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Best Mattress for Kids

Keith Cushner

Written by

Keith Cushner, Sleep Product Expert

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Methodology

We personally test every mattress featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

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Over the next few weeks, we'll be testing some new kids mattresses and revisiting our top picks on this page. Our recommendations may change based on the results of these tests.

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While everyone can benefit from a good night’s rest, children rely on quality sleep to fuel their rapid growth and learning. Children also need more sleep than adults. Younger children usually require the most 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, with a recommended 8 to 10 hours for children between 14 and 17 years old.

Since sleep plays such a big role in your child’s development, it’s important to optimize your child’s sleep conditions – including selecting a mattress that 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

Nectar Mattress

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

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DreamCloud Mattress

Most Comfortable

DreamCloud Mattress

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Nolah Nurture 10

Most Durable

Nolah Nurture 10

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Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential

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Leesa Kids Mattress

Best for Preteens

Leesa Kids Mattress

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Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress

Best Organic

Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress

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How to Buy a Kid's Mattress Video

Watch the video below for some tips on what to look for when shopping for kid’s mattresses.

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. If you want more recommendations for kid-size mattresses, check out our guides for the Best Twin Mattresses and Best Mattresses for Bunk Beds.

Product Details

Best Overall

Helix Kids

Helix Kids
Price Range: $649 - $899
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Parents looking for two firmnesses in one mattress
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those seeking a mattress with protection from bedwetting
Highlights:
  • Flippable design with two different firmnesses
  • Coil-reinforced perimeter
  • 10-year warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

Bottom Line

The Helix Kids Mattress has several features that cater specifically to children. We recommend this mattress for its dual-sided design and water-repellent finish.

The Helix Kids mattress has a flippable design that grows with your child, accommodating ages 3 to 12. Each side has a distinct firmness that supports the different stages of a growing body.

How It Performed

The thoughtful dual-sided design ensures the mattress will provide enough support at different stages of your child’s life. One side is aimed at children ages 3 to 7, with a medium firm (6) feel to support growing bodies. As a child reaches 8 to 12 years old, they can transition to the medium soft (4) side, which has plusher comfort layers. Our test lab found this side offered extra contouring and pressure relief. The mattress earned high marks in our temperature neutrality tests, partly thanks to the enhanced airflow through the coil support core. So it should feel cool and comfortable even if your child tends to sleep hot.

What It’s Made of

Both sides of the mattress feature a Tencel cover with a water-repellent finish. The finish ensures the mattress’ longevity and protects against damage from accidents or messes. Beneath is a flammability protection layer to keep your kid safe. The support core features 5-inch pocketed coils that provide targeted support to your child’s hips and shoulders. A row of coils lines the perimeter of the mattress, which we found quite supportive when we sat on the edge.

On the side designed for 3- to 7-year-olds, the comfort system consists of dense polyfoam. Our testers found this side’s comfort layer much firmer, which helps maintain proper spinal support for younger children. The other side, which is meant for 8 to 12 years old, features a comfort system made from gel-infused memory foam that performed well in our pressure relief tests. The gel in this layer is engineered to absorb and dissipate excess body heat.

Helix ships free to all 50 states and offers families 100 nights to try out the mattress. A lengthy sleep trial is helpful if you’re unsure of your child’s sleep preferences. The Helix Kids mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty.

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $399 - $1,138
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split 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:
  • Breathable polyester blend cover
  • Memory foam comfort layer evenly distributes weight and relieves pressure
  • Medium firm feel suits a child as they grow
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$699 SPECIAL OFFER! $200 Off + $499 in Accessories Included!

Bottom Line

The Nectar has proven popular with adults, but the mattress is equally suitable for kids. The firmer-than-average feel and cooling features place it above the average memory foam model, and its affordable sticker price makes it appealing to parents who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their child’s mattress.

The Nectar uses three layers of memory foam, giving it a significant hug that your child may find soothing and comfortable. The Nectar is also more affordable than many similarly constructed models, so it is friendlier to a family’s budget.

How It Performed

Rating a 6 on our 10-point firmness scale, the Nectar is an all-foam model with a medium firm feel. This is in the range many children find comfortable, so the Nectar will serve your child well throughout growth spurts and changes in sleep preference. The memory foam layer evenly distributes your child’s weight, which we found helps relieve pressure points. The deep contouring also excelled in our motion isolation tests, so your child won’t feel much movement if you lie in bed with them.

What It’s Made of

The cover is made from a blend of polyester, nylon, and polyethylene that our testers found breathable. Next is a comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam that contours to your child’s body. A transitional polyfoam layer beneath 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.

A lifetime limited warranty and 365-night sleep trial are included with purchasing a Nectar Mattress. This gives families ample time to try out the mattress, with the ability to return it for a full refund if it’s not a good fit for your child.

Best for Growing Kids

Saatva Youth

Saatva Youth
Price Range: $749 - $999
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium (5), Firm (7)
Trial length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, 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:
  • Thick coil layer provides airflow for above-average cooling
  • Flippable design with two different firmness levels
  • Year-long sleep trial
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Up to $500 off.

Bottom Line

We think the Saatva Youth will serve children well thanks to its reversible design. Each side has a distinct feel and should provide strong support to its target age range. The waterproof barrier is a nice, thoughtful touch for kids who wet the bed.

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

How It Performed

The mattress performed well in our temperature neutrality tests since the coil layer allows a substantial amount of airflow throughout the mattress. This 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 kids from rolling off the bed in the middle of the night. The quality of materials ensures a durable mattress that should last into your child’s teenage years.

What It’s Made of

The softer side of the mattress features a zoned polyfoam comfort layer that provided extra support to our testers’ backs and hips while conforming closer to the head, neck, and shoulders. The comfort layer on the firm side is made of higher-density convoluted polyfoam, which felt more supportive overall. In between these two sides is a support core of thick bonnell coils. The cover is composed of breathable organic cotton.

While the Saatva Youth has a slightly above-average price-point, Saatva offers free White Glove delivery, including in-home assembly and old mattress removal, which is rare in the online mattress industry. Saatva also offers a lifetime warranty and 365-night sleep trial for parents who want their child to try the bed before committing.

DreamCloud Mattress

Most Comfortable

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $799 - $1,499
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
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 conforms to the body to relieve pressure buildup
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Gel-infused memory foam designed to keep sleepers cool
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$799 special offer! $200 off mattresses + $599 in premium accessories included

Bottom Line

The DreamCloud’s cover is soft and breathable, and the foam contours just enough to alleviate pressure without too much sinkage. This mattress strikes a perfect balance of coziness and support that we think most children will enjoy.

The DreamCloud is a luxury hybrid mattress with a thick comfort system and 14-inch profile. We found that the medium firm (6) feel of the DreamCloud makes it a suitable mattress for a wide range of sleepers, including kids.

How It Performed

As a hybrid bed, the DreamCloud may appeal to children who enjoy feeling “hugged” by their bed but do not enjoy excessive sinkage. Since the mid-level firmness is suitable for sleepers in various weight categories, your child will find the mattress comfortable as their size and weight grows. If your kid runs hot at night, our tests showed that the DreamCloud’s hybrid design promotes temperature neutrality better than all-foam beds. The breathable cashmere cover further enables airflow.

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 conformed closely with our bodies during testing, while a polyfoam transition layer prevented testers from sinking too deep. The support core is made of a pocketed coil system that provided bounce and targeted support to areas of the body that require more support.

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. On top of the attractive price, 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 U.S.

Nolah Nurture 10

Most Durable

Nolah Nurture 10

Nolah Nurture 10
Price Range: $1,499 - $1,799
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Soft (3), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Eco-conscious parents
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Talalay latex comfort layers gently cradle the body to relieve pressure
  • Breathable organic cotton and wool cover facilitates airflow
  • Lifetime warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

Bottom Line

The Nolah Nurture 10 has a flippable design that lets children use it as they grow. Since the bed is made with naturally cool materials, we highly recommend it for children who frequently wake up from overheating at night.

The Nolah Nurture 10 is a dual-sided latex hybrid made from organic materials. If you’re looking for a quality, organically sourced mattress with two firmnesses in one, you may want to consider the Nolah.

How It Performed

The Nolah has a flippable design — we rate one side as soft (3) and the other as firm (7). Children under 130 pounds may prefer the softer side, while kids weighing at least 130 pounds may find the firmer side more comfortable. Across weight categories, side and back sleepers on our test team benefited from the Nolah’s pressure-relieving latex comfort layers and zoned coil design. Latex’s natural responsiveness also prevented back sleepers’ hips from sagging and misaligning the spine. We noticed that the breathable materials and enhanced airflow through the coil support core kept the surface cool.

What It’s Made of

The mattress is encased in a cover made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, a naturally breathable material that kept the surface cool to the touch during our tests. Next is a breathable wool layer that acts as a natural fire retardant. The comfort system features 2 inches of Talalay latex, which provided slight contouring to relieve pressure buildup during our pressure tests.

Talalay’s natural responsiveness meant that the surface did not conform as closely to the body during our tests, thus trapping less heat. The support core is made from 6-inch pocketed coils, strategically zoned to support the hips and shoulders. A layer of firmer Talalay latex rests under the coils for extra stability and durability.

Nolah offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. Sleep trials of any length are an asset to parents, especially if the child is particular about the feel of their bed. Nurture 10 purchases come with a generous lifetime warranty.

Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential

Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Essential
Price (Queen): $349
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, RV 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
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save 20% on a Brooklyn Bedding mattress with this code: sleepfoundation20

Bottom Line

With five different designs, any child should be able to find a comfortable Dreamfoam Essential no matter what their preferred firmness level is. The lower-profile models are a good fit for younger kids who use bunk beds.

The Dreamfoam Essential – formerly known as the Brooklyn Bedding Chill – is one of the most versatile kid-friendly mattresses we’ve come across today. A gel infusion in the memory foam is intended to draw heat away from your child’s body, allowing the mattress to sleep relatively cool compared to other foam models.

How It Performed

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. Each thickness has a different corresponding firmness level, with options ranging from medium soft (4) to firm (8). If your child needs a firmer, more supportive surface, they will likely feel most comfortable on the 6- or 8-inch models. We also recommend these profiles for children who sleep in bunk beds. Kids 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.

What It’s Made of

The mattress contains two to three foam layers, depending on the profile you purchase. The comfort layer is composed of adaptive memory foam that molded to our bodies during testing. This helps evenly distribute your child’s weight and reduces pressure buildup. The base layer or layers are made of high-density foam to reinforce the sleep surface. This prevented uncomfortable sinkage when we lay on the bed. The surface has a Nano Stain Terminator finish to protect against spills and liquid damage.

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.

Leesa Kids Mattress

Best for Preteens

Leesa Kids Mattress

Leesa Kids Mattress
Price Range: $499 - $599
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Children and preteens
  • Kids who sleep in bunk beds
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Three-layer all-foam design provides cushioning and even contouring for growing bodies
  • Breathable open-cell comfort layer is designed to resist uncomfortable heat buildup
  • 7-inch profile makes the mattress safely compatible with many bunk beds
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save up to $700 + 2 free pillows ($120 value) + 10% off all bedding

Bottom Line

The Leesa Kids Mattress has a lot of qualities that make it suitable for kids in the preteen stage. It has a moderately firm feel with gentle cushioning, a low profile, and a breathable surface that won’t trap heat.

Children and preteens often need a mattress that cushions and supports their bodies equally. This helps ensure proper growth and development, as well as night-to-night comfort after they have transitioned from their toddler bed. The Leesa Kids Mattress is designed specifically for children and preteens. Our testers found that the medium firm (6) feel limits sinkage, which should keep your child’s body on an even plane.

How It Performed

During our tests, the Leesa Kids Mattress performed very well with temperature control – an area where many all-foam models tend to earn subpar ratings. The open-cell memory foam coupled with a breathable cover let heat dissipate rather than build up along the surface. The balanced medium firm feel should also prevent young kids from sinking too much or feeling trapped by the mattress. A low 7-inch profile allows the mattress to rest safely in most bunk beds at least 5 inches below the side rails, per current safety guidelines.

What It’s Made of

The Kids Mattress features a three-layer design that begins with a top layer of open-cell memory foam. This material features small air capsules engineered to promote circulation and prevent bothersome heat absorption. The transitional and support layers are composed of polyfoam that we found balances support and contouring. The base layer is much denser to provide adequate reinforcement for your child’s growing body. A knit polyester cover encases the entire mattress.

The Leesa Kids Mattress is available in twin and full sizes, which are reasonably priced. Shipping is also free of charge to customers in all 50 states. Your order includes a sleep trial that allows your child to test the mattress for up to 100 nights and decide if it’s right for them. Should you decide to keep it, you’ll also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

Nest Bedding Puffin

Best for Young Kids

Nest Bedding Puffin

Nest Bedding Puffin
Price Range: $499 - $749
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 30 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Children who weigh up to 110 pounds
  • Kids who sleep in bunk beds
Highlights:
  • Supportive all-foam design intended to promote healthy growth and development
  • Phase change material infused in the cover helps the surface remain cool
  • Low-profile construction helps kids get in and out of bed with ease
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SleepFoundation readers get 10% OFF sitewide with coupon code: SLEEPNEST

Bottom Line

Created with young kids in mind, the Nest Bedding Puffin is an all-foam mattress that is firm enough to support your child’s growing body. Phase change material infused in the cover helps to minimize heat buildup, and the low profile is a good fit for most bunk beds.

Many mattresses made today are suitable for adults and kids alike, but the Nest Bedding Puffin is specifically designed for young children. The Puffin consists of three layers of dense, supportive foam to promote growth and development. A slim 7-inch profile makes the mattress compatible with bunk beds and standard bed frames.

How It Performed

We noticed above-average responsiveness while testing the Puffin. The all-polyfoam construction and firm (7) feel create considerable bounce that makes it easier for kids to move across the surface and get in and out of bed. Phase change material infused into the cover helps offset the heat retention that can occur with foam mattresses, so the Puffin also earned positive ratings during our temperature control tests.

What It’s Made of

The Puffin begins with a half-inch of polyfoam quilted into the cover, followed by an Energex polyfoam comfort layer that combines the cushioning of memory foam with the responsiveness of latex. A high-density polyfoam base completes the design. The polyester cover is infused with phase change material to dissipate heat on contact, maintaining a cool, comfortable surface at all times.

The Puffin has a weight capacity of 110 pounds and measures 7 inches tall. Twin, twin XL, and full sizes are available. We recommend double-checking the dimensions of your child’s bunk bed to ensure at least 5 inches between the mattress’ surface and the top of the guard rails.

The Puffin is competitively priced and shipping is free for all orders within the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a 30-night trial period. The mattress is backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty against structural defects, and you can purchase additional coverage against spills and other types of physical damage for 3, 5, or 10 years.

Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress

Best Organic

Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress

Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress
Price Range: $649 - $849
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full
Who it's best for:
  • Kids who prefer to sleep on bouncy beds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Parents who want to invest in an eco-friendly mattress for their child
Highlights:
  • Latex hybrid design is durable and responsive
  • Excellent breathability and temperature control
  • Composed of organic, natural, and recycled materials
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

Bottom Line

Avocado’s Eco Organic Kids Mattress is a thoughtfully crafted latex hybrid designed for growing children. A bouncy surface, excellent breathability, and sustainably sourced materials set the mattress apart from most competing kids beds.

If you want to buy an environmentally friendly mattress for your child, the Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress is a great option. The comfort layer consists of naturally springy Dunlop latex certified organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard, a leading authority for sustainably sourced latex products. The mattress also contains an organic wool fire barrier, pocketed coils made from recycled steel, and an organic cotton cover. Additionally, Avocado holds carbon negative status. This means the company offsets more than 100% of its emissions through green manufacturing and shipping practices.

How It Performed

Like other latex hybrids we’ve tested, the Eco Organic Kids Mattress has an exceptionally springy feel. This should help your child move across the surface without sinking when they get in and out of bed. The latex is ventilated, a wool fire barrier wicks away moisture, and the coils promote steady air circulation. Thanks to these components, we don’t expect bothersome heat retention to be a major issue.

The mattress has a firm (7) feel intended to promote healthy growth and development for children. Zoned coils provide extra reinforcement beneath the midsection without making the rest of the mattress feel too stiff. The coils are also thicker around the perimeter to prevent deep sinkage when your child sleeps close to the edges of their bed.

What It’s Made of

A layer of organic wool rests beneath the cover and serves as the mattress’ fire barrier. This material and the organic cotton cover have both received certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard. The latex is produced using the Dunlop process, resulting in a dense material that lightly cushions the body. Pocketed coils make up the support core.

The Eco Organic Kids Mattress measures 7 inches thick and is available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes, so it should be compatible with most bunk beds and child-friendly bed frames. We recommend measuring any bunk bed to make sure there are at least 5 inches of clearance between the guard rails and the surface of the mattress.

Avocado offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. A complimentary copy of “My Blue Planet,” a kids book produced by Avocado, is included with each purchase. The Eco Organic Kids Mattress comes with a 100-night trial period, and parents who choose to keep it also receive a 10-year warranty.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team of dedicated sleep experts personally tested dozens of mattresses to choose the top picks above. 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.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

Although children don’t participate in our testing process, we evaluate each mattress by focusing on factors that tend to affect how kids sleep. These include how firm and bouncy the mattress feels, how well it regulates temperature, and whether it provides adequate support for growing bodies. We also considered kid-friendly features, 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.

For a more complete look at how our team discusses and evaluates mattresses for kids, take a look at our product research methodology below:

  • Motion Isolation: This refers to the amount of movement a mattress absorbs and prevents from spreading elsewhere. Motion isolation is most relevant to couples, small children who sleep with a sibling, and others who share their bed with someone else.
  • Temperature Control: This refers to how well a mattress promotes airflow and releases body heat in order to maintain a comfortable sleep surface. The best mattresses for temperature control sleep neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Pressure Relief: Mattresses can reduce pressure by evenly distributing your weight, aligning the spine, and alleviating soreness in sensitive areas like the shoulders and hips. A bed’s pressure-relieving abilities are often tied to how closely its top layers contour to your body.
  • Off-Gassing: New mattresses often emit off-gassing odors. The smells eventually dissipate, but some mattresses produce stronger, harsher odors than others and may be difficult to sleep on for some people.
  • Ease of Movement: This criteria looks at how well a mattress facilitates movement across the surface without sinking too much. Springy mattresses tend to promote easier movement than models with surfaces that respond slowly to the body.
  • Edge Support: On a mattress with strong perimeter support, you’ll notice minimal sinkage when you sleep close to the edges or get in and out of bed. Some mattresses lack edge support and force sleepers to lie closer to the center.
  • Body Weight: How much a sleeper weighs plays a major role in which mattresses they find most comfortable. Generally speaking, the more a person weighs, the more firmness and support they need from a mattress.

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, your child’s size, and 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, you may prefer a non-specialty mattress that can continue to accommodate your 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. 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’ 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: Most kids are ready to graduate from a toddler-size mattress to a twin by the time they enter preschool. Twin mattresses are usually big enough for most children. As the smallest standard mattress size, twin mattresses tend to be the most affordable and 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, king mattresses 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 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’ 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: Your child’s preferred sleeping position can play a role in how comfortable a mattress feels. We’ve found that 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. Hybrids and innersprings could work well for older children, since they weigh more and need more support, while memory foam mattresses are a good solution for children who enjoy “hugging” comfort. 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. We’ve noticed that 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’ 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. Lower-quality materials may not be problematic if you plan to discard the mattress in a few years when your child outgrows it. 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 allow the sleeper to sink in and enjoy more contouring. Firmer mattresses tend to provide more support. While firmness preferences are largely subjective, we’ve found that 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. Our pressure tests on mattresses show 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 child’s weight affects how firm a mattress feels to them. Heavier children put more force on the bed, which can make it seem softer to them. Lighter children usually do not sink in as much, which can make a bed 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.

When testing mattresses, we categorize each one based on firmness level. Read our guides for the Best Soft Mattresses, Best Medium Firm Mattresses, and Best Firm Mattresses to learn about our top picks for different firmness categories.

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 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, with foam providing the deepest cradling. Hybrids with deep contouring provide a hugging sensation that could comfort some children. Because they have a coil core, hybrid mattresses have better edge support than many 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 or who expect their child to quickly outgrow the bed 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’ 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. Some children may find comfort in this hugging sensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What mattress types are best for kids?

    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 mattress for a kid depends less on its construction type and more on its firmness, support, pressure relief, and ability to grow with them. The best way to decide on a kid’s mattress is to consider your child’s 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 your child 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 your child’s sleep needs for very long.

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

    Deciding on how firm your child’s mattress should be can be difficult, but the best mattress for kids in the long term is often a medium firm model with good pressure relief. This firmness level promotes spinal alignment and should provide ample support for your kid if they switch sleeping positions. Since children weigh less than adults, they typically don’t need an extra firm mattress. Mattresses feel firmer to them, so medium firm or firm models are most comfortable for kids. As they grow, they will require a firmer mattress that can offer them support.

    Most children will still be comfortable on a medium firm 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 your 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, your child may not need as thick of a mattress to feel sufficiently supported.

    However, there is one important consideration if your child sleeps in a bunk bed. 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 your child, 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 AskAnExp[email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Keith Cushner

Sleep Product Expert

Keith is a sleep product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing sleep products.