Best Mattress for Kids: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
From the time that they’re born until the age of 17, children need between 9 to 14 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. Sleep patterns change and shift as children grow older— a mattress that can adjust to a growing body while encouraging a good night’s rest is the best type of mattress.
We share our favorite options currently on the market and offer a guide to help parents find the best mattress for their kids.
30 Second Summary: Best Mattress for Kids
- Our Recommendation: Amerisleep AS1 — The Amerisleep AS1 is our top recommendation for kids. The firm feel of Bio-Pur® keeps the child resting on top of the mattress, but with a slight cradling sensation to relieve pressure points.
8 Best Mattresses for Kids
|Amerisleep AS1||Combination of Bio-Pur® and Bio-Core® offer a firm surface to encourage healthy growth.|
|Nest Bedding's BKB||Great option for toddlers transitioning from a crib.|
|5 Little Monkeys||Plush sleep surface to improve sleep quality|
|Modway Aveline Gel||Gel foam cradles the body, relieving pressure points and aligning the spine.|
|Bear||Balanced support of foam relieves pressure and draws heat away from the body.|
|Naturepedic||Eco-friendly hybrid option with a firm sleep surface.|
|Tuft & Needle||Pressure-relieving foam keeps the spine in neutral alignment.|
|Zinus Green Tea||Green tea extract and ActivCharcoal neutralizes odor and keeps the spine in neutral alignment.|
The Amerisleep AS1 is Amerisleep’s firmest model. The mattress is 10 inches tall and contains 2 inches of Bio-Pur® and 8 inches of Bio-Core®. The polyester blend cover is designed to increase airflow throughout the mattress. The result? A more rejuvenating rest with little to no risk of overheating at night. Children sleep better at night and wake up fully rested.
Amerisleep’s Bio-Pur® memory foam is plant-based— part of the petroleum is replaced with castor oil during manufacturing, providing a cooler and more eco-friendly material than traditional memory foam, with little to no off-gassing. Bio-Pur® relieves pressure points on the body, easing aches and pains for children who love to run around and play non-stop during the day.
Bio-Core® is a high-density foam made through eco-friendly methods. Bio-Core® reinforces the top layer of Bio-Pur® and evenly supports a child all across the sleep surface. This durable material prevents sagging and is built to last. Children will feel like they’re resting on top of the mattress rather than feeling stuck inside it.
The Amerisleep AS1 mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, and split king sizes. The mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
Amerisleep AS1 Highlights
- Bio-Pur® and Bio-Core® create a firm, yet conforming sleep surface
- Great for back and stomach sleepers
- Plant-based memory foam that is cleaner and more breathable
2. Nest’s BKB
Nest’s BKB (Big Kid Bed) is 7 inches tall and contains 2 inches of Energex™ foam and 5 inches of high-density support foam. The polyester-cotton blend cover has mesh sides for better airflow.
The latex-like feel of Energex™ provides a responsive bounce without heavy sinkage, unlike traditional memory foam, and allows children to easily move around at night. Energex cushions the body, contouring to the natural curves and relieving pressure points.
High-density support foam consistently supports a growing body, allowing for spinal growth. The dense material won’t sag and has great edge support, so it’s able to support your child’s weight when they sit on the edge of the bed.
Designed specifically for children under 120 pounds, Nest’s BKB is a great option for toddlers transitioning from a crib mattress— the firm feel allows children to rest on top of the mattress. Nest’s BKB also works for bunk beds and trundle-style frames.
Nest’s BKB is available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes. The mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Nest’s BKB Highlights
- Specifically built for kids who weigh up to 120 pounds
- Latex-like feel of Energex™ contours to the body
- High-density foam promotes healthy posture
3. 5 Little Monkeys
The 5 Little Monkeys mattress is 8 inches thick and contains three layers of foam— Dual Phase Change Gel memory foam, responsive memory foam and high-density base foam. The removable, machine-washable cover is made of organic cotton. Unfortunately, 5 Little Monkeys haven’t released the bed’s material specifications.
Dual Phase Change Gel memory foam absorbs and disperses body heat for even temperature regulation, cradling the body to relieve pressure points. Responsive memory foam supports a child’s body no matter the sleep position and aligns the spine. High-density base foam reinforces the top layers and provides consistent support without risk of sagging.
The 5 Little Monkeys mattress is tailored for kids— the soft feel of the bed offers a plush sleep surface inviting better sleep. This mattress also comes with an organic cotton hypoallergenic pillow, built to promote proper spinal alignment, and a soft jersey-knit organic mattress protector that’s both waterproof and stain-resistant.
The 5 Little Monkeys mattress is available in twin, full, and queen sizes. The mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
5 Little Monkeys Highlights
- Specifically built for kids
- Includes a pillow and mattress protector
- Supports any sleep position
4. Modway Aveline Gel
The Modway Aveline Gel mattress is 8 inches tall and consists of 2 inches of gel memory foam and 6 inches of responsive base foam. The diamond pattern of the stretch knit cover wicks away moisture and improves airflow.
Gel memory foam absorbs and disperses body heat to evenly distribute temperature, with less risk of disrupting your child’s sleep from overheating. The gel foam cradles a child’s body, relieving pressure points and aligning the spine. The responsive base foam supports the child and prevents sagging.
The excellent motion transfer of the Modway Aveline Gel mattress prevents children from waking from movement, especially if they tend to toss and turn at night. For parents concerned about off-gassing, both layers of foam are Certi-PUR US® certified with little to no VOC emissions.
The Modway Aveline Gel mattress is available in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. It’s also available in 6-inch and 10-inch heights. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Modway Aveline Gel Highlights
- Gel memory foam absorbs heat and cradles the body
- Certi-PUR® US certified foam
- Stretch knit cover wicks away moisture
The Bear mattress is 10 inches tall and contains 2 inches of graphite-gel memory foam, 3 inches of responsive transitional foam, and 5 inches of high-density support foam. The polyester blend cover includes FDA-determined Celliant® technology.
Graphite-gel memory foam not only absorbs and disperses heat but it pulls heat away from the body, allowing for better temperature regulation and more restful sleep. Responsive transitional foam relieves pressure points and balances support. The durable, high-density foam gives stability to the bed.
The medium-firm feel of the Bear mattress makes it a great choice for kids and adults. Certi-PUR US® certified foams adapts to any sleep position for consistent spinal alignment, while FDA-determined Celliant® technology draws heat away from the body and transforms it into infrared energy.
The Bear mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
- Graphite-infused memory foam pulls heat away from the body
- Memory foam adapts to any sleep position
- FDA-determined Celliant® technology for additional cooling
6. Naturepedic Verse Organic
The Naturepedic Verse Organic mattress is 9 inches thick and consists of 2 inches of organic cotton batting and 7 inches of pocketed coils. The quilted organic cotton cover includes wool batting to wick away moisture and act as a natural fire retardant.
GREENGUARD® certified organic cotton batting provides cushioning to a child’s body and regulates temperature through its breathable material. Individually-wrapped pocket coils provide strong edge support and minimize motion transfer so your child has fewer sleep interruptions at night due to movement. The coiled support layer also offers excellent cooling through its open structure, allowing for air circulation.
The Naturepedic Verse Organic mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, and queen sizes. The mattress comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Naturepedic Verse Organic Highlights
- All-organic mattress option for eco-conscious shoppers
- GREENGUARD® certified cotton
- Strong edge support
7. Original Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle is a top-rated bed in a box mattress brand, Their Original T&N mattress is 10 inches tall and contains 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam and 7 inches of high-density poly-foam. The knit cover is made from a polyester and polyamide blend.
T&N Adaptive® foam is infused with graphite and gel— two components known for their cooling properties. Graphite pulls heat away from the child’s body, while gel absorbs and evenly disperses heat. T&N Adaptive® foam keeps the spine in neutral alignment while relieving pressure points. High-density poly-foam provides a durable base for the mattress while supporting a child and encouraging a healthy posture.
The Original Tuft & Needle mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Original Tuft & Needle Highlights
- Graphite-gel foam regulates temperature and prevents overheating
- Excellent spinal alignment
- Consistent comfort and support
8. Zinus Green Tea
The Zinus Green Tea mattress is 8 inches tall and contains 2 inches of green tea-infused memory foam, 2 inches of high-density foam, and 4 inches of high-density base foam. The knitted jacquard cover offers a soft, plush sleep surface for your child.
Green-tea extract and ActivCharcoal combine to neutralize odor, kill bacteria, and keep the mattress smelling fresh. High-density foam relieves pressure points and keeps the spine in neutral alignment. The high-density base foam gives support to the child and maintains mattress structure. All three layers of foam are Certi-PUR US® certified and gives a medium feel to the mattress.
The Zinus Green Tea mattress is also available in 6-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch heights, and comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, and California king sizes. The mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Zinus Green Tea Highlights
- Green tea extract and ActivCharcoal kills bacteria, leaving a fresh-smelling mattress
- Certi-PUR® US certified foam
- Good pressure point relief
Choosing a Mattress for Your Child
The right kind of mattress should adjust to your child’s growing body. Between the ages of 5 and 12, your child goes through a significant amount of growth— a mattress that can not only keep up, but maintain comfort and support without sagging is definitely worth looking into. Focus on a quality mattress with long-term use in mind.
Finding the Right Size
When your child graduates from a crib to a big kid bed, make sure you choose the right one. Transitioning from a crib to a standard size mattress can be a big change for a toddler, and you, as a parent, want to make sure you’re making the right choice. Twin, twin XL, and full-size mattresses are the best options— just know that the bigger the mattress, the higher the cost.
Measuring 38×75 inches, twin-size mattresses are the most popular and most common choice for children up to age 12. Their compact size makes them great for limited living space, and perfectly sized for bunk beds.
Twin XL Mattress
Twin XL mattresses are 5 inches longer than twin-size mattresses at 38×80 inches. Twin XL mattresses are a good choice for children who experience large growth spurts, especially if height runs in the family.
Full-size mattresses are 54×75 inches— the same length as a twin, but much wider. Full mattresses are a good choice if you have the available living space. They also work great for parents with the “room to grow” mindset, especially if they are looking for a mattress to last through high school.
Each type of mattress contains different mattress materials— each unique and offering different properties. The most common mattress materials include memory foam, coils, and latex. Other types may include cotton and foam.
A memory foam mattress contains layers of foam— a comfort layer of memory foam with a high-density poly-foam as the support layer. Memory foam mattresses have excellent motion isolation so sleepers are less likely to wake from movement and optimal pressure relief, reducing aches and pains. Because of their body-contouring properties, foam beds retain body heat, but additional cooling features like plant-based foam and gel infusions prevent overheating.
Innerspring mattresses rely on coils for support with either memory foam or microcoils as a comfort layer. An innerspring mattress provides excellent cooling through its open coil structure, allowing for better air circulation. Innerspring mattresses have little motion isolation, but this can be slightly fixed with pocketed coils to reduce movement so there’s less pressure relief compared to memory foam.
There are two kinds of latex— synthetic and natural. Synthetic latex is created through a chemical process, while natural latex is extracted from rubber trees and whipped into a foam. Natural latex comes in two forms— Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop latex is denser and more durable, and Talalay latex is softer and includes a zoned support system through strategically-placed holes in its surface.
A latex mattress typically has a comfort layer of latex and a support layer of either high-density poly-foam or latex foam.
A hybrid mattress is a combination of memory foam and innerspring with a comfort layer of memory foam and a support layer of pocketed coils. The comfort layer must be 2 inches thick and the support layer must contain coils, otherwise it’s not considered a true hybrid. Sleepers who choose a hybrid mattress receive the same benefits of both memory foam and innerspring, including pressure relief, edge support, and better airflow. However, sleepers may face the drawbacks of both types of mattresses— more pressure points, heat retention, and risk of sagging.
Durability is an important factor in purchasing a kid’s bed— you want the mattress to last, providing consistent comfort and support. A high-quality mattress should last between 7 to 10 years. To determine the level of quality in a mattress, look at the materials.
To get a good idea of memory foam’s density, look at the ILD rating. ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection, determines the firmness level of the mattress by measuring how much pressure it takes to make a 4-inch indent on the mattress surface. The higher the ILD reading, the firmer the mattress.
- Extremely soft: 8 to 10
- Very soft: 11 to 15
- Soft: 16 to 21
Density refers to how the mattress supports the body by measuring how many pounds of foam is found in one cubic square foot. The lower the density, the softer the foam.
- Low: 2.5 to 3.9
- Medium: 4.0 to 5.4
- High: 5.5 and higher
To determine an innerspring mattresses’s durability, pay attention to the coil count and gauge. Coil count refers to the number of coils in a single layer. A quality mattress should contain between 500 to 1,000 coils; any mattress with less than 300 should be avoided since they’re less durable and prone to sagging.
Coil gauge refers to the thickness of a coil, measured in millimeters. The higher the measurement, the thinner the coil, and the lower the measurement, the thicker the coil. Thin coils are less durable and most likely to sag. Thicker coils provide better support and last longer.
- Thinnest – 18mm
- Thickest – 12mm
Support refers to how well a mattress remains level when weight is applied to the surface. Level support promotes spinal alignment, a key factor in encouraging proper spinal growth in your child. Support that is too firm or too soft is not supportive and can result in a sagging mattress after only 1 to 2 years of use.
Set a Budget
The cost of a mattress depends on the brand, mattress size, type of materials, and amount of materials inside a mattress. Latex and hybrids have a higher price tag— latex due to its durability and hybrids because of the large number of materials they contain. Memory foam and innerspring mattresses fall in between low to average price points. According to Sleep Like the Dead, expect to pay between $200 to $900 for a quality, twin-size mattress.
If you’re worried about your child getting hot at night, look for a mattress with special cooling features. These perks regulate temperature with less risk of overheating and less sleep disruptions. Memory foam may pose as the biggest problem since they’re known for their heat retention; however, choosing a plant-based memory foam or foam infused with copper, graphite, and gel alleviates this problem.
Natural latex mattresses are cool because of their aerated surface while innersprings’ coiled support layer allows for excellent air circulation.
The way a child sleeps on their bed may determine the type of mattress you buy. Each sleep position needs a certain level of comfort and support to keep the spine in neutral alignment.
Side sleeping is the most common and most popular sleep position. Side sleepers breathe better, with less risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea. Sleeping on the right side, in particular, removes excessive pressure off of vital organs, like the heart and liver. Soft to medium-firm mattresses are the best options for side sleepers.
Back sleepers find it easier to align the spine since the spine is in direct contact with the sleep surface. Back sleeping promotes better breathing; however, there is a greater risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea because soft tissue at the back of the throat is more likely to collapse during sleep. Medium to firm mattresses are the best options for back sleepers.
Stomach sleeping is the least common and most risky. The only benefit stomach sleepers receive is the ability to breathe better, but they have a higher risk of back pain and neck pain. Gravity pulls weight down, straightening the natural curve of the spine, and the neck twists at an awkward angle to breathe. Medium-firm to firm mattresses are the best options for stomach sleepers.
Combination sleepers can enjoy the benefits of each sleep position— better breathing, pressure relief, and spinal alignment, but they also face the drawbacks of each sleep position, like risk of snoring and sleep apnea, back pain, and pressure buildup. Medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses are the best options for combination sleepers.
Sleep Trial, Warranty, and Return Policy
Sleep trials, warranties, and return policies reassure parents they’ve purchased a quality mattress for their child. Always read through the details and be wary of beds that don’t offer sleep trials and/or return policies and warranties.
Sleep trials allow kids to try out a mattress at home for a period of time— most sleep trials last between 90 to 120 nights. If the mattress doesn’t work out, most companies will arrange to have the mattress picked up and donated to a local charity before issuing a full refund.
Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty. Warranties protect against manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch— some warranties cover sagging less than 1 inch, depending on the brand. Before purchasing a mattress for your child, always read the fine print, so you know what to expect from the company and what the company expects from you.
In the event a sleep trial isn’t offered, take a look at the return policy. Return policies last 30 days— about the same time it takes for your child to adjust to a new mattress. If your child isn’t happy with their mattress, the bed can be returned for a full refund.
Bedding accessories like pillows and mattress toppers offer extra comfort and support to your child, improving their sleep. Mattress protectors may help your child’s mattress last longer, protecting both the mattress and its warranty. Bunk beds are a great option for limited living space.
Pillows can also affect how well a child sleeps by cradling the head and neck, helping to align the spine. Children need a pillow with the right loft, or height. Depending on their sleep position, side sleepers need a pillow with a medium to high loft. Back sleepers do well with a low to medium loft pillow, and stomach sleepers do best with a low loft pillow.
Extra pillows can also be used to increase comfort. For stomach sleepers, placing a thin pillow under the hips slightly elevates the lower back to align the spine. Some stomach sleepers may sleep better without the use of a pillow under their head.
Placing a pillow between the knees helps to align the spine in side sleepers, and using a pillow to elevate the legs or head and shoulders may improve blood flow in back sleepers.
If a mattress feels too hard or too soft for your child, a mattress topper is a great solution. Mattress toppers alter the feel of the sleep surface to improve the comfort level and lend support. However, should a mattress show signs of sagging, it’s time to purchase a new bed. Mattress toppers can only do so much, but not much can fix a sagging mattress.
We highly recommend purchasing a mattress protector for your child’s mattress, especially if your child is small. Kids can be messy, which is okay because a mattress protector will have your back, shielding the bed from stains and spills, even helping the mattress last longer. Just know that a liquid spill on a mattress without a protector voids a warranty because warranties don’t cover damage from liquids.
Bunk beds are excellent for utilizing a small living space and for families with more than one child. Most bunk bed frames are built for twin size mattresses and allow for stacking 2-3 beds. Bunk beds are built with some type of barrier to protect your children from falling off their beds at night and include steps or a ladder for easy climbing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the chemicals in memory foam mattresses dangerous?
Some memory foam mattresses are made with toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, naphthalene, and benzene. When these mattresses are brought indoors, they can release toxins into the air, causing skin, eye, and throat irritation. However, many reputable companies do not use these chemicals and go through strict testing to ensure that little to no harmful chemicals leach into the air when brought indoors. To make sure you are getting a safe mattress, look for those that are certified by CertiPUR-US® or Green Guard Gold to be low in VOCs (volatile chemical compounds).
Should kids sleep on a firm or soft mattress?
Infants should sleep on a firm mattress. A bed that is too soft could cause suffocation. However, toddlers do not require a firm mattress. When decided on the mattress firmness that is best for your child, be sure consider their body weight. Children who weight less than 130 pounds are typically most comfortably on a mattress that is soft to medium. Children who weigh more than 130 may prefer a medium to firm comfort level.
What is the difference between gel memory foam and regular memory foam?
Traditional memory foam tends to trap heat. To combat this issue, many manufactures infuse their foam with gel microbeads. This infusion works to draw heat and moisture away from the body so you can sleep cool and comfortable.
Can off-gassing make you sick?
Off-gassing or “new mattress smell” is caused by VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that leach from the bed. In rare cases, off-gassing can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. To reduce your exposure to VOCs, shop for a mattress that is certified by CertiPUR-US® or Green Guard Gold. These third-party organizations test the mattress and ensure a low VOC rating.
Do you need a box spring with a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam mattresses do not require a box spring. In most cases, a box spring can actually damage the mattress. Memory foam beds can be placed on a foundation of solid wood, or slatted wood or metal beams. Slats should not be more than 3 inches apart to prevent sagging. If you want to use your memory foam mattress with a box spring, there are two solutions. You can place a 3/4 inch thick piece of moisture-resistant plywood or a bunkie board between the mattress and the box spring. Both of these options will protect your memory foam mattress from sagging.
Bunkie boards are often the easier options as they are already pre-cut to fit standard mattress sizes. Bunkies also have a more finished look and will be less likely to snag on your bedding or mattress.
Did You Find Your Child’s Mattress?
We hope this guide helps you find the right mattress for your child. Quality sleep can make a huge difference in the attitude and wellness of young children. The best mattress for kids will offer excellent comfort and support, encouraging healthy spinal growth while relieving pressure points.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.