You've already bought the perfect cot, and now it’s time to find the very best cot mattress for your baby. In order to make sure that your little one is getting the best support and sleep possible, here's everything you need to know about choosing a cot mattress, along with our list of the best cot mattresses.
According to the Lullaby Trust, it’s best to choose a firm and flat mattress that is protected by a waterproof cover. This will help keep the mattress clean and dry, as the cover can be wiped down.
Generally, it is advised that babies should sleep on a new mattress as there is some evidence to suggest that bringing in a mattress from another home might increase the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS) very slightly.
If it isn’t possible to purchase a new mattress, make sure your baby’s mattress is in good condition and that it fits the Moses basket or cot properly. Ensure the mattress is still firm and flat with no tears or holes and is not sagging in places. Thoroughly clean the waterproof layer and ensure the mattress is clean and dry before making it up with fresh bedclothes.
When it comes to choosing a mattress for your baby's cot, you have three main choices:
- Foam - They are designed to provide the right support and maintain your baby's natural posture.
- Spring - With coiled spring interior with layers of felt and foam padding. A spring inner core will support your baby and hold their shape well.
- Natural fibre - They tend to be more breathable and naturally hypoallergenic.
What size cot mattresses are there?
Baby mattresses come in a variety of sizes, depending on what sort of bed your baby is sleeping in.
- Moses basket mattress: normally 28cm x 75cm but it depends on the brand of Moses basket
- Travel cot mattress: 65cm x 95cm
- Small cot mattress: 54cm x 90cm
- Cot mattress: 60cm x 120cm
- Cot bed mattress: 70cm x 140cm
It's important to avoid adding any extra bedding in the cot, such as duvets, as they can increase the risk of SIDS. If it’s cold, it's recommended you opt for a baby sleeping bag instead of extra blankets or covers. You can introduce a duvet when your little one gets older.
It's not recommended to buy a secondhand cot mattress, as mattresses can lose their shape and support over time so may not offer the best support for your baby's developing head and body. Plus, mites and bacteria might be hidden. If you do want to use a secondhand cot mattress - maybe given to you by a friend or family, or from your older child - the best approach is to use a waterproof, protective mattress cover.
Which are the best baby cot mattresses?
The Mother & Baby Gold Collection baby and toddler mattresses offer a cleaner, fresher, healthier sleep environment. Guaranteed. The Pure Gold Anti-Allergy Coir Pocket Sprung Mattress uses the perfect combination of nature’s finest TENCEL™ fibres and Purotex® anti-allergy protection to guarantee a fresher, cleaner and healthier sleep environment for your baby. Purotex® is a revolutionary technology based on microcapsules filled with natural probiotics. These probiotics are a 100% natural and organic. Tests and scientific studies prove that Purotex® improves allergy symptoms by reducing house dust mite allergens by 93.7%, cat hair allergens by 92.8% and dog hair allergens by 66.7%.
- Dual sided - one side for babies and one for toddlers
- Pocket sprung
- Eliminates allergens
Mum Louise tried out this mattress and said: “I was really excited to try the Mother & Baby Gold Collection mattress. Without a doubt, my favourite feature is the probiotic 100% natural anti-allergy protection. We have a cat in our house so I love the idea that this mattress can clean cat allergens! With the usual new baby anxieties, I’m so keen on making sure my little one’s environment is as natural and clean as possible.”
Winner of the Silver Best Sleep Product 2020 M&B Award, the Naturalmat Quilted Mattress is handmade from natural materials and scored highly with our real mum testers. Organic coconut fibre makes the mattress breathable and self-ventilating, making it great for asthma sufferers.
Mum Jasmine tested this mattress for the M&B Awards 2020; she said: "This is an excellent mattress. Before using this one I would lay a duvet over the top to provide extra comfort and I didn’t need to with this mattress. My daughter has slept really well since using this mattress, she would toss and turn for quite a while trying to get comfortable but now she snuggles down and goes straight to sleep."
Shortlisted in the Best Sleep Product M&B Awards 2020, the CuddleCo Comfi-Love Signature Mattress is double sided and made from bamboo, and is hypoallergenic. The waterproof layer is great for toilet training time.
- Pocket sprung
Mum Phillipa tested this mattress for the M&B Awards 2020; she said: "I love that this mattress is double-sided - meaning that I can use the one side (bamboo fabric) whilst my little one is young and then swap to the reverse (the easy-clean waterproof training layer) when my little one gets a bit older. The waterproof layer is still comfortable and my little one is more than happy sleeping on this! It’s also very easy to clean which makes a difference! The bamboo fabric on the other side is beautifully soft and so comfortable."
This is a Mother and Baby Awards 2019 Gold Winner. It’s a spring mattress which brings superior comfort and support. It’s also cleaner because it has a luxury anti-microbial cover to prevent allergens and dust mites. You can read our full review for the East Coast Cleaner Sleep Micro Pocket Spring Mattress here.
- Micro pocket spring
- Water resistant cover
Mum Hannah tested this mattress for the 2019 M&B Awards; she said: "The mattress provides excellent comfort for your baby. The safety features such as a breathable design and anti-allergen all provide peace of mind for parents. It’s practical having the removable washable cover. For me, sleep is such an integral part of having a happy baby. It’s important to create a comfortable environment to maximise the quality and quantity of sleep. I think this mattress could play a key part in doing so."
This mattress from Silentnight (a brand we've all heard of!) was shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards Best Sleep Product category. It features a natural lambs' wool support system, making it supportive for your baby's head and body. The mesh cover is washable and allows air to flow freely, and the mattress comes with Purotex, a 100% natural treatment that combats moisture, mites and allergens for a more hygienic sleeping environment.
- Waterproof panel and washable cover
- Double sided
Mum Natalie tested this mattress for the 2019 M&B Awards, and said: "My little boy was previously in a 'next to me' crib and seemed to love it so I was a little concerned that the mattress wouldn’t be as comfortable for him. But since moving him into his cot using this mattress, he has slept even better and settles down to sleep fabulously. I know I can pop him into his cot and be confident that he will happily chill out and pop himself off to sleep."
This Clevafoam mattress is designed to support your baby's developing head and joints during those important early months. The cover is removeable, lightweight, and breathable; the airflow fabric draws away moisture and increases airflow.
- Made with ClevaFoam technology - Our scientifically proven reflex foam prevents flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly) and relieves pressure on young developing joints.
- Machine washable
Give your little one the perfect start with eve’s award-winning baby mattress with its iconic yellow design. The clever innovation gives your baby the supportive, safe and clean sleep they need as they grow. Available in two sizes, the mattress is suitable from birth until your tot turns six.
- Antibacterial mattress cover
- Waterproof protector
- Pocket springs
With a 4-star review from our mothers' panel, this cot mattress is made from organic materials that boast breathability and softness, and it is hypoallergenic and anti-dust mite. There’s a five-year guarantee, so you can rest assured this cot mattress will stand the test of time and will last until your little one grows out of it.
- Made to measure
- Breathable fabric
- Medium support
Another excellent option for environmentally conscious parents, this mattress is made from coconut coir and bonded with latex. It helps to regulate your baby's body temperature during sleep. The removable cover is made from organic bamboo, which is tough on bacteria and odours. With a five-year guarantee for the UK and Ireland, this mattress is excellent value-for-money.
- Made with lambs wool helps to regulate babies body temperature
- Removable cover