Best Mattresses for Kids in 2021
Nov 18th, 2021 •
Shopping for a mattress for your kids can feel more overwhelming—and more important—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 and lighter than the average adult, so what kind of support, materials, and (let’s be frank) price is appropriate? Does your child even know if he or she is a back sleeper, side sleeper, or stomach sleeper? In this guide, we’ll spotlight our 10 top-rated mattresses for kids and offer advice on choosing the best mattress for your child.
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The Best Mattresses for Kids
- Best Mattress for Growing Kids – Saatva Youth
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Casper
- Best Memory Foam Mattress for Kids – Nectar
- Best Kids Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid
- Best Full Mattress for Kids – Helix Midnight
- Best Kids Mattress for Back Sleepers – Birch Living
- Best for Restless Sleepers – Puffy
- Best Twin Mattress – Tuft & Needle
- Best for Bunk Beds – Big Kid Bed by Nest Bedding
- Best Budget Mattress – Dreamfoam Chill
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We’ve highlighted our top mattress picks for kids and go in-depth in the next section.
And we’re only reviewing mattresses here that have a sleep trial of at least 100 nights with free returns, because hassles are a pain in the neck (and you probably already have enough of that)
Best 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 $699 for 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. From that day on, you get a 120-night sleep trial.
Read our full Saatva Youth mattress review.
Best for Side Sleepers
- Children who sleep on their sides
- Edge support
The original Casper is proof that a classic can still appeal to the younger generation. Although its spine alignment and pressure-relieving qualities make it particularly good for side sleepers, the popular all-foam model also matches up well with combination sleepers and back sleepers.
The Casper targets key areas in all three layers, starting at the bottom with support, spine alignment in the middle, and cooling and breathability on top. It’s also one of the more affordable higher-quality mattresses, especially for the kid-friendly twin and twin XL sizes (starting at around $700 and $800, respectively).
The original Casper comes with free shipping and typically arrives at your doorstep within two to seven business days. You can opt for white glove delivery for an additional $100 if you want Casper to set up your child’s mattress for you. Once you receive the mattress, your 100-day trial period begins. If you or your child decide the Casper isn’t the right choice during this trial period, you can return the mattress for a full refund.
Read our full Casper 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. Twin mattresses start at a little under $800 (not counting sale prices or special promotions), so you might consider buying a little on the large side to account for growth spurts and get maximum 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.
Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid
Best for Combination Sleepers
- Children who change sleep positions in the night
- 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 Bedding 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 $550), 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 Bedding Bowery Hybrid mattress review.
Best Full Size Mattress
- Bigger or taller kids
- Side, back or combination sleepers
- Spine alignment
If your child is ready for a full-size bed, the Helix Midnight could be the mattress to help you start the transition from kid to young adult. The full-size Helix Midnight is the standard 57″ wide by 75″ long, offering plenty of room even for kids on the larger side. If your child wants to spread out and use all that surface area, it scores a perfect 10/10 for edge support in the Mattress Advisor testing lab.
The Helix Midnight’s combination of pressure relief and spine alignment makes it a good choice for side sleepers, back sleepers, and combination sleepers. It’s not the coolest hybrid mattress, but kids who don’t seriously overheat should find it comfortable temperature-wise.
A full-size Helix Midnight starts at about $950, not counting sales or discounts. Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty—both fairly standard. If you or child is feeling indecisive, you can also take a sleep quiz on Helix’s website to compare the Midnight with other models.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
Best for Back Sleepers
- Kids who sleep on their back
- Restless sleepers
- Kids allergic to synthetic materials
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 Birch mattress, a medium-firm hybrid, can provide the level of support that back sleepers need.
The Birch’s testing highlights include an 8.5/10 for spine alignment and an 8/10 for pressure relief, as well as a 9/10 for motion transfer (good news for restless sleepers). If your child also has allergies or skin sensitivities, there’s more good news. The Birch uses organic wool and cotton, natural latex, and non-toxic foam.
If you’re on a budget, be aware that the Birch’s price (about $1,250 for a twin) reflects the quality of materials used for each handmade mattress. On the other hand, you also get a 25-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
Read our full Birch mattress review.
Best for Restless Sleepers
- Kids who toss and turn
- Edge support
- Lifetime warranty
If you have a high-energy child who always seems to be in motion, even during sleep, the Puffy Original could be the solution that ensures more restful nights. The Puffy scores 9.25 out of 10 for motion transfer in Mattress Advisor testing. For parents of restless sleepers, that number means that your child is less likely to be disturbed by the mattress reacting to their every movement.
The Puffy does more than address tosses and turns and squirms, however. It also uses gel-infused Cooling Cloud foam to provide cooling and breathability. Plus, the stain-resistant cover is easy to keep clean.
Budget-conscious parents, don’t forget another one of Puffy’s signature features: a lifetime warranty that protects your purchase for as long as you own the mattress.
Read our full Puffy mattress review.
Tuft & Needle
Best Twin Mattress
- All sleep positions
- Children who toss and turn
- People on a budget
The Tuft & Needle is our pick for the best twin mattress for kids. It is a great mattress for the average sleeper who doesn’t yet know what they want in a mattress: i.e. children. It offers good edge support and durability for children who constantly play on their bed. It also easily responds to movement for children who are restless sleepers. It’s also affordable, with twin size starting at less than $650.
Like many of the mattresses on our list, Tuft and Needle comes with a 100-night sleep trial for you kid to sleep on their new bed and see if it’s a good fit. The mattress will be delivered in two to five business days and from then on, the trial begins.
Read our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.
Best for Bunk Beds
- Families with multiple children
- Older kids
2.5-3 out of 10
The BKB mattress by Nest Bedding is specially designed for kids up to 120 pounds and 15 years of age (it’s not recommended for adults). The top layer of Energex foam delivers responsiveness response, kid-friendly bounce, and cooling, while still delivering that cozy “hug” feel. Plus, its low-profile, seven inch height means it works great atop a trundle bed or bunk bed frame as well. Prices are very reasonable, with twin beds starting at around $350.
Related: Best Bunk Bed Mattresses
The BKB comes with free shipping within the U.S. and typically arrives within seven business days. Nest Bedding offers a 100-night comfort guarantee, meaning if you decide the BKB isn’t right for your child within 100 days of delivery, you can return the mattress for a full refund.
Read our full BKB mattress review.
Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam
Best Budget Mattress
- People on a budget
- Children who sleep warm
- Side sleepers
Medium-Soft to Firm
The Dreamfoam Chill mattress is a great budget option for kids: you can get up to a full size bed for about $400. On top of the wallet-friendly price point, the Chill mattress also offers good pressure relief and alignment, making it a great choice for your side sleeping child.
Dreamfoam ships free and offers you a 120-night trial, plus a 10-year warranty.
Read our full Chill Memory Foam mattress review.
How Do I Choose the Best Mattress for My Child?
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 Else Should You Look for?
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 feet 1 inch tall to about 5 feet 9 inches tall
- A typical boy will grow anywhere from 3 feet 2 inches tall to 6 feet 2 inches tall
Those height ranges fall safely within the length of a standard queen (80 inches, or 6 feet 8 inches). 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 inches, or 7 feet).
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 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. 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—they make for a durable, comfortable, and supportive mattress. However, they tend to be on the pricier side.
- Latex mattresses tend to excel in durability, pressure relief, and cooling. Mattresses made with all-natural materials are more expensive than those that use synthetic latex.
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: 5-6
- 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?
Mattresses can be pretty pricey and quickly surpass the $1,000 mark, but you don’t necessarily have to spend more than $500 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.
- Pressure relief: Even young children need a mattress that is pressure relieving to avoid pain at the pressure points.
- Cooling: You want your child to have a breathable mattress so they don’t spend their nights sweating in their sleep.
- Durability: You want your kid’s bed to last a long time.
- Spine alignment: As your child is growing, you want to make sure their spine is protected and in healthy alignment.
- Warranty: It’s always best to check for a warranty. Most mattress companies offer a 10-year warranty.”
- Accessories: Products like mattress protectors and mattress toppers not only add comfort to your child’s bed, but it allows them to last their entire life by preventing spills or accidents from ruining the mattress.
Recap: Our Top Picks for the Best Mattresses for Kids
|Saatva Youth||Innerspring||Best for Growing Kids||Dual Firmness|
|Casper||Memory Foam||Best for Side Sleepers||6/10|
|Nectar||Memory Foam||Best Memory Foam Mattress||6/10|
|Bowery Hybrid||Hybrid||Best for Combo Sleepers||6/10|
|Helix Midnight||Memory Foam||Best Full Mattress||4-7/10|
|Birch Living||Latex Hybrid||Best for Back Sleepers||5/10|
|Puffy||Memory Foam||Best for Restless Sleepers||7/10|
|Tuft & Needle||Memory Foam||Best Twin Mattress||6/10|
|Big Kid Bed||Memory Foam||Best for Bunk Beds||3/10|
|Dreamfoam Chill||Memory Foam||Best Budget Mattress||6.5/10|
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.
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