For your crib, you will need… a serviceable baby crib mattress.
While your baby might not care which kind of crib mattress he sleeps on, most parents do. With more and more parents opting for organic crib mattresses due to concerns over chemical flame retardants, we decided to cover them separately (see best organic crib mattresses).
No matter what brand of mattress you pick, you want it be FIRM. If it feels uncomfortable to you, that’s good. And remember, babies weigh nothing (comparatively) and don’t exactly have back or hip pain like us old geezers, so their mattress needs are quite different (in response to a lot of emails asking, “won’t it be too uncomfortable for him?”). Stay away from anything cushy or plushy.
If you’re in the market for a “regular” crib mattress, our favorites are (in order of price):
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams ~$55 — Economy Pick
Milliard Dual Comfort Crib Mattress ~$79 — Best Value (Tie)
This is a neat mattress with two sides: a firm “infant” side for babes and a softer “toddler” side for a cozier night after the newborn weeks are past.
Graco Premium Foam Crib & Toddler Mattress ~$79 — Best Value (Tie)
This foam mattress has a removable washable outer cover that’s also water-resistant. There are VERY few complaints about this mattress — parents seem to love it (meaning they think their babies love it…). *Be sure to open it up and let it expand for a few days before use.
Little Dreamer Crib Mattress from Moonlight Slumber ~$196 – Upgrade Pick
Just like the Milliard^^, you can flip this crib mattress from infant (firm) mode to toddler (slightly less firm) mode in a jiffy when the time comes.
Newton Crib Mattress ~$299 — Splurge
There are so many good things to say about this mattress — the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) gave it the 2015 innovation award.
This mattress is known for its breathability and temperature regulation. Wovenaire technology means that it’s made of safe, food-grade polymer that’s free of biocides, toxic fire retardants, foam, latex, springs, and glue… meaning, it’s not off-gassing and it’s completely hypo-allergenic.
The best part is that this mattress is fully washable (say what?!). Yes, the whole thing. You can remove the zipped cover and and give the mattress a bath. Yes, like… in the bath tub. With soap and water. Great for passing down to younger kids. You can also recycle it at the end of its life. Love the Newton!
OK — now for some organic crib mattress options… or you can skip ahead to sheets ‘n blankets ‘n such.