The lowdown on cot mattresses

What to consider when choosing a baby's mattresses

Choosing the right mattress for your baby

Choosing a mattress is an important decision, here's some tips and top products to help you decide

baby mattress

A mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll make for your baby and you should always buy a new one, even if your cot is second-hand.

What to look for

A mattress suitable for a newborn is surprisingly firm, and there are three main types to choose from. Foam mattresses are often the cheapest and a good option if money is tight or for using in a spare cot at a relative’s house.

Generally, the more you spend, the better the mattress.

A mattress made with coiled springs can be more durable, but is usually more expensive. If the springs are individually ‘pocketed’ they will be higher in  price but offer extra comfort and postural support.

You can also consider those made with natural or organic fibres, such as coconut coir. These can be good for children with allergies, but are at the top price end.

Choosing a mattress with a removable and machine-washable cover is a good idea. This is very useful if your baby is sick in bed or has a leaky nappy and you need to deep clean. If your chosen model hasn’t got one, buy a separate mattress protector instead.

Look for a mattress with good breathability or other heat regulating properties. Some are made from hypo-allergenic materials or have an anti-allergen cover.

You can also buy double-sided mattresses that have a firmer side newborns, and then can be flipped to a softer side suitable for toddlers.

Need to know

If you have a second hand cot, it’s important to always buy a new mattress. Used mattresses have been linked to a rise in the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Check that the mattress fits the cot or crib properly with no gaps between it and the side of the bed. Always ask your retailer for advice.

Latest products on the market:

Kiddicare mattress

Kiddicare Sweet Dreams Mattress RRP £29.99

  • Contains orthopaedic double cone springs and a micro-fibre base cover
  • The springs are covered in high-density foam for extra comfort
  • Suitable for newborns up to seven years
  • Fits both cotbeds and junior-sized beds

We love that this is an incredibly good value mattress, and that it is designed to last as all the way though the baby and toddler years.

Dimensions: W70 x H140x D10cm

Little Green mattress

The Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Latex Cotbed Mattress RRP £179.00

  • This 100% natural mattress is designed to provide your little one with the right support as they grow
  • It’s firm on one side which is recommended for babies up to 12 months
  • Free from chemicals and contains natural fleece wool that disperses moisture
  • Supple natural latex side that’s comfy and durable for toddlers

It’s not cheap but it will last your child all the way though to toddlerhood thanks to the dual sided design: a firmer side for babies, then it can be flipped over once your child reaches 12 months.

Dimensions: W70 x H140x D10cm

Silent Night mattress

Silent Night Safe Night Memory Wool Cotbed Mattress RRP £209.00

  • This mattress has individual mini pocket springs that provide firm, responsive support.
  • It contains Airstream memory wool and a 3D mesh structure to help baby breath freely
  • Foam-free with an odourless polyester filling
  • Double-sided so it can be turned with the seasons, with a lighter quilting for summer and a heavier weight for winter

We love that this mattress provides a naturally hypoallergenic environment that prevents dust mites, allergies and skin irritations, a breathable cover and fillings which prevent overheating.

Dimensions: L70 x H140 x D10cm

Silver Cross PostureStart mattress

Silver Cross Posture Start RRP £250.00

  • Designed to give your baby postural support throughout their crucial development
  • Contains 860 individual BabySprings that give targeted support to your baby’s changing shape
  • The Double Comfort reversible design provides a firmer sleep side for babies 0-18 months
  • The softer side offers the correct level of support and comfort from 18 months and above

We love that this mattress has a firmer side for babies up to 18 months and a softer sleeping side for 18 months +, but it’s a very expensive option.

Dimensions: L140cm x W70cm x D10cm

The lowdown on cot mattresses