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13 best cot mattresses in 2024 to help little ones (and parents) sleep soundly

These foam, pocket-sprung and natural fibres were tested through naps and overnight sleeping

Rebecca Moore
Thursday 07 March 2024 11:33 GMT
All the mattresses we tried are available in cot and cot bed sizes
All the mattresses we tried are available in cot and cot bed sizes (iStock/The Independent)
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Whether you’re in the throes of nesting and want everything in the nursery ship shape before baby’s arrival, or you’re approaching the half-year mark and looking to make the big move from parent’s bedroom to your bedside companion sleeping in their own space, you’ll need to consider purchasing a cot mattress.

Typically, cot mattresses come in two sizes: for a standard crib, the measurements are 120cm x 60cm and 140cm x 70cm for a cot bed. As the name suggests, a cot bed is a slightly larger cot with removable sides, which transforms into a toddler bed lasting them until around four years old, so usually offers parents a little more bang for their buck.

With any form of bedding, comfort is key, but when it comes to creating a sleeping environment for babies, safety must be at the forefront. Children’s charity The Lullaby Trust, which spearheads safe sleep for babies, strongly advises that your little one’s mattress is flat and there are no gaps (or at least, no more than a 1cm gap) around the mattress.

While adults may prefer a soft mattress, babies need a firm and flat surface because this helps them move around easily, and ensures they don’t overheat as there’s plenty of airflow. According to The Lullaby Trust, the mattress should be firm enough that when your baby is placed on it, their head doesn’t sink in more than a few millimetres. It’s also recommended that a mattress is waterproof or has a fitted waterproof cover to help prevent bacteria from building up inside the mattress, thus lessening the risk of infection.

How we tested the best cot mattresses

The best cot mattresses, tried and tested (Rebecca Moore)

Our Coxley cot bed from Mamas & Papas (£599, became the home to a variety of mattresses over the course of a month. Our young tester obliged to naps and overnight sleeping (most of the time), while we considered each mattress’s credentials; firmness, fit to the cot, breathability and practicality, such as care, maintenance and price.

All mattresses tested complied with BS 1877-10:2011+A1:2012 (the standard that specifies the materials that can be used for children’s mattresses) and consisted of either foam fibre, which is often the cheaper option, pocket springs designed to be firm, comfortable and supportive or natural fibres, like coconut coir. The mattresses we tested are all available in both cot and cot bed sizes.

The best cot mattresses for 2024 are:

  • Best cot mattress overall – Mother&Baby pure gold anti-allergy coir pocket sprung cot bed mattress: £129.99,
  • Best budget cot mattress – Mamas & Papas essential fibre cotbed mattress: £49,
  • Best for older babies and toddlers – The Tiny Bed Company tiny dreamer deluxe organic coconut and pocket sprung cot bed mattress: £159.95,
  • Best travel cot mattress – Ickle Bubba fibre cot mattress: £69,

Mother&Baby pure gold anti-allergy coir pocket sprung cot bed mattress

best cot mattress Mother&Baby pure gold anti-allergy coir pocket sprung cot bed mattress
  • Best: Cot mattress overall
  • Type: Pocket-sprung
  • Why we love it
    • Dual side
    • Exceptional allergy protection
    • Coir layer
    • Machine washable

From simply stroking this mattress, it felt rather heavenly with the super-soft cover, but that’s just for starters. Given the price point, we were wowed with what this cot mattress offers.

A natural yet luxurious coconut coir layer sits on top of the pocket sprung inner, which produces a firm and safe surface for baby. Adding to that, there are Tencel fibres and Purotex anti-allergy properties offering superlative protection. In plain English, this simply means the mattress is perfect for babies who are prone to allergies, claiming to improve allergy symptoms by reducing house dust mite allergens by 93.7 per cent, cat hair allergens by 92.8 per cent and dog hair allergens by 66.7 per cent.

It’s dual sided, with handy stitched labels indicating what’s what. The baby side is the firmer of the two, while the toddler side is a little squidgier. There’s also a waterproof membrane, which sits under the machine washable cover. And our baby tester seemed very content when napping or sleeping atop this dreamy mattress.

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Mamas & Papas essential fibre cotbed mattress

best cot mattress Mamas & Papas essential fibre cotbed mattress
  • Best: Budget cot mattress
  • Type: Fibre core
  • Why we love it
    • Value for money
    • Machine washable
  • Take note
    • Small zip section
    • Could be thicker

A mattress under £50 had us dubious, but carrying a Mamas & Papas label we were hopeful we’d be pleasantly surprised. And we were. All Mamas & Papas mattresses are foam-free and we were impressed with the firmness. You have the ability to flip and rotate the mattress for maximum support, and we can see it going the distance.

It has a level of water repellence, although we’d recommend getting a waterproof protector too. The cover can be removed and machined washed, but as the zipped section is only at the bottom, putting the mattress back in was a bit of a faff. However, considering the price difference, we were surprised there wasn’t a more obvious gap in terms of quality between this and some of the more premium mattresses we tested.

It’s possibly a little shy of the standard 10cm depth, but this didn’t seem to affect naps and overnight sleeping, and being Mamas & Papas, it fit our cot bed perfectly.

  1. £49 from
Prices may vary
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Snüz surface duo dual sided cot bed mattress

best cot mattress Snüz surface duo dual sided cot bed mattress
  • Best: Dual sided cot mattress
  • Type: Pocket sprung
  • Why we love it
    • Dual sided mattress
    • Machine washable cover
    • Waterproof layer

Arriving vacuum rolled, there’s some seriously clever technology in this cot bed mattress, which is clear as soon as it springs into action (giving a suggestion of seven days to lie flat before use). This mattress has been designed around the needs of a growing baby, hence the clever dual design.

Suitable for use up to four years, it features a pocket sprung core, which is covered by a firm layer of foam to be used for the first 12 months. Once your baby is past this age, unzip the mattress and flip the internals over for the following three years, which offers a medium firm support. There’s a handy instruction label on the inside of the cover to follow once you reach that stage.

Coming with an anti-dust mite barrier, the top white surface of the cover also has a waterproof membrane. However, it can also be removed and machine washed up to 40 degrees, while the 3D breathable mesh cover kept our young tester cool, even during a freakish autumn heat wave.

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Silentnight safe nights snuggle breathable mattress

best cot mattress Silentnight safe nights snuggle breathable mattress
  • Best: Cot mattress with firm support
  • Type: Foam
  • Why we love it
    • Super firm
    • Machine washable cover
    • Foam and FR chemical treatment free
  • Take note
    • No waterproof cover

This cot mattress from sleeping giant Silentnight was a snug fit in our cot bed. Price wise, it’s mid-range, and has a polyester inner, which is foam and fire retardant and chemical treatment-free, so there are no nasties hiding inside the mattress.

We found this one of the firmest mattresses we tested, particularly of those in this price range, which our mini tester seemed to approve of with freedom of movement, restful sleeps and a good level of breathability.

The soft-to-touch cloud cover is nice to look at, although short-lived once a fitted sheet is on, but parents will be pleased to hear it can be zipped off and bunged in the washing machine. However, you’ll need to invest in a waterproof cover.

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Naturalmat the coco mat

best cot mattress Naturalmat the coco mat
  • Best: Cot mattress for natural materials
  • Type: Coir
  • Why we love it
    • Five-year guarantee
    • Natural materials
    • Handmade in Devon
  • Take note
    • No waterproof cove

Handmade in Devon, Naturalmat’s coco mat is as angelic as it sounds. The two wool layers, at the top and bottom of the mattress, have been sourced locally from Soil Association-certified organic farms, while the coir that makes up the supportive centre is grown by the world’s only certified organic coconut plantation in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the quilted cover – made from a blend of wool and cotton – has been woven tightly in such a way that it becomes naturally fireproof, showing the attention to detail here.

Bedbug and dust-mite resistant, this mattress feels pure and clean. It’s pretty heavy, although you’re unlikely to move it once snug in the cot. We found it to be super robust and we’d be confident in its lifespan but, most importantly, our baby seemed very happy in here. The self-ventilating properties kept our tester’s temperature regulated, while the firmness felt supportive and comfortable.

As the most expensive of those we tested, we can’t deny it’s costly. You’ll also need to factor in the need for a waterproof cover too, which isn’t included.

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Baby Elegance cot bed mattress

best cot mattress Baby Elegance 140 x 70cm cool flow cot bed mattress
  • Best: Heat regulating cot mattress
  • Type: Fibre pads
  • Why we love it
    • Machine washable cover
    • Airflow technology
  • Take note
    • Tiny zipper takes getting used to

Fitting our cot bed like a glove, Baby Elegance’s cool flow cot bed mattress is a perfectly adequate mid-entry-level baby mattress. The selling point is the coolmax technology to optimise baby’s airflow, and while we can’t vouch that it kept our tester any more regulated, it certainly didn’t do any harm, as there was no clamminess or stirring, even during hotter daytime naps.

The cover is machine washable, although we found the tiny zipper tricky to grasp at first. The mattress is on the lighter side, although it’s the standard 10cm in depth. Providing a pretty firm surface, there are anti-allergy fibre pads hidden inside, offering a hypoallergenic sleeping space.

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The Tiny Bed Company tiny dreamer deluxe organic coconut and pocket sprung cot bed mattress

best cot mattress The Tiny Bed Company tiny dreamer deluxe organic coconut and pocket sprung cot bed mattress
  • Best: Cot mattress for older babies and toddlers
  • Type: Coir and pocket sprung
  • Why we love it
    • Dual side
    • Made in England
    • Coir layer
    • Machine washable
  • Take note
    • No waterproof cove

Made in England, each of The Tiny Bed Company’s mattresses are meticulously produced by hand in small batches to ensure quality – and that’s obvious with the tiny dreamer deluxe. As the thickest mattress we tested, it felt like a premium sleeping space for our baby.

The brand’s signature soft, white, honeycomb-style fabric covers the top and the side of the mattress, with an additional luxurious layer of organic coconut coir. This is the less firm of the two though, so it’s recommended for older babies and toddlers, which we’re sure will be a treat in time to come.

The bottom side of the mattress is a touch firmer, although with a more mesh-like cover, it’s not quite as snuggly. However, it does benefit from micro air pockets, allowing air to flow more freely to regulate the temperature, and we certainly can’t say our baby noticed the difference in softness.

The cover can be removed and is machine washable, although you’ll need to buy a separate waterproof cover. The Tiny Bed Company also offer a build-your-own service, for a truly custom fit.

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ClevaMama anti-allergy cot bed mattress

best cot mattress ClevaMama anti-allergy cot bed mattress
  • Best: Cot mattress for asthmatic babies
  • Type: Foam
  • Why we love it
    • Waterproof protection
    • Certified asthma and allergy friendly
    • Value for money
  • Take note
    • Can’t use immediately
    • Light smell when unboxing

Another mattress-in-a-box, you’ll need to allow 48 hours for this mattress to air out and unroll fully. We did notice a bit of a smell but fortunately it had completely gone after a day.

On first inspection, it looks rather basic, but this is purely based on the machine-washable outer cover, which despite its no-thrills look, actually packs a punch, offering 100 per cent waterproof protection and also keeps out any bugs or dust. In fact, this mattress has been certified asthma and allergy friendly by Allergy Standards Ltd, making it a great choice for asthmatic babies. The mattress has been infused with baby-safe anti-fungal and anti-mite treatments, giving parents peace of mind that it’s a safe and clean environment.

It’s recommended you rotate and flip the mattress when needed, and fortunately it’s lightweight so this is easily achieved. It may be on the lighter side, but the support is firm and comfortable, all at a reasonable price.

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The Little Green Sheep twist natural cot bed mattress

best cot mattress The Little Green Sheep twist natural cot bed mattress
  • Best: Quality cot mattress
  • Type: Coir and wool
  • Why we love it
    • Five-year guarantee
    • Natural materials
    • Optimum comfort
    • Dual-sided
  • Take note
    • Expensive
    • No removable cover

From lifting this out of the box, you’ll quite literally feel the quality, as it was the heaviest mattress of those we tested. But that’s because of all the natural materials it features.

Inside, there’s a supportive natural version of latex, a core that’s packed with coconut husk fibres and a layer of wool, which has natural temperature-regulating abilities while simultaneously protecting against bacteria growth and dust mites.

For the eco-conscious this mattress is as natural and pure as it gets. It’s designed to last too – being dual-sided, it supports growing babies and toddlers. Helpfully labelled, the baby side is designed for the first year of use, with a firm supportive core and breathable wool; flip over and it feels spongier and cosy, thanks to the natural latex layer.

It’s worth noting that the cover isn’t removable, so an extra investment in a waterproof mattress protector is required. As for sleeping, our baby seemed super content on this mattress, which offered a clean, comfy and safe environment.

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Ickle Bubba fibre cot mattress

best cot mattress Ickle Bubba fibre cot mattress
  • Best: Travel cot mattress
  • Type: Fibre core
  • Why we love it
    • Budget buy
    • Machine washable
    • Waterproof sleeve
  • Take note
    • No soft covering

On first inspection, it was obvious that this was the thinnest and lightest mattress of all we tested, but that’s not to say it didn’t offer a firm sleeping surface. The depth is 8cm, which is the minimum, but there’s plenty to like packed into this mattress.

The fibre core offers breathability and even comes with water-resistance and a waterproof sleeve. Again, it’s probably worth investing in a separate waterproof cover for full protection. You can unzip the machine washable cover, which also boasts hypoallergenic properties.

As expected for the price, the no-thrills cover has no soft covering, but once a cosy fitted sheet is added, it feels comfortable. Due to the lightweight nature, this makes a great travel cot option, but having said that, our mini tester showed no resistance to sleeping on it.

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CuddleCo fibre core cot bed mattress with 2 in 1 cover

best cot mattress CuddleCo fibre core cot bed mattress with 2 in 1 cover
  • Best: Midrange cot mattress
  • Type: Bamboo fibre core
  • Why we love it
    • Waterproof layer
    • Made in the UK
    • Value for money
  • Take note
    • On the thin side

At £54.99, this is at the lower end of the scale for cot mattresses, but we were pleasantly surprised with how much this product offers for the cost.

The bamboo fibre core provides a firm sleeping space, which has natural hypoallergic and temperature regulating properties. There’s a waterproof layer, although we’d still suggest buying an additional cover for peace of mind. The cover is easy to remove, thanks to a long zip to the side, and it can be bunged in the washing machine.

This mattress is a bit thinner than the standard 10cm depth, measuring in at just over 8cm, but we had no qualms with the comfort or support it offers.

  1. £54 from
Prices may vary
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Purflo breathable cot bed mattress

best cot mattress Purflo breathable cot bed mattress
  • Best: For breathability
  • Type: Fibre padding
  • Why we love it
    • Fully machine washable
    • Portable
    • Fully air permeable
  • Take note
    • Requires assembly
    • Expensive

Developed over 15 years ago, with the expertise of a neonatologist and paediatric sleep doctor, this mattress from Purflo isn’t new to the market but it still offers parents something totally different.

Firstly, you’ll need to “build” the mattress, which is a ten-minute job spent putting together the frame and pulling over the mesh sleep surface. Unlike traditional mattresses, the cover can be completely taken off and washed, for a clean environment.

The truly unique hollow core offers a fully breathable mesh mattress all year-round, and it’s remarkably supportive, which our baby tester seemed to welcome. Hypoallergenic, it’s designed with a specialist fibre padding called amicor, which is approved by Allergy UK, reducing the build up of dust mites and allergies such as asthma and eczema.

If you’re on the move a lot, this is by far the most portable option and comes with its own travel bag.

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Silentnight safe nights twinkle breathable mattress

best cot mattress Silentnight safe nights twinkle breathable mattress
  • Best: Cot mattress for snug comfort
  • Type: Pocket sprung
  • Why we love it
    • Comfortable quilted covering
    • Hypoallergic materials
    • Breathable
  • Take note
    • No waterproofing
    • Expensive

With over 75 years of sleep expertise behind it, and as one of Silent Night’s most premium cot mattresses, we had high hopes for this one.

For an extra £60, compared to the Silentnight safe nights snuggle breathable mattress we also tested, the main difference is the individual supportive pocket springs, which our baby seemed to sleep soundly on.

To the touch, the quilted cover feels like terry towelling, and we wondered whether this might in turn create a hotter environment for our tester to sleep in, but the breathable polyester core seemed to keep our baby’s temperature regulated.

The hypoallergenic materials used are designed to reduce allergies, while the cleverly designed core also means the mattress can still be slept on whilst the outer cover is being washed – although you won’t get that comforting snuggly feel you get with the quilt cover.

At this higher end price tag, it’s a shame there’s no waterproofing element, but we can’t deny that it’s a quality mattress, which should see a child through the first four years of life comfortably.

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Cot mattress FAQs

What makes a good cot mattress?

If you’re shopping with a budget in mind, a foam cot mattress may be the least expensive kind available. Spring mattresses may prove to offer more long-lasting support while coir may offer a more breathable option.

According to The National Childbirth Trust, cot mattresses should carry the BSI number BS 1877-10:2011+A1:2012 to ensure they conform to safety standards. They should also be flat and firm, to ensure that they’re supportive and safe for the baby, and should not measure any thinner than 8cm. They should be waterproof too, or come with a waterproof cover so that it can be kept clean and dry.

Can you use a second-hand cot mattress?

The Lullaby Trust doesn’t recommend this and advises that you use a new mattress for every baby. If you’re not able to do this, make sure that the mattress has always had waterproof protection when it was used in the past. It needs to be in very good condition, and there should be no tears or rips in the material.

The verdict: Cot mattresses

All babies are different, fighting naps or waking in the night for no reason. While mattresses aren’t miracle workers, by creating a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your baby, you’re giving them the best chance. For that reason, we’ve crowned the Mother&Baby pure gold anti-allergy coir pocket sprung cot bed mattress the winner. A great all-rounder, it’s dual-sided for optimal comfort and support, offers allergy and waterproof protection, and is breathable without an eye-watering price tag.

If you’re buying on a budget, we were super impressed with Mamas & Papas essentials fibre mattress, costing under £50.

To help get a good night’s sleep, upgrade your own bed with the best mattresses

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