Foam or Coil Crib Mattress: How to Decide What’s Best for Your Baby

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Is a Foam or Coil Crib Mattress Better for Baby?

If you’re trying to decide between a foam or coil crib mattress, know that both have pros and cons.

Foam crib mattresses tend to be more affordable and lighter. This is a plus for the frequent bedding changes needed with babies. The cons of choosing a foam crib mattress include the chemicals and off-gassing of conventional foam mattresses. Add to this the environmental impact, poor temperature regulation, poor durability, lack of waterproofing, and potential to indent.

Coil crib mattresses have a number of advantages compared to foam crib mattresses. These include better weight distribution, better edge support, longer-lasting and more durable, more waterproofing and water-resistance, better temperature regulation for babies, and more breathability.

The cons of an innerspring mattress is they’re more expensive and heavier. If the cover rips or tears, they can also expose baby to springs and coils.

If you’re trying to decide between a foam or coil crib mattress, keep reading to discover which is better for you.

When choosing a mattress for an adult, it’s all about comfort. But when choosing a mattress for a baby, it’s all about safety.

Experts agree that one of the best things you can do to cut down on the risk of SUDI and SIDS is provide a safe sleep environment. And that includes choosing a firm crib mattress that fits properly in the crib, putting your baby to sleep on his or her back, and remembering that “bare is best.”

That’s great in theory, but what about when it actually comes time to shop for a baby crib mattress? There is a dizzying array of options out there – and one of the first things you’ll have to decide on is foam vs. coil crib mattress.

Both have pros and cons, which are outlined below.

Pros and Cons of Foam vs. Coil Crib Mattresses

Foam Crib Mattresses

Foam mattresses are made from polyurethane. While you want to avoid memory foam for a crib mattress because of safety issues, there are plenty regular foam crib mattresses that are safe.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to buy a foam crib mattress that is specifically designed for a crib. Crib mattresses need to be firm to be safe, and standard foam mattresses may be too soft.

The pros of choosing a foam mattress include affordability and lightweightness.

The cons of choosing a foam crib mattress include the chemical smell and off-gassing of conventional foam mattresses (and the chemicals in most foam mattresses), environmental impact of conventional foam, poor temperature regulation compared to innerspring coil crib mattresses, durability, and lack of waterproofing, and potential to indent, causing a hazard for your baby.

Foam Crib Mattress – Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Lightweight

Foam Crib Mattress -Cons

  • Chemical Smell & Off-Gassing
  • Poor Temperature Regulation
  • Durability
  • Poor Water Resistance
  • Potential to Indent

Innerspring/ Coil Crib Mattresses

Coil and innerspring mattresses are made from a combination of materials, including the metal coils that support the mattress and provide its firmness, along with inner materials like foam or latex. The mattress cover is made up of a durable polyester or cotton, and sometimes the cover has water-proofing or water-resistant properties.

The mattress coils are what provide the firmness and support in an innerspring crib mattress. Generally speaking, you’ll find crib mattresses with between 80 and 250 coils. Generally speaking, a higher coil count provides a more even firmness across the surface of the mattress, and is less likely to have peaks and valleys, or soft areas. For a baby crib mattress, you should ideally buy a mattresses with 150 coils or more.

While number of coils affects how even the firmness is across the mattress, how firm the mattress actually is comes from a combination of two factors: the number of coils, and the thickness (gauge) of the steel used to make the coils.

Apples to apples, the more coils, the more firm the mattress. However, if you’re comparing mattresses using different gauge steel, it’s more difficult to tell which will be firmer.

Innerspring coil crib mattresses have a number of advantages compared to foam crib mattresses. These include better weight distribution, better edge support, longer-lasting and more durable, more waterproofing and water-resistance, better temperature regulation for babies, and more breathability.

The cons of an innerspring mattress is they’re more expensive and heavier. If the cover rips or tears, they can also expose baby to springs and coils.

Coil Crib Mattress – Pros

  • Better Weight Distribution
  • Better edge support
  • Longer-Lasting and More Durable
  • More Water Resistant
  • Better Temperature Regulation
  • More Breathable

Coil Crib Mattress -Cons

  • More Expensive
  • Heavier than Foam

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