8 best cot mattresses for babies

We asked a panel of parents - and their babies - to put these cot mattresses to the test to help you find the right one for your child
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  • Creating the perfect sleep environment for your baby is essential for both safety and comfort so we put the best cot mattresses to the test to help you choose the right one for your child.

    You should always buy a new cot mattress for a newborn baby. This is because there is evidence that second-hand mattresses can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). ‘It is essential that the mattress you choose for your baby is flat, firm and offers your baby lots of support as she sleeps,’ says Vickie Bowles of The Baby Academy. ‘Therefore, ordering the correct size mattress for your cot is important. Make sure that there are no gaps and that it fits your baby’s cot perfectly,’

    The best cot mattresses don’t sag in the middle – or anywhere else. In addition, they should feature the British Standards’ prefix BSI number BSEN716. This requires a mattress to meet certain standards on things like firmness, mattress shrinkage after washing and choking hazards like zips.

    Best cot mattresses 2022

    To help you make this very important decision, we asked parents with babies aged between nine months and almost two years old to put a range of the top baby cot mattresses to the test. Overall, they tested the mattresses for a number of weeks, and we used their in-depth feedback and insights to compile this buying guide to help you choose the best cot mattress for your baby.

    Our testers found the SnuzSurface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress to be the best cot mattress. It scored well for value, design, innovation, quality and comfort.

    1. SnuzSurface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress

    A brilliantly thought-out piece of kit – the best cot mattress overall, according to our testers

    SnuzSurface Duo Cot Mattress

    Credit: Snuz

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Dual-Sided
    ✅ Removable cover
    ✅ Good Value
    ❌None 

    VIEW AT SNUZ | £139.00

    Before you can use the SnuzSurface mattress, you need to let it ‘settle’ and ‘breathe’ for seven days. This is because it needs to reform its proper shape after being vacuum packed for transport. This can be a little frustrating. However, it is at least nice to look at while you wait – the stylish mattress comes in a deep purple and brilliant white design.

    When you can eventually use it, you’ll see it doesn’t just boast good looks. It’s been created with two differing supports: one for a newborn and the other for a toddler. To change these, simply unzip the mattress from its mesh cover and swap it around.

    Our tester Charlotte tried out both supports on her baby. Overall, she was surprised by the difference they made to her daughter’s sleep. ‘She kept waking up on the firmer, newborn side, but she much preferred the softer support that allowed her a bit more movement in her sleep.’

    But the innovation doesn’t stop there; the mattress is covered with a removable 3D mesh. This is is fully washable, so you can confidently get rid of those nasty dust mites. But more importantly, it’s fully breathable, allowing for good air circulation at night.

    ‘Even with a heavy cold and sleeping face down, I felt confident that this mattress provided Adelaide with great breathability,’ said Charlotte. While definitely not a budget buy, this cot mattress comes in at £139 and is good value for money, considering it has some really nice, innovative features. For this reason, we’ve named it our best buy cot mattress in this buying guide.

    2. NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat

    A high-quality, environmentally friendly mattress that’s worth the price tag – the best premium cot mattress according to our testers

    NaturalMat Cot Mattress

    Credit: NaturalMat

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: Multiple, including made to measure

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Dual-Sided
    ✅ Environmentally friendly
    ✅ Handmade to measure
    ❌Pricey but an investment buy
    ❌Colour might be off-putting

    VIEW AT NATURALMAT | £270.00

    The NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat is unrivalled when it comes to environmental credentials. It’s hand-made in Devon from organic lambswool and natural latex, coconut fibre (coir) and cotton. ‘As a parent, this is genuinely something I lose sleep over,’ said our tester Amelia. ‘I want to buy products that I know will help towards preserving the planet for my child’s future. I love knowing where the product was made, what it was made from and that it (and its packaging) won’t end up in landfill in the future.’

    Unlike most cot mattresses that are (at least at the beginning) brilliant white, the NaturalMat has a more natural colourway. While this could be off-putting to those who find chemical protection and white bedding more appealing, the quality of this product is ‘second-to-none’, according to Amelia. Her daughter Olga agreed – she consistently got a better night’s sleep on this mattress than any of the others mattresses she slept on.

    It’s chemical-free, non-toxic and naturally fire retardant. The cotton mattress cover boasts an OEKO-TEX®-certified hypoallergenic treatment to protect against bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes and moths. It also has a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

    At £270, this is the most expensive cot mattress on our list. However, Amelia thinks if you are invested in the environment and have a big enough budget, it’s definitely worth it because of NaturalMat’s high-quality materials and hypoallergenic credentials, not to mention that her daughter slept better on it.

    3. IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

    No fancy extras, just a good quality, affordable mattress – the best budget cot mattress, according to our testers

    Ikea cot mattress

    Credit: Ikea

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 140 x 70cm

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Affordable
    ✅ Removable cover
    ✅ Firm and lightweight 
    ❌None

    VIEW AT IKEA | £99.00

    It’s a common misconception that an IKEA mattress needs an IKEA cot. But this isn’t the case and this 140 x 70 cm mattress fits our tester’s cot perfectly. ‘It’s actually a nice fit, and there are no gaps where I felt concerned Margot might put her hands down the side,’ said mum Hollie.

    This mattress is lightweight, and Hollie was even able to take it away in her car when she headed off on a staycation with Margot. She also liked its firmness and how the pocket springs give it a flexible feel, but the major plus is its removable cover. This makes it very easy to clean in the machine should your baby have an accident in the night.

    ‘It’s easy to get the outer cover back on the mattress once you’ve removed it so it’s not a laborious task every time you want to wash it,’ said Hollie, who also liked the attention-to-detail with the zips – which are carefully hidden under a pouch – away from little fingers.

    At under £100, this mattress offers real value for money, combining quality and a low price. ‘It’s affordable, and it’s good quality with pocket springs that I found nice and supportive for Margot,’ said Hollie. For these reasons, we’ve named IKEA’s Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress our best budget buy cot mattress.

    4. Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress

    An innovative design that’s fully washable and breathable

    Purflo Cot Mattress

    Credit: Purflo

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 140 x 70cm

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Fully washable
    ✅ Breathable fabric
    ✅ Lightweight design 
    ❌Pricey but an investment buy
    ❌Requires assembly
    Limited sizes available

    VIEW AT PURFLO | £189.00

    Purflo’s one-of-a-kind design is not your average cot mattress. Its hollow frame design means that it’s fully washable and breathable, as well as being lightweight. This cot mattress does require a bit of assembly. ‘[I] wasn’t thrilled (in fact, dismayed) when the Purflo cot bed mattress came in 20 separate pieces,’ admitted our tester Darryl Baker. ‘If you don’t want to or can’t put furniture together, this isn’t for you as it requires initial assembly of the frame.’  But it comes with instructions, and she got there in the end.

    Once you’ve put in the effort, you will be richly rewarded. The innovative mesh fabric supports your baby while allowing them to breath easily. Darryl said that her daughter Cole had a cold, but the lightweight mattress helped her congestion at night and during naps, giving her ‘a comfortable night’s sleep.’ One of the most exciting features for parents is that, unlike any others, this cot mattress is fully washable. You can be confident that all those nasty cold and cough bugs, plus any dust mites, will be washed away in the machine.

    At £189, this cot mattress is a pricey purchase, but Darryl believes that it’s worth spending the extra if you are ‘someone who is open to trying something at the forefront of new designs and looking for the safest sleeping space for their baby’.

    5. Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress

    An innovative, double-sided mattress for newborns and toddlers

    Silver Cross cot mattress

    Credit: Silver Cross

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 140 x 70cm

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Dual-sided
    ✅ Removable cover
    ✅ Good fit 
    ❌Not lightweight
    Limited sizes available

    VIEW AT SILVER CROSS | £149.00

    Silver Cross’ Truefit Cot Mattress has oodles of innovative features that you don’t often find and probably haven’t even considered when choosing a cot mattress. ‘I didn’t realise cot bed mattresses could have so many different features like the True Fit technology and the dual sides, but now that I have used a mattress with these I wouldn’t look back,’ said our tester Hollie.

    The standout feature is that it’s dual-sided, with a firmer side for newborns and a softer one for toddler. ‘It’s really good quality – it’s very soft and springy and feels like it will be very comfortable for your baby,’ said Hollie, who used the newborn side for her nine-month-old.

    The double-sided feature extends the lifetime of this mattress and means that it can be used till your little one gets their ‘big’ bed. It will stay clean all that time too, because it has a washable cover that can be thrown in the machine when it gets dirty, plus it’s hypoallergenic – a real plus if you have a history of mild allergies like Hollie. While the price point is on the higher side, our tester thoroughly recommends it: ‘I can’t see why any parent wouldn’t be happy with this mattress as it’s a well-thought-out product, uses high quality fabrics and has useful features’.

    6. Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress

    An all-natural mattress with dual sides of differing firmness

    Little Green Sheep Cot Mattress

    Credit: Little Green Sheep

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 140 x 70 cms and 120 x 60 cms

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Dual-sided
    ✅ Environmentally friendly
    ✅ High quality product
    ❌Pricey but an investment buy
    Need a separate mattress protector

    VIEW AT LITTLE GREEN SHEEP | £219.00

    This Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress comes with dual sides: a firmer one for newborns and a softer one, specially designed for older babies who move around more in the night. ‘Suitability for a toddler isn’t something I’ve seen with many cot mattresses, so this stands out to me,’ said our tester Rebecca.

    As it’s made of all-natural materials, including coconut, latex, wool and cotton, this mattress is also temperature regulating, and Rebecca reported that her 16-month son Louis slept very well and was ‘neither too hot nor too cold’. Its natural credentials make this a good option for babies with allergies or a history of family allergies and its breathability is second to none – even Rebecca could breathe when she tested it out for herself. Like all coir mattresses, this Little Green Sheep one is environmentally friendly and is recyclable once your little one has grown out of it.

    As you’d expect from something that’s premium quality and has environmentally friendly ingredients, this mattress comes with a premium price point and retails at £219. ‘I think it’s worthy of the ”luxury” marketing spiel,’ Rebecca said. She’d recommend it to environmentally conscious parents but flagged that they’d also have to purchase a mattress protector separately, adding to the cost.

    7. Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress

    A firm, supportive mattress which stands up against spillages

    Mamas and Papas Essential Cot Mattress

    Credit: Mamas and Papas

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Removable cover
    ✅ Affordable
    ✅ Firm
    ❌No zip pouch 

     

    VIEW AT MAMAS AND PAPAS | £89.00

    Many parents aren’t looking for a cot mattress that does everything but just want a safe sleeping environment for their little one. Mamas and Papas has created their Essential Pocket Sprung Mattress for them. ‘This is a basic mattress but there’s nothing wrong with that,’ said tester Charlotte. ‘My daughter slept very well on it and it felt lovely and soft to touch.’ In addition, this mattress is on the firmer side and has an inner construction that includes ‘crush-resistant walls’.

    This might not suit all babies but it’s advised that newborns especially sleep on a supportive mattress. ‘I think after the first 18 months you might have to move to another mattress that is a little softer and can accommodate more mobile toddlers,’ added Charlotte.

    For parents who are worried about allergies, there is a hypoallergenic cover which is also washable to rid your baby’s cot of any dust mites and cold germs. ‘I liked that the inner part of the mattress had a wipe-clean cover as I felt confident that what Adelaide was sleeping on was really clean,’ our tester said.

    This Mamas and Papas cot mattress offers good value for money and would suit a family who value functionality over style and fancy extras.

    8. Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

    This breathable cot mattress comes with a washable, hypoallergenic cover

    Ickle Bubba Cot mattress

    Credit: Ickle Bubba

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms

    Pros Cons
    ✅ Affordable
    ✅ Removable cover
    ✅ Lightweight
    ❌ Felt synthetic
    ❌ Not as firm as desired
    ❌ Ill-fitting

    VIEW AT ICKLE BUBBA | £79.00

    This Ickle Bubba cot mattress is the cheapest on our list and consists of pocket springs contained in a breathable nursery foam. Amelia, who tested the mattress on her 22-month-daughter Olga, found it wanting for an energetic toddler. ‘She seemed to roll and fidget more when I put her down – perhaps because she could feel the springs and it creaked slightly – although she soon settled herself,’ she said.

    Amelia thought a smaller baby, who wasn’t as mobile, might fair better. ‘It wasn’t as firm as I’d have liked,’ she added. Another downside was that Amelia found, even with the correct sized sheets, the corners of the mattress curled up. But despite this, Olga slept just as well on this mattress as her usual one.

    While Amelia didn’t especially like the feel of the hypoallergenic, removable cover, she was impressed by how easy it was to change and wash in the machine, especially after her daughter had a heavy cold. The fact that this mattress is lightweight also makes night-time accidents quicker and easier to sort out. This mattress is competitively priced and would suit parents on a limited budget, or perhaps those who are kitting out an entire nursery for their firstborn.

    How to choose the best cot mattress for you

    A well-chosen cot mattress will help your baby sleep, keep them safe at night and also be easy to clean. And as we all know, babies aren’t the tidiest of creatures! The Sleep Mums’ Sarah and Cat suggest: ‘If possible, buy your cot and mattress together to make sure they fit well together with no gaps. Ensure you have enough well fitting sheets. Finally – but very importantly, check cleaning instructions – because you’re going to need them!’

    If you haven’t bought your cot and mattress together, the first thing you need to be aware of is the size of the mattress that will fit your cot. It should be a snug fit so that the gap between the mattress and the cot side is no more than 3cm for safety. Cot mattress sizes vary but the more ‘common’ sizes are 50cm x 80cm, 60cm x 120cm and 70cm x 140cm. If you need a mattress that isn’t one of these sizes, don’t despair, many brands offer several sizes and some even do a made-to-fit service, although with a premium price attached.

    Once you know the size you’re after, think about what type of cot mattress you want. There are four main categories of cot mattress currently available.

    • Foam cot mattress – these are generally cheaper than other mattresses. In addition, they are lightweight and support a baby’s natural posture.
    • Spring or pocket-spring cot mattress – these have a coiled spring interior. This means they hold their shape better, and are typically sturdier than a foam mattress.
    • Coir cot mattress – These mattresses have a natural core of coconut fibre. This makes them more breathable so they are good for babies with allergies.
    • Hollow frame cot mattress – this mattress consists of a mesh cover over a wireframe. It’s only made by the brand Purflo and therefore this is the only fully washable and breathable mattress on the market.

    All of these cot mattress types have been tested by the reviewers for this cot mattresses buying guide. But whichever size or type of mattress you choose, remember to put your baby to sleep on its back. That’s because this is the safest sleeping position.

    Which cot mattresses are the best for a newborn baby?

    Whatever age your baby is, you need to think carefully about the right cot mattress. However, make sure you choose a cot mattress that is firm and flat, especially for a newborn. The middle and the edges should yield slightly but then spring back into shape when you hold them down and release them.

    If you have a baby who regularly posits in their sleep or has nappy accidents at night, choose a mattress that is easy to clean. Some cot mattresses have removable covers that can be put in the washing machine. You can also buy a washable cover separately. This is highly recommended as they avoid moisture seeping into the mattress, for instance, which causes bacteria and mould to grow.

    A cot mattress should last until your child is a toddler and ready to move into a big kid’s bed. However, always check individual products for age limitations. ‘A new mattress for your baby’s cot should last about five years if it is well looked after,’ says Vickie Bowles. ‘If it remains firm, supportive, and intact you may continue to use it for a little longer.’

    What is the best thickness for a cot mattress?

    Cot and cot bed mattresses should be 10cm thick. However, travel cot mattresses are thinner as babies don’t sleep long-term in them. The NCT recommends that there should be 50cm between the height of the cot and the top of a mattress. This is so that older, more-mobile children will be prevented from climbing out of the cot.

    Best cot mattresses 2022 at-a-glance

    SnuzSurface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress – Snuz | £139.00
    NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat NaturalMat | £270.00
    IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress IKEA | £99.00
    Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress – Purflo | £189.00
    The Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress – Ickle Bubba | £79.00
    Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress – Silver Cross | £149.00
    Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress – Little Green Sheep | £219.00
    Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress – Mamas and Papas | £89.00