If you’re expecting your first child or grandchild, this buying guide will help you choose the best mattress option for your new baby.
What's the best type of mattress for my baby?
A firm and flat mattress - such as our natural fibre Coco Mat - is recommended by experts as the best mattress type for your baby for safer sleep. You are also advised to use a new mattress for your baby, as this reduces the risk of SIDS. Your baby’s mattress should be in good condition without any bumps or holes, and should fit the Moses basket or cot properly.
Mattress sizes for a baby
Check the mattress size that is required for your baby bed (this is usually found under product details online or in the instruction manual). Most standard cots require a mattress size of 60cm x 120cm and most standard cotbeds need a larger size of 70cm x 140cm. Some brands may vary so it is beneficial to double-check what size mattress you need.
The mattress should fit the cot snugly, with gaps of no more than 1cm between the mattress and the sides of the cot. If you have an unusual shape of moses basket or baby bed, you can use a made to measure service.
The best materials for a baby mattress
Many baby beds come with a synthetic foam mattress, but lots of parents choose to research and buy a better quality natural mattress for their baby to sleep on. Natural fibre or organic mattresses are more breathable and temperature regulating than synthetic mattresses. This helps the baby to regulate their body temperature throughout the night, leading to a better sleep for your child.
With no synthetic additives, natural fibre mattresses are free of toxins and other harmful chemicals, making them the healthier choice, and much better suited for babies with allergies or asthma.
The Naturalmat Baby Coco Mat mattress is designed for newborns and is available for moses baskets, cribs, cots, cot beds and many other popular brand sizes. This award-winning mattress is firm, flat and breathable making it the perfect choice for newborns and toddlers.
A waterproof mattress cover (or mattress protector) is recommended by The Lullaby Trust to keep your baby’s mattress clean and dry. This can be removed and washed with ease. The Naturalmat Baby Organic Waterproof Mattress Protector is soft, breathable and machine washable at 60°C - making it a practical and comfortable choice for your baby. It is generally advised to use a new mattress for your baby, but if you are using a second-hand mattress, you should make sure this is completely protected by a waterproof cover.
Choosing a bed for your baby
While the above is a great starting point for choosing the best mattress for your baby - to determine the exact size requirements, you also need to know which baby bed you will use.
Where is the safest place for a baby to sleep?
According to The Lullaby Trust, the safest place for your newborn baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months. Many parents use a smaller crib or moses basket for the first 4-6 months, then move the baby into a cot or cot bed.
Co-sleeping cots and bedside cribs are also becoming increasingly popular as they attach to the side of the parent’s bed, keeping the baby close but in their own crib. However, a cot or cot bed can be used from birth if you have the space and would like to keep costs down.
Should you choose a cot or a cot bed for your baby?
The choice between a cot or a cotbed is mainly based on the size of each, and how much floor space you have available. Generally, cots measure around 65cm x 125cm, and cotbeds measure around 75cm x 145cm.
Most modern cots and cotbeds have a height adjustable base and at least one removable side, and some - including the Leander Classic Baby Cot and the Stokke Sleepi Mini V3 - can even extend to accommodate your child up to four years of age.
Many parents choose to purchase a cotbed as it can be used for longer than a cot, thanks to the extra 20cm of mattress length.
It’s also a good idea to also have a travel cot with a firm and breathable travel cot mattress to ensure that your little one gets restful sleep even when you are on-the-go.
What are the best bedding options for your baby?
Sheets and blankets are best for babies
A fitted sheet is recommended for your little one’s sleep space, providing an additional breathable overlay for your child’s mattress and protector. Just like our mattresses, Naturalmat Baby bedlinen is made from temperature regulating natural fibres which are soft on your little one’s skin.
If you can’t find a sheet to fit your oval-shaped mattress, a flat sheet firmly folded under the mattress is a great alternative option. We have a great range of nursery bedlinen sheets, with a choice of soft brushed cotton or crisp cotton percale flat sheets. If you’re looking for the full set, the Naturalmat Organic Cotton Baby Bedding Pack includes a mattress protector and two cotton sheets.
Some parents may choose to use a baby sleeping bag instead of a top sheet or blanket. If you do use a flat sheet or blanket as a top sheet, it should be firmly tucked in and not above shoulder height. Place your baby on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position – where the baby’s feet are placed at the foot of the cot – so they can’t wriggle down under the sheets.
Quilts, duvets and pillows should not be used for young babies
We hope this guide to the best mattress and bedding options for babies has been useful - you can refer to the Lullaby Trust’s Safer Sleep Advice for more information on this topic.