Best Crib Mattresses For Every Budget

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Are you getting ready to complete your nursery? Is it time for your baby to move from their newborn sleeping arrangements into their own crib? Are you looking to replace your baby’s old crib mattress for a new and improved one? No matter how you look at it picking out a crib mattress is hard, there are so many different choices. In this article, we will go over the best crib mattresses for every budget.

Types of crib mattresses

There are two types of crib mattresses: innerspring and foam. As long as you choose a high-quality mattress one type is just as good as the other. Both types of crib mattresses will provide enough support for your baby while they are sleeping, as well as retain their proper shape.


An innerspring mattress contains coils inside the baby mattress. An innerspring mattress has numerous layers inside. The price of the mattress will vary based on the number of layers, what those layers are composed of, and the quality of the covering. These factors not only affect the price, they also affect the comfort of the mattress. Some innerspring mattresses offer a simple vinyl cover that you can quickly wipe clean. Others offer two different coverings; these are known as dual-firmness mattresses. They offer a foam pad on one side for a firmer sleeping surface and a vinyl cover on the other for a softer sleeping surface using the innerspring coils.


A foam mattress is typically made up of polyurethane. With foam mattresses, you can find ordinary foam mattresses or you can find orthopedic ones. Foam mattresses will vary in firmness and density.

Features to look for in baby mattresses

What features you look for in the best crib mattresses will depend on the type of mattress you are purchasing. Foam mattresses offer different features than innerspring mattresses and vice versa.

Foam Density

If purchasing a foam mattress you need to consider the foam density. To compare the density from one mattress to another you need to look at the different weights of each mattress. Finding this information in a store can be difficult, but you can always find it online. Testing the density can be done by placing your hands on each side of the mattress and pushing your hands together. The denser mattresses will not allow you to push your hands together very far.

Foam Firmness

Your best foam mattresses are going to be on the heavier side and will be extremely firm. To test the firmness of the mattress you need to press on the mattresses along the edges and in the center. You want to avoid mattresses that conform to the shape of your hand, as that will be too soft to support your baby’s head. You need a firm mattress that snaps back into place.

Innerspring Layers

When it comes to an innerspring mattress you need to remember that the more layers the mattress has the better its quality. You also need to look at the quality of those layers. Heavier innerspring mattresses are often a better quality because of the materials used, better cushioning and heavier gauged steel.


These rods are located around the border of the mattress. You will find them along the top and bottom perimeter. Using rods add to the firmness and durability of the mattresses. These rods also make the edge of the mattress stronger as they provide more support. The better supported the edges are the less likely the mattress will sag when baby stands along the edge.


When looking at an innerspring mattress you don’t need to just look at the number of coils or springs located inside the mattress, that is a marketing gimmick. A mattress with a high coil count doesn’t mean it is a better mattress. You really want to look at the amount of steel found in the innerspring mattress rather than the number of coils. When looking at the coils you need to gauge of the steel as well as the number of coils. The lower the gauge number the thicker the coils will be. Find an innerspring mattress that offers a lower gauge of steel with a decent amount of coils.

Insulator Pad

With innerspring mattresses, you need to look at the insulator pad that is located on top of the steel coils. This insulator pad is what prevents the coils from poking through the top of the mattress.  Your low-quality insulator pads are made from woven polyester and might feel good in the store, but will not hold up over time. Plastic-mesh insulator pads also need to be avoided, as they are a lower quality. Insulator pads made from coir fiber are the highest quality pads you can find. Fiber-wrap pads, which are made from pressed scraps of cloth, and compressed hard felt, are also a good quality.

Layers and Cover

The layers are what provide the cushioning between the top of the mattress and its coils. Foam and cotton layers are considered high-quality but will increase the price. Polyester is not as expensive as cotton and foam and doesn’t form pockets so it offers a decent quality. Never purchase a crib mattress without knowing what the layers are made up of.

You want either a fabric or vinyl cover that surrounds the whole mattress. Vinyl doesn’t have the breathability that fabric does, but ventilation holes will help air to circulate. Vinyl with multiple layers will resist punctures, stains, or tears better than fabric too. When looking at covers you want a three-ply cover to give the mattress a tougher shell.

Presenting the Best Crib Mattresses for Every Budget

ProductPhotoPriceFeaturesOur Ratings
Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib & Toddler Bed Mattress$Hypoallergenic, innersprings, thermo-bonded layers, GreenGold Certified, meets flammability guidelines

Graco Premium Foam Crib & Toddler Bed Mattress $Self-expanding, breathable foam measuring 5 inches thick, meets federal flammability standards

Sealy Baby Posturepedic $$Anti-sag weight distribution, 220 coils, non-allergenic layers, border rods, STAPH-GARD laminate cover, holds up to 60 pounds

Serta Tranquillity Eco Firm Crib Mattress
$$GREENGUARD Goold Certified, air vents for freshness, durable, two-sided design, waterproof cover
Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress**EDITOR'S CHOICE**$$$$100% washable, breathability and temperature regulation, 100% recyclable, contains no known allergens
Nook Sleep Pebble Air Ultra Lite Crib Mattress$$$Non-toxic, breathable, foam air channels, lightweight, water resistant cover, two-sided design
Millard Memory Foam Crib Mattress $$Ultra-soft bamboo cover, Certi-PUR foam, quiet and durable design with support and comfort in mind
Stitch & Crdale 2-in-1 Natural Foam Crib Mattress$$$Naturally poured foam, breathable design, additional holes for maximum airflow and minimal heat retention

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams

If you are looking for a crib mattress that will fit both a crib and a toddler bed without breaking the bank the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams is an excellent choice. The innerspring mattress contains a high-density thermo-bonded fiber core that is made from polyester. The unique make-up of the mattress provides your baby with plenty of support but is lightweight enough to allow for easy flipping. The outer cover is 100% vinyl allowing the mattress to be water resistant and provide your baby with a hypoallergenic sleeping surface. As a GreenGuard Cold certified mattress, this one meets the standard for low-chemical emissions and it also meets the federal flammability standards.

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