I love Devon. The sea and it’s beaches: from the rugged to the beautiful. The quirky local towns and villages. The bleakness of the moor and the mysterious stories it holds. The contrasting character of Plymouth; (one minute you are fighting the crowds in Primark and half an hour later chilling on the Hoe looking out to sea) and the sophistication of Exeter (SO happy to be living here again). I love that patchwork quilt landscape, the woodlands and the stunning estuaries. The trains that run along the waters edge and the tiny toy-town airport. I love it’s gin, it’s wine, it’s rice pudding and custard. And now I love it’s…mattresses.
Naturalmat are the company that make the mattress Tot and I have carefully reviewed for the past 3 months. They are a Devon company: based on the bank of the River Exe, just outside of the town of Topsham, with a showroom located right next to the factory where it’s organic products are made.
Since my little lady was about 18 months old she suffered with restlessness and night sweats. There seemed to be no explanation for them as they would happen at different times of the year and occur randomly; not just when she was feeling poorly. Naturalmat were very confident that Tots would sleep better on their mattress: and I thought anything was worth a try for a few extra z’s.
So on the day our Devon mattress arrived, I unceremoniously chucked the old foam one into G’s man shed – there were no sad goodbyes; we were immediately taken in by the look of it’s replacement.
Most cot/cot-bed mattresses are pretty much a rectangle of foam, which you usually buy as a package with your cot. One click and it’s added to the basket. Excellent. The thing is, when getting ready for a new baby, there is so much advice on what you need to buy and where. Don’t get me started on the nightmare that is buggy and carseat research – I’ve just purchased our group 1-3 seats for the girls and my eyes are still square from staring at the screen until 1am. But when it came to a mattress I just presumed we’d be fine with whatever comes with the cot-bed, as long as it was clean and new (which is essential in reducing the risk of SIDS). And it was perfectly fine for the first year and a half. Our baby is on a foam mattress and *touch wood* sleeps fine, well as fine as any baby would. So I never thought to look for other options until now.
The new mattress looked and felt very different. It had a quality cushioned cover and was cream coloured (the cotton is completely un-dyed and natural) and it felt heavier. When I unzipped the cover, we were both pleased to find that we could peek at the materials inside:
The main ingredient in this organic mattress is coir – the husk (or ‘brown hairy bit’) of a coconut, which is cleverly pressed into breathable springy layers.
“Am I going to be sleeping on coconuts?!” enquired Tots excitedly, “WOW!”
A pause. I could see the cogs in her sweet pre-school head working.
“Mummy? Where are the coconuts from?”
“Well darling, I said smugly, “these ones are from Sri Lanka , grown on organic and environmentally responsible farms: with no pesticides or chemical fertilisers”.
….Haha of course I didn’t! I had to ask Naturalmat.
In the meantime, I told her they come from coconut trees. Obvs.
Tots set about bouncing as hard as she could on our brand new mattress. I didn’t mind this too much as it wasn’t like she was going to break a spring. The clever thing about these “coconuts” is that they are naturally springy; and to give them extra bounce and strength, a natural rubber latex is coated over them.
The latex is also used in the main sandwich filling of the mattress, along with lambswool.
*Puts on glasses in style of attractive intelligent generic scientist in white coat – as opposed to Nina from Nina and the Neurons with her manic pigtails and singing*
Here’s the science bit…
Latex is sap from the Hevea rubber trees, filled with air bubbles makes a supportive and durable mattress filling. Unlike the synthetic foams commonly used in mattresses like Tot’s old one; the nature of the latex and the way it’s made means that it’s completely hypoallergenic and breathable.
“Sheeps give us wool!” announced Tots, poking the lambswool part inside the mattress. Yes, yes they do. And the sheep (or baby sheep) that give us the wool in her mattress are as local as the brand itself: sourced from organic farms in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall. It’s naturally fire retardant yet also an excellent heat insulator. Another pro is that it’s anti microbial to keep away those pesky dust mites (the only mite welcome in our household is Gaston the Ladybird from Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – we had an influx of Gaston’s from the field opposite us the other week).
“It’s so soft – just like rabbits!” declared Tots. She went a bit diva like when it came to the percale cotton sheet provided, which was lovely and crisp I thought, but the little lady wanted it to be “more soft like rabbits”. So Naturalmat kindly provided her with a brushed cotton fitted sheet which I must say, is luscious to touch. Her baby sister is now sleeping on the percale and is perfectly happy with her excellent quality hand-me-down. Of course, the cotton is natural and that means it is unbleached, giving it a creamy colour. And with regards to any other nasties getting on it (sick, poo, all the delightful bodily fluids of a small human – always more than you think they can possibly contain), it’s not a problem because, as I later found, the sheets wash really well – as does the mattress protector (sold separately), which has a lovely brushed cotton top and unlike a lot of plastic waterproof covers you can get, is still breathable.
So that was the initial assessment and it was love at first sight.
But how did we actually get on?
The first night Tots was up and out of bed quite a bit. The excitement of a new mattress was all too much. She had been on a foam mattress for a couple of years, so changing to a completely new one must have felt a bit strange. Also children always do this, don’t they? The complete opposite of what you would expect, as soon as you get too cocky with your parenting. Every time. Bleary eyed the next day, I hoped things would improve.
They did. The next night, she didn’t get out of bed half as much and slept peacefully until 7am. This might not sound wow but really, at the time it was wow – for months, we had been woken every morning between the delightful hours of 5am and 6am.
7?! 7am is a lie in.
Fast forward a month…Tots got out of bed less and less and less…until she was sleeping through the night. Our 7 month old baby started sleeping through too, undisturbed by her big sis. I could not complain.
As for the night sweats. 1 month went by. No sweats.
2 months. No sweats.
3 months. No sweats.
3 months and November bugs hit our house: colds, sickness, diarrhoea, all the nasties. One night my poor little lady had a high temperature and I checked on her expecting to find her soaked. No sweats. Not a bit. She wore the same pjs she always wore, with the same duvet cover and the same toys lined up next to her. Amazing.
The mattress protector and sheets all washed and dried brilliantly, through leaky night nappies, sick n’ all. I was worried they would lose their “rabbit” softness in the wash, but this hasn’t happened at all, they are as good as new.
In conclusion, I’m surprised and over the moon at the results of our test. The mattress and bedding have really lived up to expectations and beyond. It can’t be a coincidence that these regular sweats have just stopped and her sleep (and therefore everyone elses) has improved so significantly. In the next couple of years my girl will be ready for a single bed and without a doubt I’m going straight to Naturalmat. Sleep is precious and so is she.
I carried out this review in exchange for a Naturalmat Baby quilted latex mat and bedding set.
The above review is my honest opinion, in my own words with information on the material origins provided by Naturalmat.