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Best Lightweight Mattress: Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress

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.

• Affordable.

• 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.

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Best Budget-Friendly: Dream On Me Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

Yes, some baby crib mattresses can cost more than your mortgage payment . . . but why?

What you need is a quality, firm mattress with a waterproof cover—and that is what we found from Dream on Me’s Spring Crib and Toddler Mattress. At a price that is easy on the wallet. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Spring coils. Some parents are concerned with the chemicals used in foam crib mattresses; this mattress is made of spring coils.

• Waterproof cover.

• Greenguard Gold.

• Made in USA.

• Hypoallergenic. 

What Needs Work

• Heavy. At 12 lbs., this mattress weighs more than the Graco option (7 lbs.). Of course, coil mattresses typically weigh more than foam options!

• Foam insulating layer. Yes, this mattress has an 80 coil innerspring, but there is a foam layer of insulation. On the plus side, the foam is hypoallergenic. However, if you want a more earth-friendly foam option, see the next recommendation.

• Noisy. The waterproof cover makes noise when baby moves around. This isn’t a safety concern, but it bothers some folks.

• Could be more firm. We think this mattress is appropriately firm—but some of our readers thought it wasn’t firm enough.

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Best Earth-Friendly: Milliard Hypoallergenic Baby Crib Mattress

Babies spend a good amount of time on their crib mattress. In recent years, there’s been increasing scrutiny of the petro chemicals used in foam crib mattresses and whether they contribute to poor indoor air quality.

While there is no evidence linking chemicals used in foam crib mattresses to specific health concerns, we know some folks would prefer a more earth-friendly option here. That is where CERTIPUR foam comes in.

The Milliard Hypoallergenic mattress is made from CERTIPUR foam, which is specially engineered to reduce chemicals some folks would prefer to avoid.  Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Earthy friendly materials. This mattress contains CERTIPUR foam. This foam is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates.

• Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million).

• Waterproof cover that can be wiped clean.

• Lightweight (8.1 pounds).

What Needs Work

• Waterproof cover could be more durable. We see reports that the waterproof layer of this mattress can disintegrate over time. This can necessitate the purchase of a separate waterproof mattress cover . . . which is sub-optimal.

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Best Mattress Made in USA: Serta Perfect Start Fiber Core Crib and Toddler Mattress

Many crib mattresses sold today are made in China. There’s nothing wrong with those mattresses, of course—but we know some parents would prefer to purchase one made in the US.

After looking at several different mattresses that are made in the US, we think Serta’s Perfect Start crib mattress is the best bet. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Polyester fiber core provides stable, firm surface.

• Dual sided: firm side for babies, less firm side for toddlers. That gives this mattress longer use.

• Greenguard Gold.

• Easy to clean.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Heavy at 12 lbs. This mattress is similar in weight to coil mattresses, even though it doesn’t have a coil innerspring.

• Durability could be better. We see reports from some of our readers that this mattress can sag after several months of use. We didn’t see that in the sample we tested, however.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby gear, including crib mattresses, since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward safety, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews.

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