Buying a cot for your little one is a big responsibility. You want to make sure you get everything right – from cot style to the safest mattress. Don’t worry we’re here to help make buying one much easier.
Like a lot of baby essentials, there are many rules and regulations when it comes to buying a crib or cot. Stores like Mothercare and Mamas and Papas are a great place to start looking as they have a wide range.
Our cot-buying guide will make choosing your little ones crib much easier. We’ve got some safety tips to keep in mind when shopping as well as some top sellers from well-known baby stores around the UK.
Where to buy one: Best cribs
First up, its time to have a look at some of the bestselling cots in the UK at the moment and where you can buy them from.
Mothercare’s bestselling cot
Age range: Suitable from birth to 2 years.
Features: The Mothercare Darlington cot is part of the coordinating Darlington furniture collection. It features fixed sides, complete with protective teething rails and three different mattress base heights. Younger babies can sleep with the mattress raised to the highest point allowing you to lift your baby in an out of the cot without straining your back. The Darlington cot requires a 120x60cm mattress which is available separately.
GoodtoKnow: As your little one grows, and gets more active, the cot base can be lowered to allow them to stand safely inside.
Mamas & Papas’ bestselling cot
Age range: Suitable from birth to 2 years approx.
Features: This cot will complete any nursery. The cot is approved by the British Security Standards. You’ll need to buy a mattress separately to the cot but Mamas & Papas have a suitable, safe range.
GoodtoKnow: Measurements for this cot are as follows; H: 99 x W: 138 x L: 69cm approx.
Amazon’s bestselling cot
Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot (Black) £33.90Age range: Suitable for newborns to toddlers.
Features: This portable cot has been fully safety tested, is easy to assemble, has fully padded top rails and is a great buy if you’re on the go a lot and looking for a safe travel cot to bring along with you.
GoodtoKnow: This cot includes the mattress and also a additional carry bag for keeping all of your baby essentials in one place.
John Lewis’s bestselling cot
Age range: Suitable from birth.
Features: It has two base positions and a drop side. Made from solid pine, it’s designed with narrow bars on every side so baby can see out, while parents can easily see in. Also includes teething rails for added safety and the updated dropside feature, which locks at the top and bottom in line with new regulations.
GoodtoKnow: This cot measures H124.5 x W67.5 x D93cm.
How to buy a cheap cot
We’re all about saving money here at GoodtoKnow so we’re sharing some of our top tips for buying a cot on the cheap.
- Online vs in store: When it comes to buying a new cot, its best to go to the shop and see it in the flesh before you buy online. Sometimes stores offer discount price when you buy in store, and sometimes they have better deals online – either way you should definitely see the cot or crib before you buy it.
- Second hand: Some baby products really are best bought from new but if you’re really short on money and can’t make an exception second hand would work. Just make sure it complies with the safety regulations, has a BIS number and if you’re buying online, you collect in person so you can make sure its in working, safe condition. For a cot you’ll need to buy a brand new mattress – a second hand mattress is a big safety no no.
- Sales: Holding off until there are sales on is a great idea – Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, January sales and end of season sales are great for bagging yourself a bargain!
- Vouchers and discount codes: It’s always worth having a look on Google to find out if there’s any recent discount codes for the store you’re buying from – even if its free delivery, it’ll make a difference to your overall budget.
Cot safety guidelines
When buying a cot, you need to look out for the British safety standards code: BSEN716 which should be on all cots as well as the BSI number: BS 1877-10:1997 for the mattress for your cot.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a cot, including the following:
- Cot bars: The bars on your chosen cot should be vertical and the distance between the bars should be no more than 6.5cm apart so your baby can’t get stuck between the bars of the cot.
- Depth and space: The distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot sides should be at least 50cm, to prevent your baby from climbing out when they become more mobile. You need to make sure that your baby’s arms or legs cannot get caught down the side of the cot or between bars.
- Circulation: Some experts recommend cots with four sides that have bars to allow air to circulate freely around your baby when they sleep.
Mattress safety guidelines
Not only does the cot need to comply with a variety of rules and regulations, the mattress does too.
- New is best: Buying a new mattress is recommended instead of opting for a second hand one. If you’re trying to cut the cost and save some money when it comes to buying a mattress make sure you thoroughly check your second hand mattress. It needs to be clean, dry, free from cracks, tears with no sagging.
- Firm: The mattress you choose needs to be firm rather than soft and should be no thinner than 8cm.
- Size matters: Mattresses tend to come in two sizes, standard and continental and should fit the equivalent sizes of cots commonly available in the UK.
- Hygiene: When using your mattress, make sure you keep it as clean as you possibly can. You can buy mattresses with wipe clean covers or removable top panels which you can wash in the washing machine. A mattress protector is a good idea if not.
For more information on both cot and mattress safety our baby bed safety guide has all the info you need in regards to keeping your little one as safe as possible.
So-called budget brands are often cause for debate. It goes without saying that safety is priority, but cheaper brands still have to pass product quality and safety tests (and are sometimes manufactured by the same companies).
Second hand cots are ok but you need to make sure they still comply with the British safety standards.