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mattress guides

The Best Breathable Crib Mattresses | Top-6 List And Breathable Covers

The Best Breathable Crib Mattresses

When you buy a mattress for yourself, you have to consider a ton of important factors. When you buy a mattress for a baby, choosing the right one becomes even more difficult — a perfect crib mattress must be firm enough, it must have a waterproof surface, and it must fit the infant bed perfectly. But that’s not all — there are lots of other factors to pay attention to before buying a mattress, and the most important one is breathability.

Here, you’ll find a guide on breathable crib mattresses and the top-6 list of the best mattresses for a crib. There are products for every budget here, but they all have one thing in common: Each of them is the best option for toddlers. Let’s start it.

Breathable mattress: what is it?

First of all, breathability is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the crib mattress — we'll talk about it in detail a little later. The main idea behind the breathable mattresses is that air must pass through the sleep surface. Typically, the mattresses with a porous structure provide quite good air circulation, but coil mattresses often have better air ventilation because there is no high-density foam layer. A breathable mattress allows air to circulate and wicks the moisture away, that's why it remains dry during the night and that's why such mattresses solve the problem of the night sweats in children.

Want to check if your mattress is breathable or not? Just tuck your nose below the surface. Can you breathe freely in such a position? If the answer is no, your mattress is not breathable at all. And while it isn’t a problem for you, it can be an extremely dangerous situation for a toddler.

Breathable mattress picks

Breathable crib mattress: does your baby need it?

The thing is: if you can’t breathe while lying down with your nose tucked in the mattress, you can solve this problem easily by rolling to your back. Toddlers who lie face down on the non-breathable mattress can’t roll over to their side or back. They have to breathe the air they've already exhaled, and this air has high amounts of carbon dioxide — and this is the chain of events that can possibly lead to SIDS death (sudden infant death syndrome) and to suffocation. That’s why it’s EXTREMELY important to buy the most breathable mattress available on the market — because the safety or your baby is definitely not the thing to save money on.

This is the most important advantage of breathable crib mattresses… But it’s surely not the only one. Here’s the list of the reasons why a breathable mattress will be a great choice for a toddler:

  • With a breathable mattress, your baby will sweat less — if the sleeping area is well-ventilated, it doesn't trap heat which means the baby will have no problems with overheating.
  • Breathable mattresses are more durable than traditional ones — if the fabric doesn't compress because of the heat and moisture, it lasts much longer.
  • They are just more comfortable. When you choose a mattress for an adult, it's obvious, but it also works for toddlers — they sleep better on a more comfortable mattress that doesn't make them sweat.


Do I need a breathable mattress cover for a memory foam mattress?

Yes. Memory foam mattresses sometimes have mold issues right from the factory, and if such a mattress is not ventilated properly, it will most likely lead to problems with mildew. That's why the manufacturers typically recommend the users to use a slat foundation to prevent mold — and a breathable mattress pad will certainly help to prevent it, too.

Are breathable crib mattresses completely safe for a baby?

Yes. What’s more, breathable crib mattresses are the only mattresses that are safe enough for the babies — they don’t allow the toddlers to breathe air with high amounts of carbon dioxide when they lie on their stomach. Just don't forget about other safety rules — the mattress must fit the crib bed tight and the mattress support must be firmly secured. If you follow all the rules, the breathable mattress will be 100% safe for a baby.

Is cotton breathable? Is a cotton mattress pad a good option for a comfortable night’s sleep?

Cotton is a naturally breathable fabric that allows air to circulate. Cotton doesn't become hot at night and absorbs moisture efficiently, so a cotton mattress pad is a great option for you if you want to improve the quality of your sleep.

Can I find a breathable memory foam mattress?

The memory foam material is not breathable and it lacks absorption. If you want to make your memory foam mattress cooler, you should buy a mattress pad made of 100% cotton (not polyester with cotton) or a latex topper. Or, you can buy a premium memory foam mattress with a special cooling foam — it will feel a little more breathable.

Koala’s list of best breathable baby mattresses

Newtonbaby Crib Mattress$299Breathability is the biggest selling point of this mattress, and it's really as breathable as the ads say. Its cover is made of 100% polyester — it's not cotton, of course, but it can be as breathable as cotton if constructed in a special way. It's not just about the cover — the Wovenaire material (the core of the mattress) is also very breathable — you can feel it by applying weight. It's also very comfortable but not plush — it's medium-firm, which is a perfect firmness for toddlers.
SafeSleep Breath-Through Crib Mattress$299This mattress by SafeSleep is extremely comfortable, but that's not the most interesting thing about it. The fabric is very breathable, it works great even for the babies who sleep on their stomach, and it's certainly a safer option than a regular non-breathable mattress. The topper is made of a fabric with a better drying rate than the drying rate of cotton, which means you don't have to worry about the night sweats.
Stitch & Cradle Crib Mattress$195Eco-friendly materials, removable waterproof cover, and a foam of a special open-cell structure — this mattress is cheaper than the previous options, but it's definitely not a bad choice. It's breathable and safe, it provides great airflow, and it consists of non-toxic foam, which makes it a great mattress for toddlers as well as for infants (it's a 2-sided mattress).
Naturepedic Organic Breathable Ultra Baby Crib Mattress$399Luxurious, premium, organic — this mattress is a Bentley in the world of crib mattresses. The surface of the mattress is waterproof which means you don't have to buy a mattress protector (they are often not breathable at all, so that's not what you need for a crib). It's a two-sided mattress — the infant side is firm and it's the best choice for infants because of safety reasons and because firm mattresses support skeletal development. The toddler side is a little bit softer, but it's still very safe. What distinguishes this mattress from other Naturepedic crib mattresses is a 3D cotton cover that makes it even more breathable.
Graco Premium Toddler Mattress$70A breathable and non-toxic mattress of a proper firmness with a water-resistant cover for less than $70? It's totally possible with this Graco product. Even if it's cheap, it's still safe and it meets all the safety standards for mattresses (CertiPUR, JPMA, and GREENGUARD GOLD certificates). It's a memory foam mattress, but the cover keeps it quite cool which is very important if your baby gets hot at night. The only problem is the size — thus, some users complain that this mattress doesn't fit the crib tight.
Nook Sleep Pebble Lite Mattress$295This is another example of a perfectly safe and breathable mattress for cribs. The only problem with it is the odor — a new mattress has a chemical smell, but that's a common problem for new mattresses. Nook Sleep Pebble Lite mattress comes with a 100% organic cotton cover that provides even better breathability and adds comfort. And of course, this mattress is eco-friendly and it's made with no dangerous chemicals.

Top 5 best breathable mattress covers

NamePrice for TwinPrice for QueenDescription
Whisper Organics Quilted Mattress Cover$96$132This mattress cover is made entirely from cotton, with no polyester, which means it's extremely comfortable and 100% breathable. It's a very soft cover that is available in lots of sizes (there is even a cover for a crib!).
Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad$199$249It's a premium product for those who want to feel the premium quality. This mattress pad is absorbent which means it protects the mattress from liquids, but it doesn't contain any polyurethane or polyester so it's 100% organic and eco-friendly. It's not 100% waterproof but it can protect any mattress and add a lot of comfort at the same time. It's made of 100% natural cotton, so it's one of the best mattress pads in terms of breathability.
Coop Home Goods Ultra Luxe Mattress Protector$29$36This mattress protector doesn't contain cotton, but it's still breathable — and it also protects the mattress from spills quite well. It's a hypoallergenic product that protects the mattress from dust mites and that doesn't have any harmful chemicals. In simple words, this protector is the best option for those who want to make the mattress more breathable, protect it, and decrease the heat at least by half for less than $40.
Abakan Mattress Pad$28$32This breathable pad can add that cooling effect to your mattress — according to the reviews, the difference between "before" and "after" is really noticeable. This mattress pad is also very soft and adds comfort, and it also protects the mattress from spills. So, if you want to kill two (actually three) birds with one stone, that's the right choice for you.
Nectar Mattress Protector$99$99The cover is made of cotton, and this makes this mattress pad extremely breathable. The great news is that it's not just a pad but also a protector — and like any other product by Nectar Sleep, this protector works exactly as expected. It's not that cheap but it's definitely worth the money — if you are searching for a waterproof yet very breathable protector, that's what you need.


A bad mattress can harm your baby. It’s not just about slight injuries — sometimes, it’s literally a life-or-death question. The mattress for a crib must be as breathable as possible — the air must move through the mattress and the base so that the toddler can breathe freely even if it sleeps on the stomach. This is not the only reason why the mattress for a crib must be breathable — such mattresses provide a better cooling effect and prevent night sweats, they are more durable, and of course, more comfortable.

If your adult mattress is not breathable enough, there’s no need to buy a new one right away. You can simply buy a mattress topper to improve the breathability of the mattress — just choose the ones that are made of 100% organic cotton or other breathable materials, such as bamboo fiber.