If you’re about to welcome a new baby into the world, picking up the best cot mattress you can find should be a top priority. Even if you decide to forgo the changing table, rocking chair and chest of drawers, you’ll certainly need some form of cot for your little one to sleep in.

Unfortunately, most cots on the market don’t come with cot mattresses included so you’ll need to factor in the cost of that when thinking about where your baby will sleep. There’s a lot of baby equipment that can safely be used secondhand, and you may be using a hand-me-down cot from a friend or older sibling, but you’ll need to buy a new cot mattress to make sure it’s hygienic, dust-free and firm.

Best cot mattress: At a glance

  • Best luxury foam option: Eve Cot Mattress | Buy now
  • Best travel option: Baby Elegance Cool Flow | Buy now
  • Best-value spring option: Mother Nurture Luxury | Buy now
  • Best for Moses baskets: Mother Nurture Classic Foam | Buy now
  • Best eco-friendly option: The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist | Buy now

How to choose the best cot mattress for you

What cot mattress material should I choose?

Other than price, the material will be your main consideration when choosing a cot mattress. As with adult mattresses, cot mattresses come in a range of materials, each with their own advantages. The main choices are as follows:

  • Foam – lightweight and easy to clean, foam cot mattresses are generally good value for money. That said, foam mattresses can lose their shape quicker than other cot mattress types so are less suitable if you plan to use your cot for an extended period.
  • Coil spring – a little more expensive and sturdier than a pure foam mattress, coil spring mattresses are like the traditional spring mattress you may have on your own bed. These cot mattresses usually hold their shape for longer, while the space between the springs allows air to flow more freely, keeping your baby cool in hot weather.
  • Pocket spring – with each spring in its own internal “pocket” these cot mattresses are super-supportive and durable, with a price tag to match. Due to the price, this kind of cot mattress is probably best suited to a larger cot bed that your baby will sleep in for several years.
  • Natural fibre – wool, coir (coconut fibre) and bamboo are typical materials used in natural fibre cot mattresses, which often also contain latex. Natural fibres are breathable and comfortable, making them a popular choice with eco-minded parents who may wish to avoid synthetic chemicals and plastic processing.
  • Hypoallergenic mattresses – if your baby has been diagnosed with allergies or asthma (or is at risk owing to asthma or allergies in the family), a hypoallergenic cot mattress is a great idea. These feature a detachable layer that can be washed at 60°C to kill any dust mites. Hypoallergenic cot mattresses may be made of any of the above materials, including natural fibres. The detachable layer adds a few pounds to the price but if allergies are a concern the resulting washability is invaluable.

Cot mattresses may also combine the above materials: coil spring mattresses often have a layer of foam or memory foam for comfort, and some mattresses are “dual core” with a firm side providing extra support for young babies up to 12 months old, and a softer side with added comfort for older babies and toddlers.

Other handy features to look out for are removable covers or panels for easy washing and ventilation holes in the foam or a good airflow between springs to keep the mattress fresh. Breathable fabrics can also be useful, especially if your baby’s room is on the warm side.

What size cot mattress do I need?

The standard UK size for cot mattresses is 60 x 120cm, but if you have purchased or inherited a cot from the US or elsewhere, check the mattress size required before purchasing. Cribs, co-sleepers and Moses baskets for younger babies all require smaller mattresses designed for that purpose, so again check the size before you buy. Additionally, if you’ve bought a cot bed, the mattress will need to be 70 x 140cm. When you buy your cot, check its dimensions either online or with the retailer. Most cot mattress manufacturers will also sell mattresses in smaller sizes for these uses, and larger versions for use in cot beds.

What are the cot mattress safety guidelines?

Top your cot mattress with a securely fitted sheet that fits snugly and won’t come loose. Avoid loose blankets in your baby’s cot – an infant sleeping bag is now the preferred choice – and keep cushions, pillows and soft toys out of the cot for the first two years. For more advice on infant sleep safety, see lullabytrust.org.uk.

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The best cot and cot bed mattresses to buy

1. Dreams Hush Baby Pocket Sprung Mattress: Best quality cot mattress

Price: £130 | Buy now from Dreams

The first thing we said when we opened up this Hush Baby mattress from Dreams is that it feels really great quality. Soft, springy and supportive, it features 112 pocket springs with a breathable and heat-regulating cover that’s water-repellent and machine washable.

The comfort grade of the mattress is firm, so although the fabrics feel soft to the touch, it will still provide your baby with the safe, flat base they need for those crucial first months of growth and development.

The fabric is also anti-allergy and PVC-free, so it shouldn’t cause any irritation if your child is sensitive. The 40-night sleep guarantee and one-year warranty provides some extra reassurance, too.

Key specs – Sizes: 120 x 60 x 10cm; Weight: Not available; Material: Anti-allergy fabric

Buy now from Dreams

2. The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress: The best cot mattress for eco-conscious babies (and parents)

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress

If eco-credentials are important to you and you’re in the market for a high-quality, all-natural cot mattress, The Little Green Sheep is the company to go to. This bestselling cot mattress is made of a supportive core of coconut fibre with wool and natural latex comfort and a quilted cotton cover.

The “twist” in the name refers to the fact that you can flip the mattress over from the firm, wool-lined side (recommended for babies up to 12 months) to a spongier latex side that’s ideal for older infants and toddlers. If you want to go large on going green, a range of crib and carrycot mattresses and accessories is also available.

Key specs – Size: 120 x 60 x 10cm; Weight: 7kg; Materials: Coconut coir, wool, latex, cotton

3. Mother Nurture Luxury Spring Interior Cot Mattress: The best-value spring cot mattress

Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

Mother Nurture Luxury Spring Interior Cot Mattress

At £43, this firm-sprung cot mattress with removable quilted cover is excellent value for money. The cot mattress is a sturdy 10cm deep but relatively lightweight, which makes it easy to pop out of the cot for washing and periodic turning.

The spring core is coated in hypoallergenic foam, and the cover can be washed at 60°C to protect against dust mites, meaning this is an excellent value choice for babies with asthma or allergies.

The soft, comfortable cover is easy to remove and an internal waterproof layer prevents damage to the core. An attractive, safe and supportive mattress at an excellent price.

Key specs – Size: 120 x 60 x 10cm; Weight: 4kg; Materials: Nursery foam with polypropylene/polyester cover

4. Eve Cot Mattress: The best luxury foam cot mattress

Price: £149 | Buy now from Eve

Part of the Little Eve range, this mattress is the most luxurious introduction to cot-sleeping that you can give your child. Suitable from birth right up until age six, the combination of pocket springs and foam promises to adapt as your baby wriggles and grows, avoiding dips and keeping them supported throughout the night.

Where some mattresses can get quite hot, this one is designed to be breathable, with the springs providing a good amount of airflow, so it shouldn’t become overly warm. In case of spillages or leaks, the antibacterial cover has a waterproof laminate layer built-in, keeping any moisture from soaking into the foam and making cleaning as simple as unzipping the cover and throwing it in the wash.

Key specs – Size: 120 x 60 x 10cm; Weight: 2.7kg; Materials: Nursery-grade foam core with polyester cover

Buy now from Eve

5. Baby Elegance Cool Flow Cot Mattress: Best travel cot mattress

Price: £40 | Buy now from Argos

Not all travel cots come with a mattress, and if they do, they tend to be on the thin side. If you want to ensure your little one is as comfy as possible on a weekend excursion or overnight trip to see friends or family, it’s worth investing in a decent travel cot mattress. This option from Argos is made from breathable fibre and is suitable for newborn babies and toddlers up to 15kg (or around three to four years old). It folds in half for easy storage and transportation and comes with a handy travel bag.

Key specs – Size: 94 x 66 x 5cm; Weight: 2.2kg; Material: 100% fibre

Buy now from Argos

6. Mother Nurture Classic Foam: Best Moses basket mattress

Price: From £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Another entry in our list from Mother Nurture, this time for a foam mattress designed to fit in your baby’s Moses basket.

Almost all Moses baskets come with mattresses, but – like with travel cots – they have a tendency to be a little on the thin side. This is partly deliberate; you don’t want a mattress being too thick when babies are tiny. Yet, if you want more comfort without trading safety, we recommend this classic foam mattress.

Not only is it fully breathable and reversible, but it also has a quilted, water-resistant cover which can be taken off and washed at 40°C. The core of the mattress is foam, which is free from harmful chemicals, and the mattress conforms to the latest guidelines regarding the fillings for nursery mattresses. It doesn’t contain allergy-producing substances, either.

This mattress is available in three sizes, to fit most Moses baskets on the market, with prices starting at £13.49 for the 74 x 28 x 3.5cm size. This price rises to £15.99 for the 65 x 28 x 3.5cm and 67 x 30 x 4cm versions.

Key specs – Sizes: 67 x 30 x 4cm; 65 x 28 x 3.5cm; 74 x 28 x 3.5cm; Weight: 100g; Material: Foam, 60% Polypropylene, 40% Polyester

7. SnüzSurface Pro Adaptable Cot Bed Mattress: A brilliantly adaptable mattress for all ages

Price: £190 | Buy now from Snuz

The SnüzPod bedside crib is one of the most popular baby products on the market, so we were excited to try the brand’s new Pro Adaptable mattress from its new SnüzSurface collection.

Out of the box, the mattress’s configuration allows it to be used up until the age of one. After your child’s first birthday – or when they’re heavy enough – you can simply rerearrange the foam layers inside the mattress’ cover to adapt the level of support to suit a larger child. Once your child is around 3 years of age, you can rearrange the layers once more to create a softer mattress suitable for children up to the age of 7.

The washable, removable cover has a breathable surface, and the waterproof membrane prevents leaks reaching the foam layers inside. The mattress itself also has an anti-dust-mite barrier and comes in a range of sizes including crib size.

One factor to take into consideration when buying a SnüzSurface mattress is that they need to be carefully unrolled and laid flat for up to seven days to allow the foam layers to fully expand. Once we’d left the mattress for this time, it fitted perfectly flat in our cot bed.

Key specs – Sizes: 70 x 140cm; Weight: Not available; Material: 100% polyester

Buy now from Snuz

8. Mamas & Papas Premium Pocket Spring Cot Mattress: A reversible anti-allergy pocket sprung mattress

Price: £109 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

Mamas & Papas Premium Pocket Spring Cot Mattress has a two-sided, reversible design. The 162 individually pocketed springs respond to your baby’s growing shape, and while one side offers a suitably firm level of support for a baby, the other offers a little more give for larger children.

Both sides are treated with Purotex Technology to protect it from dust and allergens, and the temperature regulating fabrics and perspiration control treatment helps to keep children at a comfortable temperature, whatever the weather.

The cover is also hypoallergenic, water-repellent and machine washable if your little one has any accidents.

Key specs – Sizes: 120 x 60 x 10cm; Weight: Not available; Material: Foam-free

Buy now from Mamas & Papas

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