Which Is The Best Cot Mattress
All the information you need to choose the best cot mattress for your baby
The current recommended EU Standard is that there should not be more than a 3 cm gap between the cot bars and the side of the mattress. This is to ensure that an arm or leg does not get trapped. NB for the last 30 years it was 4 cm then last year the EU reduced it to 3 cm!
Going back to when we were using Imperial the British Standard was then one inch all the way round (2.54 cm). So if you pushed the mattress up to one side the gap could be 5 cm. Thousands of parents are using old cots that they used themselves, which is lovely and certainly fits in with new thinking, recycle and reuse, rather than go to landfill.
When using these cots locate the mattress in the middle of the cot if you have any concern about the gap either side.
Comfortable Supportive and Durable
All Foam Mattress
When reading this keep in mind all the time; foam as product does not like heat weight and damp which is what a baby is.!
The cheaper the foam the poorer the quality and the more likely it is that the foam will succumb to these pressures and dip and or dent
All foam cot mattresses made in the UK are generally made to hit a price point. They use the basic minimum standard foam, Some are even less than 10 cm deep, they maybe OK for occasional use at the grandparents. You will be fortunate if you get a year out of them without this basic quality foam showing some signs of indentation.
Springs or Pocket Springs
Pocket springs will be more comfortable and last 15% longer than basic springs
Springs are covered with a 2 cm layer of foam each side, the springs are 6 cm deep making up the British Standard of 10 cm.
2 cm of basic foam will succumb to the weight of a baby from above and the pressure of springs from below. Basic quality foam will not give the best support and more liable to dip or dent. Good quality foam will give a comfortable supportive sleep and it will certainly be durable and last your baby the 20.000 hours before the go into an adult bed
The key to a supportive durable cot mattress is to ensure that the foam covering the springs is a minimum of 33 kilo. Basic foam is around 28 kilo.or less. High quality foam resists the effects of heat weight and damp and will not dip nor dent. Quality foam has a higher rated "Indentation Load Deflection" (IDL) we explain this in more detail on our web pagers.
Fibre Instead of foam
Fibre has an advantage over foam that it is not so hot, does not have a petroleum smell, more breathable and made from recycled plastic bottles and cheaper.
However normal fibre it is not as strong nor as durable as foam and does not give the support of foam. There are lots cheap fibre mattresses on the market, they will be OK to start with, but after a few months they will dip and dent.
There is however a new heavy density (HD) fibre. This HD fibre has all the excellent features and benefits of basic fibre and it will give good support and be durable. While it might be better for your baby and the environment, there is no cost saving. High density fibre is similar price as top quality foam. At the end of the day quality costs more.
Natural Coir and Lambswool
Generally speaking an 8 cm solid block of quality coir will be as supportive and durable as a good quality pocket spring cot mattress. The comfort will be dependent on the type and depth of lambswool used. Of course you are helping the environment with a natural mattress, sustainable purchase, easily biodegradable. foam free not a petro-chemical product.
Easy To Keep Clean, Hygienic, Waterproof Protection, Breathable.
This is the responsibility of the covers. Choose machine washable breathable covers where the waterproof protection is under the cover and over the mattress core.and perhaps a spare cover (one for the wash).
Here is an example of how this can be done :- The Easychange® mattress has a waterproof cover to fully protect the mattress. This cover has a perimeter zip that takes toppers. The toppers hold a considerable amount of air and are fully breathable and offer temperature control.
So along comes the untimely night-time accident, unzip the topper, if necessary wipe the cot mattress protective base cover and zip on the clean topper, pop the soiled one in the wash, easy!
If you put a waterproof protector over the cot mattress cover your baby will be lying on a non or partially breathable cover. Consider siting a protective cover under a breathable mattress cover.
Natural cotton covers for natural coir mattresses
Cotton covers are supplied with many coir and lambswool natural cot mattresses, but they are not waterproof.
If you want a fully waterproof mattress you have to get some form of non-natural cover. There is a fabric called Outlux, fully waterproof, 93% natural, but not totally breathable. There is a compromise; consider "The Easychange® Cover System" over your natural mattress core.