Why Crib Mattresses Should Be Waterproof

Mom removing a waterproof protector pad from a crib mattress

Welcome to the world of parenting! As a new or expecting parent, you're inundated with decisions to make for your little one's well-being. One such crucial decision is choosing the right crib mattress. 

At Naturepedic, we believe that a waterproof crib mattress is a must, both for Baby's sake and yours. You might wonder, "Why waterproof?" We're sure we don't need to tell you this, but babies are messy! From diaper leaks to spilled milk to vomit, drool, sweat and more, your sweet little bundle of joy sure can keep you on cleaning duty – day and night. 

You may not realize it, but those messes can lead to very real consequences that extend beyond the nuisance of cleaning up those late night diaper blowouts. A non-waterproof crib mattress can put your baby’s health and their safety at risk – here’s what you need to know. 

First Things First: No Moldy Mattresses!

Water droplets beading on a waterproof mattress surfaceWater droplets beading on a waterproof mattress surface

When it comes to your baby’s health and safety, the top reason to consider a waterproof crib mattress is to prevent mold growth. Babies, in their early stages, are highly susceptible to various allergens, and a moldy mattress can be a hidden culprit in their nursery. 

Mold thrives in moist environments, and given that infants and toddlers often have accidents or spill liquids, a non-waterproof mattress can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Once moisture penetrates your mattress’s core, it’s practically impossible to dry it out. This can lead to respiratory issues and allergic reactions in sensitive infants. 

A waterproof mattress offers a built-in barrier, keeping the inner materials dry and protected from messes that may lead to mold.

Classic Seamless Organic Crib MattressClassic Seamless Organic Crib Mattress


 wipe-clean waterproof surface

lightweight or 150 coil support

single or 2-stage dual firmness



Breathable 2-Stage Organic Crib MattressBreathable 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress


removable washable breathable cover
(with waterproof backing)

lightweight or 252 coil support

2-stage dual firmness



Breathable Ultra 2-Stage Organic Crib MattressBreathable Ultra 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress

breathable ultra

removable washable breathable cover
(thicker + designer fabric)

lightweight or 252 coil support

2-stage dual firmness



Click Here for additional models carried by our retaiers

Mold Exposure Symptoms

Mold exposure can be particularly harmful to infants with still-developing immune systems. Mold exposure symptoms in babies may include:

  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation

If your baby is experiencing persistent respiratory issues, it's essential to investigate their sleeping environment for potential mold growth. A waterproof mattress significantly reduces this risk, ensuring a safer sleep environment for your baby.

A Waterproof Crib Mattress Helps You, Too

Woman tossing a wateroproof mattress protector pad in the hamperWoman tossing a wateroproof mattress protector pad in the hamper

As parents, we often prioritize our baby's needs, but it's important to remember that choices we make for them can also significantly impact our own daily lives. Opting for a waterproof crib mattress doesn’t just protect your baby's health and comfort – it protects your peace (and your investment, too!). 

Easy-clean Convenience

Parenting is a joyous but undoubtedly busy journey. A waterproof crib mattress adds convenience to your life. Accidents are a part of the baby phase, and a waterproof mattress can be wiped clean in moments, saving you time, effort and, most importantly, sleep! 

You shouldn’t have to settle for long nights spent trying to wash an entire crib mattress at 2 a.m. (not to mention drying it, which takes hours upon hours of extra waiting) when you’re exhausted, your baby is crying and you both just want to get back to bed – not when there’s another way! Waterproofing ensures that your baby's sleeping surface remains hygienic with minimal maintenance – so you both can get back to sleep. 

Crib Mattress Longevity

Selecting a safer, healthier, high-quality crib mattress can be a big investment. Of course you want it to last! 

Waterproof mattresses tend to have a longer lifespan as they are protected against spills, leaks and accidents that can stain the surface and deteriorate the core materials of non-waterproof mattresses. This added durability ensures that your investment remains in good shape, potentially serving you for more than one child.

Organic Cotton Oval Crib MattressOrganic Cotton Oval Crib Mattress

oval crib mattress

fits stokke sleepi crib 27x47x3

Organic Changing Table PadsOrganic Changing Table Pads

changing pads

2 and 4-sided options

Organic Crib Protector PadsOrganic Crib Protector Pads

protector pads

waterproof and breathable

Organic Crib SheetsOrganic Crib Sheets

crib sheets

cozy 300 thread count sateen

Are Waterproof and Washable the Same Thing?

When it comes to creating a hygienic sleeping environment for your baby, understanding the distinction between waterproof and washable crib mattresses is crucial. 

Many parents are under the impression that a washable mattress is an all-encompassing solution. However, the practicality of washable mattresses often falls short when compared to their waterproof counterparts. When accidents happen in the middle of the night, you're left with a soiled mattress that needs washing, which presents the immediate problem of finding an alternative safe sleeping surface for your baby while the mattress dries, which can take several hours or even longer. 

Moreover, the drying process itself poses additional challenges. It can be impossible for a washable mattress to dry out completely. Any residual dampness creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew, ironically creating the very problem they are designed to avoid. The risk of mold growth not only undermines the hygienic integrity of the mattress but also poses health risks to your baby, including respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

In contrast, waterproof crib mattresses offer a more practical and reliable solution. They provide an impermeable barrier against moisture, ensuring that the core of the mattress remains clean and dry. Spills or accidents can be swiftly wiped away without the need to remove or wash the entire mattress. This immediate clean-up capability ensures that your baby's sleep environment remains uninterrupted and hygienic.

Tips for Safer, Healthier Waterproofing

Considering the safety and health of your baby is paramount when shopping for any baby-related product, especially their crib mattress (where they’ll spend up to 16 hours a day as a newborn!). 

Understanding the nuances of waterproofing is key to making an informed choice. Not all waterproofing methods are created equal, especially when it comes to the delicate balance between safety and functionality. Here are some tips to help you provide the best for your baby without compromising on their safety and comfort.

Baby smiiling on a Naturepedic organic waterproof mattessBaby smiiling on a Naturepedic organic waterproof mattess

Limit Harmful Materials

It's vital to avoid mattresses that rely on cheap, questionable waterproofing methods. Conventional options on the market often use vinyl/PVC as crib mattress waterproofing, which we say “No” to at Naturepedic. Vinyl, along with phthalate plasticizers often used in waterproofing, off-gasses unacceptable levels of harmful VOCs and can lead to serious health concerns. 

As an organic crib mattress company, we emphasize the importance of safer, healthier materials that provide waterproofing without compromising your baby's health – like our own patented PE waterproofing derived from non-GMO sugarcane (so pure that it even meets food-contact standards).

As a consumer, your best bet is to look for certifications like GOTS, EWG VERIFIED®, MADE SAFE® and GREENGUARD® Gold that limit your little one's exposure to harmful chemicals in their crib mattress.

Seamless Waterproofing Is Cleaner

Seamless waterproofing is another aspect to consider. In the context of crib mattresses, this refers to a design feature where the mattress cover or outer layer is made without seams or stitches that can potentially allow liquids to seep through.

Mattresses with seams or crevices can trap dirt and liquids, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. A seamless design ensures that there are no hidden nooks for contaminants to accumulate, making the mattress easier to clean and more hygienic overall.

You Don't Have to Sacrifice Breathability

Breathability is a feature many parents look for in a crib mattress, and for good reason. Enhanced breathability gives parents peace of mind and also helps your baby to regulate their body temperature for more comfortable sleep.

Yet, many mattress manufacturers don’t waterproof their breathable mattresses. In the context of your little one’s health and safety, this is a major design flaw. A breathable crib mattress naturally begs the question, “What’s in the air that my baby is breathing?” And if that crib mattress isn’t waterproof, the answer to that question can include mold, bacteria, fungus … you get the picture.

If your crib mattress is breathable all the way through, you risk microbial contamination. If your crib mattress is breathable at the surface, and waterproof, say, an inch below the surface, you still risk microbial contamination. Extra breathability is wonderful, but not if that extra breathability is coming from at or below the surface of the mattress – for a hygienic sleep space, your crib mattress must be waterproof at the surface. 

Naturepedic practices Breathability Done Right™. Our breathable mattresses are waterproof at the surface and wrapped in a removable, washable, breathable cover for increased airflow that doesn’t come at the cost of cleanliness. 

Choosing the right crib mattress is a significant decision in your parenting journey – don’t take it lightly! A waterproof crib mattress is more than just a practical choice; it's an investment in your child's wellbeing, protecting your little one from day one. 

Take a look at our complete checklist for safer baby sleep here.