Getting enough sleep is essential for us all in an increasingly busy world. However, making sure children get enough sleep is particularly paramount. In fact, children aged between three and six years old need around 10-12 hours of sleep every night.
The importance of a great mattress can’t be overstated, either. The right mattress can help ensure your child gets the rest she deserves to live a healthy life.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying a mattress for children. One of the most notable concerns is the child’s growth. You’ll need to ensure the bed they sleep on has enough durability to maintain excellent support throughout this growth. Secondly, firmness preferences will change as the child grows. That’s why buying beds that offer value for money is a logical option.
Our guide will include everything from our top picks of the best mattresses for kids, other special considerations, and even sleep accessories. Specifically, we’ll cover standard-sized mattresses for kids who are old enough to be out of a crib or toddler bed.
Let’s get started!
Our Top Picks: Summary
- Best Overall – Little Luft
- Best All-Foam – Leesa
- Best Innerspring – Saatva
- Best Organic – Avocado Mattress
The Best Mattresses for Kids: Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Little Luft
The Little Luft is designed specifically for kids’ growing bodies.
Why we Picked It
The Little Luft mattress is our best overall mattress for children. It’s a bed designed to support children—and their lighter bodies—through their early adulthood.
It does so with hundreds of pocketed coils that contour to each zone of a child’s body. The Little Luft additionally features “Serene Foam” that adapts to the weight of the body to reduce pressure. In other words, it’s a durable mattress that provides both support and comfort. All foams used are also Certipur-certified, meaning there’s no harmful off-gassing, VOCs, or toxins.
The mattress is available in five different sizes, from twin to king, and also features reinforced edge support for increased safety.
It comes with free delivery, your child can sleep on it for 100-nights risk-free, and it’s sleep assured with a 10-year warranty.
Keep in Mind
While we love the Little Luft, keep in mind that it might not be the cheapest mattress out there.
In a Nutshell
- Five different sizes
- 100-day trial
- Designed specifically for kids
Best All-Foam: Leesa
The Leesa offers the right balance of comfort and support that kids need.
Why we Picked It
The Leesa mattress is our favorite all-foam bed. It offers a great balance of comfort and support with a top layer made from “Avena” foam.
The Avena foam acts similarly to latex foam with excellent bounce, comfort, and cooling properties. It should provide a cool sleep for children of all shapes and sizes. In terms of responsiveness, it quickly changes shape and molds to the body.
The Leesa mattress comes with a 100-night risk-free trial, free returns, and Leesa donates one mattress for every ten they sell. There’s also a 10-year warranty included.
Keep in Mind
If you want a more traditional innerspring mattress for your child, then you may not instantly fall in love with the Leesa mattress. That said, it’s tough to fault.
In a Nutshell
- Excellent contouring and pressure relief
- 100-night trial so you can try before you buy
- Premium Avena foam
Best Innerspring: Saatva
The Saatva is plush and supportive, with three firmness options available.
Why we Picked It
The Saatva is our top choice when it comes to a traditional innerspring mattress. The bed features a cover made of organic cotton with an antimicrobial treatment, which is followed by a top layer of high-quality memory foam. This memory foam layer provides excellent contouring properties for your children.
Under that, the support actually consists of two types of coils maximize the durability of the mattress. This dual coil support system also helps to promote a healthy airflow that should ensure a cool sleep for your child.
You’ll find dedicated edge support in the Saavta, too, with a foam encasement around the perimeter that further improves durability. For kids who sleep near the edge of the bed, it can help give them the support they need.
The Saavta comes with three different firmness options, a 120-day trial so you can try it before committing, and free white glove delivery.
Keep in Mind
The Saatva is a heavy mattress and can, therefore, be challenging to move. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind the slightly shorter lifespan if you plan on using it long-term for your child.
In a Nutshell
- 120-day trial
- Three firmness options
Best Organic: Avocado
Sleep soundly knowing the Avocado is made with eco-friendly materials.
Why we Picked It
Not much can rival the Avocado. It’s a hybrid bed with eco-friendly construction—produced from 100% certified organic latex, cotton, and wool.
It’s a non-toxic bed that combines natural cushioning with pressure-point support for proper spinal alignment. It offers extended durability for your child over the years, so you won’t need to keep replacing his or her mattress.
The Avocado is resistant to dust mites and offers excellent temperature regulation, so it’s an attractive choice for parents whose children sleep hot.
The mattress comes with free shipping and returns, a 25-year warranty, and a 365-night trial period.
Keep in Mind
We love the Avocado for many reasons, but keep in mind the higher price point. It’s not ideal for families on a tighter budget, but if you’re environmentally-conscious, it’s tough to beat.
In a Nutshell
- Great for those who sleep hot
- 365-night trial
- Very eco-friendly
How We Chose the Best Mattresses for Kids
We take special care to ensure the mattresses we choose meet a high standard in a variety of vital areas. From the temperature neutrality of the mattress to how well it isolates motion, the very best beds will meet and often exceed our standards. You can learn more about our process right here.
- Material Quality
- Edge Support
- Temperature Neutrality
- Motion Isolation
Special Considerations for Kids
Budget aside, there are several other points to consider when picking a mattress for your children. Of course, you will want to choose a bed that is supportive and comfortable for them so they get the best quality of sleep possible. However, parents and guardians will also need to think about everything from size and thickness to firmness and support.
There’s no need to worry, though. Below, we’ve detailed all of the critical considerations to keep in mind.
Support is perhaps one of the most important considerations for your child. Effectively, support refers to how well a mattress promotes proper spinal alignment, preserving the natural curve of the spin. This is especially important for growing bodies. A variety of mattress types can provide good support, depending on how the mattress itself is constructed.
When it comes to firmness, lighter-weight kids will prefer a softer bed, while those over 130 pounds will most likely prefer something around a medium-firm on the scale. Some mattresses offer a flippable feature which provides dual firmness. These are a good option for children who are continually growing. It’s important to remember that every child will have a different firmness preference. Take advantage of sleep trials to make sure your child likes the feel of his or her mattress.
In terms of mattress sizes, twin, twin XL, and full are some of the best options for your children. Ideally, you need to choose a mattress that your child can continue to grow on. Other considerations include whether the bed will double as a guest bed, and the size of your child’s room, too. For more hints and tips, you can check out our dedicated mattress size guide here.
Mattress thickness is another important consideration when choosing a bed for your child. Younger children often prefer a mattress that’s 12 inches or thinner in height. The reason for this is because it’s easier for them to get in and out of bed. This does, however, depend on the bed frame. For example, bunk beds require thinner mattresses.
Children will naturally grow over time, so the durability of the bed they sleep in is something to consider. If you plan to have your children sleep on the same mattress for the long-term, you’ll need a durable mattress that provides comfort and maintains a high level of support. You should also consider your child’s changing needs as he or she grows older.
The Best Mattress Types for Kids
All mattress types available offer pros and cons for kids. It’s fair to say that a lot depends on the considerations outlined above. Generally, the best mattresses for children are memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid beds. There are plenty of suitable options.
With every type of mattress offering its own set of strengths and drawbacks, things can get quite confusing. That’s why we’ve listed them in the table below for you:
|Memory foam||Generally known for their great responsiveness which is excellent for growing children|
Good pressure point relief for a comfortable sleep
Can provide all the support needed for children
|Can retain heat which affects the quality of children’s sleep during vital stages|
Not the best ease of body movement
Memory foam mattresses are not washable
|Latex||Good (usually all-natural) alternative to memory foam|
Can offer great support and strength
Durability can be excellent which is perfect for long-term use as your child grows
|Can be heavy and difficult to move|
Aren’t the cheapest options for families
Off-gassing is possible, which might prove to be troublesome for children in the first few days of use
|Innerspring||Can provide superior support and overall structure|
Has a level of bounce, which children may prefer
Will provide a cool night for children who sleep hot
|Doesn’t offer the best conforming properties for your children|
Could sag more quickly than other mattresses, depending on the construction
|Hybrid||Can be an excellent choice for support|
Generally offers a cool sleep for children
Can provide the plush feeling of memory foam, along with supportive coils
|If constructed from weaker materials, the durability can be poor|
Heat retention is still possible even with cooling technology
Often heavy and difficult to move
Other Sleep Accessories for Kids
As well as finding your child an excellent mattress, there are other sleep accessories to consider. We’ve listed them below:
Pillows provide additional comfort by supporting the head, shoulders, and neck.
With that said, the most crucial consideration when choosing a pillow is its loft, or its thickness. A pillow that is too thick will push the head too high, while a pillow that is too thin won’t provide enough support. Neither will correctly align the spine, leading to discomfort.
This right loft depends on the size of the child. For example, children who weigh more will require less loft, and those that are lighter need more loft in their pillows. Kids who sleep on their sides may also prefer a higher loft that back sleepers.
Beds that make the most sense for children tend to be those that are functional, low to the ground, and potentially decorative.
Bunk beds, for example, are a popular choice. Their design tends to be appealing to kids, they can save space in the room, and they provide a close sense of connection when siblings are sharing. Children can find it fun to descend ladders in the morning. (Just be sure your child knows how to do so safely and is old enough to sleep on the top bunk.) Bunkbeds also provide useful storage options.
Other bed frames you should think about are ones that extend, to adjust to your child’s growing body. Solid wood varieties feel more robust too.
Of course, ensure frames are non-toxic and are suitable for children before anything else.
Mattress protectors are paramount for parents who have younger children prone to accidents.
They provide excellent hygiene, can add longevity to the bed and act as a barrier to dust mites and animal hairs. Mattress protectors will protect your bed against stains, spills, and are vital to ensure your mattress lasts as long as intended.
It’s worth saying that washing a mattress protector is far easier than cleaning a mattress. With young children around, they may well save you from unbridled insanity!
Sleep and Development
Getting a good night of rest is essential for both adults and kids. In fact, in a modern world that never seems to sleep, it’s more important than ever.
Children’s bodies are continually developing, and we know that sleep is crucial to the development of the body. This is not only on a physical level but on a mental one too. Therefore, ensuring your child maintains a healthy sleep life is fundamental.
A lack of sleep in children can have effects manifest more quickly than you might imagine. This can include all of the following:
- Fatigue and irritability
- Impacted social life
- Daytime sleepiness
- Struggles with learning
- More frequent tantrums
- Depression for older children
Conversely, a consistent healthy sleep life for your child offers improved attention, better emotional regulation, improved memory, and an overall better quality-of-life. Luckily there are some general tips to ensure they get a better night’s sleep:
- Observe their sleep patterns and identify signs of sleepiness
- Create a consistent and enjoyable bedtime routine
- Create a sleep-friendly bedroom environment
- Make sure the limits are communicated and enforced
- Remove devices after a set time and ensure there’s a time the TV goes off every night
In terms of the recommended hours of sleep for children of differing ages ranges, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following:
|Age Range||Recommended Hours of Sleep|
|Infants (4 months to 12 months)||12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Children (1 to 2 years of age)||11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Children (3 to 5 years of age)||10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps|
|Children (6 to 12 years of age)||9 to 12 hours per 24 hours|
|Teenagers (13 to 18 years of age)||8 to 10 hours per 24 hours|
For additional mattress resources, check out our comprehensive and independent guides below: