Sleepyhead Grand Safety Issue


** Update I have now received the new Sleepyhead Grand **

Last week on 7th November I experienced a big safety issue with our Sleepyhead Grand. I awoke in the morning to some strange noise over the baby monitor. After going into my daughters room, I found that she had a mouth full of hollow fibre and way having a coughing fit. She had managed to un-zip the bottom of the Sleepyhead Grand and was pulling out and eating the hollow fibre. I quickly cleared her mouth and gave her a big hug. She seemed OK after this as I collected all the pieces around her cot.

Darcey's Sleepyhead Grand

This is how I found Darcey’s Sleepyhead Grand that morning

Sleepyhead hollow fibre

The hollow fibre I took out of her mouth and collected around her cot.

Medical Advice

I called John Lewis who I purchased the product from as my concern was is the filling Toxic? John Lewis were fantastic and quickly called back to confirm there was nothing toxic within the filling that would cause Darcey harm. I also spoke to my doctor that morning explaining what had happened and I was unsure if she had swallowed any. She appeared to be OK after a close watch for two hours and the advice was as long as she wasn’t sick no A&E.

Sleepyhead Grand Mattress

I bought my Sleepyhead Grand from John Lewis in August so it’s not that old. Darcey had the Sleepyhead Deluxe before and I believe it’s worth every penny. She sleeps like a dream in her Sleepyhead and won’t go to sleep without it. I never gave the construction of the product a second thought until last week.

Sleepyhead Grand Construction

From left to right, bumper cushion, mattress pad, cotton pillow case and pod cover

This is the product broken down. A hollow fibre mattress pad goes into a cotton pillow case. This is then zipped into the pod cover and the bumper zipped around the outside. All very simple and easy to wash which is a must with children. The Sleepyhead Grand is designed for children 8-36 months.

Sleepyhead Grand Mattress in cover

This is the Sleepyhead Grand mattress pad inside the cotton cover, before it would go in the Pod cover. There isn’t enough fabric to cover the end properly.

Safety Issue

Darcey at only 10 months has managed to undo the zip at the bottom of the product in her cot. She has then slipped in her small hand and started pulling out tiny pieces of the mattress pad. Which being only 10 months old has ended up in her mouth. There are 2 big issues here;

  1. The zips are easy for the baby to grab at due to the long tags. You have to unclip the bottom when in use so it’s not hard for the baby to access.
  2. There is no mesh over my mattress pad like there is over the bumper cushions. The cotton pillowcase doesn’t go far enough over to stop little hands getting in.
Sleepyhead Grand Zip

Sleepyhead Grand Zip at the base of the product

Sleepyhead grand

Whilst there is a mesh over the bumper on the left. The mattress is just hollow fibre, right.

Next steps

John Lewis have been amazing regarding this whole complaint and have started a full investigation. I have contacted Sleepyhead directly as well as they are the manufacturer. It took 48 hours for them to get back to me and after a 25 minute call assuring me there would be an investigation I thought it was being taken seriously. Sleepyhead explained that the mattress pad design has been changed and now the hollow fibre in enclosed in a mesh as per the bumper cushions. This update would at least solve one of the safety issues.

Sleepyhead offered to send me a new mattress pad but I pushed for an investigation. How many Sleepyhead Grand pods are out there like mine that could be dangerous for babies? I don’t want to open a newspaper and see a child has choked and I didn’t raise a concern. I’m not unreasonable, baby products are made to the best standards. When a consumer has an accident or near miss with a child using a product, something needs to be done urgently.

The new Sleepyhead Grand arrived this morning, unfortunately despite Sleepyhead saying they have changed the mattress pad and made it safer, the pod I received is identical to the one she had the accident with. This is why I don’t think they are taking it seriously. John Lewis have confirmed they have checked their stock and hold the newer version of the mattress pad.

Sleepyhead Grand

The new Sleepyhead Grand I received unzipped at the bottom. Has the same safety issue

If you own a Sleepyhead Grand

If you own a Sleepyhead Grand please check the mattress pod. Darcey won’t sleep without hers so until I can get a replacement with the correct mattress pad this is what I’ve done;

  1. taken a sheet and placed it over the open end of the cotton cover by the zip opening
  2. sewn the zip shut

These are temporary measures as I will need to wash the cover so are by no means a solution. However I have a baby who won’t sleep properly without the product so I do want to get it sorted. Whilst I don’t believe Sleepyhead have dealt with this issue very well I would like to say the staff at John Lewis, especially the Southampton nursery team have gone above and beyond to assist.

Please help me raise awareness of this issue as other parents out there will be using this version of the pod. I don’t want any child put at risk. Ideally if you do have an older design mattress pad like me then I would hope Sleepyhead would offer you a free replacement for the new version or another appropriate solution.

*** UPDATE***

I have spoken to the UK distributor of Sleepyhead at length this evening 17/11/16. She has assured me that Sleepyhead are taking this extremely seriously and are investigating, the founder is devostated that this has happened. She has also confirmed that all Sleepyhead Grand pods for sale in the UK at the moment should be the new design from all retailers. I hope this put’s the minds at rest for those who want to purchase the product. I appreciate investigations take time and they will get back to me shortly with an update. So please in the meantime just check your pod and take some simple steps to keep little hands away from the inner.

I have made some suggestions to Sleepyhead;

  1. Customers could be advised to sew the white cotton mattress cover shut for the time being.
  2. If the mattress cover had the opening at the head end and the seam by the zip end, this may solve the problem.


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  • Reply ChelseaMamma

    I have never heard of one of these before and it must have been so scary. I am glad to hear that the manufacturer is taking it seriously and that they have changed their design

    November 23, 2016 at 6:52 am
  • Reply Evelina

    This is really unacceptable! great that you noticed this.

    November 21, 2016 at 11:50 am
  • Reply Hannah Smith

    Glad she’s ok. Possible short term solution; put the pad inside a pillowcase with the opening at the opposite end to the zip then inside its case. Just an extra barrier that doesn’t stop you washing.

    November 21, 2016 at 12:10 am
    • Reply Lisa

      I agree Hannah I had the same idea. I’ve discussed this with the UK distribution contact and asked her to forward back to Sleepyhead.

      November 21, 2016 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Kerry Norris

    That’s terrible! A baby shouldn’t be able to do that! I really hope they are taking this safety issue seriously. Seems like John Lewis were good, shame sleepyhead weren’t the same x

    November 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Kerry. John Lewis have been amazing. Sleepyhead are definitely taking it seriously now. I didn’t realise they are such a small company and maybe don’t have the same manpower to deal with this as John Lewis. x

      November 21, 2016 at 10:39 am
  • Reply Lisa

    Thanks she fine now, just needs to be sorted out for all other parents.

    November 20, 2016 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Renna

    Crazy that this can happen, very scary. I think every parents hates leaving the babies to sleep. Even though mine arnt babies anymore I still go an check on them when they are sleeping ….. And wait until I can hear them breathing.

    November 19, 2016 at 9:59 am
    • Reply Lisa

      I’m glad it’s not just me then, I check on my boys aged 8 & 9 every night and do the same x

      November 19, 2016 at 11:45 am
  • Reply clairejustine

    Oh my gosh, how scary:( Glad to hear everything was OK.

    It was a good job you manged to let them know so it can be made aware of for all other mums who have this..

    November 18, 2016 at 9:45 am
  • Reply wha2wear

    I didn’t know this was a thing! It looks really useful x

    November 18, 2016 at 8:31 am
  • Reply Sophie Durrans

    I’ll have to go check on mine now as we’ve just bought a sleepyhead grand. Scary to think what could’ve happened! Glad Darcey is OK.

    November 17, 2016 at 10:27 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Hopefully if you just bought it it’s fine. They have told me all the ones for sale in the UK now should be the new mattress x.

      November 19, 2016 at 11:48 am
  • Reply karenparrysurvivor

    That is so dangerous with a baby you think there be a lining inside to stop the fiber being pulled out by a child.

    November 17, 2016 at 8:52 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks for the comment Karen, yes the new design pod does have this feature. Anyone with the old design should ensure they can cover the mattress completely x

      November 17, 2016 at 8:53 pm
  • Reply Agata @BarkTime

    This is just horrible. I can’t believe they’ve shipped to you the same products with the same fault. I truly hope they will fix it asap.

    November 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks I had an email saying it was old stock and unfortunately it was sent out in error. They are sending me a new mattress pad.

      November 17, 2016 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Jayne (@SMABLblog)

    Oh my days! So glad little one was ok. Well done for bringing attention to this hazard. Nice to hear John Lewis were so helpful, they are fab x

    November 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Victoria

    How scary! I have just emailed them as we have the old style mattres pod! Fingers crossed they do something! .. xx

    November 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Victoria in the mean time try a cot sheet over the mattress or sew up the cotton liner would be my suggestions x

      November 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Laura Dove

    So glad that you shared this, I will share it now too!

    November 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Laura, I appreciate you sharing x

      November 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply motherhoodtherealdeal

    Oh my goodness this is terrible! Well done for raising the alarm on what could be a hugely dangerous matter x

    November 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks I hoping a quick solution can be found and that a simple fix can stop another child doing the same x

      November 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply Cathy Glynn

    Thank goodness your little one is alright. I hope the company take note and acknowledge your concerns x

    November 17, 2016 at 10:49 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Cathy they are investigating at the moment x

      November 17, 2016 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply Rebecca Phillips

    Oh my goodness, this is so scary! They definitely need to rethink that zip design so that no little hands can master it! Glad your little one is okay.

    November 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Yes either improve the zip design or just simply make the product inside safe and covered. I think this is how the new design is.

      November 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm
  • Reply Lizzy

    Hello – this made my heart race reading this! We have the older version as having washed the covers several times since we bought it in March, I know the hollow fibre is not fully enclosed or covered in mesh. I don’t suppose you have a contact at Sleepyhead that you could pass on? I bought ours via the now defunct NCT shop so no comeback there I don’t think x

    November 16, 2016 at 8:40 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      I had a phone number for someone who called me to discuss however she has told me I need to email That’s as far as I’ve got. They did reply to my email tonight and said they would send me a new mattress pod which would solve my issue. I think they need to offer this to everyone. Please let me know how you get on x

      November 16, 2016 at 8:44 pm
      • Reply Lizzy

        Thank you so much for getting back so quickly. Like you we had the small sleepyhead and love the product, but not happy to have missed out on the newer, safer version! Will let you know how I get on xx

        November 16, 2016 at 8:48 pm
        • Reply Lisa

          Hi Lizzy I’ve updated the post tonight. Had a long chat with the UK distributor, she mentioned Sleepyhead have got a few emails since yesterday and they were surprised and wondered where they were coming from. They are investigating and I’s sure they have your email. Keep me updated x

          November 17, 2016 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply Abbie

    I’m so glad I saw this on the parent blogger Facebook group as we have this for our daughter and would never have considered this an issue! Thank you for sharing this Hun and I’m glad your daughter is ok! I hope this issue is resolved ASAP! I’ve shared it on fb and twitter xx

    November 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Abbie. I didn’t think it would be an issue either all the times I’ve changed the cover. I never thought she’d undo the zip herself! I just want to get the message out for other parents to check their Sleepyheads and maybe alter them or contact Sleepyhead. She’s fine but only because I heard her on the baby monitor. x

      November 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Emma

    I have checked my sleepyhead. The cotton cover doubles up around the mattress on mine so think we must have the latest model as only got it last week. Good thing to promote people to check though xxx

    November 16, 2016 at 2:23 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Glad you have the newer model. It is a great product just wanted to warn people who own the older model. If you know anyone else please get them to check x

      November 16, 2016 at 2:29 pm

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