Is your little one ready to graduate from a crib to a big kid bed? If so, you probably know by now that the search for your child’s first mattress can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, bed-in-a-box brands like Nest Bedding manufacture mattresses specifically designed for kids.
The Puffin mattress is one such bed. Made for growing children, this mattress features a supportive, all-foam design. In this Nest Puffin mattress review, we break down everything you need to know so you can decide if this is the right mattress for your child.
Who We Recommend The Nest Puffin For:
- Growing children – This bed is made for younger kids who are ready to move on from a crib. If you have a toddler who’s outgrown their crib, this may be a great mattress to start with.
- Preteens – Say your kid is no longer a toddler but still needs a comfortable mattress. The Puffin works for children up to 110 pounds or 15 years of age, which means preteens (ages 8-12) can use it.
- Combination sleepers – The Puffin has a medium-firm feel that should feel comfortable in various sleeping positions, making this bed good for combo sleepers who switch between their back, side, or stomach.
Who We Don’t Recommend The Puffin For:
- Those searching for a hybrid mattress – The Puffin is made entirely of foam, so it offers excellent contouring and pressure relief. However, it doesn’t have as much bounce as hybrid mattresses, which is something to consider if you’re after a coil support system.
- Heavier kids – This bed should work for kids up to 15 years of age, but not if they’re heavier than 110 pounds. If your kid is already over 110 pounds, they may experience the mattress as softer, which can result in deeper sinkage and an unhealthy sleep posture.
First Impressions: Firmness & Feel
Firmness Scale: 6/10
Please remember that firmness is a subjective characteristic and your shape will dictate how you experience a bed. A heavier person whose weight can more easily push through softer comfort and support layers may experience a bed as softer than a lightweight person. The way you are shaped could also play a role here. Consider your weight, shape, and size when evaluating firmness scores.
We rate kids’ mattresses the same way we rate those made for adults. Using the same firmness scale, we rate mattress firmness from 1 to 10, where 1 is the softest and 10 is the firmest. This system helps us explain how the mattress feels and helps you understand whether or not it’ll fit your needs.
The Puffin falls at a 6 out of 10 on our firmness scale, which means it has a medium-firm feel. This means it should feel comfortable for side, back, and stomach sleepers, as well as those who switch between positions. Even lightweight adults may find it comfortable.
How Does It Feel?
The first thing you’ll feel when lying on the Puffin is its Thermic Phase cooling cover. The cover is designed to regulate temperature and prevent body heat from building up around the sleeper. As you sink into the mattress further, you’ll feel the plushness of the Energex™ foam, which also aids in cooling thanks to its temperature-responsive properties. While the Puffin doesn’t have as much bounce as a mattress with coils, it’s still responsive enough for easy transitions, so it’s unlikely your child will feel stuck in this bed.
What We Like About the Nest Puffin
- Cooling abilities – The Puffin is a breathable and cooling mattress suitable for kids who tend to get hot while sleeping. The cooling starts with its temperature-regulating cover and continues with the Energex™ foam, which uses an open structure for enhanced breathability.
- Affordability – This mattress is among one of the most affordable kids’ mattresses as the Twin size is only 499 dollars.
- Bed-in-a-box shipping – Nest is among the first companies to offer bed-in-a-box shipping with their kids’ mattresses, making the Puffin easy to ship, handle, and set up.
Our Nest Puffin Complaints
- It only comes in three sizes – Since this is a children’s mattress, it only comes in Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes, so it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a larger mattress size for your child.
- May not work for heavier children – This mattress has a weight limit of 110 pounds, so heavier kids may want to look for a more supportive mattress with a higher weight capacity.
Testing the Nest Puffin Mattress: How it Performed
We tested the Puffin the same way we test mattresses for adults. We tried the bed in various sleeping positions to better understand how it would work for side, back, and stomach sleeping. In addition, we also tested for pressure relief, bounce, edge support, motion isolation, and other preference-based features we usually look for in adult mattresses.
Sleeping Positions for Different Body Types
The company recommends this mattress for kids under 110 pounds to ensure proper support, pressure relief, and performance. Once your kid is over 110 pounds, you can update their mattress to one for adults.
|Weight||Side Sleepers||Back Sleepers||Stomach Sleepers
|Lightweight Sleepers (-130 lbs)||★★☆||★★★||★★☆|
|Average-Weight Sleepers (130-230 lbs)||☆☆☆||☆☆☆||☆☆☆|
|Heavyweight Sleepers (+230 lbs)||☆☆☆||☆☆☆||☆☆☆|
- Lightweight Sleepers – The company recommends this mattress for kids under 110 pounds to ensure proper support, pressure relief, and performance. Once your kid is over 110 pounds, you can update their mattress to one for adults.
- Average Weight Sleepers – Average-weight people sleeping on their side should experience more sinkage. Since this mattress has a weight limit of 110 pounds, these sleepers are likely to feel unsupported.
- Heavyweight Sleepers – We don’t recommend this mattress for heavyweight side sleepers. These folks will sink too deeply into the bed, which can cause pressure to build up instead of relieving it.
- Lightweight Sleepers – Back sleepers should like how the Puffin contours to the lower back, although significantly light kids, like toddlers, may experience this bed as much firmer.
- Average Weight Sleepers – Average-weight people are likely to sink too deep into this mattress, which can cause spine misalignment.
- Heavyweight Sleepers – These folks will likely feel unsupported and uncomfortable on this mattress, since it’s designed for kids and has a lower weight limit.
- Lightweight Sleepers – The Puffin is a good choice for lightweight stomach sleepers as they’re unlikely to sink at all, meaning their hips should remain aligned with the rest of the body.
- Average Weight Sleepers – Average-weight stomach sleepers may find their hips sinking too deeply into the mattress, which can cause back pain.
- Heavyweight Sleepers – These sleepers are better off with a more supportive mattress made for adults. The lower weight limit, combined with the medium-firm all-foam design, won’t provide enough support for this group.
Pressure Relief & Pain
Kids can also struggle with pressure buildup the same way adults can, more so if they sleep on a mattress that doesn’t fit their body and preferred sleeping position. Side sleepers usually experience pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips, but the Puffin included a softer foam layer above the firmer base to help prevent this.
The Energex™ foam also does a good job of contouring the body and adapting to the curves in various positions.
Back Pain – Kids who struggle with back pain should like the Puffin’s medium-firm feel that allows only a bit of sinkage for pressure relief but without taking away from the support. The bed has a firmer base foam that ensures proper spine alignment, which should help relieve pain and pressure.
Hip Pain – Little ones with hip pain typically sleep on their back to take the pressure off the hips. The Puffin mattress should further help with this by contouring along this area so that pain doesn’t build up.
Shoulder Pain – The same is true for shoulder pain since the mattress has a mid-range firmness level that should deliver optimal levels of sinkage and support to take the pressure off achy joints.
The Puffin mattress has two foam layers. The first is made to contour to the curves, adapting to your kid’s movements. The second one is meant to support the upper layer and the sleeper so that everything stays aligned throughout the night. The base layer is also taller and firmer to prevent the upper one from sinking too deeply when a child lies on the bed.
The combination of these two foam layers work well to provide that universally appealing medium-firm feel. Most children should feel well-supported on this mattress no matter the position they rest in.
Motion isolation is not usually too important for kids because most children sleep on small bed sizes that don’t fit two people anyway. However, we do want to note that the Puffin is an all-foam mattress that performs well when it comes to motion isolation. All-foam mattresses are generally good at absorbing motion, more so if they have a mid-range firmness level. Although this may not be your main concern when shopping for a kids’ mattress, it can come in handy if a child shares their bed with a sibling or even a pet.
Temperature Regulation / Cooling
The Nest Puffin mattress is a breathable and cooling one, which is excellent for kids who usually sleep hot. The mattress has a breathable cover that stays cool throughout the night, so no heat can build up on the surface. In addition, the Energex™ layer has an open structure to allow the air to circulate as it would in a mattress with springs. The base foam has the same open-cell structure to further promote airflow and cooling so that no heat stays trapped within the construction.
Proprietary Visco Foam Alternative
The brand’s proprietary Energex™ is an alternative to conventional visco memory foam. Since memory foam is known to overheat, the company made its own version of this popular material that is more breathable and better at temperature regulation.
When buying a kids’ mattress, it’s always important to check which bed foundation you must pair it with. The Nest Puffin works with all bed foundations and is also compatible with bunk beds, which is worth considering.
Exceptional Edge Support
The 5-inch base foam layer is firmer than the upper Energex™ foam, which offers excellent edge support for kids who love sleeping near the edges. Most kids sit in this area as well, especially right after waking up, so a reinforced perimeter can help prevent them from sliding off.
Made-to-Order in the USA
Construction: What’s Inside the Nest Puffin?
The Nest Puffin is 7 inches tall, which makes it a great option for bunk beds. The dimensions give your child enough space on the bottom bed as well as more access to the safety railing when they use the top bed. The construction starts with a breathable quilted foam cover with Thermic Phase Change Cooling Fabrics, which should keep your child cool throughout the night.
- Below the cover is a 2-inch layer of Nest Bedding’s proprietary Energex™ foam designed to be an alternative to conventional memory foam. The material has the same benefits of contour and pressure relief but is more responsive than traditional memory foam, which makes it more suitable for combo sleepers. Energex™ foam also has an open structure that allows plenty of airflow.
- The base foam is 5 inches tall, and features a lightweight, open-cell design that keeps it fresh and cool. The base acts as the main support system for the mattress and helps maintain spine alignment.
Unboxing & Off-Gassing
The Puffin comes compressed in a box, so it should be easy to move around when it arrives. You should remove it from the packaging as soon as possible when it arrives. Put the box on your foundation of choice, remove the packaging, and watch the mattress inflate. In most cases, it takes anywhere between 14 to 16 hours for the bed to reach its full size.
You may notice a slight off-gassing odor when you first remove the plastic wrapping. This is common for bed-in-a-box mattresses and isn’t harmful since the foams in this bed are CertiPUR-US® certified. Best of all, they should dissipate by the time the Puffin decompresses.
- Eco-Friendly Certifications – The foams in this bed are CertiPUR-US® certified. CertiPUR-US® is a third-party program that ensures the foams meet rigorous health and safety standards. This means they don’t contain harmful substances like ozone depleters, PBDEs, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. They should also have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
- The Puffin was previously known as the Big Kid Bed or BKB.
Coupons, Trials, Warranties, and Shipping
- Shipping – Shipping is free within the United States, but additional charges may apply for shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada.
- White Glove Delivery – The company can help arrange white glove delivery with a delivery service in your area.
- Trial – Nest offers a 30-night trial period for your child to test the mattress before deciding if it’s the right one.
- Warranty – There is a lifetime warranty on the Nest Puffin mattress.
- Return Policy – Returning the bed is simple and free, but only if you choose to do so within the trial period. You can get a full refund, but any shipping and white glove delivery fees are non-refundable.
Sizes & Prices
|Size||Dimensions (inches)||Price (w/o discount)|
|Twin||38” x 77” x 7”||$499|
|Twin XL||38” x 80” x 7”||$549|
|Full||54” x 75” x 7”||$749|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best firmness level for a kids mattress?
Generally speaking, most kids do well with a medium-firm mattress. This is because it strikes a nice balance between support and comfort, and should work well as a child grows older.
Is the Nest Puffin mattress non-toxic?
The Nest Puffin mattress uses CertiPUR-US®-certified foams, plus it doesn’t use a chemical fire barrier. This is a great choice for children as it’s safe and non-toxic.
Is the Nest Puffin mattress spill-proof?
The Nest Puffin mattress isn’t spill-proof on its own, but you can put a waterproof mattress protector over the bed, which can help protect the bed from spills or accidents.
Nest Puffin vs. Other Brands
Nest Puffin vs. Saatva Youth
- All-foam mattress
- 7-inch profile
- 30-night trial
- Flippable innerspring mattress
- 10-inch profile
- 365-night trial
Who We Recommend the Nest Puffin For
- Budget shoppers
- Back and side sleepers
- Lightweight kids
Who We Recommend the Saatva Youth For
- Kids who love a bouncy bed
- Those who want a mattress with dual firmness levels
- Heavyweight kids
Read our Saatva Youth Mattress Review if you think the Saatva is right for you.
Nest Puffin vs. Helix Kids
- Comes in three sizes
- Medium-firm feel
- Cooling cover
- Comes in two sizes
- Two firmness levels (flippable)
- Breathable Tencel™ cover
Who We Recommend the Nest Puffin For
- First-time shoppers
- Those looking for edge support
- People interested in a lifetime warranty
Who We Recommend the Helix Kids For
- Those looking for a longer trial
- Kids who love a softer bed
- Side, back, and stomach sleepers
Nest Puffin vs. Other Nest Models
Nest Puffin vs. Nest Quail
- Medium-firm feel
- Three size options
- 7 inches tall
- Two firmness options
- Seven size options
- 10 inches tall
Who We Recommend the Nest Puffin For
- Children under 110 pounds
- Those seeking for affordable quality
- Back sleepers
Who We Recommend the Nest Quail For
- Kids who want a larger bed
- Those looking for firmness options
- Children who share their bed with siblings or pets
Explore our Nest Quail Mattress Review.
Nest Puffin vs. Nest Lark
- All-foam design
- Energex™ foam core
- CertiPUR-US® certification
- Pillow top
- Latex core
- OEKO-TEX® certification
Who We Recommend the Nest Puffin For
- Kids who want to feel cradled by their bed
- Side sleepers
- Budget shoppers
Who We Recommend the Nest Lark For
- Kids with allergies
- Hot sleepers
- Those looking for a bouncy bed
The Nest Puffin mattress is a seemingly simple bed, but there’s more than meets the eye. With a cooling, breathable construction, universally-appealing firmness level, and comfortable all-foam construction, the Puffin should work for kids of all ages.
Most kids should like how the Puffin feels for side sleeping. The upper Energex™ layer contours along curves to prevent pressure and pain buildup in the shoulders and hips. However, lightweight kids may prefer a softer mattress that allows a bit more sinkage in this position.
The combination of foams in this mattress allows a good balance of support and pressure relief, both of which are crucial for back sleepers. The Puffin mattress should allow just enough sinkage to prevent pressure buildup while ensuring the spine is properly aligned when your child sleeps on their back.
The Puffin has the right firmness for kids who like to sleep on their stomach, especially since many children may experience it as even firmer. The upper layer should contour the joints but without letting the hips sink too deeply.
Kids who like switching positions should like how this mattress adapts to their body, whether they’re on their back, side, or stomach. The Puffin may feel softer or firmer in certain positions, but not so much to create any pressure buildup or poor sleeping posture in either of these positions. Plus, it’s a bit bouncy for easy repositioning.
This mattress has a weight limit of 110 pounds, so the kids who weigh closest to this number may find it slightly softer than it actually is. However, this should still work well for most sleeping positions since the foams are responsive and don’t allow too much sinkage to throw the spine out of alignment.
Lightweight kids should like the firmer feel. The Puffin helps keep the spine aligned in all sleeping positions but may be a bit too firm for lightweight children who like sleeping on their side. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a matter of preference, so it’s nice that the bed comes with a 30-night trial.
Average Weight Sleepers
Average-weight children should enjoy the balance of bounce, sinkage, and support, which allows the body to remain in a healthy posture regardless of the sleep position they prefer. They should experience the true medium-firm feel that allows excellent pressure relief without taking away from the support in the heaviest body parts.
The Nest Puffin mattress is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a bed to replace your child’s crib. The medium-firm feel should work well for toddlers and pre-teens alike. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty on this mattress which only ups the value of this already affordable mattress.
After carefully testing the Nest Puffin mattress and considering its materials, benefits, and features, we think it’s a good option for children who are ready to move on from their crib to their first big kid bed. The medium-firm feel is universal and should work well for all sleeping positions, while the CertiPUR-US® certified foams ensure a safe and healthy sleep environment.
Hot sleepers should also appreciate the temperature-regulating foams. However, heavier kids and those who need a longer trial, may be better off with a different mattress.
Olivera is a content writer for Sleep Advisor and is enthusiastic about sleep. She firmly believes in the benefits of daytime naps on top of getting a full 8-hour sleep at night.
She started writing in 2016 and never looked back. What she appreciates the most is her flexible working hours and the ability to work with people worldwide.
In her free time, Olivera enjoys reading Spanish literature, taking pilates classes, and trying out new cocktails with friends.