Children require more sleep than adults. While adults need 7 to 9 hours a night, children between the ages of three and five need 10 to 13 hours of sleep, and children ages 6 to 13 need 9 to 11 hours.
Sleep is a vital part of growing up and replenishes the boundless amounts of energy that kids have. This is why it’s important that you choose the right mattress for your children, to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. In our article, we review the best mattresses for kids and go over what to look for when browsing.
The Amerisleep AS1 is our choice for the best mattress for kids. The gentle, yet firm cradling sensation of specially designed Bio-Pur® and Bio-Core® foams ensures your little ones sleep in comfort with consistent support throughout the years. The body contouring foam layers align the spine and allows for healthy growth. Plus, it comes with a lengthy 20-year warranty, helping you get the most for your money.
5 Best Mattresses for Kids
|Amerisleep AS1||The firm feel and gentle, cradling support of plant-based memory foam makes the AS1 the best mattress for kids.|| |
|Tuft & Needle||Lightweight structure makes it easy to move with Adaptive® foam to keep kids cool at night.|| |
|Nest's BKB||Designed specifically for children, and able to support up to 120 pounds.|| |
|5 Little Monkeys||Comes with a waterproof mattress protector and hypoallergenic pillow.|| |
|Spindle||All-natural, eco-friendly option made from pure Dunlop latex for a bouncy, conforming feel.|| |
With a height of 10 inches, the AS1 has two layers of foam: a 2-inch layer of Bio-Pur® and an 8-inch layer of Bio-Core®. The soft mattress cover is breathable and encourages air to flow throughout the mattress.
Bio-Pur® and Bio-Core® are exclusively made by Amerisleep. Bio-Pur® is plant-based memory foam. In this foam, castor oil partially replaces petroleum to offer a more eco-friendly material with little to no off-gassing. Bio-Pur® provides pressure relief to the body, so your children sleep comfortably all night long.
The open-cell structure of Bio-Core® allows for better air circulation inside the mattress, ensuring your children sleep cool and comfortably during the night. Excellent motion isolation helps kids to stay asleep even if they toss and turn at night.
The AS1 is Amerisleep’s firmest mattress— the bed is sure to last, maintaining the perfect blend of comfort and support as your little ones grow into young adults. while the Bio-Core® layer helps the spine stay in neutral alignment. The AS1 is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and split king.
Amerisleep AS1 Warranty and Sleep Trial
Amerisleep’s 20-year warranty is one of the best in the mattress industry. It is prorated and broken into two parts:
First 10 years: Amerisleep will repair or replace the mattress at no extra cost to the customer in light of confirmed defects.
Second 10 years: Starting in the 11th year, Amerisleep will replace the mattress for a 50% prorated charge of the original purchase price. Customers are also responsible for shipping and handling costs.
Defects covered under warranty include sagging greater than 0.75 inches and any faulty manufacturer flaws not caused through misuse.
100-Night Sleep Trial
Amerisleep’s 100-night sleep trial enables customers to try the AS1 within the comfort of their own home. Amerisleep highly recommends trying the mattress for at least 30 days to allow the body to properly adjust to a new mattress. If the customer is not satisfied after 30 days, Amerisleep will arrange to have the mattress picked up and donated to a local charity. Once the pickup is confirmed, Amerisleep will issue a full refund.
2. Tuft & Needle
The Tuft & Needle mattress is 10 inches thick, and consists of 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam infused with gel and graphite, and 7 inches of high-density support foam. It comes encased in a polyester blend cover. Both foam layers are GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US® certified.
The all-foam construction of the Tuft & Needle mattress is a simple, solid design. The gel and graphite infusions pull heat away from the body and disperse it for better temperature regulation.
The exceptional body contouring makes this mattress good for relieving pressure points from growing pains. Motion isolation helps prevent children who are light sleepers from waking in the middle of the night.
The Tuft & Needle mattress is ideal for back and stomach sleepers thanks to its medium-firm feel. It has a lightweight design and weighs about 50 pounds in the box for a twin size. It’s available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
Tuft & Needle Warranty and Sleep Trial
Tuft & Needle will cover approved defects not caused by customer misuse. Defects include sagging greater than ¾ of an inch, splits or cracks in foam, undone seams, or a faulty cover zipper.
100-Night Sleep Trial
If, at any time, the customer is not happy with the mattress, they can contact Tuft & Needle who will arrange to pick up the mattress to donate. Pick-up is completely free of charge, except if sold outside the U.S.— customers may need to cover international shipping fees.
3. Nest BKB
The Nest Big Kids Bed (BKB) is 7 inches thick and contains two layers of foam: 2 inches of Energex™ foam and 5 inches of edge support base foam. The soft, elastic cover is made from a polyester cotton blend.
Energex™ foam is similar to memory foam, but resembles latex— it has an open-cell structure with a responsive surface. The foam molds to the body to relieve pressure points without kids feeling stuck in the mattress. The base foam is built to support growing children and won’t sag.
Nest’s BKB is designed specifically for kids. It’s a great bed for children transitioning from a crib or toddler bed. It can handle up to 120 pounds— a good choice for young adults too. With a firm feel, the Nest BKB is available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes.
Nest BKB Warranty and Sleep Trial
Nest’s warranty is only active for as long as it’s owned by the original purchaser. Nest will repair or replace the mattress at no cost to the customer in light of valid defects. Defects include sagging greater than 1 inch, flaws in zipper, and any physical flaws in the cover as long as it’s not caused by misuse.
100-Night Sleep Trial
Nest’s 100-night sleep trial starts the day of delivery. Nest requires customers to keep the mattress for a period of 30 days to properly break it in. After, and if the customer isn’t satisfied, Nest will arrange to pick up the mattress and have it donated to charity, free of charge.
4. 5 Little Monkeys
The 5 Little Monkeys mattress is 8 inches tall and contains three layers of foam. They include a dual-phase change gel memory foam, a responsive transitional memory foam, and a high-density poly-foam core. The cover is made from organic cotton and is both OEKO-Tex® certified and machine-washable.
The 5 Little Monkeys mattress is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 13 years old. It’s a great transitioning option from a crib. The gel foam helps to regulate temperature by absorbing body heat and evenly dispersing it, while the responsive transitional layer conforms to the body to relieve pressure points and align the spine. The high-density foam core supports the top layers and gives the mattress its shape.
5 Little Monkeys also includes a free breathable pillow and mattress protector with the mattress. The pillow is made from organic cotton, while the waterproof mattress protector is made from organic jersey knit— both are machine-washable. The mattress is available in twin, full, and queen sizes.
5 Little Monkeys Warranty and Sleep Trial
The 15-year warranty starts on the purchase date and covers one replacement mattress per warranty. 5 Little Monkeys will cover manufacturer defects, including sagging greater than 1.5 inches, and any flaw that causes the foam to split or crack not caused by improper use. Both the pillow and mattress protector are under warranty for 1 year.
100-Night Sleep Trial
If, at any time, during the 100-night sleep trial, the customer isn’t happy with the 5 Little Monkeys mattress, the customer can return it for a full refund. 5 Little Monkeys will donate the used bed to a local charity.
The Spindle mattress is 10 inches tall and contains three layers of Dunlop latex. The firmness level of the latex depends on which firmness you choose. For kids, we recommend medium— two, 3-inch layers of medium Dunlop latex and 3 inches of firm Dunlop latex. The organic cotton cover features wool batting as a natural flame retardant.
This latex mattress is made of Dunlop latex— denser and more durable than its Talalay counterpart. The latex layers offer a bouncy, cool sleep surface for children. Similar to memory foam, latex is an all-natural material that conforms to the body to relieve pressure points. The amount of natural material the Spindle mattress contains accounts for its high price point.
The Spindle mattress comes in four firmness options— soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. However, by swapping the three layers, customers can adjust the firmness.
For example, if a customer chooses the medium option and needs more support, they can open the cover and rearrange the layers, so instead of medium, medium, and firm, it’s now medium, firm, and medium. The Spindle mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king sizes.
Spindle Warranty and Sleep Trial
During the 10-year warranty, Spindle will repair or replace the mattress if there is sagging greater than 0.75 inches and other defects not caused by misuse.
365-Night Sleep Trial
Spindle offers comfort adjustments up to one year after purchase. A comfort specialist will work with the customer to create the right layering system. These comfort adjustments aim to help the customer achieve the perfect firmness for optimal sleep. If the customer is unsatisfied for any reason, Spindle will work with the customer to donate the mattress before issuing a full refund.
How to Choose the Right Mattress for a Child
Growing children require features that will help them develop while providing quality sleep. Important factors to consider include age, mattress size, budget, mattress type, firmness and support, durability, sleeping positions, and any available sleep trials, warranties, and return policies.
Parents need to consider if they want their child’s mattress for just a little while, or if they want it to last into the teen years.
Typically girls go through growth spurts between the ages of 8 and 13 years old, while boys range between 10 to 15 years old. A mattress that can accommodate a child’s growing body while offering consistent support is vital.
Once younger children outgrow their crib mattress, it’s time to graduate to a big kid bed. Choosing the right mattress can depend on the size of the child, and the amount of available space in your home.
A standard twin mattress is perfect for most children. Their compact size and affordability make them an ideal choice for parents.
Twin XL Mattress
If height runs in the family, twin XL mattresses provide some wiggle room for future growth.
For parents looking for a bed to last into their child’s teen years, a full mattress might be the best way to go. Full mattresses are wider than twins.
The price of a mattress depends on its size and the materials it contains. Avoid making the mistake of purchasing a cheap mattress— they may come at a low cost, but they only last a couple of years. These types of beds have thin layers with poor-quality materials. For example, a cheap foam bed will have a small height and low-density foam with a strong off-gassing odor.
A good mattress will last up to 10 years. It might be worth it to pay those extra dollars for a bed that will last, rather than wasting money on replacing a cheap mattress every few years.
Different mattress types offer different benefits to the sleeper. Below is a breakdown of each type of mattress and what to look for in high-quality mattress materials.
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses contour to the body for pressure relief and deep compression support. It gives off no noise and has little to no motion transfer. Firmness is measured by ILD, or indentation load deflection. The higher the ILD, the firmer and less contouring it will be.
Memory foam is also measured in density, or how much compression a mattress can take while still being supportive. Lower density foam will be between 2.5 to 3.9 pounds per cubic foot, and higher density foam will be closer to 5.5 pounds per cubic foot.
Latex mattresses are similar to memory foam but cooler and more responsive. Strategically placed holes throughout the mattress provide to provide airflow. There are two types of natural latex: Dunlop and Talalay.
Dunlop is denser and more durable than Talalay, while Talalay has a more springy feel and is softer than Dunlop.
Innerspring mattresses are responsive with a good bounce. Innersprings will usually sleep cooler due to easy air circulation between the coils. The purpose of the coil layer is to offer support and align the spine.
Check the gauge, or thickness, of the coil— the higher the gauge, the thinner the coil. They can range from 12mm (thick) to 18mm (thin). Another thing to consider is coil count.
The lower the coil count, the shorter the lifespan. The higher the number of coils, the higher the price tag. Please note: more coils doesn’t mean better durability— if a mattress has several hundred coils with a thin gauge, it’s still likely to sag.
Hybrid mattresses contain both memory foam and innerspring coils. For a mattress to be considered a true hybrid, it must have a comfort layer of at least 2 inches and contain both memory foam and innerspring coils. Most hybrids have pocketed coils— individually wrapped coils that offer firm support, but also reduce motion transfer and sound.
Firmness and Support
While firmness can feel different depending on the brand, most mattresses fall into one of three categories: soft, medium, or firm. Firm beds are recommended for children under 18 months old— it provides safety, with children less likely to feel smothered than they would in a soft mattress, plus the firm sleep surface allows for healthy development.
The support of a mattress is defined by how well it can maintain a flat, even sleep surface. Support allows for healthy spinal alignment. A mattress with good support has a lower risk of sagging.
It’s no secret that children are harder on mattresses than adults. From jumping on the bed to spilling drinks and snacks, kids are messy. Children need a durable mattress to handle all that chaos, while parents need a durable mattress for peace of mind and to save themselves some cash.
Sleep position can determine which mattress is the right choice. Some materials may be better suited towards specific sleeping positions. For example, a child who sleeps on their stomach may prefer a firm mattress compared to a child who likes to sleep on their side.
Side sleeping is the most common and healthiest sleep position. It allows for better breathing and reduces the risk of snoring and sleep apnea symptoms— both can occur in children. Side sleepers face the least amount of health risks.
Back sleepers face fewer problems than stomach sleepers, but are still in danger of developing health issues such as snoring or sleep apnea if they sleep on an unsupportive mattress.
Both of these issues are caused by the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat and the tongue blocking the airway. A medium-firm or firm mattress should keep the head elevated.
A couple of benefits to sleeping on the back is that the spine is better aligned and there is a lower risk of facial wrinkles since the face is not in contact with the pillow during the night.
Stomach sleeping is the least recommended. Neck pain from twisting the head to the side, increased pressure on the lower back, and tossing and turning can result from stomach sleeping.
Possible solutions to help alleviate these issues include placing a thin pillow under the hips for better support and pressure relief, or switching to the side sleeping position. Some stomach sleepers may not need a pillow for their head, especially if they are sleeping on a firmer mattress.
If your child is a combo sleeper, it usually means that they may fall asleep on their stomach and wake up on their side. Combo sleepers change positions several times during the night.
Combo sleepers may reap the benefits of each sleep position, but they may face the increased health risks of each as well. These include neck, shoulder, and back pain, blocked airways, and poor spinal alignment.
Sleep Trial, Warranty, and Return Policy
Look to see if any sleep trials and return policies are available and always read up on the warranty. These features help protect the investment of a child’s mattress, especially if the purchased bed is meant to last well into a child’s teen years.
Sleep trials enable children to try out their very own mattress at home. This can be a big relief for parents, since they can avoid the rambunctious activities of their kids in a store. Most sleep trials last at least 100 days – this will allow time for the body to adjust to a new mattress.
A warranty protects your investment and reflects the quality of a mattress. A standard warranty lasts for 10 years. Warranties lasting less than 10 years could be a red flag and should be avoided. Always read the fine print of any warranty before buying a new bed for your child.
If a sleep trial isn’t offered, look at the return policy— most last 30 days. If you purchase a mattress for your child and it’s not working out, it’s nice to have the ability to return it for a full refund.
Additional Accessories for Kids
Adding other types of bedding may improve a child’s comfort level and protect the mattress. Bedding accessories include pillows, mattress protectors, mattress toppers, and bunk beds. These types of accessories not only benefit children, but they also benefit parents.
Once you’ve purchased the mattress, it’s time to add pillows. Pillows are designed to support the head and neck. When choosing a pillow, consider the pillow’s loft. Loft can be low, medium, or high and the most comfortable one will depend on your sleeping position, mattress firmness, and body weight. A pillow helps to align the spine by cradling the head and neck.
Mattress protectors are vital because they protect your mattress from stains, bed bugs, and dust mites— things that can void your warranty. As you can imagine, a protector is especially necessary for a child’s bed. A mattress protector shields the mattress from spills and stains.
Many customers buy a new bed, only for it to deteriorate because they weren’t using a mattress protector. Protectors are a relatively cheap investment that can save you hundreds in repairs or replacements later on down the road.
A mattress topper is an additional cushioning layer. It helps adjust the firmness of a mattress. Mattress toppers can be placed on top of the mattress, or be held in place with elastic straps. Mattress toppers can also prevent wear and tear on the mattress and as another extra layer of protection, but they are not a substitute for mattress protectors.
Bunk beds are a great solution for living areas with limited space. Bunk beds can accommodate 2 to 3 sleepers. They have a wood or metal structure equipped with ladders or stairs and barriers. The most common bed sizes that fit bunk beds are twin and full sizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do kids need a mattress specifically made for them or will any mattress do?
You don’t have to spend those extra bucks towards a kid-specific mattress. Any type of mattress will do, so long as it remains supportive and comfortable. We recommend a firm memory foam mattress because it has a soft, yet durable sleep surface, while consistently supporting their growing bodies.
Is it a good idea to add a mattress protector to my child’s mattress?
Yes. Accidents happen, and children tend to be harder on mattresses than adults. Protecting their bed against spills and stains can help the mattress last longer and remain protected under warranty.
What if my child suffers from allergies?
For children with allergies, look for a mattress that is hypoallergenic. Memory foam and mattresses made from all-natural materials are great options. Also, many mattress protectors prevent dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens from infesting the bed.
To write a quality and credible article, we considered over 36 leading mattress brands, read several dozen reviews and articles, and spent over 31 hours researching, writing, and editing.
When you’re out looking for a good mattress for your child, consider important factors like the age of your child and if the mattress is meant to last into their teen years. Establish a budget and check for available sleep trials and warranties before finalizing a purchase.
After reading this article, we hope it steers you in the right direction in finding the best mattress for your child. Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to go out there and buy.