Sleep is essential for a child’s health and wellbeing. Several studies have found that adequate sleep impacts memory, immune system responsiveness, and even school performance. When shopping for the best mattress for your baby, toddler or child, consider the quality of materials along with the mattress type and level of firmness. Ideally, you’ll want to buy a mattress that your child can grow with for several years. Use our child mattress buyers guide below to help you on your shopping journey.
How to choose a mattress for a child
1. Select the right size
Choosing which size mattress to buy will depend on your child’s age, size and how long you plan on having your child use the mattress.
Crib mattress measurements: 28” x 52”
Twin mattress measurements: 38” x 75”
Twin XL mattress measurements: 38” x 80”
Full mattress measurements: 54” x 75”
Baby and crib mattresses
If you’re shopping for a mattress for your new baby, you’ll need to have your crib ready. Crib mattresses have a minimum size but may vary slightly, so you’ll want to have the dimensions of your crib handy when you shop for a mattress.
Toddler beds can help your child transition from the crib to a “big kid” mattress. A toddler bed includes a low railing or partial railing to keep your child from rolling out of bed. Toddler beds may help you feel better about your child’s security throughout the night, but they aren’t always necessary. Some parents opt to go straight for a standard twin bed for their toddlers.
If you’re shopping for a mattress for a child, you have a few more options. A twin mattress is the most common mattress size for a young child, but some parents may adopt a “room to grow” mindset and purchase a full mattress that the child will be comfortable with into their teen years. Twin XL mattresses are also available and provide extra length.
2. Set a budget
Knowing how much you’re willing and able to spend will help you narrow down your search. A twin mattress can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 and above, but most average innerspring mattresses come in between $300–$500, while a memory foam mattress may set you back a bit more.
While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest mattress available, your money will be best spent on purchasing a quality mattress that your child can grow with. A good mattress can last 10 years or more, meaning if you purchase the right bed for a young child, it may last them into their teen years. Paying more money upfront may actually save you money in the long run and save you the headache of having to purchase a new, cheap mattress every few years.
3. Choose the type of mattress
Once you know the size of the mattress you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll want to consider which type of mattress will be best for your child. You have three major options: innerspring, foam and hybrid. Each of these mattresses comes with pros and cons you’ll want to understand before you make the leap.
Innerspring mattresses: Spring mattresses are a popular choice for every age group. Innerspring mattresses have a longer lifespan than the other types on average and may be harder for a child to damage by roughhousing. They tend to be more firm, sturdy and supportive for most sleeping styles.
Foam mattresses: Memory foam is trendy, but it’s not recommended for very young children (infants and toddlers). However, an older child may enjoy the adaptive nature of memory foam, especially if they’re a side sleeper. Be aware that memory foam mattresses are known for off-gassing, which can cause a strong smell for the first several weeks of use. While off-gassing is not harmful, the smell can be disruptive to sleep. A room with good ventilation and airflow will help the smell dissipate more quickly. If you opt for a foam mattress, be sure to look for one that focuses on adequate support and alignment in addition to the pressure relief and comfort the mattresses are known for.
Hybrid mattresses: A hybrid mattress can be a good choice for a parent looking for the sturdy support of an innerspring mattress with the cushier feel of foam.
Organic mattresses: Some mattresses, especially foam and hybrid models, may focus on “organic materials.” An organic mattress may be chemical-free, hypoallergenic, flame resistant and/or biodegradable. Organic crib mattresses come highly recommended as they are safer for infants. Searching for a mattress the focuses on the integrity of their materials and construction will never be time wasted.
4. Determine the right firmness level
Mattress firmness is an especially important consideration for infants and young children. A firm mattress is recommended for children under 18 months old for safety and proper development. Once your child is a few years old it really becomes a matter of personal preference, just like it is for adults. A firm mattress isn’t the only option for proper support. A good plush mattress will be designed for spinal support and alignment the same as a firm mattress would be. Let your child lay on a few different mattress types in a store or showroom and get an understanding of what they find most comfortable.
5. Make sure it is durable
From jumping on the bed to spilling nighttime snacks, kids are harder on mattresses than adults.
Most mattresses will last about 10 years, including innerspring, foam and hybrid varieties, but the total lifespan of your mattress will depend on the materials used.
Look for high-quality thick foam or wrapped steel coils, or consider opting for a latex mattress, or mattress with latex layers, which are said to last a few years longer than the average mattress. Flipping and rotating the mattress will also help ensure it wears evenly. Investing in a high-quality mattress and purchasing a mattress protector (especially if bedwetting is a concern), will go far in extending the life of your child’s mattress.
What to look for in a crib mattress?
New parents looking for a crib mattress need to think about safety and comfort when they’re making their selection. You’ll want to buy your crib before you buy your mattress, and then you’ll know exactly which size you need. It must be a mattress that’s made specifically for infants. The best crib mattress should be firm and fit snugly against the crib. A mattress that’s too soft can cause your child to sink deeper into the mattress, which puts them at risk for suffocation and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Your baby will need sufficient ventilation in the mattress, so make sure you know what materials are used in the mattress. Organic crib mattresses are an outstanding option because the natural fibers and materials are healthier for newborns. Organic crib mattresses maybe a little more expensive, but you will have the peace of mind that your baby isn’t exposed to harmful toxins and chemicals that are sometimes used to manufacture mattresses.
There’s no way around it, babies are expensive, but while it’s a good financial idea to save some money by purchasing used clothes and secondhand toys and books, don’t buy a used mattress. You never really know what kind of mold and bacteria could be growing in a used mattress. Choose a mattress that meets all the latest safety standards and has been independently certified to be safe for infants.
TOP best twin mattress for kids
#Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam Mattress
This mattress is made in the USA and is warranted for 10 years. The manufacturer Tuft & Needle has secured two certifications for this product: the CertiPUR certification and the Oeko-Tex 100 certification. This mattress is made with an adaptive foam that is not latex or memory foam; it has a cooler feel than memory foam and is therefore better suited for use in hot, humid environments than a memory foam mattress would be. It is also well documented that kids sleep better cool.
#LinenSpa 8-Inch Hybrid Mattress With Innerspring and Memory Foam
If you’re looking for a compact mattress, and you want your child to enjoy the comforts of memory foam, the LinenSpa 8-inch hybrid mattress is a fantastic product to consider. The LinenSpa mattress is the newest evolution in memory foam technology. When memory foam was a brand new innovation, it was typical to have to invest in both a traditional mattress and a separate piece of memory foam to place on top of it. The LinenSpa hybrid mattress allows you to avoid the hassle, expense, and necessity of buying two separate products. It incorporates the memory foam technology right into the mattress, offering your family the underlying support of an innerspring mattress plus the even weight distribution that makes memory foam so beneficial.
This mattress has the potential to accompany your child into adulthood. It’s suitable for people weighing 250+ lbs, so even if you have a son who’s destined to grow up and become a football team linebacker, he’s unlikely to outgrow the mattress.
#Zinus 12-Inch Memory Foam Green Tea Mattress
This memory foam mattress offers a generous 12 inches of cushioning. It’s ideal for children who prefer to sleep on a firm yet comfortable surface.
Parents are often justifiably concerned about the toxic chemical content of their children’s mattresses. The foam used in this mattress meets CertiPUR certification standards for content, durability, and performance. CertiPUR foam is free of formaldehyde, mercury, lead, and tris flame retardants such as PBDEs, TDCPP and TCEP. The certifiers monitor the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to ensure that VOC indoor air quality emissions remain at levels lower than 0.5 parts per million. The mattress materials have also been treated with a natural odor and bacterial retardants including castor seed oil and green tea extract.
Critics of this mattress point out that, sometimes, individual mattresses do not fully expand to the full 12 inches; or, in some cases, the corners do not fully expand.
#Zinus 8-Inch Hybrid Green Tea Foam and Spring Mattress
If you need to choose a lightweight, compact mattress for young children, this one is worth taking a look at. This is a fantastic choice of mattresses for use with some bunk beds, particularly the ones that have low safety rails. The slim 8-inch size of this mattress makes it unlikely that this mattress will end up being too tall for the safety rails to be effective.
This mattress features some of the same selling points we mentioned above for the 12-inch memory foam model; it also includes the green tea infusion and the CertiPUR certification. In addition, this model offers your child the benefit of 6-inch supportive coil springs.
If you’re buying a mattress for a tall or plus-sized teenager, be aware that this mattress is probably not the ideal choice for individuals who weigh more than 200 lbs; people in this weight range report being able to feel the springs in the mattress when they lie on it. Critics of this mattress have mentioned that it can feel hot to sleep on.
#Signature Sleep Contour 8-Inch Independently Encased Coil Mattress
This double-sided mattress is ultra-comfortable. It’s ideal for use with a box spring or other type of support such as a trundle. It will fit in some trundle beds but not others; so if you want it for this purpose, it’s wise to compare the mattress dimensions against the dimensions of your trundle bed before ordering. The foam in this mattress is CertiPUR-US ® certified.
This mattress works well for small children. To avoid sagging, plus-sized teens or adults may need to take advantage of the fact that the mattress can be turned over to the other side; rotating it can help to avoid problems with sagging.
#Home Life Comfort Sleep 8-Inch Two Sided Spring Mattress
If you’re looking for an affordable, double-sided child’s mattress that’s on the soft yet firm side, this one is worth considering. The foam is certified by Greenfoam, which is an Italian certifier offering multiple certifications. The mattress has coils that offer comfortable support for small individuals. This mattress is not ideal for adults or larger teens.
#Olee Sleep Gel Infused 10-Inch Layer Top Memory Foam Mattress
If your child sleeps on a platform bed frame, this is a good mattress to consider. This is a firm, single-sided kids mattress that does not have springs. Like most contemporary memory foam mattresses, this one does not require a box spring to use, but you can use it with a box spring if you want to.
This is another mattress that could accommodate children of any size, from small toddlers to teenaged linebackers. Many of the satisfied users of this mattress are plus-sized adults.
#Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 6-Inch Mattress
This mattress is made of Biofoam, a biodegradable, reusable, compostable material that has won six different sustainability awards worldwide since 2009. CertiPUR certification ensures that your child will be sleeping on a mattress that’s free of known toxic contaminants. The size of this kid’s mattress makes it ideal for use with most bunk beds and trundle beds; we recommend double-checking the measurements of your bed against the measurements of the mattress size you’ll be ordering to ensure a good fit.
#Classic Brands Cool Gel Ventilated Memory Foam 8-Inch Mattress
The top layer of this kid’s mattress is a technologically advanced gel foam that’s designed to provide a solution to the problem of too-hot memory foam mattresses. While many other mattresses could heat up uncomfortably while your child is sleeping on them, this one stays cool under most circumstances. This mattress is made of hypoallergenic foam that is naturally able to deter dust mites, bacteria, and mold. CertiPUR-US certification gives you confidence that the foam in this mattress is made without any known hazardous contaminants.
#Classic Brands 10-Inch Pillow-Top Innerspring Mattress
This medium-firm kids mattress features independently wrapped, supportive innerspring coils on the bottom. On top, a protective buffering layer of foam separates your child from the coils for maximum comfort. With some other mattresses, your child may feel the coils through the foam, but that’s unlikely to happen with this mattress. The single-sided design means that you do not need to flip this mattress over to help it maintain its shape.
#Casper Essential – Best Overall Value
Designed and Assembled in the USA
The Essential is a foam bed made by one of the most trusted online mattress retailers. A few hundred dollars cheaper than their original model and an inch thinner, it is an amazing option for kids.
What makes it so special? At a very affordable price no matter the size, The Essential is an exceptional value – especially if you plan on switching to a different size during teen or college years. It works with most bases and foundations, which is important as needs and styles change.
Because of the cover’s dark color, any spills or messes can be hidden. It is one of the reasons we love it!
Moving around on the mattress is easy since it has a quick response and its memory foam layer is in between two other foam layers. With this type of construction, the brand provides pressure relief while ensuring that memory foam does not conform directly to the skin, and it should not uncomfortably overheat.
#Brooklyn Bowery – Great Value
Made in the USA
The company behind Bowery is Brooklyn Bedding, which is well known for its high-quality handcrafted mattresses. This model has a medium level of firmness that is comfortable for most individuals.
Energex™ foam with cooling gel provides contouring and pressure relief while helping to regulate body temperature.
Its CertiPUR-US® Certified foams are not made with harmful chemicals and pass rigorous testing. As kids grow and spend time on the mattress, you can feel better knowing the quality of products they are around each night.
What makes it stand out? Bowery is an excellent budget bed that has durability and cooling features, making it our Great Value product.
The reason Brooklyn Bedding can offer their products at lower price points is that they own their factory. Truly a direct-to-consumer business, they graciously pass along savings to their customers and do not skimp on quality materials.
#The BKB – My Big Kid’s Bed – Young Kids
100-Night Comfort Guarantee
Made in the USA
Nest Bedding’s BKB mattress is designed specifically for kids and every aspect has been tailored with their needs in mind. At 7 inches tall, it is thinner than typical adult mattresses, and fewer inches translate to additional savings.
The company is the first online brand to produce a bed-in-a-box model for children. It comes in Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes and can be used on any base. It even works with bunk beds and trundle-style frames.
Why do we love it? Along with a fantastic price point, it is durable with a simple well-made design. The cover has a soft top, mesh sides, and a bold “My BKB” logo that can be fun for kids to see, especially when pulling it out of the box for the first time.
#Elements Aspen 10″ Latex – Durable
Made in the USA
The Aspen latex mattress by Dreamfoam Bedding is comfortable from the first touch. It has a soft cover made out of bamboo and is quilted with foam. The materials wick away moisture for hot sleepers and provide additional pressure relief, which is helpful if your child is a combination or side sleeper.
If your child suffers from allergies, they may have an easier time sleeping with this product. The latex in the bed is naturally hypoallergenic and very breathable.
What makes it special? Dreamfoam uses durable Talalay latex in their design that should last for years to come, which is impressive given its lower price point. Parents and kids alike have given the product glowing reviews!
The firmness level is determined after ordering when the Dreamfoam team will reach out to help determine the level that provides the most pleasant night’s sleep.
#Avocado – Eco-Friendly
GREENGUARD Gold Certified
Environmental Charity Initiative
Made in the USA
If you are concerned about exposing your child to harmful chemicals or if you value eco-friendly products, Avocado has a solution. With a cover made from organic cotton and the inclusion of New Zealand wool, natural latex, and upcycled steel innerspring in the design, you can feel good about its green qualities.
The brand also sells an optional pillow top with two more inches of latex that provide additional comfort. The pillow top is geared towards side and back sleepers for a more luxurious experience with pressure point relief, while their standard model works best for stomach or back sleepers who prefer a firmer feel and more spinal support.
What makes it stand out? With certifications geared towards the use of natural materials, as well as the avoidance of harmful chemicals and emissions, you and your child can rest easy knowing the comfort and care that this brand puts into their products.
#Arctic Dreams – Budget Choice
Made in the USA
Made by Dreamfoam Bedding, Arctic Dreams has good cooling capabilities in its Energex™ gel foam comfort layer. It has bounce and responds quickly so kids can reposition or play without feeling stuck.
Why did it make the list? Quite simply, Arctic Dreams is an impressive budget pick with quality materials that cost under $200 for a Twin size of medium-level firmness. No matter the size, it costs significantly less than many of the mattresses we have reviewed.
Whatever sleeping position your child prefers, the mattress’ Medium firmness should accommodate and support them comfortably. Whether a side, front, back, or combo sleeper, the bed has enough support and comfort to help their bodies recover and get a great rest so they are recharged and ready to play and learn the next day.
1. Is a Twin Size the Best Size For a Kid?
While a Twin-size mattress is very convenient, it may be not the best size for your kid when you look at the big picture because there is a chance that your child will outgrow it in a few years. Investing in a full-sized or at least a Twin-XL may result in significant long-term gains, depending on your priorities.
Sure, it’s a bit more money on top of it (although some retailers price it the same as a regular Twin), but the value that you get may be considerably higher as it can be used until it’s time for college.
2. What Should I Look If My Child Has Allergies?
Dust mites and other pollutants in the mattress could easily trigger severe allergy symptoms. This is why you ought to account for specific hypoallergenic properties, especially if allergies are a considerable issue for your children.
If this is an issue for your family, consider purchasing a certified, all-natural product if you have to deal with allergies regularly. Bacteria do not typically grow on these, and they are capable of getting rid of dust mites naturally.
3. How Firm Should It Be?
The firmness tends to be dependent on the weight of your kid, as well as sleeping position. Ideally, the most appropriate and uniform models should have a medium firmness that encompasses the weight range of the majority of children. However, if your kid is heavier, you could use a medium-firm solution and vice versa.
Additionally, you can use a mattress topper to adjust the firmness of it accordingly.
4. What About Cribs for Younger Siblings?
When raising children, the reliance on hand-me-downs is essential and many items are passed from sibling to sibling as your kids grow up. Depending on the age of your crib, you may want to consider an upgrade, especially with all the new and improved crib mattresses on the market right now. There are more organic choices and more hypoallergenic materials that could potentially safeguard your child better than mattresses manufactured even 10 years ago.
I wish you find the right mattress for your child