction with sustainable materials! The Avocado is most similar to the Naturepedic, with a few key differences. The Avocado does not have a waterproof layer, or a 3D mesh breathable cover. However, it does have a beautifully quilted surface and a fully organic construction with GOTS, GOLS, MADE SAFE, and Greenguard GOLD certifications. We recently got our hands on the Avocado for testing (thanks for the samples, Avocado!), and were blown away by its quality materials and construction. It offers everything a discerning parent would want, including all the proper organic certifications, an organic coconut husk and latex core, a breathable surface and core, and a truly beautiful hand-made construction from right here in the USA (California). Just as important is what this mattress does not have: polyurethane or polyurethane foam, chemical adhesives or flame retardants, vinyl, heavy metal springs, chemical flame retardants, plastics or polymers, or off-gassing. Instead of using a plastic polymer core (like the Newton Wovenaire or Naturepedic WaveSupport), the Avocado uses an organic coconut husk core infused with flexible organic latex. Like the Newton and Naturepedic, the Avocado crib mattress ships completely flat so you don't need to spend time worrying about whether it will expand properly after being rolled up tightly.

As a first impression, there is absolutely no odor or off-gassing, and the organic cotton quilted surfaces are unbelievably beautiful, soft, and durable. The craftsmanship is second-to-none in quality, including the fabrics, seams, and stitching. In our compression testing, the infant side is very firm (as it should be for safety), and the toddler side is very soft and responsive. For details you can see our full Avocado crib mattress review. The cover and core are both breathable, which helps with safety and airflow during warmer months. The mattress is wonderful, and parents concerned with sustainability can rest assured that the Avocado crib mattress is made under impressive manufacturing conditions, and its materials are farmed and sourced using sustainable methods that help protect the earth, farms, employees, and your child's future. You can read all about Avocado's sustainable practices and certifications at their site. Suffice to say it's an impressive list of credentials.

The only con is that the Avocado does not include a removable protective cover - you can either purchase one separately from Avocado, or use your own cover of choice. Either way, we strongly suggest using a waterproof liner or cover so you do not ruin this beautiful mattress! Outside of that, we think it's perfect and we are grateful to have tested it out. Not only does it offer the highest quality construction on this list, but the price is surprisingly reasonable for an organic crib mattress, coming in under $300. Interested? You can check out this Avocado Green Crib Mattress here.

best crib mattress lullaby earth breeze

5. Lullaby Earth Breeze Toddler Mattress.

Breathable, waterproof, dual-firmness, and MADE SAFE Certified? For only about $250? Sounds great! The Lullaby Earth crib mattress is very popular, and for good reason! Their relatively new dual-firmness crib mattress is Greenguard GOLD and MADE SAFE Certified for low VOC emissions, 100% recyclable, extremely lightweight, has a 6" thickness, seamless edges for easy cleaning, and includes a waterproof cover with a breathable surface. Instead of coils or a foam core, this uses the same WaveSupport core as the Naturepedic, made from food-grade polymer. The MADE SAFE Certification is very compelling, requiring not only minimal VOC emissions, but passing a very rigorous series of tests regarding all materials used in production. In our tests, the infant side was nice and firm, and the toddler mattress side was much softer. The corners are almost squared, somewhere between a rounded and squared edge; it fit nicely in our test (DaVinci) crib. Given the slightly rounded edges, there might be more risk of losing/dropping pacifiers into the corners.

The Lullaby Earth mattress was very lightweight, maybe a few ounces less than the Colgate even, so changing sheets was a breeze. The cover is a highly breathable 3D mesh with a non-vinyl waterproof backing. The cover can be machine-washed. Under the cover, the outer mattress lining is easily cleaned and has a nice seamless edge. Made in the USA, the entire mattress seems to be well constructed, and it does have good long-term durability. Cons? Nothing major! While we love the waterproof cover with its breathable surface, any waterproof layer likely contains some plastics or chemical coatings; so while the core of the mattress is MADE SAFE certified, it's unclear whether the cover is as well. Outside of that, we think the Lullaby Earth Breeze crib mattress is a great option for discerning parents! Who else loves the Lullaby Earth? Our friends at Babygearlab, Babylist, and WhatToExpect. Impressed? You can check out the Lullaby Earth Crib Mattress here.

best crib mattress nook pure organic

6. Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattress.

We love testing new additions to the baby gear market, and this new Nook Sleep Pebble organic crib mattress is no exception! We got our hands on the Nook Pure crib mattress late last year for testing, and we think it's a great option, most similar to the Avocado (above) in construction and price. When it arrived, we were happy to see that the mattress ships flat, so you don't need to unroll and wait for it to rise (or if you're unlucky, not rise!). Taking it out of the bag, the mattress didn't have any obvious odors or off-gassing, which was great. There were a few immediate things we really loved. First, the mattress cover is supremely soft and cozy. Honestly, we love the concept of the pebble cover, which has little islands of plushness scattered across the surface - I wish they made these sheets for grown-ups! The cover itself is made of organic cotton, organic eucalyptus lyocell, organic poly blend, and what Nook calls the 3D SafeSleep Technology (a breathable mesh that reduces the risk of SIDS). The cover is also water resistant (NOT waterproof), and fits the mattress very snugly. About that mattress - it's great! The core is very similar to the Avocado in construction, including the coconut coir (husk) and latex core. The mattress is dual-firmness, with the infant surface comprised of coconut husk, and the toddler side having the softer latex layer underneath. The infant side is very firm and shows an appropriate level of compression and responsiveness.

best baby cribs nestig

The toddler side is a bit firmer than we expected, but also very comfortable. The overall dimensions fit perfectly into our Nestig Cloud and DaVinci test cribs. Cons? Well, we couldn't help but compare it to the Avocado, which we know and love. As you know, Avocado does a fantastic job with transparency and organic certifications (GOTS, GOLS, MADE SAFE, Greenguard GOLD), but other than Greenguard GOLD it's difficult to figure out exactly what certifications the Nook maintains. Second, the Avocado is a bit softer on the toddler side, likely due to the cozy wool layer they use. Third, it's very heavy (25 pounds!) and at this price we were expecting a waterproof cover, though we do realize that is very challenging to make a waterproof crib mattress cover that is also organic. The only advantage relative to the Avocado is the removable cover. Overall, we think it's a great option with some small drawbacks, including the price. Available in several colors to match your nursery. Interested? You can check out this Nook Pure Organic Mattress here.

best crib mattresses babyletto pure core non-toxic

7. Babyletto Pure Core Non-Toxic Crib Mattress.

About $199. This Babyletto Pure Crib Mattress is relatively new to the baby mattress market, and is the perfect pair for our top-rated Babyletto cribs. This mattress has so many great things going for it. First, it is dual-sided, with a nice firm newborn side and a relatively soft toddler side. Second, it is hypoallergenic and dust mite and allergen resistant. Third, the core is non-toxic and does not contain polyurethane foam; instead, it uses layers of polyester fiber. The core also doesn't contain soy, vinyl, PVC, chemical flame retardants, dyes, allergens, phthalates, PFCs, synthetic latex, or other high VOC (off-gassing) materials, and it is Greenguard GOLD certified. Like the Newton crib mattress, the core can be recycled - so if you chopped it up and squeezed it into your recycling bin that dream can become a reality! Above the core there is a softer batting layer that is made of modacrylic fiber and polyester. What's modacrylic fiber? It's a synthetic acrylic fiber that is hypoallergenic, mildew-resistant, and highly durable. Fourth, it has an awesome cotton cover with a vinyl-free waterproof liner on its underside; that cover zips on and off easily, and can be machine washed. They call this the "hybrid" cover since it has a soft cotton top and waterproof liner bottom.

Finally, we thought the Babyletto Pure was comfortable and fit amazingly well into our Babyletto and DaVinci cribs. Snug as a bug, without any gaps at the sides or corners. The two sides were nicely structured - it was very firm on the newborn side, and the other side was the perfect softness for a toddler, and there was good edge support. Cons? A couple minor things. First, we found the zipper on the cover lower quality than we would have liked, and we thought for sure it would break at some point soon. It hasn't broken yet, but that could change! Second, after machine washing (you need to hang dry) the cover shrank a bit and made it a pain to stretch back onto the mattress. Also, this mattress is not made in the USA, it's made in Taiwan, for what it's worth. Overall this is an excellent crib mattress with only a few downfalls worth considering. At this price, we think it's worth it for the non-toxic materials, dual-sided construction, waterproof cover, and excellent fit. Who else loves the Babyletto Pure crib mattress? It's named a top pick by our friends at Babygearlab, WhatToExpect, and The Bump. Impressed? You can check out this Babyletto Pure Crib Mattress here.

8. OrganicDream 2-Stage Organic Toddler Mattress.

best crib mattresses organic dream

We got our hands on this organic crib mattress early last year, and we were blown away by its comfort, features, versatility, quality, and price. Made in the U.S.A. from domestic and international (Canada and Europe, and none from China) materials, this is one of only a few mattresses on this list that are Greenguard GOLD certified, use OEKO-TEX certified fabrics, and have 100% organic cotton surfaces. Those are some outstanding credentials, complemented by superior 2-stage (dual-firmness) versatility, a removable and machine washable cover, and hypoallergenic and breathable surfaces. In our testing, we fell in love with several things. First, it was surprisingly lightweight, coming in at about 12 pounds, which is impressive given its awesome 6" thickness. Lighter mattresses are great for easy lifting, sheet changes, and cover changes. Second, that super thick and lightweight mattress makes for superior comfort. The infant side is super firm, as it should be, but the toddler side is soft and responsive, making for a comfortable sleeping surface that your toddler will definitely appreciate. The edges and corners are nicely reinforced to prevent sagging, and the slightly rounded corners fit well into our DaVinci test crib. Third, the organic fabric cover is soft and comfortable - you could even have your baby sleep directly on the cover if you don't have a clean sheet, or simply don't want to use a sheet in the first place.

We removed the cover and machine-washed it, and we didn't experience any major shrinkage - it was a little tighter going back onto the mattress, but it zipped up just fine, thanks to the subtle stretch in the cover fabric. Speaking of the cover, it is water resistant for up to 16 hours, which means that if you detect a wet bed you'll have a chance to wash the cover before ruining the mattress core. Fourth, we really liked the organic cotton sleeping surfaces, and were confident with its low chemical emissions and Greenguard GOLD certification. There were no strong odors or off-gassing when we took it out of the package. Cons? Nothing obvious to report, so that's good news. We should point out that the entire mattress is not organic, only the surfaces. The core is made from food-grade polymer (i.e., plastic) that carries Greenguard certification, similar to the Newton. Now that we've had it for over a year, we're happy to report that the fabrics, stitching, zippers, and core have held up very well so far! Interested? You can check out the Organic Dream Crib Mattress here.

9. Beautyrest Beginnings Naturally Healthy Nights Crib Mattress.

best crib mattress beautyrest beginnings naturally healthy nights

About $175. Here is a fantastic innerspring Simmons Beautyrest crib mattress made by Delta Children right here in the USA, with some awesome features and specifications. These include Greenguard GOLD certification, a natural cotton blend fabric waterproof cover, dual firmness, non-toxic cotton fire protection, Innofoam corner supports, and 231 springs (in a dense 11 by 21 array). Springs are the classic way to make a highly supportive mattress that will last for years, and when done correctly they provide superior comfort and durability. Here they are done right: each spring is only about 2.25" in diameter and Beautyrest puts foam supports in between the perimeter springs to provide great edge support. The tightly packed and small diameter springs makes for a very comfortable sleeping surface, and it is impossible to physically feel a spring through the four layers of support, fire protection, and cotton covering. We placed this crib mattress into two cribs: the Babyletto Hudson and Delta Bentley. In both cases it was a nice snug fit, the corners are only slightly rounded so there is a good fit along the sides and into the corners. There is only very slight decline into the edges. The infant side of the mattress is very firm, which is appropriate for lowering the risk of SIDS. The toddler side is surprisingly soft, using a thick naturally-blended cotton for ultimate comfort. If you've ever used a Beautyrest mattress for your own bed, you know they provide excellent support and comfort, and this crib mattress is no exception. But with all that innerspring and thick padding comes some considerable weight: the mattress is about 6" thick and weights about 27 pounds! That's super heavy and will make mattress cover and sheet changing a bit challenging. After a few months of use, we can proudly say that this is a truly fantastic mattress. Out of the box there are absolutely no chemical smells, which jives with its Greenguard GOLD certification. We have not experienced any sagging, and we liked the soft and breathable cotton cover, the non-toxic construction, and the overall high quality fit and finish. Cons? It does have some polyurethane foam in its core to provide perimeter support around the coils. Also, we're not huge fans of coil innerspring crib mattresses due to the weight issue alone. That said, we think this is a very well-priced and great compromise between the top-rated mattresses and the full-foam core options. Interested? You can check out this Beautyrest Beginnings Naturally Healthy Nights Crib Mattress here.

10. DaVinci Complete Slumber Crib Mattress.

best crib mattress davinci complete slumber

You probably recognize the DaVinci name from their great line of convertible cribs, typically within the top 5 of our annual crib reviews. With cribs, DaVinci is known for making stylish and reasonable quality cribs for a great price. This is similar, though we don't think the quality and bang for the buck is present in this DaVinci crib mattress. Coming in at $80, at first glance this seems like a great price for a Greenguard GOLD baby mattress made in the USA. When we took it out of the box, we were immediately amazed with how lightweight it was - only about 5 pounds! Talk about super simple to flip, change sheets, and take out for cleaning. But let's consider that "flip" part closely, because this is not a dual-firmness crib mattress. Instead, both sides are the same firmness, which was definitely closer to a toddler firmness in our experience. The waterproof cover is permanently attached (not zip-off), and feels like a typical vinyl cover but a little softer and doesn't have that crinkle noise that vinyl covers typically make. DaVinci says it's not vinyl, so we're assuming it's PEVA (like a shower curtain liner). The core is a layered polyester fiber, which is one of the reasons it's so lightweight. We appreciate that there's no vinyl or polyurethane foam used in this mattress, and no chemical flame retardants. In terms of fit, it was a bit small for our DaVinci crib, and only a tiny bit small for our Babyletto crib. We did like the squared-off corners, but the mattress seemed a bit small overall (at least the one we tested). The mattress is only about 5" thick, and to be honest we found it a little flimsy overall. There was also a tiny spot on the cover's stitching that was coming undone; it was only about a half inch long, but thought it wasn't a good sign of quality control. Overall, if you're looking for a Greenguard GOLD crib mattress at a relatively low price and don't need dual-firmness, this might be a good option for you. Interested? You can check out this Davinci Crib Mattress here.


Additional Baby and Toddler Crib Mattress Options

While we do not strongly recommend any of these options, they can be great budget picks for parents who aren't concerned with polyurethane foam cores or vinyl covers. In general, if you're comfortable picking a mattress with a polyurethane core, definitely look for one that is Greenguard GOLD and CertiPUR-US certified.

We suggest not paying over $100 for a polyurethane core crib mattress, especially with a vinyl cover. The following crib mattress options are in no particular order, but if you click one them it will take you to our full review:

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer crib mattress review

Colgate Eco Classica III crib mattress review

Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Black Brilliant Sun crib mattress review

Kolcraft Pure Sleep Therapeutic 150 crib mattress review

Serta Perfect Start crib mattress review

Milliard Hypoallergenic crib mattress review

Delta Children Twinkle Stars crib mattress review

Graco Premium Foam crib mattress review

Sealy Soybean Foam Core crib mattress review.

Dourxi dual-firmness crib mattress review.

How We Pick Crib Mattresses!

Looking for more information than what we have here? Check out our lengthier crib mattress buying guide!

Size: Standard crib mattresses should measure approximately 27.5" wide (this varies about .25" between brands and versions), 52" long, and about 5-6" thick. This is the standard mattress size for baby cribs, and is not to be confused with the smaller sizes necessary for playards or travel cribs, or bassinets).

By law, a crib mattress must be at least 27.25" wide and 51.625" long, and a maximum of 6" thick. Thicker mattresses are not allowed given the risk for a standing baby to climb and fall out of the crib. Thicker mattresses also tend to be relatively expensive. Whether you end up with a 4.5" thick or 6" thick mattress, be sure to lower the mattress platform when they begin to sit, crawl, and/or pull up to stand. Always consider sleep safety when you're setting up your crib.

Corners: You will notice that some crib mattresses have rounded corners, and some have squared corners. About 99% of all cribs have squared corners, so a squared corner mattress tends to fit much better without gaps. Little gaps in the corners aren't a huge concern, but they can be an annoying place for pacifiers or lovies to fall and get lost. A mattress with squared corners prevents these issues.

People generally use the two finger rule: if you can fit two fingers, like your index and middle fingers, between the mattress and the inside of the crib, there's too much space for safety. Most mattress companies will accept a return if the mattress is not properly sized for the crib. Try it out with the plastic wrap still attached, to increase the chances they'll accept a return.

Dual Firmness: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Safe Sleep guidelines recommends infants sleep on relatively firm surfaces until they are mobile (sitting, rolling, and pulling themselves up to stand in the crib). This usually occurs around 9-12 months.

Many crib mattresses are made with dual firmness, which means that one side is firmer than the other. The firm side is used for infants until around 9-12 months, and then you flip it over to the softer toddler mattress side. These dual firmness mattresses tend to be a bit more expensive than single firmness, but it's definitely worth the extra money since you won't have to buy a new mattress after 9 months (or when your toddler starts complaining!).

When new parents first feel a firm crib mattress, they might think "this is too firm for my little baby!" but that's exactly what you want. Firm mattresses reduce the risk of SIDS and facilitate learning to roll and move around.

If you push your hand into a mattress at the store and your hand sinks in and the mattress maintains the indentation of your hand (like a memory foam), it's probably not a good option for an infant. If you push your hand into a firm infant mattress, you might think it feels uncomfortably firm - that's what you want!

The toddler side will add extra cushioning on top of that firmness, but only flip the mattress over to the toddler side after your baby knows how to roll, sit, and stand. It's a little more expensive but we definitely suggest investing in a dual-firmness crib mattress. Outside of that, some crib mattresses like the Newton Wovenaire, use a firmness level appropriate for both infants and toddlers. Realistically, these are often too firm for discerning toddlers, but we like the concept.

Dual-sided is not the same as dual-firmness. Dual-sided simply means your child can sleep on both sides of the mattress, whereas dual-firmness means that one side is firmer than the other.

Price: Crib mattresses range in price from about $40USD upwards of $500. Of course, there are some very expensive crib mattresses like the Avocado Luxury Organic model, which costs about $1250!

You can certainly purchase a pretty cheap crib mattress, but they tend not to convert from infant to toddler crib mattresses (i.e., they tend not to be dual-firmness), tend to have higher VOC emissions, chemical fire retardants, and are made with questionable materials like polyurethane foam and vinyl. In our opinion, it is worth splurging a bit for a high-quality crib mattress, since you will very likely be using it for several years (and for a second or third child!). For a recommended model, expect to pay between $200-300.

Emissions Standards: Mattress manufacturers have done a good job of raising industry standards to help indoor air quality and reduce infants' inhalation of harmful VOCs. There are a number of environmental institutes and committees that provide private certification for mattresses. The major one is GreenGuard Certification. If you see this label, the mattress conforms to moderately-stringent VOC emissions standards. Because parents are increasingly concerned about VOCs specifically from polyurethane foam mattresses, another certification organization, called CertiPUR-US, was developed to assuage parents into being comfortable with a foam core. Personally, we think the CertiPUR-US standards are very low.

You can also go even further and invest in an organic crib mattress, which will usually be certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and/or Oregon Tilth. If you decide to go with Organic, go all the way.

The most stringent materials certification for a crib mattress is offered by MADE SAFE, which checks for over 6,500 dangerous substances. These include behavioral toxins, carcinogens and probable carcinogens, heavy metals, developmental and reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, toxic flame retardants, neurotoxins, pesticides, and more. The MADE SAFE certification process goes beyond just assessing ingredients to evaluate the entire life cycle, from ingredients sourcing to disposal, to ensure the mattress is not only baby-friendly but also ecosystem-friendly. If you care about sustainability, look for the MADE SAFE badge! As of this time, the Avocado, Naturepedic, and Lullaby Earth mattresses are MADE SAFE certified.

A mattress labeled as "certified organic" will be made of at least 95% organic materials. A mattress labeled as "made with certified organic materials" will likely have a much lower organic content mixed with less expensive synthetic materials. That little "made with" statement is tricky because it could mean that the mattress was made with 2% organic, or 90% organic, and it's difficult to determine the actual numbers.

If you do choose a mattress that uses a polyurethane foam core, we recommend compliance with both Greenguard GOLD and CertiPUR-US, the latter of which claims to ensure low VOC emissions (less than 0.5 parts per million), and zero formaldehyde, heavy metals, chlorofluorocarbons, or regulated phthalates. Of course, the higher the manufacturing standards, the more expensive it is to actually make the mattress; so maybe you can dig up some gift cards from your baby shower and use them to lower the cost!

Venting: Traditionally, high-quality crib mattresses had little vents (usually plastic or metal grommets or slits) along the side to help the mattress breathe. It may seem silly, but these little vents help keep the mattress from absorbing various smells from your baby, like a dirty diaper smell lasting for several weeks. Nowadays, most mattress cores and covers are breathable and promote airflow through the entire mattress. Rather than using a plastic or vinyl cover that needs vents, many modern mattresses use a 3D mesh fabric along with several breathable layers (or an entirely breathable core like the Newton).

Longevity: One of the reasons we compare products like crib mattresses is to give you not only the short-term test, but also the long-term reliability evaluation. If you plan on having more than one kid, or there's some chance that might happen, then we recommend getting a high-quality mattress that will outlast your baby's time in a crib. The less expensive models lack certain features like border rods that prevent edge sagging and use cheap materials like thin vinyl covers that dry out and crack within a few years. Cheap polyurethane cores also tend to sag and develop indentations over time, and absorb nasty odors and stains.

Most crib mattresses can be used in the crib and toddler bed, so if you're purchasing a 3in1 or 4in1 convertible crib, then when you convert it to a toddler bed you will be able to continue using the same mattress just as a toddler bed mattress. It's a great way to save some cash by not having to purchase a separate toddler bed and mattress.

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