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Home / Best Mattress of 2021 / Best Toddler Mattress

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Lauren Fountain

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A good night’s rest plays an essential role when it comes to health and wellbeing. Sleep is especially important for a toddler, as it is crucial to their growth and development. A toddler mattress often marks the transition from a crib to bed. Whether you decide to keep the crib or switch to a bed frame or foundation, the mattress needs to fit snugly for safety.

Toddlers have specific needs when it comes to firmness level, as proper spinal alignment is critical at this age. We’ll discuss the top recommended mattress models for toddlers and what distinguishes them from other brands. To ensure your toddler’s comfort and wellbeing, we’ll also outline the most important features to consider, such as breathability, ease of cleaning, and material quality.

The Best Toddler Mattresses

Product Details

Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress

Best Overall

Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress

Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: 
Who it's best for:
  • Those seeking versatility
  • Eco-conscious consumers
  • Parents wanting a low-maintenance, waterproof design
Highlights:
  • Lightweight foam design with dual firmness levels
  • Organic cotton cover with waterproof backing
  • Includes 90-night sleep trial and limited lifetime warranty
Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress

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The Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress is a versatile and economical option, as its dual firmness levels will comfortably fit your child as they develop from infant to toddler. Because infants require additional support, one side of the mattress is firm (7). The toddler side rates as medium firm (6), and its orthopedic design helps encourage proper spinal alignment.

The 6-inch thick mattress consists of plant-oil-infused foam. The square corners and inverted seams are designed to provide a snug and protective fit inside a crib. A tight fit is essential for infant and toddler safety, as too much room between the mattress and frame can be hazardous.

The Colgate Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress may appeal to eco-conscious consumers, as it is GREENGUARD certified to be free from harmful air emissions. All of the foam is CertiPUR-US certified and does not contain any heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, or chemical flame retardants. The organic cotton cover is washable and features waterproof backing. The lightweight design helps facilitate sheet changes, which is an advantage for accident-prone toddlers.

Manufactured in the U.S., the Eco Classica III Toddler Mattress comes with a limited lifetime warranty and should fit standard cribs and toddler beds.

Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress

Best Value

Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress

Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: 6
Who it's best for:
  • Value seekers
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Parents looking for a lightweight, breathable mattress
Highlights:
  • Removable cover is water-resistant and machine-washable
  • Breathable foam core for ample airflow
  • Non-toxic construction
Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress

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The Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress has the recommended firmness level to safely accommodate newborn babies, infants, and toddlers. GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certified to be free from phthalates and heavy metals, this non-toxic design fits standard size cribs or toddler beds.

Featuring a 5-inch polyurethane foam core, the mattress is engineered to be highly breathable. The soft, water-resistant polyester cover is removable and machine-washable.

The mattress complies with all federal flammability standards. It is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), which independently verifies its safety and functionality.

This design is lightweight and ships compressed in a box. For best results, the mattress should be unrolled within the first two weeks of purchase, as this helps ensure adequate expansion. The Graco Premium Crib and Toddler Mattress is backed by a 6-year limited warranty and a 30-night sleep trial.

Nest Big Kids Bed

Best Twin Bed for Toddlers

Nest Big Kids Bed

Nest Big Kids Bed
Price Range: $349 - $549
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: 7
Who it's best for:
  • Parents seeking a twin size mattress
  • Those wanting firmer support for their child
  • Shoppers concerned with longevity
Highlights:
  • Phase change material cover is engineered to regulate temperature
  • 100-night sleep trial and limited lifetime warranty
  • Made with CertiPUR-US certified foam and non-toxic materials
Nest Big Kids Bed

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The Nest Bedding Big Kid Bed (BKB) is a versatile design that accommodates toddlers and older children. The firm (7) mattress helps promote proper spinal alignment and is suitable for any sleeping style. The model comes in three different sizes, with the twin size being most suitable for toddlers.

The BKB is produced in the United States. The mattress consists of CertiPUR-US certified foams and does not contain a chemical fire barrier. The 0.5-inch quilted foam cover features a phase change material designed to help regulate temperature. The breathable outer cover is made from mesh polyester.

With a total height of 7 inches, the mattress has a 2-inch Energex foam comfort layer, a 5-inch polyfoam support core, and edge support base foam. Energex foam has an open-cell structure for added breathability.

All of the foams are aired out in the factory prior to shipment to help reduce the likelihood of off-gassing. The fire barrier is made from non-chemical hydrogenated silica.

The Nest Bedding Big Kid Bed comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100-night sleep trial. Nest Bedding offers free shipping within the continental U.S.

Saatva Youth

Best Flippable Twin Bed for Toddlers

Saatva Youth

Saatva Youth
Price Range: $699 - $899
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: 
Who it's best for:
  • Those seeking a flippable, durable model
  • Consumers who want a long sleep trial
  • Those looking for more than one firmness option
Highlights:
  • Dual-sided coil design accommodates children from ages 3 to 12
  • Breathable cotton cover includes water-resistant finish and waterproof barrier
  • Comes with a 180-night sleep trial and 12-year warranty
Saatva Youth

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The Saatva Youth Mattress has a dual-sided construction to comfortably accommodate a growing child. One side is designed to fit a child ages 3 to 7 and consists of a five-zone support layer that is firmer in the center third of the mattress. This construction encourages proper spinal alignment, which is crucial for this younger age range.

The reverse side is engineered to fit older children ages 8 to 12. It features high-density comfort foam that is both supportive and breathable. The foam is engineered to regulate temperature and prevent overheating. The next layer is a lumbar support zone that features patented spinal zone technology to promote proper spinal alignment for older kids.

The support core of the mattress is a dual-sided coil unit made from supportive yet flexible recycled steel coils. It is designed to contour to the shape of your child’s growing body and help relieve pressure points.

Both sides have a soft organic cotton cover that is hypoallergenic, breathable, and water-resistant. The cover is treated with Saatva’s proprietary Guardin botanical antimicrobial treatment.

With its water-resistant barrier, the Saatva Youth Mattress is designed to withstand accidents and spills for added durability. The foam used is CertiPUR-US certified, indicating it is made without harmful chemicals. In addition to a 180-night sleep trial, the Saatva Youth Mattress is backed by a 12-year warranty and comes with free White Glove delivery. Each mattress is handcrafted in the U.S.

Newton Crib Mattress Essential

Best for Easy Cleanup

Newton Crib Mattress Essential

Newton Crib Mattress Essential
Price Range: $250 - $250
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: 7
Who it's best for:
  • Parents seeking a mattress that is 100% washable
  • Those wanting to avoid foam, latex, adhesives, and springs
  • Consumers wanting more sizing options
Highlights:
  • Wovenaire core is engineered to be highly breathable
  • The fabric cover and Wovenaire core are washable
  • Limited lifetime warranty and 100-night sleep trial
Newton Crib Mattress Essential

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

The Newton Crib and Toddler Mattress has a two-stage design that accommodates infants and toddlers. Its Wovenaire core consists of 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, which makes it more breathable than many other toddler mattresses. The quilted 3D spacer fabric cover is removable and washable.

Independent testing has verified that the Newton Crib and Toddler Mattress has a low suffocation risk due to its breathable design. It is available in both standard and mini sizes, as well three different styles: Essential, Original, and Waterproof. Depending on the style chosen, the thickness will be either 4 inches or 5.5 inches, and the cover will consist of a single or double layer.

The Newton Crib and Toddler Mattress is entirely washable. The Wovenaire core can be washed in the shower with soap and water, and it should dry quickly. Regularly cleaning the mattress and its cover helps prevent the buildup of mold, allergens, dust, and bacteria. It is GREENGUARD Gold certified, which means that it has been third-party tested and certified for low chemical emissions. This hypoallergenic mattress is particularly suitable for infants with various sensitivities, as it is free of foam, latex, and adhesives.

The Newton Crib and Toddler Mattress comes with a 100-night home trial, a limited lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns.

How to Choose a Toddler Mattress

Toddlers spend 11 to 14 hours a day sleeping, so it’s important that their mattress is both safe and comfortable. Evaluating a mattress’ firmness is key, as a toddler’s growing body requires additional support. A mattress that is too soft could potentially be hazardous. The mattress also needs to fit snugly within the crib or bed frame in order to prevent entrapment.

Infants and young children are more vulnerable to certain chemicals, and parents may want to prioritize finding a non-toxic option. We’ll highlight the most important factors to keep in mind before purchasing your toddler’s mattress.

What to Look For in a Toddler Mattresss

While searching for the most suitable mattress for your toddler, you’ll often come across the terms flippable or dual-sided. This describes a mattress model with a different construction on each side, so that it can adapt to your growing child’s needs. Considering that a high-quality mattress can last several years, shoppers may want to choose one that will also comfortably fit a young child, and not just a toddler.

In addition to breathability and support, waterproofing and ease of care are significant factors to consider, since this is a more accident-prone age. We’ll break down these and other important features to be mindful of while shopping for your toddler’s mattress.

In addition to breathability and support, waterproofing and ease of care are significant factors to consider, since this is a more accident-prone age. We’ll break down these and other important features to be mindful of while shopping for your toddler’s mattress.

Price
Price can vary substantially when it comes to toddler mattresses. Dual-sided or flippable mattresses will typically command a higher price-point, since they are meant to last longer and grow alongside your child. Other features like organic covers, waterproofing, and washability may also increase the price.

Quality Materials
Safety and comfort are a top priority for your toddler, so it’s important that your toddler’s new mattress consists of non-toxic, quality materials. If you opt for a foam mattress, look for one that is high-quality and dense enough to provide sufficient support. Similarly, innerspring mattresses should be firm and supportive. Higher quality materials can also increase breathability to help regulate temperature and keep your toddler comfortable.

Waterproofing & Care
Toddlers are prone to bedwetting and accidents, so it helps to have a waterproof cover that is easy to remove and wash. This will protect the mattress from the buildup of unwanted bacteria, dust, mold, and other contaminants. Some designs are washable from cover to core, though this is less common.

Firmness Level
Firmness level is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a toddler mattress, as it will help keep your child safe and secure. A mattress that is too soft and conforming can potentially cause suffocation or entrapment. Most toddler mattresses are medium firm or firm.

Size
Many toddler mattresses are designed to fit standard crib and toddler beds. Regardless of bed type, the mattress needs to fit snugly to ensure safety. If you’re concerned with longevity, you may want to opt for a twin or twin XL mattress that will accommodate your child as they grow.

Sleeping Position
Back sleeping is considered to be the safest sleeping position for toddlers, which is why medium firm to firm mattresses are the best fit. As your child grows, back and stomach sleeping are also considered to be safe.

Temperature Regulation
Some mattresses are heat-wicking, while others are more likely to retain heat. If your child tends to sleep hot, look for a mattress that is highly breathable, as this will help to regulate temperature and increase comfort. Innerspring mattresses tend to be better at dissipating heat due to the coil layer, but some foam models are engineered to regulate temperature.

Support
An infant requires a different level of support than a toddler, so the infant side of a flippable or dual-sided mattress will usually be firmer than the reverse. For both toddlers and infants, the mattress needs to be supportive enough to encourage proper spinal alignment and prevent too much sinkage.

Versatility
Some mattresses are designed to safely transition from a crib to toddler bed, while other models have two different sides to accommodate a growing child. Flippable models are likely to be the most versatile, as they will comfortably fit a wider age range for your child, which increases their longevity.

Mattress Type
This refers to the type of material or construction used for the mattress, which will often affect its firmness level and comfort. The most common mattress types for a toddler are foam and innerspring, but there are also hybrid and latex options.

Types of Toddler Mattresses

Foam

Foam mattresses for toddlers typically contain polyfoam and not memory foam, as the conforming tendency of the latter is not considered to be as safe for young children. Polyfoam generally provides more durable support. The mattress should be firm with an even surface. To prevent the likelihood of off-gassing, shoppers may want to look for models that have been aired out in advance and do not contain any toxic chemicals.

Hybrid

Hybrid models combine coil support systems with comfort layers made from foam or latex. This type of mattress often maximizes the strengths of multiple mattress types while minimizing potential drawbacks. Hybrid models are typically designed to cradle the body and relieve pressure points. They also tend to provide better edge support when compared to all-foam models.

Innerspring

Innersprings are a more traditional mattress type, with a support core of coils and a thinner comfort system. This construction enables better airflow, which makes the mattress more breathable and temperature-regulating. They may be less durable and supportive when compared to other models, but they also tend to be more economical.

Latex

Latex mattresses contain single or multiple layers of either natural or synthetic latex. Depending on if it is processed using the Talalay or Dunlop method, a latex mattress may have a lighter or denser feel. Latex is typically durable but also more expensive, which may not be ideal for a mattress that a young child will ultimately outgrow.

Dual-Sided

Dual-sided mattresses are appealing because of their versatility and longevity when compared to uniform designs. Depending on the model, dual-sided mattresses will accommodate both an infant and toddler, or a toddler and child up to approximately age 12. The infant side will be extra firm and supportive, while the toddler side will be slightly softer. Dual-sided models may utilize a combination of coils and foam, or consist primarily of foam.

Last Things to Consider With a Toddler Mattress

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of toddler mattresses, we’ll cover some of the most critical factors to consider when making this important purchase.

Toddler Bed Safety

Regardless of mattress type, it’s crucial that a mattress fit snugly within a crib or toddler bed in order to prevent suffocation or entrapment. The two-finger test is one way to assess how well the mattress fits. If there’s space to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib or bed frame, then the mattress is too small.

Although it varies from child to child, toddlers typically transition from a crib to a toddler bed between the ages of 18 months to 3 years. Your toddler may be ready for a toddler bed if they are able to climb out of the crib, or if you have started potty training. Consulting with your physician can help you determine the best age to make the switch to a toddler bed.

Material Safety & Certifications

Toddlers are more susceptible to airborne chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are a byproduct of certain manufacturing processes. A mattress that is GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certified indicates that it adheres to rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards and does not contain phthalates, formaldehyde, or heavy metals like mercury and lead.

Look for mattresses that use non-chemical flame retardants, such as silica or plant-based thistle, as these are non-toxic alternatives. If opting for a foam or latex model, check to see if the mattress has been aired out in advance, so that off-gassing odors are minimal by the time it reaches your home.

Care & Cleaning

Bedwetting, spills, and other accidents are inevitable in the toddler years, so a mattress that simplifies the care and cleaning process may be beneficial. Look for a removable cover that can be washed by machine or hand, which will help keep your toddler’s sleep space hygienic. In some circumstances, the mattress core may be washable.

A useful add-on to consider for additional peace of mind is a removable mattress protector, as this will help shield the mattress from spills, stains, mold, allergens, and odors. Mattress protectors can be removed and washed regularly.

Sizing

Even though crib mattresses and toddler mattresses may differ when it comes to firmness and frame type, they typically measure at least 27.25 inches wide and 51.75 inches long. A toddler’s mattress is meant to fit on a small bed frame without front rails, and it sits nearer to the ground than a crib frame.

There should be no more than two-fingers width in the space between the mattress and bed frame in order to ensure your toddler’s safety. If you opt for a flippable twin size mattress that will also sleep your toddler as he or she grows older, then you’ll likely need a larger bed frame and removable bed rails.