Guide to Choosing a Mattress for a Child


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Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

Young boy smiles laying on bedGuest Post by Bianca Birgit

Choosing the correct mattress for your children is essential, not only for a good night's rest, but to support your their posture and bone alignment as they grow. This is especially important for young children experiencing growth spurts. The right support significantly reduces restless sleep. A child's health will also benefit from deeper sleep cycles and help him or her develop healthy sleep patterns that ensure you also sleep with fewer  interruptions.

As a quality mattress can last up to 10 years on average, it's worth investing in one that will support your child's development, and withstand all the bed jumping that goes along with it.

Choosing a mattress for your child is pretty simple if you take the following factors into consideration:

1. Size

Between two and three years of age, children transition from their baby beds to their big kid beds.  This age is crucial in the development of your toddler with 80 percent of growth occurring at night while they sleep.

Many children experience growing pains at this stage. If your child is between two and three, you may want to delve a little deeper as explained on, to ensure the mattress you select has pressure relieving qualities to make growing up just a little easier.

If you'd like to take full advantage of the 10-year mattress lifespan, a twin sized mattress will offer you that longevity. A quality twin mattress can easily accommodate your child from toddler to teen.

Regular twin mattresses also offer flexibility when it comes to how you decorate your child's room. It fits perfectly with most bedroom furniture like daybeds, trundle,s and bunk beds.

A twin XL mattress will offer you that extra length for taller teenagers and a full sized or double mattress suits families with kids who love sleepovers, or whose room turns into a guest room over the holidays.

2. Support

The two main types of support are foam and spring mattresses. Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks which need to be considered when purchasing a mattress for a child.

Foam or memory foam construction has a longer lifespan and is available in hypoallergenic versions that eliminate bacteria and odors, as well as reduce the risk of bed bugs and health issues like asthma.

Coil spring mattresses are significantly cheaper than foam. The springs, whether arranged in an open array or sealed individually in material pockets, offer a really comfortable response when you lay on the mattress. Each spring will deliver the exact needed amount of support for the given body part and thus provide a comfortable overall sleeping experience for your child.

So which one should you choose?

The best reason to buy a memory foam mattress would be if you want a longer lasting mattress that can withstand the rigors of a child occasionally jumping on the bed.

If you expect your child might be jumping on the bed, the coil spring mattress is a no-no. In fact, the bouncier spring construction will be even more tempting to use as a trampoline. Unfortunately the springs will begin to wear very quickly and start to poke your sleeping child.

For this reason, we'd suggest the foam mattress. Even though it's pricier, a good memory foam mattress is a much better investment as it will last much longer, providing your child with years of comfort.

3. Sleep positions

Mattresses range from ultra plush to extra firm. Back and side sleepers will benefit from a slightly firmer mattress and a stomach sleeper will suit a medium firm option. If your child sleeps any which way, medium firm is a comfortable middle ground and would be our recommendation.

4. Natural or synthetic

If your child is an allergy sufferer, he or she may be sensitive to mattresses with a synthetic makeup. This can irritate sensitive skin and causes rashes or even aggravate respiratory issues.

There are several organic mattress options available like cotton, wool, bamboo and even natural latex that are hypoallergenic, thus avoid aggravating any existing health complications. You can also check the manufacturer's information guides for the toxic chemical content of the mattress.

An added benefit of going organic is that the all-natural materials are non-toxic and chemical free. They are also breathable, keeping your child cool in summer and warm in winter.

Organic mattresses are, however, somewhat more expensive than synthetic latex or a foam/latex mix. So if your child can eat dust balls without flinching, then foam and latex products are a more cost effective choice.

5. Stain resistance and durability

Protect your mattress with a mattress protector. Spills and stains are unavoidable with children. Regardless of what mattress you choose, an extra layer of protection will add to your mattress hygiene as well as its lifespan.

6. Mattress support

The support below your mattress is important to ensure it lasts. There are several options that will work perfectly. One of the most popular is the traditional box spring, which generally serves as the base of your mattress.

If you prefer to make the space under your child's bed more functional, you may be looking at a daybed or a trundle drawer option. In these cases, a firm hard board or support slats will be adequate to ensure even support and weight distribution on the mattress. Not all these options can withstand vigorous jumping so if you have a particularly lively child, a second support layer may be advisable.

In the case of a bed frame, daybed, or trundle, make sure the mattress fits snugly within the frame to prevent it from moving around.

Bianca Birgit is the owner and editor of WellWorthLiving. She loves her sleep and does all in her power to share her sleep knowledge with others to ensure they are not cranky and disrupting her waking hours.

The Top Mattresses Companies

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#1 Tempur-Pedic chevron_right
7.9 Overall Score
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#2 Ikea chevron_right
7.3 Overall Score
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#3 Sleep Number chevron_right
7.1 Overall Score

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