How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a cot mattress?
Like adults, children need quality bedding and a quality mattress that meets their needs.
We would even go as far as saying that a quality mattress at this age is more important.
After all, babies sleep an average of 13 - 16 hours a day. ⏰
A good mattress for young children will provide excellent support by adapting to your baby's body without creating painful pressure points.
Cot mattresses are specifically designed for children under the age of 6.
They aim to support the spine and provide for healthy spinal alignment. 🦴
This is essential for children in the growth period.
Children will rarely complain about back pain at a young age, but a low-quality mattress may lead to back problems years down the line and only emerge in adulthood.
A good mattress will also provide quality sleep, which is key to your child's physical and mental recovery.
This will allow for a better capacity for concentration, memorisation, and learning during the day.
Cot mattress safety standards
Health and safety are always important when choosing a new mattress, but even more so when choosing a mattress for your baby.
We recommend that you favour anti-allergenic materials free from harmful substances such as dichlorobenzene, nitrosamines, or formaldehyde.
This will allow your child to breathe more easily and avoid the risk of allergies. 🤧
Look out for mattresses that have been certified by external testing institutions.
The two main ones include:
- Certi-PUR certification: This is a North American quality certification for foams. Certified foams have been independently tested in laboratories and certified as safe products.
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class 1 certification: This is a European label that guarantees textiles are free of toxic products. This includes toxins for the body and for the environment.
Both of these certifications guarantee that the materials are free from harmful chemicals.
Since Oeko-Tex is an EU certification system, though, it's not always possible to find mattresses with Oeko-Tex certified foams in the UK. 🇪🇺
Certi-PUR certification is more common.
British Safety Standards
You can also rely on British Safety Standards.
A cot mattress that complies with British standards will have to meet certain criteria.
- BS 1877-10:2011+A1:2012 specifies the kinds of materials, construction, and dimensions required when manufacturing mattresses.
- BS 7177:1996 guarantees it has passed flammability standards.
- BS EN 16890:2017 encompasses a wider set of tests and risks than the current mandatory standard, considering elements such as whether or not parts of the mattress can detach and become a choking hazard or if the mattress is too soft and likely to cause suffocation if your baby accidentally rolls onto the stomach.
Cot mattresses should meet at least the BS 1877 and BS 7177 standards. 👌
Natural and organic cot bed mattresses are very popular these days. 🍀
They're often better for your baby and tend to last longer.
But, not everything that says organic is actually organic - that's why looking at organic certifications matters.
Two of the most common organic certifications include:
- Certified GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard): This certifies that latex is produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes meet strict global organic standards.
- Certified GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard): This certifies that materials are produced in an environment where all materials and manufacturing processes adhere to strict global organic standards.
Mattress brands carrying these certifications are usually proud to advertise the fact, so getting the right info shouldn't be too difficult.
Sometimes, only certain materials are certified.
The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Bed Mattress, for example, carries the GOTS certification for some materials.
How to a clean a cot mattress
Children are very vulnerable to allergies - and nighttime accidents.
That's why paying attention to the hygiene features of a cot mattress is so important. 🛀
Some mattresses come with antibacterial treatments to help prevent the build-up of dust mites or bacteria.
Others have removable and machine-washable cot bed mattress covers.
Some also have both.
And, again, others come with waterproof layers to help protect the mattress's core.
Regardless of the construction of the actual mattress, we'd always recommend purchasing a waterproof cot bed mattress protector.
Mattress protectors will help safeguard against moisture, spills, or stains - and elongate the mattress's lifespan.
Travel cot mattresses
Many parents choose to invest in a travel cot with a travel cot mattress or foldable travel cot mattress.
This is a great idea if you're planning on travelling and need the convenience of a foldable cot. 🧳
But, we wouldn't recommend using a travel cot as a long-term solution.
Travel cot mattresses are usually smaller and thinner than regular cot mattresses.
Standard travel cot mattress sizes include:
- Travel cot mattress 120 x 60 cm
- Travel cot mattress 95 x 65 cm
Travel cot mattresses are usually between 5 and 10 cm in depth.
That's fine for occasional use, but not great for long-term use. 🗓
Our favourite travel cot mattresses:
What is the best cot bed mattress?
In general, you need to consider the health, safety, and development of your child.
The ideal cot mattress will offer comfort and support while aiding spinal alignment and healthy bone development.
You'll be good to go with any of our recommended mattresses.
Don't forget that bed-in-a-box mattress brands generally offer risk-free trial periods.