As expectant parents are researching different crib mattresses for their nursery, they come across two common options: foam crib mattresses and innerspring crib mattresses. Since young babies spend up to 70% of their time sleeping (most of it in the crib), it's important to understand the key differences between a foam mattress and an innerspring mattress.
Foam mattresses have several advantages. First, they tend to be lightweight, making for easier sheet changes. Additionally, the level of firmness can be gauged more accurately and there are generally more organic varieties to choose from for this type of crib mattress. The quality and durability of foam mattresses has also drastically improved in the last few years, thanks largely to scientific advances in the process of making foam. Foam made from plant-based oils have replaced those from petroleum based oils, so it's more sustainable.
The innerspring mattress design is still the industry standard- and for good reason. A high-quality innerspring mattress typically weighs 30+ pounds due to the thicker gauge coils and extra padding. These types of mattresses tend to last the longest, depending on the manufacturer; they can also be slightly less expensive than comparable foam mattresses. Many parents still prefer innerspring because it’s the design they sleep on.
In the end it comes down to personal preference and there’s no wrong decision. Look at the manufacturer, the materials they use (if it's the cheapest option you find, it's very likely they used the cheapest materials to make it, so beware!), the reviews of the mattress by other parents, and the size of your crib. Our rule of thumb for expecting parents is to buy the highest quality crib mattress that fits within your budget.