Selecting the Perfect Crib Mattress
When shopping for a crib mattress, it’s hard to know where to begin. Local stores rarely carry more than a handful of mattresses, while online you can find a glut of choices. Despite not being the most glamorous baby purchase, a crib mattress is easily one of the most important baby purchases you’ll make, and deserves a bit of attention and research. After all, an infant spends up to 70% of their time on the crib mattress, and a toddler up to 50%. Just think about how often we use our beds.
What to Look For
While most people spend a good chunk of time picking out a safe crib made of non-toxic materials that meet government safety mandates, when it comes to crib mattresses, there aren’t many regulations to go by. Here are a few key things to look for that indicate a good mattress:
This is probably the single most important factor to consider when choosing a mattress, since soft bedding has been linked to SIDS. Test a mattress’ firmness by standing it on its short side, and squeezing the middle as hard as you can with your palms on both sides of the mattress. The harder you have to push the firmer the mattress is. Keep in mind that the correct firmness will seem painfully hard compared to our own adult beds.
The size for all standard crib mattresses is regulated by the federal government and is 27 ½” x 52” with a max thickness of 6”. The mattress should fit snugly in the crib with no wiggle room.
3. Foam or Springs?
This is a matter of personal preference. I prefer foam since it’s slightly lighter and easier to change. With foam you want the densest mattress possible. Generally, the heavier the mattress, the better the mattress. Press down hard and remove your hand—the best foam mattresses should spring right back.
Convertible crib mattresses have a firmer side for infants and a slightly softer side for toddlers. This is an extremely versatile feature.
5. Fabric & Materials
The “ticking” or fabric that encases a mattress signals the quality. Good mattresses have multiple layers of quality materials covering the mattress and have either no binding or cloth binding.
Colgate is the oldest crib mattress manufacturer in the US (founded in 1955), and is family owned and operated. They are based out of Atlanta, Georgia and all of their mattresses and pads are made in the USA.
Colgate’s EcoClassica III Dual Firmness Crib Mattress: The Low-Down
I was looking for a high-quality foam crib mattress that is also convertible and made with safe, organic eco-friendly materials. Colgate’s EcoClassica III fit this bill perfectly.
This is an extremely stiff foam mattress, as advertised. I was expecting it to be hard as a board, but although it feels stiff compared to an adult bed, it’s not uncomfortably so. There is a good deal of support and the toddler side is noticeably softer, but is still very firm. When you press down hard on this mattress, it pops back up immediately, the foam bouncing back quickly.
There was no discernible odor when I unpacked the mattress, which was great. The Serta foam mattress I bought earlier this year had to be aired out for about a week before the chemical odors dissipated, while this Colgate crib mattress had no noticeable odor unless you actually put your nose directly to it—and still that was quite faint and has already faded.
This mattress fit perfectly in my crib. There is no extra wiggle room, and the fit is snug but not too tight.
Organic Fabric & Materials
The EcoClassica III is made with US-certified ecologically friendly foam made using plant oils. It’s Greenguard certified (passes all standards for indoor air quality and more than 10,000 volatile organic compounds) and features a certified organic cotton cover with a waterproof backing.
Colgate’s Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Mattress Cover
All crib mattresses need a waterproof mattress cover even though they often have waterproof backings. Yet after going to the trouble to find a mattress that is made of organic and chemical-free materials, it seems silly to cover up these high-quality materials with a mattress cover that isn’t equally eco-friendly. Enter the Colgate waterproof Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Mattress Cover. This way you’re protecting your mattress with a cover that is equivalent quality-wise to what the mattress begins as. Makes sense, right?
In the end, although I went to great lengths to get a good quality mattress for myself, it looks like baby will be sleeping pretty on a better bed than my own!
779 Fulton Terrace SE
Atlanta, GA 30316