Make sure baby (and you) have a great night’s sleep with the best cot mattresses for every budget
If you’re about to welcome a new baby into the world, kitting out the nursery will probably be one of your top priorities. Even if you decide to forgo the changing table, rocking chair and chest of drawers, you’ll certainly need a cot for your little one to sleep in, which means buying the best cot mattress. Unfortunately, most cots on the market don’t come with cot mattresses included so you’ll need to factor in the cost of that when thinking about where your baby will sleep.
There’s a lot of baby equipment that can safely be used secondhand, and you may be using a hand-me-down cot from a friend or older sibling, but you’ll need to buy a new cot mattress to make sure it’s hygienic, dust-free and firm.
How to buy the best cot mattress for you
What cot mattress material should I choose?
Other than price, the material will be your main consideration when choosing a cot mattress. As with adult mattresses, cot mattresses come in a range of materials, each with their own advantages. The main choices are as follows:
- Foam – lightweight and easy to clean, foam cot mattresses are generally good value for money. That said, foam mattresses can lose their shape quicker than other cot mattress types. So are less suitable if you plan to use your cot for an extended period.
- Coil spring – a little more expensive and sturdier than a pure foam mattress, coil spring mattresses are like the traditional spring mattress you may have on your own bed. These cot mattresses usually hold their shape for longer, while the space between the springs allows air to flow more freely, keeping your baby cool in hot weather.
- Pocket spring– with each spring in its own internal “pocket” these cot mattresses are super-supportive and durable, with a price tag to match. Because of the price, this kind of cot mattress is probably best suited to a larger cot bed that your baby will sleep in for several years.
- Natural fibre – wool, coir (coconut fibre) and bamboo are typical materials used in natural fibre cot mattresses, which often also contain latex. Natural fibres are breathable and comfortable. Making them a popular choice with eco-minded parents who may wish to avoid synthetic chemicals and plastic processing.
- Hypoallergenic mattresses – if your baby has been diagnosed with allergies or asthma (or is at risk owing to asthma or allergies in the family), a hypoallergenic cot mattress is a great idea. These feature a detachable layer which can be washed at 60°C to kill any dust mites. Hypoallergenic cot mattresses may be made of any of the above materials, including natural fibers. The detachable layer adds a few pounds to the price but if allergies are a concern the resulting washability is invaluable.
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Cot mattresses may also combine the above materials: coil spring mattresses often have a layer of foam or memory foam for comfort, and some mattresses are “dual-core” with a firm side providing extra support for young babies up to 12 months old, and a softer side with added comfort for older babies and toddlers. Other handy features to look out for are removable covers or panels for easy washing and ventilation holes in the foam or a good airflow between springs to keep the mattress fresh. Breathable fabrics can also be useful (especially if your baby’s room is on the warm side).
What size cot mattress do I need?
The standard UK size for cot mattresses is 60 x 120cm, but if you have purchased or inherited a cot from the US or elsewhere, check the mattress size required before purchasing. Cribs, co-sleepers and Moses baskets for younger babies all require smaller mattresses designed for that purpose, so again check the size before you buy. Additionally, if you’ve bought a cot bed, the mattress will need to be 70 x 140cm. When you buy your cot, check its dimensions either online or with the retailer. Most cot mattress manufacturers will also sell mattresses in smaller sizes for these uses, and larger versions for use in cot beds.
What are the cot mattress safety guidelines?
Top your cot mattress with a securely fitted sheet that fits snugly and won’t come loose. Avoid loose blankets in your baby’s cot – an infant sleeping bag is now the preferred choice – and keep cushions and pillows out of the cot for the first two years. For more advice on infant sleep safety, see lullabytrust.org.uk.
The best cot mattresses you can buy in 2019
1. The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress: The best cot mattress for eco-conscious babies (and parents)
If eco-credentials are important to you and you’re in the market for a high-quality. All-natural cot mattress, The Little Green Sheep is the company to go to. This bestselling cot mattress is made of a supportive core of coconut fibre with wool and natural latex comfort and a quilted cotton cover. The “twist” in the name refers to the fact that you can flip the mattress over from the firm, wool-lined side (recommended for babies up to 12 months) to a spongier latex side that’s ideal for older infants and toddlers. If you want to go large on going green. A range of crib and carrycot mattresses and accessories is also available.
Size: 120 x 60 x 10cm;
Materials: coconut coir, wool, latex, cotton
2. Mother Nurture Luxury Spring Interior Cot Mattress: The best-value spring cot mattress
At just under £40, this firm-sprung cot mattress with removable quilted cover is excellent value for money. The cot mattress is a sturdy 10cm deep but relatively lightweight. Which makes it easy to pop out of the cot for washing and periodic turning. The spring core is coated in hypoallergenic foam, and the cover can be washed at 60°C to protect against dust mites. Meaning this is an excellent value choice for babies with asthma or allergies. The soft, comfortable cover is easy to remove, and an internal waterproof layer prevents damage to the core. An attractive, safe and supportive mattress at an excellent price.
Size: 120 x 60 x 10cm
Materials: nursery foam with polypropylene/polyester cover
3. ClevaMama ClevaFoam Support Cot Mattress: The best luxury foam cot mattress
Researched by scientists at Trinity College, Dublin, ClevaMama’s patented ClevaFoam material is designed to be lightweight and breathable, yet supportive. The special foam has been developed to reduce pressure on the back of the head by up to 50%. Enabling you to follow the current advice about laying your baby to sleep on his or her back without worrying about temporarily flattening the back of the head. ClevaFoam is also hypoallergenic and retains less heat than other nursery foams. Making this an excellent choice to use with summer babies or warmer rooms. The cot mattress comes with a removable cover made with a piece of moisture-wicking fabric for extra comfort.
Size: 120 x 60 x 9cm
Materials: ClevaFoam core with a polyester cover
4. A kitt for Kids Kidtex Travel Cot Thick Mattress: The best travel cot mattress
Many travel cots come with a padded base that’s fine for a single-night sleepover, but not much more. If you’re planning a longer holiday with your little one and want a bit of extra comfort. A travel cot mattress can be a sensible purchase. This thick and firm but very lightweight travel mattress has a water-resistant micropore cover for breathable comfort against the skin. The mattress core is made of hypoallergenic materials and the cover can be washed at 60°C. Making this suitable for babies with allergies, too. A good-value travel cot mattress that doubles as a playmat when you’re not out roaming around the world.
Key specs :
Size: 93 x 64 x 6cm;
Materials: polyester core with a polypropylene cover