What Should I Consider When Buying a Crib Mattress?

Ken Black

Choosing a crib mattress can often be very confusing for new parents. There are two basic types of crib mattresses that typically parents choose from. Those are the foam mattress and the inner spring mattress. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the choice comes down to personal preference and the quality of the crib mattress available at your particular location.

Most crib mattresses are made to be firm so they stay securely in place.
Most crib mattresses are made to be firm so they stay securely in place.

The inner spring mattress is a bit heavier than the foam mattress, but does retain its shape better. While this may not matter much for the first child, those planning to reuse a crib mattress for more than one child may do well to consider this durable option. Still, most mattresses made for a baby bed will not be very expensive, so this may not be an important consideration for most people.

Spring mattresses are heavier than foam mattresses.
Spring mattresses are heavier than foam mattresses.

The other type of crib mattress, the foam mattress, is very popular for a number of different reasons. First, it is lighter than a spring mattress. Second, the mattress is usually lighter than the spring mattress, which can also make a difference when it comes to changing sheets and being a matter of convenience. Therefore, from this perspective, it may be worth it to some people to have a less durable mattress that is more capable of being easily handled.

The other factor to consider is the cost. It pays to get a good quality crib mattress both in terms of baby comfort and long lasting. These mattresses often put up with a lot of abuse. Therefore, protecting the investment with a good quality mattress cover may help extend the life and keep the main portion of the mattress clean.

The other thing to consider is the safety factor. Most crib mattress types are made to be firm for a reason. A softer mattress may cause the baby to sink in further, running the risk of death or other complications if access to air becomes blocked. Just like it is not good to have a lot of loose bedding around the baby, a soft crib mattress is nearly as bad.

Once the crib mattress is purchased, the task then turns to getting all the other baby bedding that will be needed. This includes coverings and baby blankets. It is not necessary for the initial blankets purchased to cover the entire mattress area. Most babies will not keep under them the entire time they are sleeping anyway. Choose blankets that claim to be hypo-allergenic and flame retardant.

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