Crib Mattresses – Part 2: Types of Mattresses
There are basically three types of crib mattresses: innerspring, foam and natural/green. Which you choose is your personal preference, but always remember, the firmer the mattress the better for your baby’s development.
- Innerspring mattresses consist of the spring unit, an insulator layer and cushioning layers – the more layers the better. The insulator usually consists of coir fiber and is what prevents the soft cushioning layers from sinking into the coils. On a good mattress you’ll never feel the coils as you run your hand over the mattress surface. Look for a mattress with the most and thickest coils – it’s generally the thickness of the steel used in the coils that ensures the firmness. The best mattresses also contain a border rod for extra firmness, support and overall durability. Be sure to have the store show you a cutaway of the mattress so that you’ll be certain of what’s actually inside that attractive cover.
- Foam mattresses are much lighter than innerspring. When judging foam mattresses, the heavier the mattress the more likely it consists of the firmest foam available – more foam, less air. Viscoelastic memory foam is also becoming very popular, especially when used on only one side of the mattress, allowing you to flip the mattress for your toddler, providing a firm, yet comfortable surface as she continues her growth.
- Natural/Green mattresses, often some of the firmest, are made with all or only some, components being natural or organic. These mattresses may offer organic cotton covers, as well as cushioning of natural cotton batting. The center core is usually spring or foam and may consist of ecologically friendlier materials, such as foam made from renewable plant oils. These ecologically friendly mattresses are usually more expensive, and while being better for the environment, may not prove to be better for your baby.
Your mattress will probably have a vinyl cover, and those with three or more reinforced layers will be the most durable. Also look for cloth bindings to provide stronger seams, and vents which allow your mattress to breathe.
At Baby’s Room & Kids Too we’ve chosen to exclusively offer Colgate brand mattresses. Colgate mattresses are consistently the highest rated, and meet all safety standards, including Greenguard certification.
And remember, your mattress may be used for more than one child. Buying the highest quality you can afford will assure you a favorable return on your investment, and peace of mind as your children grow.