A great crib mattress is one of the most important purchases that you will make for your new baby. However, many parents are unclear about how to choose the very best crib mattresses. So, why does choosing the right one matter so much?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, a mattress that is too soft and lacking in the proper type of firmness can be responsible for suffocation and SIDS.
Also, a properly supportive mattress is vitally important for a child’s growing bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, and tissues. If the surface of a mattress doesn’t support well enough and provide good resistance, then the child won’t gradually build up strength, stability, stamina and physical confidence—all of which are of key importance for healthy child’s development.
So, exactly how do you choose the very best crib mattress for your little one? Luckily, the experts at Matter Mattress have been busy compiling all their crib mattress shopping secrets, so you can get the inside scoop on how to choose the perfect bed for baby.
Important Features To Look For In A Crib Mattress
Although there are other things that are important for crib mattresses, the following 10 are especially important. So, keep your eyes peeled for these great features when you hit the shops:
1. Double Sided
Go for mattresses that are double-sided. Although the term generally applies to foam mattresses, the term can also apply to coil spring crib mattresses (e.g., Colgate Eco Classica iii Crib Mattress). For sure, this type has to be one of the wisest investments you can make, provided that you find a well-made mode/make with a good reputation, that is safe to use, and that is affordable.
One side has just the right firmness for an infant; the other is softer and more comfortable—more suitable for a toddler. If it’s made of durable material and you treat it well and don’t abuse it, such a product can last for years and may even be used by more than one child.
Also, you should get a mattress that is waterproof or water-resistant. Mattresses can be waterproofed in various ways. Some mattresses come with a cover that is already waterproof. For a number of reasons, this is the best scenario possible. These mattresses are easier to keep clean, aren’t likely to get stained, and will most probably not succumb to a mold, bedbug, or dust mite infestation. One of the last things you want to happen to a crib mattress is to let it get wet.
Unless you can get it dried out ASAP, perhaps by putting it outside to air out and let the sun dry it out, it runs the risk of developing mold, something that is difficult, if at all possible, to repair. Another way to achieve waterproof capacity is by buying a waterproof cover. Waterproof mattresses may cost more but, in the long run, this feature more than pays for itself.
If you can afford it, buy an organic mattress. They are, by far, the least toxic mattresses made. If, however, you either can’t afford one or don’t think that you have to go that far to keep you child safe, close alternatives are environmentally or ecologically-friendly mattresses. They are made from relatively safe, non-toxic and natural materials, albeit not as natural or pure as organic. Another alternative is simply to buy a mattress that is hypoallergenic and that doesn’t contain any harsh, potentially-harmful chemicals (like phthalates, polyurethane, vinyl, etc.).
4.Provides Good Support
Make sure that the mattress you purchase provides good support. It just so happens that support isn’t just about comfort but it has also to do with durability, adding to the firmness. In a coil spring mattress, support depends on such things as coil count, gauge, the type and quality of the metal, whether the mattress stands on its own or if it has a box spring to add to the over-all support. The tricky thing is that slight variation in design, regardless of the material used to make the mattress can make a big difference. Mattresses made of covered pockets (e.g., Marshall coils) independent of each other provide better support than plain coil mattresses. The Marshall coils evenly distribute weight and provide better support to infants.
5.Have Good Breathability
You should insist on having mattresses that have good breath-ability. There are number of ways that mattresses can control heat and keep back heat retention, including having air vents that allow cool fresh air in but also let hot air escape into the surrounding environment. Not retaining heat can also be one of the properties of some foams mattresses, as well as of coil mattresses. Make sure that you pay close attention to the breathability of the mattress before you buy. Mattresses that retain heat can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, heat can be one of the factors that promotes or induces SIDS. You can also buy a cooling topper to help keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
6. Long Lasting
Yet another crucially important feature is, of course, durability. Why would anyone not want a mattress that can stay firm and supportive in spite of continuous use? The good news is that both foam and coil spring mattresses come in high quality, durable makes and models. Unfortunately, all mattresses may claim that they are “durable” but you need to make up your own mind about that. There are in fact some things that make a mattress “durable,” they include:
- Having a high coil spring count (at least 130 is considered good for a crib mattress)
- Having a good coil spring gauge: 14.5 is good for a crib mattress
- Being made of dense foam, if applicable
- Being waterproof
- Being reinforced, especially in the corners
- Having tight, well-sewn seams
7. Well-sewn seams
Buy mattresses that include tight, well-sewn seams. Furthermore, stay away from mattresses that have weak, poorly-sewn seams, even if you are happy about the low price you probably paid. One of the many problems to worry about are loose threads. Such things become a fascinating object for the curious eyes of babies and infants. If they pull on these, rips can be created, thus leaving holes for bugs to hide in; such rips can also cut or reduce the mattress’ longevity and durability by allowing fluids to get inside the mattress, inducing rot and mold growth.
8.Have High Quality certifications
When possible, invest in mattresses that come with well-established safety and high quality certifications. Some examples include CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD. These things aren’t just marketing gimmicks for getting you to shop for them—they are formal assurances that these mattresses have undergone certain tests with standards the mattress met or exceeded in. This gives you excellent peace of mind that the mattress is safe for your little one.
9.Made by Well-Known Manufacturers
If possible, go for mattresses made by well-known, established manufacturers with a good reputation. Such companies have been in business long enough to have hopefully learned from past mistakes in order to make better products. They also generally offer better warranties, better customer service, a wider selection, and more bells and whistles on their products, especially if you are willing to pay extra for them.
10.Don’t Weigh too Much
When possible, go for mattresses that don’t weigh too much. Of course, foam mattresses have big advantages in this area over coil spring mattresses, but you can find coil spring mattresses that don’t necessarily weigh a ton. When it comes to crib mattresses, some coil spring mattresses weigh less than 20 pounds—for an adult in good physical shape and with no back problems, this isn’t an unmanageable weight. Of course, changing sheets on a regular basis and, periodically turning mattresses over or taking them out for cleaning isn’t a fun activity but, if this is a big issue for you, then consider sticking with foam. They weigh much less, in general.
This article has given you 10 features that you should look for if looking for a crib mattress. There are other features that are also important but the point is that you should do your homework and get well-informed before making a purchase. Getting educated first will not only help you get the best mattress model and make for the price you will ultimately pay—it will also help you determine what is truly important and what things are merely personal preferences.