Baby Mattresses: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Child

Baby Mattresses: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Child

Choosing your baby mattress is one of the most important parts of preparing for your new arrival. Granted, it’s not quite as exciting as trying out pushchairs and choosing toys for your nursery, but this process requires careful consideration. It might be hard for sleep-deprived parents to believe, but infants spend up to 18 hours a day asleep! It’s safe to say that your bundle of joy will be spending a lot of time on their mattress, so it’s really important to make the right choice. 

For your baby, a mattress isn’t just about comfort - although of course, that’s important, too. Safety is a huge consideration when choosing the right mattress for your child. Size, support and quality are all significant factors for your child’s health and wellbeing. 

There are so many different types of baby mattresses to choose from, and it can be hard to know where to start. This guide is here to break it all down for you so that you can make the right choice for you and your baby.


New or Secondhand?

We always recommend buying a new mattress for your baby - even when brothers and sisters come along. Your baby needs a firm, clean and supportive mattress. Secondhand mattresses have often lost their shape, which makes them uncomfortable for your baby. 

More worryingly, secondhand mattresses can also contain hidden bacteria or dust mites. Sadly, there’s evidence to suggest that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may be linked to secondhand mattresses, so this really isn’t an area to cut corners.


Make Sure It’s Firm 

The mattress must be firm. Babies can’t support their own bodies like we can, so it’s imperative that they sleep on a sturdy, yet gentle, surface. 

A soft mattress can mould to the shape of your baby’s head, which can be very dangerous. If they roll over, they can become stuck. One study found that soft bedding is the top cause of suffocation for sleeping infants, so a firm mattress is non-negotiable. It’s much safer because it provides support and resistance as the baby begins to move around more and push him or herself up in the crib. 


What Type of Mattress Should I Buy?

FIBRE - Fibre mattresses tend to be the most cost-effective option. They provide a fibre core encased in an extra quilted cover. It’s similar to, but safer than, a foam mattress. The fibre allows the baby to breathe more easily and lets their body heat escape. This reduces the risk of suffocation and overheating, which are both risks associated with SIDS.

NATURAL FIBRE - These fibre mattresses are made from natural materials which are recommended for their moisture absorption properties. Common fibres include: coconut, cashmere, silk and lambswool. 

SPRUNG - Standard sprung mattresses are a popular choice. This type of mattress features open coil springs surrounded by foam. These products tend to feature thicker springs and thus provide more support than a foam or fibre mattress. 

POCKET SPRUNG - If your budget allows, pocket sprung mattresses are a great investment. These mattresses feature steel springs sewn into small fabric pockets, which can then adapt to your baby’s movement, providing extra comfort and support. Pocket sprung mattresses are also very durable because they last around 15% longer than standard sprung mattresses. 

Whichever type of mattress you choose, remember to turn it regularly and/or rotate it from head to foot. This helps to maintain its shape and ensure even support.


Which Size Should I Buy? 

Size matters when it comes to your baby’s mattress. 

If the gap between the mattress and the cot sides is too large, your baby’s limbs could become trapped. According to EU regulations, the gap between the mattress and the sides of the cot should not be more than 3cm in total. The best way to check this is to push the mattress tightly against one side of the crib and measure. 

The standard was previously set at 4cm or two fingers’ width and many sites continue to advise this. However, we believe that it’s important to follow the most up-to-date guidance. 

For a cot or travel cot, the mattress should be 10cm thick. This ensures that your baby’s body is well supported, without giving them enough height to climb out of the crib once they become a toddler. In a pram, crib or Moses basket, the mattress should be 3.5-5cm thick. These measurements are standard, but it’s always worth double-checking for peace of mind. 

All of our cots, cribs and Moses baskets clearly state the size of the mattress required to make things extra easy for you. However, this may not be the case for some retailers. If you’ve already purchased a frame and you’re unsure, measure the interior length and width of the basket or cot base once it’s assembled.


Safety Standards 

Last but not least, any mattress you buy must adhere to British Safety Standards BS 1887 Part 10 1997 and BS 7177 1996. These standards are for safety and flammability respectively. You should be able to check this information before making a purchase.


Shop with Confidence 

At Beautiful Bambino, your child’s safety is our highest priority which is why we only stock high-quality mattresses which conform to the strictest safety standards. We have a wide range of products and we’re here to help you find the one best suited to your needs. 

For more on baby bedding, you might find it helpful to check out our nursery design article or this Moses basket buying guide

We’re here to help you make the best decisions for your incoming bundle of joy. If you’ve got further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. We also offer a personal shopping service to save you time and stress, allowing you to focus on the fun stuff! Click here to sign up and we’ll be in touch soon with more details.