How to Buy a Baby Mattress

Although it may not seem like it if you’re a new parent, babies sleep a lot. Within the first six months, your little one needs anywhere from 16 to 20 total hours of sleep per day. As your child develops, this number will go down to about 12 hours a night with two or three naps.

Either way, your baby will need a comfortable place to snooze. Picking out the perfect mattress for your child may seem daunting, but it’s a task that requires lots of consideration and care. Here is how to pick out the perfect baby mattress:

“Make sure your crib and mattress are the right fit.”

The right fit

The first step to picking out a mattress is actually choosing a crib. The last thing you want is to buy padding that doesn’t fit inside your baby’s crib. If you just purchased a cradle, double check the dimensions (these should be on the back of the box). It’s important that the mattress fits properly into the crib. Gaps can be dangerous to your little one. The bed cushion should fit firmly in place so that it doesn’t budge no matter how much your baby moves around in his or her sleep.

Quality over quantity

Humans spend a large portion of their lives sleeping, so it makes sense to spend a significant amount of money on a good mattress. The same goes for your baby’s bed, as well. You get what you pay for. Stray away from the cheapest foam and innerspring mattresses because they’re known to tear, crack and dry out over time. Opt for thicker cushions because they tend to hold up as time goes on and are less susceptible to punctures.

A good mattress typically runs from $90-$200 and should be a proper fit for your little one. The more expensive ones are made with organic cotton or natural latex. Anything less than $90 most likely doesn’t have enough support for your baby to sleep safely and soundly.

a white baby crib in a nursery
A good baby mattress will help your little one sleep soundly.

Do your research

Though hand-me-downs are very common when it comes to baby items, be wary of using a secondhand mattress. Over time, these cushions lose their springs and can be unsafe for babies to sleep on – some even increase the risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

When it comes to baby supplies, it’s helpful to ask the people in your life. If you have family members or close friends who have recently had children, ask them what kind of baby mattress they got their little ones. Their answers can help you either add or cross off some options on your list. However, if you really want to do the legwork, head on over to a website to browse customer reviews. It can give you insight to how real buyers felt about their purchase, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.


Miscellaneous characteristics

Although the fit and quality are important, there are other things you should look for in a baby mattress. For instance, it’s important that your mattress is waterproof, or it should at least some with a waterproof cover. This will protect your mattress from stains – spills are inevitable with your little one, whether it’s spit up, a leaky diaper or a bottle. A waterproof cover can also be thrown in the wash for easy cleanup. In the same vein, it’s important that the bedding you choose isn’t too heavy. Odds are, you’re going to have to grab the mattress to wipe up a stain or put it in the wash. You’re going to want something lightweight to make the process easier.