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There is no single best option when it comes to the best mattress for kids — sleeping preferences, body type, allergies, and budget can vary widely and affect each family’s choices. According to Dan Ford, a sleep psychologist at The Better Sleep Clinic, there’s not much in the way of scientific studies relating to mattresses and children, either.

Yet, you can find mattresses that are specifically marketed for kids, which may have you wondering what makes them different from mattresses for adults. The truth is, beyond size and mattress lifespan, there aren’t many differences. Still, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind.

With an array of options to choose from (and a ton of marketing lingo to wade through), it can be hard to find the perfect mattress for your child’s needs. To help you get started, we asked Ford for his recommendations, looked through the limited research available, and put together this list of the best mattress options for kids, so you have all the information you need to make a decision.

Here’s what to keep in mind as you begin researching mattresses for kids.

What warranties mean

While most every mattress company offers some type of warranty, not all warranties are equal. For example, some cover any and all damage to your mattress, while others only cover manufacturing defects.

And while free trials are great, not every mattress company offers pickup or covers return shipping if you decide a mattress isn’t for you. Make sure you read the fine print of a mattress before purchasing.

Where it’s made

If a transparent manufacturing process is important to you, check the company website and see if there is information about where and how the mattress is made.

As we put together our recommendations for the best mattresses for kids, we prioritized brands that embrace a high level of transparency.

For example, Avocado uses sustainably harvested latex from its own rubber farms that is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS-certified). The company also uses organic wool from its own herding collective, and manufactures its mattresses in its Los Angeles, California factory.

Saatva is another company that makes its mattresses on a made-to-order basis in the United States. If a mattress says it is “assembled in the USA,” chances are that the materials are made some place else before being imported stateside.

Size and firmness

Twin, twin XL, and full are standard mattress sizes for kids once they’ve outgrown the crib or toddler bed. Always consider how well the mattress fits the bed frame.

According to Ford, parents should take care to ensure that there are minimal gaps for catching small body parts, and that the combined height of the frame and mattress allows the child to easily climb in and out to minimize risk of fall injuries. If your child is a restless sleeper, a bigger mattress may be a good option that gives them room to move around in their sleep without falling out of the bed.

And then there’s the matter of firmness.

“The general recommendation for toddlers and younger children follow on from infant mattress recommendations — that is, pick a firm mattress to reduce the chances of suffocation,” says Ford. A mattress that’s firm or medium-firm will provide the support children need for proper spinal alignment.

For kids with allergies

Look at the materials used in the mattress. Polyurethane and polyester are popular synthetic materials used in modern mattresses. Natural materials like latex, cotton, and wool tend to be less toxic and are probably a better choice for children with asthma or allergies.

Research suggests that mattresses that reduce house dust mite allergens can decrease asthma symptoms in children.

“If your child has allergies, looking for a hypoallergenic mattress could be beneficial,” says Ford.

The Avocado, Saatva, Loom & Leaf, and Purple mattresses on our list offer that particular benefit.

For active sleepers

The focus on materials in a mattress for kids is important for another reason. If your child is a particularly active sleeper, a hybrid mattress vs. an all foam mattress may be a smart move for adequate support in all sleep positions. Responsive materials like latex or memory foam could even keep restless sleepers from waking themselves up as they move from one position to the next.

For a long-term investment

Certain materials and construction, like latex and hybrid designs, are also associated with a longer lifespan. That may or may not be what you want in a child’s mattress, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

If the plan is a bigger mattress that your child can grow into and have for 5 to 7 years, it may be worth spending more on durability. In that case, hybrid mattresses, like those from Avocado, Saatva, and Casper, are probably a better choice than mattresses made with all foam.

For hot sleepers

Materials can also affect heat retention, and Ford says that’s an important consideration in a mattress for kids.

“Breathable materials facilitate the movement of body heat away from the body, which is key in the process of sleep induction,” he says. “As kids have higher body temperatures than adults, this may help with getting to sleep, especially on warm nights.”

Memory foam is known for trapping heat, so look for gel-infused and perforated foams. They’re designed to minimize heat retention. The innersprings in hybrid mattresses also help boost air circulation, and latex is naturally temperature regulating, so those are good options to explore.

About materials certifications

You can also learn a lot from certain certifications that mattresses can earn. Some of those include:

  • CertiPUR-US certified foam must be free from ozone-depleting chemicals, heavy metals, and toxic levels of formaldehyde.
  • Made Safe certification indicates that a mattress is made with safe ingredients and no known carcinogens.
  • Eco-INSTITUT certification checks for off-gassing and emissions from mattresses.
  • GreenGuard Gold certification assesses chemical emissions, as well as pollutants and exposure risk to consumers.
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On top of meeting standard requirements for flammability in the U.S., the mattresses we chose met the following criteria:

  • high marks from online reviewers at multiple retailers, not just the company website
  • third-party certifications that indicate materials are safe for families with young children
  • no safety issues or concerns, and no recalls or lawsuits pending for the mattresses

Per Ford’s recommendations, we also prioritized mattresses made with hypoallergenic and breathable materials. Finally, we included both hybrid and all-foam options to suit parents who want mattresses for the short and long term.

Pricing guide

All prices here are based on twin-size and twin-XL mattresses. Mattresses go on sale and have promotions all the time, so keep in mind that we ranked our mattresses according to non-sale prices.

  • $ = under $500
  • $$ = $500–$1000
  • $$$ = over $1000

Mattress types

  • Innerspring mattresses have wrapped coils inside to support pressure points and provide that springy, bouncy feeling in a mattress. These tend to be the least expensive option. “An important consideration would be the degree to which your child moves around during their sleep,” says Ford. An especially responsive, bouncy mattress could be disruptive to an especially active sleeper.
  • All-foam mattresses are made of layers of foam, often incorporating a memory foam layer and materials to offset foam’s tendency to trap body heat and “sleep hot.” Breathability is an important consideration for a child’s mattress, since kids have higher body temperatures than adults. Ford says that being overly warm could make it harder for kids to fall and stay asleep.
  • Hybrid mattresses are the best of both worlds: innersprings layered with foams and/or textiles (like cotton batting). These mattresses also tend to cost the most, but they’re also more durable and have a longer lifespan than all-foam options. “A hybrid mattress provides a firmer surface and more support for a restless sleeper,” says Ford, so that’s worth keeping in mind if your child is active even while asleep.
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Best memory foam mattress for kids

Loom & Leaf Twin Mattress by Saatva

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: memory foam

This memory foam Loom & Leaf mattress comes with an organic, breathable cotton quilted top that has been treated with a patented antimicrobial. It’s sustainably produced and CertiPUR-US certified. Even the flame-retardant is organic thistle pulp woven into the mesh of the mattress.

Your child probably doesn’t care whether their mattress is topped with organic cotton, but if you do, this might be worth the price. Amenities like white-glove delivery and a 180-night trial are a big part of the Loom & Leaf appeal — and their mattresses are made in the U.S.

Best kids’ mattress with a soft feel

Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: hybrid

Casper’s Nova Hybrid combines innerspring coils with stable foam layers and a pillow-top cushion. That makes it a good option for restless sleepers who change positions throughout the night. It’s not a cooling mattress, but it does have perforated foam to reduce heat retention.

Casper foams are CertiPUR-US certified, so they’re safe for kids to sleep on, and the 100-day trial policy will give you plenty of time to decide if it’s worth the price.

This mattress is good for anyone who loves a super-soft mattress but still needs back support. While it’s pricey, and the smallest size available is a twin XL, it’s a reputable bed that your kid can use into their teenage years and beyond. However, most kids probably won’t need some of the features (zoned lumbar support, edge support, and suppressed motion transfer).

Best cooling kids’ mattress for the price

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $-$$
  • Type: memory foam

This medium-firm mattress uses five different layers of foam to give it softness, durability, and support. All foams are CertiPUR-US certified for safety. Nectar mattresses also come standard with a mattress protector, which can go a long way in making a mattress last longer.

A standout feature of the Nectar mattress is its cool-to-the-touch, breathable cover. And while it isn’t a hybrid, it stacks gel-infused memory foam over response foam and a sturdy base layer for comfort and support.

Nectar offers a generous trial policy of 365 nights, so your child has plenty of time to test out this mattress. The warranty also never expires. Even though it’s considered “medium firm,” it is a memory foam mattress. Be aware that it will give your child that feeling of “sinking in” to the mattress instead of the bounce that springs provide.

Best kids’ mattress for all sleep positions

Lull Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: memory foam

The Lull mattress is a respectable middle-of-the-road pick designed to accommodate just about anyone. It combines a breathable cover with gel-infused foam to keep hot little sleepers cool and comfortable, along with high-resilience foam for proper spinal alignment no matter how kids move in the night.

It is memory foam, and not every kid will like the hugged sensation of that material, so that’s worth keeping in mind.

On the upside, a 100-night free trial and 10-year limited warranty are certainly perks for potential customers to consider. Still, they aren’t the most generous warranty and trial options on the market. Overall, the Lull mattress is an affordable competitor to some other bed-in-a-box brands and averages 4.3 stars from reviewers on Amazon.

Best kids’ mattress for the long-term

The Purple Kid Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid

Purple’s Kid Mattress model is a softer, twin-sized version of the company’s signature option. And it still comes with a layer of Purple’s gel-like grid, a feature that gives their mattresses their unique feel. Perhaps the most kid-friendly thing about this mattress is the washable cover that zips off and can be thrown in the washing machine. The foam is CertiPUR-US certified.

The mattress is designed to support growing little bodies, so it’s a good pick if you want a mattress that will keep your child comfortable up to about age 14.

The Purple mattress isn’t for everyone — it does take a while to get used to sleeping on it. Kids with sensory-processing conditions might need extra time to adjust. Fortunately, Purple does offer a 100-day trial, just in case.

Most versatile mattress for kids

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam

The Tuft & Needle (T&N) Original Mattress is nice and simple. T&N makes three mattresses, and the Original is the most straightforward and affordable. Reviewers say it is best for restless sleepers and kids who kick in the night, and it is GreenGuard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.

This mattress is meant to be versatile, meaning it can work with a variety of frames and foundations and go with your child from the bunk-bed stage to a trendy platform bed. Consider adding the optional antimicrobial protection layer if you purchase this bed, since polyfoam does soak in sweat and germs.

Best basic foam mattress for kids

Leesa Original Twin Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam

This mattress is made with three layers of CertiPUR-US certified foam and considered medium firm. It’s also latex-free, which makes it ideal for kids with latex allergies. The mattress is assembled in the United States and comes with a cover to help temperature control.

The mattress combines two comfort layers of responsive and memory foam with a sturdy foam base layer, making it nicely responsive and contouring. It should be supportive no matter how awkwardly your child may sleep!

A 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty are among the perks Leesa offers customers (although some brands offer much longer trials and warranties). Leesa also focuses on social impact, donating one mattress for every 10 sold, which might make you feel good about your purchase.

Best flippable mattress for kids

Saatva Youth Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid

This flippable mattress is covered in antimicrobial foam and organic cotton on both sides. It’s easy to clean and stain-resistant, which is critical for a mattress kids will use. It’s also made in the U.S. Since the mattress has a medium-firm side for younger children and a medium-soft side for older ones, this is a longer-term investment at an affordable price.

The brand also uses some sustainable practices, opting for recycled steel to make the coils. The mattress is manufactured in a solar-powered factory.

Saatva offers white-glove delivery, a 180-night trial, and a 12-year warranty. This mattress is made from organic materials and is hypoallergenic, and the dual-sided firmness options give it a leg up on similarly priced eco-friendly alternatives.

Best organic mattress for kids

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid

Avocado’s main selling point is natural materials and eco-friendliness, and this organic mattress for kids is no exception. Like the company’s other products, it meets GOTS certification and is Made Safe certified as nontoxic. It’s made with cooling materials like wool and latex, with individually pocketed coils to encourage airflow.

This mattress is handmade in the U.S. It’s available in three kid-friendly sizes, from twin to twin XL to full, and designed to support kids up to 115 pounds. The low profile works well for bunk and trundle beds.

Avocado offers a 100-night trial on its mattress for kids, plus a 10-year warranty.

Best budget kids’ mattress

Linenspa 12-Inch Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Type: hybrid

Linenspa’s super affordable hybrid option is topped with 1.5 in. of memory foam over 6.5 in. coils, which makes for a medium-firm feel. It’s not the softest mattress in the world, but it’s a durable option for kids who want both plush foam and springy support.

Linenspa foam is CertiPUR-US certified, but not every reviewer is a fan of the synthetic materials used in this mattress. While this mattress is great for your budget, it might not last as long as some of its more expensive competitors. Some reviewers note that the memory foam layer isn’t thick enough to categorize this mattress as a “true” hybrid — it’s more like a traditional innerspring with a plush, pillow-like top.

Best reviewed memory foam mattress for kids

Nest Bedding Puffin

  • Price: $-$$
  • Type: memory foam

The Puffin mattress is designed specifically for children and will accommodate kids up to 110 lbs. It’s a firm memory foam mattress, but the company says its trademarked hybrid foam is breathable and infused with materials that help pull away body heat for cooler sleep.

The mattress is made with CertiPUR-US certified foams, and its low profile means it will fit comfortably in bunk beds. Plus, it’s designed to accommodate any sleep position — a bonus for active sleepers.

One drawback with the Puffin mattress is the trial period. It has a 30-day sleep trial, which is quite a bit shorter than all the others on our list. However, there are over 5,000 reviews for this mattress specifically, and people rave about its quality.

Best kid-friendly design

Helix Kids Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid

The Helix Kids mattress has a kid-friendly, flippable design that makes it appropriate for little ones transitioning out of a crib all the way up to about age 12. The firmer side accommodates younger kids who need the support for their rapidly growing bodies, while the softer side will appeal to older kids who appreciate a little softness.

The mattress is made with CertiPUR-US-certified foams and sturdy innersprings, so it offers a nice balance of comfort, support, and durability no matter which side kids sleep on.

Helix wrapped the mattress in a hypoallergenic cover and treated it with a water-repellent finish to protect against stains and water damage. It also has an antimicrobial treatment that’s entirely kid- and environment-friendly.

It comes with a 100-night sleep trial, so your child will have plenty of time to see what they think.

If you want to keep a mattress for as long as possible, there are things you can do to extend the durability of your purchase.

  • Invest in a waterproof mattress protector: Especially if the mattress is being slept on by a young child, a waterproof cover could be the difference between holding on to your investment into the teenage years or deciding to toss the mattress after a few nighttime accidents.
  • Add a mattress topper: If you don’t want to splurge on a super-plush mattress for your child, mattress toppers can be more easily replaced than a full mattress.
  • Make sure to hold on to any receipts: Keep all of your warranty information at the time of your purchase. Ask questions about how to redeem the warranty when you buy so that you’re not surprised at a complicated refund or replacement process later on.

What is the best type of mattress for kids?

There’s no single best mattress for kids. However, firm or medium-firm mattresses are recommended so growing bodies get all the support they need for proper spinal alignment in various positions.

Hybrid mattresses can be a great choice in terms of durability and longevity. They’ll also minimize heat retention, another important consideration for kids. However, they tend to cost more than all-foam mattresses.

Should a child have a firm or soft mattress?

A firm or medium-firm mattress is important for kids. Their bodies need adequate support, just like adults. But because children are lighter weight, they don’t need an ultra-firm mattress.

How thick should a mattress be for kids?

Anywhere between 6 and 8 in. is a sufficient mattress depth for kids. That’s typically what you’ll find in mattresses designed for children. This height also works well in a bunk bed or trundle.

Standard mattresses not specifically marketed to kids may be a bit thicker in twin or twin XL sizes, likely be between 9 and 12 in.

When it comes to mattresses for children, “there’s no ‘one size fits all’ rule,” says Ford. That means choosing a mattress for your child will come down to affordability, safety, and durability. Luckily, there are tons of options based on your priorities.