How to Choose the Best Baby Crib Mattress

All the questions you need to ask and boxes to check off before making this major purchase.

Choosing a crib mattress for your baby can be challenging. After all, there are so many factors to consider: size, safety, and comfort (just to name a few). Allow our Babywise product expert to guide you in how to choose the best crib mattress for your baby.

How to Choose the Best Baby Crib Mattress

Purchasing a crib mattress is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make as a parent to be. An infant spends as much as 16 hours in a day asleep in a crib.

Below is a list of what to look for in a crib mattress before you purchase:

What to Look For in a Crib Mattress

Square Corners & Fit to Crib

Square corners are a must so that your mattress fits snuggly into the crib. The size for all standard crib mattresses is regulated by the Federal government. The minimum size is 27 1/4” x 51 5/8” and not being thicker than 6 inches. Cribs are also regulated, but their interior dimensions have a “plus or minus” tolerance from the standard 28 x 52 3/8 rectangle.

Waterproof & Antimicrobial Cover

If you’ve purchased a convertible crib that will transition to a toddler bed or beyond, you’ll be using your crib mattress from birth through potty training. Going through the spit up stage, the heavy wetting stage, and the “accidents” stage will be so much easier with a waterproof mattress. Mattress covers that are labeled antimicrobial or antibacterial are more resistant to the growth of germs.


Two-sided means that there is a firm side for infants and a softer side for a toddler. The infant side should be really firm. A firm mattress is the ideal platform on which your child will grow. Studies show that you can reduce the risk of S.I.D.S. by laying your baby on their back on a firm mattress for the first year of their life.  After the first year, your baby’s risk of S.I.D.S. is much lower and the softer (but still supportive) side will be more comfortable. A more comfortable mattress will help your baby sleep better through irregular sleep pattern stages. 

Medical Grade 

Medical grade means that a mattress has to meet higher standards of bacterial resistance than consumer grade. Medical grade mattresses are made for multiple child use which supersedes the American Academy of Pediatricians recommendation for buying a new mattress with each child.

Ultrasonically Welded Seams

Bacteria can start to grow inside a typical mattress starting at just three weeks! Ultrasonically welded is just another way of saying sealed shut! No liquids, dust mites, bed bugs, or bacteria can get inside your mattress which keeps it allergen free for life.

You’ll want to avoid any mattress that has edge binding or air vents, as this allows these toxins into your baby’s mattress.

No Fire Retardant Chemicals 

There have been many recent studies about the seriousness of chemicals used in the production of crib mattresses. Every mattress has to meet federal anti-flammability laws. Look for a mattress that meets these standards with a natural fire barrier vs. the use of these know carcinogens. 

Lifetime Warranty

You read it right! A good quality mattress will guarantee to be free of defects for the life of the mattress. Whether it's baby #1 or baby #4, a mattress should be covered by a lifetime warranty. 

Baby Crib Mattresses We Recommend

There are several crib mattress brands that meet the standards listed above. In fact, we carry the top Sleep Brands, including Bundle of Dreams, Naturepedic, Nook, and Breathable Baby.

Shop our collections below:


Sami Cone

Sami Cone

Best-Selling Author & Speaker

Sami Cone is the best-selling author of "Raising Uncommon Kids", is known as the "Frugal Mom" on Nashville's top-rated talk show "Talk of the Town" and educates over a million listeners every day on her nationally syndicated "Family Money Minute". She is proud to call Nashville home with her husband, Rick, and their two teenage children.

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