How Big Is Crib Mattress for Kids? Does It Really Matter?

Size matters when shopping for your baby’s crib mattress. And how big is a crib mattress or how small it is will certainly play a crucial role on your buying decision. Having the right Mattress size, weight, depth and density...


Will determine how safe your baby will be during his or her sleeping hours.

Safe and Fit

Crib and mattress usually come in a package but if the latter has to be a separate purchase, parents will need to take note of the dimensions that are governed by strict federal regulations.

For the full-size crib mattress, the width ranges from 27 to 28 inches with the length starting at around 51 inches and can stretch up to 53 inches.

The measurements sanctioned by the government, which apply both in the United States and Canada, point to one important thing – to ensure that babies are fully protected.

But in reality, the numbers will be essentially greyed out so long as the mattress will prove a snugly fit to the crib. Ideally, when the mattress is set on the crib it’s important that no noticeable gaps are seen on all four sides.

To check on this, no more than two fingers can be inserted between the crib and the mattress as beyond that the latter is already considered an accident waiting to happen.

Consumer protection measures indicate that a crib mattress that is undersized could potentially lead to baby entrapment or suffocation. In such case, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is increased.

Beyond the Size Concerns

Parenting experts also recommend checking on the other things apart from the size of the crib mattress. The make or type is equally important.

There is the breathable kind that is manufactured using materials that allow babies to breathe easily even when the face is pressed against the mattress. Obviously, this option is a draw for parents looking for optimal safety features on their buy.

Another choice is the organic type and as the name implies it is free from toxic or harmful elements as cotton, wool or coconut fibers are the preferred materials. Again, this is a pick that is in line with safety concerns.

But really the most common of these crib mattresses are the innerspring and foam types, or the same kind that adults normally use. The characteristics for the two are nearly identical and each has its shares of pros and cons.

Both can be had in the 6-inch variant but as the innerspring is a mixture of foam, padding and steel it tends to be heavier and therefore more durable. It will last longer but the asking price is relatively higher.

The foam crib mattress, on the other hand, is a single cut material, which makes it lighter and easier to handle and maintain. And not to mention, this is the cheaper pick. Parents, in fact, will find foam mattress as far more ideal especially the firmer types.

It might be that the softer variant will bring more comfort to a sleeping baby but the counterpart will make it easier to reposition a baby when necessary.

In the end, when the choice whittles down to the foam mattress experts said the firmer the better, which is true for both safety and comfort.

More Checklist and Possible Deal-breakers

Now whether the choice of crib mattress is a foam or innerspring or any of the other types discussed, there are other considerations that merit a second, hard look.

One is maintenance issue, that is how easy it is to keep the mattress unsoiled or clean it when necessary.

Now whether the choice of crib mattress is a foam or innerspring or any of the other types discussed, there are other considerations that merit a second, hard look. On this, it’s important to get the type with a waterproof and machine washable cover.

Likewise if possible buy the mattress that can be hosed down with water when the situation warrants it. As indicated above, these considerations all point to the foam mattress type.

Yet whatever the choice is, it’s a must that crib mattress has vent holes and the more the better. This way the scent of leaked poo and pee will find more escape routes and keep the mattress from stinking.

As for the cost, the cash damage will depend on what the buyer needs and wants. For hygiene and safety reasons, a pre-owned crib mattress is out of the question and more so when the item is used for more than 10 years.

So the cash to shell out could start at more than $100, especially if the choice will be of the more decent picks. For mattresses designed for special purposes, such as the orthopedic types, then the cost will only get higher.


The bottom line, how big is a crib mattress is not the only thing that should influence the decision to buy.

Truth be told, safety, comfort and durability are what count the most, and to be sure the price to pay when all things considered. If you find this article helpful, please feel free to share so more will know.

Related Resources:

  • How Big Is a Twin Mattress?
  • How Big Is a Full Size Mattress?
  • How Big Is a Queen Size Mattress?
  • How Big Is a King Size Mattress? Should You Buy One?
  • Best Mattress for Kids in 2019 − The Ultimate Guide