The Best Crib Mattresses of 2021
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:
✔️ 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 or foams.
❌ No chemical flame retardants.
❌ No vinyl or latex.
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.
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. Below we list our top 5 crib mattresses, followed by in-depth reviews of about 20 different options.
|Model and Link to Amazon||Our Rating|
|#1. Newton Wovenaire|
|#2. Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattress|
|#3. Avocado Green Crib Mattress|
|#4. Emily Natural Crib Mattress|
|#5. Lullaby Earth Crib Mattress|
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.
- Top 5 Crib Mattresses Comparison Table
- 1. Best Overall: Newton Wovenaire
- 2. Naturepedic Breathable Crib Mattress
- 3. Avocado Green Crib Mattress
- 4. Emily Natural Organic Crib Mattress
- 5. Lullaby Earth Breeze Crib Mattress
- 6. Babyletto Pure Crib Mattress
- 7. Organic Dream Crib Mattress
- 8. Beautyrest Healthy Nights Crib Mattress
- 9. DaVinci Complete Slumber Crib Mattress
- Other Crib Mattress Reviews (in no particular order)
- Moonlight Slumber Crib Mattress
- Colgate Eco Classica Crib Mattress
- Simmons Kids BeautyRest Crib Mattress
- Kolcraft Pure Sleep Crib Mattress
- Serta Perfect Start Crib Mattress
- Milliard Hypoallergenic Crib Mattress
- Delta Children Twinkle Stars Crib Mattress
- Graco Premium Foam Crib Mattress
- Sealy Soybean Foam Core Crib Mattress
- Dream on Me Crib Mattress
- Dourxi Crib Mattress
- Factors to Consider
- Crib Mattress Size
- Mattress Corners
- Dual Firmness
- Emissions Standards
- Mommyhood101's Best Crib Mattress Picks
The Top 9 Crib Mattresses of 2021!
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 somewhere halfway between firm and soft for the entire mattress, so you never have to worry about which side your baby is sleeping on. We recently got our hands on the Newton for testing (thanks, Newton!), and we love 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; this is a fancy way of saying it's filled with air-puffed plastic. There are three primary advantages of the Wovenaire core (see our picture of the core here). 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 chemicals that can leach from polyurethane foam, and its poor 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! You can learn more details in our full Newton Crib Mattress Review. To summarize, we found it 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, 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 lower the risk of suffocation. The edges of the Newton mattress are nicely squared so that it fit snugly into our test crib. Newton also claims that the core is entirely recyclable, though I challenge you to get it into your recycling bin! As a downfall, there's nothing natural about a polymer core, though we do appreciate that it's food grade and Greenguard GOLD certified. 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 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.
This crib mattress stands out for its 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!
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 certification. We recently got our hands on the Avocado for testing (thanks, 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 right here in the USA (California). Just as importantly 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 from a rolled-up ball. 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 here. The cover and core are both breathable, which helps with safety and cool 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 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. Relative to the Newton, 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. 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.
The Emily crib mattress stands out for its natural construction, certified organic materials, and 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 little needle perforations to promote breathability, and you combine that with the wool under-layer and you have a great combination for keeping things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Under the plush and comfortable cover is a really high-quality mattress core with 150 coil innersprings, edge and corner supports, and organic cotton batting. 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.
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.
About $199. This Babyletto Pure Crib Mattress is relatively new to the baby mattress market, and it 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 a polyester core like the Newton Wovenaire. 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. And that core can be recycled - so if you chopped it up and squeezed it into your recycling bin that's 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. Cons? Well, 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 the cover shrank a bit and made it a pain to stretch back onto the mattress. Also, not made in the USA, 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.
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 use 100% organic cotton surfaces. Those are some outstanding credentials, complemented by superior 2-stage 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 about 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.
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.
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 mattress options are in no particular order.
This is foam core crib mattress that is made right here in the U.S.A. and has some great low VOC features, squared corners, a long excluded chemical list, a waterproof and seamless cover, dual firmness, and hypoallergenic materials. In our testing, this mattress fit our (DaVinci) crib like a glove, and the squared corners were awesome, filling all the extra space. The Moonlight Slumber is a Greenguard GOLD certified crib mattress, and also CertiPUR-US certified for low VOC emissions. As far as we could tell it has a great build quality, and the seamless edges and waterproof cover were a nice touch. The cover itself is decently soft and seems like good quality, and it's infused with plant oils for some nice softness. At 8 pounds it's relatively lightweight, making for easy sheet and mattress pad changing. The nicely squared corners also make sheet changes easier, and sheets are more likely to actually stay on the mattress (even when your toddler becomes a jumper!). This mattress also has an antimicrobial coating on the fabric cover which is a nice touch, and the cover is water, stain and odor resistant as well. Finally, they also added extra firm edges so that the mattress won't sag at the edges, like when a toddler stands near the edge. The Moonlight Slumber little dreamer is about $199, which seems like a steep price for a polyurethane core mattress. We found that the firmness balance between the infant and toddler sides was really nice; the infant side was super firm, and the toddler side was moderately soft. The version we purchased didn't have any labels showing which side was the infant side and which was the toddler side. If you can't tell from pushing your hand in and feeling which side is the firmer infant side, the one we tested had the words Moonlight Slumber printed on one side (the infant side) and the other side was blank (the toddler side). The seams were basically non-existent, and rather than using spray-on fire retardant chemicals, it uses an innovative woven fire barrier. The cons? In our testing, we found the smell (off-gassing) a bit stronger than the others, which isn't surprising with a polyurethane foam core. It took about a week for the odor to dissipate, which was unsettling. Also, it's worth noting that Moonlight Slumber was recently charged by the FTC for making misleading claims about the mattress being organic and free of VOCs. They removed any such claims, of course, but it doesn't inspire confidence. Overall, the build quality seems quite good, but since it's relatively new to the market it's hard to predict the durability and longevity of this particular mattress. Who else recommends the Moonlight Slumber? It's a top pick by our friends at Babylist, WhatToExpect, and The Bump. Interested? You can check out this Moonlight Slumber Crib Mattress here.
This top-rated U.S. made crib mattress is from one of the best companies in the crib mattress market. Colgate has been making crib mattresses since 1955, and they are a name you can trust for high-quality and minimal compromise. This is one of their eco-friendlier mattresses, with a certified organic cover (not vinyl), and very low VOC emissions that qualify for Greenguard GOLD certification and conform to CertiPUR-US standards. It is a foam core, with one firm infant side and one softer toddler side. This Colgate Eco Classica III is called dual-firmness (more details on that at the bottom of this article), which is a nice way to avoid buying a second mattress when your baby turns into a toddler. In our hands-on testing, we found this crib mattress to be very well constructed, with a soft high-quality organic cotton cover, a very firm infant side, a moderately soft toddler side, and no bad odors even out of the box. Note that the side that serves as a toddler crib mattress isn't super soft, which we prefer since we want to maintain support during sleep and make it easier for toddlers to change positions during the night; when the mattress is too soft, it absorbs too much elbow and hand, making it difficult for toddlers to roll around while sleeping. We also found this mattress to be very lightweight, mostly because it's a urethane foam core, which made it very easy to pull in/out of the crib for sheet and pad changes. This makes things much easier than with a mattress with metal springs. Yes, they still make innerspring crib mattresses (see the Simmons Kids option below, or the Emily option, in case you're looking for one). It also has squared edges, fitting snugly into standard crib without gaps, a nice 6" thickness, and it has excellent reviews for longevity. We put it through 2 weeks of testing and it was truly a fantastic crib mattress. This is the second year in a row that it's appearing near the top of our best crib mattresses list, but you will pay a bit extra for the quality and eco-friendliness. Cons? The Colgate Eco Classica III is not a fully organic mattress, and we don't like the fact that it uses a urethane core, so if that's important to you then check out the Newton Crib Mattress, Emily Crib Mattress, or the Naturepedic NoCompromise options. Interested? You can check out this Colgate Crib Mattress here.
This is a beast of a crib mattress, but we like it quite a lot. It's a more traditional style mattress, with rounded corners, metal vents on the sides, and an ungodly weight of 26 pounds! That said, this mattress meets a lot of our criteria for a good dual firmness mattress. It has a very supportive and high-quality coil core, a nice firm infant side and soft toddler mattress side, vents for preventing odors, Greenguard GOLD and CertiPUR-US certification for low VOC emissions, made in the USA, and a great build quality and track record for longevity. When we got this mattress delivered for testing, we saw the UPS man lugging it to our front door and it looked pretty heavy. Turns out metal springs are a bit heavier than foam - go figure! It's a bit of a pain to change sheets on, and it has rounded corners, and those are our two biggest criticisms and why this is lower on our list. Simmons Kids has also however made one of the cheapest crib mattresses on our list while meeting stringent emissions standards, so those are some great benefits. In our testing it fit very snugly in the test crib (DaVinci), and we really thought the firmness of the infant side and softness of the toddler side were a great ratio. Soft yet still supportive, to get some Simmons Kids beautysleep and wake up feeling great! On the downside, the mattress was definitely the smelly one of the group, which was surprising because it's a woven fabric cover (not vinyl), but maybe what we're smelling is the polyurethane foam on the toddler side; that said, the odor wasn't particularly bad but definitely noticeable relative to the organic options above. Update: after about 6 months of using our test mattress, a few places on the outer seam have ripped open to expose the inside of the mattress. We've looked around online to see whether ours was an anomaly, but it seems like this is a relatively common issue. So this mattress is a nice, traditional option that will likely last your family for many years (assuming you get no tearing at the seams), through many babies and toddlers, and we definitely think it's a good and (relatively) inexpensive option. Overall, we think this is a good deal for a coil core mattress with low VOC emissions. Interested? You can check out the Simmons crib mattress here!
A classic innerspring crib mattress with Greenguard GOLD certification, and only about $65? Sign us up! This Kolcraft mattress features a dense 150 coil springs (same as the Emily, but less than the Beautyrest, but also less than half the price), for a firm and responsive sleeping surface. Out of the box, it was pretty heavy (about 12 pounds) and substantial, and there was a bit of a plastic odor that persisted for about a week. As we moved it around, we immediately noticed that it was a little noisy, with its crinkly vinyl cover. It fit really well in our two test cribs (Kalani and Babyletto), without any gaps at the sides, and only small gaps at the rounded corners. The waterproof vinyl cover was easy to wipe clean, though it isn't removable. Made right here in the USA, this mattress is phthalate-free and the manufacturer says it doesn't use any toxic fire retardants (that's a little vague, so we're assuming it does use chemical retardants). The coils are well-positioned so they can't really be felt through the padding if you're not trying, and the innerspring provides a very firm (and single-firmness) surface on both sides. The springs make for a super jumpy mattress, which our toddler quickly realized and took advantage of! The edges aren't super well-supported so there is a bit of slouch at the perimeter, but nothing too bad. Another little note about the springs - they make the mattress pretty heavy for sheet changes, flipping, and cleaning. The cons should be clear by now: no dual-firmness, a bit heavy for our preferences, not a breathable surface, vinyl (and not removable) cover, you'll need to purchase a separate crib mattress pad for comfort and noise, and we couldn't find much info about what's in the batting around the springs (foam?). Outside of that, it's a good price for a Greenguard GOLD mattress, and if you're OK with those limitations it might be a good bet for your family. Interested? You can check out this Kolcraft Crib Mattress here.
The Serta Perect Start Fiber Core crib and toddler mattress is one of the least expensive Greenguard GOLD certified mattresses on the market, coming in at only about $70. And that price gets you some impressive features, including dual-firmness, waterproof cover, and it's made right here in the USA. Out of the box, we appreciated the minimal odor, the nicely squared corners, and the fact that it was surprisingly lightweight (about 12 pounds). The waterproof cover is vinyl, which we're never excited about, and it's not removable. Of course, vinyl is easy to wipe down, but we also know that it can dry out and crack with age, and might have a bit of that crinkly sound. If you're going to use a thick removable crib mattress cover on this, you might not be bothered by any of this. Putting it into the crib, it fit perfectly in the corners and sides of our DaVinci Kalani and Babyletto cribs, and was nice and snug. Not quite snug enough to make any annoying wrinkles in the vinyl surface, but snug enough to keep things from falling into corners or sides. The infant side was super firm (it's the side with the Serta label), which was great, and the toddler side was noticeably softer but still pretty firm overall. Pushing down on the mattress, you do get a bit of that classic vinyl cover sound and feel - a little too crinkly sounding for us. We liked that it uses a polyester core instead of polyurethane foam, and think that it provides a nice and supportive mattress. Its lightweight construction made it easy to flip and pull out of the crib for cleaning or sheet changes. After a few days, there was no plastic odor, but after a few months there were some slight indentations formed on the infant side. Nothing major, but worth mentioning. We're not sure whether that's related to how tightly it fits into the crib, or just how the mattress wears with time. Note that it's only 5" thick, doesn't have a breathable cover, and doesn't include any sort of removable cover (which isn't surprising at this price point). No major cons to report at this time, and we're pretty impressed with what Sealy is providing for this price point! Interested? You can check out this Serta Crib Mattress here.
This is definitely one of the best bang-for-the-buck crib mattresses on the market this year. Part of the Milliard series of crib and toddler bed mattresses, this is a good quality memory foam crib mattress that performed pretty well in our testing. Before you ask, the foam core of this mattress is CertiPUR-US® certified, which means that it is made without ozone depleting products, does not use PBDE, TDCPP, or TCEP flame retardants, does not contain mercury, lead, or other heavy metals, is made without formaldehyde or phthalates, and has low VOC emissions. Note that CertiPUR-US certification only pertains to the foam core itself, not to the entire mattress. As you know, low emissions is essential nowadays for any crib mattress - no parents want to be exposing their children to these harmful manufacturing byproducts. We do note that this mattress, however, is not Greenguard certified for low emissions, making one of only two mattresses on this list without Greenguard GOLD. The mattress arrived at our home all rolled up in a super compact package about the size of a rolled-up sleeping bag. Once you unwrap it, it automatically unrolls itself and takes shape into a crib mattress. But it's important to realize that it will take a couple days for the mattress to fully take shape, so order ahead of time! It had only a mild "new foam" smell, which was reassuring, and after it was completely unrolled it was pretty firm and supportive, a great level of support for an infant. We're beginning to really like these "memory foam" crib mattresses, and are considering getting one for our own beds! The mattress includes a cover for the top and sides that is a bit like a sheet but actually waterproof, hypoallergenic, and we found it super easy to clean. We actually ended up using it with an additional mattress pad and bamboo fitted crib sheet since the included cover is not super soft to the touch. It's more of a protective cover than something that you want to be removing and washing all the time, and if you don't put an additional pad on it, you will be able to see the polka dots right through most crib sheets! The cover does help prevent any spills damaging the mattress, and additionally protects against mold, mildew, dust mites, and other allergens. The mattress fit nicely in the crib, like all of the mattresses on this list, and has nice 90-degree edges to fill in those crib corners. So mostly great things to say about this mattress. It's not reversible dual-firmness for varied support levels, it's not as thick as most others on this list (only 5" whereas most others are just under the 6" requirement), it's made in China, and it's not quite as comfortable as the others above, but overall, we must say that it's a decent deal at around $55.
A crib mattress for about $60 that is Greenguard GOLD Certified, made in the USA, non-toxic, waterproof and stain resistant, uses a fiber core, and is dual-sided? Needless to say, were impressed before we even opened the box! This mattress high capability for a relatively low price, and in our testing we found it to be a great option for parents looking for serious bang for the buck. The mattress fit well into our Delta Bentley, DaVinci Jenny Lind, and Babyletto cribs. If anything, it was a bit large for some cribs, which can cause the vinyl cover to form ripples. It has nice squared corners which pushed it right into the edges without gaps. Using our measuring tape, the mattress came in at 5.4" thick, 52.2" long, and 27.5" wide, making it the standard crib and toddler bed mattress size. The firm side for newborns and infants was super firm as expected (the firm side has the Delta label on it), and the softer toddler side was pretty comfortable and compliant. It uses a polyester fiber core instead of polyurethane, and has a waterproof vinyl cover that's easy to wipe clean. We aren't huge fans of vinyl covers for a few reasons, including breathability, chemical composition, and degredation/cracking over time. We also want to point out that the vinyl cover was a bit noisy and "crinkly" like old crib mattresses, which we didn't appreciate. We used a mattress pad and it helped quite a bit, but that's another $40 for a good quality pad, and for about $100 you can get a mattress that doesn't have this issue in the first place. We used the mattress for about 5 weeks; after a few weeks the mattresses formed some indentations that didn't resolve themselves during the daytime, which was unfortunate. Similar reports are made in the online reviews, mostly about head and body indentations, so it seems like it's not just us. But the good news is that there was no off-gassing smell when new, it has some great certifications that make us feel good about its safety, it fit all of our test mattresses reasonably well, and the fact that it's made right here in the USA makes us feel good about the quality control during manufacturing. The biggest cons are the vinyl cover, its bulky size, and the lack of an included cover. So this option has a lot going for it, especially given the very low price point, and we think it definitely deserves its spot on this list! Interested? You can check out this Delta Twinkle Stars Crib Mattress here.
This is another inexpensive crib mattress that definitely has some decent bang-for-the-buck, coming in at around $60. We are not a huge fan of foam core crib mattresses given the odor (off-gassing) and the VOC content of polyurethane foam, and we look for at least CertiPUR certification for a foam core, if not Greenguard GOLD. This foam does not contain phthalates or lead, but it is a petroleum-based material that could emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A recent Greenguard GOLD certification for this mattress does put our minds at ease. Out of the box, it did have a pretty strong foam smell which is to be expected. It comes completely rolled up in a bag, and after unrolling it we allowed it to off-gas and rise into form over the course of 3 days (Graco says let it sit for 72 hours to rise completely). This did help with the off-gassing, and the mattress did generally rise into its full shape over the course of the 3 days. But it did have some mushy spots that hadn't risen entirely, especially the end that was in the center of the rolled up core - we had to do some fluffing of it over the course of several hours to make it completely rise into its intended shape and size. After the 3 days, the odor was nearly gone, and after an additional day of manipulating, fluffing and pulling at the mattress, it had risen into shape. We were surprised how firm and supportive it was once it gained its shape, though to be completely transparent ours never actually made it to the claimed 5" thickness, more like 4.5". Note that we were surprised how firm it got, and that it's probably most suitable for infants up to about 10-12 months old, at which point they (and you!) will likely want a softer mattress. We did like the squared corners that fit perfectly into our Da Vinci test crib without any gaps. It has a washable zippered fabric cover and we had to add a waterproof crib protector onto it to prevent damaging the foam with any liquids. Overall, the fit and finish aren't so great on this crib mattress, the zipper pull and zipper itself seem a little flimsy, it's not dual-firmness, it's made in China, and it's unfortunate that the cover isn't waterproof.
To be honest, we were lured in by the advertising on this Sealy Soybean crib mattress, with its use of a soybean foam core, its hypoallergenic claims, the fact that it's made in the USA, and its GreenGuard GOLD (low emissions) and CertiPUR-US (polyurethane foam made without several harmful chemicals) certifications. These are all great claims and features, and the mattress itself has a lot going for it. First, we found it nice and firm but with a soft but not organic cotton upper layer that keeps things plush enough for reasonably comfortable sleeping (at least for a newborn and young infant). Second, we appreciated the waterproof cover so that you don't need to buy a separate one to protect the mattress. Third, we liked how the mattress appears to have a ventilation layer to help airflow and prevent moisture from being locked inside of the mattress. Fourth, we thought it fit our test cribs quite well with its angular corners. There are a lot of positives with this mattress, not the least of which is the relatively low price. However, we also found some cons. In reading the label, they state that the soy core is a polyurethane foam; so that suggests a little bit of soybean is being used in making the foam, perhaps just enough to be able to accurately claim that in the marketing materials? We do appreciate the CertiPUR certification for the foam manufacturing, which gives us confidence that there are no heavy metals, CFCs, harsh flame retardants, formaldehyde, or BPA, and it is low emissions. We also found the mattress to be very firm, and we mean VERY firm. Meaning that your baby will likely outgrow the mattress by about a year, and you'll be wishing you had purchased a dual-firmness mattress! Some of our reviewers also reported that over time this mattress tends to sag quite a bit in the center, and they suggested flipping it over every couple of months. Finally, we didn't like the vinyl laminate cover. While that does make it waterproof, it also increases the likelihood that the cover also contains several harmful chemicals, such as phthalates (which increase their emissions in warm conditions). So overall there are some positives with the Sealy crib mattress, but we think most of them are at least partially negated by the cons. But if you're looking for a super firm soy foam mattress with some great characteristics, and a low price, this could be a good crib mattress for you!
This is not only one of the cheapest crib mattresses on our list, but definitely the cheapest with innerspring coils and Greenguard GOLD certification. Coming in at only about $55, and made right here in the USA, it's a pretty good deal. Out of the box, it's not particularly heavy for a coil spring mattress, coming in at only 12 pounds. There was some plastic odor that took a few days to dissipate. When we were carrying it around, and putting it into the crib we realized that the vinyl cover was pretty noisy (crinkly), and for lack of a better term, puffy. It's like the vinyl is suspended a bit above the mattress core and has a bit too much air in it. Unlike the similar Kolcraft mattress, this one doesn't have the big air flap on the side to quickly adjust to different pressure levels (as your baby goes on, and rolls around). The other thing we noticed is that you can feel the springs pretty readily through the top when pushing down on it, especially near the edges, which we definitely didn't like. On top of the springs is a polyurethane foam layer, but either it's not quite thick enough or the springs are too spread out to make a nice even sleeping surface (it was pretty firm though). While the vinyl cover was pretty noisy, it was definitely easy to clean, and provided a nice waterproof barrier. Did we mention that this is only $55? We needed to keep reminding ourselves of that! The manufacturer says that the mattress is phthalate and lead free, and has a "layer of fire blocker." We're not quite sure whether that means chemical or fabric (e.g., wool, rayon) fire blocking materials, but we're assuming chemical. It does have Greenguard GOLD certification, however, which we trust for meeting stringent emissions standards. Other cons include not having dual-firmness, and no breathable surface. Interested? You can check out this Dream on Me Crib Mattress here.
At first glance, we thought this was a good compromise mattress, providing Greenguard GOLD and CertiPUR certification, dual-firmness, a removable, washable and waterproof cover (that's also breathable), and a fabric-based (rayon) fire barrier. We were impressed that it was offering so much at such a lower price (around $120). This mattress came tightly rolled up, and we left it out overnight to unfurl itself. After 24 hours it was not very evenly expanded. After 5 days it was pretty decent (with some sagging at the ends), but only about 4.75" thick, which is slightly lower than their advertised 5.5". Reading the tag, the mattress has a polyurethane core (CertiPUR certified), a polyester fire retardant layer, and a polyester cover. This was surprising given the advertised rayon fire retardant layer, and "organic cotton" cover. Polyester is definitely not the same as organic cotton, and it definitely wasn't waterproof. So that was all pretty surprising! We ordered a second one to see if it would be any different. It was exactly the same, with one minor difference: the first one was made in China, the second in Malaysia. Putting it into the crib, it definitely fit pretty well, no issues there. It was still thinner than its advertised 5.5", and we thought the two sides were very similar firmness, which wasn't very firm at all. That didn't help our growing negative attitude about this mattress! There was one positive, however, that the company selling this on Amazon ("BingYou US") was responsive and quickly issued refunds and an apology. They also asked us to change our review, which we opted out of. Overall, this was a bit of a disappointment. We thought maybe it was a fluke, but the second one had similar issues, leading us to believe this was a bigger issue. There are a lot of positive reviews of this mattress online, so you might luck out! Interested? You can check out this Dourxi Crib Mattress here.
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. 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 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 $30USD upwards of $350. 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 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 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.
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 probably 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 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 many 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.