Want to talk to a journo about cot safety?

CHOICE tests a lot of cots and portable cots, and we consistently find that too many cot mattresses are not firm enough.

A mattress that isn’t firm enough can create a risk of suffocation for infants - this is a serious issue.

We’re looking for any mums or dads in the Community who have concerns about the safety of cots being sold in Australia, and who would be willing to speak to a journalist about this.

By getting involved, you will be helping us campaign for better, stronger safety laws in Australia. Everyone should be able to trust that the cots they buy for their babies are safe, but currently our tests indicate that is not always the case.

If you’re interested in speaking to a journalist and being a part of this campaign, please get in touch with me either in this thread or via sagar@choice.com.au


I get worried about the vinyl/plastic covered ones or the mattress protectors of the same ilk that are to stop the pee ruining the mattress. This creates a barrier for breathing to children that roll onto their stomachs. I haven’t been shopping for any in the last 30 years but seem to recollect some purchased by family members for our grandkids.


Is there an Australian standard for cot mattresses?


Great question, @kushami!

There are mandatory Australian standards for cots and portable cots, and each has requirements for mattresses that are included with the cot (i.e. portable cot mattresses must be ‘firm’, and household cot mattresses need to meet certain size requirements to prevent gaps).

However, there is no mandatory standard for cot mattresses sold alone. So, theoretically if you buy a cot with a mattress, that mattress should meet certain safety requirements in the standard. If you buy your mattress separately, though, you might be in a worse position.


To add to Sarah’s comment, there is a voluntary cot mattress firmness test which forms part of the cot standard, and we test to this in our cot mattress reviews. It’s a special apparatus that we place on the surface. You can see it in action here:


That’s interesting, Sarah. Seems like a dangerous loophole. I can imagine people buying or being given a second-hand cot, and getting a new mattress to go in it. Horrible to think that by being thrifty, they might inadvertently use an unsafe mattress.

I don’t have any children, so I can’t take part in your interview. I’m surprised that child safety and SIDS-prevention organisations haven’t campaigned on this. (Or maybe they have campaigned unsuccessfully?)

Given that the standard already exists, it would be easy to extend it to all cot mattresses, regardless of how they are sold.