Thinking about buying a foam crib mattress for your little one? Foam mattresses have many benefits, especially for those who suffer from allergies, but if you’re opting for foam, a firm, high-quality mattress is a must. Learn how to identify a quality foam mattress with these helpful buying tips.
Put safety first
Crib safety begins with a firm, well-fitting mattress. While the idea of a cloud-like mattress that conforms to its occupant’s shape may sound appealing to an adult, a soft mattress is the last thing you want for your little one.
Babies need a firm foundation for growing bones. What’s more, placing your baby to sleep on a soft surface dramatically increases the risk of SIDS and could result in suffocation.
When shopping for a foam crib mattress, be sure to test each model for firmness and resiliency. Press your hand into the center of the mattress. When you remove it, note how quickly it regains its shape. A resilient mattress will snap back into shape without conforming to the imprint of your hand. The more resilient the foam, the firmer the mattress.
Foam mattresses can be less durable than traditional models, becoming less resilient with time. A crib mattress that becomes too soft or begins to show signs of compression can be dangerous and should be replaced. That being said, a crib mattress made of high-quality foam will likely survive well into the toddler years and beyond.
The key to buying a quality foam mattress is not thickness but density. A high-density mattress has greater resiliency and distributes the weight of your baby’s body more evenly, preventing the surface from sagging over time.
Look for a mattress with a density of 1.5 pounds per cubic foot or greater. If you can’t find a specific density labeled on the packaging, weight is a telling indicator. Generally, the heavier the mattress, the denser the foam.
Still, a mattress that is too heavy and difficult to maneuver can be an inconvenience; especially during the early months when hauling the mattress out of the crib for a quick change is practically a daily occurrence. While a heavy mattress indicates quality, there is no need to buy the heaviest mattress you can find. Anything over eight pounds should suffice. Even buying Camping Air Mattresses, you must follow this key to get e better mattresses.
Make a healthy choice
Does your child suffer from allergies? If so, a foam mattress may be the way to go. The layered structure of traditional innerspring mattresses creates a haven for dust mites, which thrive in its open cavities. Overtime, innerspring mattresses accumulate dust and dead skin cells and may even become subject to mold, all of which can irritate allergies and worsen conditions such as asthma.
Hypoallergenic foam prevents the incursion of dust mites by robbing them of a place to live. Since foam mattresses do not have a hollow core, there is nowhere for dust mites to live and breed. What’s more, the density of the material makes it difficult for the mattress to retain dust and other allergens.
While it’s easy to appreciate the hypoallergenic benefits of foam mattresses, it’s important to point out that they are not without issue. Some research groups maintain that chemicals used in the production of polyethylene foam mattresses may make children sick. Even organic options, such as natural rubber latex, can trigger allergic reactions. (Some children develop an allergy to latex that could result in anything from mild irritation to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.) Still, these issues are rare and avoidable and naturally hypoallergenic foam remains a solid alternative for the allergy afflicted. If you have questions and concerns regarding your child’s health and your mattress choice, be sure to run them by your child’s pediatrician.