Best Mattresses for Kids of 2023
Aug 31st, 2023 •
Even after the 2 a.m. wake-ups mercifully end, your child’s sleep journey has just begun. Kids from toddlers to teens have their own needs when it comes to getting the restful and restorative sleep that helps them grow, learn, develop, and live their best lives.
Choosing the right children’s mattress is an important job for every parent. To make that process easier, we’ve selected our list of best mattresses for kids. This guide spotlights several top-rated mattresses, some designed specifically for children and others that can provide a great night’s sleep at any age.
We’ll also share some advice on how to choose the best mattress for your child, covering everything from sleeping positions to ideal firmness.
Best Mattress for Kids: Our Top Picks
- Best Hypoallergenic Mattress – Helix Kids
- Best Mattress for Growing Kids – Saatva Youth
- Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
- Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers – Bear Original
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Nectar
- Best Latex Mattress – Nolah Nurture 10″
- Best Budget Mattress – Dreamfoam Essential
- Best Mattress for Back Sleepers – Puffy Cloud
- Best Mattress for Plus-Size Kids – Plank Firm
- Best Mattress for Young Kids – Nest Puffin
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To evaluate mattresses for children, we expand our review process to put additional focus on:
- Spine Alignment. Promoting healthy sleep posture for growing kids
- Responsiveness. Responding to movements of restless sleepers
- Durability. Holding up under jumping, bouncing, tossing and turning
See our recap to find out how our featured mattresses stack up against these criteria.
Best Hypoallergenic Mattress
- Children with allergies
- Children ages 3-12
- Kids who sleep hot
Firm and Soft options
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Children with Allergies: 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 $749 and a full at $998.90.
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.
Best Mattress for Growing Kids
- Ages 3 and older
- Edge support
- Spine alignment
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Growing Children: 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 slightly firmer 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.
The Saatva Youth mattress is available in twin ($795), twin XL ($935), and full ($1,055). If the prices seem high to you, remember that the mattress also comes with free white-glove delivery, a generous 365-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty.
Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Children who change sleep positions
- Hot sleepers
- Budget-minded shoppers
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Combination Sleepers: If trying to find the best mattress for your young combination sleeper has you tossing and turning, the Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid might be the answer. Its 5/10 medium firmness and responsive innerspring layer should match up well with the the smaller, lighter body of a child in the side, back, and stomach sleeping positions.
The Bowery Hybrid scored well for spine alignment and pressure relief in our review process. 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 $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.
Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Children who sleep hot
- Active and athletic kids
- Combination sleepers
Medium firm: 6.5/10
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Hot Sleepers: 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. The semi-liquid gel beads are designed to counteract foam’s tendency to trap heat. The mattress cover also includes Celliant fiber to add 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.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Children who like to sink into their mattress
- Side and back sleepers
- Budget-minded parents
What Makes It a Great Memory Foam Mattress for Kids: The memory foam of the Nectar mattress has a hugging, body-contouring feel made for a cozy sleep experience. The mattress also provides good pressure relief (8.5/10 testing score) to gently cushion the shoulders, lower back, and hips.
The original Nectar memory foam bed is a great budget pick, with a $599 regular price for a twin size (not counting sales or discounts). It’s also covered by Nectar’s lifetime warranty, which adds even 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.
Best Latex Mattress
- Eco-conscious families
- Kids who sleep hot
- Dual-sided firmness options
Soft and Firm options
What Makes It a Great Latex Mattress for Children: The Nolah Nurture 10″ is a latex hybrid mattress designed for kids that offers a way to enjoy cleaner and greener sleep. The design includes two comfort layers made with all-natural Talalay latex, organic wool and cotton layers, and a core layer of support coils.
The mattress is also flippable, with a medium-soft side and a medium side, so your child can switch to the firmer surface as they grow.
Available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes, the mattress has a pretty steep price tag starting at $1,549 for a twin. On the other hand, you also get a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.
Best Budget Mattress
- Budget shoppers
- Children who sleep warm
- Side sleepers
Medium-Soft to Firm
What Makes It a Great Budget Mattress for Kids: The Dreamfoam Essential mattress is a great value option for kids, not to mention their budget-conscious parents. You can get a twin-size bed starting at $274, although that price is for the thinnest model (6″). An 8″ twin is $374.
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 a 120-night sleep trial, plus a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- The back sleeping position
- Above-average firmness
- Lifetime warranty
What Makes It a Great Kids Mattress for Back Sleepers: The feeling of lying on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it appeals to many back sleepers, kids included. The original Puffy Cloud, a memory foam mattress with above-average firmness, can provide the level of support that your young back sleeper needs.
The Puffy Cloud mattress is a 7/10 on the mattress firmness scale, a good firmness level 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.
Although the regular price of a twin-size Puffy Cloud tops $1,400, the company’s lifetime warranty offers assurance for parents interested in long-term value.
Best Mattress for Plus-Size Kids
- Larger children
- Kids with joint pain
- Spine alignment
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Plus-Size Kids: The Plank Firm isn’t just a mattress for those who want maximum firmness—it’s also a great option for heavier kids who need more support and durability. For those who aren’t sure how firm they want to go, the flippable mattress has a firm side (7/10) and an ultra-firm side (9/10) side.
Also, the high-density foam at the heart of the Plank Firm excels at pressure relief, where it earns a 9/10 Mattress Advisor testing score. The 8.75/10 spine alignment score is a promising sign for parents who want to make sure their kids have a healthy, comfortable sleep posture.
A twin-size Plank Firm has a regular price of $749. It comes with a 120-night sleep trial so you can return it for a full refund if it doesn’t work for your family’s needs, as long as you give it at least 30 nights to fully break in.
Best Mattress for Young Kids
- Younger children
- Teens under 100 lbs
- Lifetime warranty
2.5-3 out of 10
What Makes It a Great Mattress for Young Children: The Nest Puffin memory foam mattress is an excellent choice for younger kids, as it was made for children transitioning from a crib to a “big kid bed.” However, this mattress should be supportive enough for any kids or teens under 100 lbs.
The Nest Puffin scored a 7/10 on our firmness scale, meaning it has the firm feel ideal for growing kids. Children in all sleeping positions should receive the proper support and spinal alignment while also getting the necessary pressure relief for growing pains.
Shoppers can purchase a twin-size Nest Puffin for $499, but Nest Bedding often offers sales and discounts. Nest Bedding also gives shoppers a 100-night trial and a lifetime warranty on their mattresses. So, you have plenty of time to decide if this is the best match for your kid, and you can rest assured your purchase is protected.
Read our full Nest Puffin mattress review.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Kid’s Mattress
The typical child spends a lot of time sleeping, from newborn (14+hours a day) to teenager (8-10 hours a day). It only makes sense to have a sleeping space that provides the best environment for restful, comfortable slumber.
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 Spend on a Kid’s Mattress?
- What to Look for in a Mattress for a Child
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.
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.
If Your Child is Still Too Young for a ‘Big Kid’s Bed’
A crib mattress is perfect for a newborn or a toddler who’s not quite ready to transition. Kids up to age 3 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.
When Will My Child 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. Children who are heavy on their age can go a little firmer. 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.
Related: What’s the Best Sleeping Position?
Parents shopping for a good youth mattress at a reasonable price have at least one big thing going in their favor: Mattresses in kid-friendly sizes are smaller and therefore cheaper. A twin-size mattress generally costs about $300 less than the same model in a queen size, and a twin XL comes in at about $150-$200 less. The size difference also makes foundations, frames, and bedding accessories for kids less expensive.
If you imagine what you’d pay for your own mattress and then shave a few hundred dollars off, you have a general idea of how much to spend on a mattress for your child. Much as you would with your own mattress, you’ll need to spend a little more for a higher-quality product with materials that will pass the durability test. And if you consider how important a good mattress is to your kid’s overall health, you’ll find it’s well 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 (a lower gauge meaning greater thickness) 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. Plus, responsive mattresses help with spinal alignment and overall comfort.
Dual-Sided Firmness (If Available)
Some of our featured beds are flippable mattresses, with one side firmer than the other. A flippable design can be especially useful for growing kids, since it lets them switch to the firmer side as they get bigger and need additional support.
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|
*Testing scores for the Nest Puffin Memory Foam are coming soon.
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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