The Newton baby crib mattress is one of the market leaders – if not the market leader – in breathable crib mattresses which comes with innovative breathe thru technology.
The reviews are great, and those who use it, love it, with very few exceptions. However, it is safe to say that your baby sleeps peacefully once you buy it.
While the evidence for breathable crib mattresses is pretty thin, that doesn’t mean these mattresses don’t make your baby more comfortable, in addition to dressing them properly for sleep and keeping a bare crib.
And honestly, once you’ve smushed your face into a Newton Crib Mattress, it’s hard to imagine how it isn’t a good idea for infants.
Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back – even if you’re using a breathable crib mattress. While breathable 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.”
On the one hand, the Newton crib mattress has a lot of raving fans. On the other hand, many child health experts remain unconvinced.
It made us wonder what all the fuss is about, and ask the question:
Is a Newton crib mattress really worth it?
(Disclosure: I received a complimentary mattress from Newton to review. Opinions remain my own).
Introducing the Newton Wovenaire® Crib Mattress
The Newton crib mattress consists of an inner mattress pad protected by a removable “breathe-thru” cover.
The inner mattress pad is what makes the Newton crib mattress so special. Newton makes the crib mattress from Wovenaire®, a patented polymer that’s totally unique to the company.
Polymer – there’s no getting around it – is plastic. While that may be a deal breaker for some, Newton wants you to keep an open mind.
The polymer that makes up Wovenaire® is food-grade. Think about the different types of plastic your food comes wrapped in….polyethylene terephthalate (like in bottled water) is a popular one, but plastic wrap, yogurt containers, ready-made supermarket meal containers are all made from food-grade plastic. That should give you a general idea of the type of polymer Wovenaire® might be made of.
The Newton Crib Mattress: A waterproof crib Mattress for your Baby
The Newton Crib Mattress is best for parents looking for a firmer crib mattress option. On the firmness scale, this crib mattress scores a 7 out of 10. The Newton Crib Mattress only comes in one firmness choice and comes in three style varieties to satisfy the needs of both price-sensitive and aesthetics-conscious shoppers. The varieties include:
- The Original
- The Essential
The Essential Newton Crib Mattress costs the least money because it’s the thinnest option, measuring 4 inches. The Original mattress is a bit more expensive and costs more because it’s 5.5 inches thick and has a dual-layer cover designed to keep babies comfy at night.
Like the Original, the Waterproof model is also 5.5 inches wide but has an added plastic waterproof barrier, so parents are protected against accidents. As a result of this extra protection, the Waterproof costs more than its counterparts in this comparison piece.
Pricing and sizing table
Newton crib mattresses are among the more expensive models of these mattresses. Many lower-priced options offer comparable quality and durability, making it challenging to justify spending more.
Although the budget is a concern for most parents, those who don’t mind paying slightly more might find value in the added comfort that sets this brand apart, but those with strict budgets may prefer to go with a less expensive model instead.
|Sizes||Dimensions (inch)||Height (inch)||Price|
|Essential||28” x 52”||4”||$250|
|Original||28” x 52”||5.5”||$300|
|Waterproof||28” x 52”||5.5”||$350|
What makes a good crib mattress?
Comfort and support are the two most essential factors in baby crib mattresses. The first mattress you buy for your baby is likely to be something you will use for years and years.
The biggest mistake that new parents commit is buying a too-hard mattress, which results in a stiff neck, back, and sore muscles for the mother. Also, the baby develops a flat head from sleeping on a too-hard surface—a crib.
The mattress should also have a waterproof layer that can be easily removed and cleaned. After a few months, you can consider buying a mattress topper made of memory foam that fits on top of the mattress.
Some of the features that make a crib mattress suitable are:
- The mattress should be firm enough to prevent the child from rolling off the bed but soft enough to provide comfort.
- The mattress should support the spine of the child properly.
- The mattress should allow the baby to move freely.
- The mattress should be easy to clean.
- The mattress should remain firm for an extended time, even after usage.
- The mattress should be made of non-toxic material, as it is in contact with the baby’s skin.
- The mattress should be comfortable for the baby.
- The mattress should meet the safety standards of the country.
Factors to consider when choosing a crib mattress
Here’s what you should keep in mind while shopping for a crib mattress:
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), crib mattresses must be at least 27 1/4 inches thick and 51 1/4 inches long to ensure a secure fit in the crib, and they also shouldn’t exceed six inches in thickness. The CPSC is a U.S. government agency that keeps American consumers safe from all kinds of hazards, including dangerous and defective products.
The baby mattress should fit snugly in the crib (not too tight – some space is good so that your baby can grow), with no gaps between the bottom of the mattress and any side railings. Test this by inserting two fingers between any part of the crib and the mattress. The gap needs to be just large enough for you to move your fingers freely, but not so large that your fingers could fit in diagonally.
It’s essential to ensure that your baby cannot pull the crib sheets up over their head. As a first step, you should attach the edge of the sheet firmly to each corner of the mattress. If not all corners are accessible, fix them, so they are. Also, make sure nothing is hanging in front of your child’s crib, which they could pull down on top of themselves either to avoid choking hazards.
When it comes to crib mattresses, you should buy new ones instead of fused ones. A used one can have mildew and bacteria growth, not support your baby well enough, and may not be up-to-date with the latest safety regulations.
When choosing a baby mattress, be sure to check for certificates from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). These certifications ensure that the material used throughout the manufacturing process is organic. That way, you can be confident that no harmful chemicals or pesticides were used anywhere along the line, and your little one will sleep safe and sound.
Different sleeping sides among toddlers
The Newton Crib Mattress is perfect for under 130 pounds and likes to sleep on their back, stomach, left side, or right side. Their crib mattress needs to be replaced every three years for the best comfort and support.
Toddlers who sleep on their sides need a mattress that provides excellent support and comfort, especially in the lumbar region, for healthy spine alignment. Their weight should be distributed evenly across the surface to mitigate pressure buildup.
Toddlers that prefer sleeping on their sides should enjoy comfortable support when using the Newton Crib Mattress. They should be evenly distributed across the surface, reducing pressure buildup and preventing the negative effect of spinal alignment.
One of the most obvious acronyms associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) recommends that infants sleep on their backs rather than stomachs. Several crib mattresses on the market are also designed to provide an optimal sleeping surface for newborns and other back-sleeping babies. The Newton Crib Mattress is geared explicitly towards back sleeping infants and tested per safety standards such as the ones by JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association).
If a newborn’s back is their preferred sleeping posture, the Newton Crib Mattress is an ideal choice. This mattress provides the necessary support while also cushioning the body, remaining comfortable as they snooze.
SIDS is typically associated with placing infants on their stomachs. While doctors frown upon this practice, parents should avoid denying the toddler’s motion while they nap and risk poor alignment.
To reduce the risk of SIDS, experts and specialists typically warn against placing infants on their stomachs to sleep. However, in cases wherein a toddler prefers sleeping this way, caregivers should reinforce that alignment is maintained throughout the night so as not to cause injury or discomfort.
What’s Inside the Newton Crib Mattress
What the Heck is Wovenaire®?
According to the Newton website,
Wovenaire® is made by weaving food grade polymer in a pool of crystal-clear water.
There’s A LOT of marketing speak on Newton’s website, which is a shame from a consumer education point-of-view. Our babies spend a lot of time on their crib mattresses in their first year. As such, it’s reasonable to expect companies provide clear, transparent info about what exactly they’re sleeping on. Marketing speak just doesn’t cut it.
Once you get past the marketing tag lines, however, Newton does provide a bit of info about Wovenaire®.
Wovenaire® starts life as little plastic pellets. During manufacturing, the company shapes the pellets into long, thin, noodle-like strings. They submerge these strings in water and weave them into a 3D structure.
Imagine a package of those dehydrated instant noodles you ate in college? Now you’ve got a visual of what Wovenaire® looks like.
Just as each instant noodle is surrounded by “white space” or air, so is each strand of Wovenaire®.
Wovenaire® is “Woven Air”
Herein lies the genius of this mattress: it’s mostly air.
According to Newton:
The patented Wovenaire core [aka: the actual mattress] is 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer.
So the plastic “noodles” actually make up a pretty small part of the mattress.
The 3D structure creates a ton of space for air to hang out. It’s what makes the Newton crib mattress what it is.
According to Newton, you can lie face down on this mattress and still breathe.
Does it Actually Work?
Parents Seem to Think So
Those who have this mattress, love this mattress. Plenty of parents have stuck their face right into the mattress and tried breathing (do a Youtube search if you don’t believe me!).
I have personally stuck my face into it and tried breathing.
And you know what? It works.
You can actually breathe through this mattress.
Health Professionals Aren’t Sure
However, health professionals are less certain about claims around breathable crib mattresses. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“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.” [emphasis ours]
May be preferable isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement. But it’s not an indictment, either.
As with all crib mattresses, the most important thing is that it meets all government safety standards. Regardless of whether it is a breathable crib mattress or not, you need to make sure your crib mattress meets the safety basics.
In the case of the Newton crib mattress, it does.
Read More: The pros and cons of buying a breathable crib mattress
What About Chemicals and Health Hazards?
All crib mattresses sold in the US have to meet fire safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most conventional crib mattress manufacturers meet this requirement with … a butt load of chemicals. Non-toxic, organic crib mattresses manufacturers don’t have that option. They have to get creative by making their mattresses with materials that are naturally fire retardant. Wool, hydrated silica, wood pulp-derived viscose, and coconut coir are examples of materials that help non-toxic mattress manufacturers meet federal flammability standards.
Conventional mattresses are full of chemicals, whereas “natural” mattresses eschew the use of most or all chemicals.
So where does the Newton baby’s crib mattress fall on the scale?
The Newton crib mattresses are chemical fire retardant-free. In the past, they have used naturally-contained salts to meet federal fire retardant standards (phosphates). In 2020, the company updated their fire proofing to use reconstituted wood pulp (viscose) to meet these requirements.
Below is a statement from Newton about the change:
“Here at Newton, we are always looking at ways to improve our current products and look for new products to help parents in their daily journey. Starting with production in mid-2020, we found a more organic, natural way to approach the stringent federal fire regulation laws and updated the construction of the mattress. Specifically, we changed from using phosphates in our mattress cores (which is also safe, non-toxic, and validated by the UL Greenguard Gold testing process), to using a reconstituted wood pulp (viscose) in our covers. So we now use this layer of chemical-free viscose material as the federally-required fire-blocking material as part of the cover construction itself. This material may be quilted in between the spacer material of the cover with a flap around the zipper or will arrive as a separate inner encasement. Both constructions are completely breathable and washable.”
The mattress I have in my house is the three layer construction: the inner core, which is the Wovenaire / instant noodle construction, a really thin middle layer which is the fire barrier (now made of a wood pulp-based viscose), and the outer breathable cover, which has the lovely quilted cloud pattern on it.
Here’s a close up of the tag on the fire barrier layer, which explains what it’s made of:
And here’s a photo of all three layers together:
Fun fact, one of the reasons why I got this is because this cover can be unzipped and can be sent straight over to the laundry with no hassle at all!
Helps a lot when your babies get it dirty!
VOCs, Phthalates and Formaldehyde
The Newton Wovenaire crib mattress is also Greenguard Gold certified. This means it meets Greenguard’s most stringent standards for chemical emissions measured, which includes VOCs.
Greenguard Gold is Greenguard’s most stringent level of certification. To get the certification, the Wovenaire® had to be independently tested and certified for the lowest level of chemical emissions Greenguard tests for. Greenguard’s certification process tests for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, ozone, and phthalates.
Greenguard Gold certification means you can be confident your Newton crib mattress isn’t going to negatively impact your home’s air quality.
Mold, Mildew and Dust Mites
The entire mattress is completely washable, far beyond what other mattresses offer. If your baby spits up or pees through their diaper, soaking the mattress, you can take the actual mattress, put it in the bath, and give it a thorough clean and inspection.
Mold, mildew and fungus are pretty much the death of a mattress, making old and used crib mattresses a bit risky to buy.
The problem is you don’t always know you have a mold or fungus problem until it’s been in there awhile, wreaking havoc.
This is one huge appeal to the Newton baby crib mattress, because you can pull the mattress layers apart and give every part a thorough clean. There are no hidden spots for mold or mildew to hide!
Add to that, Wovenaire® is hypoallergenic and dust-mite-unfriendly. According to the Newton website:
“By virtue of the Newton Crib Mattress’ breathability and Newton’s Breathe-Thru technology, it keeps humidity and moisture build up away, eliminating a haven for dust mites to breed.”
Is it Green?
There’s no getting around the fact that the Newton Wovenaire® crib mattress is plastic.
However, we do have to give Newton some accolades for their willingness to deal with the mattress at the end of its life.
Newton Crib Mattress carries GREENGUARD Gold certification which means it carries one of the lowest measurements of chemical emissions which helps promote health in and better door air quality.
The Newton crib mattress is 100% recyclable. When it comes time to recycle it, you can simply give Newton Baby a call at 800 686 3986 or email them at [email protected]
They’ll help you find a recycling facility in your city that can take the Wovenaire® mattress and recycle it.
If there isn’t a facility in your city, they’ll send you packaging with pre-paid postage so you can return the mattress to Newton, and they’ll recycle it for you.
Other important information
Newton Baby guarantees an easy return policy on the Newton Crib Mattress. If you are unhappy with the mattress, they offer a 100-night sleep trial, during which time they will come to pick up the mattress at no additional cost to you and give you your money back.
The return period begins when your baby comes home from the hospital, so if it is essential for you to settle into a routine sooner rather than later, order the mattress online. Once it arrives at your door, register it online for the trial period to begin.
If customers buy a Newton baby mattress online, they can return it within 100 nights of sleeps. If customers are happy with the mattress, they can keep it and get a full refund. If they don’t like it, they can give back the mattress and get their money back in the same form used when the customer first purchased the product (e.g., if the customer paid with their credit card, they will receive cash).
Customers buying mattresses at physical stores cannot return them within 100-nights/sleep but must consult their local store’s return policy instead.
Newton Baby provides a limited lifetime warranty on the Newton Crib Mattress. Purchasers must be the original owner, and they are required to provide proof of purchase to make a claim. The warranty covers defects with the one exception of normal wear and tear, staining, misuse, or other physical damage.
Like all other Newton Crib Mattresses, our Newton Air is fully warranted. Customers must register their product online within one (1) year of purchase to fully take advantage of the warranty. The original law tag must be on the product either inside or outside. If a customer fails to meet these criteria and adequately use the warranty, it will be void.
Newton Baby ships Newton Crib Mattresses to customers in the contiguous U.S. free of charge via FedEx. Customers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada will have to pay an additional shipping fee on top of that. All Canadian customers are also responsible for any applicable taxes and duties that a third-party carrier or customs might charge as they travel across state lines or another country’s borders.
Customers should expect to receive their Newton Crib Mattress within 3-10 business days of placing the order. It typically takes 2-3 days to process and pack your mattress, but once a shipper picks it up, it will take 2-5 business days to arrive.
Newtown Baby Crib Mattress Summary
What’s to Love
- The Newton crib mattress is partially made in the USA. Wovenaire® is made just outside Nashville, at Newton’s Tennessee HQ. The cover is made in China. The mattresses are completed and fulfilled from the Tennessee facility.
- The firm mattress is 100% washable, which means you’ll be able to keep mold and mildew out of the mattress. Because of this, you will probably be able to use it with more than one kiddo. One of the biggest problems with used crib mattresses is the chance for mold and mildew. Because you can see inside the Newton and wash it, you can be sure it’s safe for years to come.
- This is a great option if you’re living in a hot climate where humidity is high (which means greater chance of mold).
- The crib mattress is 2-stage, meaning it will last well into toddler-hood and beyond. Typically, 2-stage crib mattresses can last until your baby turns the big oh-five (5 years old)! You could also use it as a floor mattress, if that floats your boat. It’s also firm enough for when they start to stand in the crib, attempt to escape from the crib, or want to jump on their toddler bed.
- As marketed, Newton Baby Mattress is truly most breathable crib mattress and carries the lowest suffocation risk in tummy sleeper babies, based on my personal experience with a toddler bed!
- You can say Newton is by far the people’s choice when it comes to baby mattresses. It has over 2000 five star reviews while being one of the hottest products across the globe.
What We’d Change About the Newton Baby Mattress
- The mattress cover is polyester, and can be a bit rough to the touch. You can use it without a sheet, but you may find it too scratchy for your baby. In that case, Newton recommends using aden + anais muslin sheets, which are air permeable and won’t impact the breathability of the mattress. That said, when I lie down on it myself, I find it comfortable!