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How to Select a Crib Mattress

>> Jul 19, 2017

There are so many things to think about when having a new baby mattresses might be the last thing on your mind. Yet, the mattress you choose for the newest member of your family is more important than you think. Of course, you want your child to be comfortable while sleeping, but some mattresses are more breathable for baby than others, which is an important factor when considering safety from suffocation.

There are many things to consider when you a selecting a mattress for your baby. Do you go with a foam mattress or springs? Is the mattress too soft? This is important because the mattress you choose for your baby should be firm since soft ones place a higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome and asphyxiation. Selecting a mattress is more important a task than some new parents realize, which is why we put together this list of important points when shopping for a crib mattress.

Know the types

Mattresses tend to fall into three categories. You have foam, innerspring, and organic. Below we will break them down.


These types of mattresses tend to be lighter, which might be a risk when considering the importance of firmness. We cannot emphasize how important a firm mattress is when choosing. If a mattress isn’t firm enough, you run the risk of the baby’s shape conforming to the exterior, which puts your baby in serious danger of suffocation.


This type of mattress is constructed from foam, fabrics, and padding, placed strategically around coils. There is a specific correlation between the number of coils in your crib mattress and its firmness. The more coils your mattress has the firmer it will be, which is safer in the crib for your baby.


These mattress are free of all the chemicals the other two mattresses contain due to production. You won’t find any synthetic flame retardants or toxic substances typically used in the other two. Organic mattresses are created from coconut fibers, food-grade polymers, cotton, wool, and other natural fibers, which are great for parents that are concerned with baby absorbing the chemicals through their skin or breath.

It should be breathable

This point goes right back to the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Your child should be able to breath easily and babies have a tendency to roll over, which puts them at risk when their face is pressed down on the mattress. Make sure to take breathability into consideration when choosing a crib mattress.

Size matters

When you are looking for crib mattress, it is important that it fits the crib perfectly. There shouldn’t be any space available between the mattress and the frame of the crib. The fit of the mattress is another way your child could be seriously harmed. While most manufacturers are required to fit into regulated standards where size is concerned, at times there can be disparity in between so it is important to check the size for yourself.

Coil thickness

This is just another way to check out the firmness of your crib mattress. The number of coils matters but so does the “gauge of the wire”, The wire in the coil is thicker when the gauge is lower and the coils you want should be “a gauge of 15.5” at the highest. As for how many coils the mattress should have, when it comes to a crib mattress, your best bet is to go with 135 coils at the very least.

Watch the weight

Foam mattresses typically don’t weigh much, averaging around 7 to 8 pounds, yet there are some brands of memory foam that can weigh almost 20 pounds. The innerspring mattresses are the heaviest weighing anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds. Weight is critical when considering firmness.

Laminated ticking

This term refers to a cover with water resistance, which is important as well. Wet or full diapers leak and a cover would be a great help not only to you, it would be less hazardous to your baby. Wet mattresses are likely to grow mold, which is unhealthy for everyone, especially babies.

When shopping for a cover, it should include double- or triple-laminated ticking. Not only will your cover help keep your baby’s new mattress dry, it will also protect it from tears, holes, spills, or any other malady that might befall it.

Time to vent

The little holes that you will see on the sides of the crib mattresses you are investigating are there to enable air movement through your baby’s mattress. These holes are there for breathability and will have a hand in keeping your mattress odor free, which is important when those diaper leaks come into play.

Look for the labels

We mean seals of certification. To keep children safe, the government has implemented certain safety requirements that all manufacturers need to meet. In the United States the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials both set the standards for crib mattresses.

As for organic mattresses, make sure to check out Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, which is the worldwide standard for this toxic-free option. They especially look for chemical flame retardants and heavy metals.

Our mission at 1st Happy Family is to help you keep your family safe. If you enjoyed this post check out our other suggestions for your family’s security.

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