After more than a half-century in the crib mattress industry, we have received almost every question imaginable from parents. Below we have assembled some of the most frequently asked questions from parents just like you. We hope you find these helpful, and please feel free to ask us any questions that we have not answered. We love hearing from our customers. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Is the crib mattress actually that important?

Soon-to-be parents often spend months deciding on the perfect crib and the cutest bedding for their new child, and they then purchase the crib mattress as an afterthought. The fact is that while those sheets with dancing teddy bears are fun to buy, the crib mattress is a very important purchase because it’s where the majority of a child's growth and development will occur. An infant will spend up to 70% of his or her time on the crib mattress and a toddler can spend up to 50% of his or her time on the crib mattress. Because a child will spend the first three to five years of his or her life sleeping and playing on this same crib mattress, purchasing a quality crib mattress is an extremely important decision for soon-to-be parents.

Do all crib mattresses come in the same size? How should the mattress fit in the crib?

The size for all standard crib mattresses is regulated by the Federal government.  The size is 27 ½” x 52” and not being thicker than 6 inches.  Cribs are also regulated, but their interior dimensions have a “plus or minus” tolerance from the standard 28 x 52 rectangle.  Therefore, depending on the specific crib and mattress combination, the mattress may be either very snug or moderately snug in the crib. The Consumer Product Safety Commission sets the standards for crib and crib mattress sizes and how the combination should fit.  At Colgate, we abide by all government regulations.  If you would like more specific information, please refer to the CPSC website, requirements for full-size baby cribs.

How can you tell a good quality foam mattress from a bad one?

Here are three particular qualities to consider when identifying a high quality foam crib mattress:

  1. Total weight of the mattress (also referred to as density) - Generally, the heavier the mattress, the better the mattress.
  2. Firmness - Most medical experts recommend that you put your baby on as firm a mattress as you, the parent, feel comfortable putting them on.
  3. The reputation of the actual mattress manufacturer, not just the name on the label.

How can you tell a good quality innerspring mattress from a bad one?

An innerspring crib mattress is more complicated internally than a foam mattress. Here are some important things to consider before your purchase:

  1. The total number of layers in the mattress - Generally, the more layers the better.
  2. The quality of each of the layers inside the mattress - This is the most complicated and important step.
  3. The reputation of the actual mattress manufacturer, not just the name on the label.
  4. The reputation and quality of the retailer from whom you are buying the mattress.

What are the different layers in an innerspring crib mattress, and which are considered better?

The layers in an innerspring crib mattress are:

  1. The innerspring unit - It is not just the number of coils that is important, but it is also the amount of steel. Buy a mattress with the thickest and greatest number of coils, and, even more importantly, buy a mattress with an innerspring unit that has a border rod. This will add firmness and extra edge support.
  2. The insulator - This is the layer that prevents the soft cushioning layers from sinking into the coils. The best insulator is a coir fiber pad made from coconut shells. This is far superior to a fiber pad or cloth pad, particularly over an extended time period. Besides the coir fiber pad, some better quality mattresses offer a permanent insulator which reduces the gap between the coils. Some manufacturers even offer two insulators.
  3.  Cushioning layers - These usually consist of one layer of foam. There are sometimes two layers of foam, and some manufacturers offer a layer of foam and a layer of 100% all natural cotton batting.
  4. The cover - Triple layer nylon reinforced vinyl is the best.

Do you use Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), PBDEs, Mercury, Lead, TCEP, Heavy Metals, or Formaldehyde as a flame retardant?

Recently there have been some news events (television, newspaper, internet blogs) regarding the use of certain flame retardant chemicals in baby and child products.   These chemical agents have been used as a flame retardant in foam.

Some of the chemical agents mentioned in these news articles are chlorinated Tris, Penta-BDE (aka PBDE) and TCEP.  These agents have been suspected of causing cancer.

We at Colgate Mattress Atlanta want to assure you, our customers, that we have never used any of these chemical agents in the manufacture of our crib mattresses. 

When the State of California passed TB603, which required mattresses of all types to pass an “open flame” test, Colgate Mattress Atlanta complied with this regulation by adding a barrier fabric (rayon) to our polyurethane foam mattresses.  We did not use FR (fire retardant) agents to comply with this regulation.

In 2007 when the Federal Flammability standard (16CFR 1633) was enacted, which was an even more stringent “open flame” standard than California’s TB603, we had to change nothing.  Our fire barrier easily passed the new and tougher standard.

We produce our mattresses in the United States and use independent third party testing labs to ensure health and safety. Further, all of our products are Greenguard Certified for children and schools, and we use Certi-pur certified foam.

Colgate Mattress Atlanta is a family owned business.  Our founder, Solomon Wolkin, put his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on the same mattresses that we produce for you, our customers.  Our products are made with premium quality materials by dedicated employees.  Your baby’s health and safety is our priority.

Why not just buy a crib mattress from one of the “big name” adult mattress brands?

Most consumers are unaware that many crib mattresses with brand names identical to those found on national adult mattresses are not made by the same companies. They are usually just names licensed by, or shared with, a crib mattress manufacturer from the adult mattress company so that they can take advantage of the name recognition to increase sales. Another tactic by questionable manufacturers is to buys its foam on the close out market. It feels heavy and firm, but it doesn't hold up over time because it’s a type of foam that is not designed for crib mattresses. It’s very important to choose a reputable manufacturer.

Does Colgate make custom sized mattresses and pads?

Colgate makes custom sized mattresses and pads when purchased from an authorized Colgate retailer. Talk to your local Colgate dealer about ordering a custom sized product.

I saw a Colgate mattress in a store, but the mattress is not listed on the Colgate website. Why?

Colgate's website only lists mattresses and other products that are part of Colgate's regular product line. Private label mattresses and other products made exclusively for specific retailers are not listed on the website. Also, we are constantly adding new products to our lineup, and some of these may not have made it onto our website yet. If you have questions regarding a specific mattress not on the Colgate website, feel free to contact us.

Can I buy a Colgate product directly from you?

Your best resource for purchasing our premium products is your local authorized retailer. To find one conveniently located near you, visit our Store Locator. If you have a problem locating a dealer, please e-mail us at info@colgatekids.com, and we will make sure to find a way to accommodate you.

Why doesn’t my local dealer carry all of the products I see on the website?

Because Colgate has such an extensive line of crib mattress models, it’s impractical for any one store to carry them all. Generally, our authorized retailers will carry 4-5 units that meet the needs of their local market, but they will gladly order the Colgate product you want and have it shipped to the store.

What is the difference between a “California” mattress and a regular mattress?

Effective January 1, 2005, the State of California enacted Technical Bulletin 603 (TB 603).  This regulation addresses an “open flame” test for mattresses.  This is a more stringent regulation regarding flammability than the previous Federal standard (CFR- 1632).  The Federal government adopted a slightly more stringent standard on July 1, 2007. All of our standard innerspring mattresses were already compliant with the new code without any changes needing to be made. In addition, we use a flame-blocker barrier fabric on all our foam mattresses. The safety of your child is of the utmost importance to us.

Do you recommend mattress pad covers for your mattresses? Why use a mattress pad cover if the vinyl covers on the mattresses are wetproof?

While all of our crib mattresses have wetproof covers, many parents still choose to use an additional wetproof mattress pad for extra protection. Not only will a mattress pad extend the life of your mattress so it can potentially be converted into a toddler bed/ daybed, but also a waterproof mattress pad can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning.

Are there chemicals in the mattress or mattress cover that could harm my baby?

All of our materials are non-toxic. While there are specific Federal regulations that manufacturers must meet with regard to the chemicals used in raw materials, our approach has always been to not just meet, but to exceed, those regulations. For additional information on this topic, please refer to the “Health and Safety” section of our website.

Why are crib mattresses so hard? Will it be uncomfortable for my baby?

For infants, the crib mattress is much more than just a sleeping surface; it’s their growth and developmental center. In fact, infants will spend up to 70% of their day on a crib mattress. They need a firm, flat, even surface to maximize their development. The firm surface is particularly important both during periods of sleep and when the infant begins to become more active in the crib. They need the firm surface as they begin to push up, turn, and eventually stand in the crib. A solid base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles. Ask yourself this: “Is it easier for an adult to walk on a wooden floor or a waterbed?” Firmer is better.

Why do my sheets not fit on the Colgate mattress?

While there are industry standards for the size of cribs and crib mattresses, strangely there are none for crib sheets. Some lower-quality crib sheets are not manufactured to fit a quality, firm mattress like ours. Read reviews online, check the dimensions, and be sure to check the return policy before you purchase crib sheets. Here are the quality crib sheets that we would recommend.  

What are some additional resources for more information?

ISPA – International Sleep Products Association http://www.sleepproducts.org
First Candle SIDS Alliance - http://www.firstcandle.org/
JPMA – Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association - http://www.jpma.org
Consumer Products Safety Commission - http://www.cpsc.gov
Consumer Reports Buying Guide - http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/crib-mattresses/buying-guide.htm

What do I do when I am done with your crib mattress?

Currently recycling facilities do not accept crib mattresses, but we have suggestions below on how you can donate, reuse or repurpose your crib mattress. 1. Donate your baby crib mattress to a shelter. Contact a local shelter to determine if they are accepting baby crib mattress donations. Colgate supports many women’s shelters with generous donations of crib mattresses to make sure that all babies have a safe place to sleep. If you know a shelter that needs baby mattresses, please send us their information. 2. Donate your mattress to local furniture banks where people in need can gather good, used products for their home. Colgate can help to direct you to your local furniture bank. Some cities have them, some do not have furniture banks. 3. Sell the mattress components to a recycler. You can actually sell the steel from Colgate innerspring mattresses to a local recycler. Colgate uses top quality American steel for the innerspring portion of the crib mattress. 4. Reuse the Coir Fiber in your garden, underneath your pet’s doghouse, as a welcome mat (good conversation starter) or even under your car to keep your garage dry! 5. Repurpose the cover as a weed protector in your garden or under the arts and crafts table to keep floor clean. 6. Repurpose the mattress as a backstop for sports (great for preventing baseballs from dinging your house or bruised noses from run-ins with basketball poles) . 7. Reuse the mattress as a doggie bed with your dog’s favorite blanket. Great option for getting Fido out of your bed or off the couch! 8. Store your mattress in your storm shelter or basement to use as head coverage if you live in a tornado prone area. CDC (The Center for Disease Control) recommends protecting your head during a tornado with household objects such as mattresses and blankets (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/tornadoes/during.asp) Colgate takes pride in the products we manufacture. Once your children have outgrown their baby mattress consider donating, reusing, or repurposing instead of sending it to a landfill. Colgate encourages donations to your local womens shelter or furniture bank. Donating your crib mattress is acceptable everywhere. The best way to protect the environment is to use a product more than once in its lifetime; set a great example for your children!