Finding the best mattress for kids can play a key part in your child getting a good night’s sleep and waking up refreshed. Though quality sleep is undoubtedly essential for everyone, it is critical for kids to get a good night’s sleep while they’re in their developmental years. Our sleeping habits affect our mental and physical maturation, playing a vital role in a growing body. Sleeping on the right mattress from an early age can have a positive impact on the rest of your life.
In this article, we will touch on:
- Eight Factors to Consider
- The Best Mattress for Kids: Our Top Choices
- How Often You Should Change Your Child’s Mattress
- Different Mattress Types
- How Important is Sleep for Kids?
Eight Factors to Consider
A firmer mattress will be the best choice for a kid because it provides the proper support to relieve pressure points and maintain the spines natural alignment in all sleeping positions. Having consistent support allows the body to grow and develop the way it should, so your child isn’t waking up with aches and pains in the morning.
It may make sense to buy a twin-sized mattress for your little one since he or she is still small and growing. However, a good quality mattress is supposed to last at least ten years. More than likely, your kid will outgrow a smaller mattress before it’s time to replace it; to save yourself the headache of buying a new mattress a few years down the line, opt for a larger size, to begin with.
The editors at Simply Rest recommend getting a mattress around 10 inches in height. Anything taller will make it difficult for your kid to get in and out of bed, while anything thinner won’t provide the proper support your child needs.
Temperature control is a crucial feature for any mattress. Sleeping on a bed with no breathability can cause you to overheat during the night, leaving you waking up uncomfortable and restless.
Motion isolation isn’t a big priority when looking for a mattress for your child unless your kid will be sharing the bed with a sibling or other family member.
Some mattresses are known to release unpleasant, lingering odors; especially all-foam mattresses. This is something some adults can overlook, but the unpleasant smells are caused by harmful chemicals used to create your mattress. It’s important to make sure the mattress you buy won’t have any off-gassing and your child is not exposed to any harmful chemical odors.
Sleep Trials take the worry about of buying online and being stuck with a mattress you’re unhappy with. Most companies will let you buy their mattress and try it in your own home for a few months before committing to your purchase. During your sleep trial, you’re able to return for a full refund or exchange your mattress for a better fit. If you opt to buy online, make sure you read the fine print about the sleep trial to make sure your child won’t be stuck with an uncomfortable mattress. It’s important to note, when transitioning mattresses there will be an adjustment cycle your child’s body has to go through. This adjustment may cause some discomfort, so it’s recommended you give your mattress a fair chance before jumping to return or exchange it.
Mattresses are not cheap to buy and meant to last around a decade, it’s important you’re buying from a company that will replace or repair your mattress if it becomes defective.
The Best Mattress for Kids: Our Top 6 Choices
Considering the six factors listed above, these are the editor’s top 6 mattress choices.
The Amerisleep AS2 Mattress
The Amerisleep AS2 is their medium-firm model. Amerisleep exceeds the FDA’s Clean Air standards by using the method of Variable Pressure Foaming, VPF, to manufacture their mattresses; this process creates virtually zero emissions, making them the most eco-friendly option. Their foam is partially made with plant-based memory foam, cutting out a significant portion of petroleum used to make memory foam and replacing it with castor oil. Their manufacturing process helps create a healthy sleeping environment for your child.
All Amerisleep mattresses have a soft, breathable cover to promote airflow through the mattress.
Below the cover is a layer of plant-based Bio-Pur® material. Bio-Pur® has an open cell structure making it more breathable compared to ordinary foam mattresses; this promotes airflow through the bed, ensuring your child won’t sleep hot. The base layer below is made from plant-based Bio-Core® foam, providing the mattress with support and durability.
The firmness and foam provide a stable and healthy foundation for your child’s spine, in conjunction with HIVE® technology, the Amerisleep AS2 is an excellent mattress for healthy development. If your child is looking for something softer, Amerisleep offers four other models ranging in firmness to choose from.
The Amerisleep AS2 is a comfortable 12 inches in height, making it the perfect size for a child to climb in alone or with minimal assistance. At this size, it’s able to fit into most bed frames, giving you more freedom when choosing the decor for your child’s room.
Temperature control is a priority when manufacturing the foam in Amerisleep mattresses. Every layer is created to be breathable and wicks away excess body heat. Even if your child is a hot sleeper or tends to sweat a lot throughout the night, Amerisleep mattresses will do a great job at keeping them cool and comfortable.
Amerisleep designs their foam with motion isolation in mind. Your child will be comfortable sleeping on this bed by themselves, no matter how much they move while they sleep.
Even though memory foam mattresses are known for their unpleasant smells, Amerisleep’s plant-based design doesn’t emit any odors that may disturb your child’s sleep.
Every Amerisleep mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial beginning on the date of delivery. This gives your child the chance to sleep on the Amerisleep for a few months before you decide whether or not it’s the best option. At any point within the 100-day timeframe you have the option to return your mattress for a full refund or exchange it for a different model. If you go that route, Amerisleep will arrange to have the original mattress picked up and recycled for you.
Amerisleep mattresses come with one of the longest warranties in the industry, 20 years. For the first 10 years of the warranty, they will replace your mattress if it becomes defective. For the latter 10 years, they will replace your original mattress for 50% off the original price. For your mattress to be considered “defective,” it must have a visible sag of .75 inches.
The Spindle Mattress
The Spindle mattress is made from 100% natural latex, making it naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial; both of which are important properties for a sleeping child.
All Spindle mattresses have a cover made from organic cotton and natural wool, this helps wick away moisture and provides a cooling effect. The first, second, and third layers are each formed from 3 inches of firm, natural Dunlop latex. Though there is no targeted support throughout the layers, the elasticity of latex helps align the spine and supportively shape the back. This provides a good foundation for a developing spine.
The Spindle mattress stacks up at a comfortable height of 10 inches, a perfect height for your little one.
Spindle covers are designed to create a cool sleeping environment and latex has a natural cooling effect. Taking these two factors into consideration, the Spindle does pretty well in regards to temperature control; but, is still not the coolest on our list.
Because all three layers are made from latex, the Spindle mattress tends to be bouncier than other options; therefore, motion transfers easily throughout the bed.
Latex does not usually emit too much of an odor; however, it may have a slight scent when first unpackaged but should dissipate within a few hours.
Every Spindle mattress comes with a 365-night sleep trial; this lets your kid try their new mattress for a whole year before you have to decide whether or not it’s the best option. If you decide against keeping your Spindle mattress during the year period, they will refund you in full after you have donated the mattress to charity and provided proof of donation.
Spindle offers a 10-year limited warranty on all of their mattresses. The warranty covers against “failed” latex; for latex to meet warranty requirements it must have a visible sag of at least .75 inches. Once Spindle deems your mattress defective, they will replace it for you. They also offer their customers a 25-year comfort program, a great bonus if you’re buying a mattress for your kid. The 25-year comfort program allows you to buy replacement parts or refurbish your mattress at a discounted price. This can extend the lifespan of your mattress well beyond 10 years, allowing your child to get the most life out of their mattress.
The Loom & Leaf Mattress by Saatva
The Loom & Leaf (L&L) mattress is made out of three types of memory foam; creating the perfect balance between support and response. They offer two different options for children, relaxed-firm and firm. Simply Rest recommends opting for the firm, however both options have targeted spinal support.
The cover of all Loom & Leaf mattresses are made from organic, quilted cotton; this is designed to promote breathability and is also a natural flame retardant. The first layer is the Spinal Zone Gel, a medical-grade layer of gel foam. It was designed to have targeted support, mainly on the spinal area, while also creating a cooling effect.
The second layer is made from plant-based memory foam, this allows increased airflow through the mattress, getting rid of excess body heat. Lastly, the base layer is formed from high-density memory foam to support the layers above it, as well as a sleeping child.
The L&L mattress comes in at 12 inches tall, making it slightly taller than the other mattresses on our list, but still a comfortable height for a child.
Because it’s designed to focus on temperature control, the Loom & Leaf mattress sleeps cool. L&L creates improved air circulation through the bed by combining the gel foam layer and the plant-based memory foam layer.
What the Loom & Leaf gains in temperature control, it loses in motion isolation. Not a big deal unless your child is not sharing their bed; however, if your child is sleeping with a sibling, you may want to reconsider choosing this mattress.
Despite having one layer made from plant-based memory foam, the base layer could cause some off-gassing, especially when brand new.
Starting on the day you receive your mattress, L&L gives you 120 nights to try it out. Similar to most sleep trials, if you decide you don’t want to keep it within the allotted time, L&L will pick up and donate your used mattress. The only catch is they will charge a $99 fee to cover any transportation and shipping costs.
Your Loom & Leaf mattress comes with a 15-year warranty. If your mattress is deemed defective within the first two years of purchase, they will replace it for you free of charge. After two years, they will repair and re-cover your mattress for you should it become defective. They do not specify on their website what deems a mattress “defective,” so before purchasing, be sure to ask a representative for more specific information regarding their warranty policy.
The Nolah Original 10 Mattress
The Nolah Original 10 is a cooling and supportive memory foam mattress. They stand as one of the most breathable mattresses on our list, as they claim to be “100% temperature neutral.” Their unique technology absorbs and traps excess body heat, leaving the sleeper cool and comfortable throughout the night.
The natural, viscose cover of the mattress wicks away moisture, providing a dry and cool sleeping environment. The first layer is a 2-inch special Airfoam memory foam, and this is where temperature control happens. The layer below is made from supportive, high-resilience foam, providing a subtle bounce as well. The Nolah Mattress has been scientifically proven to provide 4x less peak pressure on the hips, shoulders, and back than other memory foam mattresses.
The bottom layer consists of 7 inches of high-density base foam; this is what provides the mattress with good support and longevity. Though the Nolah Original 10 is the softest option on our list, the design still provides sufficient support for a growing spine.
The Nolah Original 10 mattress comes in at a comfortable 10 inches in height, making it a conveniently-sized mattress for your child.
The AirFoam layer design is filled with tons of tiny air pockets, which give the mattress good temperature control. Though it is not as breathable as some other options on this list, the Nolah Original 10 still maintains good temperature control.
Though this choice has decent motion isolation, the second layer has a bit of a bounce; we wouldn’t recommend this mattress if your child will be sharing the bed.
Because the Nolah Original 10 is an all-foam mattress, there is an increased chance of off-gassing upon opening. If after a few days of airing out, the mattress still has an odor, contact the company.
Nolah gives you up to 120 nights to try their mattress out. They do require you test the mattress for a minimum of 30 days, or the duration of the adjustment period, before opting to send it back. If you do end up having to return your mattress, Nolah will come pick it up and refund you in full.
The Nolah Original 10 comes with a 15-year limited warranty covering any sag in the surface of the mattress exceeding 1.5 inches in height, defective seams or zippers, and any physical damage to the foam caused by the craftsmanship of the mattress.
The Brentwood Home Cedar Mattress
The Brentwood Home Cedar mattress is the most eco-friendly model Brentwood Home has to offer. Made from Dunlop latex, pocketed coils, organic wool, and coconut husk, it radiates nature. This hybrid mattress is an environmentally-friendly option for a child’s bed.
The cover of this mattress is made from organic cotton and natural wool; designed to provide comfort and wick away moisture to create an optimal sleeping environment. The first layer is 2 inches of eco-friendly Dunlop latex, giving the mattress a quicker response to pressure. The layer below consists of computer-designed grooved latex. The grooves aims to provide extra support to the legs, shoulders, and back, an excellent benefit for a developing body.
The third layer is a flaxseed fiber pad, functioning as a transitional layer between the latex and coils. Below lies a pocketed coil system, these coils are designed to collaborate with the latex layer above to provide the spine the support it needs for healthy development. This layer also adds two extra support zones at the edges of the mattress. Finally, the base of the mattress is a coconut husk pad, making it more eco-friendly than a typical base.
The Brentwood Home Cedar is the tallest mattress on our list, towering over our other choices at 13 inches. Before buying this mattress, make sure the height will work with both your bed frame and your child.
The innerspring coils and natural latex provide the mattress with adequate breathability, and many customer reviews mention the mattress sleeps nice and cool. If your child is a hot sleeper, this mattress is an option to consider.
Motion transfers quite easily through this mattress due to its innerspring coils. If multiple kids will be sharing this mattress, it’s not the best choice.
This mattress has some minimal odors when you first unpackage it; however, they should dissipate in a day or two. All in all, this mattress doesn’t lose any points for off-gassing.
Brentwood Home offers you a whole year to test their mattress out and decide if it’s the best fit for you. They do require you to test it for a minimum of 30 nights. Should you decide against keeping the mattress, you have the option to return it.
Brentwood home specifically offers mattresses for kids. Their mattresses for kids and crib mattresses are covered by a 10-year limited warranty. Their other mattresses are covered by a 25-year limited warranty. After looking on their website, it’s hard to tell what their warranty covers. Before buying, be sure to ask for the details of the warranty as it’s especially important the mattress you buy for your kids will last.
The Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress
The Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress is a hybrid made from gel memory foam, latex-like foam, and a pocketed coil system. It is designed to provide optimal support and bounce necessary for a good night’s sleep.
The cover of this mattress is made from a cotton and polyester blend, quilted with 1.5 inches of gel memory foam giving it a pillow top feel with a cooling effect. The first layer is made from their TitanChill Endurance Foam, as the name suggests, it’s designed to promote breathability and pressure relief. The layer below is their copper-infused support foam; this layer provides bounce, cooling and has properties to help natural spine alignment, which is vital for a growing body.
The third layer is a SmartFlow support foam layer; the support foam’s job is to make a smooth transition from the memory foam to the innerspring. The base layer of this mattress consists of 8-inch tall pocketed coils; the pocketed coils are meant to limit motion transfer and work great for a developing spine. This layer provides the mattress with even more support and breathability. Overall, this mattress maintains the spine’s natural alignment while supporting the rest of the pressure points.
At 12.5 inches tall, The Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress is one of the taller options on this list. Depending on the age of your child, this may or may not be an issue.
This mattress has a unique feature, copper-infused foam. When combined with the layer of pocketed coils, it promotes a cool sleeping environment.
Taking into consideration the innerspring coil system of this mattress, the Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress has very good motion isolation.
There is a chance of a minimal amount of off-gassing with this mattress. Most reviews mention there were no odors at all, while others said their mattress had a “new mattress smell” for a few days, but it dissipated rather quickly.
Your Alexander Signature Hybrid comes with a 100-night sleep trial. They do require you to test the bed for a minimum of 30 nights, but if you decide afterward it’s not the most comfortable option for your kid, you have the option to return it for a full refund.
Nest bedding offers a lifetime warranty with their mattresses. Should your mattress develop an indentation of at least one-inch, they will either repair or return your mattress for you.
Editor’s Choice of the Best Mattress for Kids
Our top mattress choice for kids here at Simply Rest is the Amerisleep AS2. The AS2 has very few drawbacks, offers a great environment for a developing spine, and is modestly priced.
How Often You Should Change Your Child’s Mattress
There are a few factors determining when it’s time to change your kid’s mattress; the current mattress size, the current mattress quality, and the current state of the mattress.
If your child is outgrowing their mattress, it’s time to upgrade. Even if the mattress is still in good shape, if your child doesn’t fit the mattress, it can lead to a variety of developmental problems. Mattresses are designed with specific zones of support in mind; if the size is wrong, those zones will be wrong as well.
The average lifespan for a typical mattress is ten years; some mattresses go flat after a few years, and others still feel like new a decade after purchase. Check your child’s mattress regularly for bumps, lumps, and broken springs. If the surface is even and supportive, it is still in good shape. On the other hand, if you notice any deformities, it’s time to change it out.
The Current State of the Mattress
Though washing the cover will get rid of any staining on top, any spills that have seeped through the mattress will remain there over time. These stains can attract bacteria and allergens, causing health problems in both the short and long-term; a bed with stains is not healthy for your child. It’s less risky to invest in a new mattress for your child, and even a waterproof topper to prevent any future spills causing permanent damage.
Different Mattress Types
There are four main mattress types right now, each with their unique pros and cons. Understanding the differences between mattress types will help you choose the best mattress for your own sleep needs.
Innerspring mattresses have been around for over a century; these coil systems were first found in horse carriage seats and later adapted to be used in mattresses. Over time, innerspring coils have evolved into four main types:
The Bonnell coil is the first type of coil invented, and its shape resembles an hourglass. They were designed to provide a reasonable amount of both comfort and support; however, they tend to be on the cheaper side, and its price tends to be a reflection of its quality.
Offset coils are very similar to Bonnell coils, the only main difference being their angular tops. These coils are known to function better and last longer than Bonnell coils but are still inferior to pocketed coils.
A continuous coil is made from bending one long wire into “S” shapes to fill the whole mattress. This type of coil tends to last longer than Bonnell coil and Offset coil; however, it is not as comfortable or practical as the pocketed coil.
Pocketed coils are individually wrapped in fabric, creating better pressure-zone support and motion isolation. Though they are the most expensive coil to buy, they last the longest and provide the most comfortable sleeping environment.
Latex comes in three variations:
Natural latex is by far the most superior and expensive latex foam; crafted from the sap of rubber trees, this foam is durable and healthy. It’s also hypoallergenic and naturally mold and dust-mite resistant.
Synthetic latex is created from petroleum-based materials, a cheap replica to natural latex foam. Although they may look similar, they function very differently. Additionally, synthetic latex is less durable, much hotter to sleep in, and unhealthy for both your child and the environment.
Blended latex is a mixture of natural and synthetic latex, with properties standing in between the other two types of latex.
Perhaps the most popular mattress material, memory foam comes in three types:
Nasa first invented traditional memory foam for their spacecrafts and uniforms. Made from petroleum-based materials, it has a very slow response rate, giving it it’s iconic contouring effect. Unfortunately, it isn’t very breathable.
Gel memory foam is infused with cooling gel particles and sleeps much cooler when compared to traditional memory foam. It also has a faster response rate than traditional memory foam. Though it is more expensive than traditional memory foam, it’s not the most costly option and overall a pretty good material to sleep on.
Plant-based memory foam is superior and more expensive than the other foams mentioned above. The production of plant-based memory foam cuts out a significant portion of petroleum and replaces it with castor oil, making it a more eco-friendly and healthy option for your body. Because of the way it’s manufactured, it does not emit any unpleasant odors and is very breathable.
If you’re specifically looking for an eco-friendly bed, check out our other guide to find the best natural and organic mattress options.
Hybrid mattresses are made from two parts, innerspring and foam. Sometimes these designs include a double layer of innerspring or multiple layers of different variations of foam. There is no specific recipe to a hybrid mattress, so there are a variety of beds on the market. The one rule of thumb is the foam is always on top of the innerspring.
These mattresses are known for being very breathable, supportive, and responsive. However, they have a heftier price tag and, typically, a lackluster warranty. Because hybrids include coils, there is an increased chance of your child experiencing pressure points.
How Important is Sleep for Kids?
Science has continually proven quality of sleep plays a crucial role in a child’s growing and development. There have even been studies done on developing bedtime routines, and the positive impact it has on a child. A good night’s sleep plays a role in language development, literacy, child emotional regulation, child behavioral regulation, and family function.
Another study done explains the correlation between the quality of sleep and the release of a critical growth hormone, leading to a stronger and healthier body and immune system. Not enough nighttime sleep can lead to a higher BMI in children; doctors have found a direct correlation between lack of sleep and childhood obesity. Overall, quality sleep is critical for a child’s healthy development.
Overview of The Best Mattress for Kids
We hope our guide has helped steer you in the right direction when choosing a good mattress for your child. When choosing the right mattress, it’s important to do research on the best mattress that fits your family’s needs. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!