Parent truth: diapers leak. At 2am.
That means changing sheets on your baby’s crib . . . sometimes more than once a day or night. When it comes to the best baby crib mattresses, one often overlooked feature is weight—the lighter the weight, the more happy you will be.
That’s one lesson we’ve learned from 25+ years of reviewing and rating crib mattresses. (Yes, that long!). We’ve continually surveyed our readers about crib mattresses over the years and that one feature (weight) is mission critical.
Yes, you want a FIRM crib mattress for safety reasons . . . but nearly all crib mattresses sold today fit that bill. What varies is weight, price and the mattress insides (some are more earth-friendly than others).
Good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good, safe crib mattress.
For the best lightweight mattress at a price that is easy on the wallet, we like Graco’s Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress. It weighs just 7 lbs.—making those midnight crib sheet changes much easier than other mattresses that can tip the scales at 20+ pounds!
What We Liked
• Firm. Babies should always sleep on a firm surface that is covered with just a sheet—this mattress fits the bill.
• Good quality. This mattress has a polyurethane foam core.
• Lightweight at just 7 lbs.
• Comes compressed into a small box. That makes it easy to store if you don’t need it immediately.
• Greenguard Gold.
What Needs Work
• Need to give 2 weeks to allow for “proper expansion.” When taken out of the box, it needs to decompress—the maker says that should be 2 weeks. That means if you need a crib mattress RIGHT NOW, this may not be the best choice.
• Cover is only water resistant. That doesn’t mean waterproof. Some of our readers felt it needed another waterproof mattress cover, especially if their baby had frequent diaper leaks. On the plus side, the cover is removable and washable (cold water, delicate cycle and hang dry).
• Made in China. Many crib mattresses are made in China and they meet US safety standards when sold in the US . . . but we know some parents would prefer a made-in-the-USA crib mattress. See later in this article for a recommendation for that.
• Sometimes didn’t fully expand. The mattress we sampled expanded to a full five-inch depth, but we see reports from other parents that the mattress only expanded to four or so inches.
• Not dual sided for toddlers. Some mattresses have dual firmness—one side that is firm for babies and a slightly less firm side for toddlers. This mattress has just one firmness level. We think that is adequate.