HOW WE DECIDED
Finding The Best Bed For Your Kids
In this post, we break down all the little details that go into choosing the perfect mattress for your kid and toddler. You want to make sure your little guy or gal is comfortable all night long, but you also don’t want to break the bank on a bed they’ll grow out of. With that in mind, here’s our top rated list of mattresses for your child.
- Editor’s Choice – Brooklyn Bowery
- Best Easy To Clean Mattress – Puffy Mattress
- Best Cheap Mattress – Tuft & Needle Nod
- Best Organic Mattress – Spindle
There’s a lot to consider before making a mattress-sized purchase and we’re here to help you go through the list and check each box. We’ll discuss materials, feel, certifications, and anything else you can think of (plus a few things you probably haven’t thought of).
|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Soft Foam Popular Pick!||20% Off Code: SUMMER20||Bowery is one of the top budget mattresses online today. It’s soft and comfortable, and sells for a really approachable price point.|
|Mixed Foam||$300 Off + Gift Discount In Cart||Puffy is one of the best known online mattresses. It has three layers of foam and a comfortable, accommodating “feel.”|
|Soft Foam Value Pick!||See On Amazon Applied in Cart||The Tuft & Needle Nod is a budget foam mattress that is exclusively sold on Amazon.|
|Latex Foam||$200 Off Code: SY200||Spindle is an affordable natural mattress that can be found in multiple firmness profiles.|
A Note About Our Mattress Testing Process
We have reviewed dozens and dozens of mattresses (well over 120) and we have a system for conducting our mattress reviews to make sure we cover all the categories for each bed we try. We consider everything from firmness and feel to motion transfer and support. We have, of course, reviewed plenty of twin mattresses for kids, and even larger sizes for adults.
Our methods may not be technically scientific, but they are practical and intended to reflect how the average, non-sleep-scientist consumer will experience the mattress in question. We always consider how each variously-sized member of our Slumber Yard team feels about the bed and make sure to include disclaimers about how your experience may differ based on your body type, sleeper type, and just plain ole’ personal preferences.
For this list, specifically, we thought critically about what’s important for a child’s bed and how the requirements differ from what you’d look for in a mattress for adults.
Sizes — Mostly Likely A Twin Mattress
Not all mattress companies produce a full range of sizes, so before you get your heart set on a certain brand, make sure they actually sell twin, twin XL, or full size mattresses. Because what kid or toddler needs to sleep on a queen or bigger? But also because bed frames made for kids’ bedrooms are going to be one of those three sizes. That includes bunk beds and trundles.
We recommend a twin mattress for kids that are under 12 years old. Most children will be just fine with the twin until they are in middle school or high school. From there, the twin XL mattress starts to make more sense. But, once your kids are in high school the full size mattress is the best option.
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is a great option for those kids who enjoy a bed that’s not firm or soft, but rather right in between. It has a neutral, soft-foam feel that most people and children will agree is supremely comfortable.
Perhaps the best part about Bowery is the price tag, however. The MSRP for a twin mattress is $499 and the full size mattress is $650, but after discount it usually falls below the $400 mark. You can visit BrooklynBedding.com to see their current sales.
And despite being a highly affordable bed, Bowery still comes with free shipping, a 120-night test window, and free returns just in case your children do not like it—which we can’t imagine will happen often.
If we closed our eyes and took a poll inside our office, I’d bet that over 50% of people would identify Bowery as the single best mattress for kids and children. It might not have any unique elements like a washable cover, but it’s just so comfortable and affordable that it’s hard to beat.
Puffy is a great option for parents who want a bed that can be easily cleaned. Perhaps your child is in the process of going through potty training, or has accidents during the night. While most beds are not designed to sustain washing, Puffy is one of the few beds with a removable, machine washable cover.
Puffy is a great choice for a variety of sleep styles. The mattress has a soft, neutral-foam feel that is comfortable for kids who sleep on their back, stomach, or switch between a combination of positions. It wouldn’t be our favorite bed if your son or daughter sleeps exclusively on their side, but if they rotate to their side here and there, Puffy will be just fine. This is a really nice mattress that gets a lot of things right. We think it will last many, many years for your children. You can learn more about the bed on PuffyMattress.com.
Tuft & Needle Nod is the quintessential “good value” mattress. It’s only comprised of two layers of foam, but it’s a durable and comfortable mattress for toddlers and children.
Tuft & Needle will work well for all types of sleepers, although we think it’s a little better for back and stomach sleepers. And even though the mattress is made out of foam, it doesn’t have any of that stuck-in-the-mud feeling since it does not use memory foam.
Overall, Tuft & Needle just feels like a soft slab of foam. It’s one of those beds that nearly everyone acknowledges as being comfortable and we think it’s a great choice for kids. this happens to be an Amazon-exclusive mattress, so if you want to learn more and check prices you should visit Amazon.com.
Last we checked, for the full size mattress, Nod was around $350 for the full size mattress on Amazon, and the twin mattress is closer to $250. We just think all things considered (design, simplicity, price, comfort), it’s one of the best mattresses for toddlers and kids.
Spindle is a 100% all-natural latex bed, so it makes sense that it feels like a traditional latex bed. The bed is hypo-allergenic, and comes with an organic cotton cover, so it’s great for people with allergies and asthma.
This bed is one of the most affordable latex options out there—but know that the bed arrives in several boxes, and you will need to put it together yourself, as you can see in the video below.
The Spindle mattress is available in multiple firmness levels. You can choose between Soft, Medium, Firm, and Extra Firm, although chances are you’ll be selecting the Medium option since that’s able to accommodate all types of sleepers.
The bottom line with Spindle is that most families will end up passing on it due to the “assembly needed” feature, but if you know that you want a latex bed for you kids, it’s very likely the best value out there.
What’s Important When Looking For The Best Mattress For Kids
We’ve given you our list of top contenders and a bit about why each one made the list, but we thought we’d also give you some tools to narrow down the options or maybe figure out if something else you’re considering will work for your kids. Below, we’ve broken down the categories that we consider when deciding whether a certain mattress is the right mattress. For the record, we considered both online and mail order mattresses for this list.
Like most of things you buy for your children, their mattress shouldn’t be as expensive as yours. They’re kids and they’re still growing and just like their shoes, their mattress may not be the right fit for their body once they’ve hit a growth spurt or puberty. With that in mind, we wouldn’t recommend spending more than $500-$700 after discount. Be sure to check out our Mattress Deals page for coupons and discounts.
You can find a lot of great options that come in below that $500-$700 budget. And if your kiddo is still learning their multiplication tables, “below” is probably where you should be looking. The higher end of the price range is more reasonable if you’re thinking they’ll be able to use this bed right up until it’s time for them to sleep on a plastic-covered college dorm mattress for the next 4 (let’s be real—5.5) years.
Support & Thickness
On average, an 8″ mattress will probably be just fine, but if your kid is heavier, you’ll want something with a little more support. In that case, look for a bed that’s at least 10″ thick. The extra few inches of mattress will not only provide some additional support, but also help it last a bit longer.
Of course, you want the mattress to be comfortable. For a child, that means you’ll need something a little softer. A firm bed is intended for people who need back support, for example, but for a kid, even if they’re a bigger kid, or toddler anything that’s “firm” is going to feel like a sidewalk. And, I mean, I know a lot of kids who can sleep anywhere, including a sidewalk, but that’s not what we’re going for with their bed.
That being said, not all mattress companies use the same language and not all of them clearly label a bed as “soft” or “firm.” In that case, you’ll want to look for the ILD (indentation load deflection). Here’s a breakdown of what those numbers mean:
Soft — less than 25 lb ILD
Medium — 25 to 30 lb ILD
Firm — over 30 lb ILD
So, generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for something around 27 lb ILD or less. Higher than that is merging into medium-firm territory.
The Best Type Of Mattress For Kids
For people that are prepared to skim this section, here’s the list of the best types of mattresses for kids (in no order):
- Memory Foam
- Poly Foam (i.e. Soft Foam)
- Latex Mattress
- Coil/Spring Mattress
With mattresses that you purchase online, there are basically two options in terms of what is used to construct the mattress—an all-foam bed or a hybrid/spring bed that uses both foam and coils. For a child, you probably don’t need coils. They aren’t heavy enough to need that much support or resistance, so you’ll want to look more at all-foam constructions, especially for toddlers. That means memory foam, which typically has a denser feel that softens over time and cradles your body, and latex foam, which has a more sponge-like feeling, and is bouncier and airier. Memory foam mattresses also tend to sleep a little warmer, while latex mattresses generally allows more airflow. So if your kid is a sweaty sleeper, you may want to look for a mattress with more latex foam. There are also poly and proprietary foam beds, which vary in feel by company, and are usually more affordable.
Now, we said a kid probably doesn’t need coils, but a spring bed might be right for you(r child) if the plan is to keep it for many, many years. Innersprings and pocketed coils are more durable over the long haul. So, if you have an 8th grader and this is the last time you’re buying them a bed (and whatever you get now is what they’ll be sleeping on when they’re home for the holidays at age 27) you might want to look into coil hybrid options.
In the mattress world, there are certain certifications that proclaim a product to be especially eco-friendly or all natural, etc.. When it comes to memory foam, specifically, you should look for GreenGaurd GOLD or CertiPUR-US certified beds. These certifications, among other things, ensure that the mattress will have little to no off-gassing. Off-gassing is that chemical-y smell that comes with a lot of padded furniture and especially mattresses. It usually sticks around for at least a day, sometimes much longer, and it can make kids sick. That’s not what you want from your mattress, nor what you want for your kid. In any case, it’s a good idea to let the mattress sit without putting sheets on it for several days to off-gas.
Weight Of The Mattress
Most bed-in-a-box mattresses are a perfectly manageable weight (although there are a few exceptions, like Purple.2/3/4, which actually comes with people to set it up so you don’t throw out your back) and besides, you won’t be moving it around too much, anyway. But in the battle of getting your kids to make their bed, it helps if their mattress isn’t overly heavy.
Kids and toddlers spill and have accidents, so of course, a machine washable cover is ideal. Unfortunately, there are only a couple mattresses that have removable, machine washable covers (Yogabed and Novosbed are two that come to mind right away). Others will require you to spot clean. And while that’s doable, it’s not all that convenient and even the best spot clean job doesn’t provide the same level of cleanliness confidence as a cycle through the washing machine.
As a work around, though, we suggest that you look into a machine washable mattress protector to go with the bed. That way, you can just pull it off and toss it in the wash when needed. You can find them all over the internet or in most stores that sell bedding products.
Most mattresses are super versatile in terms of compatible foundations or bed frames. The majority of mattresses can be put directly on the floor, on a box spring, a foundation, or a slatted bed frame. But rather than assume it’ll be fine and then being disappointed and having to exchange the mattress or get a new frame, you should always make sure to look at the FAQ section of the company’s website for more details.
Returns & Trial Periods
It’s standard for the online mattress shopping industry to include free shipping, a 100-night risk-free trial period, free returns within that trial period, and a 10-year warranty should you keep the mattress. And because all of that is standard, you shouldn’t settle for anything less. In fact, some companies will give you even longer trial periods (we’ve seen up to a whole year) and much longer warranties (we’ve seen up to forever).
That trial period is important when buying a mattress online because you don’t get to go take it for a test snooze at your neighborhood mattress store. But with that trial period, you can rest easy knowing that if it’s not right, you can have it picked up for no charge and receive a full refund.
|What size of mattress is best for kids?||Generally, kids will have either the twin or twin xl mattress, which are both 38″ wide. The twin is 75″ long and the twin xl is 80″ long. If you have a bigger kid or teenager, you might think about upgrading to the full size, which measures 54″ W x 75″ L.|
|What happens if I need to return my mattress?||Lucky for you, most of the online mattress brands offer 100% free returns during the trial period. They will often provide free shipping and a three-month test period.|
|How much should I spend on a new mattress?||Considering you are buying a twin, twin XL, or full size mattress, a budget of $700 should be enough unless you want a luxury mattress.|
|Should I buy a foam or innerspring mattress?||For kids, it really shouldn’t matter whether you get an all-foam or hybrid mattress. You just want a comfortable, affordable mattress that they like.|