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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
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77 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best mattresses for children

Whether your child is moving from a toddler bed to a twin or simply needs a new bed, choosing the right mattress is essential. Growing bodies need ample support, but comfort is equally important so your child wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. 

Before purchasing a mattress for your child, you need to consider several factors. First, think about what size mattress is right for your youngster. Most kids start with a standard twin, but tweens and teens may feel more comfortable on a twin XL or full-size mattress. The material is important, too, since innerspring mattresses and foam mattresses have very different properties. Or you might consider a hybrid to get some of the benefits of both. If your child has any allergies, you might want to choose a hypoallergenic mattress. 

If you're eager to find a mattress for your child right away, check out our list of top mattresses to see if one fits the bill. Otherwise, read on to learn more about mattresses for children and how to choose the best one for your youngster. 

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Some kids are reluctant to change from a toddler bed to a twin. Try to make it sound fun and perhaps let your child pick out new sheets to help them get excited about the transition.

Key considerations

Size

When talking about mattresses for children, we're generally referring to twin-size mattresses. Most young children start in a toddler bed before moving to a twin between the ages of three and four. 

Twin: These mattresses measure 38 inches wide by 75 inches long, which is perfectly adequate for most children. 

Twin XL: If you have a teen or tween who's growing quickly, you might want to opt for a twin XL mattress. These mattresses are 38 inches wide and 80 inches long. 

Full: If your child has a large room, you might prefer to buy a full-size mattress, which measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. It has extra space for playing on, storing mountains of stuffed toys, or having a friend sleepover. The larger size means there's also less chance of your child rolling out of bed. 

Type

Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses have metal coils inside. You'll find two main types: those with large, open coils and those with a larger number of micro coils. The latter tend to feel a little more forgiving while the former can feel overly firm, especially if the sleeper is used to a foam mattress. Innerspring mattresses are extremely supportive, which is great for growing kids, but they don't feel as plush as foam. They're great for kids who sleep on their back as opposed to their side. 

Foam: Memory foam is the most widely known material used to make foam mattresses, but you can find them made of a range of foam types including gel foam and latex foam. Most are made from several layers of different types of foam, with firmer, more supportive layers at the base of the mattress and softer foam on the top layer. Whatever type of foam is used, these mattresses tend to feel comfortable, but some are more supportive than others, so you need to choose carefully. 

Hybrid: These mattresses combine elements of both innerspring and foam mattresses. They have a top layer of comfortable foam and coils underneath for bounce and support. If your child likes the feel of a foam mattress but needs the support of an innerspring, a hybrid mattress might be the way to go. 

Firmness

Mattresses range in firmness from soft to extra-firm, though most are around the medium to medium-firm level. Soft mattresses might feel comfortable for your child for the first few nights, but they offer little support, so the sleeper may start to notice some back pain after a week or two. On the other end of the spectrum, extra-firm mattresses offer tons of support, but they don't have much give and so can feel uncomfortable to some kids.  

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DID YOU KNOW?
Restless sleepers tend to sleep better on a memory foam mattress because it molds to and supports the body.
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Features

Materials

Hypoallergenic: These mattresses are made without materials that are likely to cause allergic reactions, such as wool or down. Some also have built-in antimicrobial protection or dust mite protection to further lessen the chance of causing allergies to flare up. 

Natural: Consider whether you'd prefer a mattress for your child made using as many natural materials as possible, such as natural latex foam instead of memory foam.

Certification

If you choose a foam mattress for your child, pick one with CertiPUR-US certification to verify that it's free of ozone depleters and harmful chemicals and has low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. 

Accessories

Waterproof mattress protector: SafeRest Premium Waterproof

Mattress ProtectorIf your child doesn’t yet stay dry at night or is prone to spilling drinks in bed, a waterproof mattress protector is your friend. This one is made from cotton terry with a vinyl-free waterproof membrane so it's breathable and won't make a noise when your child changes position in the night.

Sheet set: Bedlifes Galaxy Sheets

All kids have their own style preferences, so you might have to shop around for sheets, but we think these galaxy print sheets work well for both little kids and older children alike. This set contains a bed sheet, fitted sheet, and pillowcase.

A mattress with a removable cover is easier to clean in case of a spill or accident.

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Mattresses for children prices

Inexpensive: These mattresses for children cost between $50 and $100. They aren't always the most supportive or comfortable, however, so we'd recommend spending a little more if you have the budget for it.

Mid-range: These mattresses for children cost roughly $100 to $250. You can find some comfortable and supportive foam, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses in this price range. 

Expensive: High-end mattresses for children are priced between $250 and $600. At this price point, expect to find the most comfortable mattresses made from quality materials and offering ample support.

Many foam mattresses have a strong smell at first. Leave your mattress in a well-ventilated room and the odor will dissipate within a day or two.

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Tips

  • Consider the thickness of your chosen mattress. In general, you should avoid thin mattresses because they're not always comfortable. However, bunk beds and cabin beds may have a maximum recommended mattress thickness so kids won’t bang their head on the ceiling or the underside of the top bunk. 
  • Always buy a new mattress for a child. While it might be tempting to pick up a secondhand bargain or recycle an older sibling's mattress, we highly recommend choosing a new mattress both for hygiene reasons and because used mattresses may lack adequate support. 
  • Ask your child’s opinion. Older kids probably have an idea of whether they prefer an innerspring or foam mattress and the level of firmness, so it's best to ask before buying. After all, they'll be sleeping on it night after night. 
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You don't need to buy a mattress that's specifically designed for kids. Just bear in mind your child's requirements while considering which mattress to purchase.

FAQ

Q. What type of mattress is best for a child who gets hot in the night? 

A. If your child tosses and turns when it's too hot or wakes up in the night complaining of feeling overly warm, you want to choose a breathable mattress that won't make your youngster overheat. Innerspring mattresses tend to feel cooler than foam mattresses. However, some foam mattresses are cooler than others. Latex foam feels cooler to sleep on than memory foam due to its breathable, open-cell structure. Gel foam is another cooling option. 

Q. How often should I replace my child's mattress? 

A. Since children are growing, proper spinal support is even more important for them than it is for adults. As such, it's recommended that you replace your child’s mattress more often than you'd replace your own mattress. For a child between the ages of 3 and 10, you should replace the mattress every three years. For a child between the ages of 10 and 16, you should replace the mattress every five years. 

Q. What if my child isn't comfortable on their new mattress?

A. First, give your child a few days to get used to sleeping on the new mattress. There's generally an adjustment period when changing mattresses. Next, consider sending it back for a refund. Depending on the brand you choose, you may find there's a “no questions asked” refund period, which can be as long as 100 days. If you send the mattress back in good condition during this period, your money will be refunded. However, if sending the mattress back isn't an option, a mattress topper might help to make it feel more comfortable. 

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