Product Type: John Lewis furniture
Newest Review: ... the cot. The mattress I purchased fits snugly into the base with no gaps at any of the sides and I'd completely recommend buying ... more
Sleeping like a baby
John Lewis Luca Cot
Member Name: chrisandmark
John Lewis Luca Cot
Advantages: Easy to assemble, comfortable for David to sleep in, has lasted really well
Disadvantages: The rattling drop-side is a total pain in the proverbial, narrower than other cots, no teething bar
In the past week my two year old son has made the transition into a 'big boy' bed and I've just spotted Mark loading the now unused cot into the back of his van to take to the charity shop - it's quite sad really, feeling like the end of an era as I'm not planning anymore children so waving goodbye to this final cot has made me feel almost bereft. It's been a super cot though, considering it cost less that £100 I've had two full years use out of it and it's still in perfect condition hence why it's going to find another home rather than be broken up to use in our chiminea as was the plan last week.
Ours is a white cot although at the time of purchase it was also available in a light brown colour, I chose the white as I thought the brown one looked a little 'unfinished'. Both are the same price (£69) and neither come with mattresses, although you can purchase a mattress to fit from John Lewis for around £35 at the moment of writing (I paid £29 for my mattress). It arrives flat-packed as you'd expect for this very cheap price but there's a very good sheet of instructions included, as well as all fixtures and fittings being present and correct (including Allen keys) which is always a bonus I find when buying this type of item! We didn't need the instructions to be honest as not only do we have sixteen years worth of experience in erecting cots, but the Luca is also very straightforward and designed so that you can't really go wrong - the most fiddly aspect when putting it together was attaching the drop-side, but that is invariably the awkward part of assembling any cot so I can't really moan too much about that. I'd guesstimate it took Mark twenty minutes to put the cot together, this was without any help from me as I was days away from giving birth and completely not in the right frame of mind for 'building things'.
There are two positions for the mattress to go in, when David was a tiny baby we fitted it at the highest position to make nighttime feeding and the constant in-and-out easier but as soon as he was able to pull himself up (and thereby risk him falling out of the cot!) we moved the mattress down and that's where it has stayed. Again, this is an easy job and involves only loosening the ends of the cot slightly in order to push the cot base into the lower position before tightening it all up again - literally a five minute job. This is quite a compact cot with a length of 48" and a 24" width - these numbers may look pretty low, but bear in mind that David is a bulky child and we've had no problems at all about his sleeping space. Obviously the narrowness means he'd sometimes hit the bars of the cot with his arm (or occasionally his face!) while sleeping but to be honest he's such a tosser and turner in his sleep that this would probably happen even with a much wider cot.
The drop-side has been a pain in the backside from the moment David was big enough to start taking notice of his surroundings. Always a noisy boy, he learned from an early age that if he touched the drop-side with the most featherlight touch he could make a rattling sound - fast forward a couple of months and he was able to create the most apocalyptic crashing/scraping noise by putting all his weight into rocking the drop-side. There was never any danger of it falling off, but the absolutely ridiculously loud noise was enough to get me taping it up tightly to the ends of the cot and foregoing the use of the drop-side in order not to be woken at 4am by this horrendous racket. This has never happened with any of our other cots and looking at it now I can see that it's due to the fact that the construction is a little 'cheap' with the rod which allows the drop-side to move being far too loose and not keeping it as tightly in place as it should - actually I knew this anyway as I always thought the drop-side of this particular cot was extremely loose and although the locking mechanism worked well it always seemed to me that there wasn't enough resistance whenever I used it.
I'm far more impressed with the base of the cot than I thought I would be, it's constructed of lots of very slim slats which initially I didn't think would be strong enough to hold the mattress and a growing baby - based on these slats I thought David might not be able to use it safely once he hit around the twelve month mark, especially as he's always been somewhat of a 'bouncer'. I kept a close eye on these slats, always on the lookout for cracks starting to appear, but even now (two years later) they're still in superb condition and look as strong as they did when I first purchased the cot. The mattress I purchased fits snugly into the base with no gaps at any of the sides and I'd completely recommend buying the John Lewis mattress if you want an equally good fit thanks to the fact that this cot is a bit of an awkward size (compared to other cots in the same price bracket) and unless you're very careful you could easily buy a mattress from elsewhere and find it doesn't fit as nicely as it should.
Aesthetically the cot is lovely; it's nothing special really but considering the cheap price you can't really expect a Mamas & Papas level of embellishment. I've never been wholly struck on the appearance of white cots but am pleased with this one as it's nicely glossy with nice shaping to the head and foot boards - I brightened the cot up with funky sheets (also available from John Lewis, although to be honest I used single bed sheets and tucked them tightly underneath the mattress) and a selection of cuddlies (invariably thrown out each morning). My only complaint really is the lack of a teething bar along the cot sides as David is a big chewer and has dented the wood in several places, none of the paint has flaked off or even cracked but I feel a plastic strip would have resulted in the cot looking brand new for much longer as this is the only issue I've had regarding the construction of it. The shiny wood is easily wiped over so using a baby wipe I've managed to keep it looking in super condition, there's a strange unidentified 'wet wood stain' on one of the slats which I have absolutely no idea where it came from but it's not shifting so I've had to leave it - obviously the mattress covers it, but I'm curious now as to how it happened considering these slats haven't been open to the elements at all during the life of the cot!
I recommend this cot, and am glad I went for the cheaper option this time rather than laying out mega-bucks as I usually do when buying my kids their cots. Admittedly it's more 'spindly' looking than other (vastly more expensive) cots I've used in the past, but it's proved to be a good, comfortable and long lasting buy - which is all that matters really with a purchase of this type.
Summary: An excellent budget cot which comes highly recommended by me and David