A cot bed gives you a practical way to lengthen the cot’s life, plus it helps you transition your baby to a junior bed much more smoothly. Cot beds come in a variety of styles and functions, such as a sleigh cot bed or dropside cot bed. You’ll find a wide variety of colours and patterns, from a white cot bed to a green cot bed to a pink cot bed, and practically anything in between.
In the beginning, your baby spends as many as 20 hours a day in the cot bed, so a comfortable cot bed mattress is an important consideration. You’ll use this cot bed furniture for around five years, so you want to choose a style that fits your nursery but can grow with your toddler.
A cot bed is a larger cot that will convert to a junior bed. This can make the transition less traumatic for your toddler, and many toddlers prefer a junior bed to a larger one. Depending on your child’s size, you should be able to use the junior bed until around age 5 or 6, at which time you’ll need an adult sized bed. A cot bed costs more than a normal cot, but you’ll get more years of use out of it.
With such an important decision, you may not know where to begin. Price Inspector can help you buy the ideal cot bed at a cheap price. Our Inspectors shop the UK stores for you, letting you focus just on picking your favourite style. Our buying guide will help you learn about safety features and decide which options are the most important.
Mattresses and bedding
Cot beds are usually not sold with the cot bed mattress included, so be sure to budget for a mattress, 4 sets of sheets, and 2 to 4 blankets. When you choose a mattress for the cot bed, you have three choices: foam, sprung, or fibre.
- Foam mattresses are generally covered with PVC, which makes them easy to wipe clean. They are lower priced mattresses, but they do still meet stringent British standards. They start around 25 pounds for an 8cm deep mattress for a standard cot. You can also afford to replace the mattress down the line, especially if you have any concerns about the cleanliness, and still have spent less money than an upper-end mattress.
- Fibre mattresses are a good option if you don’t want your baby sleeping on any synthetic materials. The interior is usually coconut fibre covered in waterproof latex, with a soft cotton cover. Be aware that these mattresses usually do not contain the fire retardant chemicals necessary to meet British Standards.
- Sprung mattresses use a traditional coiled spring construction covered by both foam and cotton ticking. They usually have one side with a wipe clean plastic cover and one covered with soft cotton ticking. Sprung mattresses start at 40 pounds for a 10cm deep mattress that will fit a standard cot bed.
Whatever style you choose, it is crucial the mattress fit snugly in the frame. If you push the mattress gently to the side, make sure that any gap is less than 4cm. Also, make sure you can attach the mattress securely to the head and foot boards.
When your baby is less than a year old, don’t invest in pillows, bumpers, or other items that may restrict your baby’s motions. After a year old, you might want to switch to a duvet instead of blankets, but blankets are a better option for younger children. This allows you to easily change how many layers are being used, helping regulate your baby’s temperature.
A mattress protector
can help keep the mattress from absorbing all the saliva, perspiration, urine, or spit-up that all babies generate. Make sure you can also clean the mattress, however, to prevent the formation of bacteria.
For sheets, you can buy both flat and fitted cot sheets in a variety of textures. Popular choices include woven sheets
, cotton jersey, and stretch jersey. For cot blankets
, many experts recommend cotton cellular blankets. These can be layered in different thicknesses to keep your baby comfortable. If your home is very cold, however, consider cellular acrylic blankets.
When your baby is a little older, you can switch to a cot quilt or a cot duvet. If you buy a cot duvet
, buy a spare cover so your baby can still nap if the dirty one is being washed.