Remember that princess who could feel a pea under her mattress, and couldn’t get a wink of shut eye? We know the mattress is the key to great sleep and sleep is super important for kids (and their parents). We’ve rounded up some of our favorite mattresses and broken down what we love about them and why it matters!
You spend a good part of your formative years sleeping so an organic mattress is our preferred solution! An organic mattress is made of all natural materials like coconut coir, wool (as the natural flame retardant), organic cotton, food grade polymers, natural latex and plant based foam. Non organic options can have chemicals (particularly in their chemical flame retardants) and can emit toxic gasses (off-gassing) which you obviously want to avoid.
Babies need very firm mattresses. Don’t worry if you don’t think it would be comfy for you! It’s important that they get a lot of support when they are young, and this is the safest option. Whether it’s foam, spring or an organic inner, it should not have much give as you push into it. According to Consumer Reports, you should press on the mattress in the center and edges and it should snap back into place readily, not conforming to the shape of your hand. Many have “dual sides” which is nice, as you’ll use this mattress when your child moves up to their toddler bed. At that point you have the option to flip the mattress to its cushier side (still firm but less so).
It starts with the right sized mattress. The good news is in the U.S., there is a standard size for mattresses, which matches the standard size for cribs. So you must establish that your crib is a standard sized crib and then you’re good to go. If it’s not, then the company will declare it and will offer a custom mattress size to work with it. For instance, at Babesta, the Bloom Alma Mini and Alma Papa, as well as the Stokke Sleepi crib all require custom mattress sizes, as they are either smaller than normal or oval. For the rest of the cribs, a standard mattress will suffice! Be aware, if you order your crib from abroad or have inherited a crib, you must establish the correct mattress size. European standards can be different, and if it’s vintage or antique, it is likely not compatible with today’s standards.
Breathable mattresses are preferred as they maximize air flow and are safest for babies. A breathable mattress allows for unencumbered breathing even when baby’s face is pressed against the mattress. Nook even alludes to doing the “hair dryer test” to see if you can feel the flow when aiming a dryer at the mattress.
The weight of the mattress matters as to the ease of changing the sheets. You’ll be changing them often, so be sure your chosen mattress is not so heavy that it is unduly difficult for you!
We love the Nook line as they have several options that are all top quality for organic mattresses. Our favorite is the Pure. It’s made of coconut coir, natural latex, wool and organic cotton. The cover, which distinctively has “pebbles” on it allowing for greater airflow, is not only a nice safety feature but also adds to its aesthetic. You can get an additional cover to change while one’s in the wash. They also make the Dream Cotton (filled with upcycled cotton denim, one of the most breathable fabrics, allowing for airflow and body temperature regulation,) and the Air Lightweight (with a breathable Certi-PUR US foam). These are of course Green Guard gold certified and made in the USA.
The Naturepedic mattresses are made in the US and feature either innersprings or lightweight “wavesupport”. Innersprings come in 150 coil or 252, for excellent firmness for baby. The firmer the better remember- baby’s coil mattresses should always be over 135 coils. The materials used on the Naturepedic mattresses include organic cotton, a patented waterproofing layer made of non-GMO sugarcane without glues or adhesives, and a pla layer (a high performance plant based material free from harmful chemicals) on the toddler side. These mattresses are firm, safe and made with the finest materials for your baby and for the environment!
Organic Mattress Cover
We’d always suggest an organic mattress cover to accompany the purchase of your mattress. Go with the mattress company you chose for the best fit. The mattress cover allows you to take something off the mattress to wash and prevents any accidents from penetrating the actual mattress (even though the mattress itself is waterproof). One to two extra covers should suffice!