Much like the engine in a car, a baby mattress is as important to the overall quality of the crib--so while a mattress might not seem like a glamorous purchase, choosing the right one is really important. Your newborn will be spending a lot of their early years sleeping on the new mattress (infants sleep up to 18 hours a day).
At Albee Baby, we’ve been doing this for quite some time (since 1933). We’ve got kids of our own whom we cherish, and we know just how wonderful those nights when baby is sleeping soundly can be. We’ve selected our favorite mattresses based on what’s leading the industry, what parents’ love, what we know will be solid choices for new parents, and what is available at the right value for our customers.
When you are choosing your baby mattress, you’ll want to make sure that the mattress fits properly in your crib (so it’s a great idea to know which crib you’re buying or to have purchased it prior to buying a mattress). Mattresses that don’t fit their cribs can be dangerous for babies and are not recommended.
For a newborn, you’ll want to choose a firm mattress--softer mattresses are not safe until your little one is older. Thankfully, they start with the firm mattress, and they won’t know what they are missing with the super-soft mattresses during their first few months. For this reason, you should never place your newborn on an air mattress or other soft surface, such as a water bed.
It’s important to note that the Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association does not cover crib mattresses, so you’ll want to check with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials. An Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification for organic mattresses is your seal of approval that the mattress has been made without flame-retardant materials or other potentially harmful chemicals.
There are several types of mattresses to choose from when it comes to your baby’s perfect nursery.
Innerspring mattresses are what you are typically used to as a mattress. The steel coils inside are wrapped with different layers of cushioning materials, such as cotton, foam, and polyester. When choosing an innerspring mattress, you can generally assume that the more coils a mattress has, the more supportive it is. Also, the thicker the coils, the more support they provide.
When it comes to making things easy, a double-sided mattress is an ideal choice. You get one firm side of the mattress that is designed for your newborn, but then as they get older and graduate to a place where they can enjoy a softer mattress (it’s best to review this with your child’s pediatrician before switching), you can just flip the mattress over, and you’re all set.
With a newborn, you’ll want a foam mattress that’s entirely firm and resilient. There is an increased risk of SIDS with a newborn sleeping on a softer mattress, especially one that “indents” when pressed upon. As your child gets older, though, foam mattresses of softer persuasions can be included in your decision. They are generally more affordable and lighter (which makes changing the sheets at 3 a.m. a breeze), but cost shouldn’t be a consideration if it means putting a newborn at risk.
The growing concern among parents is that crib mattresses can be made with less-than-ideal chemicals and flame retardants. While the jury is still out, many parents feel that it’s not worth risking their little one sleeping on a mattress made of non-organic materials. If there is a risk of off-gassing and chemical release via a mattress, the safest choice is going organic/all-natural.
We’re always trying to help make your parenting story a good one by discovering the best nursery products on the market, testing them ourselves, talking with parents, doctors, and more. We do our utmost to make sure you’re getting the best price possible and will enjoy your baby gear for a long, long time. That’s why we’ve been in this business since 1933 (all family-owned) and plan to spend many more centuries doing the same thing—you are important to us and we hope that our selection of mattresses is just what you are looking for.