Table of Contents
- Crib Mattresses at a Glance
- Review of the 5 Best Value Crib Mattresses
Mattresses come in various shapes and sizes. While we all agree that the fundamental purpose of a mattress is to aid in a comfortable sleep, their characteristics make some more suited for one particular purpose than another. For example, a crib mattress is specifically made for a baby’s crib.
All parents go to great lengths to give their babies the best, and nothing is more important than providing your baby with the best comfort when it comes to sleep. A well-rested baby equals a happy life!
One of the most important decisions you will make regarding your bundle of joy is purchasing the correct crib mattress. To make a successful purchase, there are two essential things you need to consider; that is, your budget and comfort. Most parents set a $100 budget for buying a crib mattress. However, it can be daunting when overwhelmed by the many online and in-store options. This makes the purchasing decision more complex and time-consuming as many parents are not aware of the features needed in a quality crib mattress.
Generally, very few people use a crib mattress for approximately three years, so getting the right crib mattress within your budget is imperative. Although buying a cheap crib mattress may seem like an uphill task, we have taken the ‘uphill’ out of the equation and made it easy for you. First, we have researched the best crib mattresses under $100 and then shortlisted the five top mattresses within this budget.
To ensure that you are investing your cash in the comfiest and most affordable crib mattress, we will then educate you about what features to look for in each one. The unique thing about this review is that it will compare affordable mattresses to a costly high-end variant with the same features and explain why the high-end variants are more expensive.
Let’s help your little ones sleep more peacefully, which subsequently will allow you to catch up on some much-needed rest!
Crib Mattresses at a Glance
What Is a Crib Mattress, and Who Can Use It?
As the name suggests, a crib mattress is designed for use in a crib. Babies and small toddlers can use this type of mattress until they are ready to sleep in a toddler or single bed. Some crib mattresses come with dual sides, meaning they can be flipped and the softer side used as the baby grows. This allows them to make the transition from baby mattress to toddler mattress in one easy flip.
Types of Crib Mattress
Crib mattresses are divided into 4 main categories depending upon the materials used in them and construction design. Parents should consider the pros and cons of each type before buying a mattress for their baby.
A foam mattress is the cheapest type of crib mattress. You will find a lot of these mattresses under 100 bucks. They are made from polyurethane or polyethylene foam. These mattresses are silent and don’t make much noise when you put your baby to sleep or when they shift while sleeping. However, synthetic materials make these mattresses less appealing to parents who prefer natural materials.
Innerspring mattresses are more costly than foam mattresses. These mattresses have a support core of interlocked springs and comfort layers to make the mattress optimally firm and supportive for your baby. The other benefits include adequate airflow and cooling properties.
Double-Sided Crib Mattress
A double-sided mattress is perfect for parents who have a tight budget. This is ideal because babies have a habit of growing very fast! Once your baby becomes a toddler, you can flip the mattress to reveal the softer side. Two mattresses in one!
Crib mattresses are also made from natural or recycled materials. These innovative mattresses have some advantages and drawbacks. Parents should carefully evaluate these mattresses before buying one for their babies, as you cannot risk anything when it comes to your little tike’s sleeping comfort!
Important Features to Consider Before Buying a Crib Mattress
The rule is simple, if your baby doesn’t sleep well, you won’t sleep well. As you know, an infant sleeps for more than 18 hours a day. As your babies grow, they sleep less but require more comfort and support. Hence, purchasing the right crib mattress is very crucial. Parents should be vigilant when buying a cheap crib mattress and look for the following must-haves in terms of features.
Make sure that you are buying a mattress that will fit snugly in the crib. Mattress manufacturers are required by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to adhere to the sizing requirements for full-size and non-full-size cribs. However, you must check the dimensions before buying and compare it with the crib you intend to purchase or already own.
Even though the type of crib mattress you select is important, the approval of the materials by the Federal Government takes precedence. Additionally, the construction process must be taken into consideration because some mattresses are made better than others. The quality of stitching, fabric, and foam used in the manufacturing process all impact the durability of the mattress thus making it important to consider this in the selection process.
Firmness Level and Support
CDC recommends a firm mattress for babies and a softer one for toddlers. Softer mattresses make it easier for babies to roll on their stomachs which can become a suffocation hazard. A crib mattress may appear excessively hard to parents, but it is the safest and wisest choice for infants.
Infant mattresses are bound to get wet as baby diapers often leak. Therefore, you must look for a mattress that offers waterproofing and convenience when cleaning it. An ideal infant mattress should be cleaned by simply wiping it. Some manufacturers offer washable mattresses, and some also come with materials that must be used with a waterproof mattress cover.
The best crib mattress will have a temperature control mechanism. It must be highly breathable to ensure that your baby doesn’t get excessively hot while sleeping on a hot day. On the contrary, it must also keep your baby warm during cold winter nights.
Parents must try to get a mattress that has been rated safe for infants. Some of the certifications to look for are Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), Greenguard Gold certification, and CertiPUR-US certification. Some manufacturers go one step further and offer additional features like hypo-allergenic materials and antibacterial properties.
Look for warranty covers when buying a cheap crib mattress. These offer peace of mind and ensure that you get the best value for your money.
Crib Mattress Safety
Safety is crucial when buying a crib mattress and we know that all parents want their kids to stay safe. The Federal government has done its part by regulating materials and sizes for crib mattresses; the rest is up to the parents. We are here to make sure that you play your part in keeping your kids safe when sleeping on crib mattresses.
- Sleeping Positions for Babies: A back sleeping position is best for babies. Research shows that babies who sleep on their backs are at a far lower risk of suffocation than babies sleeping on their stomachs and sides. It also helps avoid vomiting and choking as the back sleeping position protects their trachea from collapsing.
- Avoid Soft Objects: Federal guidelines recommend parents avoid placing soft toys, plush pillows, soft beddings, crib bumpers, and any other soft object in baby cribs. These items pose a suffocation and SIDS risk.
- Remove Dangers Around the Crib: Parents must place the crib in a safe place. Items like hanging cords from curtains and blinds, baby monitors, nearby objects on shelving, and damage to the crib itself are all considered dangerous for infants and toddlers. In addition, ensure that there is nothing within reach that babies can pull on while asleep or after waking up.
- Snug Fit: The mattress must fit in the crib snugly because a loose or large mattress fitted forcefully in the crib can be a risk for the baby.
- Mattress Condition: Parents should inspect the mattress daily for damage or soiling before use. You should also check the mattress regularly for odors and mildew.
Crib Mattress Caring Instructions
- Always keep the crib mattress neat and clean.
- Make sure you only wash a machine-friendly mattress.
- Use a non-chemical and natural detergent for washing your baby mattress cover.
- Never overweight your mattress.
- Don’t let older kids or siblings sit or sleep on the crib mattress.
- Always use a crib mattress in a crib and not on the floor or your bed.
How to Clean a Crib Mattress
Cleaning your crib mattress depends on the particular mattress you purchase. For example, a waterproof mattress requires different care when compared to one which is machine washable. The first step for cleaning your crib mattress is going through the user manual.
It is important to note that many crib mattresses can be cleaned in a fairly similar way. This can be achieved by following the steps listed below.
- Start by vacuuming the sides and edges of the mattress to remove dry debris, dust, and waste.
- Remove stains, if any, by applying a paste of baking soda or any other non-toxic cleaning agents recommended by the manufacturer. You may need to do a little scrubbing if the stains are stubborn.
- Let the paste dry and wipe it off with a clean cloth.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and add a baby-friendly detergent. Next, scrub and spot clean the mattress.
- Rinse with fresh water. Make sure you use a damp sponge or a gentle brush and don’t pour water over the mattress.
- Dry the crib mattress with a clean, dry towel and let it sit in a place with ample airflow. Only place your mattress in the sun if the manufacturer recommends it.
- For machine-friendly covers, place the cover in the washing machine and add baby-friendly detergent. Next, add some softener and then run the machine on gentle settings. Finally, follow the manufacturer guidelines for drying the cover. If the cover is dryer-friendly, always use a delicate setting to dry the cover.
Reusing Crib Mattress – Yay or Nay
Each mattress has a lifetime, and it may start to disintegrate over time. The foam may begin to sag and lose its shape after 4-5 years of use. Reusing a mattress depends on the length of time it was initially used.
For example, if you used a mattress for 2 years maximum and then stored it in a safe place while following all the storage instructions, it would still be safe to use for a second child. An ideal reusable mattress is one that the manufacturer has not recalled, is firm to touch with zero sagging and disintegration, has good support at edges, and looks as good as new. Make sure that you properly clean your mattress and spray it with baby-friendly sanitizers.
Overall, it is a great idea to use a crib mattress for the second child, provided that it fulfills all the criteria discussed above.
Review of the 5 Best Value Crib Mattresses
We will review the 5 best cheap crib mattresses and their costly versions to let our readers understand the differences between a cheap and expensive mattress with similar features.
Delta children’s mattress offers a non-toxic construction that is safe for infants and toddlers. The mattress comes with a 3-layer design for maximum comfort and support for your little ones. The top layer is a waterproof cover, followed by a premium firm fiber core made from up-cycled plastic bottles. The third layer is a soft layer that is ideal for toddlers. You can just flip your mattress when your infant becomes a toddler.
This mattress is not only best for your baby, but it is also great for the environment as it will save 300 plastic bottles from going into landfills. There is no need to worry about plastic in your baby’s mattress as it comes with certifications like CertiPUR-US, GREENGUARD GOLD, ASTM, and is free from chemical flame retardants.
The mattress measures 52.5 x 27.5 x 6 inches, weighs 9 pounds, and comes with a 7-year warranty. The top cover is stain-resistant so that you can use this mattress for years to come. It is recommended for ages 0-5.
MORE EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE
Its costly variant, Serta Perfect, has almost all the same features reviewed above. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the cheaper version offers better features. The costly Serta Perfect is 5 inches thick and weighs 12.4 pounds compared to the 6 inches thick and 9 pounds cheaper variant. The warranty, certification, and materials used in the making are also the same. As a result, the Delta crib mattress is more popular with buyers compared to Serta Perfect.
Some parents prefer buying an innerspring mattress for their infants but can’t afford one. Dream On Me Twilight’s cheap crib mattress is the right match for you if you want a quality innerspring mattress under $100.
The mattress features a web of 88 interwoven heat tempered coils and a 6-gauge steel border wire around the mattress to give a firm foundation and matchless comfort to your baby.
This mattress is also a dual-sided mattress that will last until your infant becomes a toddler. Subsequently, you can use this mattress for 0-5-year-old kids. The waterproof cover and locked stitched binding prevent liquids from seeping inside the mattress, thus keeping your mattress germ-free. Additionally, airflow pockets keep the mattress cool and fresh without the use of metal vents which are prone to rust and corrosion.
It is an easy-to-clean mattress. Simply wipe the mattress with mild soap and warm water to clean any stains from the top cover.
The mattress is GreenGuard Gold certified, JPMA and ASTMA certified. It comes with a 10-year warranty and fits all the standard-sized cribs. It is also one of the safest mattresses in the cheap crib mattress category. The mattress features 2 hypo-allergenic layers and an antibacterial layer to prevent mildew and odors from developing. Moreover, the mattress passes all Flammability tests (16 CFR 1632 /1633) and also passes phthalate, lead, and toxicity tests.
MORE EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE
This mattress has a costly version as well, for example – the Serta Tranquility Eco Firm Crib mattress. However, in this case, you would be paying more for getting 120 inner-coil springs and an extended warranty. The extra springs are just a luxury and they make the mattress heavier.
Milliard’s premium memory foam crib mattress is another top-of-the-line, cheap and budget-friendly crib mattress. The mattress features a plush washable bamboo cover that offers the perfect combination of comfort and support from head to toe, promoting a healthier and more restful sleep for your little one.
The mattress is constructed with a firm foam base covered in a high-quality and soft memory foam layer. This combination ensures that the mattress will retain its shape and not sag over time.
This mattress is designed to adhere to the ever-increasing needs of your baby’s body. The bamboo cover provides a waterproof finish and maximizes airflow to help regulate the body temperature of your infant and toddler. In addition, Milliard’s mattress has been made to evenly distribute your baby’s body weight for a more comfortable and noiseless sleeping experience.
All Milliard mattresses are CertiPur Certified and free from VOCs and heavy metals. The bamboo cover is machine washable and will maintain its original shape for years to come.
MORE EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE
Babelio offers a costly version of this mattress. It comes with additional ventilation holes to keep the mattress cool. Babelio’s mattress is suitable for warmer areas where you need to keep the sleeping area of your baby cool.
It is one of the cheapest crib mattresses you will ever find. The mattress has all the necessary features that you would want for your baby.
To begin with, it comes with CPC certification and passes all flammability tests such as 16 CFR 1632,1633, phthalate, lead, and toxicity tests.
The mattress features rounded corners and fine solid edges to give a safe and comfortable sleeping area for your infants as they grow. The mattress won’t sag, thus preventing the little ones from rolling over onto their stomachs. In addition, it is made from approved materials and passes many quality tests to ensure that it will not develop odors over time.
Unlike other mattresses that come in plain covers, it has an attractive cover. The mattress is made from soundproof material, so you won’t have to worry about any sounds when your baby shifts in their sleep.
Please note that this mattress is only 3 inches thick. Hence, you must compare the dimensions of this mattress (38L x 26W x 3H) before buying one. It is best for non-full-size cribs.
MORE EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE
Hiccapop’s Pack and Play Mattress Pad is a costly alternative to Vibe Bear’s pack and play mattress. Hiccapop’s mattress is 0.25 inches thicker than this one but lacks an attractive pattern and cover design. It causes one to ponder whether an additional 0.25-inches in thickness is worth the costly price tag.
Dream on Me is the last mattress on our list of cheap crib mattresses. The mattress comes with an inner core made of eco-fiber for extra support. It is surrounded by an embossed soft vinyl cover with waterproof binding to keep the mattress fresh for years to come.
The mattress is GreenGuard Gold certified to ensure the highest level of health and peace of mind. In addition, it will help your baby sleep peacefully so that you get some sleep as well.
Please note that this mattress is best for mini-sized cribs only and has a thickness of 3 inches. It is not designed for parks and plays and standard cribs. The waterproof covering makes the mattress easy to clean using mild dishwashing soap and warm water.
The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty and is lead and phthalate tested. This mattress passes the Federal Standard Flammability Standard 16 CFR 1633. It is also JPMA certified.
MORE EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE
Portable Foam Crib Mattress by Colgate Mattress is a costly mattress with almost the same features. There is no difference in both mattresses other than the mattress cover, which is just a visual difference. The Dream On Me Mattress is very popular with buyers compared to Colgate Mattress. The reviews and ratings speak volumes about it.
Delta Children Twinkle Stars Dual-Sided and Dream On Me Twilight are the best crib mattresses for limited budget buyers.
A crib mattress can cost from $30 to $300. The price varies depending on the size and materials used in the making.
A crib mattress is good for 4-5 years. A high-quality crib mattress will last for your kid’s infancy and toddler stage of growth.
Yes. It can be reused if the mattress is firm and feels like new.
Many crib mattresses are designed to be flipped and the softer side is used as the baby matures into a toddler. However, some are only good for infancy. If your mattress is in good condition, hygienic, firm, and it has not become misshaped, you can store it to use for a second child. If it is not in good shape or damaged, dispose of the mattress according to the user manual.