Did you just buy a new crib mattress for your baby? If so, you’ll want to protect it from liquids, allergens, and other irritants that can harm both the mattress and your child.
Crib mattress pads are an affordable and effective way to add an extra layer of protection. At a modest price point, crib mattress pads really are a no-brainer.
This article will give you a short introduction to the different mattress pads out there. Then we’ll review the best ones on the market today.
Benefits of Crib Mattress Pads
As more expensive baby items, it makes sense that you want to use the same crib and mattress for your baby’s first months, if not years in the case of convertible cribs. The key to making that happen is ensuring your mattress stays clean and dry (1).
Many crib mattresses now come with waterproof covering and are super easy to clean. That’s great news for accidents that reach your mattress. However, adding an extra layer of protection is a good idea for several reasons.
Protects Your Mattress from Liquids
Liquids are the worst enemy of any mattress, and babies produce a lot of liquids, none of them pleasant. If liquids were to seep into the crib mattress, they could lead to the growth of mildew or mold. This isn’t good for baby’s health and can quickly reduce the lifespan of the mattress (2).
Crib mattress pads are a great way to add an extra barrier of protection against liquids. However, even crib mattress pads aren’t always 100 percent effective.
- Make your own cleaning agent: In many cases, a mixture of baking soda and water will do just fine. For bathroom accidents, a child-friendly, non-toxic mixture of soap and water can be used to kill germs.
- Dilute your cleaning agent: If you don’t feel comfortable making your own cleaner, it’s a good idea to dilute a regular household cleaner before using. This will expose your child to fewer chemicals.
- Dabbing is fine: Many times, we feel like we need to wash the whole mattress, rather than just the dirty spot. In reality, dabbing the accident area is usually all that’s necessary, and it will help save drying time.
Minimizes Clean Up Time
Crib mattress pads won’t stop your baby from having accidents or getting sick. They can, however, make it easier to deal with those moments.
Purchasing a mattress pad that is washer and dryer friendly will make this process even more streamlined and you probably only need two. For mattress pads that need to air dry, though, it’s a good idea to buy multiples to ensure you aren’t caught without a clean one in the middle of the night.
Protects Against Allergens and Bugs
Crib mattress pads may also help to protect your child’s mattress from mites, dust, and other environmental irritants. The immune systems of newborns are still developing, which can make them more sensitive to things like pollen or dust.
A crib mattress pad can keep these irritants from getting into the mattress itself, where it becomes incredibly difficult to get out. The mattress pads will need to be cleaned to ensure your baby isn’t exposed to allergies through the pad itself, but cleaning pads is much easier than cleaning your mattress.
For a baby with allergies or sensitive skin, you may want to look for a mattress pad that’s hypoallergenic, to ensure your baby is as comfortable as possible.
The Best Crib Mattress Pad of 2020
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of getting a mattress pad, we’ll review the best of the different options available. Not all crib mattress pads are the same!
Some focus on waterproofing, while others are made of organic materials. There are pads for mini cribs and full-size cribs. Whatever your family’s situation, there’s a crib mattress pad that should work for you.
1. Cozy Caterpillar Crib Mattress Pad
Having a baby is a time of consumerism. The list of products first-time parents are told they need continues to grow, but in some cases, you never even use the items you get. For this reason, many parents are beginning to understand the impact this can have on the environment. For some families, buying eco-friendly products is a top priority.
Designed by other mamas, this fitted crib mattress pad is made of premium quality bamboo velour. Bamboo has less of an impact on the environment than cotton, making this a great eco-friendly option. It also makes this pad hypoallergenic.
The pad is washer and dryer safe, so it’s easy to clean. Reviewers noted how thick the pad was, ensuring that it keeps liquids out. As a fitted pad, it slips over the top of the mattress but does not fully enclose it.
- Washer and dryer safe.
- Designed by moms with moms in mind.
- Does not fully enclose the mattress.
2. COZYCUDDLES Zippered Crib Protector
Most pads only cover the top of the crib mattress, but allergens can reach all sides. If you’re the parent of a baby who is super sensitive to allergens, you may want to find a crib mattress pad that completely encloses the mattress.
This mattress pad provides all-around coverage. The cover slips over the entire mattress and zips closed, to ensure bugs and allergens can’t get through.
It has a quilted top, which adds extra comfort and protection for the area where your baby is more likely to have accidents.
The materials are hypoallergenic for sensitive babies, and free of BPA, lead, vinyl, and latex. This pad also comes with a free, waterproof baby pillow cover.
- Fully covers mattress.
- Not dryer safe.
3. Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector
This mattress pad is made of 100 percent, organic cotton. The company is certified by GOTS, which is a worldwide textile standard for organic materials (5). This mattress pad is also made with reinforced seams, giving it long-term durability.
In addition to being GOTS certified, this is also free of many harsh chemicals. It doesn’t contain BPA, lead, phthalates, or latex. The pad is waterproof, using food-grade polyurethane that doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Made with certified organic cotton.
- Made for durability.
- Comfortable for baby.
- It takes a while to dry after cleaning.
4. Little One’s Pack N’ Play Crib Cover
Many parents choose to purchase a portable crib or pack n’ play for their child to sleep in during travels or visits to friends. Because these mattresses are typically smaller than traditional crib mattresses, they need a smaller mattress pad.
This pad can be machine washed and tumble dried, making the cleaning process much easier. It uses reinforced threads so that, even after many washes, this durable pad is still effective.
- Fits a wide array of portable cribs and pack n’ plays.
- Waterproof and hypoallergenic.
- Machine washable and dryable.
- Comfortable quilted top.
- Not organic or eco-friendly.
5. PUREgrace Crib Mattress Protector
Some babies are very sensitive to their environments. You could find yourself buying a mattress pad to protect them from allergens, and they have a reaction to the mattress pad itself! If your baby is sensitive, you should consider a hypoallergenic pad.
This one is made from TENCEL, a fiber derived from eucalyptus trees. It’s naturally hypoallergenic and more eco-friendly than most cotton options.
TENCEL is also known for being exceptionally soft, which can add to your baby’s comfort. The pad’s deep pockets also mean that it’ll fit most mattresses on the market.
The protector is waterproof but isn’t made with harsh solvent chemicals. It’s also free of BPA, vinyl, PVCs, and phthalates, all of which reduces your baby’s exposure and minimizes the potential for off-gassing.
- Hypoallergenic and eco-friendly.
- Extremely soft.
- Machine washable and dryable.
- Made with reduced levels of chemicals.
- 10-year manufacturer’s warranty
- More expensive than many other pads.
6. American Baby Waterproof Pad
For families on a tight budget, it’s tempting to view a mattress pad as a luxury. Luckily, there are affordable mattress pads on the market that still offer extra protection for your mattress.
This crib mattress pad is made with a 100 percent waterproof middle layer, giving your mattress the protection it needs from liquids. The outer layers are made of soft polyester, which helps to reduce the noise some pads create as baby moves around.
As it’s machine washable, clean up is super easy. It’s also made with deep pockets to ensure it fits most full-sized mattresses. One thing to note is that the manufacturer recommends drying on “tumble,” which can mean a longer drying time.
- Very affordable.
- 100 percent waterproof.
- Made of soft material.
- Longer drying time.
7. American Baby Bassinet Sized Pad
Many parents choose to use a bassinet for the first few months of their baby’s lives. However, most bassinet mattresses are oval-shaped and smaller than portable or mini cribs. No worries, there are crib mattress pads designed for them as well.
Another popular option from American Baby, this mattress pad is designed to fit most bassinet mattresses.
It’s made of three layers: 100 percent waterproof vinyl, 100 percent polyester, and finally, 100 percent cotton, to provide extra comfort and reduce noise.
The pad is machine washable and dryable, so you can throw it in the laundry when accidents occur. The pockets are deep, allowing it to adapt to varying bassinet mattress sizes, and lined with elastic to ensure a good fit.
- Fits most bassinets.
- Comfortable for baby.
- Washable and dryable.
- May decline in quality after several washes.
- Not organic or eco-friendly.
Keeping It Covered
A crib mattress pad is an affordable way to protect a not-so-affordable crib mattress. It will also help to safeguard your baby’s health and prolong the life of your mattress.
The best crib mattress pads can make your life easier, with easy cleanup, allergy protection, and more.
My personal favorite is the Cozy Caterpillar, which balances affordability with environmental priorities. Hypoallergenic, super soft, and 100 percent waterproof? Count me in.
Have you used a crib mattress pad for your baby? If so, we’d love to hear your experience in the comment section. Don’t forget to share with other moms and moms-to-be.