A waterproof crib mattress cover is one of the most useful and practical baby products for any nursery. As all parents quickly find out, babies are prone to accidental leaks, spills, explosions, and other messy situations throughout the night.
A high-quality waterproof mattress cover is essential to:
- Protect the mattress from stains and damage
- Create a clean and hygienic sleep surface
- Save you time and money by extending the life of the mattress
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best waterproof crib mattress cover for your little one? This ultimate guide will walk you through everything you need to know.
Understanding the Different Types of Waterproof Crib Mattress Covers
Before diving into specific products, it’s helpful to understand the main categories of waterproof mattress covers available:
Fitted Mattress Covers
- Stretchy covers with elastic edges that fit neatly over the mattress
- Typically the most affordable and widely used style
- Easy to put on and remove for cleaning
Zippered Encasement Covers
- Fully enclosed mattress with a zipper opening
- Provide complete all-over protection
- Can inhibit breathability if not properly ventilated
Mattress Overlay Protectors
- Pad-style covers that sit on top of the mattress
- Usually the least expensive option
- More prone to shifting around and bunching up
Each style has its own pros and cons. The right choice depends on your specific needs and priorities.
6 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Crib Mattress Cover
1. Waterproofing Ability and Effectiveness
The #1 priority is that the cover adequately protects against leaks, spills and accidents. Look for these features:
- Multi-layer or laminated fabric constructions
- Branded waterproofing technology like GuardX, AquaShield, etc.
- High denier rating for durability
- Lab testing data to validate waterproof claims
2. Breathability and Airflow
Waterproof fabrics can sometimes inhibit airflow and lead to heat or moisture buildup. Prioritize these characteristics:
- Mesh panels, perforations or moisture-wicking fabrics
- Special ventilation channels in the cover edges or corners
- Certifications for breathability from agencies like OEKO-TEX
3. Fit and Ease of Use
A properly fitting cover that goes on easily ensures better protection. Consider:
- Elasticized edges for a tight, wrinkle-free fit
- Flap-free designs that won’t bunch or shift around
- Indicators to easily discern top from bottom
4. Noise Reduction Features
Crinkly, scratchy, or stiff materials can interrupt sleep. Opt for covers touting these noise-reducing qualities:
- Ultra-soft fabric finishes like brushed polyester or fleece
- Noiseless polymer backings that won’t wake the baby
- Extra stitching and reinforcements to prevent ripping sounds
5. Easy Cleaning and Care
Accidents happen – choose a cover that’s simple to clean:
- Machine washable fabrics
- Stain-resistant treatments
- No shrinking or warping in the wash
- Quick drying times
6. Safety Certifications
Reputable third-party certifications to look out for:
- GREENGUARD Gold – Validates low emissions for indoor use
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – Ensures safe processing methods and materials
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 – Confirms baby-safe production from raw materials to finished product
Now that you know what to look for in a waterproof crib mattress cover, let’s explore why these features are so important for your baby’s health and sleep quality.
Key Benefits of Using a Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover
Beyond just keeping the mattress clean, a high-quality waterproof cover provides other meaningful benefits for your little sleeper.
1. Unbeatable Liquid Protection
The integral value proposition of a waterproof mattress cover is resisting spills, accidents and other messes.
Thanks to innovative fabric engineering, the best covers today utilize advanced waterproof membranes and polymer applications to achieve industry-leading flood protection.
By incorporating multi-layer constructions and features like:
- Nanotechnology coatings
- Polyurethane laminate backings
- PUL (polyurethane laminate)
- PE (polyethylene) films
Quality covers can now provide absolute stain protection even under intense volume and pressure. Extensive lab testing under rigorous ASTM safety standards validates that liquid simply beads up and rolls right off the surface of the cover.
So while accidents are inevitable, at least you have confidence that spills won’t permeate down into the mattress core and cause odors, bacteria, mold, and other problems.
2. Dust Mite and Allergen Resistance
In addition to liquids, microscopic allergens and irritants are another danger zone for sensitive baby skin. Dust mites, pollen, pet dander and more can collect in the mattress and are impossible to fully remove.
Waterproof covers provide an impervious barrier against these particulate allergens settling into the mattress fibers and building up over time. Models with tightly woven fabrics, enclosed zippers and full encasement constructions are your best line of defense.
For ultimate protection, look for covers featuring dust mite-blocking membranes with pores smaller than the size of most household allergens. This prevents particles from penetrating the surface and disrupts the dust mite life cycle.
In some cases, hypoallergenic covers even treat fabrics with anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties for amplified protection.
3. Noiseless Materials for Undisturbed Sleep
A cover crinkling, crunching and crackling with the slightest movement can totally sabotage your efforts to gently lay a sleeping baby down in the crib without waking them up!
Seeking out covers made with sound-dampening materials is crucial for maintaining the tranquility of your nursery:
Soft Fabrics – Brushed polyester, fleece, flannel and velour externally facing fabrics absorb sound waves rather than amplify them.
Stealthy Backings – Sound-dampening coatings applied to interior spill-proof layers keep things quiet.
Waterproofing treatments don’t have to mean noisy, papery plastics – the most advanced covers today allow you to have effective protection without sacrificing peaceful ambiance.
4. Temperature Regulation
Proper temperature is also key to quality slumber. An overly warm cover can lead to sweaty discomfort or even overheating.
At the same time, padded waterproof materials provide extra insulation to retain body heat and prevent the chilled sensation of moisture against the skin when accidents happen.
The best covers strike the perfect balance with:
- Breathable meshes
- Moisture-wicking panels
- Air vents along the sides
Strategically placed ventilation allows airflow while spill-proof layers keep warmth locked in.
5. Hypoallergenic and Chemical-Free Materials
Babies have ultra-sensitive skin, so it’s crucial to avoid covers with harsh chemicals that could cause adverse reactions.
Seeking third-party certifications like OEKO-TEX validates the entire supply chain from raw textiles to end products and meets stringent standards for baby-safe production.
Premium waterproof crib mattress covers also look for supplementary endorsements like:
- GREENGUARD Gold – Tests for minimal VOC emissions after production
- GOTS – Confirms only non-toxic dyes, inks, and other processing
- Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX – Guarantees safe materials down to the elemental level
These trustworthy seals of approval offer assurance that both the exterior fabric surfaces as well as the interior waterproofing agents all pass stringent health benchmarks for babies and children.
Now that you see the multitude of benefits offered by a high-quality waterproof crib mattress cover, let’s look at best practices for properly installing and caring for your cover.
Proper Use and Care Guidelines
Taking a few quick steps to correctly size, secure, and maintain your waterproof mattress cover helps ensure optimal functionality over your baby’s entire nursery tenure.
1. Ensure Proper Fit
Take mattress measurements before ordering and double-check dimensions against size charts. Covers should have elasticized edges to grip the mattress ends and prevent shifting. The fabric surface should lie flat without bunching or loose corners.
For total encasement zippered covers, ensure zippers run flush to the edge of the mattress to seal out liquids and allergens from all sides.
2. Follow Care Instructions
While many waterproof covers are machine washable for convenience, always reference individual product guidelines. Use only mild, hypoallergenic cleansers without dyes, fragrances or irritating chemicals. Line or flat drying is recommended to prevent cover shrinkage over time.
For minor spills, spot-clean the cover first before removing and land
3. Prioritize Safety
When installing any accessory in a baby’s sleep space, safety is paramount. Ensure breathable mesh panels or vents remain uncovered and exposed. Don’t place pillows, blankets or other items on top of the mattress that could obstruct airflow.
Securely tuck in all edges so the cover stays tightly affixed to the surface. Loose covers can bunch up and pose a suffocation risk. Don’t use a sized-up cover that could wrap around the baby’s face.
Look for quality indicators like Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for safety testing. GOTS organic certification also prohibits harmful chemicals.
Following these simple protocols allows you to maximize the usefulness of your waterproof cover.
Reviews of the Top Waterproof Crib Mattress Covers
Now let’s compare the highest-rated and most recommended waterproof mattress covers for the crib to identify the best-performing options available today.
1. SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Cover
- Premium cotton terry surface
- MEMBRANE 100% waterproof backing
- Fits all standard crib mattresses
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant
Performance & Durability
- 4-layer construction with advanced nano-networks to lock in liquids
- Recommended for daycare and potty training uses
- Highly abrasion-resistant for consistent protection through years of use
Care & Maintenance:
- Machine wash warm, tumble dry low
- 10-year quality guarantee
Available Sizes: Crib (28″ x 52″)
Reviews: 4.5 stars after 2,000+ reviews
Parents praise the soft, noiseless cotton terry fabric paired with impressive flood protection. Fits great and is very effective at handling accidents while keeping kids comfortable.
- Unbeatable liquid barrier
- Super soft against baby’s skin
- Great for kids with allergies
- Can sleep hot for some babies
- Higher price point
2. Holy Lamb Organic Wool Waterproof Mattress Cover
Key Features: Holy Lamb Organic
- 100% natural wool surface
- GOTS organic certified
- Waterproof yet breathable
- Naturally antibacterial and odor-resistant
Performance & Durability
- Ultrafine 1-micron layer allows moisture vapor transfer while blocking liquids
- Wool naturally repels dust mites, mold, and bacteria
- Known for superb heat regulation properties
Care & Maintenance:
- Machine wash gentle cycle, line dry
- 5-year warranty
Available Sizes: Crib (28″ x 52″)
Reviews: 4.7 stars with 380+ reviews
Parents rave these handmade natural wool covers regulate temperature beautifully all night. Babies stay comfortable and covered mattresses see dramatically extended life after potty accidents.
- GOTS organic certified
- Luxurious wool for unmatched comfort
- Unbeatable heat regulation
- Hand wash only
- Longer drying time
- Higher cost
3. SureGuard Mattress Encasement With Terry Cloth Top
- Soft 180 thread count terry cotton top
- Fully enclosed with YKK zipper
- Hypoallergenic and waterproof backing
- Insurance-grade stain protection
Performance & Durability
- Recommended by pediatricians to guard against dust mites and bed bugs
- Medical-grade performance backed by 10-year warranty
Care & Maintenance
- Machine wash warm, tumble dry low
- Oeko-Tex certified non-toxic
Available Sizes: Crib through California King
Reviews: 4.6 stars based on 3,500+ reviews
Families love the hospital-grade cleanliness and peace of mind. Breathable cotton terry fabric provides superior comfort while locking out allergens for healthier sleep. Fits most common mattress brands perfectly.
- Highly reviewed medical-grade protection
- Terry cloth sleeping surface
- Bed bug and allergen impenetrable
- Can be noisy
- The zipper may allow some moisture seepage
Key Takeaways – What Makes the Best Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover
After comparing the highest-rated and best-selling waterproof mattress covers specifically designed for cribs, a few key conclusions emerge:
1. Seek quality certifications – Credible standards like OEKO-TEX, GREENGUARD Gold,memory and GOTS validate baby-safe, non-toxic materials and low chemical emissions.
2. Ensure proper fit – Measure accurately and choose size accordingly for smooth, wrinkle-free installation. Fits all brands.
3. Multi-layer + breathable – At least 4 internal layers provide full-surface protection that locks in liquids while moisture-wicking, ventilated outer layers keep air flowing.
4. Easy on and off – Convenient stretch fabrics with elasticized skirts slip neatly over the mattress. Fully encasing zippered versions also defend against allergens.
5. Noise-free materials – Sound-dampening technologies allow peaceful sleep uninterrupted by crinkly vinyl or papery rustling.
While any waterproof protector is better than nothing at all, choosing a cover with these benchmarks ensures the ultimate in protection for your baby as well as their mattress.
Now let’s recap everything you need to confidently choose a waterproof crib mattress cover.
FAQs About Waterproof Crib Mattress Covers
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about purchasing and using waterproof mattress covers for babies:
Can I just use a regular mattress pad instead of a waterproof cover?
- No – regular pads lack any waterproof rating so spills and accidents will soak right through. Only true waterproof covers provide an impenetrable moisture barrier.
How often should I wash my waterproof crib mattress cover?
- Check manufacturer guidelines but typically every 2 months is ideal, or immediately after any large spills or noticeable odors. Take off and wash the cover only, not the mattress itself.
Can I layer a waterproof cover underneath crib sheets or other linens?
- Yes, waterproof covers protect the mattress itself, while sheets go over the cover to create a smooth sleeping surface. Many parents also add extra absorbent mattress pads on top for even more moisture protection.
Which type of waterproof cover is best?
- Encasement zippered covers provide the most complete protection. But quality fitted, stretchy styles work very well too. Personal preferences on cost, use case and convenience help determine best choice.
Do I really need both a waterproof cover AND a crib mattress protector pad?
- A waterproof cover handles spills and accidents, while an extra plush protector converts the surface to more comfortable sleeping quarters. Using both extends mattress lifespan to the max.
Is there a risk of suffocation with plastic-feeling covers?
All quality waterproof covers today use advanced breathable fabrics that prevent a dangerous buildup of heat, condensation or CO2. Certifications like GREENGUARD validate safe indoor air quality. Suffocation risk primarily comes from loose-fitting sheets or blankets blocking the baby’s face – not properly installed covers.
The Last Word – Invest in Quality Waterproof Protection
When strained budgets force tough product decisions, parents may question whether an expensive waterproof mattress cover is worth the investment or just an overhyped “nice to have”.
But speak to any seasoned mom or dad who has endured their fair share of messy crib surprises and they will affirm – a high-quality waterproof crib mattress cover that checks all the boxes for safety, performance and convenience is absolutely essential.
The small upfront price brings immense future savings by boosting the longevity of your mattress five-fold. And helping ensure your little one slumbers in a clean, dry and toxin-free zone with fewer allergic reactions makes a waterproof cover worth its weight in gold. Indeed, over two-thirds of baby mattresses sold today now come standard with waterproof covers included.
So take the guesswork out of your buying decision and choose one of the top-rated waterproof crib mattress covers above for total nursery protection and best-in-class safety. Your baby and your wallet will thank you!