The safety and care of our infant child are of paramount importance. Promoting healthy sleep is a critical component in the development of their young lives given that close to half of their time before the age of five is spent sleeping or dozing; with newborns, babies sleep up to 16 hours daily. Providing a cozy sleep environment, including a comfortable crib mattress and the best crib mattress pad, is essential.
Safety is the first consideration. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is thought to be related to an inability of the baby to roll over to clear their airway to breathe. For this reason, a crib mattress (and the best crib mattress pad) should not be too soft preventing the infant from being able to flip their little body over to clear their airway when necessary. Also, as regulated by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, any crib mattress cover or topper must be roughly 52 inches in height by 28 inches in width to fit over the crib mattress properly without leaving gaps on any side larger enough to trap their tiny fingers between the bedding and the side of the crib.
Most of the best crib mattress pad reviews feature products that are used as comfortable covers to place over a crib mattress and around its side. The intention is to offer a waterproof, hypoallergenic, and breathable cover that withstands spills and accidents. It is also possible to buy a crib mattress topper which includes a filling that provides additional padded support for a baby. The filling for these toppers including foam that’s certified with the CertiPUR-US mark for safety and non-toxic materials. One of the products reviewed is this type – rather than being only a cover – offering memory foam support below its cover.
When shopping for a new crib mattress pad cover, there are some important criteria to consider:
- The surface must be flat to avoid instances where the baby is unable to move around and flip over when they need to.
- The cover needs to be breathable and waterproof. Usually, this is delivered via a cotton or cotton-like top and a waterproof breathable membrane underneath.
- Either the cover unzips, or the entire crib mattress pad is machine washable as a one piece. In many cases, it’s only possible to wash a product on a low to medium heat setting to maintain the waterproof membrane layer present.
- When the product is a topper, then the filling needs to be safe for babies to sleep on and breathe in.
- The size of the product must approximately match the 52-inches by 28-inches inch regulated size (within a margin of error) to fit properly over the crib mattress.
- The skirt or elasticated fitting on the corners and sides must be long/deep enough to fit over the crib mattress to secure the cover or topper in position and avoid it sliding.
Our recommended crib mattress pads reviewed below all adhere to the above criteria.
Best 5 Crib Mattress Pads of 2017:
The American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Mattress Pad Cover is made of 100% polyester at the top and bottom points but uses a type of vinyl that’s waterproof in the middle area. The product measures approximately 52 inch x 28 inch x 5.5 inches to perfectly fit inside a crib and above a crib mattress up to 5.5 inches thick. The waterproofing is designed to avoid accidents leaking down to the crib mattress which could damage it and cause dampness, mildew, and mold build up.
To ensure that the corners don’t curl up, they have been reinforced with elastic to keep the mattress pad perfectly in position at all times even with the most active of infant or toddler. The elastic is long enough to fit well around a standard crib mattress size to keep both the mattress and bed cover together.
The product is machine washable in a washing load of similar colors to avoid the bleach through of colors onto the polyester. Per the manufacturer, a non-chlorine bleach may be used, but do ensure that the washing cycle is long enough to remove all bleach from the thoroughly cleaned crib mattress pad cover so it is not harmful to your baby. It is also possible to tumble dry this mattress cover on a low setting to make it ready for use sooner while not damaging its size and form.
• Perfectly sized for a standard crib mattress
• Waterproof polyester exterior and vinyl interior
• Supports a crib mattress up to 6 inches’ deep
• Prevents accidental leakage from infant to crib mattress
• Machine washable crib mattress cover
• Use a non-chlorine bleach to remove stubborn stains
• Top fabric is soft but has a mixed fabric/plastic feel to it which creates noise when the baby is rolling around on it
• Wash carefully as the material is sensitive to pilling quickly when treated roughly
• Tumble dry should be limited to a low setting which slows down the drying process
• Inexpensiveness of the product sometimes shows in the overall quality and durability over time
2. Milliard 2-Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Crib/Toddler Bed Mattress Topper with Removable Waterproof 65-Percent Cotton Non-Slip Cover
The Milliard Baby Crib Memory Foam Mattress Topper screams quality all the way. The design is convenient with a main foam center and a waterproof 65% cotton fabric cover that unzips easily. This mattress topper measures 52 inches x 27 inches x 2 inches and will fit any standard crib mattress successfully without leaving any gaps for the toddler to catch their tiny fingers.
NOTE: The product is intended for toddlers (older babies) to use, but not young infants who require a firmer base to lie on.
The 2-inch layer of 100% memory foam is 11 ILD rated, with a 3-pound density. It is also CertiPUR-US certified to ensure it does not use any materials that are harmful to breathe in. The advantage of memory foam is that a shallow indentation is made when the baby lies on top of it, hugging him or her closely without allowing them to sink in too far. The feeling for the infant is a little like being hugged which is helpful in their getting to sleep and dreaming for longer without interruption. The foam is also ventilated to permit air to flow within the foam itself which ensures heat doesn’t build up causing tossing and turning.
The cotton mix fabric cover is hypoallergenic and waterproof. It has a zipper to remove it and throw it in the wash. The fabric lets the memory foam breathe better to control heat levels well. There is some off-gassing, like with all memory foam-based products, which dissipates within a reasonable period. Do not let the baby sleep on this pad until the off-gassing cycle has completed 100%.
• Crib mattress topper for toddlers made from 2-inch layer of 100% memory foam
• Ventilated foam base is 11 ILD rated, 3-pound density, and CertiPUR-US certified to confirm it is safe from harmful substances
• Mix fabric cotton cover is hypoallergenic, waterproof and is removable for careful washing
• 2-inch memory foam allows the baby to sink a little into the pad to simulate gentle hugging
• Use of memory foam may add a little-unintended heat either on its own or to the crib mattress below it
• Infants likely to be better sleeping on a non-memory foam pad in the first months of their young lives
• Off-gassing will occur as the product is memory foam. The product needs to be left to off-gas for up to several days before it can be used.
• Some parents will not like the idea of their toddler sleeping on a softer surface or one made of foam
The Hello Baby Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover is an affordable solution to avoiding spills directly on the baby mattress that damages it. The central core is a breathable membrane that uses a bamboo fabric that is extremely absorbent. The bamboo terry cloth fabric is soft enough for the baby to lie directly on it and fall asleep. The combination is designed to be hypoallergenic and non-toxic to avoid creating allergies in a young child.
Using this mattress pad cover ensures that the crib mattress below it won’t become a place for bacteria to grow and multiply. The product measures approximately 51 inches by 27 inches, which makes it a reasonable fit for a standard size crib mattress.
The product’s cover is easy to remove and toss into the wash. It is machine washable, which makes it a simple matter to resolve any spills quickly. Some care does need to be taken with the fabric cover to ensure it isn’t damaged with an unusually vigorous or hot washing cycle. Tumble drying is usually possible, but again, the cycle needs to be a light one to avoid the soft terry cloth material from becoming damaged.
• Soft crib mattress cover with Terry cloth and bamboo fiber material
• Firmness of the pad avoids the baby sinking into the cover too far
• Breathable, hypoallergenic and waterproof cover
• Quilted cover is soft and doesn’t make crinkly noises like some other crib mattress covers
• Only wash on a primary cycle to prevent damage to the fabric cover.
• Product measures only 51 inches by 27.5 inches which may leave a small gap on one side of the crib.
• Repeated washing may deplete the waterproofing on the underside, so care must be taken when machine is washing the product.
• With a hot wash, it’s possible the product may shrink or lose its waterproof protective layer.
The waterproof crib mattress cover from Margaux & May improves a crib mattress by providing a secondary layer of protection from spills and unfortunately accidents by the little one.
The cover is made from bamboo and viscose which is breathable and absorbent at the same time. The fabric is both cool in the summer time and keeps the toddler or infant warm enough in winter. Moisture is successfully wicked away before it builds up excessively and causes the baby to wake up and start crying because of their damp surroundings.
The product measures 52 inches by 28 inches and has a generous 9-inch thick skirt to enable it to fit over the crib mattress below it. The cover is easy to remove, wash and then refit over the mattress again later.
• Bamboo and viscose cover that is hypo-absorbent to soak up spills and accidents by the baby
• Waterproof TPU breathable membrane with bamboo fibers that lets air circulate better
• Product measures 52 inches by 28 inches to fit any infant or toddler crib mattress
• Fabric is free of lead, 100% Phthalate Free, and BPA Free
• Machine washable cover
• Mattress cover sometimes bunches up and won’t always lie flat. Especially the case after washing the product.
• Fitted elastic doesn’t always stretch far enough to fit the crib mattress below. It depends on how thick the crib mattress is as to whether the elastic is long enough.
• The cover is a little coarse rather than as soft as some other crib mattress covers.
• The plastic-like coating on the underside of the cover doesn’t wash well on high heat (wash on low heat setting only). High heat settings destroy the underside waterproofing.
The Ultra Soft Waterproof Crib Mattress Protector Pad From Bamboo Rayon Fiber from Margaux & May offers a tad of luxury for your baby. This crib mattress protector has a quilted terry cloth top which feels like a pillow top mattress with its softness and warmth. Unlike some other covers, there is no plastic rustling sound when the infant or toddler moves around on the protector pad either.
The product measures 28 inches by 52 inches by 9 inches. The 9-inch skirt ensures that the elasticated sides will completely fit around the crib mattress below it. The size of this protector matches the standard crib mattress size to avoid any space around the sides where little fingers could get trapped accidentally.
The bamboo rayon fiber material beneath the terry cloth is breathable to help air flow and keep heat levels down. It is waterproof too which helps avoid unfortunate messes seeping down into the mattress below which could damage it. The protector is washable with the terry cloth returning to its white color after each cleaning.
• Quilted, white, soft terry cloth top that is comfortable and plush
• No crinkle sounds when the baby moves around
• Waterproof for minor spills
• Bamboo rayon fiber used to ensure breathability and airflow through wicking away of unwanted odors
• Uses eco-friendly polyurethane which some parents may not want near their young baby
• Waterproofing won’t withstand a considerable spill, only minor ones
• Not as soft as some other pads despite using terry cloth
The bestselling product and our winning protective crib mattress pad cover is the American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Mattress Pad Cover. It is an inexpensive solution to provide a cover to a more expensive baby mattress below it. It is suitable for mattresses up to 6-inches thick, and machine washable. There is a crinkly sound when the baby moves around on it due to the waterproofed underside. It is one of the most affordable products on our list. However, there are some other excellent choices to consider.
The Milliard 2-Inch Ventilated Memory Foam Crib/Toddler Bed Mattress Topper is an attractive option for parents who feel their current crib mattress isn’t soft enough. This topper isn’t only a cover but has a 2-inch layer of dense memory foam to provide an additional layer of support. Aimed at toddlers rather than infants due to the indentation that happens when a little body lies down on the memory foam, for older babies, this Milliard product is an interesting choice.
One common feature among the remaining three products reviewed is the use of bamboo/bamboo rayon fiber within the cover to allow it to breathe and ventilate warm air away from the mattress and cover alike. In each case, the waterproof cover slips quickly over the crib mattress below. They’re also easily removable to place the cover in the wash.
PRODUCT TIP: It should be noted that care needs to be taken when washing these kinds of crib covers. Typically, they have a softer top side and a waterproof membrane on the underside. The membrane is often susceptible to the type of heat and abuse that modern tumble drying put fabrics through and often this damages the waterproofing which can peel off. As such, a low heat setting is needed to protect the product. One might even consider hanging the washed crib mattress cover on the washing line to dry as the gentlest method. When choosing to do this, buying a couple of mattress covers is probably the best idea to be able to rotate them and allow more time for the drying process to complete.