How to choose a mattress for a child

How to choose a mattress for a child

Sep 05, 2019

How to choose a mattress for a child

1. Select the right size

Choosing which size mattress to buy will depend on your child’s age, size and how long you plan on having your child use the mattress.

· Crib mattress measurements: 28” x 52”

· Twin mattress measurements: 38” x 75”

· Twin XL mattress measurements: 38” x 80”

· Full mattress measurements: 54” x 75”


Baby and crib mattresses
If you’re shopping for a mattress for your new baby, you’ll need to have your crib ready. Crib mattresses have a minimum size but may vary slightly, so you’ll want to have the dimensions of your crib handy when you shop for a mattress.

Toddler mattresses
Toddler beds can help your child transition from the crib to a “big kid” mattress. A toddler bed includes a low railing or partial railing to keep your child from rolling out of bed. Toddler beds may help you feel better about your child’s security throughout the night, but they aren’t always necessary. Some parents opt to go straight for a standard twin bed for their toddler.

Kids mattresses
If you’re shopping for a mattress for a child, you have a few more options. A twin mattress is the most common mattress size for a young child, but some parents may adopt a “room to grow” mindset and purchase a full mattress that the child will be comfortable with into their teen years. Twin XL mattresses are also available and provide extra length.

2. Set a budget

Knowing how much you’re willing and able to spend will help you narrow down your search. A twin mattress can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 and above, but most average innerspring mattresses come in between $300–$500, while a memory foam mattress may set you back a bit more.

While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest mattress available, your money will be best spent on purchasing a quality mattress that your child can grow with. A good mattress can last 10 years or more, meaning if you purchase the right bed for a young child, it may last them into their teen years. Paying more money upfront may actually save you money in the long run and save you the headache of having to purchase a new, cheap mattress every few years.

3. Choose the type of mattress

Once you know the size of mattress you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll want to consider which type of mattress will be best for your child. You have three major options: innerspring, foam and hybrid. Each of these mattresses comes with pros and cons you’ll want to understand before you make the leap.

· Innerspring mattresses: Spring mattresses are a popular choice for every age group. Innerspring mattresses have a longer lifespan than the other types on average, and may be harder for a child to damage by roughhousing. They tend to be more firm, sturdy and supportive for most sleeping styles.

· Foam mattresses: Memory foam is trendy, but it’s not recommended for very young children (infants and toddlers). However, an older child may enjoy the adaptive nature of memory foam, especially if they’re a side sleeper. Be aware that memory foam mattresses are known for off-gassing, which can cause a strong smell for the first several weeks of use. While off-gassing is not harmful, the smell can be disruptive to sleep. A room with good ventilation and airflow will help the smell dissipate more quickly. If you opt for a foam mattress, be sure to look for one that focuses on adequate support and alignment in addition to the pressure relief and comfort the mattresses are known for.

· Hybrid mattresses: A hybrid mattress can be a good choice for a parent looking for the sturdy support of an innerspring mattress with the cushier feel of foam.

· Organic mattresses: Some mattresses, especially foam and hybrid models, may focus on “organic materials.” An organic mattress may be chemical free, hypoallergenic, flame resistant and/or biodegradable. Organic crib mattresses come highly recommended as they are safer for infants. Searching for a mattress the focuses on the integrity of their materials and construction will never be time wasted.

4. Determine the right firmness level

Mattress firmness is an especially important consideration for infants and young children. A firm mattress is recommended for children under 18 months old for safety and proper development. Once your child is a few years old it really becomes a matter of personal preference, just like it is for adults. A firm mattress isn’t the only option for proper support. A good plush mattress will be designed for spinal support and alignment the same as a firm mattress would be. Let your child lay on a few different mattress types in a store or showroom and get an understanding of what they find most comfortable.

5. Make sure it is durable

From jumping on the bed to spilling nighttime snacks, kids are harder on mattresses than adults.

Most mattresses will last about 10 years, including innerspring, foam and hybrid varieties, but the total lifespan of your mattress will depend on the materials used.

Look for high quality thick foam or wrapped steel coils, or consider opting for a latex mattresses, or mattress with latex layers, which are said to last a few years longer than the average mattress. Flipping and rotating the mattress will also help ensure it wears evenly. Investing in a high quality mattress and purchasing a mattress protector (especially if bed wetting is a concern), will go far in extending the life of your child’s mattress.