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Bed Basics
Bed Basics

The Best Mattresses for Kids

A young child dressed in a white shirt with a green sweater laying on a bed smiling up at the camera.
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Kids spend up to 13 hours per night getting restorative sleep that’s essential for their growth and development. Unlike adults, kids are also still developing their sleep habits and favorite sleep positions. An unsupportive or uncomfortable mattress could lead to less-favorable sleep habits, so it’s important for kids to sleep on the right mattress — one that provides comfort, support, and doesn’t sleep too hot.

We asked Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® Sarah Martinez for tips and guidance when it comes to shopping for a kids’ mattress. Read on for the top tips on how to pick out mattresses for kids.

What to consider when buying a kids’ mattress

Martinez reiterates what medical professionals agree on: Children need good sleep in order to develop and grow both mentally and physically. While most adults thrive on seven to nine hours of sleep, school-age kids typically need much more. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says kids between 3 and 5 years old need 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night; children from 6 to 12 should be getting at least 10 hours per night, but some might need up to 13 hours. Teenagers between ages 13 to 18 should aim for eight to 10 hours.

Since children could be spending over half of each day in bed, it’s essential that their mattresses be both comfortable and supportive. Here’s how to decide which mattress is best for your child.

What type of mattress and materials are best for kids?

Mattress recommendations for children include all-foam mattresses, hybrid beds, and innersprings, ideally with a plush or medium feel, since kids have smaller frames than adults. “Kids can be very light. They're growing and will 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. Older kids, including preteens and teens, tend to have a better idea if they prefer a softer or firmer bed.

Sleeping too hot can be a common issue for children, just as it is for adults. Choosing a mattress with cooling elements can be a great solution if your child often wakes up sweaty. Innerspring and hybrid beds often use cooling materials in addition to the benefit of naturally allowing for airflow between the coils. If you’re shopping for a kids’ memory foam mattress, look for materials that help wick away excess heat.

It’s wise to look for mattresses using high-quality materials that offer durability and last longer overall. In terms of lifespan, it’s also a great idea to use a mattress protector to ensure no spills, urine, sweat, or dust get into the bed.

What mattress size is best for kids?

The most common mattress size for kids is a twin. These measure 38 inches wide and 75 inches long, meaning they tend to fit well in smaller bedrooms and accommodate smaller bodies. Older children, especially those who are taller, might sleep best on a twin XL, which is the same width as a twin but adds five inches in length. At 80 inches long, a twin XL is the same length as queen- and king-size beds.

If the bedroom space allows, young kids would have more width on a full-size mattress, measuring 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, but if shopping for a preteen or teen, a queen mattress will accommodate growth spurts.

Top Picks for Kids’ Mattresses

Serta Perfect Sleeper® Charlotte Plush Eurotop


Charlotte has a kid-perfect medium feel for all-night comfort. Individually wrapped coils respond to your child’s every move and align their spines with the right amount of support. Plus, cooling technology helps regulate their body temperature for deeper zzz’s.

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.

Beautyrest Pressuresmart 2.0 Plush

Beautyrest PressureSmart Collection

You won’t hear any complaints about bedtime when your child sleeps on the Beautyrest PressureSmart™ Plush Mattress. Kids will wake up ready to go after sleeping on soft, pressure-relieving memory foam. But comfiness doesn’t stop there. The cool-to-the-touch surface delivers 13% more cooling power* for super-sized zzz’s.

*Average heat flux compared against PressureSmart™ models that lack carbon fiber technology. Tested for the first 20 minutes.

Sleepy's By Sealy Euro Top 2.0


When your child climbs into the Sleepy’s by Sealy® Euro Top, they’ll plop down on a bed with a body-conforming, plush feel. Memory foam layers cradle growing kids and provide the support they need for their dreamiest rest. And the advanced coil system responds to their every move with comforting pressure relief.

Our Conclusion on Picking Out a Kids Mattress

When picking out a mattress for your child it’s important to keep in mind their sleep style and stage of life. While the mattresses we recommended here work great for a growing child they’re also great picks for parents as well so feel free to try it out for yourself while shopping.

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