Shopping for the best mattress for kids might seem like a simple and painless process, but are you actually selecting the most appropriate mattress for your child? Sleep habits vary between kids of all ages, and taking time to choose the right mattress might be more important than you imagined.
There are so many intricacies that are involved with selecting the best mattress for your kids, so how do you know which is best? In this guide, we’re going to highlight the key factors that will help you find the most healthy, comfortable, and best overall mattress for your kids.
Best Mattresses for Kids
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Layla Mattress
- Best Foam Mattress for Kids – Casper Element
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Bear
- Best for Combo Sleepers – Leesa Studio
- Best Cooling Mattress for Kids – Brooklyn Bowery
- Best Firm Mattress for Kids – Tuft & Needle
- Best Hybrid – Dream Foam Arctic Dreams
- Best First Big Kid Bed – 5 Little Monkeys
- Best for Back Sleepers – Amerisleep AS2
Growing Bodies and Mattress Size
As a child gets older, their body will grow. This should not mean purchasing a new mattress every year due to the outgrowing of their current mattress.
One of the most important factors when selecting the best mattress for your kids is mattress size. The smaller the mattress, the quicker it is outgrown. Twin, twin XL, or full-size mattresses are typically the best choices for children. Additionally, the twin and twin XL are going to be the most affordable.
While a full mattress is a bit more expensive, it does serve as an excellent size to allow for growth all the way to adulthood. Additionally, when your children are young, a full mattress allows you to comfortably lie with them, yet it also allows for them to grow into the mattress and retain the constant comfort of the same childhood mattress.
A high-quality mattress can last 8-12 years. It may cost a little bit more initially, but the benefit to your child’s long-term health and sleep will be well worth it.
Many kids experience soreness, poor sleeping habits, and a multitude of other uncomfortable sleep-related issues. These issues tend to be directly correlated to a low-quality mattress that provides minimal comfort for the child.
Hand-me-downs and cheap mattresses tend to be the underlying cause of poor sleep. Although a better-fitting mattress can be a little pricier, it is worth the cost in the long run. If a young boy or girl is forced to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress, they can develop poor sleep habits at a young age. If a high-quality mattress is purchased, the comfort levels tend to skyrocket for the kids, creating an easier night’s rest.
High-quality sleep is extremely important for a child’s health. The benefit to your child goes well beyond just sleep. Quality sleep impacts their school performance, mood level, and a litany of other correlated factors. Good sleep creates good kids.
Although comfort and support are often interpreted as the same dynamic, they are two completely different topics.
A supportive mattress will help maintain good spinal alignment during the night, while comfort deals more with preference regarding feel and firmness. If a child is not supported properly throughout their night’s rest, it can inhibit normal growth and have other negative impacts on their health. As a child grows, it is extremely important that their mattress supports their growth.
Additionally, as the child gets older, you should engage them in the purchasing process. Once your child reaches a certain age, they can typically describe their sleeping patterns, whether it’s on their back, stomach, or side. Some mattresses are better- or worse-suited for different sleeping positions. For example, a very soft mattress is not ideal for stomach sleepers, and a super-firm mattress can create pressure points and poor support for side sleepers. As you children get older and begin to develop a more consistent sleeping style, these positional preferences become more important when selecting the best mattress.
Best Mattress for Kids
Sleepopolis recommends the following mattresses for kids:
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
The Layla is a memory foam mattress that allows sleepers to sink deep into bed, a big advantage for the side sleepers out there that need to focus on pressure relief. The Layla is a flippable mattress that gives sleepers the choice of soft or firm support levels. Regardless of the side you select, the Layla uses a copper infused memory foam that’s not only comfortable but also does a good job drawing heat away from the sleeper.
Along with its cooling benefit the copper infusion is anti microbial and hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for kids. So with two support level options, great pressure relief and cooling, the Layla is a great choice for the side sleepers out there.
To see if this mattress is right for you, check out my full review of the Layla.
A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory.
Best Foam Mattress for Kids
The Casper Element uses a mix of poly foam and memory foam to provide a balanced feel. The mattress does a good job of sleeping cool and comes in at a value price. Click here to read my full review of the Casper Element mattress.
A streamlined, balanced feel makes the Casper Element fabulous for a wide range of sleepers!
Best Memory Foam Mattress
The Bear Mattress uses an all foam construction to provide a surprisingly supportive feel that is great for back and stomach sleeping. The firm feel means the sleepers hips will be well supported, which helps maintain spine alignment.
The Bear has a memory foam comfort layer to provide some contouring around the body, which helps avoid the formation of pressure points. While many memory foams can be known for trapping body heat, the Bear uses a graphite infused foam that helps draw heat away from the sleeper and dissipate body heat throughout the night.
The cover of the Bear mattress uses celliant, which some studies suggest may help those with active lifestyles recover faster!
Best for Combo Sleepers
Leesa Studio Mattress
The Leesa Studio has an all foam construction that provides a nice medium firm mix of support and pressure relief. The comfort foam (the one closest to the sleeper) is a memory foam that has a quicker response to pressure than other memory foams, providing good mobility. The comfort layer is directly above a layer of poly foam, meaning sleepers will get the pressure relief of the memory foam, before some nice transitional support beneath it. With solid mobility and a medium firmness, the Leesa Studio is a great choice for the combination sleepers out there.
Made from a blend of proprietary foam, memory foam, and high-density poly foam, the Leesa Mattress offers a softly balanced feel that's great for a wide range of sleepers.
Best Cooling Mattress for Kids
The Goldilocks problem of trying to find the perfect temperature can be a big reason that kids have a tough time getting to sleep. When it comes to staying asleep, children are no different when it comes to overheating and kicking off the covers during the middle of the night.
The Brooklyn Bowery does a great job of helping to dissipate body heat through the night thanks to the comfort layer of energex foam, a latex alternative that sleeps much cooler than the memory foam mattresses out there. The Bowery also has the added bonus of nice mobility, so the sleeper can adjust their position comfortably, without feeling stuck in the layers of the mattress.
The Bowery ranges in price from $499 – $949 but you can save 20% with the code SLEEPOPOLIS20!
Best Firm Mattress for Kids
Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle is an all foam construction consisting of two layers. The mattress provides a medium firmness and does a good job of temperature regulation to help with sleeping cool. Click here to check out my full review of the Tuft & Needle.
The Tuft & Needle mattress offers sleepers a medium-firm feel, and that floating-on-foam experience! Save 20% from Nov 26 - 29 during Tuft & Needle's Black Friday sale!
Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams
The Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress is a cooling, hybrid mattress that is available at an incredible value. This is a perfect mattress for your kid’s first “big kid bed” because it is very cool, very comfortable, and accommodates all sleeping positions for smaller people.
If your child has pain concerns, this is also a great option. Since it is a hybrid mattress, it provides enough support to keep the child’s spine aligned, but has enough cushion to keep them comfortable all night.
Both the all-foam and hybrid versions of the Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams come in at an affordable price, but you can make it even cheaper by clicking the link to save 20% on your purchase!
Best First Big Kid Bed
5 Little Monkeys
Specifically designed for children, the materials used in the 5 Little Monkeys sleep system has incredible benefits as a child’s bed. With a soft feel that’s great for smaller sleepers and a stain resistant, machine washable removable cover, the 5 Little Monkeys sleep system is great for those transitioning to their first big kids bed. Click here to read my full review of the 5 Little Monkeys mattress.
Best for Back Sleepers
Amerisleep AS2 Mattress
Proper support and alignment are important when it comes to children’s beds. The Amerisleep AS2 is an all foam bed that uses a firmer feel to keep hips from sinking into the mattress, meaning the hips and shoulders are in alignment. This support is great for growing children. The Amerisleep AS2 also has a bit of memory foam as well, so it’s not just firm as a board, but comfortable as well.
Learn more in the full review of the Amerisleep AS2.
On the firmer end of the Spectrum, the Amerisleep AS2 is great for stomach or back sleepers.
What Kind of Mattress Is the Best for Kids?
Parents usually use twin, twin XL, or full mattresses for kids. Ultimately, the mattress you choose will depend on factors including how your child sleeps, how much space you have, and your budget. But the best mattress for kids will:
- Provide room for growth
- Provide ideal comfort and long-lasting quality
- Provide exceptional support for healthy growth
- Provide varying feel and firmness levels (especially important for older kids who have an established sleeping style/position)