cot mattress information

Cot Mattress Advice and Information -  Buy with informed choice and get the best mattress that suits you, your baby and your pocket.   Become a baby mattress expert,  read on,  you may need a coffee and a muchie before you start  Enjoy:-

First lets  talk about Foam  

Solid Foam Cot Mattresses

"The choice of foam a manufacturer decides on for a basic cot mattress or to  cover the pocket springs is dictated by either:

  1. The minimum required to conform to British Standards.
  2. The pressure of getting to a price point.
  3. Put comfort, performance, and durability as a priority.
A Solid foam mattress is a mattress made entirely of a block of polyurethane foam; 
There are a variety of qualities and covers that greatly affect the price and performance, we will cover these  as we go on .

Pocket Sprung Foam Cot Mattresses

The advantage over just foam is that these are more comfortable and durable and not so hot, as you are removing 40% of the foam  and replacing it with springs.  NB foam is an insulator.
Most quality pocket sprung cot mattresses use 6cm deep springs covered by a top and bottom layer of only 2 cm deep foam. Total depth: 10cm—that is the British Standard.

The 2cm top layer of foam has to cope with the pressure of the weight of your baby from above and the pressure from the springs below.

Basic nursery foam does not like heat, weight, and damp—exactly what a baby is! All these things contribute to weakening the foam and making it dip or dent, giving poor support.

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

As a guide, all other UK cot mattress manufacturers use a basic nursery foam with a rating of 22-28.

Nightynite© cot mattresses are made with a foam rating of 33 and 50, this is a massive upgrade. No other cot mattress company offers this quality, which is why our cot mattresses give better comfort, support and durability. We are not the cheapest but we are the best.

If you want to know more technical information on how foam is graded, please read on, or skip down to fibre or natural.

Currently, the foam used to cover cot mattress springs by most high street stores and good internet companies is rated at 24/130 or equivalent quality—it passes the British Standard.

24/130 - The first number "24" is the weight of the foam in kilorgams per cubic metre and indicates the density or the foam, affecting 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 assesses the firmness or the feel of foam, how it yields to weight and pressure, and how it returns to its original shape after compression.

We would not use 24/130 foam in our cot mattresses; we would not be happy with its performance it will dip and dent over time. Our pocket sprung NightyNite® baby mattresses use 30/150 foam—this is a huge step up in durability, support, and comfort.

For the past 15 years, we have also made a pocket sprung mattress called the "Nightynite® Excellence Easychange®," this is made with 50/215 foam.

Nobody in the UK comes close to producing a mattress that offers more in the way of: comfort, safety, breathability, temperature control, hygiene, durability, waterproof protection. This is a genuine toddler mattress.

Basic Springs or Pocket Springs As with everything, you can get good and bad components. Generally, all the basic springs in quality cot mattresses are the same unless you buy a cheap pocket sprung cot mattress.

However, there can be a variation in pocket springs; some cheaper ones do not give the best support. Poor cot mattress pocket springs are joined by length only and not by length and width.

How can you tell? Well, you can't really, not until you have had the mattress for a few months and it starts to dip as your child gets heavier. There may be an indication by the lower price point.

As your child gets heavier, their weight will push down on the cot mattress foam, and the pockets springs will come into play. Then there will be a noticeable difference between ordinary springs and pocket springs. The pocket springs will be more comfortable when supporting the weight of the heavier body areas, i.e., bottom, back, and head.

Fibre Cot Mattreses

Fibre Made From recycled plastic bottles. so a plus for the environment.

Fibre is  very cheap compared to foam, that is why it is flooding the baby mattress market at the moment. Fibre is not as good as most basic quality foams. It is not as supportive or durable.  Fibre has poor recovery and will sink and dip. You will see fibre mattresses on sale at bargain prices; they are O.K. for occasional use but not a serious, supportive, durable cot mattress.

Natural Cot Mattresses

These are mostly made from coir, which is the compressed hair from the outside of coconuts and topped with natural lambswool. The huge advantage is that these are foam-free, a natural sustainable product,,coir does come in different grades look for 70 or 80 KG 

Coir has no harmful fumes, extracted without disturbing the ecological balance, easily recycled, breathable, very durable, has a high tensile strength, natural spring action, coupled with natural lambswool warm in winter cool in summer.

Natural base can be either a solid coir block or have pocket springs encased in coir then the double layer of wool either side giving a natural posture pocket feel. The difference between the two designs of these natural cot mattresses are: The one with pocket springs is medium to firm, and the one without the springs is firmer sleep.

We have designed a totally natural pocket sprung cot mattress by making pocket springs out of coir instead of metal.

The Cot Mattress Covers

The absolute minimum you require from your cot mattress covers are:

  1. Give maximum breathability to your baby.
  2. Be easy to remove and machine wash  
  3. They protect the mattress core from those inevitable night ime accidents, and the fabric can be wiped clean.

If you buy a cot mattress that does not give you these basic features, you need to buy separate mattress protectors.

If you buy a cot mattress protector, NONE of them are  FULLY breathable; they can't be, or they would not be waterproof. So, if you put this waterproof cover over your mattress cover, you will restrict the air going to your baby; up to you if this is important to you.

However, you can remove the cot mattress cover and put the waterproof protector under the cot mattress cover. This will protect the mattress core, and if the cot mattress cover gets soiled, you can take it off and wash it, and this way your baby will get more breathability through the mattress cover.

Cot Mattress Covers - Main Fabric Choices

  1. PVC Cot Mattress Covers - Easy wipe clean, no breathability, uncomfortable, risk of overheating, carcinogenic (having a risk to cause cancer).

  2. Polyester Cot Mattress Covers - breathable, slightly water-resistant not waterproof, not luxurious harsh fabric, needs a waterproof protector, washes well.

  3. Microfiber Cot Mattress Covers - very breathable, not waterproof, different weights of quilting improve the comfort, some light wicking away of heat properties, require waterproof protector, washes very well at 60°C.

  4. Coolmax© Cot Mattress Covers - very breathable, offers temperature control. Coolmax© will wick away heat, but if it is backed with a quilted the heat tends to stay in the quilting! Needs to be backed with a spacer fabric, like MaxiSpace or Spacetec, to disperse heat. It is not waterproof, it will require waterproof protection. However, a waste of time putting a waterproof cover over expensive Coolmax© fabric; it will negate its properties. The waterproof cot mattress protector has to go under the Coolmax© cover and over the mattress core; washes very well at 60°C. Bamboo is a very soft fabric ideal for sheets, kind to your baby's 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 mold, yeast, and fungus cultivation. Natural heat-wicking properties; it keeps your baby cool in summer and warm in winter. If you put a cotton sheet over a 100% bamboo cover, it negates a lot of the properties; best to use 100% bamboo sheets over a Coolmax® and spacer fabric.

  5. Easychange Covers. This cover design offers everything you need in a cot mattress cover, full waterproof protection and breathability, temperature control, easy wipe clean surface, a spare topper. Just zip off interchangeable machine washable toppers in either microfiber or Coolmax with Maxispace and zip on a clean one provided. Toppers are secured on an award-winning waterproof protective base cover.

  6. Outlux this is regarded as a natural fabric and used on natural cot mattresses, it is 92% cotton and 8% PU. As the amount of PU is so small we can call it a natural fabric, The PU is sandwiched in between two layers of cotton making the fabric totally Waterproof, however, it is not fully breathable as the only air getting to the top of the fabric is above the PU layer.

Cot Mattresses and the Environment As the world changes with increased concern over the environment, recycling, and landfill. We have discussed the advantages of Coir, Lambswool, Fibre, and metal that rusts down.

There is now a move away from some foam products; however, if we have to use foam, then we can use them in a more sustainable way.

Here at The Cot Mattress Company, we too are doing our best to help reduce waste by offering products that last much longer and can be reused again and again instead of committing them to landfill. These cot mattresses are much more durable; they will retain their shape and support.

This is 2020, not 1980; we are now focused on looking after the planet see "New Baby New Mattress."

'NEW BABY NEW MATTRESS' was a recommendation that came about in the late 80’s. There was all sorts of scares about bacteria, fungus growing on cot mattresses, Body fluids reacting with flame retardant chemicals used in foam manufacture and giving off toxic gasses.

This is how it all started:

There was a television program that highlighted people falling asleep smoking and setting fire to the settee and the house going up in flames!

As a result of this, every bit of foam used in the house had to be made with a flame retardant. Then came the Mr. Richardson hypothesis that body fluids caused bacteria which in turn were reacting with the flame retardant used in foam production and causing toxic gasses e.g., Stibine gas, and this gas increased the risk of Cot death.

This hit the headlines and this theory was promoted by " The press" and T.V show "Cook Report" and as you can imagine caused unimaginable worry to new parents!

The government had to step in. A leading group of experts was put together to analyze the Richardson's hypothesis and found his claims were false—well, let's be kind and say unproven. If you wish to read the whole story you can see it here >

Even with this report, the scare was sealed in stone and to this day it is still has some credibility with some professionals.

Out of that scare came the following:

Phosphorous, arsenic, and antimony compounds are no longer used as fire retardants in baby mattresses

Cot death prevention advice from FSIDS now the Lullaby Trust

Back to sleep, sleep in a well-ventilated room, Feet to foot, no bumpers, so baby cannot get under covers

Ensure your baby does not get too hot or cold, room 16°C - 20°C. No smoking including E-Ciggs

and also "New baby new mattress."

"New baby new mattress" was because in case there was bacterial grown on the mattress and perhaps a reaction with the foam or plastic components or it could not be kept in a hygienic condition and it dipped or dented.

Consider this:

You should NOT use a cot 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 cot mattress does not have washable covers and the core is not protected.

  3. If the cot mattress has the slightest dip or dent—not supportive.

  4. If the cot 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 cot mattress for another child if:

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

  2. The cot 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 required to kill dust mites.

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

  1. The cot 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 antibacterial cleaner like Milton.


Cardboard Boxes and plastic wrap

In 2013, we ceased using very heavy-duty plastic wrap for outer coverings to deliver baby mattresses to our customers. All our cot mattresses are now delivered to you box packed using recyclable cardboard.


Toddler bed cot mattress This mattress is not only to fit a cot bed 140 x 70 but it should be able to support a toddler who is 5 years old. It is not just about the size, it is about the strength, support, and durability. This cot bed mattress needs to be firm and of substantial quality. If you buy a toddler mattress for under £80, it might fit the cot, but it will not be a good enough firm mattress to support a toddler for seven days a week over 12 hours a day.

Crib mattress These are called bassinets in the USA, so on Amazon this is what crib mattresses are sometimes called. A crib mattress