Have you started shopping for baby products? If so, you may be feeling a tad overwhelmed. When you are preparing for a little one to be born, you will have a giant list of items you need to purchase for your home. It can be shocking and pricey.
While you may be looking at the huge list of items, you may be considering what things are the most important things to buy. A crib mattress should be one of the highest priority items on your shopping list. Why? Your baby will need a safe place to sleep. Babies sleep up to 18 hours a day and the type of mattress you choose helps them sleep more safely and more comfortably.
As a parent, I understand the importance of providing your baby with a safe place to rest. I also recognize that with so many choices on the market, it can leave you feeling flustered. No need to worry – let’s look at the available options to help you make your decision.
5 Important Things to Look for When Shopping:
If you have visited any store shopping for a mattress for your baby, you have seen the wide variety of crib mattresses on the market. Since mattresses tend to look the same from the outside, you will need to focus on choosing the best crib mattress that meets your standards. For instance, your number one priority when choosing a product should be safety. After you have made sure a mattress is safe, you should then look at the quality of materials, size, care instructions, and costs.
Some parents consider purchasing a used crib mattress or using an old mattress from a family member or friend. This is not advised. Used crib mattresses can be unsanitary depending on their use, storage, and cleanliness. Additionally, depending on the age of the mattress, the materials may no longer be safe. For the number of hours every day your baby will lay on the mattress, you need to choose a new one.
You should also be sure you purchase a crib mattress rather than a mattress designed for older children or adults. Crib mattresses are designed with the safety of babies in mind. For example, crib mattresses should be firm.
Choosing a safe crib mattress means assuring the mattress is firm and the right size for the crib. If you choose a mattress that is too soft, this becomes a safety concern. Additionally, you must make sure the mattress fits your crib so that there are not any gaps between the mattress and the crib rails.
The best crib mattresses are firm but comfortable. Firm mattresses help to prevent SIDS. According to Consumer Reports, a soft mattress “can conform to the shape of your baby’s head or face, increasing the risk of suffocation or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”
As you are shopping for mattresses, you should test the firmness of the mattress by pressing it. It should not allow you to push in much. If you notice it does seem to sink in, you should avoid this mattress.
Pay attention to the quality of materials. You should avoid mattresses made of cheap materials. For example, some of the mattresses are covered in a thin vinyl material that will rip or tear easily. You should also not purchase a crib mattress from an unknown manufacturer. By law, manufacturers are required to provide the item specifications, such as the mattress materials. If a manufacturer does not provide this information, you should not purchase it.
Crib mattresses should be between 27 5/8″ to 28 5/8″ wide & 51 3/4″ to 53″ in length. This size fits standard cribs. This is another reason why you should buy a new mattress rather than a used one. New crib mattresses are required by law to meet these size requirements.
Additionally, you should pay attention to the weight of the mattress. The weight varies significantly between mattresses, so you need to be sure you can maneuver it. You will be changing the sheets frequently (babies have lots of messes), so you need to be able to lift the mattress independently.
Of course, a major part of your decision will be the cost. You will need to purchase the best crib mattress that is in your budget. Consider the overall quality in relation to the cost. Do not settle for a mattress that is cheaper when you are able to afford a mattress that is higher quality.
What are the Different Types of Mattresses?
Now that we’ve broken down the different things you need to look for as you are shopping for crib mattresses, let’s look at the four different types on the market today. Ultimately, this is a personal decision. It comes down to a matter of preference and your budget.
A foam crib mattress is typically made from polyurethane. A high-quality foam mattress should be firm. When you are looking at foam mattresses, you should test the firmness by pressing the mattress. It should not press in much.
Foam mattresses are popular choices because they are less expensive options and lighter than innerspring mattresses. Foam mattresses generally weigh about 8-10 pounds making it easy to lift and maneuver. Many foam mattresses cost less than $100.
Most people are familiar with innerspring mattresses because their own mattresses are designed with springs or coils. For this reason, many parents feel comfortable choosing an innerspring crib mattress. Since firmness is critical when selecting a crib mattress, Consumer Reports suggests that an innerspring crib mattress has 135-150 coils and looking for the number of layers. The more layers a mattress has, the better.
These crib mattresses tend to be heavier than foam mattresses (weighing approximately 25 pounds) and more expensive. Innerspring crib mattresses tend to start at $100.
- Dual Firmness Convertible Mattresses
For parents wishing to use the mattress beyond the first year, they should consider a dual firmness convertible mattress. These mattresses are more expensive, but they are designed to last from the time the baby is in a crib until the baby moves to a toddler bed. With dual sides, one side of the mattress is firm to be used when the child is an infant and the other side has a standard foam for when the child is a toddler.
Some parents prefer to purchase an organic crib mattress because they do not like the chemicals used to prevent fire damage. There are some crib mattresses on the market that are labeled as organic, but you should be very careful since there no legal regulations on this wording. If you choose to purchase an organic crib mattress, you should look for one made with natural materials that do not require additional chemicals for fire safety.
To Wrap Up
Finding the type of mattress that is best for your baby does not have to be overwhelming. Just keep in mind that safety comes first. If you know the mattress is safe, then you simply need to focus on finding the crib mattress that is the highest quality you can afford.
Personally, I love the dual firmness convertible mattresses because they last into the toddler stage, are firm, and are easy to maneuver. While they are expensive, the amount of time your little one uses the mattress will end up costing less than purchasing multiple mattresses as he/she grows.
About The Author
Julie is a brand new mother of one. She is a health enthusiast that focuses on helping people and companies achieve a better life through the simplest things. She also does some guest blogging on her free time and some cooking on the weekends. Her goal in life is to be able to help people better their way of living through her writing