For those readers who are expecting the arrival of a new baby in the house, picking out the right baby crib can be hard. A great number of people who travel a lot end up picking out a portable baby crib. Such portable baby cribs prove to be supremely convenient for traveling with the little one. Many new parents are not aware that portable baby cribs require special mattresses. A number of factors should be considered in choosing them, including their size, firmness, and appropriateness.
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Portable Crib Mattress
Size of Portable Crib Mattresses
The good news for newly expecting parents is that both portable cribs and their mattresses are available in standard sizes. Because this is the case, picking out the exact matching fit is not at all difficult. The parents only have to choose the identical size of mattress as is their portable crib. The mattress for a portable crib has to be a precise fit. For safety reasons, it should not prove to be significantly tinier than the actual crib. Anyone who is able to slide more than a single finger in between the mattress for the portable crib and the portable crib itself is creating a potential safety hazard for the little one.
The firmness of Portable Crib Mattresses
As with all baby crib mattresses, the parents should pick out a mattress for a portable crib that they believe to be sufficiently firm. If the mattress is not properly firm, then the baby will not be well enough supported by it. The majority of mattresses for a portable crib are made from a foam material. This makes them a good deal simpler to transport than a mattress with inner springs. With foam mattresses, the firmness is actually a matter of density. This is not to say that a mattress for a portable crib has to be especially thick. It should be heavy in relationship to its relative size.
Appropriateness of A Mattress for a Portable Crib
It is especially important to remember that a person with a portable crib must choose a mattress for a portable crib. This is the case since crib mattresses created for regular baby cribs simply will not fit in the space allotted inside of the portable crib. The main reason for this is that portable cribs are generally far smaller in size than are regular-sized baby cribs. All of this said parents must not fail to buy a portable crib mattress that is specifically tailored in size to the needs of the portable crib itself. Portable crib mattresses come in a wide variety of brands, but they should all be of comparable sizes.
Choosing a portable crib for the new baby is often the best choice for the majority of parents. The thing to remember in selecting the portable crib mattress is that the guidelines for picking out any baby mattress are roughly the same. A portable crib mattress needs to be the proper size to match the size of the crib, it should have enough firmness to well support the little baby, and it should be appropriately designed for a portable crib as well. This way, the baby will get the proper amount of support for its developing body and be kept safe in the crib at all times.
Guide to buying the best Portable mattress
Structure of a mattress
The main parts of a mattress are the core, padding, upholstery, and sides.
The core is the most important part and the one that largely gives the mattress its firmness. It can be made of springs, HR foam or latex (never memory foam). The padding that follows the core (on one side or both) are made with materials such as memory foam, gel, foams, etc.
On the outside, we find the upholstery or covers that can be fixed or can be put on and taken off. They are made of breathable materials and they are easy to clean. The sides or platabanda is the lateral reinforcement of the mattresses.
Types of mattresses and their materials
This is probably the most decisive point when buying a mattress. Depending on the materials with which it is made, all or any of the properties it offers will change when resting on it. To this day, the best mattresses are not made of a single material but are a set of layers strategically placed one on top of the other.
Each of these layers has a specific role. Hygiene, perspiration, and above all adaptability are some of the objectives pursued by the different layers of mattresses. Even so, mattresses are usually grouped by manufacturing materials and we can find the following 4 large groups.
Although they are called that, memory foam mattresses are not made entirely of memory foam material. If this were the case, we would have a mattress that we would sink into and we would not be able to sleep well because it would lack more rigid support.
Typically, what we call a memory foam mattress is one that has a foam core or springs and an outer layer of memory foam. It is even normal that there are more layers of other materials between those two main layers.
The viscoelastic material has its origin in the 60s, when NASA used it in the aerospace industry. It wasn’t until the 1990s that it began to be used in mattresses. Since then it is an omnipresent material in the rest sector.
Visco or memory foam is a perfect material to make the best mattresses because it combines medium firmness with high adaptability . One of its characteristics is that it softens with heat, which favors adaptation to contact with the body. When evaluating whether a viscoelastic material is of quality we need to know if it is foamed or molded and if it is HR (high resilience).
A molded memory foam layer will be of higher quality (more adaptability and more homogeneous material) while a foamed memory foam will be more breathable but more irregular. If it is also labeled as HR it means that it has been subjected to tests that guarantee its high resistance.
Regarding the thickness of the layers, we can find everything depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the mattress. From 1 cm to 10 cm are the values that you will see the most. The best mattresses do not have to have a thicker layer of memory foam, the fundamental thing is that it is of good quality.
A trick to see if the memory foam is of quality is to rest your hand on the top of the mattress without using much force. If it’s a good material, the shape of your hand should linger for a moment and then slowly disappear. Another trick is to blow into the mattress to check if the breathability is good.
The spring mattress is an invention of the 19th century. It was the most used mattress technology in the 20th century and is still being used in the 21st with some innovation. The main characteristic of this type of mattress is its great ventilation capacity. That is why it is by far the most appropriate mattress for people who are hot or who tend to sweat a lot when sleeping.
Throughout history, mattress springs have evolved and today we can talk about different configurations. Continuous springs, balanced springs, or Bonnell springs are steel wire structures that are attached to a perimeter frame. Each of these types has some particularity but we can consider them within the same type.
This type of spring mattress is suitable for people of any weight . There are models with double continuous wire springs that are perfect even to support the highest weights. The main disadvantage of these mattresses is the noise they can make (currently this has improved a lot) or that they do not have bed independence. The latter can be mitigated with other layers arranged on the same mattress.
Special mention should be made of pocket spring mattresses . In this case they are individual springs, not connected to each other. Each of these springs is put into a bag or pocket that is made of non-woven fabric (TST) or non-woven-fabric (TNT). As the springs are not connected, the weight is distributed in a more efficient way. In this way, the user perceives a sensation similar to floating when sleeping.
Pocket spring mattresses are recommended for people of less weight who prefer a greater adaptability of the mattress to their body. A good pocket spring mattress should have quality springs (good materials) and an adequate density of springs per square meter. From 250 springs / m2 you can have a good mattress of this type.
Obviously, the more springs, the greater the independence of beds and the greater adaptability. The number of pocket springs increases dramatically when the mattress is manufactured with micro springs.
Another important factor when choosing a pocket spring mattress is the other layers of the mattress. First of all, there must be a side layer that contains the springs and allows proper perspiration. In addition, the upper layers of padding (latex or visco) should complement the main function of the springs without detracting from them. There is usually a combination of thin layers.
Latex is another of the most used materials for the manufacture of mattresses and pillows. It is a material that provides great adaptability and also has great durability . We can find natural latex and synthetic latex mattresses. It is important to know the differences between one and the other.
Natural latex comes from the rubber tree . There are 100% natural latex mattresses, but they are not very common. They are more expensive mattresses and have to be perfectly identified as ‘100% natural latex’. Be careful, ‘100% natural latex’ is not the same as ‘100% latex’. The latter are a mixture of natural and synthetic latex that guarantees a correct firmness.
Synthetic latex is made from petroleum derivatives. They are synthetic fibers that simulate natural latex and imitate its properties. In general, synthetic latex mattresses have slightly worse properties than natural latex. By cons, they are much cheaper.
Both one type of latex and the other have to be used together with a base that provides good ventilation. Latex mattresses cannot be placed on top of non-breathable upholstered bases. They need slatted bed bases. The natural latex breathe a little better than the synthetics.
A natural latex mattress has a very soft and pleasant touch, while a synthetic mattress feels more rubbery to the touch. The natural is also better in the adaptability, as it is a little better than the synthetic.
Latex mattresses (both natural and synthetic) have as their main advantage their great adaptability, but they have quite a few drawbacks. The first of this is that they weigh a lot. They can have a density of between 70 and 80 kg / m3. Much larger than memory foams. This makes them difficult to handle if they are very thick.
The other big problem is aeration. They are mattresses that if not turned over and aired often can have serious problems with humidity. They need to be turned upside down and head to toe frequently. In addition, this is a necessary operation not only for aeration, but also so that the latex does not take inappropriate forms.
If you are looking for the best mattress you will have seen terms like ‘HR foam’, ‘HR foam’ or HR mattresses. The letters HR come from the English High Resilience which means High Resilience. Resilience is the ability of a body to regain its shape when the pressure exerted on it is released.
It is a type of foam or mattress with high resistance and durability. They have nothing to do, for example, with a foam mattress. HR foam mattresses can have different densities, but they are typically between 25 and 50 kg / m3 and offer an excellent combination of adaptability and firmness .
You can find open-pore and closed-pore HR. The first is a newer technology that breathes better. It is more advisable to choose this type. It should be noted that an HR mattress is not ideal for the hottest people. Although it breathes better than traditional foam rubber, it does worse than spring mattresses .
In most cases, HR foam is used in the core of the mattress. This is combined with other layers of memory foam or latex to achieve even more adaptation and obtain a better rest. In some cases there are also spring core mattresses that have a padding layer made with HR foam.
When choosing the dimensions of a bed, the main restriction is usually the space available in the room. As this is a particular issue in each case, it is something that we cannot analyze. But if we can guide about what measures to choose both in width and in length and thickness of a mattress.
It is probably the measure that has the most influence when choosing the best mattress for each one. If it is a bed for a child or a single adult, the standard is 90 cm , although in Spain many beds of 105 cm width are still sold.
If the mattress is for two people, we go to the next measurement of 135 cm . It is the traditional measure for double beds but it is becoming increasingly obsolete since the 150 cm measure is clearly exceeding it. The 150 x 200 cm mattress seems to be the one that has established itself as the leader for double beds .
For those who need more space because they are bigger or because they are lucky enough to have a very large bedroom, there are still larger sizes. This is where the 180 and 200 cm wide beds would enter . The first case is easy to find, but the second is not very common, at least in Spain.
From here we recommend 90 cm for one person or 150 cm for two. They are more than enough width measures for a correct rest and to be able to turn over in bed comfortably.
This measure is easier to choose because there are fewer options. In the market you will find lengths of 180, 190 and 200 cm. Exceptionally you can find a longer mattress, but already for special cases. As a general rule you should buy a mattress whose length is at least 10 cm longer than the height of the tallest person who will sleep in that bed.
Today, most of the mattresses sold are 190 or 200 cm. Only in some cases are 180 cm mattresses bought, almost exclusively for 90 cm wide beds in children’s rooms.
The choice of the height or thickness of the mattress is not really a direct choice, but will depend on many factors. The variability of this measure is so great that there are mattresses from 20 cm to 35 cm wide.
There are simpler mattresses, for children, that have a very small height. This is so because you don’t need as much material or as many layers to support lower weights than that of young children. At the opposite end would be the mattresses of large beds and designed for people with a lot of weight . They need more layers and more thickness to provide adequate rest and to distribute weight correctly.
It also depends on the material of the mattress. A mattress of the same thickness does not offer the same firmness if it is made of HR foam or if it is made of latex. And of course it depends on the manufacturer. We can find equivalent models in performance that are of very different thicknesses depending on the brand that has manufactured it.
Knowing all this, the thickness is one more piece of information that we have to analyze and evaluate. An important piece of information is the sum of the thickness of the mattress plus the height of the base or sofa. This will give us the total height of the mattress surface from the ground . There, the tastes of each buyer come into play.
There are people who like higher mattresses and others less. But what we must be clear about is that, in general, the greater the thickness, the better the independence of the beds .
It can be said that the firmness of a mattress is the first thing we feel when we lie down on it . If it seems that the mattress expels us upwards, we can say that it has a high firmness and if we sink into it we will say that it has a low firmness. Anyway, it is a very subjective feeling that depends on each person. In fact, two people with much difference in weight will not feel the same mattress.
To guide you when it comes to knowing the firmness of a mattress there are different scales that measure the hardness of mattresses with a number. The most common scales range from 1 (for a very soft mattress) to 6 or 10 (for the harder mattresses). You can also make a division into groups of soft, medium and hard mattresses.
Soft mattresses may be suitable for people who move little while sleeping . If you are one of those who move a lot, stay away from these mattresses because catching you more will cost you more to move. A soft mattress can be good for people who are very light or for people who regularly have muscle discomfort.
At the other extreme, hard mattresses are recommended for people who are heavier and do not have any muscle problems. People who have obesity problems should choose this type of mattress, especially spring mattresses to ensure correct weight distribution and support.
Halfway between the above are medium hard mattresses. Here there is a wide range since they can be subdivided into medium-high hardness, medium-low hardness … They are mattresses that can be effective for most people. Depending on personal tastes and sleeping position, you should choose one or the other.
If you sleep on your side, the surface of your body in contact with the mattress is less. This creates more high-pressure points that need more reception. That is why this position is associated with the softest mattresses.
If you are one of those who sleep on your stomach you will need a rather hard or firm mattress. In this position the weight is better distributed throughout the body and there are no high-pressure points that need to be cushioned. But when sleeping on your stomach it is important to have a higher firmness to keep the spine as straight as possible.
If you sleep on your back, the most recommended is a medium-firm mattress. In this way, a compromise is achieved between the firmness necessary for the correct posture of the spine and the adequate support so as not to create muscular discomfort in the back, neck and shoulders.
Mattress adaptability to your body
The adaptability of a mattress is its ability to adapt to the curves of your body so that pressure points are not generated that make it difficult to rest . It is a very important characteristic especially for those who usually suffer from discomfort or pain at bedtime. The most suitable material to achieve high adaptability is memory foam.
The best mattresses always usually have a layer of this type regardless of the material they have in their core. In addition, memory foam toppers serve to increase the adaptability of a mattress that does not have this feature. Sometimes it is better to buy a topper to improve a hard mattress than to buy a new mattress.
The adaptability is not incompatible with the firmness of the mattress . In the first case it is about adapting to the body, in the second the objective is that the body does not sink into the mattress. They are two similar but not the same concepts.
Breathability to avoid heat and sweat
If you are determined to find the best mattress for you, the first thing you should ask yourself is if you are one of those people who get very hot or one of those people who get warm as soon as the temperature drops a bit. If you are one of the first you should opt for a mattress with a spring core.
Why? Simply because it is the type of mattress that breathes the best and that, therefore, will give you less heat at bedtime. This type of mattress can be used with any type of base (couches, bed bases, …) because it does not require an external element to improve ventilation.
The opposite happens with mattresses that have a lot of memory foam, HR foams, or especially latex. These mattresses perspire worse and need to be used together with a slatted mattress that guarantees good perspiration and can avoid possible problems with humidity.
Still, memory foam, latex, and HR foam mattresses have improved a lot in this regard in recent years. Many models incorporate efficient aeration channels or ventilation valves that notably improve this section.
Mattress density. The compromise between firmness, adaptability, and aeration.
The density of a mattress or one of its layers is measured as the amount of material they have in a given volume. That is, it is measured in kg / m3. It is a value that determines certain properties of the mattress such as adaptability or breathability.
The range goes from 25 kg / m3 for low-density mattresses to 80 kg / m3 for very dense mattresses. As density increases, breathability decreases, and, at the same time, the adaptability of the mattress increases. Therefore, the densest mattress is not necessarily the best mattress. You have to find a compromise between both characteristics.
Another property that increases with density is firmness. That is, for heavier sleepers it is advisable to buy products that have a higher density. As you can see, there is no ideal figure for this variable, but you also have to think about the preferences of who is going to make the purchase.
Covers and upholstery
The outermost part of the mattress is the upholstery or the cover. There are mattresses with covers that can be removed and put on. This facilitates the cleaning and ventilation operations of the mattress. Ideally, the cover can be removed (better if it is with a zipper) and can be machine washed at least at 40ºC. In the event that the mattress we buy has a fixed cover, we must make sure that it can be cleaned well at least with a damp cloth.
The upholstery or the cover is a fundamental part that must guarantee a correct ventilation of the mattress . It is useless to have a spring mattress with high breathability if the cover does not let the mattress breathe. A good cover should be made of some natural material like cotton (even if the price of the mattress goes up a bit) that improves ventilation. It is also very beneficial that the covers have some additional anti-mite and antibacterial treatment.
On the other hand, there are more complete covers that include some type of padding to complement the action of the mattress. These are called toppers or mattress toppers. Its function is usually to provide greater adaptability to hard or very firm mattresses. For this, they usually include memory foam sheets.
Independent beds. Essential if you sleep as a couple.
If we sleep as a couple, we must buy a mattress that does not transmit the movements of a sleeper to the one next to us. This is what is called a mattress with independent beds. The best choice in this case is pocket spring mattresses. The springs, totally independent of each other, manage to isolate the movements of the two sleeping people. The rest of the spring technologies, such as iconic or continuous wire, are not the most suitable for this purpose, since they are connected and the movements are transmitted.
After pocket springs, mattresses with some kind of viscoelastic layer are best suited for creating independent beds. In fact, the larger the memory foam layer, the more bed independence there will be.
Another slightly more rudimentary option is to buy two 90 cm mattresses and join them to have two completely independent beds. To avoid the gap between the two mattresses, a 180 cm topper can be placed on top to create a unique surface.
Durability. How often is a mattress changed?
If properly used and maintained correctly, any good quality mattress can last a minimum of 8 years. As a general rule, you have to think about changing the mattress from that date and it is very likely that after 10 years it will be necessary to change it on most occasions.
How to keep your mattress for longer
Protect the mattress with a cover. This will isolate it from potential stains and creates an additional barrier that prevents the accumulation of bacteria and mites. Wash the cover every 3 months.
Ventilate the mattress every morning when you get up.
In mattresses with two useful faces, it is necessary to change sides at least every 3 months. In those that are made of latex, this operation must be done at least once a month.
In the same way, from time to time you have to turn the mattress, exchanging the area of the feet and the head. This way we avoid that the weight is always in the same areas.
If you have a viscoelastic mattress, do not expose it to intense sources of heat, because the mattress will lose its properties (Visco is heat-sensitive, it deforms with heat).
As far as possible, prevent children from jumping on the mattress. Although those of us who have children know that this task is difficult.
Do not use the mattress to reach objects in upper cabinets. The mattress is not a ladder. If we stand on it we put a lot of pressure on it in very small places.
Change the sheets every week or, at most, every other week. This ensures better hygiene of the mattress.
Do not place the mattress in damp rooms. The mushrooms will appropriate it and you will have to throw it away.