Is a breathable crib mattress worth the hype? This guide breaks down the pros and cons of buying a breathable cot mattress so parents can decide what’s best for their baby (and their budget).

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Our Top Breathable Crib Mattresses for 2023

Year after year, the Newton Baby Wovenaire continues to win us over as the best breathable crib mattress overall. It performs well when it comes to value for money, breathability, recyclability, and complete washability – a huge plus for busy families.

For 2023, however, this article needed an update. For one, Lullaby Earth has changed its lineup of crib mattresses (this updated product lineup is reflected in this article). More excitingly? There’s also a new kid on the breathable crib mattress block: the Organic Dream Comfort Supreme. It’s strong alternative to Newton, so I’ve added it into this article so families can decide for themselves which is a better fit.

I still think Newton Baby’s crib mattress is a good choice for some families, and have laid out our reasons below. However, the Organic Dream mattress has a lot going for it, including being firmer than the Newton, with a softer and plusher organic cotton cover, and being 100% made in the USA. Whereas the Newton Original is the most breathable, in my opinion based on testing, the Organic Dream offers more support and firmness, with an unbelievably plush and soft organic cover.

If you want a breathable organic mattress, I still also recommend the Naturepedic Breathable series (Breathable or Breathable Ultra) and the Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe 2 Stage.

$299 and Up
$299
$399 and Up
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
100% washable WOVENAIRE® food grade polymer made in the USA with polymer of unspecified origin.
Mattress Core:
Made of 100% washable DreamCore® food grade polymer sourced from Canada and Europe
Mattress Core:
Food grade polyethylene wavesupport™ core with organic cotton and organic PLA
Mattress Cover:
Polyester described as a "3D spacer fabric"
Mattress Cover:
Super soft organic cotton cover with 100% organic cotton sleep surface
Mattress Cover:
Certified organic cotton sleep surface with polyester backing
Depth:
5.5"
Depth:
6"
Depth:
6"
Weight:
11 pounds
Weight:
17 pounds
Weight:
14 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Layer of non-toxic wood-derived viscose sewn into the mattress cover
Fire Barrier:
Slip-on non-toxic fire sock made from cellulose-derived viscose
Fire Barrier:
No fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers / fire socks (meets all Federal and State flammability standards)
Made In:
USA and China
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Firmness:
Single firmness
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights Starting from Due Date
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights
Most Breathable
$299 and Up
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
100% washable WOVENAIRE® food grade polymer made in the USA with polymer of unspecified origin.
Mattress Cover:
Polyester described as a "3D spacer fabric"
Depth:
5.5"
Weight:
11 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Layer of non-toxic wood-derived viscose sewn into the mattress cover
Made In:
USA and China
Firmness:
Single firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights Starting from Due Date
Most Comfortable
$299
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
Made of 100% washable DreamCore® food grade polymer sourced from Canada and Europe
Mattress Cover:
Super soft organic cotton cover with 100% organic cotton sleep surface
Depth:
6"
Weight:
17 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Slip-on non-toxic fire sock made from cellulose-derived viscose
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights
Waterproof Pick
$399 and Up
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
Food grade polyethylene wavesupport™ core with organic cotton and organic PLA
Mattress Cover:
Certified organic cotton sleep surface with polyester backing
Depth:
6"
Weight:
14 pounds
Fire Barrier:
No fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers / fire socks (meets all Federal and State flammability standards)
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights

Best Breathable Baby Mattress

Disclosure: I own and have personally tested all the breathable crib mattresses covered in this article. I purchased some myself, and also received some for free from the company, as follows. The Newton Baby mattress has won “best breathable crib mattress” every year I’ve written/updated this article. In December 2020, Newton reached out and asked me if I wanted one of their most recent mattresses to try out in my own home. I said yes, and received a complimentary mattress for review, which allowed me to add more information to this article, take some of my own photos, try out the breathability and washability for myself, and generally get a better feeling for the mattress based on our experiences using it. In November 2022, I contacted Organic Dream and asked if they would send me a Comfort Supreme mattress for me to review and consider for inclusion in this article, and they agreed. Opinions remain my own. I also own a Naturepedic Breathable Ultra crib mattress (which I bought new and paid normal retail price for) and a Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe crib mattress (which I bought used off of Facebook marketplace for review purposes).

Top Pick 1: Most Breathable Mattress for Infants and Babies

Newton crib mattress against an isolated white background
The Newton Baby Crib Mattress uses “breathe-thru” Wovenaire®

The Best Breathe Through Crib Mattress

Newton Baby Crib Mattress with Wovenaire®

100% washable, completely recyclable, and so breathable you can actually breathe through the surface of this crib mattress!

There’s a lot to love about the Newton Baby Crib Mattress, making it an easy pick for the best breathable crib mattress for many families.

Sure, it’s not perfect. But it has loads of “pros.” For newborns and infants 0 to 12 months in particular, I think the pros outweigh the cons by a considerable distance.

The mattress part of the Newton crib mattress is made from patented polymer called Wovenaire®. Imagine dry ramen noodles from a package, and you have a good idea of what this material looks like.

The space between the “noodles” is air, and this crib mattress is actually made up of 90% air! This explains why you can stick your face right up to the mattress, take a deep breath, and still get air.

A photo showing the inside mattress core of the Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress. The core is made up of a patented system that makes it a breathable crib mattress. The fire proof cover and the breathable outer cover are pictured as well, being folded away from the mattress core.

Yes, this makes the mattress firm and breathable, but also makes it super lightweight – great for changing the sheets or pulling it out for a clean.

Speaking of cleaning, this mattress is 100% washable – you can literally put it in the shower or bath tub and give it a rinse.

When talking about any kind of baby gear, being easy to clean is a huge deciding factor. It’s also a pro for health – by opening up the Newton Baby to it’s core, and washing to your heart’s content, you can ensure no mold or mildew in your baby’s mattress!

As a con, when I tested this feature out by sticking the mattress core in my shower and blasting it with water, it took awhile for the mattress core to completely dry. This makes it tough when you’re trying to clean up from an overnight pee accident and get the mattress ready for nap time.

To me, time to dry is a small price to pay for the breathability of this mattress, and peace of mind that comes with that, especially for newborns, and for slightly older babies who are able to flip onto their tummies. As your baby turns into a toddler, however, the breathability may seem less important to you (speaking from experience, it did become less of a worry for me, which is why I use the Naturepedic Breathable Ultra for my toddler daughter).

The Newton is a 2-stage crib mattress, which is different from a dual-firmness mattress. According to Newton, both sides are equally firm, and suitable for both an infant or toddler. In my opinion, however, I think the Newton is best suited for the first 12 to 18 months. It’s a bit thinner and less supportive than the other mattresses on this list, and while I think you can use it until your child is 4 to 5 years old or so, I think the Organic Dream, Naturepedic, and Lullaby Earth would offer more support and comfort to heavier toddler bodies.

The Newton Baby is also Greenguard Gold certified, and when you are done with it, it’s 100% recyclable, which I absolutely love!

Newton offers a 100 night trial with free shipping and returns, which makes it easy to test this bed mattress out to ensure it works for your family, and a lifetime limited warranty.

Most Breathable
Newton Baby Breathable Crib Mattress

With a breathe-through mattress core and a 3D constructed polyester cover, the Newton original is our most breathe-through pick for the year.

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Most Comfortable Breathable Crib Mattress

organic dream comfort supreme crib mattress
Image copyright Organic Dream

The Most Comfortable Breathe Through Crib Mattress (With the Softest Cover!)

Organic Dream Comfort Supreme with DreamCore®

Whereas Newton achieves breathability above all else, Organic Dream offers a breathe-through breathable crib mattress that’s a bit more nuanced, with a lot to love.

Like the Newton, the Organic Dream Comfort Supreme has a “breathe through” mattress core with a distinctive instant noodles design that allows air to flow freely through the innermost part of the mattress.

Organic Dream crib mattress core (left) vs Newton Original crib mattress core (right)
Organic Dream Comfort Supreme crib mattress core on the left; Newton Original mattress core on the right.

However, the two mattresses also have a few notable differences that effect function, and will make each mattress better for some families, depending on their priorities.

One of the most notable differences is the mattress cover, and what the different materials used by each company mean in terms of functionality.

Frankly, the Organic Dream crib mattress has the softest, plushest, cloud-like crib mattress cover I’ve ever seen. It’s seriously softer than any other crib mattress I can think of having tested! It’s thick and quilted, and the sleep surface is 100% organic (it has been certified organic by the supplier). It is still very breathable, but the thickness of the cover does mean it’s ever so slightly less breathe-through than Newton’s design.

Organic Dream comfort supreme crib mattress quilted organic cotton cover
You can see how thick and plush the Organic Dream cover is when you unzip it! The layer below is the non-toxic fire barrier (my Newton mattress also has a version of this)

This is compared to the Newton crib mattress cover, which is made of 3D polyester. This construction aids breathability, but it’s not nearly as soft, plush, or comfy as the Organic Dream cover.

This is why I think the Newton is best for families who want to prioritize breathability over all else, and the Organic Dream is best for families who want to take a more balanced approach, given the Comfort Supreme also has a few other “legs up” on the Newton Original:

  • 100% Made in the USA. Organic Dream sources the polymer for their mattress core from Canada and Europe, but makes the entire mattress in the USA, including the core and the cover.
  • It’s dual-firmness, and the infant side is very firm, as it should be for an infant mattress. Based on my testing, the Organic Dream infant side is as firm as the Naturepedic crib mattress, which is one of the firmest crib mattresses I’ve found.
  • It’s much thicker, which I think will offer better support for toddler bodies, and make it longer lasting for families. When I step down on my Newton, I can feel the floor beneath. When I step down on my Organic Dream, the mattress supports my adult body weight, and I can’t feel the floor, or even come very close to it.
$299
$299
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
Made of 100% washable DreamCore® food grade polymer sourced from Canada and Europe
Mattress Core:
100% washable WOVENAIRE® food grade polymer made in the USA with polymer of unspecified origin.
Mattress Cover:
Super soft organic cotton cover with 100% organic cotton sleep surface
Mattress Cover:
Polyester described as a "3D spacer fabric"
Depth:
6"
Depth:
5.5"
Weight:
17 pounds
Weight:
11 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Slip-on non-toxic fire sock made from cellulose-derived viscose
Fire Barrier:
Wood-pulp derived viscose encasement
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Made In:
USA and China
Recyclable:
Unknown
Recyclable:
Yes. Fully recyclable when you're finished with it.
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Firmness:
Single firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights Starting from Due Date
Most Comfortable
$299
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
Made of 100% washable DreamCore® food grade polymer sourced from Canada and Europe
Mattress Cover:
Super soft organic cotton cover with 100% organic cotton sleep surface
Depth:
6"
Weight:
17 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Slip-on non-toxic fire sock made from cellulose-derived viscose
Made In:
100% made in the USA
Recyclable:
Unknown
Firmness:
Dual firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights
Most Breathable
$299
UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified:
Yes
Mattress Core:
100% washable WOVENAIRE® food grade polymer made in the USA with polymer of unspecified origin.
Mattress Cover:
Polyester described as a "3D spacer fabric"
Depth:
5.5"
Weight:
11 pounds
Fire Barrier:
Wood-pulp derived viscose encasement
Made In:
USA and China
Recyclable:
Yes. Fully recyclable when you're finished with it.
Firmness:
Single firmness
Sleep Trial:
100 Nights Starting from Due Date

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Read my full Organic Dream crib mattress review

Best Organic Breathable Crib Mattress

Best Organic Breathable Crib Mattress

If you’d rather opt for more natural materials, the Naturepdic Breathable series of mattresses are a great choice – and it’s what we are currently using with our toddler daughter (we have a Breathable Ultra).

Naturepedic mattresses are a trusted name when it comes to organic mattresses that are non-toxic and free from mystery materials. They’re made in the USA, and have impressive certifications such as Greenguard Gold and Madesafe.

The breathable series consists of an organic crib mattress that is made waterproof using Naturepedic’s unique sugarcane derived PLA fiber, plus a removable breathable cover on top.

To be clear, the breathable cover of the Naturepedic is not “breathe through” like the Newton or Organic Dream are. That said, it does offer some great airflow for comfort and safety.

We love that the crib mattress cover can go into the washing machine, and that the mattress itself is wipe clean.

You can choose between the Breathable Ultra or the Breathable.

Newton Baby Mattress vs. Naturepedic Breathable

If you’re trying to decide between “Breathe Through” crib mattresses (the Newton Baby and Organic Dream Comfort Supreme) or the Organic Naturepedic Breathable, there are pros and cons to both. Here are some of my thoughts if you’re struggling:

  • Newton Baby and Organic Dream are the more “breathe through” of the styles (based on me smushing my face into the covers, and trying to get a full breath). The “breathe through” nature of the Newton Baby and Organic Dream design is hard to beat, especially for babies under one, and especially as they get older and start to flip onto their tummies in the middle of the night. I remember this stage of parenting, and it was definitely a bit nerve wrecking seeing my little one with her face smushed into the mattress. The breathability of the mattress is also helpful in keeping babies cool when sleeping, so I would think this would be a great choice for hotter climates, too.
  • The Naturepedic Breathable is easier to care for in my opinion. I have all of these mattresses in my house (I purchased the Naturepedic Breathable Ultra, and Newton Baby and Organic Dream provided mattresses for me to review), so am speaking from experience. The Naturepedic Breathable mattress core is waterproof, so there’s no need to wash it. Whenever there’s an accident, I wash the cover, and wipe down the mattress surface with a cloth. Because of the waterproofing and general design of the Naturepedic, it’s not as breathable, although the quilted cover does give it some airflow around your baby.

Bottom line? I think they are all excellent mattresses.

If you’re purchasing for a newborn and are particularly nervous about suffocation or temperature control, the Newton or Organic Dream might be the peace of mind you need as a parent! Of these two, the Organic Dream, in my opinion, is more suited for lasting into the toddler years.

If you’re already through the first year and need a new mattress, the Naturepedic Breathable is a great choice (this was our situation – we moved countries and needed a new crib sized mattress when my daughter was one-and-a-half. Since she was older, the “breathe through” feature of the Newton and Organic Dream was less of a draw for me at that stage than the waterproof surface of the Naturepedic Breathable). Similarly, if you’re on the less nervous side of the scale as a parent, and would like a mattress that’s a bit easier to care for and uses organic and plant-based materials, the Naturepedic is a great option!

If you prefer more organic materials, then the Newton is out, and Organic Dream or Naturepedic should be your focus.

Runner Up

Image copyright Lullaby Earth

Best Breathe Thru Crib Mattress-Cover Combo

The Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe crib mattress gets its breathability from a 3D mesh breathable mattress cover that’s washing machine friendly and therefore easy to clean. Earning a MADESAFE seal, you can be sure it’s non-toxic for your little one. And because the magic is in the mattress cover, you can buy the mattress cover as a stand alone solution, if you already have a crib mattress.

The Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe is made in the USA and comes with a limited lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, and is a two-stage dual firmness mattress.

If you already have a crib mattress, you can also purchase the breathable cover separately.

We love that the crib mattress cover can go into the washing machine for a clean, and the fact that it is Greenguard Gold certified and earned a MADESAFE seal.

However, we wish the company was a bit more transparent about what the actual mattress is made from, so families understand whether there are any chemicals in the crib mattress they want to avoid.

Learn More / Read our Detailed Overview

Breathable Crib Mattress Buying Guide

What is a Breathable Crib Mattress?

When adults talk about a breathable bed mattress, we’re really talking about comfort, temperature regulation, and whether the mattress allows some airflow.

But when we talk about a breathable crib mattress, we’re actually talking about something totally different. 

With breathable crib mattresses, babies can literally breathe through them. Even if their baby’s noses are smushed, face-down in the mattress, the air permeable nature of these crib mattresses means they are breathable.

And according to manufacturers, this means your little one can breathe through the mattress if they end up on their tummy. Some brands market their products as being the safest crib mattress option. And they focus on selling peace of mind.

But do they really work? And what do medical professionals say?

Fact is, there are no specific SIDS mattress recommendations. The best mattress for baby is a firm crib mattress, combined with following safe sleep guidelines.

This means you should always place your baby to sleep on his or her back – even if you’re using a breathable crib mattress. While breathable crib mattress manufacturers may be working to make it safer for babies who roll onto their tummies during sleep, virtually all health professionals recommend back sleeping is safest. Besides suffocation risk, some studies find there is still potential for babies to re-breathe their exhaled carbon dioxide when sleeping on their fronts or sides. According to Paediatrician Dr. Daniel Zoller,

“It is extremely important to know that a breathable crib mattress is in no way a replacement for the safety of supine sleep, and should not be viewed as an alternative.” 

In other words? The safest baby mattress is a firm mattress that meets safety regulations and is used in combination with Back to Sleep safe sleep practices.

Back Sleep is Safest, But …

Despite parents’ best efforts to get babies to sleep on their backs on a firm crib mattress, some parents argue it doesn’t always work.

“Some babies are natural tummy sleepers,” they might say. Even more worrying for parents, some babies like to sleep face down, with their tiny noses squished into the mattress.

We’ve heard parents argue their baby refuses to “cooperate” when placed on their tummy. But healthcare professionals would argue it has nothing to do with cooperation.

“Babies will sleep on their back. Parents need to put them like that. It is the only safe way. Once they roll, it is safe for them to remain in whatever position they get into. Cooperation is not a part of it!”Dr. Daniel Zoller, M.D, F.A.A.P.

A baby sleeping on its stomach

Even after a baby can roll onto their tummy, it can be a bit disconcerting after so many months of seeing them on their backs all night long.

If your older baby is a face-smushing tummy sleeper, manufacturers claim to have the best baby mattress for your kid.

But are the claims too good to be true?

Without exception, child safety experts agree that back sleeping is safest for all babies, meaning you need to put your baby to sleep on their back.

Dr. Daniel Zoller, M.D, F.A.A.P.

A head shot of Dr. Daniel Zoller, M.D. F.A.A.P.

“Studies have shown that supine sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS by more than 50%, and that prone sleeping in combination with soft, inappropriate bedding can increase the risk of SIDS more than 20 times.”

So why might you consider buying one of these crib mattresses?

Why You Might Get Swayed

SIDS is terrifying. When my daughter was a newborn, I checked her chest regularly to ensure she was still breathing. 

When she learned to roll from back to front, I worried when she slept.

At nine or 10 months, she started waking up with mattress indentations on one side of her head. She’d started to experiment with tummy snoozing, but was still mostly a back sleeper. Much to our relief.

If she had insisted on tummy sleep from the get go, I would have gotten even less sleep in that first year. 

And I would have absolutely considered buying a breathable cot bed mattress.

Even though the message from experts is decidedly tepid, breathable crib mattress reviews from parents are generally quite positive.

Do Breathable Crib Mattresses Work?

What Does The Evidence Say?

Whenever possible, we think it’s important to listen to the scientific evidence around product safety. Unfortunately in the case of breathable baby crib mattresses, the evidence paints an unclear picture:

(PRO) A 2010 article published in Pediatric Pulmonology found the Numu mattress, which consists of a net pulled taught over a frame, did indeed prevent CO2 accumulation and allowed for better disbursement, as well as being better at preventing overheating.

(PRO) A 2002 study published in The Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health found that some mattresses are indeed better a diffusing CO2 than other mattresses, and noted this finding “may have implications for vulnerable infants at risk of sudden infant death syndrome.”

(CON) A 2000 study in published in Pediatrics compared a conventional, firm baby mattress with 5 mattresses specifically designed to prevent CO2 rebreathing. It found all but one of the products failed to decrease CO2 levels.

(CON) A 2007 study in Acta Paediatrica found that infants dressed in sleeping bags and sleeping on a PurFlow mattress actually got hotter than infants sleeping on a conventional mattress.

What Do The Experts Say?

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes extensive safe sleep guidelines. In these guidelines, they acknowledge there’s no evidence a breathable mattress reduces the risk of suffocation or SIDS. 

However, they also indicate there’s no known disadvantage to using these types of crib mattresses: 

“Recently, special crib mattresses and sleep surfaces that claim to reduce the chance of rebreathing carbon dioxide when the infant is in the prone position have been introduced. Although there are no apparent disadvantages of using these mattresses if they meet the safety standards as described previously, there are no studies that show a decreased risk of SUID/SIDS.”

They go on to say:

“Certain crib mattresses have been designed with air-permeable materials to reduce rebreathing of expired gases, in the event that an infant ends up in the prone position during sleep, and these may be preferable to those with air-impermeable materials… although rebreathing has been hypothesized to contribute to death in SIDS, particularly if the head is covered or when the infant is face down, there is no evidence that rebreathing, per se, causes SIDS and no epidemiological evidence that these mattresses reduce the risk of SIDS. The use of “breathable” mattresses can be an acceptable alternative as long as the other manufacturing requirements are met, including being designed for a particular crib, having a firm surface, and maintaining its shape even when the fitted sheet designated for that model is used, such that there are no gaps between the mattress and the side of the crib…” (emphasis ours). 

“May be preferable” isn’t exactly a rousing endorsement. But it’s not an indictment, either.

To parents seeking peace of mind for their infants and toddlers, we understand the draw.

If there’s no drawback, and it gives you peace of mind as a parent? To me that seems like a win. Plus, it instinctually makes sense – I’ve smushed my face into the Newton Baby mattress, and was able to breathe through it, which tempts some peace of mind.

What Do the Cynics Say?

It’s no secret crib mattress manufacturers have a vested interest in getting you to buy their product. 

Personally, I’m not a cynic, but it is worth looking at baby products with a critical eye.

Many of the companies leading the way in innovative crib mattresses are parents, too. NewtonOrganic Dream, Naturepedic – these companies were all started by parents or grandparents who want to keep their kids safe. As such, many of these companies focus on making a super safe baby crib mattress that is free from chemicals, and use certified organic cotton and other natural, non toxic crib mattress materials.  

I genuinely believe the founders of the companies mentioned above and others, like Lullaby Earth, have your child’s best interests at heart. But I also understand, at the end of the day, they want to sell us all their crib mattresses.

If you want a true cynics’ point of view, this article in Slate is a good start. Some of the examples the author mentions feel borderline predatory. I’m guessing others agree: when I clicked through to the most egregious examples, I found dead links. It seems the company has gone out of business. 

The products I tested for this article – from Newton, Organic DreamNaturepedic, and Lullaby Earth – are from reputable companies and have lots of positive reviews.

The author also makes a strong case about stronger regulation for products that claim to reduce the incidence of SIDS:

If a company claims that its product reduces the risk of SIDS or suffocation, then it is, by definition, a medical device and needs FDA approval. That requires evidence it actually works as claimed, and so far, for these products, that evidence is lacking. The FDA has never approved a product to reduce the risk of SIDS, so a company that makes this claim could be in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This includes claims that are direct or implied, and if an ad mentions SIDS and a safer mattress, that implication sends a message to anxious parents. (emphasis mine).

To be clear again, the companies whose crib mattresses I’ve tried in my own home for this article (NewtonNaturepedic, Lullaby Earth, and Organic Dream) do not make claims about SIDS.

What Does This Mean for Parents?

Obviously, there’s no easy or clearcut answer to whether you should buy one of these new, breathable options, or stick with a standard organic crib mattress (I personally don’t recommend using a standard foam or eco foam mattress).

Will it hurt? Probably not. As long as it meets all other safety regulations.

Will it help? The jury is out.

As a parent, you’ll need to decide what’s best for your baby. Whether a breathable mattress is the best cot mattress for your family is really up to you. And possibly worth a chat with your baby’s doctor.

Whatever you decide, be sure the crib mattress you choose meets all safety regulations, breathable or not.

Shopping for a Breathable Crib Mattress

The Single Most Important Thing to Consider in Buying a Crib Mattress

As long as there’s money to be made creating products tailored to new parents’ greatest fears, consumer vigilance is required.

But the focus on reducing SIDS risks (such as CO2 rebreathing and suffocation) shouldn’t be a license to ignore other safety issues.

When shopping for a crib mattress, parents need to ensure the mattress they choose meets all government safety standards. Don’t sacrifice one safety standard for another. 

A 1993 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides a tragic example of this.

In the study, researchers found tummy-sleeping babies using ti tree bark or kapok filled crib mattresses had a greater risk of SIDS vs. foam crib mattresses. These mattresses were marketed to parents as allowing “the free passage of air.” However, when the researchers tested these crib mattresses, they found a 1Kg bag of sugar left a significant indentation on the mattress that was still present 5 minutes after the bag was removed.

In other words? The mattresses weren’t firm enough to be safe for babies. They certainly didn’t meet the FIRMS test for crib mattress safety.

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to ensuring your new crib mattress is firm enough and meets other baseline safety standards, we suggest considering the following:

  • Look for something that’s easy to clean. Middle of the night accidents are bound to happen, and being able to throw the cover in the washing machine is a must, in our mind.
  • When considering materials, we suggest looking for organic cotton and other natural fibers, where possible. By choosing organically-grown fibers, particularly when it comes to batting and stuffing, you can be sure they are free from potentially harmful chemicals.
  • If your crib mattress contains synthetics and plastics, we suggest doing a bit of research to figure out if its a clean plastic or foam (aka: safe). There are a number of certifications out there which independently ensure your crib mattress is free from harmful chemicals.

Our Picks for the Best

For overall value-for-money, combined with practical considerations (like washability) and passing the “face smush” test for breathability, our top picks are the Newton Baby Crib Mattress, the Organic Dream Comfort Supreme, and the Naturepedic Breathable / Breathable Ultra. If the Newton, Organic Dream, or Naturepedic isn’t what you’re after, the Lullaby Earth Breathe Safe is also a great choice.

We hope this article helped – if you like it, we hope you’ll share it!

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