What Is The Best Cot Mattress
All the information you need to choose the best mattress for your baby
First your cot mattress should at least tick these boxes:-
Firm and Supportive, Comfortable, Durable, Washable, Waterproof , Breathable, Hygienic,
These basics requirements apply to foam, fibre or natural cot mattresses
The current recommended EU Standard is that there should not be more than a 3 cm gap between the cot sides and the side of the mattress. This is to ensure that an arm or leg does not get trapped.
All Foam Cot Mattresses
Buy from a company that is proud to state the quality of the foam they use, and quotes their foam specification. You want to see a minimum of 33/130.. beware of descriptions such as Nursery or A1 foam.
Cheaper foam does not respond well to heat, weight and damp and that is exactly what a baby is! These effects weaken the foam and make it dip and dent. A good quality foam will last longer and give better comfort and support
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 6 months out of them without 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 ONLY 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 will dip and dent within the first year.
Good quality foam, a minimum of 33/130 will give a comfortable supportive sleep and it will certainly be durable and last your baby the 20.000 hours before they go into an adult bed.
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.
From Jan 2020 there is now a new safer foam -- "It Is TCPP FREE " TCCP tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate)has been accused of causing health problem in children and adults because over time it escapes from the foam and has been detected in household air and dust. Laboratory tests indicate that TCCP may have an adverse effect on the nervous system and thyroid.
This new Foam 50 /125 hardly has any chemical smell, more breathable, beautiful feel and excellent recovery and still achieves the British standard fire certificate. it is at least 10% more expensive.
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 or comfortable 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.called Ultra-Fibre This HD fibre has some advantages over the higher grades of foam:- not so hot, no petroleum smell more breathable, made from recycled plastic bottles, but slightly less durable
Natural Coir and Lambswool
A solid block of 80g quality coir will be as supportive and durable. The comfort will be dependent on the type and depth of lambswool used and if you put pocket springs in the coir
A solid block of quality coir is firm with 2 cm of lambswool (avoid the cheaper 1 cm topping of wool
Pocket springs encased in coir and 2 cm depth of lambswool is medium-firm offers a more welcome feel.
Of course you are helping the environment with a natural mattress, made from sustainable material. 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 achieved :- 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
If you have a natural mattress core you may want to the cover to be 100% natural too to you keep it as a 100% natural mattress Cotton covers are 1 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.