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What to look for in a baby mattress?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated May 24, 2021

Baby on a mattress smilin


When it comes to furniture for babies, most parents spend an awful lot of time trying to find the best crib for their child. Which is understandable and certainly quite a daunting task. After all, there are a lot of crucial things to consider before you buy any particular crib. 

But most people tend to stop just at the cribs. They spend all their time and expenses looking for and buying the perfect crib, yet they rarely put much thought into other important elements of a good crib, the mattress. Just like the crib, there are also all sorts of things to consider when it comes to a baby mattress. 

But it's just a mattress, so anything would do as long as it's comfortable, right? Not really. This article would shed some light on why a mattress is so important and what makes a good mattress.

Why mattress is so important for a baby crib

The main reason why a mattress is so important is the fact that your baby would spend the majority of his time inside the crib. A baby would sleep for up to 18 hours every day, which means more often than not, he will spend those 18 hours sleeping on the mattress.

So no matter how great the crib is, if the mattress is bad then it'll be bad for your child. A high-quality mattress would not only comfort your child but would also protect him from any accident that might happen when you're not there. 

What makes a mattress the best choice for your baby?
  • Perfect fit. A mattress has to be perfectly fit for the crib. If there's a gap between the edge of the mattress to the side of the Crib's railings, then there's a chance your baby could accidentally roll to that space and get stuck. To avoid such issues, a good rule of thumb is if you could fit two fingers between the mattress and the cribs, then it's not snug enough. 

  • Firm and comfortable. As adults, we usually like a soft and fluffy mattress. On the contrary, babies need a firm yet still comfortable mattress. Their body needs to be fully supported by the mattress. Try to press your hand to the mattress, a good one would immediately bounce back without leaving the imprint of your hand. If it takes even a few seconds to level up, then it's not firm enough.  

  • Cover. A cover is another important aspect of the mattress that is often ignored by most people. You certainly need a cover for the mattress, but not just any cover. There are three most crucial criteria to follow. It has to be tightly fitting. A loose cover could be dangerous to your child. Then it needs to be waterproof. Because no matter how careful you are, there's always gonna be some liquid spill on top of it. Last but not least is it has to be washable. You need to provide a clean and sanitary sleeping environment for your child, so you need to regularly clean the cover.

  • Foam firmness and density. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of mattresses, foam and innerspring. As long as you get a high-quality mattress, then either one is fine. If you go for foam, then you need to find a mattress that is firm enough while still providing enough comfort for reasons that I've mentioned earlier. Stay away from a cheap and soft foam mattress. The other thing that you need to look for is density. For the baby mattress, the denser the batter. 

  • Innerspring layers and border rods. If you decide to use a mattress with innerspring instead of foam, then what you should pay extra attention to is the layers and border rods. You should always choose the innerspring mattress with lots of layers. The more the better. As for border rods, never buy an innerspring mattress that doesn't have these features. Because not only do border rods add to the overall firmness of the mattress but they also provide extra support that your child would certainly need as they grow older. 

  • Transparent information. When you look into the description of a mattress, whether online or in retail stores, you should find detailed information about what's inside the mattress. From what kind of foam that they use, or how many layers inside and what are the layers made of, and all kinds of other information. If you can't easily access such information, then the manufacturer is likely not genuine about their claim.

  • Mid to upper price range. Another obvious sign of a great baby mattress is the price. All of the features and criteria that I've mentioned above would certainly add to the overall manufacturing cost, which in turn would increase the price given to the customers. A cheap mattress won't be able to provide the level of safety and comfort that your child needs. So prepare to only shop in a mid to upper price range. And if you want an organic mattress, then the price could easily hover in the realm of hundreds of dollars.

A mattress is a crucial aspect of a crib that is often forgotten or simply treated as an afterthought by most parents. You need to give as much attention and research into the mattress as you would give to the cribs. 

Many things could be hazardous to babies. From the unfit cover to a fluffy mattress, all of it could be dangerous to your child. So always find a mattress that has fulfilled all the criteria that I've mentioned above. 

Although it could get a bit pricey, it is certainly a cost that is worth paying for the sake of the health and safety of your child.