Make You a Cot Mattress Expert Part 4 - The Cot Mattress Covers

Posted by Roger Abrahams on

Making You A Cot Mattress Expert - Part Four.  Continuing on the story of cot mattresses, we have now moved on to the fabrics that cover your cot mattress.

The properties and benefits of the mattress covers fall into two groups those that are vital and those that will enhance your cot mattress

Vital  properties:- waterproof protection, machine washable at 60°c.

Additional fabric properties:-  welcoming cushioning feel, hard wearing and durable, breathable, will not shrink. wicks away moisture, temperature control, easy wipe clean, (spare cover one for the wash). A natural fabric to go with your natural mattress. 

Now reading all those fabric features above - most parents will want them all, why not, you want the best for your baby! These features offer significant benefits and these benefits fullfill you and your baby's needs.

The Vital Features 
You must have waterproof protection between your baby and the mattress base. NOT just water resistant, if it is not waterproof, then urine and vomit will find its way to the mattress core and create  bacterial growth. It is also possible that Urine will react  with the fire retardant chemicals in the foam. 
 If the mattress on offer is not waterproof then you will need to buy a waterproof protector for it. Remember the waterproof protector will not be breathable.   

Next the cover or protector  must be able to be machine washed at 60°c the temperature that will kill dust mites, or  it can be wiped clean with an antibacterial product such as Milton or Detol solution.

 Additional Fabric Properties 
 Welcoming cushioning feel 
The base of the mattress should be firm, this is recommended by the Lullaby Trust as part of the back to sleep advice,  however the cover can be cushioned to give the initial lie a welcoming feel.

Hard wearing and durable
 The cot mattress could be in use for 20,000.hours (5 years) and has to stand up  to anything from a baby sleeping on it, to a toddler practicing somersaults!
Easy to keep clean
A cover easy to unzip and zip back on. Perhaps a spare cover (one for the wash)  after the 3 am unwelcome accident!
 Able to cope with a 60°c machine wash and not shrink, virtually dry when it comes out of a fast spin machine. (1400rpm) 
The fabric cover could be waterproof and easy wipe clean PU is the ideal fabric (NOT PVC it is regarded as carcinogenic)

Breathable, temperature control, wicks away moisture.  
Your baby lying on a breathable fabric that wicks away moisture and offers temperature control is a big plus in a cot mattress cover.  

However a fabric that is fully  breathable will not be waterproof, unless you use a combination of fabrics or a system like  Easychange with a protective base cover and Zip–on toppers, or a waterproof liner under your breathable cover.

Types of Fabrics Used In Cot Mattress Covers


Tough compressed inexpensive fabric,  breathable, water resistantUsed  sometimes as a total cover on the most basic of mattresses. 
Ideal for use on the underside of a cover,  When the side that is  slept on is made of an expensive fabric like Coolmax©  this helps to reduce the cost of the cover. 

 Quilted polyester, tough fabric, washes well at 60°c resists stains, harsh to the touch, water resistant only

Quilted Microfibre
Microfibre has a lovely soft welcoming handle if it is quilted with polyester wadding that makes it  exceptionally soft. Microfibre when quilted is an excellent fabric for a cot mattress cover. It has a high number of air chambers and pores, improving breath-ability and helping to regulate body temperature. It is anti-static and anti-microbial whilst also being anti-allergenic, 

  Coolmax© is a brand name fabric invented by Invista, they are a company with a record of developing clever  fabrics with enhanced properties. 
  Coolmax© is probably one of the best moisture wicking fabrics. It uses capillary action to move sweat away from a body so it can evaporate and dry quickly. thereby  offering  temperature control 
  The Coolmax© features are greatly enhanced if it is backed by a fabric like Spacetec or Maxispace these spacer fabrics improve the effectiveness of Coolmax© by dispersing the heat more quickly, thus making it an ideal fabric for a baby mattress.

 Outlux, Delta
 These are 93% cotton fabrics with a 7% layer of PU in the middle making the cotton cover waterproof. They can be used as covers for natural mattresses.
100 % cotton is not waterproof so on its own it is  useless as a cot mattress cover.

Cotton Sheets
Cotton fabric is  soft and comfortable, sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable making it an excellent choice for a baby fabric. Drying cotton sheets on low heat will help to prevent extreme shrinking; cotton will shrink a small amount  when it has been washed. 

Cotton terry toweling
Offers a warmer softer feel sometimes preferred if put over a waterproof sheet.

Cotton Jersey sheets
This weave makes the cotton stretchy best for fitted sheets.

Cotton Interlock Sheets
This weave  is used for flat sheets. The weave contains a higher thread count needed to make the fitted sheet lie flat.
Bamboo sheets 
Bamboo is a very soft fabric ideal for your babies sensitive skin It is naturally hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial which is ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers

Bed bugs and dust mites cannot live in bamboo, Bamboo will also resist mould, yeast and fungus cultivation
Natural heat wicking properties it keeps your baby cool in summer and warm in winter
 100% Bamboo Sheets with 180 GSM cloth is the best quality available for a  fitted baby cot sheet. Adding polyester will not give the same  properties as 100% Bamboo it will make the sheet last longer but will not be as soft
Environmentally friendly, fully sustainable resource that uses no fertilizers or pesticides to grow, and requires 80% less water than cotton.
Bamboo also 100% biodegradable, fast growing, and produces more oxygen for the environment than trees.
This fabric is PANDA SAFE, it is not made from the type of bamboo that pandas eat. 


We hope you found this cot mattress information interesting and informative. It should give you all the data you need to be able to be make an informed choice and buy the best mattress for you and your baby.






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