Recommended Mattresses for Children

Girl reading book in bed
Young girl reading a book in bed (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Finding the best mattress for your child can be hard work. In fact, there are so many styles, makes and models of mattresses that even organizations such as Consumer Reports and ConsumerSearch.com won’t make specific recommendations. There are, however, recommendations on ways to narrow your search to find the best mattress for your child.

Size

One of the easiest ways to begin is to decide what size mattress you should get for your child. Since children start out small, many parents opt for a twin mattress. However, that may not be the best choice. SleepSquad.com suggests that if space allows, consider a full-size mattress to make storytime and cuddling in bed with your child a bit more comfortable. If your child’s room doubles as a guest room, that’s another reason to think about getting a larger mattress. You also have some choices to make about box springs since they come in different heights. If you’re shopping for a young child, SleepSquad.com suggests you consider a low profile or bunkie board to keep the overall height of the bed a bit lower. Also keep in mind that your new mattress may last 10 years. Think about what will be best for your child in the future.

Style

ConsumerSearch.com reports that traditional innerspring mattresses are by far the most popular, and it calls them the “best mattress for most.” However, SleepLikeTheDead.com notes that mattress owners generally rate memory foam, air, water and latex mattresses higher than innersprings in comfort, durability and longevity. ConsumerSearch.com reports about 20 percent of owners of memory foam mattresses complain about the hardness of their beds and some report an unpleasant odor when the mattress is new. It notes that latex mattresses tend to be springier and durable, but they can be expensive.

Comfort

US-Mattress.com notes that children of all ages need a mattress that provides comfort and adequate support system. If your children are older, it recommends getting them involved in the buying process. The Better Sleep Council suggests using the acronym SLEEP when trying out a mattress: "Select a mattress; Lie down in your sleep position; Evaluate the level of comfort and support; Educate yourself about each selection; Partners should try each mattress together."

Cautions

SleepSquad.com notes that hand-me-downs clothes may be cool, but hand-me-down mattresses aren’t such a good idea. If a mattress isn’t good enough for you anymore, it’s not going to provide enough support for your growing child either. If you’re buying an infant mattress, make sure it’s firm. Infants should sleep on firm mattresses to reduce the risk of SIDS.

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