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Best Mattress for Kids

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Written by

Lauren Fountain

author

While everyone can benefit from a good night’s rest, children rely on quality sleep to fuel their rapid growth and learning. Children also tend to need more sleep than adults. The amount of sleep a child needs is based on age group. Younger children usually require more sleep, with a recommended 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day for children between 3 and 5 years old. Older children tend to need less sleep. It is recommended that children between 14 and 17 years old receive 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day.

Selecting the right mattress can help your child sleep comfortably throughout the night. To pick the best mattresses for children, our team evaluated factors such as firmness, pressure relief, temperature neutrality, and price-point. We also considered the suitability of each mattress for various sleep positions, since your child’s preferred position may influence your mattress choice.

The Best Mattresses for Kids

Below you will find descriptions for each mattress on our list. In addition to our picks list, we provide an in-depth buyer’s guide that covers key factors to consider when selecting a mattress for your child, such as mattress size and firmness. We also discuss the benefits of certain mattress types over other mattress types when shopping for kids. Our guide focuses exclusively on mattresses for children, so keep in mind that infants have different safety needs.

Product Details

Saatva Youth

Best Overall

Saatva Youth

Saatva Youth
Price Range: $699 - $899
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium (5), Firm (7)
Trial length: 180 nights ($99 return fee)
Trial length: 180 nights ($99 return fee)
Warranty: 12 Year, Limited
Warranty: 12 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Younger kids with a lot more growing to do
  • Kids who sleep hot
  • Children who change positions throughout the night
Highlights:
  • Specifically designed for children
  • Flippable design with two different firmness levels
  • Thick coil layer provides airflow for above-average cooling
Saatva Youth

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The Saatva Youth is a reversible innerspring mattress that’s designed to accommodate children’s changing mattress needs as they grow older. Since one side is firmer than the other, the mattress can be flipped once the child grows too heavy to be supported by the softer side.

What It’s Made of

The softer side of the mattress features a comfort layer of zoned polyfoam that provides extra support to the back and hips while conforming closer to the head, neck, shoulders, and legs. The comfort layer on the firm side is made of higher-density convoluted polyfoam, which is more supportive overall. In between these two sides is a support core of thick bonnell coils.

How It Performed

The coil layer allows a substantial amount of airflow throughout the mattress, which ensures your child won’t sleep too hot throughout the night. The thick construction of the coils also gives this bed great edge support, preventing anyone from falling off the bed. The quality of materials ensures a durable mattress that should last into a kid’s teenage years.

While the Saatva Youth comes at a slightly higher than average price point, Saatva offers free white glove delivery including in home assembly and old mattress removal, a 180-night sleep trial, and a 15 year warranty.

Nectar Mattress

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $499 - $1,099
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Children who shift around during the night
  • Families that plan to continue using the same mattress as the child grows
  • Kids who prefer a hugging sensation from their mattress
Highlights:
  • Versatile comfort for children and adults
  • Even support and contouring pressure relief
  • CertiPUR-US certified foams are free of harmful substances
Nectar Mattress

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The Nectar uses three layers of memory foam, giving it a significant hug that some children may find soothing and comfortable. Additionally, the Nectar tends to be more affordable than similarly-constructed models, so it may be friendlier on the family budget.

What It’s Made of

First, there is a cover made from a breathable blend of polyester, nylon, and polyethylene. Next, a comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam contours to the sleeper. A transitional polyfoam gives extra support while acting as a barrier between the comfort and support layers. The support core uses 6 inches of 2.2 PCF polyfoam to stabilize the rest of the mattress.

How It Performed

Rating at a 6 on the firmness scale, the Nectar is an all-foam model with a medium firm feel. This is in the range many sleepers find comfortable, so the Nectar may still serve a child well as they grow and their preferences change. The memory foam layer redistributes the sleeper’s weight and heat to relieve pressure points without trapping excessive warmth against their body.

Nectar uses CertiPUR-US certified foams that have been tested for certain potentially harmful substances and emissions.

A lifetime limited warranty and 365-night sleep trial are included with the purchase of a Nectar Mattress.

DreamCloud Mattress

Most Comfortable

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $1,198 - $1,798
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Teenagers going through a growth spurt
  • Families who want a long trial period
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Thick comfort system
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Memory foam with cooling design
DreamCloud Mattress

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The DreamCloud is a luxury hybrid mattress with a thick comfort system and 14-inch profile. The medium firm (6) feel of the DreamCloud makes it a suitable mattress for a wide range of sleepers, including kids. As a hybrid bed, the DreamCloud may appeal to children who enjoy feeling “hugged” by their bed but do not enjoy excessive sinkage.

What It’s Made of

The DreamCloud contains a cashmere cover quilted with polyfoam fill, followed by a layer of memory foam infused with cooling gel. The foam layers conform closely with the body, while a polyfoam transition layer prevents sleepers from sinking too deep. The support core is made of a pocketed coil system that provides bounce and targeted support to areas of the body that require more support.

How It Performed

Since the mid-level firmness is suitable for sleepers in an array of weight categories, children may continue to find the mattress comfortable as their size and weight grows. For kids who run hot at night, the DreamCloud’s hybrid design promotes temperature neutrality better than all-foam beds. The breathable cashmere cover further enables airflow.

The DreamCloud sells for a lower price-point than most hybrid models of similar quality, making this a good option for families who seek a quality bed on a budget.

DreamCloud offers a non-prorated lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial. After an initial 30-day period, families may return the mattress for a full refund. Shipping is free within the contiguous United States.

Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed

Best for Young Kids

Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed

Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed
Price Range: $349 - $549
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Children with bunk beds
  • Kids who weigh less than 100 pounds
  • Children who would like a mattress with more hug
Highlights:
  • Excellent contouring and pressure relief
  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • Lifetime warranty
Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed

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The Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed was one of the first mattress-in-a-box options specifically for children. This all-foam model can provide significant contouring and pressure relief for lightweight individuals.

What It’s Made of

The Big Kids Bed starts out with a quilted foam cover that provides softness and cushioning. Next, there is a 2-inch layer of 2.8 pounds per cubic foot (PCF) Energex foam. Energex foam is engineered to have contouring and pressure relief similar to memory foam with responsiveness more akin to latex. This means that while the foam contours to the child’s body, it regains its shape more quickly than most memory foams when the child changes position. Finally, a 5-inch support core of 1.8 PCF foam stabilizes the mattress surface for more even support.

How It Performed

Because this mattress is intended for relatively young children, the feel is harder to pinpoint. Lighter children will likely feel it has a relatively firm feel, while heavier children may experience a plusher feel. At 7 inches thick, the Big Kids Bed has a lower profile than most mattresses on the market. This thickness should fit well on most bunk beds.

Since the mattress is produced specifically for children, sizing options are limited to twin, twin XL, and full sizes. The mattress uses CertiPUR-US certified foams and a non-chemical fire barrier. The Nest Big Kids Bed comes with a lifetime warranty.

Layla Mattress

Best Flippable

Layla Mattress

Layla Mattress
Price Range: $749 - $1,249
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Kids with varying firmness preferences from night to night
  • Hot sleepers
  • Parents on a budget
Highlights:
  • Flippable construction with a different firmness level on each side
  • Memory foam layers are infused with copper to promote cooling and prevent heat buildup
  • Approachable pricing and two pillows included with purchase
Layla Mattress

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Some children can be finicky when it comes to mattress firmness, wanting a softer feel one night and a firmer surface the next. These kids are great candidates for the Layla Mattress, a reversible all-foam model with a distinct feel on each side.

What It’s Made of

One surface is cushioned with a thick memory foam layer, creating a medium soft (4) feel for kids who enjoy close conforming, while the opposite side has a thinner foam layer and a firm (7) feel for extra support. The mattress weighs less than 70 pounds in a queen size, making it relatively lightweight and easy to flip whenever your child wants a firmness change. The shared support core contains high-density polyfoam and is located between both comfort layers.

How It Performed

The memory foam on both sides is infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties and can reduce heat buildup. As a result, we’ve found the Layla Mattress sleeps noticeably cooler than many of its all-foam competitors. The all-foam design also excels at pain and pressure relief.

The Layla Mattress is reasonably priced for a memory foam model and shipping is free of charge for all customers in the contiguous U.S. You’ll also receive two pillows with your purchase at no extra cost. The mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial, as well as a lifetime warranty that covers structural defects for as long as your child needs to use it.

Tuft & Needle Original

Best for Back Sleepers

Tuft & Needle Original

Tuft & Needle Original
Price Range: $645 - $1,095
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Warranty: 10-Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Children who change positions during the night
  • Families who do not want to replace the mattress as the child grows
  • Individuals who want more pressure relief
Highlights:
  • Medium firm feel is a good option for growing children
  • Adaptive polyfoam provides contouring and responsiveness
  • Certified by CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold
Tuft & Needle Original

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While the Tuft & Needle Original is not crafted specifically for children, its medium firm feel and ability to accommodate multiple weight groups and sleep positions may make the mattress a good choice for children as they grow.

What It’s Made of

The Tuft & Needle Original is an all-foam model constructed of two layers. The top layer of the mattress uses 3 inches of proprietary adaptive polyfoam. This material is engineered to strike a balance between contouring and responsiveness. It is also infused with gel and graphite to help pull excess heat away from the sleeper’s body. The core features 7 inches of polyfoam to support the top of the mattress. A soft-to-the-touch cover allows air to circulate into the mattress to cool the surface.

How It Performed

This mattress has a medium firm (6) feel, which is in the range many sleepers tend to prefer. Individuals who weigh under 130 pounds frequently prefer slightly softer mattresses, while those who weigh over 230 pounds often favor firmer mattresses. The Tuft & Needle Original falls between these two extremes, so the bed may be a good match for children whose size and sleep preferences may change over time.

The mattress has a number of certifications and approvals based on testing. These include certifications from CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold. A 10-year limited warranty protects against defects, and a 100-night sleep trial gives you a chance to try it out.

Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress

Best Cooling

Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress

Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress
Price (Queen): $499-$699
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial length: 90 nights
Trial length: 90 nights
Warranty: 10 Year Limited
Warranty: 10 Year Limited
Sizes: 
Who it's best for:
  • Children who sleep in bunk beds
  • Kids who prefer a balance of conforming and support
  • Parents with limited budgets
Highlights:
  • Choose from five profiles ranging from 6 to 14 inches
  • Foam conforms evenly without hugging too tightly
  • Wide size selection, including several RV- and bunk-friendly options
Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress

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The Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam Mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is one of the most versatile kid-friendly mattresses on the market today. You can choose from a profile of 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 inches, depending on which type of bed your child uses and how tall or short they prefer their mattresses to be.

What It’s made of

Each thickness has a different corresponding firmness level, with options ranging from medium soft (4) to firm (8). The mattress contains two to three foam layers, depending on the selected profile. The comfort layer is composed of adaptive memory foam that molds to the body and evenly distributes your child’s weight. The base layer or layers are made of high-density foam to reinforce the sleep surface and prevent uncomfortable sinkage during the night. The surface has a Nano Stain Terminator finish to protect against spills and liquid damage.

How It Performed

Kids who need a firmer, more supportive surface will likely feel most comfortable on the 6- or 8-inch models, and the same is true for children who sleep in bunk beds. Those who enjoy close body-contouring may enjoy the 12- or 14-inch mattresses instead, and the 10-inch option is a balanced, middle-of-the-road option.

A gel infusion in the memory foam is intended to draw heat away from the sleeper’s body, allowing the mattress to sleep relatively cool. The mattress is available in 22 different sizes. These include the six standard sizes, several RV-friendly dimensions, and hard-to-find options such as full XL, Olympic queen, and short king.

Regardless of which size you choose, the mattress is very reasonably priced and shipping is free of charge for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.

Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress

Best Organic

Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress

Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress
Price Range: $699 - $899
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 30 nights
Trial length: 30 nights
Warranty: 10 years, limited
Warranty: 10 years, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin Trundle, Twin Trundle Short, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Kids who enjoy sleeping on bouncy mattresses
  • Hot sleepers
  • Children who are prone to bedwetting
Highlights:
  • Dual-sided design to suit your child for many years
  • Waterproof membrane on one side protects against damage
  • Organic and sustainable materials
Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Naturepedic mattresses

Naturepedic’s 2-in-1- Organic Kids Mattress boasts an innovative reversible innerspring design that provides exceptional support. This eco-friendly mattress provides great cooling for hot sleepers.

What It’s Made of

The comfort layers on each side consist of 1-inch cotton batting layers. This material offers excellent breathability compared to foam to help kids stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. The shared support core features sturdy bonnell coils that stabilize the mattress and create a responsive feel on both sides.

One side is constructed with a soft quilted cover made from a blend of organic cotton and renewable PLA polyester. This surface is ideal for children who prefer a plush feel. The opposite side’s cover is made from the same materials, along with a waterproof membrane to protect against leakage and liquid damage if your child wets the bed. All in all, the 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress is very eco-friendly.

How It Performed

The mattress is sold in twin and full sizes, as well as two twin size options for trundle beds. Thanks to its profile of 6 or 7 inches (depending on the selected size), most children will have little to no trouble getting in and out of bed. The coils also promote air circulation for added temperature control.

The 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress is competitively priced, but Naturepedic offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is also backed by a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Why You Should Trust Us

The importance of a comfortable, supportive mattress isn’t limited to adults. Restful nights and high-quality sleep are also crucial to children. In fact, you could argue that finding the right mattress is even more important for kids because they typically sleep much more than adults on a nightly basis. To choose the top picks above, our team of dedicated sleep experts personally tested dozens of mattresses. In order to create the most inclusive list, we considered mattresses that are specifically designed for children as well as models that cater to sleepers of all ages.

Although children don’t take part in our testing process, we evaluate each mattress by focusing on factors that tend to affect how kids sleep. These factors include how firm and bouncy the mattress feels, how well it regulates temperature, and whether it provides adequate support for growing bodies. We also took kid-friendly features into consideration, such as waterproof covers intended to protect the mattress during bedwetting episodes and lower profiles to make getting in and out of bed easier for young children.

How to Choose a Mattress for a Child


This part of the guide will focus on factors to take into account when selecting a mattress for your child. Each child is unique, so there isn’t one best mattress to suit all children. Factors like the available space, the child’s size, and the child’s preferred sleep position may play a role in which mattress is best for them.

There are many mattress models on the market designed specifically for children, which some families might find a good match for their present situation. However, other parents may prefer a non-specialty mattress that can continue to accommodate the child’s needs and preferences as they grow older.

Why is Sleep Important for Kids?

Sleep gives the body a chance to rest and recover. While sleep is vital for all age groups, children are still growing and require enough rest to support this continual growth.

A good night’s sleep could promote many health, learning, and behavior benefits. According to Johns Hopkins All Children, quality sleep is thought to contribute to improved learning, attention, memory, behavior, mental health, and physical health. Meanwhile, not getting enough sleep could lead to serious consequences.

A supportive, comfortable mattress can help promote a good night’s sleep.

What Size Mattress is Right for a Child?

While there is no “right” mattress size for your child, considering your child’s growth, the mattress’s lifespan, and how you plan to use the mattress in the future can help you select the best mattress for your family. Each mattress size has potential benefits and drawbacks.

  • Twin: Twin mattresses are usually big enough for most children. As the smallest standard mattress size, twin mattresses tend to be the most affordable, and they may fit exceptionally well in a shared or small space. However, as your child grows, they may prefer a larger bed.
  • Twin XL: Twin XL mattresses are the same width as twin mattresses, but they are about 5 inches longer, so they can accommodate taller children and teens. This mattress size tends to be slightly more expensive than twin sizes, but they still take up a relatively small footprint.
  • Full: A full mattress provides more space for a child to move around during the night, so it may be beneficial for children who change positions frequently. The larger surface can also allow a parent to lie in bed as well, which may come in handy for reading bedtime stories or comforting the child.
  • Queen: Most children do not usually need as much space as a queen mattress provides. Queen mattresses are more expensive than smaller sizes, so for many families, this added cost may be unnecessary. However, if you plan on using the mattress for a guest bedroom or other purpose down the road, a queen mattress may be appropriate.
  • King/California King: King and California king mattresses are the largest and most expensive sizes of mattresses. While they allow ample space for a child to move around, they usually aren’t a top choice for families looking for a mattress for their child.

What to Look for in a Mattress

Many mattress companies use the term “universal comfort” or similar phrasing to describe their mattresses. However, comfort is subjective, so a mattress that is comfortable for some people may not be comfortable for others. “Universal comfort” usually just indicates a relatively middle of the road firmness that is likely to appeal to a wide range of sleepers.

When selecting a mattress for your child, focusing on specific factors that affect the value and sleep experience may help you select the best mattress for your child.

  • Price: The price of the mattress may be a deciding factor for some families. A mattress’s price may be influenced by its size, materials, durability, and construction. Some high-priced mattresses are more durable, which may make them a good value over time. However, there are also high-quality, lower-priced models on the market.
  • Sleeping Position: The child’s preferred sleeping position can play a role in how comfortable a mattress feels. Side sleepers often prefer a slightly softer mattress to allow the wider parts of their bodies, like their hips and shoulders, to sink in more. Back and stomach sleepers tend to favor a firmer feel that supports their midsections to prevent excessive sinkage. If your child moves around a lot during the night, you might look for a model that balances support and contouring to accommodate all your child’s potential sleep positions.
  • Mattress Type: The type of mattress can influence its feel, durability, and other performance factors. The most common types of mattresses on the market are hybrids, innersprings, latex, airbeds, and foam mattresses. Each type of mattress has distinct advantages for sleepers. However, which type of mattress is best for your child may depend on a variety of factors. We’ll discuss different types of mattresses in more depth below.
  • Contouring: Contouring refers to how a mattress forms to the sleeper’s body. Mattresses with more contouring tend to redistribute the sleeper’s body weight, relieving pressure buildup from areas like the hips and shoulders. Children suffering from growing pains may benefit from this pressure relief.
  • Quality Materials: High-quality materials can impact the mattress’s performance and longevity. Quality materials tend to be less prone to sagging and deterioration. Sagging and deterioration can make the bed less comfortable and ultimately limit its usability. If you plan to discard the mattress in a few years when your child outgrows it, lower-quality materials may not be problematic. However, if you plan for your child to use the bed long-term or you want to hand it down to another child, quality materials may be more important.
  • Firmness Level: Mattress firmness plays a role in how much contouring and support it provides. Softer mattresses often allow the sleeper to sink in and enjoy more contouring. Firmer mattresses tend to provide more support. While firmness preferences are largely subjective, the sleeper’s weight and preferred sleep position may also impact their ideal firmness level. We’ll discuss the best firmness for a children’s mattress in detail below.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is usually directly tied to contouring. The heavier areas of a sleeper’s body tend to put more force on the mattress. For most individuals, this creates pressure buildup around their hips and shoulders. Mattresses that contour to the sleeper tend to spread out the sleeper’s body weight, taking some of the pressure off their hips and shoulders.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to how secure the edge feels when you sit or sleep near it. If the edge does not feel secure, children might not be able to use the full surface of the mattress because they may feel like they could accidentally roll off. A mattress with a weak edge could also make it more challenging to sit on the edge of the bed, which may make it harder for children to get into or out of bed.
  • Temperature Regulation: Some mattresses tend to trap heat, while others allow it to dissipate. If your child is prone to overheating or sweating during the night, a mattress with better temperature regulation may keep them more comfortable. Innerspring, hybrid, and latex models are often more breathable than all-foam models. However, many all-foam models also have features to help them sleep cooler.
  • Noise: Some mattresses may produce some creaking noises when the sleeper changes position. Mattresses with coil layers tend to be more prone to making noise than all-foam models. If your child is a light sleeper, these sounds could disturb them.

Which Mattress Firmness is Best for Children?

The ideal firmness is subjective for both children and adults alike. However, weight and preferred sleep position may be important factors to consider when selecting a mattress firmness for your child.

A person’s weight affects how firm a mattress feels to them. Heavier individuals put more force on the mattress, which can make a mattress seem softer to them. Lighter individuals usually do not sink in as much, which can make a mattress seem firmer. Since children usually weigh less than adults, a mattress is likely to feel firmer to them than it will to their parents. Firmer models may be easier for children to move around on, while softer models will likely provide more cradling.

Side sleepers often prefer a softer mattress to accommodate their hips and shoulders. However, back and stomach sleepers often look for a firmer, more supportive model to prevent their midsections from sinking in excessively.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Kids?

There are a variety of different types of mattresses on the market today. Hybrid, innerspring, latex, airbed, and foam mattresses are among the most widely available types of mattresses. While features and performance vary between models, mattresses within each category tend to share some similarities based on their similar construction.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid models combine coil support systems with comfort layers that may include polyfoam, memory foam, latex, and/or microcoils. This design is intended to provide the benefits of multiple types of mattresses.

Balanced Contouring With Edge Support: The comfort layers of hybrid models tend to cradle the sleeper to relieve pressure points. This can create a hugging sensation that could comfort some children. Because they have a coil core, hybrid mattresses also tend to have better edge support than most all-foam models, which can expand the usable mattress surface and make it easier for children to enter or exit the bed.

Innerspring

Definition: Innerspring models consist primarily of a layer of coils. Many innerspring mattresses also have comfort layers of foam or fiber, though these are usually fairly thin. Innerspring mattresses are generally considered the most traditional type of mattress.

Affordability: Innerspring mattresses tend to be affordably priced. Families looking for a budget-friendly option for their child may feel an innerspring model is a particularly good value for their money.

Latex

Definition: Latex mattresses usually consist of one or more layers of latex. Natural latex is derived from the sap of rubber trees, though synthetic latex and blended latex are also used in some mattresses. Talalay latex usually has a lighter, softer feel, so it is frequently used in comfort layers. Dunlop latex tends to be denser and more durable, and it may be used in a mattress’s comfort and/or support layer.

Cradling Without Hug: Latex contours to the body, but less closely than most varieties of memory foam or polyfoam. This cradles the sleeper to help relieve pressure points without significant hug. Sleeping on a latex mattress usually feels more akin to sleeping “on” the mattress rather than “in” the mattress. Since latex mattresses tend to feel bouncier and more responsive in this way, children may have an easier time moving around on the mattress surface.

Airbed

Definition: Airbeds get their name from the air chambers that act as the mattress support layer. These chambers can be filled or emptied using a pump, remote, or app depending on the mattress model. Airbeds frequently have thin comfort layers of latex, foam, wool, or other materials for extra cushioning.

Changeable Firmness: An airbed’s firmness is determined largely by how much air is in its chambers. Sleepers can fill or empty the chambers to adjust the firmness level. Children’s firmness preferences may change as they grow, and airbeds can easily be adjusted to accommodate these changes.

Foam

Definition: Foam mattresses may contain memory foam, polyfoam, or a combination of the two. Some all-foam models may also include latex, wool, or other materials. Memory foam is often used in the mattress comfort system for contouring, while mattress cores often use high-density polyfoam for durable support.

Pressure Relief: Foam models frequently contour closely to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure points. This hugging sensation may be comfortable for some children.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What mattress types are best for kids?

    The best mattress for a kid depends less on its construction type and more on its firmness, support, pressure relief, and ability to grow with them. Foam and innerspring mattresses are some of the most popular choices for children because parents can purchase high-quality models at an affordable price. Hybrid beds can also be good for kids since they combine the pressure relief and comfort of foam with a coil support core’s support. However, a mattress’s type is no guarantee that it will work well for your child. The best way to decide on a kid’s mattress is to consider their weight, preferred sleeping position, and individual preferences before comparison shopping and reading independent reviews.

  • How much should you spend on a mattress for your child?

    Mattresses for children vary significantly in price depending on their construction, but you should expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for a mattress that will offer your child support and comfort over the years. Although children will eventually grow out of their mattress, it is possible your child will be able to use it across the bed’s entire lifespan. If they do grow out of it while the bed is still in good condition, it can be repurposed for a younger sibling or as a guest bed. The most expensive mattress is not necessarily the best choice, but very low-priced models are unlikely to fulfill a child’s sleep needs for very long.

  • What is the ideal firmness for a child's mattress?

    Deciding on how firm your child’s mattress should be can be difficult, but a medium firmness mattress with good pressure relief tends to be the best choice in the long term. Since children weigh less than adults, mattresses feel firmer to them and soft beds are more comfortable. As they grow, however, they will require a firmer mattress that can offer them support. Most children will still be comfortable on a medium mattress by their teenage years, allowing them to use their mattress for longer. Pressure relief — usually provided by memory foam or polyfoam comfort layers — can make the bed much more comfortable when they are younger without sacrificing this longevity.

  • How thick of a mattress does a child need?

    Some kids prefer mattresses with low profiles that allow them to get in and out of bed with ease. However, thickness is less important than firmness and construction when selecting a mattress for your child. Ultimately, the mattress should provide adequate support for your child’s growing body without feeling too stiff or firm. Since kids weigh less than adults, they may not need as thick of a mattress to feel sufficiently supported.

    However, there is one important consideration for children who sleep in bunk beds. In order to prevent an accident, your child’s mattress should sit at least 5 inches lower than the guard rails of their bunk. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued bunk bed safety guidelines for manufacturers to follow.

    A new mattress can measure anywhere from less than 6 inches thick to more than 20 inches, but most fall in the range of 10 to 13 inches. Many mattresses designed specifically for kids (including some of our top picks above) are on the thinner side.

  • Can kids use adult mattresses?

    Most adult mattresses are perfectly suitable and safe for children. Whether a mattress is designed for kids or adults, it must pass the same material and safety inspections in order to be sold to the public.

    That said, mattresses made with kids in mind are typically a better fit for children. Many of these models come equipped with features not found on adult mattresses, such as waterproof barriers to protect the internal components from damage during bedwetting episodes. Some of the leading mattresses for kids have reversible designs with a firmer surface to promote healthy development for younger children, and a softer side to accommodate their evolving comfort preferences as they age.

    Sizing is another consideration. Queen, king, and California king mattresses are probably overkill for a child, as these sizes are geared toward couples and offer a lot of surface area. A twin, twin XL, or full size should provide adequate space for a child of any age. This is particularly true for kids who sleep in bunk beds, as most bunk models are only compatible with these three smaller sizes.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.