Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for best crib sheets

Your little one deserves a good night’s rest — something that can be rare in a home with a baby. A good crib sheet won’t just give your baby something to coo about; it can also make the hectic life of a parent a little bit easier.

Crib sheets serve the dual purpose of helping protect your crib mattress and giving your baby a clean, cozy sleeping surface. Babies are known for unexpected messes, so you’ll want to have a good number of crib sheets available at all times rather than postponing naptime until the laundry is done. Not all crib sheets are identical, and some are made to help with specific challenges. Does your baby have sensitive skin? Organic cotton sheets might be in order. Do his diapers leak frequently? Look for sheets with waterproof backing.

Crib sheets have an important job to do; make sure you choose a product that does its job well. The following buying guide will teach you everything there is to know about buying crib sheets for your little bundle of joy.

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Double-check your fitted crib sheet before every nap and bedtime to make sure it fits as well as it can.

Key considerations

When shopping for crib sheets, consider all of the basics you’d think about when shopping for your own sheets. In addition, think about the needs of an infant, which are slightly more complicated than those of an adult. Obviously, comfort is a huge aspect to consider, but so is practicality.

Just like any other sheet set, crib sheets come in various colors and styles. Your choice depends not only on your personal style but also on what you feel is most important for your baby. Crib sheets get changed often, so a product that’s convenient and easy to change is probably high on your list of priorities.


The most common materials for crib sheets are cotton, flannel, and polyester blends. The higher the percentage of cotton in the sheet, the softer it is to the touch. If you want your baby to be as comfortable as can be, consider something with a high cotton percentage. Some poly blends are also very soft and comfortable for babies, so don’t rule anything out when first shopping.

Pros and cons of cotton: Cotton is easy to clean, does not pill, and keeps cool in a warmer environment. The downsides to cotton are the higher price and the fact that it wrinkles easily.

Pros and cons of polyester: Polyester sometimes gets a bad rap, but it definitely has its advantages. Polyester is a comfortable fabric for children to sleep on, and it rarely shrinks. On the other hand, it can pill, and some brands don’t meet the highest of quality standards.

Pros and cons of flannel: Flannel, while lightweight, is the perfect fabric for keeping your little one warm on those cold winter nights. Unfortunately, it can also be coarse on sensitive baby skin, and it’s not a good material for warm weather.

Pros and cons of fleece: Fleece is highly breathable and suited to keeping baby warm. It is also highly absorbent. It tends to hold on to bad smells and will likely need to be cleaned often.

A note about alternative natural fibers: Another crib sheet material making an appearance lately is that made of alternative natural fibers. Bamboo is one of the most popular, though it’s not the only one. These sheets tend to be hypoallergenic and are great for the environment. They are, however, less durable than most of the alternatives.


There are two types of weave to choose from when selecting a crib sheet: standard and sateen. Standard weave incorporates a one-stitch-over/one-stitch-under pattern. Sateen weave uses a four-stitch-over/one-stitch-under pattern. The advantage of the sateen weave is that it gives the sheet a softer and more silky feeling, which may be more comfortable to your baby.

Thread count

Thread count refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch on a textile. The general rule is that the higher the thread count, the more comfortable the sheet. Most crib sheets come in 200, 300, or 400 thread count. Check the specs of any sheets you’re considering to see what the thread count is.


Although the color and design of the sheet may be secondary to comfort, these factors are still worth discussing. If you want something that will complement the décor of your baby’s nursery, you might opt for a neutral design and color scheme. That way, you can still use the sheets, even when you decide to change the decorations in the room.


Although crib sheets are made in standard sizes, some fit more tightly than others. As a general rule, the tighter a crib sheet fits, the better it is. It’s important that you get a crib sheet that won’t slip off of the mattress while the baby is sleeping.


100% organic materials

It’s now easier than ever to find crib sheets that are made of 100% organic materials. Most of the time, this means that the sheets are 100% pure cotton, which is one of the best materials for comfort. If you want to make sure no synthetic materials touch your baby’s delicate skin, this is a great option.


Because babies have sensitive skin and a developing respiratory system, it’s a good idea to consider a hypoallergenic crib sheet. This means that it has been produced in a manner that severely reduces the number of allergens present in the textile. If you want to reduce the risk of skin irritation and sneezing, look for a hypoallergenic option.


One of the most convenient features of some crib sheets is a waterproof option. This is useful for keeping the mattress underneath clean and free of urine. These sheets are just as comfortable as others, but they have a waterproofing treatment on the surface to keep water and other liquids from seeping through.

Crib sheet prices

Inexpensive: Between $5 and $10 are the basic range of inexpensive crib sheets. These sheets tend to have a lower thread count and more synthetic materials, but they can still offer comfort for your baby.

Mid-range: The mid-range category of crib sheets goes from $10 to $20. These sheets have higher thread counts and more organic materials than their less-expensive counterparts.

Expensive: If you spend between $20 and $30, you can get crib sheets with the highest thread counts. These offer the most durability and comfort for your money.


  • Wash crib sheets at least one time before using. This will soften them and remove any unpleasant scent from the packaging process.
  • Be sure that your fitted crib sheet fits tightly on the mattress. A loose crib sheet can be dangerous for a sleeping infant. If your crib sheet begins to fray or the elastic becomes too stretched, dispose of it immediately, and replace it with a new one.
  • Be careful to not put your fitted sheet on inside out. The back side of the sheet can be itchy and uncomfortable for your baby or toddler.
  • Wash your crib sheets with unscented detergent. Some scents can irritate a baby’s sensitive respiratory system.

Crib safety

The safety of infants and toddlers while sleeping is a topic with which every parent is familiar. Keeping your little ones safe is your primary concern as a parent, and the crib is the first line of defense. Take the following safety recommendations into account as part of any routine when changing your baby’s crib sheets.

  • Make sure that the mattress fits tightly into the crib, just as the sheet should fit tightly onto the mattress.
  • Always place an infant on his or her back to sleep.
  • Avoid keeping pillow, stuffed animals, or bumper pads in the crib. Although these may be nice decorations, they are not safe for a sleeping infant.
  • Do not purchase or use second-hand cribs. You cannot verify that they have all of the pieces included.
  • Keep cribs away from windows where strings may hang from blinds. These can also be harmful to a baby.
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Always check that your crib mattress is flat after changing fitted sheets. A crooked mattress can be uncomfortable for babies to sleep on.


Q. Can’t I just wrap any sheet around the crib mattress?
Absolutely not. Infants and toddlers need sheets that fit snugly on their mattresses. This minimizes the chance of the sheet working its way loose at night.

Q. Can my baby sleep without a top sheet?
Yes. Many pediatricians actually recommend that you don’t put a sheet or blanket on your baby while they sleep.

Q. Should I buy more than one crib sheet?
. Yes. Crib sheets get removed and washed often, so stock up to avoid having a shortage of clean sheets when you need one.

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