best baby mattress – There is only one moment when a mother leaves her newborn baby alone … and that’s when she sleeps. It is therefore not surprising that it is important for many mothers to know clearly what their child is going to sleep on. Besides choosing a crib that meets all requirements and safety advice, it is also important (I would even say more important) to buy a good baby mattress. What should you pay attention to when buying a baby mattress? What are the most popular baby mattresses at the moment and what comes to play with a baby mattress? Read it all in our extensive baby mattress manual.
Different types of baby mattresses
Polyether baby mattress
The most used and common filling in baby mattresses. This synthetic foam, sometimes also called PE foam, is a foam that is very similar to your bath sponge! The only difference is that when making a mattress with this material it is ensured that less air remains in the foam, which increases the density of the foam and strengthens the foam.
By varying this density, many different types of mattresses can be made, all of which have different quality and properties.
It is therefore difficult to say something general about the Polyether baby mattresses. However, it is true that they are often cheaper than the alternatives! What often occurs is that the mattress is not equally strong throughout its material. (more often the center of the mattress is much harder than the edges and corners).
- Cheap crib mattress
- Long lifespan
- Not always the most comfortable cradle mattress
- The firmness is not the same everywhere.
Memory foam baby mattress
Also known as viscoelastic or memory foam. This is one of the more familiar variants of polyether foam. It is a type of material that is often used together with other materials in a cradle mattress.
Due to the method with which it is made, it takes longer before the foam is filled with air again after pressure has been applied. The advantage is that your baby will not feel any pressure points when sleeping on a memory foam baby mattress.
The disadvantage is that with memory foam movement is more difficult than with another cradle mattress.
The mattress also tends to become harder at colder temperatures, and is therefore better suited in countries with a warmer climate than the Netherlands. Due to the special form of air bubbles and density, it is also less breathable than other materials. This also means that it is better to retain body heat than other materials.
This is seen as a possible cause of cot death and it is therefore not a good choice as a crib mattress.
- No pressure points
- Correct firmness
- Not suitable for colder climates
- Heat boosting
- It impedes movement
Cold foam baby mattress
Because of its structure, cold foam has much more resilience and is therefore often more comfortable than other materials. Also for cold foam there are many variants based on the composition that is used. In general it is true that it ventilates less than the polyether baby mattresses, and better heat retains. This would mean that it should not be the best choice for a cradle mattress.
But in reality cold foam cradle mattresses are combined with other materials or structures to form a top quality / comfort material. A perfect example of this is the Aerosleep or donna cradle mattress.
- Excellent comfort
- Very ventilating thanks to variants
- Most expensive variant
- Only cold foam is not suitable
Pocket spring baby mattress
The type of material that many parents probably know. Pocket springs are spiral-shaped samples that provide for suspension. These are then covered with a layer of textile and then with a layer of foam. Many stores will be happy to tell you what the thickness and number of turns of these springs is, and how much that makes a difference.
Do not take anything of this, to notice the difference with the weight of a baby you are really in the micro measurements. Nevertheless, pocket spring cradle mattresses are a good choice in terms of characteristics. They are reasonably in their ventilation and depending on the materials used for the layers, the springs are very good at getting away from heat.
If there is a material with a lot of misinformation about it is indeed the pocket spring mattresses.
We have even read that pocket spring cradle mattresses are much less hygienic because there? space between the suspension is?
Space is air, air is flow / drain and so pocket springs are more hygienic … morale of the story, you do not have to believe everything you read on the internet (this also applies to our information soontobemama, always be strict with what you read) . It is quite strange how unpopular pocket springs in the Netherlands are not when it comes down to cradle mattresses, because they have a good price-quality ratio. It is true that there are very few options available that are made of this variant.
- Good ventilation
- No good option available in the Netherlands
. …Is that all?
There are some cradle mattress materials that we have not added in our manual. These materials were in our conviction totally not suitable for cradle mattresses (think of latex)
Which material is most suitable as a baby mattress?
A cradle mattress made from cold foam sticks above all other options. I am talking here about the special variants of cold foam. They meet all requirements and have many extras which makes them the best baby mattress. What I find very sorry is that pocket suspension is also a very good choice of materials (plus often cheaper), but there are no good options for sale in the Netherlands. Possibly if a mattress maker reads this, a good idea to change something about it!
In case you want to save on the money, polyether is also a good option. It is a mattress material choice that just meets most requirements.
What should you pay attention to?
What size should the baby mattress be?
Of course, depends very much on the size of the cradle! But as we have also discussed in our guidebook on cradles, the mattress should be at least 80 cm long and 40 cm wide.
What about the thickness of the baby mattress / crib mattress?
The thickness of the baby mattress should be more than 3.51 cm and under 15.24 cm. (of course, all mattresses we have recommended in this manual meet all these requirements)
Firmness of baby
The crib mattress must be nice and firm and not soft. A soft mattress is dangerous for babies because their head can sink in and a risk of suffocation can occur.
According to Veiligheid.nl you can check the firmness yourself by pressing the mattress with the flat hand and stretched fingers . You know that it has the right firmness if the mattress only presses a little.
Is the mattress hypoallergenic and / or anti-insect modified?
A mattress that has been specially modified to allow babies with allergies to sleep safely, you can think of asthma or eczema.
Most mothers on forums and other social networks find this a very unimportant aspect when buying a product for their babies. I disagree 100% here, and I will explain why.
Your baby has just been born, so you will not be aware if he or she is suffering from an allergy. In the Netherlands alone 7.5% of the people have an allergy. So there is a chance that your baby will be in between.
Well you can pay a tenner less for the mattress and purchase a non hypo-allergenic mattress. But imagine your baby is suffering from it, then you can just think back to that old Dutch saying “cheap is expensive” because you have to buy a whole new mattress.
Anti-mosquito or other such anti-insect agent is another story, this does not have to be a factor in your purchase of a mattress. There is no scientific evidence that this helps to prevent mosquitoes, because they do not end up on the mattress but on the smell of people. If it comes with it, it is fun, but you do not have to worry about whether or not you want to have it.
Does the cradle mattress breathe enough?
Is the mattress made of material that allows enough air to pass through? This has multiple functions (including comfort of course). But a good ventilating mattress also ensures less sweat, and this works better against insects than an anti-mosquito operation.
However, this is not the reason that this is an important requirement for choosing a baby mattress. As I have previously reported, there is a choking hazard in babies, by taking a mattress that ventilates well you can help prevent this.
How well the mattress ventilates is very much dependent on the material it is made of. The Aerosleep crib mattress is a very good example when it comes to optimal air circulation.
It is also because of the air circulation of the cradle mattress that a plastic mattress or a mattress with a plastic cover is strongly advised against. This leaves no air, and there is a big chance that your child can suffocate!
Most cradle mattresses are supplied with a cradle mattress protector.
This mattress protector serves three functions:
- It ensures that there is a removable layer that is easy to clean.
- It gives extra strength to the top layer of the mattress.
- It helps prevent cracks and abrasions in the cradle mattress.
I want to pay extra attention to the first point. It is important that there is a possibility to regularly maintain and clean your mattress. It is therefore very useful for many mothers to think carefully about your choice of baby mattress. You have to clean the cradle mattress regularly. It is therefore perhaps nice to go for a mattress that also has a mattress protector. This ensures that you do not have to drag several times with a whole mattress.
Best crib mattress
The part of our manuals that always takes the most work to make. Search, ask around, call around yourself to see what really are the best options.
This time we looked at two options, a cheap baby mattress and a luxurious baby mattress. The cheap cradle mattress is for parents who want the mattress to meet all the basic safety needs that a mattress must have. The luxurious cradle mattress is a mattress that has everything we have discussed within this manual, and is intended for parents who want to spoil their baby.
The best baby mattress
The Colgate Eco Classica III is our top pick for crib mattress.
It has a dual side. One side can be used in a toddler bed because it’s firmer than the other side. You will see a clear mark on each side allowing you to quickly see when to use it for a baby versus a toddler bed.
Additional features include the organic cotton cover and the plant-based foam. Very light, you can carry it easily and change the sheets.
It is eco-friendly, comfortable and very safe.
The Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer is also a dual-side foam mattress. Like the previous product, you can use it in a toddler bed.
Moonlight Slumber does not have any vinyl, polyethylene, PVC nor phthalates.
Further positive characteristics include the CentiPUR certification which indicates no toxic chemicals.
A new or second-hand baby mattress?
When purchasing a cradle mattress it is always better to buy a new baby mattress in contrast to one that has already been used. Although it will certainly save you costs, there are more disadvantages than benefits.
A second-hand baby mattress is not hygienic
A baby loses a lot of fluid in the evening like sweat, but also enough accidents occur in the cradle. It is therefore not excluded that a second-hand baby mattress has come into contact with feces and excretion during its use. It is very difficult to determine how the previous owner dealt with this mattress. You have to trust that the previous mother has cleaned and cleaned the mattress well. But what often occurs is that only the surface has been kept clean but residues remain within the mattress. This is a breeding ground for bacteria. What can also be the result of a mattress that is not well maintained is that the mattress is plagued by dust mites.
Used mattress is less durable
This may be a bit more obvious, but a used product will not last as long as a new product (or that still has a guarantee certificate). How long will a used cot mattress last? Nobody knows that exactly, but suppose he does it before your baby is done with it. Then you are still forced to purchase another mattress and you are twice as expensive.
Increased risk of SIDS
A scientific article from 2002 is published in a British medical journal (source can be found at the bottom of the page). The article shows the results of a study conducted to look at a relative between SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and the use of a second-hand cradle mattress. The analysis showed that there was a significant association between SIDS and a used cradle mattress. The conclusion is that using someone else’s cradle mattresses is definitely not recommended.
This is of course not true when it comes to a cot mattress / baby mattress of your previous baby. You know yourself whether you have cared for and cleaned properly, but it is not wise to have that trust with strangers.
Crib mattress maintenance
By properly maintaining your baby’s mattress, you can be sure that the mattress lasts for a long time and is also hygienic. In this section we focus on maintaining a cradle mattress, and some useful tips for cleaning in case of accidents!
General cradle maintenance
After purchasing your mattress, you obviously want to be sure that it lasts as long as possible. To get the most out of your mattress it is wise to follow these general tips!
Use a mattress protector
We have reported this before. Accidents are common in babies and it is very convenient that there is a protective layer over your expensive mattress. Of course, it is also much less work to have to clean / replace the mattress protector than the entire mattress. Furthermore, a mattress protector helps against damage that may possibly arise from sharp nails or the like.
Rotate the mattress regularly
As a rule of thumb I would recommend that you turn the mattress around once a year or flip it over. You may wonder why this piece of acrobatics is needed, but it causes the mattress to gradually wear out everywhere. It is also a handy way to help prevent pressure points in the mattress, these are small bumps that arise when pressure is applied to the same place. Do you have a mattress that has a special top layer? Then you just have to turn the mattress from side (head is now bottom).
Change the sheets of the mattress regularly
By frequently changing the sheets you ensure that there is no accumulation of dirt and odors on the mattress. Most parents recommend once a week.
How to remove urine from a cradle mattress
Make sure you act quickly so that as little moisture as possible is absorbed by the mattress.
What you need:
- Organic and enzyme-based cleaning agent
- Vacuum cleaner
- Baking Soda
- Use the cloth and remove as much of the urine as possible by dipping it gently. Take care that you do not push the moisture more into the mattress! Remove as much as you can with the cloth.
- Use the detergent, spray it over the stain and then clean it again with the cloth.
- Spread plenty of baking soda over the wet stain and leave it overnight.
- The next morning you can remove all powder with the vacuum cleaner. Save a few times on the mattress to search for some leftover mother.
So make sure you have these resources at hand before the accident happens! You can easily buy everything in the supermarket.
How to remove feces from a cradle mattress
Also in this case, time is one of essence, make sure you act as quickly as possible!
What you need :
- Rubber gloves
- Organic and enzyme-based cleaning agent
- Put on the gloves and remove large pieces of the mattress, and throw it in the waste bin or toilet.
- Carefully scrape away as much stools as possible with a spoon, taking care not to push the stools into the mattress.
- Spray with the detergent on the stain and leave it for 10 to 11 minutes.
- Go with the cloth over the stain and clean it, you may have to do step 3/4 several times before the stain is completely gone.
- Fill the spray with vinegar and spray in the now clean place to remove all odors. Then you can let the mattress air outside in the garden / balcony.
How do you prevent dust mites
Dust mite is a miroscopic creature that eats our dead skin cells as food. Well that is not such a problem. But many babies do have allergies to dust mites, so it is useful to take measures to prevent them. Removing dust mites completely is not an option, no matter what you are going to do, they will return. However, it is very wise that you periodically keep them in check so your baby does not suffer too much.
By regularly washing at a temperature of 60 degrees. As long as you do this up to at least 6 weeks a week, you have the population of dust mite well under control.
Clothes dryer also helps
The tumble dryer also helps to remove dust mites with the same principle that at 60 degrees the dust mites do not survive.
Cold helps too
Cold is a solution for objects that can not be washed. If you have a pillow or protection that can not be washed or drier, you can put it in the freezer. This also helps to remove the dust mites.
Pay attention to humidity
Dust mites are not a big fan of dry air, a dehumidifier in the nursery can also help enormously in preventing dust mites!
Do not forget to air your mattress
Regularly patting your baby mattress and letting it stand in the sun also seems to help. You also immediately remove unwanted odors here as a bonus.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cradle mattress?
In its essence, a crib mattress is nothing other than a mini-mattress. When making a cradle mattress, extra attention has been paid to the safety of a baby, and the extra measure has been taken to be a good support and breathable.
When should I buy a crib mattress?
A cradle mattress is usually bought together or around the same time as the baby’s cradle. It is a product that has to be bought before the baby is there and is often bought just before the third trimester.
How long can my baby use the mattress?
The mattress remains in use for the same duration as parents plan to use the baby’s cradle. Some parents use the same mattress as the baby (or toddler in this case) switches to a toddler bed. There is nothing wrong with this and is certainly a good way to save on costs.
Is an air or water mattress suitable for a baby?
No, an air or water bed does not offer the necessary support that a baby needs in his first months. Both materials pose a risk of suffocation because they are not breathable.
What should I pay attention to when buying a crib?
We have written a similar manual about a cradle, where you can see what you have to pay attention to when buying a cradle, Crib Buying Guide .
What is a good budget for buying a baby mattress?
Not more than 100 dollars, you already have an excellent mattress that is not only safe but also comfortable.
Is your question not listed here? or do you have a question about our manual?
Ask us in the comments!