Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Best Mattresses for Kids


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Best mattresses for kids

  • Best overall mattress for kids: Serta Perfect Sleeper
  • Best cooling mattress for kids: Tuft and Needle Original Mattress
  • Best waterproof mattress for kids: New Airweave Mattress
  • Best mattress for younger kids: Nest My BKB — Big Kids Bed
  • Best organic mattress: 5 Little Monkeys Mattress Sleep System
  • Most comfortable mattress for kids: Little LuuF Mattress for Kids
  • Best memory foam mattress for kids: Puffy Mattress
  • Best full-size mattress for kids: Saatva Youth Mattress

Everyone needs a good night’s sleep if they’re going to perform at their best the next day. And just like with adults, children can struggle to fall asleep on a mattress that’s too firm, too soft, or just plain old and in need of replacement.

But what should you look for when you’re buying a kid’s mattress? And is it different from shopping for a crib or toddler mattress? If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of mattress shopping for your kids, we get it!

We’re outlining the most important features you need to prioritize as you shop for your child’s mattress and highlighting a few top picks to help narrow down your search.

Types of mattresses for kids

Just like with adults, there are a wide range of options for a kid’s mattress. The most common options are outlined below:

Foam

If you’re picturing memory foam with this one, you’re correct. A foam mattress can be great for children that are older than toddlers, since it can adapt to the shape of their bodies and provide proper support and alignment in practically any position.

However, foam mattresses are known for off-gassing. Off-gassing is the process of releasing odors from the materials used to create an item. While considered harmless, it can be annoying in the first few weeks, as the smell can cause headaches or make it harder for someone — including your child — to fall asleep.

Latex

Latex is another great option if you’re focused on eco-friendly kid’s mattresses. The latex is made from natural materials and is also known for being resistant to dust mites as well as being hypoallergenic. This is a great choice if your child has allergies or skin sensitivities.

Innerspring

Innersprings are a classic mattress that most people grew up with over the years. These are basically spring mattresses that are ideal for children of all ages — including for cribs and toddler beds.

These mattresses tend to have a longer lifespan and tend to be more durable, especially if you have kids who love to jump on the bed.

Innerspring mattresses are also ideal for a wider range of sleep positions including side, back, and stomach sleepers.

Hybrids

As the name implies, a hybrid mattress is usually a combination of two mattress materials. A common choice pairs a foam topper with an innerspring core.

The benefit of a hybrid mattress is that you can get the support of an innerspring interior as well as a softer, plush sleeping experience, thanks to the foam exterior.

Organic

If you’re concerned about the materials in your child’s mattress and their impact on the environment, an organic mattress is a smart choice.

These mattresses are made from organic materials that are hypoallergenic, flame-resistant, and chemical-free. In some cases, they may also be biodegradable.

Organic mattresses are very popular for crib mattresses because they’re considered a very safe choice.

What to look for in a mattress for kids

Of course, when you’re shopping for a mattress, some criteria are going to be the same regardless of who’s sleeping on it. But if you’re wondering what specifically you should consider before making a selection, keep reading.

Mattress size

Assuming you’re not shopping for a crib or toddler mattress, standard mattresses come in a range of sizes from twin to California king. Many parents opt for a twin for younger children, while others decide to pick a full-sized mattress so that their child can grow into it even in their teen years.

Sleeping position

Depending on how you sleep, some mattresses and their level of firmness can be better for you than others. This rule applies to children too.

While innerspring mattresses are considered universally supportive and comfortable for all sleep positions, the same can’t be said for other types of mattresses.

Side sleepers tend to pair better with softer mattresses, since these picks will have more give for sensitive points, like the hips and shoulders.

Meanwhile, back and stomach sleepers are better off with firmer mattresses, where sinkage is less likely to occur.

But active sleepers might need a mattress that prioritizes contouring to the body while also offering support.

Contouring and pressure relief

How well does a mattress redistribute the sleeper’s body weight and help to relieve pressure on the hips or shoulders? This function is known as contouring and is important for sleepers of all ages.

But it can be especially helpful for children experiencing growth spurts who would otherwise feel discomfort in key areas, like their hips and shoulders.

Firmness

Firmness is an important feature that requires you to know how your child sleeps as well as whether they prefer a firmer or softer sleeping surface. The firmness level will also impact how well the mattress contours to the body and the amount of support it offers.

Keep in mind that firmness is a subjective metric. For children’s mattresses, factor in the child’s weight and their preferred sleep position to select the appropriate firmness.

Edge support

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re going to roll off the side of the bed. This is what edge support means — how firm a mattress feels as you reach the edge.

If the edges aren’t supportive enough, children might feel like they’re going to fall off. This can limit the usable surface of the mattress. So, look for models with firm edge support.

Additional features

While not a requirement, some features can make a mattress more intuitive and comfortable. For example, temperature regulation is a great option if you have a child who normally sweats in their sleep.

Likewise, a noisy mattress that creaks when you move can be disruptive if your child is a light sleeper.

Price

For better or worse, price matters. Depending on your budget, a mattress’ price can be a serious issue. If you’re looking for more intuitive features, like temperature regulation or a memory foam mattress with cooling gels, you can find them, for a premium.

But you can’t shop based on price alone. You should think about the long term, since most mattresses are designed to last between 7 and 10 years.

So, while an initial upfront price might seem expensive, it can be incredibly cost-effective when placed against how long you’ll potentially use a mattress.

How we chose our favorite mattresses for kids

To create our list, we focused on the following key features: price, edge support, firmness, sleeping position compatibility, contouring, and pressure relief, as well as additional features like temperature regulation and weight distribution. Plus, we considered reviews from real shoppers like you!

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $349
  • $$ = $350–$799
  • $$$ = over $800

Healthline Parenthood’s picks of the best mattresses for kids

Best full-size mattress for kids

Saatva Youth Mattress

Price: $$$

For parents that are thinking long term, the Saatva Youth Mattress is a great hybrid innerspring option that allows for some customization. You can opt to add foundation height and to choose between 4.75 to 8.75 inches, depending on the existing height of the bed or the height of your child.

We like that this mattress comes with white-glove service, which includes delivery and setup so you don’t have to drag the mattress to the bedroom.

Most importantly, we like that if you decide to purchase a full-size mattress so your child can grow into it, this mattress is flippable. You’ll see that each side is clearly labeled, with one side designed for years 3 through 7, while the alternate is for years 8 through 12.

The younger side is designed with a softer, plusher feel so that it’s easier for children to fall asleep, while the older side has their trademark active-spinal wiring for improved lumbar support.

And you’ll appreciate that the mattress cover is protected with Guardin, a natural botanical antimicrobial treatment.

Best cooling mattress for kids

Tuft and Needle Original Mattress

Price: $

If you’re nervous about splurging on a kid’s mattress, the Tuft and Needle Original Mattress is an affordable solution that’s designed to last.

This medium-firm foam mattress is made from two layers of foam that are designed to be adaptive while helping to redistribute pressure. Each layer contains graphite and cooling gel that work to pull body heat away so that your little one won’t wake up sweaty in the morning.

It’s ideal for all sleeping positions. And if you’re concerned about off-gassing, rest easy since this mattress is tested and certified by CertiPUR-US, meaning it’s free from harmful chemicals and has less than 0.5 parts per million volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

However, note that if you’re concerned about allergens, their antimicrobial HeiQ technology is an upgrade that must be purchased.

Best memory foam mattress for kids

Puffy Mattress

Price: $$

Active sleepers will appreciate the Puffy Mattress because it’s designed for all sleep positions. Parents will like that these mattresses are designed to work on a variety of surfaces, including box springs, slatted frames, adjustable frames, and even bunk beds.

The hypoallergenic, stain-resistant, and washable mattress cover helps to prevent dust mites and other allergens from embedding into the mattress. Meanwhile, the cooling gel cloud layer helps with temperature regulation for uninterrupted sleep.

You’ll also like that this mattress has firm core support that’s designed to adapt to your child’s body and provide optimal support — even if your child is an active sleeper.

Plenty of pressure relief ensures that your child’s spine is aligned regardless of their position. And again, there’s a 101-day risk-free trial period to test the mattress before you commit.

Best mattress for younger kids

Nest Bedding My BKB — Big Kids Bed

Price: $

When you’re ready to transition your little ones to a “big kid’s bed,” the Nest Big Kids Bed is a great choice. This is a firm foam mattress that’s best for back and stomach sleepers and is made from CertiPUR-US certified materials.

The brand promises that their mattresses are aired out in the factory to minimize the impact of off-gassing in your home. You’ll like that you get sturdy edge support, which is ideal for younger, active sleepers.

There’s also an Energex cooling comfort layer and a Thermic phase change cooling cover to help dissipate heat. Note that because this is explicitly a mattress made for children, it’s only available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes.

Best waterproof mattress for kids

New Airweave Mattress

Price: $$$

Finding a truly waterproof mattress can be hard, which is why the New Airweave Mattress is a serious splurge. Normally, mattresses must be spot cleaned. But Airwave’s mattress is one of the few where the entire mattress — not just the cover — is washable.

This model features a proprietary Airfiber that’s said to be different from, and superior to, memory foam. It works to facilitate movement while also effectively distributing weight and encouraging airflow for more comfortable sleep.

The lightweight mattress is designed so that the removable cover and the actual mattress can be machine washed. Because this is a pricier option, you’ll appreciate the 100-day trial that gives you the freedom to test out the mattress before you fully commit to it or its price tag.

Best overall mattress for kids

Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress

Price: $$

For parents focused on customization, you can’t go wrong with Perfect Sleeper mattress by Serta. This mattress allows you to choose how many layers of memory foam you want and the firmness level.

Pick between plush, medium, or extra firm — making it ideal for all types of sleepers. There’s also Serta’s proprietary HexCloud Gel Memory Foam, which is touted to dissipate heat while still providing essential support.

This is a hybrid mattress that includes their 100 Edition Custom Support Coil System, which aims to minimize motion transfer, and the Serta BestEdge that features an extra-deep foam rail to avoid rolling off the side of the bed.

Parents of children with allergies will appreciate that this pick features HeiQ V-Block technology, which is designed to kill microorganisms and helps to preserve the lifespan of the mattress.

Best organic mattress

5 Little Monkeys Mattress Sleep System

Price: $$

Parents focused on sustainability and safety will appreciate the 5 Little Monkeys Mattress Sleep System.

This is another mattress made with CertiPUR-US certified memory foam. You’ll like that this is a complete system that comes with a waterproof mattress protector and a custom fill pillow.

In addition to temperature regulation, you’ll get a mattress that’s designed with adaptive pressure relief for better, more consistent weight distribution.

We like that this is a triple layer mattress made from high-density, open-cell memory foam with a Dual Phase Change Gel that helps to absorb heat to keep little ones cool as they snooze. And the waterproof mattress cover is made from organic cotton jersey knit with a nontoxic waterproof backing.

Most comfortable mattress for kids

Little LuuF Mattress for Kids

Price: $$

Breathability is one of the most important features of this Little LuuF mattress. It’s designed from foams that are CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified to ensure there’s no harmful off-gassing, toxins, or VOCs.

Little LuuF’s proprietary Serene Foam is designed to adapt the surface weight to help reduce pressure, ensuring a deeper sleep. These mattresses are specifically designed for children, so the mattress is created with coils calibrated for smaller sizes.

Best of all, if you’re concerned about whether your child will like this mattress, Little LuuF offers a 100-day risk-free trial period.

Takeaway

Getting a good night’s rest is essential, but when you’re shopping for a child’s mattress, you also need to think about whether or not that mattress is providing proper support for their growth.

Budgets vary and mattresses range in price, style, and features. But when you know what to shop for, it’s easier to narrow down the selections and find the perfect choice to help your little one drift off to dreamland.


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