What’s The Best Mattress For Your Kid? – 2019 Review Guide

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Kids grow up fast. That’s just a fact. It seems like the clothes bought for them get outgrown in a matter of days. But, we only want what's best for children so they can grow up healthy and strong, right?

Hence, we need to find a comfortable bed, suitable for their size, that won't sag and break after a few years.

Let's take a look what we need to account for when buying a quality mattress for your child.

There are many options available on the market which would apply to your kid’s needs a lot more in comparison to others. With this in mind, we’ve decided to create this guide to help you decide what is right for your kid.

Additionally, we’ve also synthesized a few reviews of some of the best options available on the market, hoping to make it even easier for you to make the right call.

casper essential medium image Casper Essential
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
bowery by brooklyn medium image Brooklyn Bowery
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
The BKB Mobile Image The BKB – My Big Kid’s Bed
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
small aspen bed image Elements Aspen 10" Latex
  • Type: Latex
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
avocado green bed mobile image Avocado
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Arctic Dreams medium Image Arctic Dreams
  • Type: Gel Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Top 6 Youth (Kid) Mattress Reviews

Casper Essential – Best Overall Value

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Designed and Assembled in the USA

The Essential is a foam bed made by one of the most trusted online mattress retailers. A few hundred dollars cheaper than their original model and an inch and a half thinner, it is an amazing option for kids.

What makes it so special? At a very affordable price no matter the size, The Essential is an exceptional value – especially if you plan on switching to a different size during teen or college years. It works with most bases and foundations, which is important as needs and styles change.

Because of the cover’s dark color, any spills or messes can be hidden. It is one of the reasons we love it!

Moving around on the mattress is easy since it has a quick response and its memory foam layer is in between two other foam layers. With this type of construction, the brand provides pressure relief while ensuring that memory foam will not conform directly to the skin and uncomfortably overheat.

Learn more about the Essential in our full review here.

Brooklyn Bowery – Great Value

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

The company behind Bowery is Brooklyn Bedding, which is well known for their high-quality handcrafted mattresses. This model has a medium-level of firmness that is comfortable for most individuals.

Energex™ foam with cooling gel provides contouring and pressure relief while helping to regulate body temperature.

Its CertiPUR-US® Certified foams are not made with harmful chemicals and pass rigorous testing. As kids grow and spend time on the mattress, you can feel better knowing the quality of products they are around each night.

What makes it stand out? Bowery is an excellent budget bed that has durability and cooling features, making it our Great Value product.

The reason Brooklyn Bedding can offer their products at lower price points is that they own their factory. Truly a direct-to-consumer business, they graciously pass along savings to their customers and do not skimp on quality materials.

See more of the Bowery in our in-depth analysis.

The BKB – My Big Kid’s Bed – Young Kids

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Comfort Guarantee
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Nest Bedding’s BKB mattress is designed specifically for kids and every aspect has been tailored with their needs in mind. At 7 inches tall, it is thinner than typical adult mattresses, and fewer inches translate to additional savings.

The company is the first online brand to produce a bed-in-a-box model for children. It comes in Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes and can be used on any base. It even works with bunk beds and trundle-style frames.

Why do we love it? Along with a fantastic price point, it is durable with a simple well-made design. The cover has a soft top, mesh sides, and a bold “My BKB” logo that can be fun for kids to see, especially when pulling it out of the box for the first time.

The company recommends it for kids up to 120 pounds, making it a great option for younger children.

Elements Aspen 10″ Latex – Durable

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Ultimate Dreams Latex by Dreamfoam Bedding is comfortable from the first touch. It has a soft cover made out of bamboo and is quilted with foam. The materials wick away moisture for hot sleepers and provide additional pressure relief, which is helpful if your child is a combination or side sleeper.

If your child suffers from allergies, they may have an easier time sleeping with this product. The latex in the bed is naturally hypoallergenic and very breathable.

What makes it special? Dreamfoam uses durable Talalay latex in their design that will last for years to come, which is impressive given its lower price point. Parents and kids alike have given the product glowing reviews!

The firmness level is determined after ordering, when the Dreamfoam team will reach out to help determine the level that provides the most pleasant night’s sleep.

Avocado – Eco-Friendly

Highlights:

  • OEKO-TEX Certified
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 25-Year Warranty
  • Environmental Charity Initiative
  • Made in the USA

If you are concerned about exposing your child to harmful chemicals or if you value eco-friendly products, Avocado has a solution. With a cover made from organic cotton and the inclusion of New Zealand wool, natural latex, and upcycled steel innersprings in the design, you can feel good about its green qualities.

The brand also sells an optional pillow top with two more inches of latex that provide additional comfort. The pillow top is geared towards side and back sleepers for a more luxurious experience with pressure point relief, while their standard model works best for stomach or back sleepers who prefer a firmer feel and more spinal support.

What makes it stand out? With certifications geared towards the use of natural materials, as well as the avoidance of harmful chemicals and emissions, you and your child can rest easy knowing the comfort and care that this brand puts into their products.

Learn more: Our Avocado bed analysis

Arctic Dreams – Budget Choice

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Made by Dreamfoam Bedding, Arctic Dreams has good cooling capabilities in its Energex™ gel foam comfort layer. It has bounce and responds quickly so kids can reposition or play without feeling stuck.

Why did it make the list? Quite simply, Arctic Dreams is an impressive budget pick with quality materials that costs under $200 for a Twin size of medium-level firmness. No matter the size, it costs significantly less than many of the mattresses we have reviewed.

Whatever sleeping position your child prefers, the mattress’ Medium firmness should accommodate and support them comfortably. Whether a side, front, back, or combo sleeper, the bed has enough support and comfort to help their bodies recover and get a great rest so they are recharged and ready to play and learn the next day.

Head over to our full review to find out more about this model.

How To Choose A Youth Mattress

Age – Toddler or Kid?

As your young kid(s) start getting older, their bodies will grow accordingly. This has to be reflected when you purchase a mattress. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you ought to buy a new one every year. You need to account for that growth, and if you make the right call, a good bed could easily last for 8 to 12 years.

Thanks to contemporary solutions and high-quality materials, we have more freedom to choose what we like and what's good for our specific needs. Memory foam mattresses, for instance, conform according to the pressure our bodies apply to them. Latex and coils tend to have better cooling, etc.

High-quality sleep is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider for your kid’s health (find our how much they need). Investing in a premium mattress made out of quality materials is something that should be weighed carefully. It will eliminate the need to change it every few years, and it's much better for health and posture.

mom and daughter having fun

Age – Growing Teenager(s)

Kids grow really fast, and if you are going to invest in a mattress, you’ll want to be sure it’s one that is versatile enough to adapt to your child’s growing body. During the teenage years, especially your kid could grow to be the same size as many adults. Think about expected growth in both height and weight and how that may affect the suitability of a mattress over time.

Depending on the space, you may consider a Twin XL instead of a standard Twin size for your teen, especially if you and the rest of your family tend to be taller than average. This is also a popular size for many dorm room bed frames, so the investment in a Twin XL could potentially follow your kid to college and enable you to save on the expense of a new bed.

Learn more: Top rated beds for teens

Which Bed Size?

The size of the bed and the mattress, respectively, would usually pose a significant difference in the price. The larger the mattress is, the more it’s going to cost you. There are traditionally four kids bed sizes to choose from.

Recommended Guide: The Ultimate Mattress Size Chart

Single Size

The single bed is one of the most frequently purchased bed sizes for a child. There are a lot of great benefits for this size mattress: It's cheaper than all other dimensions, fits in the smallest of rooms or sleep areas, and fits most young children without any issues.

The major downside with this is some kids, especially when they become teenagers, will not fit in the bed properly. However, this can be an exceptional buy for younger kids that have outgrown their cribs and you can buy a new size as they grow out of it.

Twin-sized Bed

This is a common choice for a lot of people due to limited availability concerning bedroom space. The dimensions are usually around 38 x 75 inches. This is typically the least expensive option, and it’s perfect for a kid up until the age of 12.

Read MoreTwin vs. Single Bed Size: How Do They Compare?

Twin-XL

The XL option adds five more inches in length, providing additional growing room for the children. It measures 38 x 80 inches. This isn’t a lot more expensive compared to a twin-sized bed (and sometimes there is not a difference in price), but it could potentially be used for a while longer, depending on how fast your kid grows. Some people sleep on this type of bed for most of their college years without any issues.

Full-Size

Should you be able to afford the additional amount of money, this may be the best fit for your needs. It’s 54 x 75 inches, leaving enough room for growth, and it’s likely for your children to use it well into their 20s.

We've some key factors explained earlier in our main mattress guide for buyers.

image showing recommended bed sizes for kids

Using Bunk Beds?

Bunk beds can be a fantastic solution if two or more of your kids are sharing a room with limited space as it gives both child room to spread out without sacrificing potential play areas on the floor. If you choose to go this route, know that there is more to the process than selecting a bunk frame and placing a standard single bed on it. There are mattresses specifically sized for bunk beds, and the size of your room and frame will help decide which works best (here are our top picks for bunk beds).

Check the dimensions required, and consider the weight of the mattress combined with the weight of your kid to make sure the frame is robust enough to remain safe and secure. You may consider the space between the top bunk and the ceiling as a thicker mattress may reduce available space to sit up.

Firm or Soft?

Getting the comfort right on the first try can be vital. Even adults can get cranky when they don't sleep well, so imagine what could happen with your kids.

One of the most important things to consider when it comes to the comfort is the firmness of the mattress. Should it be firm or should it be soft?

When looking for the optimal firmness, you ought to consider the weight of your kid. This is a parameter which is referred to as ILD or Indentation Load Deflection. It’s complicated, so here are the general standards that you should consider:

  • Soft beds – these are appropriate for ILD of less than 25 lbs.
  • Firm – these are appropriate for ILD of more than 31 lbs.
  • Medium – consider these for ILD between 25 to 31 lbs.

Of all these, the golden middle ground tends to be the medium firmness as this can accommodate the vast majority of children throughout most of their junior years.

MoreMattress Firmness Scale & Guide

different recommendations for bed firmness range for kids

Go For a Supportive Bed

The support of the mattress relates to the capability to correctly align the spine. It is quite important that your kid can grow up sleeping with the perfect support as this can help ensure normal health and growth.

The thing that you ought to consider is the proper spinal alignment. Of course, apart from the bed and its structure, you also have to take into account the pillow being used. You can instruct your kid to avoid using more than one pillow to prevent malformations. Additionally, sleeping on your side with your knees bent towards your chest can often reduce pressure.

Involve your kid in the buying process and let him or her tell you what feels best.

Off-Gassing

Off-gassing is the process which follows immediately after unpacking the new mattress. It carries a characteristic and robust smell which differs in its essence, depending on the type of material you’ve decided to go for. It’s highly advisable that you allow airflow to do its thing for a few days to prevent any potential headaches, as this could potentially happen in the first few weeks.

While it’s not viewed as harmful, it’s easily something you could avoid. Just keep the windows open in the room and allow your kid to sleep with you for the next few days – it should pass quite quickly. Off-gassing is commonly found in memory foam beds, so be sure to research if this style is right for you and your child.

Also, you can go for GREENGUARD certified products that focus on lower emissions and safer materials. CertiPUR-US® is another certification.

Budget & Value

Many people place too much emphasis on the price tag of a mattress they are shopping for, wrongly believing that a lower price represents a better deal. This is not always the case, and when you’re shopping for one for your child, you want to be sure the quality of materials does not compromise their health and is durable and flexible enough to grow with them.

A cheaper product may look like it is going to save you money, but that’s not always the case. Beds that wear out quicker will need to be replaced sooner, especially as your child continues to grow. If you have to replace the product often, you will probably end up spending more money than if you had invested in a better value from the start.

When evaluating a brand’s price tag, also look for things that can increase long-term value. The durability of better quality building materials, fabrics, and better stitching will help it hold up over time, which will often save you money. You may want to look at safety certifications as well, as developing lungs often need additional consideration around manufactured materials.

Interested in affordable brands? Click here.

Add a Mattress Topper?

A bed topper is a great way to adjust the solution to the needs of your growing kid. Keep in mind that every young child grows at the individual pace and it’s quite reasonable for them to outgrow the mattress you’ve purchased. With this said, if your kid starts to gain weight faster than expected, this should to be reflected in the firmness of the mattress.

Instead of spending another small fortune on a brand new bed, you could easily add a topper to your current one and adjust the firmness accordingly. This will save you time, effort and money. However, it isn't an alternative to a mattress with great support, so if you have a product that is sagging quite a bit, you may need to buy a new one.

image showing top bunk bed

Best Bed Type for Kids

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a material which is intended to respond to both body heat and applied pressure. Therefore, the more you lay on it, the more it’s going to conform to the contours of your body. We refer to this as “hug,” and it is most commonly associated with this particular product type.

Additionally, the material tends to isolate motion perfectly and should not disturb your kids’ sleep if two of them sleep on the same mattress. If you want to go for this particular type, it’s appropriate that you choose GREENGUARD Gold or CertiPUR-US certificated products. This can help ensure safety/emissions standards.

Read our top overall memory foam mattress picks in this buyer's guide.

Innerspring

Innerspring constructions are typically preferred by quite a lot of parents as they are durable (if they have a proper gauge) and most can truly take a beating. And, as we mentioned in the beginning, young children sometimes apply more wear and tear to their mattress than anyone in comparison.

There are two different types of innerspring constructions: open coil and pocketed coil. The former is less expensive because they tend to be less durable as the coils are padded directly with the top layer of the mattress. Pocketed coils are wrapped individually, which is why they are also a bit more expensive in comparison. They should also endure an entire load of your kids and the pressure applied by their jumping and playing, which can make them a better option for some.

Be sure to check out our top innerspring buyer's guide.

Latex

The most impressive characteristic about latex mattresses (see our top picks) is their enhanced durability. Furthermore, they shine with superior levels of support. They offer a lot of the features also brought by memory foam, and it’s necessary to take a further look at the individual specifications of the beds and compare them thoroughly before making a final decision.

Bed in a Box

There are many bed-in-a-box brands out there right now that would work perfectly in your child’s room, several of which are versatile and durable enough to accommodate a growing frame without needing to be replaced when they grow a foot taller every year.

One of the many advantages of boxed brands is that many are offered at unbeatable price points because they are able to reduce overhead so significantly by cutting out the middlemen. Those looking for a great value to suit a tighter budget might appreciate the streamlined, entry-level options that many brands offer that often work great for kids.

For the environmentally-minded, more companies are also working to achieve top-rated health and safety certifications such as CertiPUR-US® or GREENGUARD Gold that can help ease your mind about potentially hazardous chemicals. Several more organic mattresses that look for more natural building materials have also entered the space in recent years.

Read More: Top Boxed Brands

Air Mattress

This is an inflatable bed, typically promising a lot of quality, convenience, and comfort. They can offer a proper night’s sleep, but they are not intended for prolonged and permanent usage. While delivering the excellent opportunity to turn any space into a bedroom, they shouldn’t be used as the primary bed of your kid. However, they are easily portable, lightweight, and convenient, and you can bring them with you on family trips, sleepovers, and vacations.

Here's our list of highest rated air mattresses.

FAQ For Toddler Beds

1. Is a Twin Size the Best Size For a Kid?

While a Twin-size mattress is very convenient, it may not be not the best size for your kid when you look at the big picture because there is a chance that your child will outgrow it in a few years. Investing in a full-sized or at least a Twin-XL may result in significant long-term gains, depending on your priorities.

Sure, it’s a bit more money on top of it (although some retailers price it the same as a regular Twin), but the value that you get may be considerably higher as it can be used until it’s time for college.

2. What Should I Look If My Child Has Allergies?

Dust mites and other pollutants in the mattress could easily trigger severe allergy symptoms. This is why you ought to account for specific hypoallergenic properties, especially if allergies are a considerable issue for your children.

If this is an issue for your family, consider purchasing a certified, all-natural product if you have to deal with allergies regularly. Bacteria does not typically grow on these, and they are capable of getting rid of dust mites naturally.

3. How Firm Should It Be?

The firmness tends to be dependent on the weight of your kid, as well as sleeping position. Ideally, the most appropriate and uniform models should have a medium firmness which encompasses the weight range of the majority of children. However, if your kid is heavier, you could use a medium-firm solution and vice versa.

Additionally, you can use a mattress topper to adjust the firmness of it accordingly.

4. What About Cribs for Younger Siblings?

When raising children, the reliance on hand-me-downs is essential and many items are passed from sibling to sibling as your kids grow up. Depending on the age of your crib, you may want to consider an upgrade, especially with all the new and improved crib mattresses on the market right now. There are more organic choices and more hypoallergenic materials that could potentially safeguard your child better than mattresses manufactured even 10 years ago.

Read more: Our top rated crib mattresses

Our Final Thoughts

Obviously, selecting a great bed for your kid(s) is a challenge that you have to deal with. We hope that you now have a few different top-rated mattress options so that you can better navigate according to the individual needs of your kid and the purpose you’ve intended for the mattress. Your kid deserves the best, right?

Two of the most important things to account for is the sleeping habits and preferences of your kids. As they grow older, make sure to involve them in the buying process so that they can give their own first-hand input, hence making your choice a lot easier.

Until then, though, those mentioned above should be enough to help you make an appropriate choice for your kid.


Author: Jill Thompson

I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.

I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.

When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.

I wish you the very best on your journey!

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Dale T. Read July 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Why would you not have reviewed Naturepedic’s VERSE “certified organic” kids beds when you included such beds as Nest, ZenHaven or SAATVA? I think you missed a great product and a truly caring company by not reviewing Naturepedic.

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