6 Things to Look For when Buying a Cot Mattress
Buying the right mattress for your baby is actually much more important than deciding which cot you are going for.
It is the mattress surface that your baby will lie on for more than half their day that should take priority rather than the design and style of the cot or crib. I would always recommend that you spend more money on a good healthy baby mattress rather than the cot.
Coil spring, pocket sprung, foam, natural fibre, synthetic fibre, horse hair, coconut coir, organic cotton, wool, latex, dual core, material weight, density? Good God! You’d need a degree in this stuff to figure out what’s the best baby mattress to buy.
Actually, buying a baby mattress shouldn’t be a difficult decision once you follow a few simple precepts. Listed below are what I believe are the 6 key pointers when choosing a good, safe baby mattress. I’m taking it as read that the baby mattress is a good fit for the cot or cot bed and meets safety standards.
1 Choose a firm mattress
Babies require a harder surface so that their backs are held straighter for better development and there is less risk of your baby rebreathing their own exhaled carbon dioxide if they turn on their fronts. A simple push of your hand onto the surface will quickly tell you if it is hard enough or not. I would say that it can never be too hard, and do not gauge a baby mattress on your own comfort preferences which for adults would generally be soft and cushy. Also! Don’t get caught up in thinking that a good baby mattress must have spring – just make sure its firm by pressing on it and that it regains its shape quickly once you remove your hand from it. Avoid memory foam as it has much more chemical content and there is also a risk that some memory foam could potentially form around a baby’s mouth and present a risk of suffocation. Cot mattress firmness is one of the attributes that the new European Standard for Cot Mattress Safety Requirements (EN16890:2017) tests for. Pure Zees was one of the first in Europe to get tested and to see how it was done Click here
2 Make Sure the Cover is Waterproof While Skin Breathable
This is vital. What can go into a mattress if it has no waterproof barrier is frightening. After only a few months of vomit, urine, poop, dribble, spills and perspiration on top of a typical baby mattress, you really don’t want to know what it looks like inside of the mattress core. Suffice to say it’s horrible, very unhealthy and even known to be quite toxic. Health experts recommend that you should put a waterproof cover over a baby mattress in order to avoid this potential mess within its core.
However, with the vast majority of waterproof covers, this in itself presents its own problem. These covers frequently are not skin breathable and can cause your baby to overheat and sweat more than they should be doing, because the heat and vapour from their body has nowhere to go. It’s easy to make a mattress waterproof but not so easy to make this cover also breathable for skin. You should check what proof the manufacturer has if they say their waterproof cover allows for a baby’s skin to breathe, keep cool, not sweat, or any other claim to that effect.
3 Make Sure the Cover is Impermeable to Dust Mites
Dust mites are a real scourge in our lives, as there is a direct relationship between the amount of dust mites in an environment and sensitization to asthma. Just 4% of homes are free of dust mites. Symptoms of a dust mite allergy can range from mild to severe, with the problem being that they can be mistaken for another illness. Itchy, blotchy or blistered red skin, sneezing and coughing, congestion and runny nose can be caused by dust mites. The best treatment for a dust mite allergy is to limit exposure to them as much as possible.
This is why all asthma & allergy health professionals would highly recommend the use of a dust mite impermeable cover for your mattress. I would completely support this method and question why would it be even necessary to use dust mite killing chemicals or biocide treated textiles, when a non-chemically treated barrier cover works perfectly well.
It’s a good idea to have a mattress that can be turned over and flipped so that it doesn’t matter what side of the mattress your baby sleeps on. Having your baby always on the same spot over an extended period of time can cause a dip or indentation that does not come back to its normal shape. As a result, it prolongs the life of the mattress. And it avoids confusion as to what side the mattress has to be after cleaning it. Mattresses that have a consistent core filling throughout are normally recommended to be turned and flipped through the continued use of the mattress.
5 It Should be Easy to Clean
Choose a mattress that is easy to clean. Most mattresses have zipped covers that can be difficult to remove and put back on. Imagine a mattress that does not let mess into the core of a mattress in the first place, and one that can simply be wiped down with soapy water – well look no further than the Pure Zees mattress. Really simple and avoids the strains normally associated with trying to clean a baby mattress which is a vital task that must be performed on a regular basis.
6 Watch out for Chemicals
It’s important to know that the baby mattress has a safe chemical content. 92% of mattresses in a New York survey were found to contain chemicals of concern or allergens. This incredibly high statistic is mind blowing and shows the lack of concern that many manufacturers have for the end user. The chemicals of concern are known and it should be the responsibility of the manufacturer to make a healthier mattress and prove to the consumer that they have done so by having it tested by a respected independent testing body that will substantiate the claims. This empowers the consumer to make a safer and healthier choice for their baby. The sometimes necessary addition of a fire resistant chemical in order to comply with certain country’s safety regulations can be a hazard in itself as these chemicals can be toxic. It is therefore good advice to aim for a baby mattress that is inherently fire retardant without the need for these added FR chemicals.
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As you try to get to the bottom of the ‘what cot mattresses should I go for?’ conundrum, you may well be tempted by the organic and wool argument. I mean, it all sounds so very nice and natural and that must be good, right?
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