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Journalist Fay tested the Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed with her 10-week-old baby son Chester
Baby nests have grown in popularity over the years, mostly due to word of mouth about how they’ve helped non-sleeping babies settle and sleep, but they’ve also sparked debate over their safety when it comes to overnight and unsupervised sleeping. I was interested in trying one, having read lots about them, particularly Sleepyhead, but had worries about the safety concerns, including those voiced by The Lullaby Trust.
Enter the Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed, which according to Purflo is not a nest but a baby bed – yet still offers all the benefits. Indeed, it’s billed as the ‘best alternative’ to a nest and most importantly the Sleep Tight has been certified for overnight sleeping. So what does this actually mean?
The Sleep Tight is called a baby bed because Purflo have introduced some different features. These have enabled Purflo to get certification from two accreditation test houses (laboratories that test products to ensure legal Safety Standards are being met) that the Sleep Tight Baby Bed is safe for overnight sleeping, based on safety standards used for mattresses, carry cots and moses baskets.
Read our report on safety concerns about baby pods and nests – based on analysis of scientific papers, recent research and case studies
What are the different features that makes it safe for overnight sleeping?
There are two key features:
- Innovative sidewalls – The Baby Bed features a more structured and solid material for its sidewalls than other nests or pods. Called Dupont Sorona, it retains its structure even if your baby rolls to one side. Purflo claims this means that if your baby’s face moves close to the sidewall, their face can’t push as deeply into the side compared with normal cushioned sides, so reducing the risk of suffocation. Like many other nests, the sidewall and base are highly breathable, but the mesh panels surrounding your baby’s head and on the bed base, enable airflow and reduce the risk of over-heating.
- Firmer base – The base is made of a tough plastic (punctuated with large holes) which means it provides the kind of firmness that you really want for a new baby. While you may think your baby needs super softness, the safest sleeping mattress for a newborn is firm and flat. There is a soft mesh fabric that covers the hard base and those holes in the plastic mean the base is fully breathable while it’s also waterproof.
Does the Sleep Tight Baby Bed meet a specific overnight sleeping test for portable baby beds, nests or pods?
No, because there isn’t one. Part of the issue with baby nests is that there aren’t specific safety regulations for these products that companies can meet. So, Purflo’s objective with the Sleep Tight was to create a safe overnight sleeping space for a baby by addressing the two main risks – suffocation and overheating. This resulted in the development of the Sorona sidewalls and the firm, flat, waterproof base. Although it’s a different product to a carry cot or moses basket, the Sleep Tight has also been tested to meet the European Safety Standard that applies to carry cots and moses baskets (EN 1466: 2014).
What are your first impressions?
Looks wise, the bed is right up my street as it’s a sleek design and mine is white so fits in with any décor. I also really liked the fact it came in a bag so can be easily transported.
On first glance though, I struggled to see my son fitting in it and was concerned that the base looked hard and uncomfortable. However, it’s the firm, solid base that makes it safe. And my son did settle in it very quickly, which really impressed me.
It isn’t cheap though – £120 puts it at close to the price of Sleepyhead Deluxe+, whereas previously Purflo nests had been considerably cheaper.
How does it compare to other nests and pods including Sleepyhead?
The main difference between this bed and others on the market, such as the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ is the fact that it’s certified for unsupervised overnight sleeping. This is a huge development, as the current advice is for nests and pods to only be used under supervision.
Because of its solid plastic base, Purflo advise that the Sleep Tight can be used within a cot. The reason that other nests and pods aren’t advised for use in this way is because of concern about putting the next mattress on top of a cot mattress – creating a base that’s not firm.
Its appearance might not be too dissimilar on first glance however it appears to be much sturdier thanks to its solid sides. It doesn’t look quite as cosy as others though due to the flat base and hard solid padding.
Like other nests on the market it can also be used for daytime naps and playing.
How comfortable is it for your baby?
I was delighted at how quickly my 10-week-old baby took to lying and settling in the Sleep Tight Baby Bed. The flat base might not look as comfy as other nests around, but my son didn’t seem to mind the lack of padding, and of course it’s the firm base that makes it more safe.
I found it was a great place for him to lie in to calm down during the day. If he was having a baby tantrum, I’d lay him in there and he soon relaxed. He also really enjoyed playing in there and I like the fact I could leave him in there safely while I got on with jobs.
Like all nests, you’re not able to use it with a blanket as there’s no way of securing it (as you can with a cot, crib or moses basket where you can tuck it in under the mattress). Instead, you’re advised to only use it with a sleeping bag or swaddle, which didn’t work so well for us for daytime sleeping.
I usually put Chester in a Moses basket on a stand and so it did feel slightly odd using something so low to the floor at night time. It was also tricky trying to find somewhere to put it safely where we wouldn’t trip over it. However, according to Purflo it is safe to use the Sleep Tight within a cot (as long as there’s nothing else such as toys or blanket in there) and so if you have a cot or cotbed set up in your bedroom, this would create an elevated safe space to sleep.
Did the Sleep Tight help your baby sleep?
My son was happy to sleep in it but I wouldn’t say it necessarily helped him sleep. I think it worked well for daytime napping but not so much at night time when I feel it’s helpful to have the higher sides of a Moses basket, so he feels more enclosed. I felt he slept better in his usual Moses basket.
How breathable are the sides?
The sidewall and base both meet British breathability and airflow tests (BS4578;1970), as does Sleepyhead Deluxe+.
At MadeForMums we also carry out a DIY breathability comparison test (where we put it against our mouth and breathe in and out – you can instantly feel how easy it is to inhale and exhale). I found the Sleep Tight very breathable when I put it against my mouth and breathed in and out a few times. In fact, the breathability of the base was better than the base mattress in his Moses basket. The same breathability test carried out in the MFM office gave equally good results.
The Sleep Tight Baby Bed is designed for 0-8 months – how well does it meet this age range of babies?
My son is 10 weeks old and is already pretty snug in the Sleep Tight. He likes sleeping with his hands above his head and is a little restricted doing that in the bed already, so I would be very surprised if he still fitted in there at 8 months. There’s also a review on the Purflo site saying that their 4.5 month old doesn’t have much more growing room.
Unlike the Sleepyhead Deluxe+, which you can open up at the bottom as your baby grows taller, the Sleep Tight is a fixed size.
However, like other nests, the Sleep Tight isn’t suitable to use once your baby is able to sit unaided, and some babies are able to do this from 6 months. So it may be that, in general, nests may not be suitable for many babies past 6 months.
What do you think of the design?
The design doesn’t look too dissimilar to other nests on the market but it feels a little sleeker. Mine is white but it is available in a few other simple yet chic options – though not as varied or funky as Sleepyhead. The Sleep Tight would certainly fit into most rooms nicely without making it look too baby orientated.
Aside from the breathable sections the fabric is thick and 100% cotton, so feels quite luxurious, and the Dupont Sorona filling is sustainably sourced.
There are no exposed zips in the bed itself (you can tuck in the zip pull on the bottom of the sidewall) so it feels safe for your baby.
How easy is it to keep clean?
The bed cover is super easy to wash. You need to remove the solid base and the key is to unzip the outer cover (which comes off easily), and then it’s easier to pull out the base. You can wipe clean the base and wash the inner and outer covers in the washing machine at 40 degrees. The covers kept their shape and size after numerous washes. It’s been really handy to be able to chuck the cover in the washing machine because the white can get dirty easily with a baby around!
How easy is to take travelling?
Easy, as the bed is very light. It comes with a travel bag so can be carried on holiday, but it doesn’t fold up at all so you would need enough space to get it in your car with luggage, etc.
How easy is it to move around the house?
It’s very easy to pick up and move about the house because it is so light, so great to use as a safe sleeping space during the day when you can move it from room to room. It has a handle by the base so you don’t have to lift it by the padded sides. However, like all nests, it’s not safe to carry around with your baby inside.
Is the Sleep Tight Baby Bed good value?
If you didn’t already have a Moses basket and travel cot, I would say this is good value but most people would probably buy this in addition to those things.
As well as being used for sleep, the Purflo bed can be used for playing, nappy changes and naps during the day.
It has been a great space for my son to play in during the day and it is a really handy place to lay him down safely – but £120 is still a significant cost.
What’s in the box?
- Sleep Tight Baby Bed
- Fabric carry case
Any there any additional extras and how much do they cost?
The only additional extras are spare covers if you want to put one on while washing one or want a different design. They cost £45 (available from Amazon) and designs include Botanical, Minimal Grey and Shell Pink.
Where can you buy the Sleep Tight Baby Bed?
Who would the product be most useful for?
Parents looking for a snug place for their baby to sleep – particularly if you have a cot and it just feels too big. It doesn’t guarantee your baby will have a brilliant night’s sleep or turn into a good sleeper, but it’s a good product to try if your baby does have trouble dropping off or staying asleep. It’s also very convenient to use around the house to keep your baby napping with you, which ever room you’re in. It’s also great if you do lots of overnight stays, for example sleeping over at a grandparent’s house, as it’s much lighter and more compact than a carry cot.
Overall, this is a great product if you’re looking for a safe, cosy portable place for your young baby to sleep. The key feature is of course that it has been certified for overnight sleeping and it’s reassuring to know it’s undergone comprehensive risk assessment and safety testing for breathability, flammability, rigidity and retention of side walls and roll tests. It also meets key safe sleep requirements of a flat, firm waterproof base. Knowing this meant I was happy for my baby to sleep overnight in our bedroom in the Sleep Tight Baby Bed.
While it wasn’t a miracle sleep aid for my son, I know there are plenty of parents who swear by using this kind of product for getting their unsettled baby to sleep. My baby certainly really likes it and it’s a great addition to our house.
About our reviewer
Fay is a senior journalist and showbiz editor who has worked for the MailOnline, Daily Mirror and The Sun. Fay has currently swapped writing celeb gossip for nappy changing and looking after her baby son Chester.