The best cot mattresses to buy in 2024: 8 options all tested by babies and toddlers

These are the best cot mattresses to help little ones sleep soundly — which means you'll do so too!

We've tried and tested a range of the best cot mattresses — these are the top-rated options
(Image credit: Future)

Need help choosing the best cot mattress for your little sleeper? We tasked parents to test out the best cot mattress for their babies and toddlers — here are the ones that made the cut.

A great cot mattress can make all the difference in helping your baby (and therefore you!) get a brilliant night's sleep. Of course, you want any sleep surface they lay their head on to be comfortable, secure and above all safe — and all our cot mattresses listed in our guide tick all these boxes. 

When you're choosing the best cot bed or cot for a newborn baby, a cot mattress is the one item you must always buy new for each baby. We say this because there is evidence that second-hand mattresses can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and it’s important that any new mattress you buy fits your cot or cot bed perfectly.

"It is essential that the mattress you choose for your baby is flat, firm, and offers your baby lots of support as she sleeps," confirms 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."

Another feature to watch out for? Make sure the cot mattress doesn't dip or sag in the middle and that it conforms to the British Standards’ prefix BSI number BSEN716. This means that a cot mattress meets certified standards on features like cleanliness, firmness and choking hazards. Again, all the best cot mattresses we've tested meet this criteria — and much (much) more.

So, it's fair to say that safety and comfort are the main priorities to consider. But you may also want to find out whether the cot mattress is hypo-allergenic, environmentally friendly, easy to clean or super firm. Keep reading to help narrow down your selection and pick the best cot mattress for your little one.

The quick list

Need quick help to choose the best cot mattresses to buy? Here's our verdict...

Best cot mattresses 2024 — tried and tested by parents 

Why you can trust GoodtoKnow. Our experienced Consumer Editor & parent reviewers spend hours testing products to help you make the best choice. Find out how we test and review products.

Best cot mattress overall

Snuz Surface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Snuz)

1. Snuz Surface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress

Best cot mattress overall — a brilliantly thought-out design

Specifications

Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms
RRP: £139.95

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-Sided
+
Removable cover
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Has to settle for 7 days before use
Buy it if

✅ You want a long-lasting mattress: Thanks to its dual-sided feature, you can use it in two ways to accommodate two different ages – up until four.

✅ You want a washable cover: This mattress is kitted out with a washable cover that is made with a 3D, breathable mesh. This can easily be zipped off (but don't worry, the zip is secured in a pouch away from little fingers), then popped in the wash and returned once it's nice and clean.

✅ Breathability is on your mind: As we mentioned, this mattress uses breathable mesh which helps to improve airflow. This means it will also dry quickly if your little one has any accidents. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're tight on funds: This is a mid-range mattress which will set you back just under £140. If you're looking for our best budget buy, check out the IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress which costs £99 or Ickle Bubba's £89 Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress. 

The bottom line

🔎 Snuz Surface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress This is not a budget buy — it's priced at £139 — but we think it's really good value for money seeing as you can use this dual-sided mattress for a newborn and then a toddler. It has a premium feel to it, while its 3D cover is machine washable, so you can keep it looking and smelling as fresh as the day you bought it. ★★★★★

Tested by: Mum Charlotte and her daughter Adelaide.

Our baby gear expert says: Before you can use the SnuzSurface cot 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, says: "Our tester Charlotte tried out both supports on her baby. Overall, she was surprised by the difference they made in 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 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. 

Verdict: While this is 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.

Read more: SnuzSurface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress review

.

Best premium cot mattress

NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat

(Image credit: Natural Mat)

2. NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat

Best premium cot mattress - high-quality, environmentally friendly and worth the price

Specifications

Dimensions : Multiple, including made to measure
RRP: £325

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-Sided
+
Environmentally friendly
+
Handmade to measure 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey, but an investment buy
-
Colour might be off-putting to some
Buy it if

✅ You need a made-to-measure mattress: Maybe you've got a uniquely shaped cot or you've had to have one made especially for your little one's room — the NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat can be handmade to fit your cot. 

✅ Looking after the environment is on your mind: Crafted with organic lambswool and natural latex, coconut fibre (coir) and cotton, this sustainable, naturally breathable and biodegradable mattress puts the planet first. 

✅ Need a dual-sided mattress: This means it will be ideal for your baby now and your toddler later. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're shopping on a budget: Priced at around the £325 mark, this is not the most affordable cot mattress in our guide. Look to the IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress, which costs £99, for the best budget buy or Ickle Bubba's £89 Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress.

❌ You prefer 'brilliant white' cot bedding: The NaturalMat has a more natural colourway (as it's not bleached) which could be unappealing to those who prefer super bright white bedding. 

The bottom line

🔎 NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat Environmentally friendly, comfy, and suitable for both babies and toddlers — this cot mattress comes with lots of positives. The fact it can be handmade to order is another great selling point. Its main hang up? The £325 price point.  ★★★★★

Tested by: Mum Amelia and her daughter Olga.

Our baby gear expert says: 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. 

Our tester, Amelia, says: 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.

Verdict: At £325, 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.

Read more: NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat review

Best budget

IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

(Image credit: IKEA)

3. IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

Best budget buy — no fancy extras, just a good quality, affordable mattress

Specifications

Dimensions: 140 x 70cm
RRP: £99

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Removable cover 
+
Firm and lightweight 

Reasons to avoid

-
None 
Buy it if

✅ You don't want to spend a fortune: Who said you had to take out a small mortgage for your little one's mattress? At just under £100, this mattress offers real value for money, combining quality and a low price.

✅ You want a lightweight mattress: Our tester was able to take this 6kg mattress away with her in her car as she headed off on a staycation with her daughter. To put that weight into perspective, this is about the same heaviness as a lightweight travel stroller. 

✅ You want a removable cover: This washing machine-friendly cover simply zips off. But you'll be pleased to know it's just as easy to pop back on once it's dry, too. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a mattress with all the eco-friendly credentials: Instead, check out the planet-first NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat or the more affordable Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress.

❌ Having a dual-sided mattress is on your tick-list: If that's the case, the Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress or the Snuz Surface Duo Dual Sided Cot Mattress (which we named our best buy) are both great options.  

The bottom line

🔎 IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress You really can enjoy the wonderful everyday — and on a budget — with IKEA's cot mattress which is comfy, lightweight and easily washed. Priced at under £100, this mattress doesn’t come with tons of innovation but it does have all the essentials that any little sleeper needs. ★★★★

Tested by: Mum Hollie and her daughter Margot.

Our baby gear expert says: 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.

IKEA’s Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress is lightweight, and tester 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.

Our tester, Hollie, says: "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."

Verdict: 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.

Read more: IKEA Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress review

Best breathability

Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Purflo)

4. Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress

Best breathability - an innovative design that’s fully washable

Specifications

Dimensions : 140 x 70cm
RRP : £179.99

Reasons to buy

+
Fully washable
+
Breathable fabric
+
Lightweight design

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires assembly 
-
Limited sizes available 
Buy it if

✅ You want a breathable mattress: In this design, babies sleep on a mesh surface, which helps to significantly reduce the risk of SIDs, thanks to its breathable qualities. This means no matter whether they sleep on their back, front or side, it allows air to circulate very easily, making it very safe for babies. 

You want a lightweight mattress: Due to its hollow frame design, the Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress is very lightweight. 

You want a mattress that's fully washable: Unlike other mattresses, the Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress is also fully washable. Our tester said that she loved this element as it gave her confidence that the whole surface her daughter was sleeping on was clean.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to assemble a mattress: Here's a word of warning — this mattress comes in 20 different pieces. Our tester says: "The assembly isn’t complicated, but I think the instructions could be clearer, especially for flatpack novices like me."

❌ You're on a budget: The RRP is £189 but we've spotted it on Amazon for £129. If you want to pay under £100, check out IKEA's Jättetrött Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress, Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Sprung Mattress or the Ickle Bubba cot mattress which is the cheapest option in our guide. 

The bottom line

🔎 Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress Coming with a hollow frame design, this mattress is fully washable and breathable, as well as being lightweight — so this is not your average cot mattress. Just note: you will have to assemble this mattress, so set aside some time (and patience)! ★★★★ 

Tested by: Mum Darryl and her daughter Cole.

Our baby gear expert says: 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 an 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. 

Our tester, Darryl, says 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.

Verdict: 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'.  

Read more: Purflo Breathable Cot Mattress review 

Best for longevity

Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Silver Cross)

5. Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress

Best cot mattress for longevity — this lasts from birth to toddlerhood

Specifications

Dimensions : 140 x 70cm
RRP : £99

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-sided
+
Removable cover
+
Good fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Not lightweight
-
Limited sizes available
Buy it if

✅ Innovative features are a must: This includes the likes of True Fit technology, dual sides and it's hypoallergenic and breathable qualities. 

✅ You want a removable cover: And let's face it, what parent doesn't? This means if your little one has any accidents, you can pop it in the wash. 

✅ You want a mattress that's going to last (and last): Thanks to the handy dual sides, you'll have a mattress that's suitable from birth up until toddlerhood. Plus, as our tester mentioned, "it's really good quality".

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a lightweight mattress: Intend to take your little one's mattress on a staycation? Check out the Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress for a lighter alternative.

The bottom line

🔎 Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress If innovation is your thing, this is the best cot mattress for you. We loved the fact it comes with True Fit technology and the dual sides which means it will last (and last). It's super comfy and you can see and feel how good quality this sleep solution is. ★★★★

Tested by: Mum Hollie and her nine-month-old. 

Our baby gear expert says: The 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. 

Our tester, Hollie, says: "It's really good quality - it's very soft and springy and feels like it will be very comfortable for your baby." 

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.  

Verdict: 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."

Read more: Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress review.

Best for allergies

Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Little Green Sheep)

6. Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress

Best for allergies - an all-natural cot mattress

Specifications

Dimensions: 140 x 70 cms and 120 x 60 cms
RRP: £219

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-sided
+
Environmentally friendly 
+
High quality product 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey but an investment buy
-
Need a separate mattress protector
Buy it if

✅ You want a dual-sided mattress: This means it will last longer as it's suitable for your little one from birth up until toddlerhood. 

✅ Having an environmentally-friendly mattress is on your radar: The Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress is crafted from all-natural materials, including coconut, latex, wool and cotton so it's got all of the sustainability credentials. 

Your little one has allergies: Due to the fact it's kitted out with all-natural materials, this mattress is a great option for babies with allergies or those who have a family history of allergies. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a mattress under £150: This product is nearer the £200 price mark. If you're on a budget, check out the Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress which you can pick up for £85. 

The bottom line

🔎 Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress Dual-sided, made from quality fabrics, good for the planet and allergy-friendly, there are a lot of positives to this cot mattress. However, just note: our tester told us you'll need to buy a mattress protector separately, which will add to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of £219. ★★★★

Tested by: Mum Rebecca and her 16-month old son Louis. 

Our baby gear expert says: 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.

Our tester, Rebecca, says: "My baby slept very well on this mattress. I think the temperature regulation is great. I am reassured that my baby isn’t lying on synthetic polyester, and it gives peace of mind for our planet too, especially if baby mattresses can't be re-used and recycled in the way some other baby items can be."

Verdict: 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.

Read more: Little Green Sheep Twist Natural Cot Mattress review.

Best for firm support

Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Mamas and Papas)

7. Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress

Best cot mattress for firmness

Specifications

Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms
RRP: £89

Reasons to buy

+
Removable cover
+
Affordable
+
Firm 

Reasons to avoid

-
No zip pouch
Buy it if

✅ You want a firm mattress: This is one of the main selling points of Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress as it comes with 162 individually pocketed springs. This makes it specifically great for babies. 

✅ You're on a budget: Priced at £109, this is on the more affordable end of cot mattresses. 

You want a mattress that's easy to clean: The cover is water-repellent and removable so can be washed easily. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a zip pouch: This essentially helps hide the zipper to get your mattress cover off. Although our tester said she thought it was highly unlikely a baby would find the zip, this would give me more peace of mind.

The bottom line

🔎 Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress Overall, this is great value for money. You can rest assured your little one is sleeping on a clean surface, thanks to the washable hypoallergenic cover while remaining well supported, thanks to the firm 162 individually pocketed springs. We'd say this is best for babies and parents who are looking for functionality over fancy extras. ★★★★

Tested by: Charlotte Clarke and her 18-month-old daughter Adelaide

Our baby gear expert says: 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 Essential Pocket Sprung Mattress is 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.

Our tester, Charlotte, says: ‘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.

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

Read more: Mamas and Papas Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress review

Best for easy cleaning

Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Ickle Bubba)

8. Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress

Best cot mattress for easy cleaning — a lightweight, affordable and easy to clean option

Specifications

Dimensions: 120 x 60 cms, 140 x 70 cms
RRP: £85

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Removable cover 
+
Lightweight 

Reasons to avoid

-
Felt synthetic
-
Not as firm as desired
-
Ill-fitting
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: At £85, the Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress is the most affordable option in our guide. 

✅ You want a mattress that's easy to clean:  One of the stand-out features of this Ickle Bubba mattress is its water-resistant, hypoallergenic, breathable and removable polypropylene cover. Simply pop it in the wash, dry it and it will be ready to use again. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a mattress with lots of innovative features: The Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress doesn't come loads of bells and whistles (and it doesn't claim to). If you want a mattress that does it all, check out the Silver Cross Truefit Superior Cot Mattress or the NaturalMat Quilted Spring Mat.

The bottom line

🔎 Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress We'd say this suits those who want a lightweight and basic mattress that safely does what it needs to and doesn’t have lots of fancy innovations. It's also ideal for any parents who wants a mattress that's easy to clean. ★★★★

Tested by: Mum Amelia and her 22-month-daughter Olga

Our baby gear expert says: 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. 

Our tester, Amelia, says: "‘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."

Verdict: 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.

Read more: Ickle Bubba Pocket Sprung Cot Mattress review

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.

How we reviewed these cot mattresses

Our Deputy Editor Heidi Scrimgeour came up with a shortlist of cot mattresses based on her product knowledge and industry research. She looked at the latest offering from the market-leading brands - and as a mum of three and a parenting journalist for 15 years, what she doesn't know about baby products isn't worth knowing. 

Next, she selected the final product line-up from a broad range of price points so there's a best cot mattress recommendation here to suit all budgets. Then, we called on our pool of reliable parent testers and assigned each of them a mattress to review with their baby. They tested the product rigorously for at least ten days.

After this, our parent testers gave each product a rating out of five for overall performance. We also asked for comprehensive feedback on key factors including design appeal, comfort, value for money, how well their babies settled and slept, extra features, and how easy the cot mattresses were to clean. We used all of this feedback to create this best cot mattress buying guide and the accompanying in-depth product reviews.

Read more about how we test so you can rely on our guidance.  

Choosing the right cot mattress for your baby is just one of the many decisions you need to make when it comes to kitting out your baby’s nursery. If you haven’t chosen somewhere for your baby to sleep, check out our best cot beds guide and our picks of best baby sleep aids to help them drop off. Then, for peace of mind when they do finally start sleeping, read our best baby monitors guide.

Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

Heidi is a seasoned parenting journalist with over 15 years of experience. She has contributed to numerous UK national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. Her work has also appeared in a variety of print and digital magazines, such as Psychologies and Mother & Baby, where she was Shopping Editor for six years. In this role, she specialised in consumer features, including buying guides and baby gear reviews. Heidi is also mum to two teenage sons and a ten-year-old daughter.

With contributions from