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Last updated: 17 March 2017

Any sleep surface that's too soft could increase the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). But how firm should a cot mattress be? We test a range of mattresses to see if they pass the Australian standard method. We also check if dimensions are accurate. For more, see how we test, and read our tips for buying a safe cot mattress (including how to check the firmness yourself).

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Until recently, there was no way of telling whether a cot mattress was firm enough to be safe for your baby. Even now, mattresses can be legally sold without officially meeting any product safety requirements. However, responsible manufacturers test their mattresses to the voluntary standard AS/NZ 8811.1:2013, which outlines a method to detect mattress firmness.

Our results show:

  • which cot mattresses passed the firmness test, which involves placing a test apparatus at various locations around the mattress (including a worst-case scenario location decided on by the tester) and seeing whether it sinks too deeply into the surface. Some manufacturers whose products we failed have shown us lab results to say they have passed, but they will be reviewing their test and manufacturing procedures as well as packaging methods (eg vacuum-packed) to minimise any inconsistencies.
  • whether the claimed measurements match up with the actual measurements. We score a mattress down if the thickness is significantly more than stated, as this could end up being a fall risk depending on the depth of the cot (a cot should be a minimum of 50cm when the base is set in the lowest position, and 30cm in the upper position).

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models are safe. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

Did you know CHOICE tests much more than just cot mattresses? Check out our Top 50 reviews.

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Whether the cot mattresses pass the sleep surface test method for firmness, AS/NZS 9911.1:2013. Parents are advised by safety experts to always choose a 'firm' mattress to minimise the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).




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  • Recommended
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