As new parents, you will be thrown into a world of nursery building, toy selection, baby clothes, and everything your newborn can ever need. But if you want to ensure that the baby sleeps a healthy amount without disrupting your rejuvenating nap, you need to invest in a proper crib mattress.
Unsurprisingly, the market offers an array of crib types and sizes of crib mattresses. The ultimate decision of picking out your favorite type and crib mattress size rests upon you. So, before making the purchase, familiarize yourself with the options and buy the best for your little one.
Types of Cribs
The different types of cribs, varied in terms of shape and size, are – standard cribs, mini cribs, and shaped cribs.
|Standard Cribs||Mini Cribs||Shaped Cribs|
|Dimensions (in inches)||28 in x 52 in||24 in x 38 in||Varies based on shape|
|Dimensions (in cm)||71.12 cm x 132.08 cm||60.96 cm x 96.52 cm||Varies based on shape|
Standard cribs are the most preferred choice amongst parents, with a dimension of 28 inches by 52 inches. While it is bigger and more expensive than the mini crib, it has its own advantages.
Since it is large, the crib can be used for a longer time. Many manufacturers also produce them so that they can be later converted into toddler beds. So, once your child learns how to escape the crib, you can immediately switch it up.
However, if you want to do something different, then buy a toddler-sized bed and bed frame with the same standard crib mattress.
As the name suggests, Mini cribs are smaller than standard cribs, with the dimensions of 24 inches wide and 38 inches long. Its small size is its most significant advantage as it fits in the nursery of the smallest size.
They're ideal for parents who want their toddlers to share the room with their siblings or they're twins. You can install it in the grandparents' house for an easier and more convenient overnight stay.
For more accessibility, mini cribs with wheels would be an excellent option. It would enable you to roll it around the nursery and change rooms. Just be sure to lock the wheels to avoid any accidents.
Finally, mini cribs are inexpensive and less draining on your wallet due to their size and material. But before deciding based on the price, remember that your baby will soon outgrow the crib – maybe in a year or two. So, you would have to invest in another bed again.
Now, you can go for something cute and adorable instead of going with boring and regular crib shapes. The baby market certainly does not have a shortage of them! You can get oval or circle-shaped ones with similar-shaped mattresses to match.
They are a good option if you wish to do something unique and out of the box for the nursery. They are bigger than mini cribs but smaller than the standard size.
How to Choose the Right Crib Mattress Size?
With the perfect crib size goes the ideal crib mattress. But before choosing the right crib mattress size, you need to understand the difference between mattress sizes.
Since it is a matter of your little one's safety, you have to ensure that the mattress fits snugly inside the crib with as little space as possible. A bigger gap can be hazardous. Just try to insert two of your fingers inside the gap, and if you can do so easily, then you might need a new one.
Standard Crib Mattress Size
Typically used as the mattress size for baby cribs, the dimensions of a standard size crib mattress are 28 inches by 52 inches. As stated by Consumer Products Safety Commission, the mattress cannot and shouldn't be more than 6 inches thick and at least 51 1/4 inches long and 27 1/4 inches wide.
If you have selected a standard crib for your baby's good night's sleep, then it will be a standard crib mattress to go with it. The sizes of crib mattresses are often regulated, but of course, they have some wiggle room.
The standard crib can be ⅝ inches smaller or larger than a 28 by 52 ⅜ regulated rectangle. While the standard size mattress can fit inside the standard crib, you can face trouble due to this slight variation. So, be sure to measure everything!
Mini Crib Mattress Size
To fit the smaller-sized mini crib is the mini crib mattress. Unlike the standard size mattress, the government does not regulate the size of mini crib mattresses. However, they usually come in the dimensions of 24 inches wide and 38 inches long.
In most cases, expect to get the size right in the very first instance. But for precautionary measures, double-check the fit in case it leaves any gaps since these mattresses are narrower than others.
They also come in different depths varieties, so research the dimensions thoroughly before making the purchase.
Shaped Crib Mattress Size
There is no government-issued or standard specification attached to the dimensions of shaped crib mattresses. They tend to vary according to the shapes, and the crib almost always comes attached to the mattress.
If you own a shaped crib, the same rules apply to the other two variations – the mattress shouldn't be too big or too small. If the crib does not already come installed with a mattress, use a tape measure to determine the dimensions and decide on the mattress accordingly.
How to Choose a Crib Mattress?
Now you know how to select the mattress size, but of course, the journey of finding the perfect mattress doesn't end there. There are several other factors that can influence your decision. They include:
First and most important – the crib mattress should be firm and solid. It helps protect the baby by reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the third major reason for infant deaths in the USA. Reportedly, the country experiences 2500 infant deaths each year due to SIDS.
It is an unexpected death that occurs in infants below 1-year-old, sometimes caused by suffocation. Soft mattresses are responsible for increasing the chances of suffocation. Hence, the firmer the mattress, the safer baby would be.
To test the mattress' firmness, press around the edges and the center. If it springs back immediately, then it is firm and, therefore, safe. Firm mattresses also provide the much-needed support for babies when they roll over, push up and stand.
Breathable mattresses are integral to a baby's healthy sleep cycle. It helps in the promotion of airflow in the bed and prevents disruptions in sleep due to heat. Innerspring mattresses' coils circulate air within the mattress, which keeps the bed cool.
If you prefer foam mattresses, then the all-latex version will be a good idea. It is naturally cool and will keep the baby comfortable. However, most parents tend to prefer organic mattresses because they have fewer chemical compounds.
Check for the GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) label when purchasing an organic mattress. These certificates are the mark that the mattress contains more than 70% natural materials.
An innerspring mattress has a thickness of 5 to 6 inches, while a foam mattress boasts a thickness between 4 to 6 inches. Both types provide enough support and comfort. Just ensure that the thickness does not exceed 6 inches; otherwise, there would be a risk of falling.
A full size crib mattress generally costs around $150, but you can easily find versions more expensive or cheaper. The price comes down to the materials and features included. If you want a luxurious one, studded with all amenities like waterproofing, etc., then it will cost extra bucks.
Crib mattresses are an investment and if you want them to last longer, then go for a reversible crib mattress with a firm and less firm side. They are distinctly marked so that you can use the firm side for infants and the less firm side for toddlers.
But before you make the transition between the two sides, be sure to check once with a pediatrician.
Choosing a crib and its mattress is not really hard, as long as you know what you need to look out for! Once you acquaint yourself with the must-haves and avoidables, you can go shopping like a pro. Remember that a baby's health and safety depend on that mattress, and there is no point in compromising!