Sleep is essential for a child’s physical, emotional, and academic development. The right mattress can provide a soothing and supportive sleep environment that helps your child sleep well at night and look forward to bedtime.
No matter what your child’s age or sleep needs, you can find a great mattress that promotes healthy slumber and works with your budget. With the wealth of options available, how do you select the right model? I’ve tested several kids’ mattresses for durability, support, and comfort to help you choose the perfect one for your child.
Linenspa 10 Inch Hybrid Mattress
My choice for editor’s pick is the Linenspa 10 inch Memory Foam Hybrid mattress. This twin model utilizes plush memory foam comfort layers and innerspring coils to create a supportive, medium-firm feel that is appropriate for children of all ages and weights. The Linenspa 10 inch hybrid is also available in a lower-profile 8 inch option for smaller children or those who like less height in a mattress.
- Supportive. This model’s innerspring steel coils provide stable support and are particularly good for back sleepers
- Sleeps cool. The innerspring structure facilitates airflow, which helps keep your child from overheating at night
- Bouncy. Kids who prefer a bit of bounce in a mattress will like the solid springiness of the Linenspa hybrid mattress
- Not for all sleep positions. This mattress may be too firm for side sleepers, who need pressure relief at the hips and shoulders. It may also be a little soft for stomach sleepers, who do best with a firm mattress that supports the hips and torso
- Motion transfer. The innerspring coils may create too much movement for some kids
The Linenspa 10 inch Memory Foam Hybrid mattress is supportive and has great bounce
Best Hybrid Mattress
Signature Design by Ashley Chime Express Hybrid
My pick for best hybrid kids’ mattress is the Signature Design by Ashley Chime Express Hybrid. This twin mattress offers plush comfort layers made from gel memory foam and a sturdy core of pocketed coils that can support up to 250 pounds. The Signature Design Hybrid is available in 8, 10, and 12 inch thicknesses and twin-California king sizes.
- Firm. For children who sleep best on a firm mattress, this hybrid provides sturdy-but-comfy push-back without too much sinkage in the comfort layers
- No box spring needed. This mattress is thick and substantial enough to stand on its own without a foundation
- Hypoallergenic. This model’s materials help to keep out dust mites, pollen, mold, and bacteria, a great feature for kids with asthma or allergies
- Pricey. A high-quality hybrid comes at a cost, and the price tag on this one may be a bit high for some families
- Durability. The Chime hybrid’s plush comfort layer may be subject to body indentations over time, especially with heavier children
The Ashley Chime Express Hybrid has a firm feel and uses hypoallergenic materials
Best Memory Foam
Many children love the feel of memory foam, which has a distinct plush “hug.” My pick for best memory foam mattress for kids goes to the Modway Aveline 6″ Gel Infused Memory Foam mattress. This medium-firm twin bed-in-a-box comes in narrow twin-California king sizes, is low on VOC’s, and is Certi-PUR certified.
- Sleeps cool. Some older formulations of memory foam retain body heat, but the gel-infused material of the Aveline feels airy and breathable
- Minimal motion transfer. For kids who prefer a less bouncy bed, the Aveline does a nice job of absorbing motion
- Great for side sleepers. If your child is a side sleeper, the Aveline is worth a close look. The combination of pressure relief and gentle support is ideal for cradling hips and shoulders
- Lack of edge support. The edges of the Aveline mattress aren’t quite as supportive as those in the hybrid and innerspring models I tried
- Odor. The mattress I tested took a few days to air out, which may be a concern for kids with respiratory sensitivities
The Modway Aveline sleeps cool and is great for side sleepers
Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam 6-Inch Mattress
The Classic Brands Cool Memory Foam 6-Inch Mattress is my top choice for best bargain. If your child likes firm-but-conforming comfort, this mattress is a great choice. The supportive surface is infused with gel to make sleeping cooler in any season. The Classic Brands Memory Foam mattress comes in a 7 inch option as well, and is available in twin-king sizes.
- Allergy-friendly. This mattress is Certi-PUR certified and hypoallergenic, making it a good option for kids with respiratory issues or allergies
- Plush. Memory foam is all about cushiony comfort and the Classic Brands mattress doesn’t disappoint. The gel memory foam comfort layer is ideal for kids who prefer a softer sleeping surface
- Price. Hypoallergenic gel memory foam at this price is hard to beat
- On the firm side of medium-firm. If your child prefers softer memory foam, this mattress may feel a little stiff
- Slow expansion. The model I tested took about three days to fully expand — be sure to have an alternate mattress for your child to give this one time to come to full size
The Classic Brands Cool Memory Foam Mattress is all about cushiony comfort and comes in at a great price
How We Picked
The right mattress can be an important purchase that helps your child enjoy a good night’s sleep. When reviewing kids’ mattresses, we examined several factors that helped us choose the best in each individual category. Consider the following when searching for the perfect mattress for your child:
Most parents transition their children from a crib or toddler bed to a twin bed sometime during the toddler years. When deciding whether your child is ready for a larger bed, take into account their age, developmental stage, and personal preference. A child who is taller than 35 inches, does not generally have trouble sleeping, and is open to the idea of a larger bed may be ready to make the transition. Involving your child in the process of finding and purchasing a larger bed may help them make the switch more easily.
Most toddler beds have a weight limit of 50 pounds. Children will reach this weight at different ages and developmental stages, but once most kids reach 50 pounds, they are ready to make the jump from a toddler bed to a twin or twinXL. Lighter children may find a thinner or all-foam mattress is enough to comfortably support their weight.
Materials in kids’ mattresses are similar to those used in mattresses for adults. These materials usually include:
- Memory foam – A memory foam mattress can be soft or very firm. Kids’ mattresses made from memory foam provide pressure relief and conform around your child’s body. If your child is a side or back sleeper or doesn’t like the springier feeling of an innerspring bed, memory foam can be a good choice. Newer formulations of memory foam infused with copper or gel tend to sleep cooler than older types
- Latex – Latex foam is a natural product made from the sap of the rubber tree and is a good material for chemical or odor-sensitive kids. Latex offers bouncy cushioning without the “hug” of memory foam. Latex’s natural cooling properties help disperse body heat, making it a great choice for children who sleep hot
- Innerspring – Innerspring mattresses provide support with interior coils. The number and density of an innerspring’s interior coils determine how supportive and bouncy a mattress feels to your child. An innerspring mattress can often provide better edge support and sleep cooler than an all-foam model
- Hybrid – Hybrid mattresses are made from steel coils and layers of foam. Comfort layers made of latex provide gentle bounce, while memory foam layers cushion pressure points with a plush, conforming feel
The typical kids’ mattress ranges between 6 and 12 inches thick. Latex and memory foam mattresses are usually thinner than hybrid and coil mattresses, which tend to be thicker because of their internal coil structure. Thicker mattresses may be too high off the floor for a child to reach comfortably.
A thinner mattress can often be used with a foundation or box spring to elevate it or provide additional support if necessary. Some thin mattresses may contain fewer support layers and may not be as durable.
Mattress firmness is rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. 6.5 is the industry standard for medium firmness. Soft mattresses generally rank around 4-6/10 on the scale, while extra firm mattresses measure around 7-9/10.
When choosing the firmness of a mattress, keep your child’s sleep position and weight in mind. As a general rule, kids who are heavier or sleep on their stomachs do best with a firmer mattress. Children who sleep on their sides usually like a softer mattress, while back and combination sleepers typically prefer a mattress that is medium-firm. If you’re not sure which firmness your child likes, let them try out different models at a mattress store to find out which one feels best to them.
Children need adequate support while sleeping to help keep the spine aligned and reduce pressure on growing joints. Mattress support refers to features like steel coils or foam support layers that keep the body and neck in a neutral position. A supportive mattress also prevents “bottoming out” of the materials under your child’s weight. Both soft and firm mattresses can be supportive, but may have surface layers that are more or less plush.
A mattress with strong, reinforced edges can help reduce sagging and instability when your child sleeps near the edge of the mattress. Edge support can be particularly important in a child’s mattress because of their narrower width. A supportive edge also lets your child use more of the mattress’s surface area, and is a common feature in mattresses with side support coils or high-density foam structure. Many all-foam mattresses have minimal edge support, which may increase the risk of sagging and discomfort if your child sleeps close to the edge.
To make choosing your child’s mattress easier, try the following tips:
- Know their preferences. Do they find a softer or firmer mattress more comfortable? Do they tend to get hot or cold at night? Do they complain of morning stiffness after sleeping on their current mattress? Understanding their needs before you start shopping can help you make an educated decision when it comes time to buy
- Understand the warranty. Most manufacturers offer a 10-20 year warranty on mattresses with some caveats. Many mattress warranties don’t cover damage from jumping, spills, bedwetting, or activities that can cause excessive wear and tear. Read the terms and conditions of the warranty carefully before committing to the purchase of any new mattress
- Utilize the sleep trial. Most mattress companies allow a risk-free sleep trial of 90 days or longer and free returns or exchanges. Take advantage of the trial period to allow your child to test out a new mattress and see if it helps them sleep comfortably
What’s the difference between a twin mattress and a twin XL?
A twin XL mattress is the same width as a regular twin mattress but is five inches longer. TwinXL mattresses are great for taller children or those who like a little extra room to move.
How can I find an inexpensive kids’ mattress?
Many bed-in-a-box companies offer reasonably priced mattresses for children. To get the best deal possible, try shopping during mattress sales, which typically occur on holidays such as President’s Day and Black Friday. Coupon codes and discounts can help reduce the price on regular price days, particularly if you buy online or purchase a bed-in-a-box.
Can I return my child’s mattress if they don’t like it?
The majority of online mattress companies offer generous sleep trial periods of up to 120 days or longer. Returns or exchanges can be made during this time and return shipping is typically free. Be sure to check the terms of the company sleep trial before you purchase a mattress for your child, and be careful to start the return or exchange process before the time period is over.
Last Word From Sleepopolis
The right mattress can help your child sleep better and more comfortably. Mattresses for kids can be as supportive and durable as an adult’s mattress, with many of the same features and materials. To choose the right mattress for your child, know their needs and preferences before shopping, compare brands and styles, and test out the model with a sleep trial before committing to a purchase.