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 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.
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 its shape well.
- Natural fibre - They tend to be more breathable and naturally hypoallergenic.
Brands such as Mother Nurture and CuddleCo are up there in our top picks for cot mattresses, due to their high-quality construction, breathable material and comfort levels that are simply off the charts.
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.
The best cot mattresses and cot bed mattresses
The Mother & Baby Gold Collection baby and toddler mattresses offer a cleaner, fresher, healthier sleep environment. The 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 100 per cent natural and organic. Tests and scientific studies prove that Purotex® improves allergy symptoms by reducing house dust mite allergens by 93.7 per cent, cat hair allergens by 92.8 per cent and dog hair allergens by 66.7 per cent.
• Dual-sided - one side for babies and one for toddlers
• Pocket sprung
• Eliminates allergens
Mum Louise tried out this mattress and said: “I was 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.”
Give your bubba the best possible slumber with Mother Nurture's cot mattress. The quilt is breathable, helping regulate your baby's temperature throughout the night, and the padded quilt provides optimal comfort. The material is eco-friendly and recyclable, a fabulous alternative to foam.
• Suitable from birth
• Made with 100 per cent eco polyester fibre which is 100 per cent recyclable
• Breathable and water-resistant
• Cover is removable for washing at 40 degrees
• Free from harmful chemicals
Review: "Love this mattress! Bought it for our travel cot as it didn’t seem very comfortable for our 8-month-old. Very glad I brought this item - it is well made, sturdy, safe and even comes with a nice cover to keep the mattress extra clean. Would recommend this item because it helps our little one to get a good night's sleep when using the travel cot."
This dual-sided mattress is designed according to industry experts to adapt to your little one as they develop. One side is firm, making it perfect for youngsters up to 12 months. Once your baby grows, simply turn over to the soft, supple side, which will support them for years to come. The material is breathable, comfy and made from 100 per cent unbleached and undyed natural cotton, making it perfect for babies with sensitive skin.
• Dual sided
• 100 per cent cotton
• Hypoallergenic and temperature regulating
Review: "Wow! This is amazing, wish it was for me and not the baby! His old mattress made him sweat - it was the most expensive 'breathable' from the shop. So glad we took it back and got this one. Would highly recommend it."
Best for cleaning
An affordable foam option that is super breathable, hypoallergenic and supportive of your baby's natural posture. The cover is easy to clean in case of any accidents, and the coil springs create the perfect sleeping position for your bubba.
• Fully breathable Just-Tec fabric
• Open coil spring
• Removable wash cover
Review: "Excellent mattress for my grandaughter's cot. Well made and easy to clean."
Best natural material
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 allows the mattress to be breathable and self-ventilating, making it great for asthma sufferers.
• Made with cotton and other natural fibres
• Chemical-free, non-toxic and naturally fire retardant
Mum Jasmine tested this mattress for the M&B Awards 2020 and 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 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."
Best for joint development
Designed to support your baby's developing head and joints, the ClevaMama mattress is just what you need for those early months. Not only is the cover is removable, lightweight, and breathable, but the airflow fabric draws away moisture and increases airflow.
• Made with ClevaFoam technology
• Machine washable
Review: "My son is now 6 months old, but at around 5 months he needed to go into his big cot so we got this for him. He’s had absolutely no problems with it. He seems very comfortable when in bed and has continued sleeping through. As soon as we lay him down, he is instantly settled. So glad we bought this for him."
Shortlisted in the Best Sleep Product M&B Awards 2020, the CuddleCo Comfi-Love Signature Mattress is double-sided, made from bamboo, and is hypoallergenic. Not to mention the waterproof layer is excellent for toilet training.
• Pocket sprung
Mum Phillipa tested this mattress for the M&B Awards 2020 and 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, 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."
Best for travel
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 lambswool 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 per cent natural treatment that combats moisture, mites and allergens for a more hygienic sleeping environment.
• Waterproof panel and washable cover
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."
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 a hypoallergenic and anti-dust mite option. You're in safe hands as there's a five-year guarantee - you can feel 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
Review: "Such a professional service and quality product, I'm delighted with it. Arrived exactly as ordered in custom made size."
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 lambswool helps to regulate babies body temperature
• Removable cover
Review: "Great product. No nasty fumes or chemicals as it is all organic - just what I wanted for my 2-year-old for his transition from cot to bed."