I think any mother (or soon to be mother) can agree that finding out you’re pregnant is one of the most special moments of your life. Your life was one thing and suddenly, with one little pregnancy test, it’s a whole new world. You find yourself obsessively thinking about things like baby names, tiny clothes and a baby room! Here are 11 things to consider before you buy your baby a mattress:

  • Your baby is growing.
  • Density and firmness.
  • Mattress Lifespan.
  • Absorption.
  • Washing possibilities.
  • Breathable materials.
  • Allergies.
  • Weight and size.
  • Second hand options: yay or nay?
  • Toxic or non-toxic?
  • Is it worth the price?

Now let us explore the process of crib shopping:

1. Your Baby is Growing:

Babies grow at a ridiculous pace. It seems like every day your precious little baby is bigger than the last. By age one, babies are typically triple their birth weight! Furthermore, their bodies develop in a way that allows them to reach certain stages. They learn how to sit, babble and crawl and eventually how to walk and talk.

This rapid growth and development means that their bones and muscles are constantly busy evolving, which means two things:

  • Babies need a good sleep and they need a lot of it. They need a comfortable bed to sleep in.
  • They need a mattress that will offer support and and help their development, instead of hindering it. Having a worn out mattress, or one that is too hard or too soft, will cause body ache and hamper healthy growth.

Which leads us to our next point:

2. Density and Firmness:

Have you ever slept in a hotel room where the mattress is either too hard or too soft or just not right? And then you woke up the next morning with a sore body and an irritable mood? Now imagine how a fragile little baby body would feel in that situation. Making sure you purchase a mattress with the right firmness and density will alleviate this problem. Let’s have a look at some of the most common mattress options:

The Foam Mattress:

The foam mattress is one of the most common and most purchased mattresses. There are varying degrees of thickness available and these are some of the most comfortable mattresses. To evaluate the firmness, make a fist and press down on the mattress at various areas of the mattress.

Another important factor to take into consideration is that a mattress that is too yielding may take the form of the baby to an extent where it could fold around the baby and suffocate him or her. Furthermore, make sure to get a mattress on the heavier side of the spectrum to guarantee longevity.

To purchase a standard queen sized foam mattress, click here.

The Spring Mattress:

Spring mattresses consists of coils supporting padding, foam and material. It provides the perfect balance between comfort and support.Spring mattresses have the best density and firmness and is the most resilient, however, when it starts to wear out, the coils have a tendency to break through the fabric and can be a potential hazard for a baby. Therefore, it is critical to ensure good quality before purchasing one of these mattresses for your baby.

The Organic Mattress:

If you’ve converted to metal straws and refuse plastic bags at the grocery store, then this mattress is for you.

It is made from various different natural materials such as cotton, wool, coconut fibers, food-grade polymers, plant-based foam, and natural latex. This mattress is known as the chemical free mattress.

When deciding on a mattress for your baby, first determine what you are looking for in terms of density and firmness before moving on to finding your ideal mattress.

3. Mattress Lifespan:

It can get quite expensive if you need to replace your mattress every few months because it has become worn out or even torn. Therefore it is important to look at the durability of a mattress before purchasing it in order to guarantee the longest lifespan possible. When shopping for a mattress, make sure to:

Do Research and Ask Around.

Word of mouth goes a long way to indicate which brands of mattresses are most reliable and most sought after. Furthermore, do research on the brands you are considering and read reviews left by there customers. This is good way to get honest opinions on the products.

Have a Good Look At The Description and the Warranty.

If you are shopping online, make sure to thoroughly read through the description to ensure you know what you are buying.

When looking at the warranty, keep in mind that companies that offer lifetime guarantees have full confidence in the longevity and durability of their products. This means that the odds are good that you won’t be needing a new mattress any time soon.

4. Absorption:

It’s safe to say that the fact that babies equal liquid spills is common knowledge. Everyone knows that a cot is practically a fluid magnet.

Make peace with the fact that your baby’s bed is going to be messed on and keep that in mind when shopping.

Ideally you want a mattress that absorbs liquids so that your baby doesn’t roll around in the spill and get sticky or wet during the night. Look out for a mattress that has double, or even triple, laminated ticking that is reinforced with nylon. If you are dead set on buying an organic mattress, it might be necessary to purchase additional materials to aid in absorption.

5. Washing Possibilities:

It is crucial that you are able to properly clean your baby’s mattress to avoid the attraction of dust mites and bacteria that could result in a sick baby. Furthermore, you don’t want a weekly dry cleaning bill so large you might as well just buy a new mattress.

Most of the mattress market suggests “spot cleaning”, which works, but is only effective up to a point.

Others suggest fitted sheets that can be removed and thrown in the washing machine.

The best option is a mattress that you are able to hand wash. Keep in mind that it is important to allow the mattress to dry completely before putting all the covers back on. Failing to do so could lead to rotting which could leave a terrible smell in your baby’s room and stain his/her clothes.

6. Breathable Materials:

Babies are often found sleeping in strange positions, making it absolutely necessary to find a mattress that will allow your baby to breathe easily. Furthermore, good air circulation allows your baby to maintain his or her body temperature with relative ease.

A mattress that allows air flow through it is a great investment for your baby’s comfort and safety.

7. Allergies:

Within the first few days after your baby’s birth, you have the opportunity to test him or her for allergies. It is vital to take note of these allergies and ensure that there are no materials present in your baby’s reaction that could trigger an allergic response. Failing to do so could cause your baby to develop severe rashes that render severe discomfort. This could in turn keep your baby awake and crying which will ultimately end up with you missing out on some beauty sleep as well.

8. Weight and Size:

Size Does Matter:

Make sure to measure your baby’s crib so you know how big the mattress should be before buying it. Take note not to use the crib measurements on the description of the product, as that is the perimeter of the crib on not the measurements for the inside where would mattress go.

It is important to get a mattress that fits perfectly and isn’t even slightly too big or too small. This comes into play when your baby starts standing in the crib, as an ill-fitting mattress could easily slide out from under him or her, causing your baby to fall and potentially get injured.

What About Weight?

The weight is more important in regards to the mother’s comfort. Your body has just been to hell and back in order to birth your baby, so you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself. You will be cleaning the mattress regularly, so you will need to be able to comfortably lift and move the mattress. Furthermore, in regards to the washing, the mattress will absorb a large amount of water which will make it even heavier.

9. Second-Hand Options: Yay or Nay?

Baby items are often passed down from sibling to sibling in a household, including cribs and mattresses. This can lift a lot of financial pressure from the parents’ shoulders, but it isn’t necessarily the best thing to do for your baby.

There could be countless amounts of germs in the mattress from the previous owner and it can be extremely dangerous to expose your baby’s developing immune system to it.

That being said, if you cannot afford a new mattress for your baby, just ensure that you:

  • Clean the mattress thoroughly
  • Wrap the mattress in clean material to provide a barrier between your baby and the mattress. Make sure that the material is breathable and safe for your baby to be in contact with.

10. Toxic or Non-Toxic?

You may be asking: “Why would I buy a toxic mattress?”; well, the answer is somewhat complicated. Numerous studies have been done to determine whether the toxic gasses used to manufacture mattresses have play a role in the amount of Sudden Infant Deaths (SIDs) that take place. The problem is that none of these studies have scientifically proven this theory, but neither have any of them been able to disprove it. Needless to say there is much research still to be done regarding this matter.

Organic mattresses, regardless of the outcomes of these studies, aren’t made with any of the same toxins and are therefore safe to use.

11. Is it Worth the Price?

Let’s face it: in today’s economy, the price is usually what makes or breaks the decision. That being said, keep in mind that your baby’s crib will be their safe haven and this is where they will spend most of their time for the first few months of their life. Putting a price on something like that is difficult, but unfortunately most of us have a budget.

Let’s look at a few steps that can be taken to ensure that you get your money’s worth:

Step one: Decide exactly what characteristics you are looking for in your baby’s first mattress. Also look at some different types of mattresses and decide which you would be interested in.

Step two: Find a brand that offers you exactly what you are looking for. Physically go to the stores and test out the mattresses. If that’s not possible, find out about the return policy to see if you can return it if you order it online and end up being unhappy with the product.

Step three: Make sure you aren’t in the dark with the warranty policy. It really does make a difference if the product doesn’t work the way it should.

Step four: Make sure the product is worth the price and that you can afford it. Rather cut back on decorations or other less necessary things and make sure you buy a good mattress.

Step five: Make sure to only purchase a mattress you are 100% happy with, this is not something you should compromise on. The mattress will play a big role in your baby’s life and his or her development, so take time to make the right decision.

Step six: Rest assured that you took every step possible to ensure your baby’s comfort and safety!


Insomnia is only mind over mattress.

-Jane Ace

The Mattress Warehouse has a Sealy Baby Cot Mattress available for purchase, as well as it’s mattress protector.

To browse the rest of the store, click here.

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