THE COT MATTRESS COMPANY



Baby Mattress Buying Guide

Help and Advice For Buying a Cot, Crib or Moses basket,  Mattress For Your Baby

Every day newborn babies sleep for an average of 16 hours and children of 3-5 years for an average of 11-13 hours. Babies and young children spend more than half of the first five years of life in a sleep environment. It is also the one place where they are most commonly left unattended for long periods of time.

The decision you make when buying a baby mattress for your child is so important. before you buy a baby mattress check it will meet these minimum requirements:-

Safe, Comfortable, Supportive, Easy to keep clean, Hygienic, Durable, Waterproof protection, Breathable, Complies To British Standards.

You may have other concerns:- 

Natural, coir and lambswool,  foam free, pocket Springs, spare covers, (one for the wash). You may want it to last for more than one baby or 4/5 years in a cot bed or maybe occasional use at the grandparents?

Your personal needs all go into the decision pot and out the other end comes a baby mattress you are confident to trust your new precious addition to your family in.

Recycle, Reuse, 
This is a phrase you will hear more and more of as the years go by.
With the growing concern about our planets resources, reusing a product that is perfectly good rather than commit it to landfill may influence your buying decision? 

With such a choice in the market place, plus all the conflicting advice you will be bombarded with regarding cot deaths and chemicals it can make choosing a baby mattress very difficult.

Here are all the facts and advice you need to help you make an informed choice and come to a buying decision. We will help you choose the right mattress for you and your baby. This is a very lengthy article, it may take you 25 mins to read, but it will give you the confidence to select  perfect mattress for you and your baby.

There are a couple key facts to always keep in mind when discussing baby mattresses

1) Basic foam as a product does not like heat weight and damp which is exactly what a baby is! This has the effect to weaken the foam and make it dip and dent. Buy a baby mattress made with a better quality foam, especially if it is covering springs, it will not dent and it will be more comfortable and durable.

2) Protecting the core from spillages is vital, better for this to be achieved without reducing the breathability of the mattress so to avoid your baby over heating. 

Moses Baskets Mattresses

Most of the mattresses that come with new Moses baskets or cribs are generally the absolute minimum quality. For some bizarre reason the money has always gone into the product design and fashion and never the most important component i.e. the mattress for your baby.

Moses basket mattresses are only in use for a few months and most of them are not used for full sleep periods, consequently there is no need for deep mattresses to take a lot of weight. 3 cm  or 4 cm deep is adequate for support.  Your baby should sleep on a firm supported surface.The foam or coir base should be of good quality, not a cheap fibre pad!  

Options For Foam Moses Basket Mattresses

The most common mattresses you find in a new Moses basket are

Sealed waterproof wipe clean cover over foam or fibre, advantages:- easy to keep clean. Disadvantages:- no soft quilting in the cover, not breathable, poor support.

or

 A fabric cover over thin fibre or foam, no waterproof protection, no support 

Look for a good quality foam base, a removable cover, washable at 60°c and waterproof "easy wipe clean" protector under the cover. 
Look for a cover made from quilted microfibre or Coolmax© backed with a spacer fabric, these covers will offer temperature control and extra comfort. 

Options For Natural Moses Basket Mattresses

1) The base is made with coir and lambswool and a cotton cover. Cotton cover is natural and breathable but requires a waterproof cover. The waterproof cover will not be fully natural and will be only partially breathable.

2) A base made with coir and lambswool and an Outlux waterproof cotton cover  93 % cotton, 7 % PU. This mattress cover is regarded as natural but only partially breathable. 

3)  A base made with coir and lambswool with a waterproof liner over the lambswool. Coolmax and Maxispace or microfibre cover, core is protected, fully breathable but cover and liner are not natural

Natural Moses basket mattresses generally offer more support, by their very nature they are deeper 2.5 cm of coir plus 2 or 3 cm of lambswool, depends on the manufacturer. One big advantage they have no chemical smell

However a totally natural, fully breathable, fully waterproof cover does not exist . 

Somewhere you have to make a a compromise between the percentage of natural fabric, breathability and waterproofing.

Example of a compromise for a Moses basket mattress:-
 A  foam free coir and lambswool base (no petro-chemicals, no foam smell).  Protect the coir and lambswool with a waterproof cover or liner. A Coolmax© and Maxispace cover that retains lots of air and will give maximum breathability, temperature control and comfort. However the cover is not natural. If it helps, your baby will probably be sleeping on a 100% cotton sheet.

If you find this confusing  wish to discuss this in greater detail you may phone our helpline on 01299 823223. 

 Options For Crib Mattresses

These are similar to the above for Moses basket mattresses, except your baby will sleep in the crib longer than a Moses basket. Your baby will also be heavier as the crib will be in use for at least 6 months, or until they can sit up.

Same rules apply, your baby should sleep on a firm surface. However because of the extra weight, activity and moisture, there is an huge advantage in having a thicker foam pad for more support and using a higher grade foam.

Crib mattress are available with pocket springs for the ultimate in support and durability, These deeper, better quality mattresses will not dip nor dent.


Natural Crib Mattresses

Everything you have read about Moses basket mattress apply exactly to crib mattresses

Going back to the phrase Recycle and Reuse

 A top quality crib or Moses basket mattress that will not dip or dent  will probably last you several babies. Your mattress has a solid base, waterproof protection, machine washable covers. This means you can always return your mattress to pristine condition. Your baby or babies have enjoyed good support comfort, when you have finished with your crib, Moses basket and mattress. do not throw the mattress away to landfill. It will probably be fine when you lend your crib to a friend or a relation. 

Travel Cot Mattresses

When you buy a travel cot it comes with a padded base, this is the only way it would pass a British Standard. Most parents feel the travel cot base is too hard and not padded enough for their baby and wish to buy another mattress.

The travel cot has soft sides, if you put a thick 10 cm deep mattress up against the side of the travel cot you will create a trap between the soft side of the travel cot and the deep side of the mattress. The risk increases if your toddler can pull itself up and their foot slips between the mattress and the travel cot netting.

It is understandable that you wish to improve your baby's comfort but safer to choose a mattress no deeper than 4 - 5 cm

Foam

Virtually all travel cot mattresses are made of foam so they can be rolled or folded for transport you cannot fold a natural mattress, it will wreck it.

The same standards apply to that of  a crib mattress :-
A good quality foam pad' waterproof liner what is easy wipe clean and a cover that is easily removed and machine washable. 

Foam Quality
Before we discuss cot mattresses for your baby it  would be an advantage to you if you had some technical Information about foam.

24/130 foam (This is a basic rating)
The first number "24" is the weight of the foam per kilo and indicates the density of the foam and this affects the durability. The second number "130" is the amount of pressure in Newtons it takes to compress the foam to 40% of its size. This measurement is called Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) and this assess the firmness or the feel of foam and how it yields to weight and pressure. It  does not give the important information about how it recovers after depression that you will have to reply on the accuracy of the description from the seller.

You may also see foam classed as CMHR code for example  CMHR 28 (this is a basic rating)

As these numbers increase, you will get a higher quality of foam 

So  30 /150  and CMHR  33  are a  significantly higher grade than 24/130 and CMHR 28  

A higher quality foam will give better support and comfort and be more durable it will not dip and dent and will resist the effects of heat, weight and damp.

All Foam Cot Mattresses

These are made using a CMHR 28 (24/130) foam 10 cm deep. It is rare to find an all foam cot mattress made using a higher spec of foam

 Anything less than 10 cm deep may be OK for infrequent use at the grandparents.  For every day use 7 cm deep foam will give poor support and you will be very lucky if you get six months without it denting and then off it will go to landfill.

Foam cot mattress will have will have a variety of covers.

You are looking for waterproof protection, breathability and machine washable covers. If this is not available on your mattress then you will have to purchase a waterproof cover. 

Springs and Pocket Springs Encapsulated in Foam

By taking out 70% of the foam and replacing it with a sprung core this will reduce the heat in a mattress significantly. Air will flow over the springs, pocket springs will last longer than basic springs and be more comfortable for your baby. As your baby gets heavier their extra weight will push down on the foam top and bring the pocket springs into operation.

The depth of springs on a sprung or pocket sprung baby mattress is 6 cm. The springs are covered by only a 2 cm foam pad, top and bottom, (making 10 cm deep). The foam pad is supported by the springs, obviously the foam takes the initial weight of your baby.
If the foam is not of a good quality, the mattress will eventually dent depending on the heat, weight, dampness and activity of your baby. This indentation could happen even in just a few weeks. "Just read some of the feedback from major dept stores and online retailers about cot mattresses that dent and the disappointment it causes".

It is so important that your baby sleeps on a permanent firm surface.

24/ 130 foam will past the  British Standard, however we know (and now so do you) that foam does not like "heat weight and damp" and the cot mattress is more likely to dent if faced with these  conditions. A higher quality of foam will not dent and give support for five years, it is well worth the investment.

Look for cot mattresses that use 30/150 or even 50/215 foam that work with the springs to avoid any indentation and give good support and comfort for  many years. 

Is It The Deeper The Mattress The Better?

Not necessarily, In mattresses like most other things, quality is more important than quantity, however certainly avoid cheap 7 cm foam mattresses unless you are using them for occasional use. These thin mattresses are often supplied free with cots. They will end up in landfill within the year. 

The British Standard for baby mattresses currently recommends that no mattress should be over 10 cm in depth, This standard is for safety reasons to do with your baby climbing out of the cot when they can stand or pull themselves up.

You may sometimes see foam mattresses advertised as 13 cm deep implying they are extra comfortable, they are not, it is a marketing ploy mostly they use a cheaper foam.
 
Mattresses With One Side For A Baby And One Side For A Toddler

We are really unable to offer advice on these products. Is this so subjective? We have looked at reports saying that under 18 months your baby sleeps on a firmer side and thereafter a more responsive side.
Another manufacturer saying sleep on a semi soft side first, but it is firm enough to comply with Lullaby Trust recommendations. Then as the baby gets heavier turn over for a firmer side!

So does this means that after a year the mattress becomes one sided and you cant turn it over as you would your own mattress to help it recover? If anybody has had one of these mattresses for more than two years we would be grateful of your feedback.

After the first five years of selling natural mattresses in 2004 we had the odd complaint that the mattress was too firm for their baby. We responded  by putting a double layer of lambswool on one side and we never had any more complaints. Thereafter it would not make any different what side was in use. just turn the mattress to avoid any indentation.

 My  New Baby Mattress Had A Chemical Smell When It Arrived - Is It Safe?

Foam is a man-made petroleum based product and when brand new it will have a chemical smell to it. The chemical smell of new foam happens because the foam has to release the component chemicals used in its manufacture. The ventilation of the mattress is a process known as 'airing' or 'off-gassing'. Every petrochemical based foam product will need to 'off-gas' to get rid of the new smell.

Mattress manufacturers will try to leave the foam as long as possible in the factory after cutting it to let it air. However the foam arrives in massive blocks the size of a small room and the foam in the middle will take longer to air than the foam on the outside. If it is cut into small components and left for too long to vent the foam could get contaminated, manufacturers are reluctant to do this. If your mattress is cut from the outside of the block it is probably fully aired. If the foam used is from the inside of the block it might need airing longer. When your mattress is made, it is sealed immediately in plastic to keep it clean and hygienic.This will trap any air until you open the bag.

You can mask the smell - use Fabreeze or talc, but it is not really worth doing. Just leave it to air for 24- 72 hours in a well ventilated room or outside in the garden on a dry day and the newness smell will go.

You will notice reviews from every cot mattress retailer without exception that say:- When I opened my cot mattress it had a dreadful smell I would not put my baby in it.

 This is understandable - everybody wants the best, safest mattress for their baby and does not want to put them on a toxic product. However this is a characteristic of the  foam mattress. Foam is probably one of the most widely used, safest man-made products you can buy! Let it Air in a very well ventilated room or outdoors and all will be well. You may comment that you have bought furniture or cushions that have not smelt. Simple answer:- they have been sitting in the shops for weeks or months and will have times to air.

One can get paranoid about the smell and it is possible to always detect a hit of petroleum aroma if you unzip the cover and bury your nose in the foam! However as a test you should not be able to smell any petroleum smell from about 20 cm away with the cover on, if so ventilate more. 

 There is a new foam coming out on the market end of August 2019 that has  a much reduced petroleum smell to it. - Tell you more when I can bit secretive at the moment.


If you buy a natural cot mattress this will not have such a newness smell, there are no petroleum based chemicals used in natural mattresses. Synthetics do have some advantages over natural products when it comes to breathability and waterproof protection which we have mentioned.

My mattress has gone yellow (discolouration)

This is perfectly normal, it is a natural characteristic of the foam to oxidise and change colour, sometimes you can buy a new mattress and it has a yellow tinge on one corner maybe where the light has got to it during transportation.

This discolouration does not in any way impact on the performance of the foam. Some companies now are dyeing the foam a light yellow colour at manufacture to prevent unnecessary customer dissatisfaction. Sometimes the yellowing (oxidisation) starts from one end and it appears as though the mattress might be contaminated, it is not the case. In time the whole mattress with discolour evenly. Put on the mattress cover and sheet and don't aggravate yourself - all is well

Fireproofing Foam This Is A UK Not An EU Directive

In 1988 The UK Government (under some pressure from the fire dept, press and TV) decided to prevent the number of house fire started by cigarettes by making Domestic Upholstered Furniture meet specified ignition requirements. I.E. if you fell asleep smoking, the settee would not go up in flames. This law also encompassed baby mattresses.

In the early 1990's a research carried out by scientist Barry Richardson and New Zealand-based chemist Jim Sprott put forward a theory that because the foam in the baby mattresses now contained fire retardant chemicals they gave off a  toxic gas which caused cot deaths when mixed with urine.
This theory was taken up and highlighted by the ITV's The Cook Report in 1994. This Program caused absolute panic with new parents. Roger Cook was  advising parents to wrap their mattresses in polythene 
or buy a mattress free of flame retardants. That did not exist in the UK.

The daily newspapers joined in the scare mongering and as you can imagine absolute panic  went through every parent that had a foam mattress.  
To combat this and reassure parents The Government  spent  £1/2 million on a  Three year project to disprove the toxic gas theory and said their was no evidence to prove that fire retardants in baby mattresses caused cot deaths. 

 Different Fire retardant chemicals were then used in foam production and also a list of advice points for parents:- Back to sleep, feet to foot, new baby new mattress, no smoking and good ventilation in the nursery,  ensure your baby was not over heating,  tog rating for quilts and no bumpers, if your baby was unwell seek medical advice urgently.

The use of adding flame retardant chemicals to foam was only something taken up in the UK. The rest of Europe were not interested in this exercise and positively condemned it. Interesting as we are all part of the EU and supposed to have the same standards.

Also many in the nursery industry including myself were vehemently against it. 
But the fire lobby in the UK are all powerful. 

Our position was why add toxic chemicals to a baby mattress :-  Are we saying that only UK babies smoke in their cots? or that only UK parents would drop a lighted cigarette in a cot with their baby sleeping in it.

God forbid if the house caught fire and the baby was in the cot. It would  not survive the smoke inhalation from other burning items long before the baby mattress caught fire.
We argued against fire retardant chemicals in cot mattresses for 20 years but it was always turned down.

As the years went on there was more and more questions have been raised about Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 

There is now a new foam being produced without the use of these chemicals it will be available  late 2019 and it passes the flame retardency laws.

In fairness there is still no concrete evidence that the current foam produced is dangerous to health but more and more questions are being asked.

There are still  supporters of this toxic theory.i met a professor in Switzerland many years ago he was adamant that if bodily fluids reach the foam mattress core and are left for a period of time, (over 3 months) then they react with the fire retardant chemicals in the foam or other components and this may cause a gas called Stibine gas to be produced, Stibine gas is highly toxic.

There are all sorts of scary things to read on the internet about baby mattress wrapping, you may have already read some of these!. Basically for piece of mind just prevent body fluids from getting to the mattress core, but don't do it in a way that affects the breathabilty of the cover or you risk your baby overheating!

Protect the mattress under the cover (over the foam). When you buy a new mattress ensure it has full waterproof protection. Many cot mattresses are made to hit a price point, they wont have any protection and some will have just a slider that covers only one third of the mattress which you have to position under the nappy area but your baby when it is older will move around the cot so this will not be adequate.

So this is key:- "It Is of Paramount Importance To Prevent Bodily Fluids Getting To The Core Of The Mattress And Still Keeping The Mattress Breathable.

One way to achieve this is to choose a fabric that is breathable like Microfibre or Coolmax© with Maxispace, then protect the core under the cover to keep the body fluids away from the foam core. Do this by ensuring your mattress has a full PU band around it covering at least 90% of the mattress centre or a full Safetex cover as in the Easychange range with zip off machine washable toppers.

If you buy a waterproof protector for your mattress consider NOT putting it on the very top of your mattress. Remove the cover and put it over the core, it is the core you want to protect from body fluids, then put the mattress cover on top. The cover will hold air over the waterproof protector and help to avoid your baby overheating. If the cover gets soiled then easy to remove for washing and then wipe down or wash the protector if fluids have gone through. Spare cot mattress covers can be a godsend.

Many mattress protectors say they are breathable but if you hold them to your mouth and try and suck air through you will see they are only partially breathable. Some past a breathability test because if you held a boiling kettle on one side you can steam up a mirror on the other side, They are classed as water vapour permeable. However if your baby turned face down on some of these wipe clean waterproof protectors it would not get sufficient air through to breath normally.

Another option is the Easychange range of  mattresses, these have a topper that zips off completely from the rest of the cover. The cover holds the air, and the underneath main cover is waterproof.This allows you to zip on whatever sleep surface you wish for maximum breathability and comfort.

There is now an even better solution The Cot Mattress Company won an award from "Mother and Baby" in 2016 for a wipe clean base cover under a breathable topper.

I Have Been Told New Baby New Mattress is this true?
This all came about in the late 80's and needs updating and some common sense applied  as products have improved.

You should NOT use a mattress for a second or third child if :-

1) You do not know its history how it was looked after and how it has been maintained and cleaned

2) If the Mattress does not have washable covers and the core is not protected.

3) If the mattress has the slightest dip or dent, - not supportive.

4) If the mattress is yours and you stored it in the loft  and did you seal it in a plastic bag and it is not thoroughly washable, and does not have protection to the core.

You can use a mattress for another child if :-

1) You know its history and how well it was looked after

2) The mattress has a protector (preferably wipe clean and or washable) that will prevent body fluids getting to the core (foam or springs) and the protector sits under the cover and over the foam.

3) The covers have been washed regularly at 60°c the temperature requite to kill dust mites.

4 ) The mattress has no visible dents or dips has been well maintained and turned frequently.

5) The mattress has been stored clean and sealed in plastic. All covers or toppers protective core cover machine washable at 60°c . A fixed  waterproof  protective base cover can be cleaned with an anti-bacterial cleaner like Milton.

NB. As foam ages it Oxidises, goes yellow, this is perfectly normal and does not affect the performance of the foam in any way whatsoever,

 Recycle and Reuse 

The advantages of buying a quality baby mattress

 

Metal Springs, PVCs, And Radiation Scares 

In 2009 we heard of a report regarding the possible negative effects of an electromagnetic field on babies. The report said it is especially important for you to use a non-metallic bed for your baby, as their immature bodies are more susceptible to EMF damage. We spent several months diligently investigating this and found no facts whatsoever to confirm that metal springs produced any electromagnetic field to affect babies.

As with all these scares we have to investigate them especially if it involves a component we are selling. A classic is PVC, we banned this from our mattresses in 2002 because Greenpeace and a professor in Switzerland were saying PVC was carcinogenic. Looking back we are pleased with our decision. 

However this did manage to pose yet another question? There is a voice out there that now talks about radiation effects on babies from phones, WiFi, other electrical appliances. 

We have been asked the question about radiation and baby electrical products,  We have no expertise to be able to comment on effects (if any) to your baby that radiation may have if you use baby monitors or movement detectors.

Coolmax, Outlast, Thermosleep, Bamboo

These are specially engineered polyester fabrics that wick away heat from the body and regulate temperature, when combined with quilting they have a luxury soft feel. The best effect by far is achieved by not quilting but backing them with a quality 3D spacer fabric like Spacetec or Maxispace. As well as adding luxury to the Coolmax© or Outlast they also allow thousands of cells where the heat can be wicked away. Another way to help wick away heat and more naturally is using bamboo. Bamboo is a luxuriously soft material, softer than cotton with natural temperature regulating properties. There are available a range of 100% bamboo sheets which can be fitted to any cot, crib or Moses basket mattress. Fitting 100% bamboo sheets over Coolmax with Maxispace would be indeed the height of luxury.

British Standards

Every mattress sold in the UK should conform to British standards; BS7177 and BS1877, these relate to quality of filling and flammability. to be honest we cant see any manufacturer of baby mattress not adhering to these standards. there are now new EN regulations

Hypo-Allergenic

This basically means non-allergy producing. Most mattress retailers, (OK  and us) use this a sales pitch, but it means nothing if you do not keep your mattress covers and mattress core clean.

Cot Mattress Sizing Guide

This is all about the gap left between the side of the mattress and the side of the cot, too big and there is a risk of trapping of limbs in the night. The ideal situation is a mattress that presses right up against the side of the cot or cot bed, but there has to be a small gap to allow the use of the drop side. The new Eu regulations is not than a 3 cm gap at most if you push the mattress up to one side of the cot.

There are some main popular sizes of cot and cot bed mattress: 117 x 54 cm, 120 x 60 cm, 127 x 64 cm, 126.5 x 62.3 (M and P 300 size) 130 x 70 and the most popular which is 140 x 70 cm (often referred to as 139 x 69 cm)

Less popular sizes are:

112 x 55 cm, (old IKEA size) 122 x 61 cm, 131 x 71 cm and 132 x 77 cm 132 x 70 cm the last three pertain to the Boori range of cots.

Waterproof Sliders/ Membranes

These are waterproof bands that go under the cover and around the mattress core to protect the core from spillages, There was a thought not to put them around the whole mattress as they would reduce breathability, However it is a pain to remove the cover to slide them down as your baby grew. that was the old thinking.

Many companies have now we have moved on and now supply waterproof liners covering at least 90% of the foam area under the cover that could get body fluids on, but also offer a cover that is fully breathable

 Memory Foam

While it does feel soft and has a great reputation on adult mattresses it is not ideal for baby mattresses. Memory Foam has more chemicals, creates more heat and also creates pooling of carbon dioxide. Some companies have used it for baby mattresses. We have researched it and along with most other mattress experts we would certainly not use it for baby mattresses.

Fibre baby Mattresses

Watch this space with Fibre it will be all change soon. Years ago fibre was used as a cost cutting exercise and a marketing means to say "FOAM FREE". The problem with fibre was that it is not as strong as foam, not as durable, wont last as long and will not give the support.

There are only a few foam converters in the country and they do hold foam users over a barrel when it comes to price, that is a main reason why manufacturers are turning to fibre as an alternative. But the current fibre is really poor. We tried it and it will not past our tests for comfort support and durability 

However there a new fibre coming soon, stronger, durable, foam free, for those that do not like foam, more breathable than foam. does not smell as foam does. no need to air for the smell to go. Mid May 2019 we will have this new fibre mattress available after product testing.

 

Fibre can be made from recycled plastic bottles.

However seek out  the high density fibre, it is not cheaper than foam but  excellent quality. it really needs to be topped by lambswool to give it a good  welcome lie. But  we have to say better for the planet.  

 

Coir

Coir is a natural fibre it is captured form the husks of coconuts. Coir is compressed and used for mattresses and matting it offers good support for mattresses when combined with lambswool and springs.

Latex

There is natural Latex and Synthetic Latex. One is a natural product and the others has graphite and chemicals added. Latex is expensive and generally only used with natural products. The downside with latex is that some people are allergic to it, latex does create heat so you have to perforate it.

We have had some latex samples in our office for 3 years and it still smells! It has a lovely soft feel. However too many other negative vibes for us to consider using it.

Springs

Springs are excellent to have in a mattress to increase support and airflow by allowing air to flow in and around the springs.

We use two main types of springs;

Mini Bonnel Springs used in Cot or Cot Bed Mattress

These are the sprung units and offer the baby excellent support and prevent the mattress feeling like an uncomfortable brick of foam they also reduce the heat build up in the foam by making a large space of air.

Pocket Springs Used In Crib, Cot or Cot Bed Mattresses

These are more supportive and comfortable than mini bonnel springs. Individual springs that work independently to target the different pressure points of the child's body, allowing better support for the head, back neck and legs. The only disadvantage of the pocket springs is that they are a little more expensive than their mini bonnel counterpart. Smaller pocket springs can be used for crib mattresses as crib mattresses these have a maximum British Standards depth of 5 cm

 More about Natural mattresses
 
Advice on buying a natural mattress for your baby

Natural mattresses are made from all natural components with no man made parts used. They account for 6% of the total mattresses sold in the UK. but the figure is growing.

Natural cot mattresses use coir and lambswool mostly and some use latex. Pocket springs can be added to coir and lambswool to give extra durability and the mattresses then promoted as natural because they do not contain foam. Is this a debatable point can steel be regarded as natural?

This has motivated us to produce a natural pocket sprung mattress. We have made a spring out of coir. When these are fitted to a natural mattress the support and comfort along with the durability is unrivaled. The cot mattress company is the only company to produce such a product.

All baby mattresses sold in the UK have to conform to strict British standards to ensure they are safe and non-toxic. Foam, synthetic fabrics and springs are used extensively throughout millions of everyday products. These components may be able to offer better durability, temperature regulation, breathability etc but natural mattresses using organic components have these features naturally built in.

Covers

These are mostly cotton made of different density and weaves, and if they are claimed to be organic then the area where the cotton comes from has to be approved by an authority to be organic. These covers are not normally waterproof and that has been a concern with parents, the one drawback to a natural cover.

Some of these covers have been made waterproof by using a minute layer of treated fibre sandwiched in the middle of the cover, they are also washable at 60 degrees and because of the tiny amount of synthetic quantity they can be called a natural product.  One of these fabrics is called Outlux, it is one of these three layered fabric:- two layers of soft brushed cotton and in the middle a tiny thin layer of PU to give it its waterproofing properties. It is classed as breathable but only air from the top cotton layer gets through

Core

The core is normally made from coir which is very firm, either side of the coir is generally wool to give the coir a softer feel. The wool can be treated with various natural products like eucalyptus, lavender etc to give it extra properties.

The downside of natural mattresses is the that the cotton covers with waterproof filament in are not as breathable as the man made covers, the waterproof membrane sandwiched in them restricts the airflow. If you have cotton covers without the waterproof protection then the mattress core will get soiled (you cant have everything)

However speaking to parents who go for coir and lambswool they do so because foam is the enemy. They do not want foam!

We can share with you the many lengthy discussions we have had with parents to be about the best cover for a coir and lambswool base.   they all settle for an  Easychange microfibre or Coolmax and Maxispace cover.

We also make the core with pocket springs and lambswool (NO FOAM) and then fit the Easychange microfibre or Coolmax and Maxispace covers. give us a ring on 01299 823 223 if you want us to do that for you. We will soon have this listed on our site as an option.

How Did You Get On?

Having read all of the above we have hopefully given you an extensive knowledge of baby mattresses and you are more able to make an informed buying decision on your choice of mattress.

Should you still have questions please call us on 01299 823223 or email us on helpline@cotmattresscompany.com. We have calls every day from parents-to-be wanting reassurance that they are making the right decision on a mattress for their new arrival, we are pleased to help. Sometimes from a conversation we can tailor make a mattress to suit.

The Environment

We used to send all our mattresses out in heavy duty plastic bags but  in 2010  we switched to cardboard a bit dearer, but cardboard breaks down in 8 years or less and can be recycled, The heavy plastic bags decomposed in about a 100,000 years and not recyclable in most areas

It will help the environment and recycling of cot mattresses if before you throw away your cot mattress you cut out the spring unit from the foam mattress. the sprung unit is recyclable.

We have been asked to comment on this subject as it has become a point for discussion  certainly since the Blue Planet Series,  We have to be honest about the products we use. and how long they need to decompose. These are the best estimates and this is how long they take to naturally decompose.

But our message is - buy quality and reuse

biodegradable Times

Foam. probably a million years
Metal springs, will rust oxidise; - 100 years
Mattress covers 20 to 30 years
Coir depends on thickness approx 10 years. N.B. can aid vegetable growth
Lambswool 10  years.