Infant mattress safety

April | 2020

Services should ensure that all infant mattresses, or sleeping services, are tested as safe.

What is an infant sleep surface?

An infant sleep surface can be any object, piece of furniture, or commercially produced baby product on which an unsupervised baby might be placed in a horizontal position. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • cots
  • prams
  • strollers
  • cradles
  • bassinets
  • travel cots
  • infant carriers
  • cocoons
  • infant sleep mats
  • adult beds.

Easy to test infant mattress suitability

Research studies have established that an infant mattress that is too soft is dangerous to infants aged 0–12 months.

The Education Standards Board has an instrument for testing mattresses available to borrow. Alternatively you can carry out a test yourself using household objects.

There is also useful information about what is a safe mattress on the Red Nose website. 

Other important sleep safety considerations

Information about safe sleeping is available from the Red Nose website.

Importance of sleep and rest

Regulation 81 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations states that education and care services must take reasonable steps to ensure the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children.

Element 2.1.1 of the National Quality Standard relates to each child’s comfort being provided for with appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.

Contact details

Education Standards Board
Phone: (08) 8226 0077 or 1800 882 413
Email: educationstandardsboard [at] 

This fact sheet provides guidance for approved providers of education and care services to help them operate in line with the National Quality Framework. We also recommend referring directly to the legislation: