Best cot bed mattress 2020: 5 of the best baby mattresses for your little one

Find the best cot bed mattress for your baby – so they (and you) sleep through the night in comfort – in our expert guide

eve the baby mattress: best cot bed mattress
(Image credit: eve)

Finding the best cot bed mattress, or cot mattress, is one (of many) important buying decisions you'll need to consider for your newborn. They'll spend nearly half of their early months snoozing, which is also when they do all their best growing, so they'll need a suitable mattress to support and comfort them when they most need it.

The best baby mattress will play a huge part in giving your household the best chance of decent night's sleep, too. And just like when shopping for the best mattress for grown up kids, big or small, there's several factors to consider before parting with your cash: mattress fillings; the mattress cover; and weight (to name a few!).

Keep scrolling for our top picks from the likes of eve sleep, John Lewis & Partners and Little Green Sheep to find the best cot bed mattress for your little one, and for our cot mattress buying tips.  

The best cot bed mattress for 2020

eve the baby mattress: best cot bed mattress

(Image credit: Dunelm)

1. eve the cot mattress

Best cot bed mattress you can buy: the eve baby mattress ticks all the boxes

Specifications
Size: 60cm x 120cm; 70cm x 140cm
Depth: 12cm
Type: Foam/Springs
Reasons to buy
+Suitable until your child is six+Antibacterial mattress cover+Waterproof protector+30 night free trial
Reasons to avoid
-We're struggling to think of any

The best cot bed mattress is from eve. It's a mini-me of its popular memory foam mattress, and we applaud its cooling properties.

What's good about the filling?

Let's look at the fillings. On top, there's the luxury durable foam layer, which provides the comfort, without dipping or losing its shape. The upside to a comfortable mattress? Less wriggling and disturbed nights. Beneath, there are the pocket springs, which provide both support, even as the baby grows and learns to roll and move about in the cot, and breathability. 

Breathability?

Any sprung mattress should, in theory, provide a breathable surface for your baby to sleep on. This one's effectiveness has been boosted (if you believe Eve by 400 times more than standard mattress fabrics) by its cover, which is in Careful 3D fabric. In plain English, that means a super soft, highly breathable two-layer material, separated by tiny dividers, all of which makes it moisture-wicking and encourages better air circulation to keep your baby as cool as possible. 

Waterproofing

The antibacterial mattress cover we've just talked about also functions as a waterproof mattress protector. The antibacterial bit is key, too, so don't skip over it. It'll help keep bugs at bay which in turn will mean your baby's mattress won't give off a nasty niff after some use.

Ease of care

This cover can also be easily removed and machine-washed at 60ºC. Bonus.

  • Buy the eve the baby mattress

Best baby mattress for easy cleaning: John Lewis’ Pocket Spring Cotbed mattress

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. John Lewis & Partners Dual Purpose Pocket Spring Cotbed Mattress

Best John Lewis cot mattress: this pocket sprung cot bed mattress is waterproofed, too, for babies who are prone to being sick (er, that's most of them)

Specifications
Size: 70cm x 140cm
Depth: 10cm
Type: Pocket springs
Reasons to buy
+Removable and washable outer cover+Anti-allergy+Waterproof base+Dual-sided – one side for baby, one for toddler
Reasons to avoid
-Most expensive on the list-Only available in one size

This cot bed mattress has proved popular and is now out of stock. We're not sure when, or if, it'll be back but in the event it does become available again you'll be able to see it in our clever widget above.

This dual spring mattress is designed for an extended life, and while it's only available in one size, it's large enough to be used as both a cot bed mattress and a toddler bed mattress.

What's good about the fillings?

Like our first choice, this medium firm cot bed mattress has a combination of fillings that make it a great choice for a baby. On one side, there are soft and gentle micro-pocket springs; on the other, there are firmer, larger pocket springs for when your child grows. Each side has been designed to give maximum comfort and correct spinal support to your child; the clever thing about this is, of course, that the mattress life is extended, too. The other filling worth knowing about? A high-density natural coir substrate which is designed to add strength, durability and additional comfort.

Breathability?

The very structure of the mattress makes it a good candidate for efficient breathability, but the three-dimensional fabric on one side of the mattress helps promote air circulation and assists breathability, too. And what does good breathability bring? A reduction in dust mites and allergies.

Waterproofing

As you'd hope at this price, the cover is waterproof, making it a great cot bed mattress for posit-prone babies. 

Ease of care

The waterproof outer cover is washable at 60ºC. Excellent.

  • Buy the John Lewis & Partners Dual Purpose Pocket Spring Cotbed Mattress

Best eco baby mattress: The Little Green Sheep’s Twist Natural Cot Mattress

3. The Little Green Sheep’s Twist Natural Cot Mattress

Best eco cot bed mattress: made from breathable cotton, coconut fibres and comfy natural latex derived from the Hevea Tree

Specifications
Size: 60cm x 120cm
Depth: 10cm
Type: Natural coir, cotton and latex
Reasons to buy
+100% natural+Dual-sided – one side for baby the other for toddler+Made from breathable cotton+Free from chemical fire retardant sprays or adhesives
Reasons to avoid
-Cover isn't waterproof-Hand-wash only-Only available in one size

You can’t move for enthusiastic reviews of this best-selling mattress from The Little Greene Sheep on parenting chat sites, so we’d be remiss not to include it in our list. 

What's good about the fillings? 

This 100 per cent natural mattress has more than one USP (if that's not a contradiction in terms). Yes, it's natural, free from toxins and harmful chemicals (think: chemical fire retardant sprays or adhesives found in many cot bed mattresses). But it's also dual-sided – the firm side is recommended for birth to 12 months, while the medium (actually supple natural latex) side will carry them comfortably up to five years. 

So what are the fillings? There's breathable cotton; coconut fibres for support; a natural latex layer for comfort; and a wool layer, which is hypoallergenic and temperature regulating. 

Breathability?

Look up – all these fillings work together to create fantastic breathability and, therefore, a dust mite unfriendly sleep surface. 

Waterproofing

This cot bed mattress has a cover is not waterproof. We're not sure why it's been sold like that, but – of course – you can buy the Little Green Sheep mattress protector to complement it. Other waterproof mattress protectors to suit a 60cm x 120cm x 10cm mattress will of course work, too.

Ease of care

The mattress cover is hand wash only. Another good reason to buy a waterproof mattress cover that you can pop in the washing machine.

  • Buy the The Little Green Sheep’s Twist Natural Cot Mattress

Panda cot mattress

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Panda Kids Bamboo Cot Mattress

Best bamboo cot mattress: the mattress cover is naturally anti-bacteria so resists all kinds of nasties

Specifications
Size: 60cm x 120cm
Depth: 10cm
Type: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+Hydro Foam for cool sleeping+Removal anti-slip & waterproof cover+Antibacterial
Reasons to avoid
-Strong odour after unpacking

This cot bed mattress from the wonderful Panda will ensure that your little one will sleep soundly, every night, thanks to its' impressive stance which is naturally anti-bacterial and incredibly supportive.

What's good about the fillings?

The revolutionary combination of lovely Hydro-Foam & AirFlow Foam layers will reduce movement by up to 30%. This will prevent overheating and provide relief of pressures caused by growing pains.

Breathability?

The mattress naturally allows air to pass through the fabric and memory foam layers. The breathable bamboo fabric works alongside the fillings to regulate temperatures.

The bamboo fabric is incredibly absorbent so will wick away moisture from the skin, too.

Waterproofing

Using the latest nano tech, a thin waterproof layer will protect the mattress from any accidental spills whilst also acting as a shield against moisture, bacteria and fungi. 

Ease of care?

The bamboo cover can be easily removed and easily cleaned, too.

  • Buy the Panda Kids Bamboo Cot Mattress

best cot mattress: Silentnight Safe Nights Essentials Cot Bed Mattress

(Image credit: Very)

5. Silentnight Safe Nights Essentials Cot Bed Mattress

Best value cot bed mattress: a cosy night's sleep on a budget

Specifications
Size: 70cm x 140cm
Depth: 10cm
Type: Ellergenic Dual Core
Reasons to buy
+Hypoallergenic+Foam- free core (safer for babies)+Washable cover
Reasons to avoid
-None!

It may be one of the cheaper cot bed mattresses in our list but this mattress covers all the basics for a decent sleep, and it's had some brilliant reviews on retailer sites.

What's good about the fillings? 

Foam, odour- and chemical-free (no chemical flame retardants used), it’s made from 100 per cent recyclable Eco Comfort Fibre layers, which allow for a natural airflow around and within the mattress. This also makes for a firm mattress that's unlikely to dip or sag. 

Breathability and waterproofing

Silentnight is pretty thin on the ground when it comes to giving details about either of these factors – and we've yet to test this cot bed mattress. The structure and fillings of the mattress should make it as breathable as you'd expect from a quality baby mattress. As for waterproofing, we can find no details – although we've asked Silentnight to clarify, and will update you.

Ease of care

The a standard knit removable cover is both hypoallergenic and washable, just as you'd hope.

  • Buy the Silentnight Safe Nights Essentials Cot Bed Mattress

How to buy the best cot bed mattress

Cot mattress safety

The fit: you need to ensure the cot bed mattress fits the cot snugly, with no gaps that your baby could become wedged into. 

The fitness: it goes without saying that you should never buy a secondhand cot bed mattress that has signs of wear and tear.

Which cot bed material for the best support?

Just like with adult mattresses, you can buy cot bed mattresses in a range of materials, from memory foam to springs. We talk about the materials below, but these in themselves aren't as important as the support the cot bed mattress provides to your baby’s spine – experts say the firmer the better in the first six months; and it shouldn't sag. Ideally, look for one that's 8cm to 10cm deep.

Coil spring mattresses usually have coiled springs with a top layer of felt and foam. These mattresses tend to be of good quality, offering the right level of support. This makes them a good buy for cots that extend their lives by becoming cot beds as your baby grows into toddlerhood. They're also breathable, assuming you lay the baby on the cotton side (there's often one cotton, one plastic-covered side).

Pocket spring mattresses, such as the John Lewis pocket spring cot bed mattress, are much like the coil spring mattresses above, offering good breathability and support. But since each spring sits within its own pocket (hence the name), they tend to be more durable in the long-term. This, again, makes them a good choice for baby-to-toddler cot bed mattresses – but also more expensive.

Cot mattress sizes

Always check the cot mattress you're buying is the exact fit for the cot (see above for safety issues with an ill-fitting mattresses). These are the usual cot mattress sizes:

Cot: 60cm x 120cm

Cotbed: 70cm x 140cm

Memory foam and hybrid mattresses, such as the Eve, are slowly becoming as popular for cots as they are for adult beds. They provide good support and modern memory foam (think: hybrid, which = memory foam top layer over springs) has breathability built-in, unlike the original mattresses. The downside? They're expensive.

Foam mattresses, by contrast, are cheap. Those designed for babies will provide decent support; shop for one with ventilation holes built-in for maximum breathability. As with any cot bed mattress, if you buy one with a PVC cover, be aware that this may make your baby hot on warm nights. 

Natural fibre mattresses, such as The Little Green Sheep’s Twist Natural Cot Mattress, are a great buy for the eco-conscious: as the name suggests, they're totally natural (the core is made of latex-coated coconut fibre, among other materials). The upsides are that these baby mattresses are breathable, supportive and durable. The downsides are that they're not widely sold and expensive. 

Dual core mattresses have a coir and orthopedic foam filling matched with micro-pocketed springs. They're designed to support a child's growth, right through to when they go off to school, so they're another good choice for cot beds. As with other mattresses built for longevity, they're more expensive.

Hypoallergenic for allergy sufferers?

If asthma or allergies run in the family, it's worth checking whether the mattress you're buying is hypoallergenic (memory foam or latex mattresses will be). Otherwise, shop for one with a quilted top layer that can be put on a hot wash to get rid of dust mites. Look out for cot bed mattresses that have Allergy UK approval.

Breathability

Check the fillings of the cot mattress you're buying – breathability to keep baby cool in bed is a must-have.

Waterproofing

Cot mattresses are designed to withstand spills, which is why it's always worth buying one that's made for purpose. When you're buying, it's worth checking if yours is more than just waterproof and wipeable: are its materials designed to keep it free of bacteria and fungus, too? 

Practicality

Also look for practical features like removable covers that can be washed at a germ-busting 60ºC because there will be spillages from one end of your baby or the other (possibly both), sorry. Failing that, invest in a waterproof mattress protector to complement your baby's mattress.

For more guidance, read our comprehensive feature on how to choose a mattress: it takes you through filling types and your preferred sleeping position to help you make an informed choice. 

What is the best cot mattress?

So, to recap..If you want to best cot mattress (in our opinion) for your newborn, we wouldn't hesitate to buy the eve baby mattress, which is super breathable and cooling, allowing your baby to sleep in comfort and not overheat. 

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