Babies sleep up to 20 hours a day. During this important time they grow and their organism develops. That’s why we have to take care of the baby’s comfort. And it will certainly be provided by a suitable baby cot mattress. On the market you can find many models and types: the difference between them can be very big, so it’s not surprising that many people don’t know which mattress is the best. What should we pay attention to and how to choose the ideal mattress? We’ll give you a few tips!
Do we really need to buy a mattress?
When buying a cot for your child, you have to remember that, generally, you should also buy a mattress that matches the crib. Because some products sell only cot frames. On the other hand, we know how important it is to choose the right mattress. It saves you the time you would spend looking for a mattress that is hard to find.
And it depends on the mattress whether the child will feel comfortable and sleep well. Unfortunately, good products don’t come cheap, but it’s worth investing money in a top-quality mattress: it’s an investment in the health and comfort of your child.
Which mattress padding is best for a baby?
On the market, you will find several mattresses for baby cots that differ mainly in the type of filling. Each of them has different characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Not all of them support the child’s development in the same way. So which mattress to choose, read our short guide!
Foam mattresses are very popular among parents who are looking for good baby cot mattresses. And there’s nothing unusual about that, mainly because they are actually top-quality products. The problem is that not all foam mattresses are the same. They vary in the type of foam used: the highly flexible and the thermoelastic polyurethane foams.
Polyurethane foam has the advantage of a low price and is quite breathable. But this is not the end of its advantages. This type of foam is delicate and therefore easy to deform. As new gaps appear and the mattress loses its elasticity, your child will feel less comfortable and, even worse, his or her spine will be stretched out on an uneven surface. In addition, poorer quality polyurethane foams can cause allergies.
Highly elastic polyurethane foam has all the advantages of polyurethane foam although it is a bit more expensive, but none of the disadvantages. It is much more durable, more elastic, and flexible and, what’s more, it does not cause allergies. Therefore, it is safe for the small spine and for allergy sufferers. Of all the foam mattresses, it is the best choice for the baby.
Thermoelastic foam, on the other hand, is a very good solution, but not necessarily for small children. This type of baby cot mattress reacts to the warmth of the body and adjusts to it in this way. And babies under the age of one year should sleep on firm mattresses. This type of foam also accumulates heat and can lead to overheating of the little body. Foam mattresses are very often used in cots that accompany children for years.
The spring mattress is another example of a good baby cot mattress: comfortable, strong, and non-deformable, but sadly, it is not considered to be perfect for small babies. The low weight of the baby can have a negative influence on the function of the springs and therefore support the delicate spine of the little one.
Latex mattresses are considered one of the best mattresses on the market – even for babies. They are elastic, resilient, do not accumulate body heat, and have very good point support. Their only small but noticeable flaw is the possibility of causing allergies. But this only happens in the case of mattresses made of natural latex, which contains proteins. Synthetic latex does not cause this problem: mattresses produced on the basis of it are antibacterial and anti-allergic, but a little less breathable than natural ones.
Wheat and coconut mattress
The wheat and coconut mattress is a product made of 100% natural materials composed of two layers: coconut and wheat. The layer made of coconut fibres has a high level of firmness, so it is good for babies. The wheat layer, on the other hand, fits better to the shape of the human body: this is the side on which the child should sleep when he or she is a little older. In addition, wheat does not add heat to the body of the little sleeper and provides good ventilation. If we choose this type of material, we have to pay attention to the certificates that confirm that the buckwheat used in the production of the mattress comes from safe cultivation, in which no chemical substances are used. This type of cot mattress also has its opponents who say that it is too hard for the baby’s back and there is a possibility of fungal growth.
Latex and coconut mattress
This type of baby cot mattress is considered an improved version of the wheat and coconut model, as it has an additional layer of latex. Thanks to this, it adjusts better to the baby’s little body, because the latex gives the mattress more softness and elasticity. This mattress also does not deform and is resistant to moisture. However, remember that the child must lie on the latex part of the mattress.
Other combination mattresses
There are many other mattresses on the market that are made up of several layers. You can find foam and coconut mattresses and foam and wheat mattresses that are a combination of only foam and coconut or only foam and wheat. There are even unusual materials, such as seaweed or horsehair. Each of these has its advocates and opponents. Natural materials can get wet more easily and cause allergies. They are also more difficult to keep clean because they are usually not machine washable.
Soft or hard – which mattress is better for a baby?
One of the aspects in which mattresses vary is the level of firmness. When looking for the perfect mattress for your child’s cot, sooner or later the question will come up: is it better to choose a soft mattress or a firm one? Both have their pros and cons, so neither is perfect. That’s why it’s better to choose something in between.
A mattress that is too soft can sink under the child and make it difficult for them to move. And one that is too hard can simply be uncomfortable. A medium one can provide good support for the spine and is elastic enough to adjust to the body’s position.
If we want to establish a rule for choosing an adequately firm mattress for a baby cot, then we should be guided by the age of the child. During the first year of life, the child should sleep on a fairly firm mattress. However, after that time you can decide on a softer mattress. On the market, you can even find mattresses with two levels of firmness, which can be turned around after the first year.
Safety – certificates
The safety of the mattresses is provided, above all, by the quality of the materials used. They must not be toxic, allergenic, or harmful and must prevent the spread of fungi, dust mites, or other allergens. How can you tell if the mattress is of good quality? This information is provided by the certificates.
The main certificate for all items for mothers and children, including mattresses, is the Positive Opinion of the Institute for Maternal and Child Health. This institute verifies whether all materials used for the production of the product are safe. A similar function is performed by the National Institute of Hygiene, which checks the composition of the product for harmful substances. An important EU standard is the OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which tests the quality of textile products for the absence of the 100 most hazardous substances in the fabric used.
However, there are many other certificates and tests. Many of them check the quality of specific materials. For example, the EuroLATEX Eco Standard guarantees the best quality and safety of latex mattresses. The WF4 Dry System certificate works in a similar way: it is a special test that checks whether the latex has undergone the drying process with a variable temperature airflow. There are also certificates that define the different properties of mattresses. For example, the TLS AIR SYSTEM, which tests for good air circulation.
The best mattress for an allergy sufferer? A latex mattress!
Which mattress should we choose for the cot of a baby with allergy problems? We are going to give you a couple of tips that you should take into account. A mattress is a place where micro-organisms and fungi can easily reproduce. They also contain a large number of dust mites, and dust can accumulate on some mattresses. Which mattress is best for an allergy sufferer?
Above all, mattresses with natural fillings should be avoided. Coconut, wheat, seaweed, wool, or horsehair are a perfect environment for the propagation of dust mites and fungi, and to top it all off, they can get damp quickly, which also stimulates the growth of mould. Another bad choice for an allergy sufferer will be a spring mattress, as the space between the springs can be very dusty.
So what to choose? Hypoallergenic mattresses, i.e. foam mattresses and especially latex mattresses. They naturally prevent the development of microbes and pathogens. At the same time, they are easy to keep clean and therefore do not cause problems with dust. However, there are people who are allergic to latex: in this case, a good solution is to use anti-dust mite covers and cotton sheets.