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Mattress Buying Advice for my Baby

Until the age of two, babies spend up to 50% of their life on their cot bed mattress. For this reason, it's important to make sure that your baby's mattress is safe and supports their growth and development.

Your baby's cot bed mattress should be:

  1. The correct size for the crib
  2. Firm and supportive
  3. Waterproof and washable
  4. Breathable and hypoallergenic

In this guide, we'll focus on what to look for when choosing a baby cot bed mattress, the types of cot bed mattresses available and how to ensure the mattress correctly supports your little one.

Baby in a crib lying on a cot bed mattress
Your baby needs a firm and waterproof cot bed mattress that fits the crib snugly

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Buying a cot bed mattress: FAQs

When shopping for your baby's cot bed mattress, there are a few things youll need to consider. From mattress size, firmness and breathability, to mattress cleaning and safety, read on to discover the answers to frequently-asked cot mattress questions.

To identify which size cot bed mattress you need, you'll need to measure the crib first. Cribs are usually built to match the dimensions of these cot bed mattress sizes:

Mattress size Imperial measurements Metric measurements
Standard cot bed mattress 2'4" x 4'7" 70cm x 140cm
Continental cot bed mattress 2' x 4' 60cm x 120cm

The gap between the mattress and cot should be no more than 3 centimetres (1.2 inches). Additionally, the cot bed mattress should be between 8 and 12 centimetres (3-5 inches) deep to ensure your baby gets the right amount of support they need.

Your baby's cot mattress should be firm, flat and supportive. This is because a soft surface is more likely to contour to your baby's body and could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Don't choose a mattress that feels comfortable for you! Instead, if a cot mattress responds to pressure by quickly snapping back to its original shape, then it should be firm enough for your little one.

Cot bed mattresses include different materials to help improve breathability. For example, Slumberland cot bed mattresses include breathable baby-safe fibre. These cot mattresses also include Actipro, a 100% natural treatment that guards against allergens. This helps create a cleaner, healthier sleeping surface for your little one.

We recommend a cot bed mattress that includes a washable and waterproof mattress cover. This will keep your baby's mattress clean and hygienic. The waterproofing helps prevent accidents from damaging the mattress, whilst the removable cover can be zipped off and machine-washed.

Some cot mattresses feature removable covers which make it easier to clean. If your cot mattress doesn't have a removable cover, you'll need to regularly spot-clean the mattress to ensure a hygienic sleep surface for your baby.

Cot bed mattresses are usually wrapped in two different types of cover: fabric or PVC. Here's how to clean each type of cot mattress cover:

Removable mattress cover type Cleaning process
Fabric mattress cover Vacuum regularly and wash with non-biological mild detergent
PVC mattress cover Wash with warm water and disinfectant or antibacterial spray

Never dry clean your cot bed mattress as this may leave behind chemicals that could be harmful to your baby. Ensure that you never put your baby on a cot bed mattress that isn't fully dry as the moisture can increase the risk of asthma.

Yes, a foam cot mattress can be a good option for your baby. Foam cot mattresses are durable, supportive and often hypoallergenic. They also tend to be a little cheaper than sprung mattresses, such as open coil or pocket sprung cot mattresses.

We do not recommend that you use a second-hand cot mattress for your baby. A second-hand mattress is likely to have:

  1. Experienced bacterial growth
  2. Lost its firmness
  3. Lost its shape

A worn cot bed mattress is likely to conform to your baby's shape and increase the risk of SIDS.

We strongly advise that you purchase a new cot bed mattress if you can. This will give you the peace of mind that it is of brand-new condition and quality, is fit for purpose, supports your baby correctly and ensures your baby sleeps safely.

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Types of baby cot bed mattress

There are three main types of cot bed mattress, all of which offer different benefits:

  1. Foam
  2. Standard sprung
  3. Pocket sprung

1. Foam cot bed mattresses

A foam cot bed mattress offers good support and is great value for money. They are usually made up of fillings such as reflex foam to provide a firm sleep surface for your little one.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Usually lighter in weight
  • Offers excellent support and durability
  • Great dust mite resistance
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Easy to clean
  • The smell of the fire retardant applied for safety may take a little longer to air than other types of cot bed mattress

2. Standard sprung cot bed mattresses

A popular choice, standard sprung cot bed mattresses feature open coil springs surrounded by foam and fillings. Also known as open coil mattresses, heavier versions are likely to include thicker springs and therefore will provide better support than a foam mattress.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Offers great firmness and support
  • Fantastic durability
  • A little higher in price than foam
A bisection of a standard sprung cot bed mattress
A standard sprung cot bed mattress offers comfort and support

3. Pocket sprung cot bed mattresses

A pocket sprung cot bed mattress features springs that are individually wrapped within a cloth sleeve. A pocket sprung mattress provides enhanced support and comfort, since the pocket springs adapt to your baby's movements throughout the night.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Excellent support
  • Great durability
  • Supports your baby as they grow
  • Usually more expensive than other cot bed mattress types
A bisection of a pocket sprung cot bed mattress
Pocket sprung cot bed mattresses adapt to your baby's movements for enhanced support
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Cot bed mattresses: best sellers

Struggling to find the perfect cot bed mattress? Our best-selling baby cot bed mattresses are sure to provide safe, sound sleep for your little one.

The Slumberland Luxury Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress is an award-winning cot mattress
Slumberland Luxury Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress

  • Mattress type: pocket sprung and waterproof
  • Mattress depth: 10cm
  • Firm and hypoallergenic
  • From only £129.99

The Slumberland Classic Sprung Cot Bed Mattress is firm and waterproof
Slumberland Classic Sprung Cot Bed Mattress

  • Mattress type: standard sprung and waterproof
  • Mattress depth: 10cm
  • Firm and hypoallergenic
  • From only £94.95

The Silentnight Healthy Growth Toddler Mattress offers excellent support and comfort for your baby
Silentnight Healthy Growth Toddler Mattress

  • Mattress type: Eco Comfort
  • Mattress depth: 10cm
  • Firm and hypoallergenic
  • From only £94.95

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We hope this guide has given you all the information you need to choose the perfect mattress for your baby. Shop our range of baby cot bed mattresses that are sure to give your little one a safe, comfy night's sleep. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch and we'll be happy to help!

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