Product Reviews Nursery
Diapers can and do leak. To protect your crib mattress, we do suggest a waterproof pad. Here’s a quick overview of our picks for this important part of the nursery.
Our top pick for waterproof crib mattress pads is the American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Pad. ($24). The front and back of this pad have a sandwiched waterproof vinyl layer to keep the mattress dry. Readers tell us they love this pad; it washes well and the price is a bargain. (An organic version of this pad, where the outer cover is made from 100% organic cotton, runs a couple of dollars more).
We originally recommended Carter's "Keep-Me-Dry" Fitted Quilted Crib Pad. This affordable ($19) waterproof pad features a soft, quilted polyester top and waterproof vinyl backing. We like the all-around elastic and reinforced corners. The pad is machine washable.
If you prefer to go the organic route, the Naturepedic Waterproof Fitted Crib Pad ($70, below) is made of 100% organic cotton with a thin polyurethane waterproof barrier in the center. The pad features "DrySleep" technology, which allows for liquid to pass through the fabric while "still allowing the material to 'breathe.'" Naturepedic is one of our top recommended mattress brands—we generally like this company for their quality and durability. This material passes the GREENGUARD tests for emissions standard. It is machine washable.
The big difference between these two pads (besides the price differential, which is substantial) is the type of waterproofing—the more affordable Carter's option uses vinyl. Naturepedic uses what it calls "food-grade" polyurethane—that is, the same polyurethane approved for food contact. We think either is fine and safe.
Crib mattress pads are rather simple—look for a durable pad that protects your crib mattress in case of a diaper leak. The goal is to have something that is snug to the mattress, hence all around elastic is important. Nearly all pads are machine washable, but we looked carefully at reader feedback for which pads could withstand multiple washings.
We should point out that there are several solutions to keeping the mattress dry. Instead of a mattress pad, you can do a "sheet saver"—these are basically crib sheets that have a waterproof backing and can easily remove for washing. They snap, velcro or tie on to the mattress. When the sheet needs to be changed, you just remove the top layer (instead of removing the entire sheet from the mattress). Summer (Ultimate Crib Sheet), Nojo (Sheet Saver) and others make them.
Remember you just need ONE waterproof barrier—the waterproof pad OR a sheet saver. You don't need both! The concern for having both on a mattress is creating a too-soft surface (which is a risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It is safe to have a waterproof pad, sheet and firm mattress . . or a sheet saver and crib mattress.
See the recommended tab above for our top picks in this category.
A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.