Have you ever thought about what's in your baby’s cot mattress?

Have you ever thought about what's in your baby’s cot mattress?

Have you ever thought about what's in your baby’s cot mattress?

Have you ever thought about what's in your baby’s cot mattress? What it's made of, what bacteria has built up in it over time, and what off gassing it might be producing? When I had my son, Liam (4), I had his cot mattress made especially, as I wasn’t happy with what was available on the market. I realise this is not a luxury most people have on offer, but having grown up in the bedding industry, I was very particular about what I wanted for him and it actually ended up easier for me to have his mattress made, rather than to continue searching for one I was happy with!

My main concern was not knowing what the imported cot mattresses were made of; what foams and glues went into them (this is a maybe not a common concern, but again, having grown up in the bedding and foams industry, it was an important one for me), and what kind of off gassing was being produced. I know there are natural options on the market, like latex mattresses, but latex is known to be a really hot material that retains heat. This is not ideal for babies as they have trouble regulating their temperatures, and overheating can be really dangerous.

So, this is where I came to the conclusion to have my own mattress made for Liam. But, even if you have access to a bedding factory like I do, having a mattress made especially for every baby you have is not the most eco-friendly solution! Luckily, by the time Amelia (2) was born, I had just launched Growbright, so I was able to put her on our airnest mattress.

Why couldn’t I just re-use the mattress I had made for Liam you ask? Well, in all honestly I probably could have. It was stored in a nice dry place, so there wasn’t much chance of mould building up in it. He only had one really bad bug while he was on it, where he spilled right through into the mattress. When this happened I spot cleaned the mattress as best I could and left it out in the sun for it to work its natural anti-bacterial magic. But who knows what bacteria was left over from this, and what allergens and dust mites were living in it. It is suggested you replace your mattresses between children, so realistically if I hadn’t brought the airnest mattress to market, I probably would have had a whole new mattress made for Amelia.

This is where the beauty of the airnest mattress comes in. Because it is 100% washable, there is no chance of mould, bacteria, dust mites or allergens building up in the core. This means you can re-use it for younger siblings, or re-gift it to friends and family. Once it has reached the end of its life, the airnest mattress core can be recycled, saving any springs or foams from going into landfill!

What about the off-gassing we mentioned earlier? The airnest mattress is made from a food-grade polymer, which doesn’t contain phthalates or any unsafe additives. Toxic chemicals are not released into the environment when, or after, it’s produced. And the airmesh mattress cover is Oeko-Tex class one, classified safe for babies.

I know it can all get pretty overwhelming, as parents of a newborn there is already so much to think about, and now I’m throwing the cot mattress into the mix! It’s a common misconception that just because you can buy ‘X’ product from a big baby store, it’s sure to be safe. This is not the case, so many baby products do not have mandatory safety standards to adhere to! We honestly aren’t trying to scare monger anyone into buying our mattress, we just want to educate people on some of the things they should look out for when they are considering what mattress to buy. When you think about it, you are leaving your baby on the mattress for 10-12 hours (if they’re sleeping through!), so it’s worth checking they are spending all that time somewhere safe.

Here’s a recap below:


  1. Make sure it is clean and dry. If you are purchasing a second hand mattress, or using one gifted from friends or family; ask about any nasty bugs the previous baby had, and where it has been stored.
  2. Make sure the mattress is made from breathable materials. Not only is this important for when they start to roll onto their tummies, it is also important for air flow and temperature regulation. Having a breathable mattress can reduce risk factors associated with SIDs.
  3. Ask where it was imported from, so you know if it’s a reputable company.
  4. Not mentioned above, but you should check that the mattress you want to buy was tested for firmness. This is not a mandatory standard in NZ or Australia, but it is really important as a mattress that is too soft can become a suffocation risk if the baby sinks down at all. The airnest mattress has been tested in accordance and met the voluntary standard: AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infants products, Method 1: Sleep Surfaces – test for firmness.

Questions? Email us and we'll do our best to help you out!

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