Best Mattresses for Kids in 2020

By Ashley Little

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 reveal our 6 top-rated mattress reviews for kids and then give a rundown of the top factors that will help you choose the best mattress for your child.

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The Best Mattresses for Kids

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).


1. Casper Element

Casper Element

Editor’s Choice

Best for

  • Side sleepers
  • Budget shoppers
  • Children who need good edge support

Bed was for my 4 yr old and she is sleeping great. I’m jealous of her bed.”

Nikki
Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
MA Score
8.4 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Casper is one of the most well-known bed-in-a-box mattress brands, which means it’s either the first or last brand you think about investing in for your child. If you want your child to have a quality mattress but you don’t want to break the bank, the Casper Element is a great starter mattress for your growing child

It’s made with 3 different foam layers, offers breathability, and comes at an affordable price—not a bad price for a better quality bed.

The Casper Element comes with free shipping and typically arrives at your doorstep within 2-7 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 decides the Element isn’t the right choice during this trial period, you can return the mattress for a full refund and get free removal of the mattress.

Read our full Casper Element mattress review.


2. Saatva Youth

Saatva Youth

Best Toddler Bed

Best for

  • People who plan to keep their child’s mattress for years
  • Children with allergies
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
Customer Rating
/ 5
MA Score
/ 10
Firmness

Dual-sided

Trial Period

120 days

Saatva is known for making luxury mattresses that are affordable, and the Saatva Youth is no different. Made for children ages 3 years old and up, this kid’s mattress is built to last as your child grows and matures. 

The Saatva Youth’s dual-sided design keeps the bed comfortable for years to come. If your child is younger than 8, start with the 3+ side, and as they get older, flip it to the 8+ side for that seamless transition. Additionally, the Saatva Youth has an accident-proof organic cotton cover with a water-resistant finish to preserve the mattress through any spills or bed-wetting incidents.

When you order the Saatva Youth mattress you get 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 to see if your child enjoys their new Saatva Youth.

Read our full Saatva Youth mattress review.


3. The Big Kid Bed by Nest Bedding

The BKB

Best for Bunk Beds

Best for

  • Families with multiple children
  • Athletes
  • Older kids

We bought this bed for our 3-year-old. Firm enough for a little body but still really comfortable."

Brittney D.
Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
MA Score
8.5 / 10
Firmness

2.5-3 out of 10

Trial Period

100 days

The BKB mattress by Nest Bedding that is specially designed for kids and young people up to 120 lbs and 15 years of age (it is not recommended for adults). The top layer of Energex foam delivers the best characteristics of latex and memory foam—great response, kid-friendly bounce, and cooling, while still delivering that cozy “hug” feel. Plus, its low-profile, 7” height means it works great atop a trundle bed or bunk bed frame as well.

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.


4. Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle

Best Twin Mattress

Best for

  • All sleep positions
  • Children who toss and turn
  • People on a budget

Great quality for a reasonable price. Very firm, but not too hard. My son says he really likes it!”

Tratbarr
Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
MA Score
8.7 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm: 6-6.5/10

Trial Period

100 days

The Tuft & Needle 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. A twin size mattress is an affordable model, running you a little over $300.

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 2-5 business days and from then on, the trial begins.

Read our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.


5. Bear

Bear

Best for Active Kids

Best for

  • Athletic children
  • Kids with night sweats
  • Children who move around at night

We bought one for us and our two boys. Best mattresses we’ve bought!”

Alex C.
Customer Rating
4.7 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

100 days

The Bear mattress provides comfort, support, and is known to aid in muscle recovery—and since muscle pain can cause kids to lose valuable sleep, you really want your kid to have a bed that helps him or her feel good.

Graphite gel memory foam helps keep your child’s body cool and supported. Celliant technology woven into the cover helps the body efficiently process the buildup of lactic acid that leads to aches and pains for active kids. So if you have a future professional athlete in your hands (or even just a kid who loves to participate in sports year-round) this can be a great option for you.

The Bear mattress comes with free shipping (not available in Alaska or Hawaii) and typically arrives within 4-7 business days. If you decide the Bear isn’t the right mattress for your child, returns are accepted between 30-100 days of ownership with free pickup and a full refund.

Read our full Bear mattress review.


6. Solay

Solay

Best for Long-Term

Best for

  • Young children who will have this mattress for years
  • Socially conscious shoppers
  • Children who sleep hot

Love this mattress. We have it for my daughter, and she’s been sleeping so well.”

Kristina W.
Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
MA Score
8.9 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm

Trial Period

101 days

The Solay mattress is a more advanced and durable mattress for a child. It includes 5-layers of foam and pocketed coils to create a hybrid mattress that is both comforting and supportive. Best of all? It will last years to come.

This is a mattress that your child can grow with, so you may want to consider a twin XL or full-size mattress to reap its full value. We also love that for each mattress sold, Solay donates a bed and a box spring to children in need by partnering with the non-profit, Beds for Kids. Not only will you be helping your child with this purchase, but you’ll also help another kid in need.

The Solay mattress comes with free shipping and typically arrives within 3-7 business days. Once you receive the mattress, your 101-night trial period begins. 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 Solay mattress review.


Child Mattress Buying Guide

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?

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 8-12 years, you want to feel you’re making a lasting choice.

The age of the child you’re purchasing for plays the greatest role in this decision. If you’re buying a 2-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.

Twin Mattress

Parents usually choose a twin mattress for younger children, 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 Mattress 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

Compare: Twin vs Twin XL

Full Mattress

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.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Kids? 

Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to be the best type of mattress for children. These include springs for responsiveness and bounce: active kids can jump on the bed and restless kids can toss and turn without waking themselves up from an unresponsive mattress.

Let’s see how other types of mattresses work for children.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses are quite popular for kids. Most of us grew up sleeping on spring mattresses, and innersprings are durable and supportive, so if you have a kid who jumps on the bed often, this is a good option.

Spring mattresses are also often flippable, meaning they could last your child for years as they grow.

Memory Foam Mattress

As memory foam mattresses grow in popularity you may ask yourself, is a memory foam mattress good for a child? 

While these beds are comfortable and generally pressure-relieving, be sure you look for a GREENGUARD Gold or CertiPUR-US certification to ensure the mattress materials are safe for your child.

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses combine all the best qualities of foam and innerspring beds—they are durable, comfortable, and supportive. However, they may be a bit on the pricier side, so they are an investment.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses are very durable, pressure relieving, and cooling beds. If you’re looking for an organic mattress for your kid, many latex mattresses are eco-friendly and are made with all-natural materials

How Firm Should a Child’s Mattress be?

The firmness level is a big factor determining your child’s comfort level on the bed. The more your child weighs, the more firm a mattress should be. While kids may like the idea of something super plush topped off with a comfort layer, a medium to medium-firm bed will offer better support long-term.

How Much Should You Pay for a Kid’s Mattress?

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.

Other FAQs

How Nice of a Mattress Does a Kid Need?

In a mattress, comfort and support work together to provide the foundation for a good night’s sleep. A supportive mattress is one that properly aligns your spine while you sleep (especially important to ensure your child’s optimal health and growth), and a comfortable mattress is one with an overall firmness and feel that allows you to relax and feel good. We look for mattresses that check the box on both of these things for kids.

Adults can get cranky when they don’t sleep well, and (as you’ve probably already noticed) so can kids. If your kid’s bed doesn’t feel comfortable, he or she won’t get the necessary, quality sleep―and the benefits of quality sleep are seen in better school performance, happier mood level, and a many other factors.

It’s been proven in studies that sleep deprivation is directly related to decreased academic performance, even in children as young as 7 years old. Additionally, poor sleep can contribute to other negative outcomes, including hyperactivity, over-emotionality, tantrums, and clumsiness. Clearly, a good night’s sleep is as paramount for children as it is for adults.

How Do You Know a Mattress is Safe?

Studies have shown that dust mites in mattresses can trigger allergy symptoms, so if your child has allergies, there are additional things you should look for in a mattress. A mattress made with natural products, such as natural latex, is a great place to start—it’s difficult for bacteria and mold to grow on these types of products, and they can get rid of dust mites naturally.

Related: Best Hypoallergenic Mattresses

As for that “new mattress smell,” it’s a common concern for both adult and younger mattress buyers. The smell, a chemical off-gassing, comes from the volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, contained in some of the mattress components and can cause headaches. It’s an especially common component in memory foam, but you may also recognize it from freshly-painted rooms or brand-new cars.

Read more: Is mattress off-gassing dangerous?

If you or your child is sensitive to this smell, a mattress containing products that are CertiPUR-US certified is your best bet. These mattresses will still have a low level of off-gassing, but will typically release all their VOCs within a few days. For best results, open the mattress in a well-ventilated room and let it fully expand a day or two before letting your child sleep on it.

What Else Should I Look for?

  • 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.
  • Spinal alignment: As your child is growing, you want to make sure their spine is protector and in healthy alignment.
  • Warranty: It’s always best to check for a warranty. Most mattress companies offer a 10-year warranty.”

How Do You Include Your Child in Choosing a Mattress?

As you look for the best mattress for your child, involve them in the process as well. Ask them, for example, if they like the way your bed feels, or about the feel in any other bed (at a grandparent’s, or a hotel) that they’ve slept in.

Be sure that they use only one pillow so that their necks stay in alignment. And if your child already has a preferred sleeping position, let that guide you as well.

For example, stomach sleepers will feel swallowed up in a softer mattress, while side sleepers may find a very firm mattress is uncomfortable on pressure points. Remember that each child is different, and to explore those different needs.

Recap: Our Top Picks for the Best Mattresses for Kids

Mattress Type Best For Firmness
Casper Element Memory Foam Editor’s Choice 6/10
Saatva Youth Innerspring Best Toddler Bed Dual Firmness
Big Kid Bed Memory Foam Best for Bunk Beds 3/10
Tuft & Needle Memory Foam Best Twin Mattress 6/10
Bear Memory Foam Best for Active Kids 6.5/10
Solay Hybrid Best for Long-Term 6.5/10

Summary

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.

If you have any questions about any of our picks or other mattresses, drop us a line. We’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Best Mattresses for Kids (Runners-Up)

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