Bumper pads for cots have been in our range for a long time, but since we’re always keen to further develop and improve our products, they've been renewed from time to time. LEN is a new update. This time we decided to make the soft polyester filling partly with plastic from recycled PET bottles. Since the bottles have been approved for foodstuffs, the material is safe and LEN feels like a good choice, both for babies and us adults.
During the first few months of life, a baby usually sleeps for a large part of the day. Children have different needs, but it often involves about 15-18 hours of sleep per day. A bumper pad in the cot can contribute to a snug sleeping environment where the child does not hit their head, legs or arms against the hard slats. A bumper pad usually has a filling which makes it soft and comfortable.
IKEA has made many bumper pads over the years, but since we never really sit back and think that the job is done, we continue to renew and improve our models.
When we set out to develop LEN bumper pad, we wanted to find an alternative to the traditional filling usually made from new, oil-based polyester.
Danguole Gvaldiene, who works with developing new baby products for Children's IKEA, explains why:
"At IKEA, we've taken the decision to eventually stop using fossil-based materials. This is why we chose to use polyester for LEN, which is mostly made from recycled PET bottles."
Large quantities of PET bottles are used for consumer goods throughout the world. Most are thrown away, but more and more are recycled and turned into new products. Since the recycled bottles have been approved for foodstuffs, the material is safe to use in products for both adults and children.
Children's IKEA follows the world's toughest safety standards and often we go one step further, since children are the most important people in the world", says Danguole.
The filling's stability was also an important factor – a bumper pad must be sufficiently stable, yet designed so that a slightly larger child cannot climb on it, says Danguole. Together with the rest of the team she studied and challenged everything down to the small detail – so that LEN would be as good as it could be.
Sometimes it was about moving a touch and close fastening just one millimetre, and we went through many prototypes before we were finished."
Children's IKEA has its own safety experts at hand who test all products throughout the entire development process. Working with product development is important and requires time and attention to detail, explains Danguole.
"Our products are purchased by a lot people, and by improving our products and making them more environmentally sustainable, we actually embrace the opportunity to contribute to meaningful and positive change."