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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.

The lowdown on cot mattresses