Passing the firmness test
Following the safety failure of three cot mattresses in the CHOICE testing labs, we're calling for the 'firmness test' to be made mandatory.
We recently tested 12 cot mattresses and found products from Childcare, Sealy and Love N Care failed the firmness test, which is designed to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) through suffocation. The firmness test has been in place on a voluntary basis since 2013.
Australia safety standard lacking
Safety requirements for cots regarding height and gaps around the mattress are currently mandatory, but the test method set out in the Australian Standard for 'sleep surfaces – test for firmness' is not.
In addition, the voluntary mattress firmness test is only in place for mattresses supplied with the cot, not mattresses sold separately.
"With the mandatory Australian Standard for cots set to be reviewed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this year, it's time to put our kids' safety first and mandate the 'firmness test'," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.
DIY cot mattress safety check
If you're concerned about a mattress you're currently using, you can conduct a simple home test that will give a rough indication of the mattress's firmness. We show you how to do this test yourself in our buying guide to cot mattresses.
Cot mattress buying tips
- Look for a new mattress that meets mandatory Australian Standard and the voluntary 'firmness test' standard. Read our cot mattress reviews to find the ones we recommend.
- Always buy a new mattress that fits correctly.
- An old mattress may create a SIDS or breathability risk if it's too soft.