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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.

New Year, New Ratings, New Recommendations
If better sleep is one of your goals for 2023, we are here to help! Mattresses play a major role in sleep quality, so finding the best mattress is a key step to improving sleep. Our product testing team has conducted hands-on evaluations of hundreds of mattresses in the Sleep Foundation Test Lab. To kick off the new year, we’ve reassessed our top 100 mattress picks and ratings to bring you the best recommendations and most up-to-date research.

Product Details

Best Overall

Saatva Crib Mattress

Brand Logo
Price: $445
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • People seeking a low-maintenance bed
  • Parents who need a mattress that infants can grow into
  • Eco-conscious shoppers


  • Dual-sided model sleeps both infants and toddlers
  • Removable and water-repellent organic cotton cover
  • Lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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The Saatva Crib Mattress is a flippable model that sleeps both infants and toddlers. Designed to make cleaning quick and simple, the mattress has a removable organic cotton cover with a water-repellent barrier. The mattress is also specially treated to help prevent bacterial growth.

The mattress is 8 inches thick and offers two distinct feels based on the unique needs of infants and toddlers. The infant side has a firm support layer made from woven eucalyptus fibers, which helps prevent infants from sinking too deeply into the support core. Eucalyptus fibers have a breathable quality, so your child is less likely to overheat. The support core consists of steel coils that promote good airflow through the interior of the bed, especially compared to all-foam models. The bed has reinforced edges and a unique design that helps guide children toward the center of the bed.

The side intended for toddlers starts with a plush layer of GOTS-certified organic wool from New Zealand. Wool has moisture-wicking properties that will help keep your child dry and comfortable. The next layer consists of natural Talalay latex that cushions your child while offering some bounce, followed by a transitional layer made of woven eucalyptus fibers. While slightly softer than the infant version, the toddler side is still firm enough to promote good posture in rapidly growing bodies.

The Saatva Crib Mattress is backed by a non-prorated lifetime warranty. The mattress has a 45-day return policy and ships free of charge to the contiguous U.S.

Newton Crib and Toddler Mattress

Best Value

Newton Crib Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $250 – $250
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (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


  • Wovenaire core is engineered to be highly breathable
  • The fabric cover and Wovenaire core are washable
  • Limited lifetime warranty and 100-night sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

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

Best for Growing Kids

Saatva Youth

Brand Logo
Price Range: $749 – $999
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium (5), Firm (7)

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


  • Dual-sided coil design accommodates children from ages 3 to 12
  • Breathable cotton cover includes water-resistant finish and waterproof barrier
  • Comes with a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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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 365-night sleep trial, the Saatva Youth Mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty and comes with free White Glove delivery. Each mattress is handcrafted in the U.S.

Read our Full Saatva Youth Review to learn more
Product image of the Nest Bedding Puffin mattress

Best First Big Kid Mattress

Nest Bedding Puffin

Brand Logo
Price Range: $499 – $749
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Parents seeking a twin size mattress
  • Those wanting firmer support for their child
  • Shoppers concerned with longevity


  • 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

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SleepFoundation.org readers get an additional 2% off select bedding with code SF2

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

Best Dual Firmness

Organic Dream Organic Cotton 2-Stage Lightweight Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $200 – $250
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Parents planning to keep the same mattress from infancy to preschool
  • Children who are prone to bedwetting
  • Shoppers who prioritize beds that have been tested for low chemical emissions


  • Cotton cover promotes breathability
  • Dual-sided design offers a firm and soft surface
  • Machine-washable cover for easy care

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

The Organic Dream Organic Cotton 2-Stage Lightweight Mattress has a flippable design that will meet your child’s sleep needs from infancy through toddlerhood. Each side features a different firmness level to keep your child comfortable as they grow.

The 2-Stage Lightweight Mattress is encased in a breathable cover made of 100% cotton. The core is composed of a polymer-based foam that gently cradles your child’s body. The firmer side (7) is meant for infants, who benefit from firm surfaces to keep them from sinking into the core. The softer side offers a plush comfort that your child will appreciate as they age. While the medium (5) feel of this surface is soft, it still offers plenty of firmness to support your toddler’s body and promote healthy spinal alignment.

The bed is 6 inches thick and you can purchase it in a standard crib or mini crib size. The cover is removable and machine washable, which is a nice perk for babies with leaky diapers or toddlers who are toilet training. GREENGUARD Gold certification ensures the mattress has been tested for the presence of hazardous chemicals.

Organic Dream offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. You have 100 nights to try out the mattress and may return the mattress during this timeframe for a full refund. The bed is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Best Eco-Friendly

Avocado Organic Crib Mattress

Brand Logo
Price: $439
Mattress Type: Latex
Firmness: Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)

Who it’s best for:

  • Shoppers seeking a crib mattress that lasts into toddler years
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
  • Parents concerned about material quality


  • Flippable design accommodates both infants and toddlers
  • Two different firmness levels
  • Made with certified organic materials

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

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

The Avocado Organic Crib Mattress is a flippable model designed to sleep both infants and toddlers. The mattress is made using sustainable practices and organic materials, resulting in a versatile, high-performing crib mattress.

The infant side is meant for babies under 1 year old and has a firmer feel to support small growing bodies. The sturdy base features 3 inches of coconut husk fiber combined with organic Dunlop latex, which is more breathable and durable than memory foam and other types of latex.

The reverse side of the bed is meant for toddlers, with a medium firm surface tailored for children ages 1 to 4 years old. The surface features 1 inch of organic Dunlop latex and a wool support layer. The feel is plusher than the other side but still promotes good posture in developing bodies.

Both mattress sides have quilted covers made from soft and breathable organic cotton. All of the cotton and wool is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and the latex is certified organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). The entire mattress is GREENGUARD Gold and OEKO-TEX-certified, indicating that it has low VOC emissions and does not contain known harmful chemicals.

The Avocado Organic Crib Mattress fits standard size cribs and ships flat rather than compressed. The mattress comes with a 25-year limited warranty and a 30-night sleep trial. Avocado ships the mattress free of charge to the contiguous U.S.

Naturepedic Organic Breathable Ultra 2-Stage

Best Cooling

Naturepedic Organic 2-Stage Crib Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $399 – $449
Mattress Type: Foam or Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Who it’s best for:

  • Toddlers who frequently wet the bed
  • Parents who want a mattress their toddler can use until they transition to a big kid bed
  • Eco-conscious individuals


  • Waterproof cover is removable and machine-washable
  • Available in all-cotton or innerspring designs
  • Composed of natural and organic materials

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SF Readers get 15% off sitewide at Naturepedic with code SF15

Naturepedic has built a reputation for sleep products made from sustainably sourced materials, and the Organic 2-Stage Crib Mattress is no exception. You can choose from two different eco-friendly designs, both of which excel at cooling and breathability. The “lightweight” mattress contains plush cotton batting and weighs only 14 pounds, making it easy to move, while the innerspring model is slightly heavier but more supportive.

Both versions of the mattress are encased in waterproof organic cotton covers to safeguard the mattress from liquid damage. You can remove and machine-wash the cover whenever a cleaning is needed. An additional waterproof membrane made from non-GMO sugarcane offers extra protection. Measuring 6 inches thick, the mattress should be compatible with any toddler bed sold today.

The innerspring Organic 2-Stage Crib Mattress costs more than the lightweight all-cotton model, but both are reasonably priced given their premium, sustainably sourced materials. Naturepedic also offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Each order includes a 100-night sleep trial, and parents who choose to keep the mattress also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Other Mattress Guides

If you’re still not sure which type of mattress would be best for your little one, you can review our collection of mattress guides to narrow down your search.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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