Cots review

New cots are becoming safer – eight out of 10 cots passed all our safety tests.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
  • Updated:27 Nov 2008
 

01 .Introduction

Cots-review compare iStock

Test results for 10 cots priced up to $599

The good news is that cots are getting safer. Only two of the 10 cots on test had a safety failure. Compare this to our 2002 test, where only one of nine cots was recommended. The introduction of a mandatory safety standard for cots in 1998 is paying off, although clearly there’s still room for improvement.

We purchased 10 popular brands of cots and put them through vigorous testing in our labs.

Please note: this information was current as of November 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our Cots review.


We tested for:

  • Safety and durability against selected clauses of the updated Australian/New Zealand standard for cots, AS/NZS 2172:2003. 
  • Information and labelling as set out by the Standard. 
  • Ease of use and features – including dropsides, castors and brakes.

Models tested

  • Childcare Harbour XT 
  • Delta Jasmine
  • Grotime C34 Babe
  • Ikea Leksvik 
  • Kingparrot Scout 
  • Love n Care Classic 
  • Mother's Choice Bellevue 
  • Regent Nu Gembrook 
  • Sunbury Dreamtime C102 
  • Swallow Jessie
 
 

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What to buy

Brand and price

  • Childcare Harbour XT - $350
  • Kingparrot Scout - $470
  • Love n Care Classic - $599
  • Sunbury Dreamtime C102 - $525

Results table

  Performance Features Specifications
Brand and Model Passed information requirements Dropside Teething strips Castors/brakes Junior bed conversion kit Dimensions, H x W x L (cm)* Price ($)
Passed all essential safety tests
CHILDCARE Harbour XT
www.cnpbrands.com.au
107 x 77 x 136 350
GROTIME C34 Babe
02 6350 7000
  106 x 72 x 108 349
IKEA Leksvik
www.ikea.com.au
91 x 80 x 137 349
KINGPARROT Scout
www.king-parrot.com.au
100 x 79 x 139 470
LOVE N CARE Classic
www.lovencare.com.au
108 x 84 x 139 599
REGENT Nu Gembrook
www.babyco.com.au
  113 x 76 x 135 499
SUNBURY Dreamtime C102
www.sunburynursery.com.au
112 x 77 x 136 525
SWALLOW Jessie
www.babyco.com.au
116 x 75 x 136 289
Failed at least one safety test
DELTA Jasmine
www.toysrus.com.au
  130 x 77 x 141 550
MOTHER'S CHOICE Bellevue
www.igc.com.au
 
111 x 79 x 139
299
 

* Maximum dimensions when in use, rounded up to the next cm.

Table notes

Safety tests and information requirements See How we tested, below for an explanation of these results.

Price Recommended or average retail as of September 2008.

How we tested

The cots were assessed against selected clauses from the Australian/New Zealand standard for cots, AS/NZS 2172:2003.

  • Safety Includes tests to make sure the cot is deep enough to prevent a child falling out, there are no sharp edges or protrusions, and no head, limb or finger entrapment hazards.
  • Information Adequate instructions and labels regarding assembly, maintenance, mattress specifications, safe use, date of manufacture and supplier contact. This information is important, but not as much as the safety tests; failure of information requirements is usually a relatively minor problem.

Profiles - What to buy

Childcare Harbour XT 091132-007

Price $350

Good points 

  • Passed all our safety tests. 
  • Passed all information requirements. 
  • Converts to a junior bed (bed rails supplied).

Bad points

  • Nothing in particular.

Kingparrot Scout

Price $470

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests.
  • Converts to a junior bed.

Bad points

  • Minor failure of information requirements.

Love n Care Classic

Price $599

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests.
  • Passed all information requirements.
  • Converts to a junior bed (bed rails supplied).
  • Has a storage drawer under the cot.

Bad points

  • Nothing in particular.

Sunbury Dreamtime C102

Price $525

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests.
  • Converts to a junior bed (bed rails supplied).

Bad points

  • Minor failure of information requirements.

 

Product profiles - the rest

  • The Grotime, IKEA, Regent and Swallow also passed our safety tests and are recommended, but have some niggling bad points. 
  • The Delta and Mother's Choice failed safety tests. The risk of these failures causing an incident or injury may be small, but the failures are nevertheless unacceptable.

Grotime C34 babe

Price $349

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests.
  • Compact design.
  • Mattress supplied.

Bad points

  • Information re the supplied mattress was inconsistent; if you ever need to buy a new mattress for this cot,
    the correct dimensions are 690 x 1000 x 100mm. The manufacturer advised that they have since upgraded this cot to address the information error.
  • Dropside buttons are a bit slippery to operate.

IKEA Leksvik

Price $349

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests. 
  • Converts to a junior bed (bed conversion end trims supplied).

Bad points

  • Minor failure of information requirements.
  • Tedious to assemble, though the instructions are reasonably good.

Regent Nu Gembrook

Price $499

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests.

Bad points

  • Minor failure of information requirements.
  • Dropside isn't very smooth to operate.

The manufacturer advised that a junior bed conversion kit will be included as an option in future.

Swallow Jessie

Price $289

Good points

  • Passed all our safety tests. 
  • Passed all information requirements. 
  • Converts to a junior bed.

Bad points

  • It has a protruding dropside release lever; it passed our safety tests but could be better designed.

Delta Jasmine

Price $550

Good points

  • Nothing in particular.

Bad points

  • Failed safety tests. It has a protrusion hazard. When the mattress base is in the lower position,
    the upper base support sticks out too far – which a child could bump its head against.
  • The cot also has a finger trap between the base rail and the rear (fixed) side;
    this small gap may be due to manufacturing variations.
  • Minor failure of information requirements.

The manufacturer advised that they have had this cot certified to the A/NZ standard. The problems we found may be due to manufacturing variations.

Mother's Choice Bellevue

Price $199

Good points

  • Nothing in particular.

Bad points

  • Failed a safety test. It failed the depth test with the mattress base in either upper or lower position.
    When using the maximum recommended mattress (150mm thick) the distance from mattress top to the
    top of the dropside when raised is too little, increasing the chance a child in the cot could climb or fall out. 
  •  Minor failure of information requirements.

The manufacturer disagreed with our findings regarding the safety failure, and said the information labelling has now been corrected.

Cot essentials

  • Take a tape measure with you when you’re shopping for a cot.
  • Standards certified The cot should be certified to AS/NZS 2172, preferably the current 2003 version; most parts of this standard are actually mandatory. Our tests show that some cots with this label might still fail some safety criteria, perhaps due to manufacturing variations, but standards certification is the benchmark. Most cots are certified when first produced, but might then be manufactured for several years without ever being re-certified, which means manufacturing variations can subtly change the cot over time. Choice tests frequently pick up such problems. We think manufacturers should get their cots re-certified at least every two years as does the peak industry body, the Infant and Nursery Products Association of Australia.
  • Sturdy and durable All components should be permanently fixed or require the use of a tool to take apart.
  • Deep enough to stop a child from falling out The distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the lowest side when the dropside is closed should be at least 500mm when the base is set in the lowest position. The depth should be 300mm when it is in the upper position. The depth should also be at least 150mm when the dropside is down.
  • The mattress fits snugly around all sides. When you choose a mattress, make sure there is no more than a 40mm gap between the edge of the mattress and the adjacent cot side when the mattress is pushed to the opposite side. Gaps at the sides are a suffocation risk – your baby could roll face-first into them.
  • There are no head entrapment hazards. Any large space or opening must be between 50mm and 95mm to stop your baby from either getting caught or falling out.
  • No limb entrapment hazards. Smaller openings should not be between 30mm and 50mm wide.
  • No finger entrapment hazards Any space or opening should not be between 5mm and 12mm wide, so little fingers don’t get caught.
  • The dropside should be secure and smooth to operate. The dropside on the cot should be impossible for a child to open but should be convenient for the child’s carer to operate.
  • No hazardous protrusions Nothing should stick out or point up that could hit a child’s head or snag on their clothing.
  • Finish All the components of the cot should be blunted, smooth and gently contoured.
  • No footholds There shouldn’t be any component or structure in the cot that could be used by the child as a ledge for climbing out.
  • Dropside clearance When you open the dropside, it should be at least 50mm off the floor to clear your feet.

Addidtional features

  • Junior bed conversion If the cot converts to a junior bed, you’ll get much longer use from it.
  • Teething strips These are plastic strips on the wooden edges of the cot, such as the top of the dropside, so that neither the baby nor the cot is damaged if it’s chewed on.
  • Castors/brakes Castor wheels make the cot easier to move around, but there should be lockable brakes on at least two wheels.

Cots and the environment

Is it a good idea to reuse an old or secondhand cot? Not always. In Australia, cots have been subject to a mandatory standard only since 1998, and our tests show that not every cot sold since then meets the standard. So before accepting a used cot, check that it’s safe (see What to look for) and always buy a new, correctly fitting mattress for it, as the old mattress may create a SIDS risk if it’s too soft (see Safe sleeping below), or it could just be dirty.

If you’re buying a new cot, there are ways to reduce its environmental impact, and possibly save money too. A cot that converts to a junior bed is one way. When your baby has outgrown the cot, you simply remove the sides to transform it to a small bed. Some cots need the addition of bed rails at the sides, for strength, which is fine as long as the mattress is firm and fits snugly against the rails and bed ends so there are no gaps (which are suffocation hazards).

By converting the cot to a bed, you’ll get a few more years’ use from it. Look also for claims of sustainable manufacture. In this test, the Grotime, Kingparrot, Mother's Choice, and Sunbury claim to be made from plantation timber.
Safe sleeping

The number of SIDS cases, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as cot death), where a baby dies unexpectedly from no known cause, is on the decline. That’s probably because some of the causes are now understood and well publicised. Here are some tips for making sure your baby sleeps safely:

  • Put your baby on his or her back to sleep. 
  • Make sure your baby’s face stays uncovered during sleep – there should be no loose bedding, quilts, pillows, soft toys and cot bumpers in the cot. 
  • Keep your baby smoke-free, before birth and after – babies exposed to tobacco smoke have an increased risk of SIDS. 
  • For the first six to 12 months, keep the cot in your room so you can easily check your baby is safe. But don’t share your bed with your baby; there’s a risk to the baby from slipping under the bedding, getting too hot, being trapped between a parent and a wall, or being rolled on.

See sidsandkids.org for more information.