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Are cheap cot mattresses better than pricier ones?

Find out if you should splash out or save money, whether you're buying your cot mattress from Argos, Mothercare or other stockists

Are cheap cot mattresses better than pricier ones?

Our cot mattress testing proves you can get an excellent cot bed mattress without having to break the bank.

If you’re on a budget you can find several of our Best Buy cot mattresses for less than £70.

Meanwhile, we’ve found Don’t Buy cot mattresses for more than £150, proving that price doesn’t necessarily equal a great product.

But we’ve also found some that impress that cost £100 or more.

What do you get for £100 or less?

Some, but not all, cot mattresses at this price have a waterproof layer and a removable, machine-washable cover to help make it much easier to clean up accidents.

A foam version is generally the least expensive type and these are usually made from a piece of high-density foam.

The Ikea Krummelur (£45) and Ikea Skonast (£70) both have a fixed inner cover and a removable outer cover that can be cleaned at 60°C, so you can easily pop them into the wash to kill any germs or bacteria.

Open-coil spring and pocket spring cot mattresses are more expensive, but there are one or two available for around £100, for example the Baby Elegance Micro Pocket cot mattress (£100) and Mothercare Anti-Allergy Spring cot bed mattress (£90).

Popular cot mattresses for £100 or less

Ikea Krummelur – £45

The cheapest we’ve reviewed has features usually seen on much pricier mattresses, including a removable and washable cover with has a zip opening, and a pocket to hide the pull tab so your child can’t get access to the insides.

It also has one wavy side with medium-firm comfort and one smooth side that’s firmer. Find out one downside we discovered by reading our full Ikea Krummelur review.

John Lewis Premium Foam Cot Bed Mattress – £60

The washable cover of this is soft and cotton-rich, plus it has a quilted side for comfort and a water-resistant lining to protect it from any accidents.

It’s a bestselling cot mattress, but we have found better. Read our full John Lewis Premium Foam Cot Bed Mattress review to see if it’s the right one for your baby.

Mothercare Anti-Allergy Spring Cot Bed Mattress – £90

This consists of open-coil springs surrounded by foam and fabric.

It includes a wipeable outer layer of PVC to stop liquids from soaking through to the core.

There are claims that special anti-allergy and anti-bacterial fibres are woven into its outer layers.

If you’re tempted by this reasonably priced mattress, read our Mothercare Anti-Allergy Spring Cot Bed Mattress review before you buy.

What do you get for more than £100?

Almost all of the cot mattresses we’ve tested that cost more than £100 are pocket spring (also known as pocket sprung).

Unlike a regular spring mattress, each spring in this type can move independently of the others, which is thought to be more comfortable and give better support.

More expensive cot mattresses also tend to be reversible, and have dedicated sides for babies and toddlers to give your child targeted body support depending on weight and size.

For example, the Silver Cross Superior cot mattress (£149) has a firmer sleep side for babies aged 0-18 months and a softer side for little ones aged 18 months and over.

If you’re looking for something different at this price, the Little Green Sheep Natural Twist cot mattress (£150) is made of coconut, wool and natural latex on the inside, and the outside is made from cotton.

Coir or natural fibre cot mattresses are much less common than foam, coil or pocket spring, and they’re expensive because they cost more to produce.

But they may appeal if you’re after one that’s made from natural components, not chemically treated and free from toxins.

Popular cot mattresses for £100+

Mamas & Papas Premium Pocket Spring Cot Bed Mattress – £149

Mamas & Papas claim this is anti-allergenic and temperature regulating.

There’s a water repellent inner protector to shield and protect the core of this mattress, as well as a washable outer cover.

However, we discovered something quite concerning in our testing that you should know before buying this mattress. Read our Mamas & Papas Premium Pocket Spring Cot Bed Mattress review for full details.

Merifor Serenity Cot Bed Mattress – £220

This pocket spring cot bed mattress has been endorsed by Allergy UK, so it could be a good option if your child is prone to allergies or has respiratory issues.

It comes with a three-year guarantee and yes, it’s pricey, but we found lots to love when we tested it.

Read our Merifor Serenity Cot Bed Mattress review to see whether it’s worth splashing  out.

White Company Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress – £250

The White Company is known for its high-quality, premium products and its mattress is the most expensive we’ve tested.

It has a soft outer layer and breathable under layer, which is designed to wick moisture away and keep your child cool, fresh and dry.

Discover its pros and cons by reading our White Company Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress review.

Five tips to buy the best cot mattress, whatever your budget

  1. A firm and flat mattress is safest for your baby, according to the Lullaby Trust. Assess this by pressing your hand firmly into the centre and edges of a mattress. There should be some resistance and it should bounce back immediately.
  2. Size is key. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the mattress and the cot or cot bed where your baby could potentially trap limbs. The majority of those we test are 140cm x 70cm, but we’ve also tested some that are 120cm x 60cm.
  3. Opt for one that’s at least 10cm thick to ensure that no part of your child’s body sinks through the mattress and touches the cot bed frame below.
  4. A mattress cover is helpful in the case of accidents.
  5. Your child will triple in weight developing from a baby into a pre-schooler, so a durable cot mattress that doesn’t lose body support or firmness is vital. Our cot mattress reviews tell you which will support best over time.
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