cot mattress

Cot Mattresses – How To Choose A Baby Mattress

Cots do not usually feature an inclusive mattress, so you will need to purchase one separately. It might seem that picking a baby’s mattress is a relatively simple matter, but high-tech improvements have burst on to the baby-mattress marketplace and the conventional choice between spring interior or simple foam is becoming more complex. The ‘buzz’ words nowadays are ‘detachable breathable top panels’ and ‘airflow systems’. Producers and merchants use such lingo to persuade consumers of how valuable their mattresses are in permitting air to flow and circulate throughout the mattress, reducing the effects of moisture build-up — the intended outcome being a more fresh mattress along with a cooler, more comfortable baby.

cot mattressObviously, all your baby truly requires is a mattress that delivers good support but is soft enough to be comfy and is the correct dimensions for the cot. What may matter to parents, on the other hand, are aspects including how simple the mattress is to keep clean and how much time it will likely be required. Appearances may come into the equation too — a few mattresses just look superior to others. A lot of parents like the thought of a baby mattress that feels and looks like a mini-version of a standard adult-sized bed mattress — for instance, with springs and a quilted or `ticking’-style covering — as opposed to a plastic-covered rectangular shape of polyurethane foam.

Types of cot mattress

The two primary types of mattress offered are the types with a foam core and the ones with a spring interior. It’s also possible to purchase ‘coil’ mattresses, the core of which are manufactured from all natural coconut-shell fibres. Whatever you decide, the basic mattress core is going to be topped with a number of layers of additional materials — as an example, a water-resistant overlaying and natural cotton cushioning.

Foam cot mattresses

foam cut baby mattressFoam cot mattresses are generally the lowest priced sort. The simplest types are manufactured from just one layer of supportive foam totally covered with a wipe-clean, watertight PVC cover. This cover safeguards your baby from dust mites in addition to making the mattress simple to clean.

Several foam mattresses will probably be partly enveloped with PVC as well as possess a section of ventilation holes, protected with fine mesh, situated where your baby lays. These are made to help your child remain cool and also to keep dampness — sweat or dribble, for instance — away from your baby (although they are not essential and you should not be concerned if your baby appears to lie almost everywhere besides over the holes). More complex and high-priced foam mattresses will have the identical or comparable foam core with a water resistant cover, but additionally a detachable panel on the top made out of ‘breathable’ material that, once again, is built to pull moisture away and thus assist in preventing your baby from becoming clammy and too warm. The key benefit with all of these is they are simple to keep clean since you can easily remove this section to clean it.


  • Usually simple to keep clean
  • excellent affordability, at around $25 for a decent-quality but simple foam mattress
  • provides excellent support and resistance to denting.


  • A number of parents might not like the thought of the basic PVC-covered mattress due to issues regarding clamminess
  • mattresses with air flow openings could be more work to keep thoroughly clean should your child be a dribbler or possets a great deal, since residue can collect within the holes and mesh
  • similarly, there is no reason for purchasing a costly ‘breathable’ mattress if you are likely to cover it with a PVC sheet to safeguard it from possetting and leaky diapers.

Spring-interior baby mattresses

spring interior baby mattressThese types of conventional mattresses possess a coiled spring interior along with layers of (usually) felt and foam padding. They generally possess a cotton cover on one side and PVC or other wipe-clean material on the other, so you can choose which side suits you and the baby the best. The cotton cover can be sponged or vacuum cleaned. As with foam mattresses, you can also pay a bit extra for a spring mattress having a detachable top panel, that will have moisture-reducing components. Count on paying about $40-75 for a spring-interior mattress from your high-street nursery retailer.


  • A lot of mothers and fathers prefer the familiarity of a conventional spring mattress.
  • The wipe-clean side is the recommended surface for the baby to rest on as a result of practical advantages, but you have the alternative of turning it over onto the cotton side should you prefer — for instance, when it is very hot and your baby seems clammy.


  • Higher priced compared to foam
  • the cotton part might be favored for comfort but could become more challenging to keep clean (unless you purchase a mattress having a detachable panel).

Coir baby mattresses

coir baby mattressMost of these have a core of coconut fibre along with other layers of various materials. The fibres are covered in latex for durability and protection. The natural fibre filling allows air to circulate through the mattress. These types of mattresses can be obtained with a wipe-clean masking that, in contrast to PVC, is breathable and is not going to promote sweating.


  • Among the firmest kinds of mattress
  • are usually more durable since they keep their shape nicely
  • might be a smart buy if you wish to use it for multiple children or in case you are investing in a cot bed which is going to be used for a long time by one child.


  • Much less widely obtainable compared to foam or spring interior
  • can cost more compared to both the above, at up to $230.

Facts to consider prior to buying a cot mattress

No matter which mattress you end up picking, ensure it will be the proper size for that cot (the size of cot the mattress will match ought to be marked on the mattress as well as the cot). In the event the mattress is the incorrect size your baby could end up being perilously caught in spaces in between the cot and the mattress. Generally speaking, the gap between the mattress and the cot should not be a greater than 4cm.

Mattresses usually can be found in two standard sizes, to match comparable sizes of cot typically for sale in the shops. If, however, you acquire a cot which is more compact or bigger than standard, you can find mattresses specially manufactured to fit your cot. Mothercare, for instance, have a special-sized mattress service.

A lot of parents accept that some mattress discoloration is unavoidable with a baby or small child, but in order to keep your bedding as clean and hygienic as it can be, a PVC-covered mattress or one which has a detachable top panel that it’s possible to wash at a fairly hot temperature will be the most viable option.

Squeeze a selection of mattresses within the shop if you’re able to, and pick one that seems firm instead of soft. To compare firmness, squeeze at the edges and in the middle. Your baby requires a mattress that delivers excellent support and won’t droop, rather than a mattress he or she may sink into.

  • Choose a cot mattress that is 8-10cm thick. Something thinner than this won’t give you the support your child needs. Thinner foam especially can easily lose its form and dent quickly.
  • Foam mattresses are lighter in weight compared to other styles and so are easiest to lift whenever changing bed linen. This is often an advantage should your movement be constrained, for instance.
  • If your family is vulnerable to allergic reactions including asthma, a mattress providing you with defense against dust mites has to be good choice. Companies and retailers who market mattresses with anti-dust-mite qualities will most likely publicize the fact.

Mattress chemicals and cot death

During the early 1990s there were scares, caused by the investigative TV programme The Cook Report, that chemical components in a few mattresses caused babies to breathe in little amounts of poisonous gas. The idea was that there was a connection between this and cot death. A Department of Health report prior to The Cook Report’s investigation had previously ruled out proof of a link, however the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (SIDS) commissioned more extensive investigation, that also did not uncover any proof for that hypothesis.

Babies and Dust mites

babies and dust mitesDust mites are tiny microorganisms present in their hundreds of thousands in every household. Among their most popular habitats is the heat and humidity of a bed mattress. It’s not so much the dust mites on their own that can cause a problem; it’s their excrement. Whenever these tiny droppings are breathed in they might trigger allergy symptoms including asthma and eczema in vulnerable individuals.

  • Babies up to age two are specially vulnerable to getting allergy symptoms, especially when there is a medical history of allergic reactions in the family.
  • Because of parental concern about this possibility, coupled with an increase in the quantity of youngsters experiencing allergies, anti-dust-mite baby bedding is becoming ever more popular as a way of attempting to lessen the danger of allergic reactions developing.
  • Dust mites are killed at a temperature of 60°C, so one choice would be to select a mattress having a top layer which is washable at this temperature. Otherwise, go for one with a wipe-clean, water-resistant surface.

Using the cot mattress for subsequent children

Retailers and manufacturers frequently advise that you purchase a brand new mattress for every child. Cynics may state that it is because they would like to sell as many mattresses as they can — but it is correct that a mattress can dip and sag with the weight of a developing baby and for that reason probably won’t offer an ideal sleeping surface for your forthcoming baby.

A second hand cot mattress can also harbour dust mites, and babies who may be vulnerable to allergies including asthma will benefit from a brand new cot mattress should your current one not have anti-dust-mite protection. However, if this isn’t a concern for you personally then as long as the mattress has been kept fairly clean, has preserved its shape and isn’t sagging or broken, it is suitable for a future baby to make use of.

Should you want the mattress for multiple children, then spending a little more for a better-quality one will be worthwhile. Additionally it is smart to take care of the mattress by turning it on a regular basis to keep its shape. If you do not know the background of the mattress — for instance, if someone else has given it to you — examine it diligently for sagging.

Cot Mattresses and Cot Deaths

Cot death is extremely rare. Because new recommendations on exactly how babies ought to be put to bed have been introduced a few years back, occurrences of cot death have decreased drastically. The important thing point to keep in mind is that babies ought to always be put to sleep lying on their backs with their feet close to the bottom end of the cot so they cannot shuffle down beneath the covers. The covers ought to be placed no higher than the chest area and any excess bed linen ought to be tucked underneath the mattress. Your midwife or health visitor will advise you how you can tuck your child in this way.