Best Mattresses for Kids of 2022
Nov 28th, 2022 •
Shopping for a mattress for your kids can feel more overwhelming than you might have thought. On one hand, you want to ensure your child has a mattress that affords them the best sleep possible and accommodates for growth spurts.
On the other hand, kids are smaller than the average adult, so what types of design and materials are appropriate? Is your child a back sleeper, side sleeper, or stomach sleeper? In this guide, we’ll spotlight our top-rated mattresses for kids and offer advice on choosing the best mattress for your child.
Best Mattresses for Kids
- Best Mattress for Growing Kids – Saatva Youth
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress – Helix Kids
- Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Nectar
- Best Budget Mattress – Dreamfoam Essential
- Best Mattress for Restless Sleepers – Nolah Nurture 10″
- Best Mattress for Back Pain – DreamCloud
- Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers – Bear Original
- Best Mattress for Back Sleepers – Puffy
- Best Mattress for Plus-Size Kids – Leesa
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To evaluate mattresses for children, we expand our review process to put additional focus on three highly relevant factors:
- Spine Alignment. Promoting healthy sleep posture for growing kids
- Responsiveness. Responding to movements of restless sleepers
- Durability. Holding up under jumping, bouncing, and playing
See our recap to find out how our featured mattresses stack up against these criteria.
Best Mattress for Growing Kids
- Ages 3 and older
- Edge support
- Spine alignment
Made for children ages 3 and up, the Saatva Youth mattress is built to last as your child grows. The key is the mattress’s flippable, dual-sided design: one side for ages 3 and older and the other for ages 8 and older.
If your child is younger than 8, you can start with the 3+plus side. As they get older, flip it to the 8+ side to help provide a smooth transition from toddler to tween (and eventually from tween to teenager). Additionally, the Saatva Youth has an accident-proof organic cotton cover with a water-resistant finish, making it a great mattress for kids in the toddler stage.
Although Saatva is often thought of as a luxury brand, the Saatva Youth model is affordably priced (starting at $749 for a twin size). The mattress comes with free white-glove delivery, meaning not only is the mattress delivered to your door, but a representative will set it up for you and remove your child’s old mattress. Also, you get a generous 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Read our full Saatva Youth mattress review.
Best Hypoallergenic Mattress
- Children with allergies
- Children ages 3-12
- Kids who sleep hot
Firm and Soft options
Helix’s first-ever kid’s mattress is designed to protect children from a variety of natural and chemical irritants. The Helix Kids mattress features a TENCEL® cover, which is naturally hypoallergenic and keeps dust and allergens from sticking to the bed. It also uses CertiPUR-US foams free of harmful chemicals and comes with an odor-fighting microbe shield that fights bacteria.
This two-sided mattress has a firm side and a softer side, so you can flip it to adjust to your growing sleeper’s needs. It’s available in twin and full sizes, with a twin priced at $649 (not counting sales or discounts).
Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty—both fairly standard. The Helix Kids mattress comes with free shipping and usually arrives within 1-2 weeks.
Read our full Helix Kids mattress review.
Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Children who change sleep positions
- Hot sleepers
- Budget-minded shoppers
Brooklyn Bedding offers several hybrid mattresses, including one designed to help your child stay comfortable and cool throughout the night.
The Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid scored well for spine alignment and pressure relief in our review process, making it suitable for combination sleepers as well as back, side and stomach sleepers. Also, each layer of the Bowery Hybrid employs technology that promotes cooling and breathability, including a layer of pocket-coil innersprings and a Gel Memory Foam Topper.
The Bowery Hybrid is quite affordable (twin size starting at around $549), and Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping and a 10-year warranty. The trial period lasts 120 nights, with a 30-night minimum after which you can return the mattress for free if you’re not satisfied.
Read our full Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid mattress review.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Children who like to sink into their mattress
- Kids who toss and turn
- Side sleepers
The Nectar mattress is a cozy memory foam bed your child can grow with. It has good pressure relief and responsiveness, making it a good choice for active children and kids who change sleeping positions often. You can sometimes get a twin size for under $500, depending on sales and special promotions. You could even consider buying a little on the large side to account for growth spurts and get more value.
The Nectar mattress comes with free shipping and typically arrives within three to seven business days. Once you receive the mattress, your 365-night trial period begins. Your child has a year to sleep on it, and if you decide the bed isn’t right for your child in that time frame, you can return the mattress for a full refund and pickup.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Best Budget Mattress
- Budget shoppers
- Children who sleep warm
- Side sleepers
Medium-Soft to Firm
The Dreamfoam Essential mattress is a great budget option for kids (not to mention their budget-conscious parents). You can get up to a twin-size bed for $274, with twin XL and full sizes also priced affordably. On top of the wallet-friendly price point, the memory foam Chill mattress also offers good pressure relief and spine alignment (8.75/10 and 9.5/10 Mattress Advisor scores, respectively). Those scores make it a great choice for your side-sleeping child.
When it comes to set-up, it doesn’t get much easier than Dreamfoam Essential. Our reviewers got it unboxed in under a minute, so it earns a 9.5/10 score in the set-up category. Dreamfoam also ships free and offers you a 120-night sleep trial, plus a 10-year warranty.
Read our full Dreamfoam Essential mattress review.
Best Mattress for Restless Sleepers
- Kids who toss and turn
- Hot sleepers
- All sleeping positions
Soft and Firm options
The Nolah Nurture hybrid does a good job of making it easier to move and change positions, something super-important for restless sleepers of any age. It uses Talalay latex, which is both cooling and naturally hypoallergenic.
Earning a high score in pressure relief, the Nolah Nurture can help your kids recover from their long, active days. It’s also flippable, so your kid can sleep on the softer or firmer side as they grow.
Available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes, the mattress has a pretty steep price tag starting at $1,499. On the other hand, you also get a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.
Read our full Nolah Nurture mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Children with back pain
- Restless sleepers
- Most sleeping positions
A mattress that promotes a healthy sleep posture and reduces pressure in the back and hips is great for addressing back pain, in children and adults alike. The DreamCloud might not be designed specifically for children, but it has spine alignment and pressure-relieving qualities that should bridge the age gap nicely.
The DreamCloud, one of our best mattresses for back pain, earns outstanding 9/10 scores for both spine alignment and pressure relief in Mattress Advisor testing. It also has a medium-firm feel (6.5/10), which can help prevent your child from sinking too deeply into the mattress and increasing pressure on joints and muscles.
Regular price for a twin-size DreamCloud is $799. On the other hand, DreamCloud also offers a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Children who sleep hot
- Active and athletic kids
- Combination sleepers
Medium firm: 7.1/10
Night sweats can ruin a good night’s sleep, at any age, but kids who sleep hot might find a cool solution in the Bear Original mattress. We give it a 9/10 score for cooling, which is especially impressive for an all-foam bed.
One of the keys to the Bear’s cooling performance is that instead of traditional memory foam, it uses a top foam layer infused with graphite gel. Like many of the best mattresses for hot sleepers, the Bear uses sem-liquid gel beads to counteract foam’s tendency to trap heat. The mattress cover also includes Celliant fiber designed for breathability.
At nearly $750 for a twin size, the Bear Original isn’t the cheapest kid’s mattress on the market. However, you do get a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.
Read our full Bear mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- Motion transfer
- Lifetime warranty
The feeling of lying on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it is agreeable for back sleepers of any age, kids included. The original Puffy, a memory foam mattress with above-average firmness, can provide the level of support that your young back sleeper needs.
The Puffy mattress is a 7/10 on the mattress firmness scale, squarely in the ideal range for people who sleep on their backs. With solid Mattress Advisor scores for pressure relief (8/10) and spine alignment (8.75/10), this mattress should also help relieve pressure on joints in the lower back and hips.
A stain-resistant cover makes the Puffy easy to keep clean, and its lifetime warranty offers assurance for parents interested in long-term value.
Read our full Puffy mattress review.
Best Mattress for Plus-Size Kids
- Larger children
- Kids with joint pain
- Spine alignment
The Leesa is an all-foam mattress that is durable, medium-firm, and overall a great option for plus-size kids. It can support sleepers up to 300 lbs, which makes it a solid choice for even the largest children.
It’s important to have a bed that has proper support, and this mattress delivers with slow-moving memory foam for comfort and thick foundation foam for support. This construction also does a great job of promoting proper spine alignment for kids in all sleeping positions.
The Leesa comes with free returns within the U.S. and typically arrives within fourteen business days. Leesa also offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Read our full Leesa mattress review.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Child’s Mattress
When you start shopping around for a new mattress for your kid, there are a few key considerations you should keep in mind. These include the size, price, support, comfort, and safety. We’re here to answer all the questions you may have when you’re looking for a kid’s mattress.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- What Is the Best Mattress Size for Kids?
- What Type of Mattress Is Best for Kids?
- How Firm Should a Child’s Mattress Be?
- What’s the Best Sleeping Position for Kids?
- How Much Should You Pay for a Kid’s Mattress?
- What to Look for in a Mattress for a Child
Crib, twin, twin XL, or full-size mattresses are typically the best choices for children. When buying a mattress for a growing child, size is an important factor. And since a high-quality mattress can last from eight to 12 years, you want to feel you’re making a lasting choice.
Related: Mattress Size Charts
The age of the child you’re purchasing for plays the greatest role in this decision. If you’re buying a two-year-old child her first post-crib bed, for example, a twin mattress might feel more appropriate than it would if you were buying it for a 13-year-old who might move it into her first post-collegiate apartment.
A crib mattress is perfect for a newborn or a toddler that’s not quite ready to transition. Kids up until three years old can find comfort in this type of mattress. If you’re looking for the most compatible crib mattress for your baby and your lifestyle, check out our list of the best crib mattresses.
Parents usually choose a twin mattress for kids and toddlers, as they’re a great fit for smaller bodies and are undeniably the most affordable option (visit our best twin mattress guide for more). Most children will not outgrow a twin mattress until they are into their teen years.
Related: Best Mattresses for Teens
Twin XL Mattress
Twin XL mattresses add a few extra inches in length, and since it’s the reigning mattress size of college dorm beds everywhere, your child would already be familiar with the fit. Keep in mind, however, that twin XL mattresses need twin XL sheets—regular twin sheets will not fit this size mattress.
Related: Twin vs Twin XL
If space and budget allow, consider a full-size mattress. It can make cuddling in bed with your child even more comfortable, and although it’s more expensive, it may take your child all the way to adulthood.
Additionally, if you’re shopping for a toddler’s first bed, and have a “convertible” crib that converts to a full-size headboard and footboard, purchasing a full-size mattress makes sense.
When Will My Kid Outgrow Their Mattress?
The good news is that you probably won’t need anything bigger than a queen-size bed. Growth charts developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that from ages 4 to 18:
- A typical girl will grow anywhere from 3′ to 1″ tall to about 5′ 9″ tall
- A typical boy will grow anywhere from 3′ 2″ tall to 6′ 2″ tall
Those height ranges fall safely within the length of a standard queen (80″, or 6′ 8″). On the other hand, if your child’s dimensions are more like that of a budding pro basketball player, you can get extra length with a California king (84″, or 7′).
Here’s a look at how different kinds of mattresses match up with young sleepers. Keep in mind that a lot depends on your child’s individual needs and preferences.
- Innerspring mattresses are durable and responsive, two qualities that work well with restless sleepers, back sleepers, and kids who can’t resist playing on the bed. Spring design also lends itself to breathability and cooling.
- Memory foam mattresses are designed to contour to your shape while providing support and pressure relief, making them great for side sleepers in particular. The biggest knock against memory foam is that it’s not an ideal material for cooling.
- Hybrid mattresses aim to combine the best qualities of foam and innerspring beds and deliver a durable, comfortable, and supportive mattress. They’re good for just about any sleeping position, including combination sleepers.
- Latex mattresses tend to excel in durability, pressure relief, and cooling. Mattresses made with all-natural latex can greatly benefit children with allergies or skin sensitivities.
Mattress firmness can have a big effect on your quality of sleep and overall well-being, at any age. Too soft can lead to aches and pains, while too firm can lead to a restless, uncomfortable night.
Most people, children included, will find their ideal spot between 4 and 7 on the mattress firmness scale. Sleeping position also makes a difference, with each position covering certain ranges:
- Side sleepers: 4-6
- Back sleepers: 6-7
- Stomach sleepers: 7-8
- Combination sleepers: 5-6
If your child is reluctant about sleeping on a firmer mattress, you can compensate with a plush mattress topper. They’ll still get the support but the top layer will create a softer feel.
What’s the Best Sleeping Position for Kids?
Experts agree that back sleeping is the best position for infants. After their first birthday, though, most kids can be allowed to gravitate toward whichever position they naturally prefer. As with adults, some general rules of thumb apply:
- Back sleeping is recognized as the healthiest sleep position at any stage of life, with particular benefits for spine alignment.
- Side sleeping, the most common sleep position, is less ideal than back sleeping but generally OK. If your side-sleeping child has arm, shoulder, or leg pain on a particular side, try to get them to sleep on the opposite side so that their body weight isn’t pressing on the affected area.
- Stomach sleeping is considered the least healthy sleep position at any age, especially for the back and neck.
- Combination sleeping is harder to judge since it involves a mix of pros and cons from each position, but it shouldn’t raise any red flags.
It’s important to remember that rules of thumb won’t apply to every situation, including sleep position. Unless you suspect that the position your toddler or teenager sleeps in is causing a health problem, it’s probably fine to let them use the position they find most comfortable.
To get a closer look at some of the top mattresses by sleeping position, check out our:
- Best mattresses for side sleepers
- Best mattresses for back sleepers
- Best mattresses for stomach sleepers
- Best mattresses for combination sleepers
Related: What’s the Best Sleeping Position?
Mattresses can be pretty pricey and quickly surpass the $1,000 mark, but you don’t necessarily have to spend more than $700 or $800 for your child’s mattress.
You may think to yourself, “Do I need to spend as much on a mattress for my child as I do for myself?” Our answer: Much as you would with your own mattress, you’ll need to spend a little more for a higher-quality product with components that will stand the test of time.
We’ve provided reviews of mattresses that cover a range of price points. Luckily, a smaller size mattress costs less than one you might buy for yourself. And if you consider how important a good mattress is to your kid’s overall health, you’ll find it’s worth the investment.
Even young children need a mattress with pressure-relieving qualities to help prevent discomfort at sensitive pressure points. The neck, shoulders, hips, and lower back are typically the areas that benefit most from pressure relief, especially for side sleepers and stomach sleepers.
A mattress that absorbs heat and allows it to stay trapped in the mattress interferes with thermoregulation, which can lead to overheating and night sweats. Effective cooling mattresses use features including breathable materials and fibers, gel-infused foam, and hybrid designs with innerspring layers.
A child’s mattress can suffer a lot of wear and tear, thanks to everything from growth spurts to hopping horseplay. High-density foam, resilient latex, and low-gauge metal coils are among the features that can increase the lifespan of a mattress.
You can remind your child to sit up straight during the day, but don’t forget about sleep posture. A mattress with excellent spine alignment helps ensure that the spine follows a gently arcing curve that properly distributes pressure through the vertebra.
A responsive mattress is a great choice for kids, especially if they’re restless or fitful sleepers. Responsiveness helps ensure that you don’t feel “stuck” in the mattress and exert extra energy when you move or shift position.
The industry standard for mattress warranties is 10 years, but some brands have policies that last 15 or 25 years or even as long as you own the mattress. It’s also important for you to know what’s covered in your warranty and follow the recommendations for foundations, cleaning, etc.
Nobody’s perfect, least of all children. Fortunately, bedding accessories like mattress protectors and mattress toppers can help prevent spills or accidents from damaging the mattress. They can also add cushioning and improve pressure relief.
In choosing our best mattresses for kids, we looked at testing scores in three key categories: spine alignment, responsiveness, and durability. This formula measures how well the mattress will promote healthy spine alignment, respond to movement comfortably, and stand the test of time for your growing child. Here’s a look at how our picks performed in the Mattress Advisor Sleep Lab:
|MATTRESS||AVERAGE (OUT OF 10) FOR SPINE ALIGNMENT, RESPONSIVENESS, AND DURABILITY|
|Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid||8.3|
|Nolah Nurture 10″||8.0|
Note: The testing categories we focus on in this chart don’t reflect overall performance. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might put more or less value on certain qualities.
Your kids deserve to get the best night’s sleep that their new mattress can provide. A good mattress that suits your kid’s needs gives them the best shot at a good night’s sleep possible—and gives you solid peace of mind.
What is the best mattress for a child?
For kids ages 3 and up, you have a lot of options to choose from. Generally, though, you should keep these profiles in mind:
- A memory foam or foam blend mattress, medium or medium-firm, for qualities such as pressure relief, spine alignment, and body-contouring
- A foam/coil hybrid, to combine the pressure relief of memory foam with the springy durability and edge support of internal coils
- For kids with allergies or skin sensitivities, a natural latex mattress or latex-coil hybrid containing fewer synthetic materials that can act as irritants (the Nolah Nurture is one example)
Should a child's mattress be firm or soft?
It might seem to defy conventional wisdom, but ultra-soft or plush mattresses aren’t ideal for most children. Even with crib mattresses, infants need a somewhat firm surface that they won’t sink too far into or feel trapped in.
More firmness means more support for children’s growing bodies. Aim for medium to medium-firm on the firmness scale, between 4/10 and 6.5/10), although you can get closer to 4/10 with toddlers. If you have questions about softness or firmness, ask your pediatrician or family doctor.
Can you use the same mattress for your second child?
Now, what parent doesn’t like a good hand-me-down? As it turns out, letting your second child use the same mattress their older sibling used isn’t the best idea.
Kids can generate a surprising amount of wear and tear on a mattress, especially if they play on it. There’s also the fact that, even with regular cleaning, mattresses can become breeding grounds for dust, mildew, mold, and other irritants. We don’t need to go into detail about other hazards, such as nosebleeds or nighttime accidents.
Your second child—and your third, and so on—will most likely be happier and healthier with a new mattress.
Are memory foam mattresses good for kids?
As mentioned earlier, memory foam provides spine alignment, pressure relief, and other qualities good for sleepers of any age. However, memory foam mattresses might not be ideal for infants and toddlers, especially if they’re softer than 4/10. The contouring effects can lead to sinking too far into the mattress, which could lead to back pain. Memory foam also has a reputation for sleeping hot, although innovations like gel-infused foam and other innovations have led to some improvement.
If you want to err on the side of caution, you can opt for an innerspring or innerspring hybrid for children under age 4 and think about memory foam when your child ages out of toddler status.
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