A Breathable Crib Mattress? What You Need to Know

You want the safest possible sleep situation for your baby and you might have been told to get a breathable crib mattress. But is this really necessary and how do you know what’s right for your baby?

Does a Breathable Crib Mattress Prevent SIDS?

The CPSC ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign makes it clear that the best way to prevent SIDS is for baby to sleep face- up. “Breathable Mattresses” incorrectly suggest that it’s okay for baby to sleep face-down.

Does a Breathable Baby Mattress prevent suffocation?

The CPSC data clearly shows that suffocation is caused by (a) soft bedding — for example, baby lying face-down on a fluffy blanket, (b) a pillow or plush stuffed animal in the crib, or (c) a rolled-up blanket or soft bumper around the sides of the crib.

Can a Firm Crib Mattress Suffocate a Baby?

If the mattress is firm and flat, and fits snugly in the crib, as recommended by the CPSC, the risk of the baby suffocating is greatly minimized.

Are there Benefits to Buying a Breathable Mattress?

Breathability can mean less overheating and less sweating for your baby. This is important since overheating can be a factor in SIDS.

What is the Problem with Most Breathable Mattresses?

Most breathable baby mattresses are not waterproof. What is going through the non-waterproof surface and into the interior? Urine. Diarrhea. Spit-up. Vomit. Do you want your baby to breathe into that contaminated space?

Are “Washable” Designs more Hygienic?

  • Scrubbing all the core interior cavities is essentially impossible.
  • The core won’t fit into a home washing machine so it must be washed in a shower or tub, making the process difficult; most parents won’t routinely do this.
  • The core can’t be dried in a dryer or even with a heated blow dryer; instead you must wait for the core to air-dry. If it doesn’t completely dry when you put it back into the mattress, you’re likely growing even more bacteria, mold, and other microbial contamination.
  • You’ll need somewhere for your baby to sleep while waiting for the mattress to dry.

Is there a Better way to Add Additional Breathability for the Baby?

  • Keep the mattress waterproof and hygienic and then add a fully breathable pad!
  • Naturepedic breathable mattress pads are as breathable and provide as much air-flow as any “breathable mattress” on the market.
  • Naturepedic breathable mattress pads provide airflow surrounding the baby with better temperature regulation and better reduction in ‘sweaty backs’.
  • When wet or soiled, toss the breathable pad into the washer and dryer. No need to try to clean the mattress interior.


  • Follow CPSC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines — babies should sleep face-up.
  • For extra breathability and airflow, use a breathable pad.
  • Baby mattresses should be waterproof.

Naturepedic breathable crib mattresses provide the benefits of a breathable mattress without the drawbacks.

View Naturepedic Breathable Crib Mattresses 

For a breathable pad to add to your current mattress – view Naturepedic Breathable Mattress Pads