Bed Basics

The Best Mattresses for Kids

Girl lying on her tummy on her mattress facing a stuffed dog.

Finding the best mattress for a kid can be a challenging task. While most adults have spent years learning which type of mattress and firmness feels best for their sleep style, kids will be building good sleep habits on the mattress you choose, so an uncomfortable or unsupportive mattress can more easily disrupt their sleep or train them be permanent stomach sleepers, which is not ideal for long-term wellness. The right mattress can help a child develop healthy sleep habits; after all, children spend much more time sleeping than adults. Buying a mattress for kids can often feel like a guessing game, since cost and size can be a factor. San Antonio, Texas-based Mattress Firm Sleep Expert™ Sarah Martinez has some insightful tips of what to keep in mind when shopping for a kids mattress that will leave them sleeping comfortably during a time when restorative rest is important for growth.

What to think about when buying a mattress for kids

When it comes to shopping for kids’ mattresses, Martinez mentions what many studies confirm: Sleep is critical to a child’s healthy development both physically and mentally. Adults who sleep for eight hours each night spend about 30% of each day sleeping, but according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, school-age children between six and 18 years old could feel best if they sleep up to 12 hours each night.

With the potential to spend half of their life in bed, a child’s mattress should be comfortable and made of high-quality materials to provide optimal support, especially as their musculoskeletal systems develop. Here’s what to look for when buying a mattress for your child.

What type of mattress and materials are best for kids?

Martinez says that there isn’t just one type of mattress that will work best for all kids. Memory foam, innerspring and hybrid beds could all offer great support to growing kids, but their needs are likely to vary a bit from adults.

Children are typically lighter weight and therefore, might not need a mattress as firm as many adults prefer. “Kids can be very light. They're growing and will gain weight and get heavier, but right now they're sleeping more on top of the mattress, so it's best to not go too firm since that could cause pressure points,” Martinez says. Because of this, she says many kids prefer a medium level of firmness.

It can also be helpful to consider mattress materials when picking a kid’s mattress. While younger kids might need help choosing a firmness, older kids could help with deciding if a medium level of firmness feels best or if they prefer a more plush or firm mattress.

Does your child often wake up sweaty? Look for cooling elements like a hybrid or innerspring bed that naturally allows for airflow. If a memory foam mattress sounds best, check for materials that help with cooling like gel or copper-infused foam.

Kids suffering from allergies could benefit from sleeping on a mattress that uses hypoallergenic materials to help maintain a clean sleeping environment, Martinez says.

What size of mattress is best for kids?

When it comes to selecting the size, most kids will feel comfortable sleeping on a Twin-sized mattress (38 inches W by 75 inches L). However, if space allows, it could be wise to invest in a Twin XL which has the same width, but measures 80 inches in length, five inches longer than a standard Twin mattress. At the same length as a Queen and King mattress, a Twin XL could help prolong the time a child is in their bed before requiring an upgrade. If the room is wide enough or you’re not concerned about your child outgrowing the Twin-sized mattress, a Full-sized bed offers more room for kids at 54 inches in width, but is still 75 inches long.

The Best Mattresses for Kids

Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-ProAdapt® 12" Medium Hybrid Mattress


A kid’s great day starts with a great night’s sleep, and great sleep starts with the TEMPUR-ProAdapt® 12" Medium Hybrid Mattress. This bed offers one-of-a-kind cooling technology and two layers of pressure-relieving TEMPUR® Material to support every point of contact, so your kid can get the rejuvenating sleep he or she needs to seize the day ahead.

Serta iSeries Hybrid 1000 12" Medium Mattress


Everyone deserves a sleep sanctuary, and kids are no exception. The Serta iSeries Hybrid 1000 Medium is the perfect place to start. With a unique combination of cooling comfort and medium-firmness memory foam, this mattress is sure to keep your kid cozy and supported for a great night’s sleep.

Tempur-Pedic® TEMPUR-PRObreeze° 12" Medium Hybrid Mattress


No matter their age, kids need great sleep to grow. Help them say goodnight to tossing and turning with the TEMPUR-PRObreeze° 12" Medium Hybrid Mattress. Its cutting-edge cooling works to absorb excess body heat throughout the night, and multiple TEMPUR® foams conform to every movement for adaptive sleep.

Serta Perfect Sleeper Charlotte 10.5" Medium Plush Mattress


The Charlotte offers a medium level of firmness in a hybrid mattress that features several layers of comfortable support great for growing kids. Cooling elements from Serta’s Cool Twist® Gel Foam help with breathability and all-night temperature regulation. Individually wrapped coils provide support where it’s needed most and minimize pressure points from developing on the hips or shoulders.

Sleepy’s Doze 10" Medium Memory Foam Mattress


Sometimes, we all need a little help to doze off—and kids are no exception. Featuring gel memory foam and charcoal-infused foam, the Sleepy’s Doze 10” Medium Memory Foam Mattress provides pressure relieving support and cooling comfort for sound sleep. Plus, its water resistance means you can rest easy about stains and spills. This mattress suits all types of sleepers—back, stomach, and side—to make sure kids get the good support they need to help them while they grow.

Serta iSeries Hybrid 3000 13.5” Medium Mattress


Great sleep is essential for growing kids, and this mattress can help them get it. The Serta iSeries Hybrid 3000 is the best of both worlds: hybrid support combines memory foam with individually wrapped coils for the perfect balance of support and comfort all night long.

Beautyrest Beyond 14.5" Medium Mattress


When it comes to finding the right bed for your children, go above and beyond with the luxurious cooling technology and premium memory foam of the Beautyrest Beyond Medium Mattress. Ideal for virtually all sleepers, this bed combines state-of-the-art cooling technology, premium comfort foams and pocketed coils for reinforced support and spinal alignment—and helps kids wake up ready to take on the day.

Beautyrest PressureSmart 11.5" Firm Mattress


This firm bed is perfect for kids who need extra support while they sleep. The PressureSmart 11.5” Firm Mattress features 900 Series Beautyrest® Pocketed Coil® Technology and gel memory foam that work together to provide lumbar support and spinal alignment for a rejuvenating sleep every night.

Beautyrest PressureSmart 12.25" Plush Mattress


Kids grow and change, and they need a mattress that can keep up. Ideal for all sleep positions, the Beautyrest PressureSmart 12.25” Plush Mattress is as comfortable as it is versatile. The 900 Series Pocketed Coil® Technology provides flexible support, motion isolation and lumbar support, while multiple comfort layers provide the plush feel kids want and the support they need.

Sealy Essentials Winter Green 12" Mattress


A pillow-top mattress can help relieve aches and pains for busy, active kids while they sleep. The Sealy Essentials Winter Green 12" Mattress is precisely engineered with open coils and Sealy® foams that respond to movement to promote a breathable, cooling environment and soft support. Plus, reinforced edge support helps keep the mattress from sagging.

Tulo 8" Memory Foam Bamboo Mattress


Featuring naturally clean materials at a great value, the Tulo 8” Memory Foam Bamboo Mattress in a box is convenient and comfy, making it perfect for kids and for a busy life. Plus, its breathable memory foam with green tea provides the perfect balance of comfort and support, and the green tea helps fight germs for a longer-lasting, more durable mattress.

The best bedding accessories for kids

Now that you’ve picked a comfortable and supportive kids mattress, it’s time to add in a few extra elements to make for a great setup like cozy sheets, a comfortable pillow, and a mattress protector to ensure the mattress has the longest lifespan possible.

While sheets with unicorns or race cars look great, Martinez says the material of the sheet is far more important. Especially with kids who sleep hot or deal with allergies, high-quality sheets can make all the difference. Martinez says sheets made of cotton, bamboo or Tencel offer slumber-worthy softness while also being breathable.

Equally important is keeping your kids’ mattress as clean as possible. Whether it’s an accidental juice spill or worse, using a mattress protector can help ensure a long lifespan for the mattress.

Need some help deciding on the best kids’ mattress?

Mattress Firm Sleep Experts™ are available both in store and online to help you decide on the best mattress for your child so the whole family can get a good night’s rest.

Additional research and writing by Neelou Goodarzi

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