Now that you have an understanding of the types of crib mattresses available, here's Betty's tactical advice on how to choose the right crib mattress for your little one.
1. Ensure you have the exact measurements of your crib.
Although most crib mattresses are designed to fit in a standard-sized crib, we recommend that you take your crib’s inner measurements. Mattresses are designed to be slightly smaller but you must ensure that the space between the crib and the mattress is no more than 1 ¼”. The 2-finger rule says that you shouldn’t be able to fit two fingers between the mattress and the crib. This is to prevent your baby from being trapped between the two, which could be very dangerous.
2. Confirm it has the appropriate firmness.
According to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), soft surfaces increase the risk of SIDS(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by conforming to the baby’s face and causing suffocation. It is recommended that you get a firm mattress for your infant and transition to a softer one after 12 months when the risk of SIDS decreases.
3. Understand the material and composition.
Outside of innerspring and foam, the other materials used in mattresses are the biggest differentiators and drivers of price differences. You can choose between traditional polyurethane foams or up and coming sustainable and non-toxic materials.
4. Check on safety standards and certifications.
Although all mattresses are subject to strict safety standards, independent certifications such as GreenGuard Gold, CertiPUR and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) test mattresses rigorously to ensure good air quality and the use of non-toxic materials. These certifications are often a mark of quality.
5. Determine the features that are most important to you.
Lightweight? Waterproof? Breathable? All these are different features mattresses can have. Thinking through the features that are most important to you will help you quickly narrow down your options. A full list of features are in the next post.