Breathable mattresses are one of the newest categories in the crib mattress market, but they are gaining in popularity. Breathable mattresses are designed to provide a safe, allergen-free sleeping environment by allowing for the easy exchange of air through the mattress material itself. According to the manufacturers, a breathable mattress offers little or no air resistance and helps lower the baby’s core temperature. This aids in preventing carbon dioxide “re-breathing,” or the danger of a baby rolling over into a face-down position and breathing his or her own exhaled breath, which poses a potential suffocation risk.
As with organic mattresses, there are no federal standards for breathable mattresses, and sleep experts still caution that babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs, no matter what type of mattress you use. Breathable mattresses — which may be made from organic materials — are also more expensive relative to traditional foam mattresses.
However, for an increasing number of parents, the added peace of mind is worth it. Breathable mattresses are still fairly new to the market, so the options in this category are limited to a few manufacturers. As with any type of new crib mattress, it’s a good idea to do a little extra research on breathable mattresses before purchasing to make sure it’s a good fit for your family.
Other types of crib mattresses:
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019