What’s The Best Mattress For Your Kid? – 2021 Review Guide

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Parents may feel like they're continually burning a hole in their wallets to keep up with kid's evolving sleep needs, however, purchasing a quality mattress could help. Investing in a capable product to grow with your little one throughout childhood could save you in the long run by anticipating their needs instead of reacting as necessary.

Finding a comfortable mattress suitable for your child’s growing size that won't sag and break after a few years is critical for optimal investment.

Below we discuss what you should consider when purchasing as a guide to help you determine the right bed for your child. We've also incorporated a few best mattress for kids reviews to help you make the right call.

casper essential medium image Casper Element
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Night
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
The BKB Mobile Image The BKB – My Big Kid’s Bed
  • Type: All Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Night
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
product image of elements latex Elements Latex Hybrid
  • Type: Latex
  • Trial Period: 120 Night
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
avocado green bed mobile image Avocado
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Trial Period: 365 Night
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
arctic dreams small product image Arctic Dreams
  • Type: Foam & Hybrid Models
  • Trial Period: 120 Night
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Top 5 Kids Mattress Reviews

Casper Element – Best Overall Value

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Foam Mattress
  • Great for Side and Back Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6/10
  • 100 Night Trial
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty

The Element (formerly Essential) is a foam bed made by one of the most trusted online mattress retailers. This design is a few hundred dollars cheaper than their original model and an inch thinner, making it a great option for kids.

Moving around on the mattress is easy; its memory foam layer is sandwiched between two alternative foam layers, and it boasts a strong build with responsive material. The Element provides pressure relief while ensuring that memory foam does not overly conform to the skin, providing adequate support, and is designed to keep sleepers cool. At an affordable price, no matter the size, The Element is an exceptional value.

What makes it so special?

  • The cover’s gray color easily hides spills, making it great for youngsters.
  • The Element works with most bases and foundations, which is important as needs and styles change with time and your kid’s growth.

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

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Foam Mattress
  • Great for All Types of Sleepers
  • Firmness Level:  Firm
  • 100 Night Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty

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, BKB mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, meaning there are no toxic chemicals, flame retardants, or heavy metals included in the design, letting you sleep peacefully knowing your little one is safe.
  • The company recommends it for kids up to 120 pounds, making it a great option for younger children.
  • The lifetime guarantee helps buyers feel confident in their choice, to stand the test of time even under the stress of rambunctious children.

Elements Latex Hybrid – Durable

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Latex Mattress
  • Great for All Types of Sleepers
  • Firmness Levels: 3 Choices for Customization
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

The Elements Latex Hybrid mattress by Dreamfoam Bedding is comfortable from the first touch. It has a soft cover made out of a cotton blend and is quilted with foam. The materials are more breathable for hot sleepers with the innerspring base to 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 should provide better airflow during the night.

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

You can choose among three different firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. The Dreamfoam team is also available to help you determine the level that should provide you with the most pleasant night’s sleep.

Avocado – Eco-Friendly

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hybrid Mattress
  • Best for Stomach and Back Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 6.5/10
  • 365-Night Trial
  • 25-Year Warranty

If you are concerned about exposing your child to harmful chemicals, or if you value eco-friendly products, Avocado has a solution. With a organic cotton cover 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 OEKO-TEX and GREENGUARD Gold certifications geared towards using natural materials and the avoidance of toxic chemicals and emissions, you and your child can rest easy knowing the comfort and care that this brand puts into their products.

Arctic Dreams – Budget Choice

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Foam & Hybrid Models
  • Best for Side Sleepers
  • Firmness Level: 5/10
  • 120-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty

Arctic Dreams is the entry-level offering from Dreamfoam brand, owned by Brooklyn Bedding. Its sleek, streamlined multi-layer design offers a quality mattress for an exceptionally attractive price. The bed’s gel infusion helps to keep hot sleepers cool through warm nights.

In both the hybrid and all-foam models, a 2.5” comfort layer lies under the plush top. This layer is created with a patented blend of Gel Memory Foam and latex. The unique combination provides the comforting contouring properties of memory foam with the responsiveness of latex, providing pressure relief and proper support.

Why did it make the list? 

  • The bed’s unique approach to cooling with its gel infusion helps with temperature control.
  • Arctic Dreams is an impressive budget pick with quality materials that cost under $400 for a Twin size mattress.
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified, this bed is made with safe materials and no toxic chemicals, flame retardants, or heavy metals, letting you sleep easily.

How To Choose Best Mattress for Kids

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 mattress 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. Investing in a premium mattress made out of quality materials is something that should be weighed carefully. It should eliminate the need to change it every few years, and it's much better for health and posture.

Illustrations of a Boy from Baby to Teen Age

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 mattress 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 mattresses 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.

View Our Complete 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.

See Our Comparison Here: Twin vs. Single Bed Size

Kid Bed Sizes Illustration - twin, twin xl and full

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.

Check Out Our Full Guide: Best Twin Mattress

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.

Get More Info: Best Twin-XL Beds

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.

Read Our Full Comparison: Full vs. Twin

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.

Read Our Complete Guides:



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.

Kids Playing on a Bunk Bed Illustration

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.

For More Info: Mattress Firmness Scale

Go For a Supportive Mattress

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 mattresses, 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 mattress 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 affordable 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.

View Our Full Guide: Top Rated Budget Beds

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.

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 In-depth Guide: Best Memory Foam Mattress

illustration of a child jumping on bed

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 mattresses 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.

Read Our Full Guide: Top Rated Innerspring Beds

Latex

The most impressive characteristic about latex mattresses 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 bed-in-a-box 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.

Air Mattress

This is an inflatable bed, typically promising a lot of quality, convenience, and comfort. Air beds can offer a good night’s rest, 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.

Illustration of an Air Bed

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 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.

Read Our Comparison: Twin vs. Twin-XL Beds

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.

Learn more: Highest Rated Hypoallergenic Beds

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?

Baby Sitting up in the Crib Crying for their Parent Illustration

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.

Check Out Our Guide: Top Rated Crib Mattresses

Our Final Thoughts

Obviously, selecting the best mattress for kids 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.

Content Writer | + posts

Rachael is a content writer for Sleep Advisor who loves combining her enthusiasm for writing and wellness. She’s had a passion for writing since she was a kid when she wrote awful poetry. She’s honed her craft quite a bit since then and considers herself a lucky duck to get paid to do what she loves.

Embracing the remote work life, she occasionally takes her work on the road and lives out her travel writer pipe dream.

In her free time, she attempts to meditate regularly, rides her bike to Trader Joe’s, and enjoys trying every type of food that she can get her hands on.

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