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Children need quality sleep every single night.
Studies prove sleep is necessary for healthy development. The medical community agrees children need high-quality sleep during their growth stages.
The CDC has declared a “public health epidemic” after discovering how little sleep American children get.
When children don't get sleep it affects parents. And parents need sleep too. 50 million Americans report they have problems concentrating throughout the day. This is because they are not getting enough sleep.
The CDC recommends that children of school-age get no less than 9 hours of sleep every day. Teenagers should sleep 8-10 hours. This amount of time lets a child's brain rest so their mind can handle the learning and growth it experiences.
While there are things you can do to help your children fall asleep, like swaddling them when they are young. Nothing will impact your kid's sleep more than the mattress they sleep on every night. Good beds provide quality sleep.
Finding the perfect mattress for kids is anything is not simple. The market is flooded with options. All these mattresses promise the moon and the stars. Which ones deliver the goods and help our children sleep soundly every night?
In our buying guide we will dive into the attributes you should look for in the best mattress for kids. This guide helps you navigate the myriad of options. It will give you the inside information you need to choose the best option. So your child can have big dreams and get the quality sleep they need to achieve them!
Let’s dive in.
Mattress size plays a significant role in your child's nighttime comfort level. Larger mattress will also keep them safe as they get used to sleeping on a traditional bed. The transition from crib to sleeping platform can create anxiety. There are metaphorical monsters under the bed, but also a real threat of rolling off.
Children should sleep in crib until two or three years old. After that, the options for you to pick and choose from are endless.
Do you buy a “transition” mattress that lasts between a two months and a year to cover their transition from crib to bed?
Do you buy a Twin mattress?
Do you future proof by going with a Full or Queen sized bed?
Without the right information, questions like this is can make a parents head spin.
Most parents stick to three sizes when shopping for the right mattress for their children:
Twin mattresses are a fantastic starting option. For children starting out in a bed, twin beds are a space-saving solution. They measure 30 inches wide by 75 inches long. These mattresses can work wonders. This size bed is great for children. They are beds that can fit in all but the smallest rooms. Two twin mattresses placed side-by-side or a bunk bed can save even more space. As you would expect, this setup is perfect for twins.
Twin XL mattresses add five extra inches of length to a standard twin. They are well suited to young children that are tall for their age group. Twin XLs are a great choice for tall parents that want the bed to last through the next growth spurt. This size ensures your child can sleep well without having to spend extra money on an adult mattress. For reference, Twin XL mattresses are the standard size for dorm beds. So by buying one you are, in a weird way, preparing your children for college.
Full mattresses are sometimes called doubles. They work wonders for older children and teenagers. For smaller adults they can do a solid job. My girlfriend is 4'10" and a full mattress works fine for her. At 6'0" I can sleep on it fine by myself, but we could not share this bed. These mattresses are 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. Full mattresses are usually the largest size parents buy for their children. These mattresses provide extra sleeping space for children that are restless. They toss and turn without falling off the bed. It also ensures quality sleep for those that like to spread out at night..
If you want to future proof your kid's new bed, buy a Queen mattress. We would wait until your child is over 50" because kids will be swimming in such a large bed.
For younger children under 10 and shorter than 50" go with a twin mattress. It should be enough room for them to transition to adult sleeping. By the time your child is in their teenage years it is time for a Twin XL or Full.
It might seem that bigger is always better, but keep in mind that a big bed will take up a lot of space. Children play and study in their room and these activities need space too. The best sized bed is big enough for your child's next seven years. By then it should be time to replace their mattress anyway.
Money is always a key consideration when buying the best mattress for a kid.
Quality mattress options for children fall into two distinct price ranges. They are either up to $500 or between $500 and $1,200. While there are luxury options that are more expensive than $1,200, your child doesn't need them. For the most part you will be paying for a brand-name and marketing. There are plenty of quality beds for under $1,200 on the internet.
Like everything else, you get what you pay for when purchasing a new mattress. Direct to consumer online brands are your best choice, because they cut out middleman. When you enter a mattress store the price will be much higher than manufacturing cost. They have to pay salary to their employees, rent on their space, and a markup so they can make profits. This why buying a mattress online is popular today. It keep costs and prices for new mattresses low.
This is your child though. They will spend 27,000 hours in direct contact with their mattress. During this time their brain, bones and muscles will be growing. During this time their mind will be processing information. During this time they will be healing scrapes and bruises. This is not the place you want to skimp. You want quality intelligently designed products. You want them manufactured in clean facilities. You want the the best sleep possible for your children during the most important time of their life. When they need quality sleep the most, you can't afford to cut corners and buy a lousy mattress. You need the best mattress for kids.
It's not hard to find a quality mattress at a low price. Thanks to advancements in manufacturing and the competition, it's a great time to buy. You can find a great mattress for children at lower price points. You can still expect long-lasting durability, high levels of relaxation, and comfort. You don't need to spend more than $500 to find a sleeping solution. Though, you might miss “special features” that make expensive options attractive.
PLEASE: stay away from bottom of the barrel options.
These mattresses, especially super cheap memory foam ones, feature low quality materials. They have dubious durability. They can be made with materials that are harmful with long-term exposure.
You don't want your children spending 10 hours a night on top of a mattress that is poisoning them!
A mattress' most important job is supporting your child while they sleep. It needs to provide a positive surface to growing and developing bodies.
Children and adults require a balanced support system. Beds need to be soft enough to cradle the body's pressure points. They also need firm enough to keep spines aligned. A bed that's too soft will cause the spine to sag. This will create micro traumas that add up over a lifetime. Mattresses in the sweet spot is allow for total relaxation, protecting the body. The prevent hammering pressure points and blood flow restriction.
The best children's mattresses on the market almost suspend a child’s body on top of the platform. They give them just enough support for a good night’s sleep. They keep bones from turning into jelly. Poor support could hinder their bodies ability to develop and grow over time.
Innerspring mattress are 50% of America's beds. They are traditional and popular. Innerspring systems are the oldest mattress support system still in use.
There’s a reason why that is the case:
Innerspring mattresses are durable and heat reducing. They use tempered steel coils to support the body over the entire surface of the mattress. Children weigh less than adults so they last even longer. This is because you don’t have to worry about the system fatiguing or the springs failing.
Newer “pocket coil” innerspring systems represent a major leap forward in this technology. This system allows the springs to move independently from one another. The same way an independent suspension works in a vehicle. Every spring coil is able to cushion the body with its own tailored level of pressure. It can adjust depending on how a sleeper is positioned.
Memory foam is on its way to becoming the most popular mattress type on the planet today. Pioneered for use by NASA astronaut, It was designed for seat cushioning, and later used as a sleeping platform in space. Memory foam is a dense material that distributes body weight over the surface of the mattress. This improves pressure relief compared to innerspring mattresses.
Hypoallergenic, comfortable, and memory foam mattresses can last for as long as 20 years. During this time they do not experience letdown or degradation. The drawback is these mattresses can get hot. If your children that still has accidents at night mattresses are not waterproof. If exposed to urine the mattress will need to be replaced. A high quality mattress case can fix this though.
Latex memory foam mattresses have been gaining steam, but they are expensive. Latex is considered a luxury material. It does outperform traditional closed and open cell memory foam in most categories. It has better temperature control, support, cushioning, and comfort. People compare a latex foam mattress to sleeping on a cloud or a marshmallow.
Some children can be allergic to latex, so test your kid before buying one. Especially because they are so expensive. This problem has caused latex manufacturers to produce synthetic options. They are almost as good as all-natural latex without the allergic reactions.
Our #1 Choice: THE BEST BED FOR KIDS
The Tuft and Needle is our most recommended mattress. It has a special comfort foam layer and a dense 7 inch support layer. It weighs 60 lbs so your child isn't going to be throwing it off the frame. This bed has a 95% keep rate. This means that despite offering a 100 night sleep trial only 5% of people return the bed. It's popularity and keep rate signal it's a good choice for anyone.
It is the best mattress for kids because it is comfortable, durable and made from safe materials.
Comfort. Even with my creaky joints my adult body loves this mattress. A kid who hasn't had any surgeries or bad posture for years will be in heaven every night. It is medium-firm, so it will support you child no matter what sleeping position they choose. For adult back sleepers a firmer mattress would be better, but for kids this is perfect. As they age they may change preferred positions and a hard bed won't be good for stomach sleepers. Sleeping on their back on a soft bed can lead to back problems.
Durability. The classic rule of thumb is that a mattress will last seven years. The Tuft and Needle Mattress has a 10 year warranty that includes snags and body depressions. So the company already covers you for more than a traditional mattress. The company has been around for five years. During that time most long-term sleepers report no sags. Consumer Reports also rated the bed high in durability.
Safe Construction and Materials. There are several countries that I wouldn't let make my child's bed. I am a nice guy so I won't name names. Thankfully, Americans make all Tuft and Needle beds. The bed's fabric comes from a 90 year old family owned textile mill in the Carolinas. The bed's sewing and finishing is then done in Southern California. For materials, OEKO - TEX has certified the Tuft and Needle Mattress to be free of chemical residue. CertiPur-US has certified the foam. The bed is a Tb-117 compliant fire barrier.
The Tuft and Needle Mattress does not have a lot of cons. The two potential issues are that it's slightly expensive and that it can heat up.
Expense. It's not actually that expensive. At the time of writing this you'll pay around $300 for a Twin sized Tuft and Needle mattress. The bed is designed for adult sleepers. The high foam density and construction may be over-engineered for small children. In our opinion a child should still be sleeping on a quality mattress. They will be spending more than 27,000 hours on this product. This means that you are spending a penny for every hour they sleep. You have to make your own decision, but it seems well worth it to me. If it's not to you, check out our best budget mattress for kids. It's about as cheap as a good bed for children can be.
Heat. Like most foam mattresses the Tuft and Needle can heat up. Unlike memory foam mattresses, though, it is not enough to be a problem. The Tuft and Needle mattress does a good job regulating heat in a child sleeper. For most kids it's fine, but for children who are hot sleepers we recommend the Signature Sleep.
From a kids perspective, a problem could be that the bed doesn't have enough bounce. Unlike traditional spring coil beds the Tuft and Needle can't be used as a trampoline. This is bad for those Hollywood pillow fights, but as adults we can agree this is for the best.
The Tuft and Needle Mattress is a great bed for adults but for children it's best. It provides a foam cradle for your child's growth and development. It's medium-firm so it provides support for all sleeping positions. This is key, because your child's preferred position may change as they grow up.
BEST BED FOR KIDS WHO GET HOT
The Signature Sleep 8 inch coil mattress is our pick for best bed for kids who get hot. It's a comfortable, firm bed that's cheap. It's often under $200. We almost chose it as our best budget bed for kids as well.
The Signature sleep is the best bed for children who get hot because it reduces heat. It is also has strong value, durability and safe materials.
Heat Reduction. Unlike the Tuft and Needle, the Signature Sleep doesn't contain memory foam. Memory foam is a great material, but it needs heat to work. Warmth causes the foam to get soft. This helps memory foam mattresses form to the sleeper's body. The Signature Sleep uses traditional foam as a comfort layer. Traditional foam doesn't keep heat like memory foam. The coils of the Signature Sleep also let heat move away from the sleeper. This is why for kids who get hot at night the Signature Sleep is the best bed.
Value. It's a great mattress as well. Reviewers liked its feel. They said for its price it has amazing quality. Because it's pretty thin it works well on a trundle bed. It sleeps fine on box springs, bunk beds, daybeds, and platform beds. For around $200 you are getting 660 steel coils to support your children every night. That's 30 cents per spring, cheaper then you could get at Wal-Mart. Plus you are getting two foam layers, a fabric cover and they are putting it together for you. It's a deal.
Durability. The Signature Sleep is durable too. We talked to a 270 lb man who has slept on it for several years with no sagging. So, unless you are raising a future NFL offensive lineman it should work for your child for many years. It's two sided. If your child experiences any light sagging you can flip the mattress over. This will remedy the problem.
Materials. Like the Tuft and Needle, it has CertiPur-US certified foam. this means it's free of PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP fire proofing.
Our first choice, the Tuft and Needle is no doubt a higher quality mattress than the Sleep Signature. The Sleep Signature's warranty is only 1 year. This is well below average.
The Signature Sleep can be quite firm so if your child is a stomach sleeper then this is not the best bed for them. In that case, you should buy something softer like the Tuft and Needle. The firmness will be good for back sleepers and fine for side sleepers.
This may or may not matter to but all the new materials in this bed are made in China. Several reviewers complained about an odor after unboxing the bed. This is common with beds that contain foam, but we recommend letting it air out for 72 hours. Then use an air freshener near it.
Should this be enough to keep you from buying this mattress for you kid? Probably not. The Signature Sleep is one of the best rated beds online with 9,000 plus reviews on Google. Any problems would have already been found and reported. With our experience we can wholeheartedly recommend it as the best bed for kids
BEST BUDGET BED FOR KIDS
The Zinus Ultima Comfort is a solid budget priced bed. Depending on the size and mattress thickness you can buy one for under $150. For that price you will get an excellent bed for your child without having to go to a bargain basement.
The Zinus is a memory foam bed that has a comfort layer and a base support layer. It is Green Tea infused which reduces the smell foam beds can have when opened. It is rated a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale so it will suit most sleep styles. If your child does sleep on their stomach we recommend getting a thicker version as that will be softer. Or you can add a plus mattress topper.
Some reviewers complained that the bed feels “stiff” to them rather than firm. They had a hard time moving around at night. It should be noted that these reviewers were older. They will have more difficulties moving around a bed than a 10 year old child will. Won’t we all. If your house runs colder the bed will need some warming up until it achieves max comfort.
For some reviewers the new foam smell lasted longer than advertised. If this happens in your case, the company will take the bed back or you can air it out a little longer near an air freshener.
Like the spring bed we recommend for hot sleepers, the Zinus is made in China. This shouldn’t be a concern, but we want to mention it for those that care.
The Zinus Ultima Comfort delivers. It is value priced sleep comfort. Before the internet sleep revolution, beds this good were not available at this price. I recently recommended this bed to a friend with a three year old daughter and I recommend it to you as well.
Your job as a parent is to make sure that your child grows up happy and healthy. To make sure your kid can fulfill every possibility of their potential.
We can't be perfect parents 100% of the time. That means it's important we can get the big things right. Especially something as important as buying the best mattress for our children.
The best mattress for kids should be comfortable. Have your children help you find the right comfort level, as anything between super soft and extra firm could be right for them in particular. A great mattress for children should send them off to see The Sandman as quickly as possible. So, that they get as much quality sleep as humanly possible every single night.
There are any different number things you can do to make sure that your child is going to bed and waking up rested. To make sure they recover every night from a hard day's growing and learning. They should go to bed at a consistent time. You should limit electronic screen time before bed. You should play ambient sounds in the background. But nothing matters as much as finding the best bed for your kid.
Use all the tips and tricks we’ve provided above to find that ideal mattress for your child. It’s an investment in their health and future you won’t ever regret making!