Emily Crib Mattress Review & Video
We put the Emily crib mattress to the test, evaluating its materials, comfort, off-gassing, durability, firmness, weight, crib fit, ease of use, and breathability.
Let's see how it performed!
Want more information about that crib? Check out our review of the Nestig Cloud!
From the moment we pulled it out of the packaging, to the moment our little one rested his head on it, we loved the Emily!
It has nearly everything you could look for in a crib mattress. Not only is the Emily crib matress made in the USA, it has Greenguard GOLD certification, GOTS and GOLS organic certifications, OEKO-TEX certified materials, dual-sided comfort, and one of the nicest quilted covers we've laid our hands on!
For parents looking for the perfect combination of quality, comfort, and eco-conscious materials, the Emily crib mattress is a top choice.
Our Overall Impressions
Nobody wants to read through an entire article to get to the conclusions, you've got more important things to do! So here are our findings, right up front.
Spoiler alert, we are very impressed by the Emily crib mattress and very grateful to have gotten a chance to review it. In an age of cheap, low-quality crib mattresses with polyurethane cores masquerading as eco-friendly, the Emily is a very welcome addition to the market.
That said, it is definitely deserving of its high-ranking position on our list of the best crib mattresses of the year! Here is a summary of what we loved, and a couple things that could be improved.
✔️ Made in USA (Illinois).
✔️ Highly breathable surface.
✔️ Greenguard GOLD certified.
✔️ Organic GOTS and GOLS certified.
✔️ Soft, quilted organic cover.
✔️ No polyurethane or foams.
✔️ No chemical flame retardants.
✔️ No vinyl.
✔️ Dual-sided support.
✔️ Sturdy innerspring core.
✔️ Greenguard GOLD certified.
✔️ No odors or off-gassing.
✔️ Ships completely flat.
✔️ Quality stitching and seams.
❌ Waterproof cover is extra.
❌ No dual-firmness.
While we consider the lack of a waterproof cover as a con, it's important to point out that it's basically impossible to make a waterproof cover without using sub-par materials such as vinyl, plastics, or synthetic chemical coatings.
While the Emily crib mattress is not dual-firmness, meaning it doesn't have an infant (super firm) versus toddler (softer) side, Emily found the perfect firmness level to support infant safety and musculoskeletal development, while also making it comfortable enough for toddlers. It's firm, which is great (and jives with Safe Sleep recommendations of the AAP), but definitely soft enough for a toddler.
One advantage of a dual-sided mattress with the same firmness on each side is you can flip it over and not worry about which side if facing up. The other advantage is that because you can freely flip it over, it's much less likely to form indentations on one side.
Feel like an expert in the Emily mattress now? You should! But if you're still uncertain, continue reading to see how we reached these conclusions!
Emily Review: First Impressions
My Green Mattress, the manufacturer and retailer of the Emily Crib Mattress, sent us a couple mattresses for testing (thank you!).
We receive hundreds of product samples every year, and it does not bias our reviews. In fact, due to quality issues we simple don't review about 30% of the samples we receive.
Shipping took about 3 days from order confirmation to arrival at our doorstep.
The Emily crib mattresses are made in Willowbrook, IL, which is a small suburb of Chicago. According to the label, the Emily is made of both domestic (US) and imported materials.
We were really happy to see that the Emily arrives in a big mattress box, and not rolled up (which we tend to dislike):
While this type of packaging is more expensive to ship, you don't need to wait for the mattress to unroll and expand, and there is no risk of having lumpy and uneven surfaces as a result.
The box isn't too big to handle, and it's reasonably lightweight. And the little bird is pretty cute!
Unboxing the Emily Crib Mattress
When we slid the mattress out of the box, we found it very well-sealed (and hygienic) in plastic.
The first things you notice are three-fold.
First, the beautiful quilted cover looks really comfortable and plush.
Second, the stitching is really nicely done around the perimeter. Speaking of perimeter, we love the slightly raised edges (to stop a pacifier from rolling off).
Third, there is a really nice embroidered logo on the side, which provides a nice way of knowing which side was previously facing up (to help you flip it over when changing sheets).
Finally, everything feels very high quality. The materials are soft and plush, yet durable. The craftsmanship is very high, similar to what we saw with our Avocado baby mattress review.
There is also absolutely no off-gassing or odor, which shouldn't be surprising given that there's also no polyurethane, vinyl, chemical flame retardants, or other undesirable materials.
The Mattress Label
Here is what the label says:
All new material consisting of Spring System, Coconut Pad (80%), Wool Batting (20%).
Contents sterilized. Made in a GOTS and GOLS Organic Certified Factory.
Finished size 28" x 52" x 6", Net weight of filling material 15 pounds 6 ounces.
Made in USA of imported and domestic materials. Manufactured by MGM-QSS, 7855 S. Quincy St., Willowbrook, IL 60527.
Date of Manufacture: 4/22/22
Model: Emily Crib Mattress
Prototype ID: 001, Serial #C-22-0389-B-18.
What is the Innerspring Coil? The Emily uses a heavy duty array of innerspring coils to provide not only support in the center of the mattress, but also along the perimeter (edge support). The Emily's coils are 13.5 gauge, and there are 150 of them densely packed into the mattress. While innersprings make mattresses a little heavier (and pricier to make), there is nothing more supportive than a dense array of innerspring coils!
What is the Coconut Coir Pad? You know the brown outer fiber of a coconut shell? That is called coconut fibre, which is the natural outer husk of the coconut. To hold the fiber together and help it maintain its shape under pressure, most mattress manufacturers coat it with rubber latex.
In the Emily, they use organic coconut coir bound together with an organic Dunlop latex (sourced from the rubber tree). An additional advantage of using latex rubber is that it naturally provides a cool sleeping surface and keeps any nasty stuff out (like bacteria, mold, mildew, bugs), naturally.
What is the Wool Batting? The coconut coir forms the core of the mattress, insulating the top and bottom of the innerspring coils. Layered on top of the coconut coir is a thick organic wool batting that is sewn onto the bottom of the organic cotton quilted cover. Wool batting is made by heating up wool fibers (from a sheep), forcing them to bond together with each other and form a nicely interlocked pattern.
One benefit of using organic wool batting below the cotton outer layer is that it acts as a natural flame barrier. This means the mattress can pass testing without using harmful flame retardants, which we love! For parents worried about allergies, their baby won't be in direct contact with wool, it is hiding under the organic cotton cover.
Similar to what we saw in our Newton mattress review, the Emily doesn't have dual-sided firmness, with one side for infants and one for toddlers.
Instead, it uses a firmness level that is suitable for both infants and toddlers. It's firm and supportive, but not uncomfortable.
The use of wool batting, then coconut coir, then an innerspring core, provides multi-stage firmness that adapts to your little one's size and weight. When they are smaller and lighter, the mattress will feel very firm (like it should). But as they grow heavier, the Emily has a non-linear responsiveness that will provide excellent comfort and support for a toddler.
An added bonus of an innerspring coil, which you might recall as a child, is that they're super fun to jump on!
In all seriousness, another advantage of this type of mattress is that you can flip it over without worring which side should be facing upwards. One less thing to worry about during sheet and pad changes! It's also excellent at preventing sagging and body indentations because you can flip it frequently: we suggest flipping it whenever you change your sheets.
The Emily mattress has a good compromise between maintaining the firmness necessary to meet Safe Sleep recommendations of the AAP, and being comfortable enough for a toddler and bigger kid.
For all the mattresses we test, we do a simple compression test using an 8-pound dumbbell to approximate the weight of a newborn baby. With this weight, the mattress should compress from 0.5 centimeters to a maximum of about 2 centimeters, fitting the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
With the 8-pound dumbbell, the mattress indeed sank down about 2 cm, placing it right in the sweet spot for firmness and comfort suitable for both infants and toddlers.
Pictures speak louder than words:
Because most people are not aware of the AAP's Safe Sleep guidelines, or think an infant mattress is too firm for their baby's comfort, we actually think it's good to have a mattress that's equally firm on both sides. This prevents parents from making poor sleep decisions for their baby.
Remember, always place your baby on their back for sleeping, on a firm surface without only tightly-fitting bedding (like a fitted sheet) and no pillows or blankets.
When you push down on the mattress with your hand, there is no sound - no crinkling noises, squeaks, or anything else.
This is a somewhat odd test because it involves mashing our faces into the mattress and making sure we can breathe normally.
The good news is that the organic cotton surface is highly breathable, as is the wool batting underneath. We had no problem breathing through the Emily's mattress materials!
Why do we care? Parents get a little anxious about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), and for good reasons. If your baby rolls onto his or her stomach during the night, with the Emily mattress their face will be up against a breathable surface.
This could possibly reduce the risk of SIDS or SUID if your baby figures out how to roll onto their tummy during sleep; even the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that a breathable mattress may be preferable to a non-breathable option. They don't so far to recommend a breathable crib mattress, but there is definitely some implicit hint in that language. Even if there's no solid evidence that a breathable crib mattress can reduce the risk of SIDS/SUID, we think it's worth the peace of mind.
Another bonus with a breathable mattress surface and core (the coconut coir is very breathable, as are the innersprings) is that it will help keep airflow high during the hot summer months, helping avoid waking up with a sweaty back.
Crib Fit & Comfort
In our measurements, the Emily is exactly 53" long by 28" wide, and 6.35" tall (when including the blue perimeter trim in the measurement).
Turns out that's the perfect size to fit snugly into our Nestig test crib, with no gaps around the entire perimeter:
As a rule of thumb (or finger), you want any perimeter gaps to be less than two fingers wide. This had less than a one-finger gap around the entire perimeter. Nice fit!
Our test baby, at 10 months old, found it extremely soft and comfortable.
After a couple naps on the Emily, our test parents switched out their old crib mattress for the Emily! That's about the strongest testimonial you can get!
Finally, here is a little walk-around video of the Emily crib mattress:
Looking good, and feeling great!
Feel Good About the Emily
Some of the best aspects of the Emily are not easy to directly perceive, as they involve the sourcing and quality of materials.
Here are some highlights that can help you feel good about the Emily mattress:
✔️ The entire mattress is made in the USA, not China.
✔️ Greenguard GOLD Certified for low VOC emissions.
✔️ GOTS certified organic cotton cover and wool batting.
✔️ GOLS certified organic latex sourced from the rubber tree.
✔️ No polyurethane or other foams.
✔️ No vinyl, glues, or flame retardants.
✔️ Meets CPSC requirements.
✔️ 1% for the Planet.
✔️ Company based in USA (Illinois).
We also feel good that purchases of the Emily mattress support a small American business that makes these mattresses by hand on a daily basis. If you're ever in LaGrange, Illinois, you can visit their showroom!
Yes, these are real people, running a real brick-and-mortar business!
Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover?
Because the Emily crib mattress prioritizes breathability and organic surfaces, that also means that the mattress cover will not be waterproof.
The reason is that waterproofing a cover involves using vinyl or other plastic films, or harsh spray-on waterproof coatings.
If you're worried about diaper leaks and damaging the mattress, we suggest using a waterproof and breathable mattress protector (which uses a very thin polyethylene layer sandwiched between organic fabrics), such as this one made for the Emily.
While it's more expensive than a crib mattress stuffed with polyurethane foam, $299 is a good deal for a certified organic innerspring mattress that will keep your baby sleeping safely during naps and overnight. My Green Mattress does intermittently offer discounts; we suggest signing up for their newsletter for updates.
Given the innerspring core, organic coconut coir, organic wool batting, and the beautiful quilted organic cotton cover, the Emily is a reasonable deal (especially in this inflationary market!).
This is the sort of crib mattress that will last you through three or more children; it's durable and very well-made, and if you take care of it (use a waterproof cover, flip it over periodically), it should last for many years.
Speaking of which, My Green Mattress does offer a 120 risk-free trial period. If you're unhappy about the mattress, they'll take it back!
Emily versus Avocado Crib Mattresses
You might be asking whether the Avocado or Emily is a better choice, and what are the differences. It's a good question.
Here are the differences we were able to find:
- Core construction: The Emily has a supportive innerspring coil core, but the Avocado has a coconut and latex core.
- Dual-sided vs Dual-firmness: The Emily is dual-sided with the same firmness on both sides, but the Avocado has dual-firmness (one side infant, one side toddler).
- Cover: The Emily has a slightly plusher quilted cover than the Avocado, but they are both super soft.
- Price: The Emily is about $20 more expensive than the Avocado, likely owing to the use of innersprings.
- Ease of Handling: The Emily has a rigid structure that is easier to remove from the crib, whereas the Avocado is a bit floppy.
Overall, we think both the Avocado and Emily are excellent options.
If we had to pick one, we think the Emily comes out on top due to the innerspring coil, ease of handling, and the beautiful quilted cover. But if you want to prioritize dual-firmness, then we suggest the Avocado.
We were very excited to get our hands on the Emily crib mattress!
In our testing, the Emily was a very impressive crib mattress with excellent materials, quality, and support. We love the safe and eco-conscious materials, the organic coconut, wool, and cotton, and the fact that it's made right here in the USA.
On paper it's great, and in person it's even better. It's soft, comfortable, and easy to handle.
Our test baby loved it, as did his parents, and they were happy to report their permanent switch to the Emily!
There are many high-end competitors to the Emily on the crib mattress market, including the Naturepedic, Avocado, and Newton (you can see those in our best crib mattresses article). They are all around $300, but only a few use a highly supportive innerspring construction, and they all use slightly different materials and have slightly different features. The Emily offers a great combination of materials and quality that we think will be perfect for most families.
At this price, we think the Emily crib mattress offers some serious peace of mind for parents looking for a safe crib mattress that will last their family for many years to come. Highly recommended!