We explain the five main types of mattresses available for your baby's Moses basket, crib, cot, cotbed or travel cot.
At the cheaper end of the baby mattress market are foam mattresses, made from a core of synthetic sponge-like material, usually with a protective cover. It’s also possible to buy non-allergic foam versions.
Most manufacturers of foam mattresses refer to their products as being made from ‘CMHR’ (Combustion Modified High Resilient) foam and they quote a number that describes the density of the foam. This is the standard of foam to be used in a cot mattress and the number is the weight per kg. The minimum that should be used is CMHR 25. The higher the density, the firmer the support and therefore the longer it will last.
Foam mattresses are particularly good for smaller babies, when they’re not very heavy and need less support. Most crib, Moses basket and pram mattresses are made of basic foam, often with ventilation holes at the head section. The standard mattresses provided with travel cots, as well as the spare travel versions, are also typically foam because they’re light and easy to transport.
Foam may be less comfy for older toddlers and it can lose its shape. However, you can get good foam mattresses for all baby beds – you just need to ensure you get one 10cm deep for a cot and pick a high CMHR density. At the higher end of the foam market are multilayered versions, which use different pieces of foam to mimic the effect of springs.
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