Baby sleep

7 Best Breathable Crib Mattress Picks 2023

Tried, true and safe sleep on these breathable crib mattresses.

By Elizabeth Kadar

7 Best Breathable Crib Mattress Picks 2023

A breathable crib mattress just sounds better, doesn’t it? In many ways, it is. As a parent, you obviously only want the best for your babe so a mattress that’ll help you both sleep sounder at night is a no-brainer. Whether you’ve got a smushy face-down sleeper or a little one who runs out, the best breathable crib mattress can give parents plenty of peace of mind and create a safer, more soothing, and easy-breezy (literally) sleep environment for children.

We talked to a certified baby sleep coach and searched the Internet high and low to round up the best of the best breathable crib mattresses to invest in for more rest—you could use it. And if you still need the best baby cribs to put ‘em in, we’ve got those too!

What is a breathable crib mattress?

“A breathable crib mattress is a bedding product designed to allow air to flow through, thereby optimizing air circulation and ventilation,” says Debbie Gerken, a Certified RN in NICU, Certified Pediatric Gentle Sleep Coach, Postpartum Parent Educator and founder of Sleep Like a Baby Consulting.

“These mattresses often are constructed with breathable fabric layers or an open-spaced spongy type of foam,” she notes.

So why should you get one? A high-quality breathable mattress may help reduce the risk of SIDS, with the idea that if your baby rolls over to sleep on their tummy they can still breathe through the mattress, and is useful at preventing overheating, which is great if your house doesn’t have AC or your kid often wakes sweaty.

Parents still need to adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe sleep though."A baby should be placed down on their back, on a firm, flat surface and in a crib or bassinet free from blankets, pillows, bumpers, and toys,” says Gerken.

What to look for in the best breathable crib mattress

Ready to start sleep training? Transitioning your kid from the bassinet? Or still pregnant and just working on your baby registry? When shopping for the best breathable crib mattress, Gerken recommends considering all of the below factors before adding to cart:

  • Free from polyurethane foam: This is important, as its petroleum base may cause a chemical release over time.
  • Waterproof: Look for a mattress that's waterproof or has a waterproof cover to protect the mattress, and therefore, the baby from mold and fungus growth effects.
  • Flame retardant-free: Make sure the mattress is free from flame retardant chemicals, and rather, contains natural materials that are naturally flame retardant.
  • Easy to clean: Can it be washed in a bathtub? How can it be dried? How long does the drying take? Make sure to read the manufacturer's guidelines for keeping the mattress clean and hygienic. This is one of the most important parts of shopping for a crib mattress, and an often overlooked point.

The best breathable crib mattress picks 2023

Best overall

SleepOvation Baby Crib Mattress

sleepovation crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

The only FDA-approved crib mattress on the market, the SleepOvation scores major points for breathability, with knitted-in air channels engineered all throughout the mattress and sleep surface to keep your little ones cool and safe as they sleep. The mattress is also designed to support the spine and relieve excessive pressure on the head, which is especially reassuring if your babe prefers to sleep on their back or already has a slight flat spot you're stressing about.

Because getting a mattress clean is no easy feat, the SleepOvation comes with a simple zip-off cover you can throw in the wash when spit-up or accidents happen. The infant side is water-resistant, while the toddler side is completely waterproof for potty training—or when your unruly two-year-old decides to take their diaper off or dump out an entire sippy cup of milk in the crib.

A dual-sided design offers a firm but comfortable sleep space for infants and a cozy, medium-firm foam side for toddlers—just flip the mattress over when you're ready to transition them. We love the cushy-yet-supportive design that can fit snugly in all standard cribs.


  • FDA-approved
  • Extremely breathable
  • Designed to relieve pressure on infants' head
  • Free of chemical flame retardants and other harmful chemicals
  • Dual-sided
  • Water-resistant for infants and waterproof for toddlers
  • Machine-washable, OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 cover for easy cleaning


  • Only the toddler side is waterproof

Best budget

Sealy Butterfly Breathable Knit Waterproof Crib Mattress

sealy butterfly crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

At only seven pounds and under $100, this lightweight and breathable waterproof mattress is the dream. It's made from CERTIPUR-US-certified foams, which are super supportive and firm for infants. They're also completely non-toxic so you can feel good about where they're sleeping.

A soft knit cover protects the mattress and helps dissipate heat, while also allowing babies to breathe right through it. Plus, it can be removed for easy cleaning right in your washing machine. For parents concerned about harmful chemicals, you can rest assured with a GREENGUARD-Gold certification there are no flame retardants or harsh chemicals at all used here.

A waterproof barrier in the mattress ensures diaper leaks and milk spills don't penetrate the mattress core and lead to mold growth either—making it one of our top picks.


  • Breathable
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof barrier
  • Removable, washable and breathable cover
  • Non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals


  • Takes 48 hours to expand before use

Best organic

Naturepedic Breathable Organic Crib Mattress

naturpedic organic crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

Bbreathe better at night knowing they're snoozing on this premium, certified organic mattress, featuring a completely waterproof core and 360° air circulation. A machine-washable pad, which has a waterproof backing and a breathable 3D mesh surface, means your baby will be comfy and cool all night long. That means you don't have to stay awake worrying—yep, even when they're sleeping face down.

There are no toxic chemicals or flame retardants in this mattress, and the entire thing (not just the organic cotton fabric and filling) is certified organic. A dual-sided design means you won't have to buy a completely new mattress when your baby becomes a big kid. Just flip it over to the medium-firm side and you're all set.

Another thing to love about this mattress? The strong, reinforced edges will keep your baby from getting stuck on the sides and stand up to your wild toddler's newfound love for jumping on the bed.


  • GREENGUARD certified organic with luxe organic cotton fabric and filling
  • Waterproof mattress core
  • Removable and washable cover with "Breathe Thru" technology and a waterproof backing
  • Free of toxic chemicals and flame retardants
  • Durable
  • Dual-sided design


  • More expensive, but worth investing in due to the superior and safer materials used

Best luxury

Saatva Crib Mattress

saatva organic crib mattress, best crib mattress Merchant

Saatva is known for creating quality sleep products, and this dreamy, breathable crib mattress handcrafted with natural, eco-friendly materials is the best of the best. We want one in our size (and it's possible with this Saatva Cooling Hybrid model)! It's GREENGUARD-gold certified and free of toxic chemicals and VOCS you def don't want your baby breathing in.

While it's certainly a splurge, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, comfort and longevity. The dual-sided design can be used for kids up to six years old, with a double firm side made of breathable eucalyptus fiber for infants. A firm side (made of the same) for toddlers features a 100% GOTS-certified organic New Zealand wool layer. This wicks away moisture and regulates body temperature for the best night's sleep ever.

A natural latex layer is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and resistant to mildew, mold and dust mites too. In case of accidents, simply remove the organic, water-repellent cover and stick it in the wash in between sleeps. This baby mattress comes from a brand that also tops our list of kids' mattress options, too.


  • Premium quality
  • Breathable, removable and washable organic cotton cover
  • GREENGUARD-Gold certified and free of toxic chemicals
  • Naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial
  • Dual-sided
  • Lifetime warranty and 45-day free returns


  • Expensive but the quality is unbeatable
  • Water-repellent cover but overall design is not entirely waterproof

Best rated

Newton Waterproof Baby Crib Mattress

newton baby crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

With a near-perfect 4.9-average star rating on Amazon and hundreds of rave reviews, the Newton Waterproof Baby Crib Mattress is a safe bet for your precious one. It's independently tested and proven to reduce the risk of suffocation thanks to innovative breathe-thru technology and a unique wovenaire core. In fact, many parents tested it out themselves, burying their own face right into it, and said they could breathe perfectly.

"If it wasn’t for this crib mattress I would have been completely sleep-deprived watching my baby sleep 24/7," gushed one reviewer about the Newton Baby crib mattress. "[ It ] is very breathable (tested by me and my husband), definitely a 10 out of 10."

Another thing that sets this top-rated crib mattress apart from the competition is the fact that you can wash the entire thing, including the core and removable cover, to keep it as good as new for the toddler years or the next baby. The mattress itself isn't dual-sided, but the cover is, with a 100% breathable side for infants and a breathable toddler side with a waterproof barrier.


  • Breath-thru technology
  • Proven to reduce the risk of SIDS
  • The entire mattress can be washed
  • Soft, dual-sided washable cover with waterproof lining on toddler side
  • No chemicals
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Pricy but the fact that it's proven to reduce SIDS risk makes it worth the splurge
  • Slightly heavy at just over 18 pounds

Best dual-sided

HALO DreamWeave Baby Crib Mattress

halo dreamweave crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

We love a good two-for-one design so a breathable, GREENGUARD Gold-certified mattress that takes them birth all the way through the toddler years is a win in our book. The HALO DreamWeave is, well, dreamy. It features an open-strand core constructed of mostly air and is designed for maximum comfort as your little one sleeps, allowing heat and moisture to easily escape so they don't wake up a sweaty mess.

We love that you can wash the entire thing too because you never know what yucky stuff is lurking in a mattress. The cover is machine-washable, and the core can be completely rinsed off in the shower or tub. There's a firm side for your infant to sleep on and a waterproof side for your accident-prone toddler. Many reviewers noted how the HALO is very similar to the Newton mattress though with a slightly lower price point.


  • Dual-sided with waterproofing for toddler
  • Fully breathable
  • GREENGUARD-Gold certified
  • Machine-washable cover
  • Core can be rinsed/cleaned in the shower or tub
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Only the toddler side is waterproof

Best waterproof

Delta Children Summer Breeze Mattress

delta children summer breeze crib mattress, best breathable crib mattress Merchant

I mean, the name alone has us sold. This breathable mattress is like sleeping on a baby-safe cloud—it's so good! Constructed of sustainably sourced Cloud Core material, which is hypoallergenic and mold and mildew-resistant, and with a unique open-air construction, this mattress provides continuous airflow to help reduce the risk of suffocation as little ones snooze.

There are no toxic chemicals used in production and it's GREENGUARD Gold certified, as well as JPMA certified, so you know it meets the absolute highest health and safety standards.

It comes with a soft knit, machine-washable cover so cleaning up spills is a breeze, and there's a waterproof barrier to prevent the mattress core from getting wet and becoming a breeding ground for mold. A firm side is the perfect place for infants to safely sleep, then just flip it over to the cushier side when your kiddo gets bigger and needs a toddler bed.


  • Affordable
  • Fully breathable
  • Made from sustainable materials
  • GREENGUARD Gold and JPMA-certified
  • Machine-washable cover
  • Waterproof barrier to keep core dry
  • Dual-sided
  • Hypoallergenic and mold and mildew-resistant


  • Not as "luxe" as some of the other options on our list


Is a breathable crib mattress really important?

We think so. While it can't guarantee a lowered risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), breathable crib mattresses and bedding definitely can reduce the risk of suffocation. When babies are too young to pull themselves up to sit or stand, this is especially important.

Do older kids need breathable mattresses as well?

Not necessarily, although there certainly are possible benefits to an entirely breathable sleep environment—especially if your little one is prone to breathing issues or has muscular issues preventing them from sitting up or rolling on their own.

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This article was originally published on Aug 24, 2023

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