Your child will be using the mattress until she’s about three years old, so pick a high quality mattress that will allow her to sleep safely.
Support is probably the most important feature to consider when choosing a floor bed mattress for your baby.
Babies need a mattress with firm support to reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS, so it’s best to use a crib (or cot) mattress which is designed specifically for infant use. Softer mattresses seem like a good choice from our perspective since we typically prefer a little more cushioning as adults, but a baby needs a firmer surface since she isn’t able to turn her head if she flips face down onto the mattress.
To test for firmness, place the mattress edge under your arms and put your weight on it. If the mattress curves into a bow, it’s not dense enough for your baby to sleep on.
A standard sized crib mattress is the best choice not only because they already have the required firmness babies need, but they also aren’t very thick. Crib mattresses measure between four and six inches, so any rolls off of the floor bed won’t cause any serious injury to your baby.
However, some parents might choose a twin or full mattress because it just makes more sense to them economically. Where a crib mattress is only used up until the child is around three years old, a twin or full mattress will last them well into adolescence.
Other parents choose a twin or full mattress over a crib mattress because their baby might be a more active sleeper and needs more space to wiggle around.
It boils down to a matter of preference. Whatever size you choose for the mattress, try to find one that is not too thick so that the baby can easily climb in and out of bed and more importantly, so that any rolls or falls aren’t dangerous.
Foam mattresses are usually less expensive and lighter than coil mattresses. Foam mattresses are easier to lift when it comes time to change the sheets but might move around the floor more if it isn’t placed in the corner of a room or on a non-skid rug or carpet.
To determine the quality of a foam mattress, check its density and resiliency. The heavier the foam mattress is, the denser it is, which makes it better as it provides the best support for your baby. A high quality foam mattress will regain its shape quickly after weight is removed from it.
Coil mattresses are heavier (weighing between 10 and 15 lbs), more expensive and more durable than foam mattresses. Durability is probably of little importance unless you’re planning on purchasing a twin or full size mattress that is going to be used for longer than three years.
For coil mattresses, check that number of coils is upwards of 150. Generally, more coils means a firmer mattress.
Organic mattresses are made with all-natural materials, usually cotton or wool. The main advantage of this type of mattress is that it is free from any chemicals that might emit toxic gases like flame retardants and vinyl. You can be sure that your baby won’t inhale any dangerous chemical fumes while sleeping.
No matter what size and type mattress you buy, make sure that it is a firm one that doesn’t use memory foam and that it isn’t too thick that that any rolls or falls off of it aren’t dangerous.