How to Choose Mattresses for Children
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How to Choose Mattresses for Children

AUGUST 8, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Mattress Specialist

The right mattress is essential to a good night’s rest, and this is especially true for young children. In fact, the proper mattress can help support your child’s posture and even affect bone strength, and it can help encourage deep sleep cycles that are necessary for good health. Because high-quality mattresses last up to 10 years or longer, it’s important to find one that grows with your child and can accommodate developing bodies. Choosing a mattress for your child’s bed may seem overwhelming, but you simply need to consider the same factors you would look for when buying a mattress for yourself.


White Crib

Choosing the Correct Size

Most children transition from a crib mattress to a big bed between the ages of 2 and 3. You may opt to use your crib mattress and go straight to a toddler bed, but if you're considering longevity, it's best to focus on a twin-sized children's mattress, a twin XL or a full-sized bed. A regular twin mattress is one step up from a crib mattress. These mattresses are ideal when you're looking to save space, and they work well if you have two or more children sharing a room. A twin XL mattress is slightly longer and is more likely to accommodate a teenager's growth spurts. A full-sized mattress is ideal for larger rooms and can sleep more than one child. This type of mattress is the same length as a standard twin-sized mattress, but it can usually accommodate a child well into adulthood.

Latex Mattress

Assessing the Materials

Children with allergies are often sensitive to synthetic mattresses. Synthetic mattresses can sometimes cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and other health issues. To prevent a possible reaction, choose an organic mattress or one made of natural materials, including cotton, organic wool, silk, natural latex and even bamboo. If you are unsure of the composition, read the manufacturer's label and look for any chemicals.

Coil Spring Mattress

Selecting the Right Support Type

The most popular types of mattress support systems include innerspring coils and memory foam. Innerspring open-coil mattresses are the most common. These mattresses feature a network of connected coils that allow pressure points to sink in but provide support to keep the spine from bowing. Innerspring pocket coils feature springs that work independently from one another. They are typically more expensive than standard innerspring coils, but they are fantastic at eliminating motion transfer. Innerspring mattresses are a good choice for children, because the weight of a child isn't enough to cause continuous stress to the coils, which can damage them and shorten the life of the mattress.

Memory foam mattresses contour to the shape of the body, are hypoallergenic and last much longer than coil spring mattresses. The more expensive designs feature gel infusions that keep you cooler throughout the night. Latex mattresses are perhaps the highest quality and can last up to 30 years. Latex mattresses provide excellent support, but the cost is usually not practical for a growing child.

Firm Mattress

Picking the Level of Comfort

All mattresses come in extra firm, firm, plush and ultra-plush. Ultra-plush mattresses are often referred to as pillow-top or box-top mattresses. Back and side sleepers generally appreciate a firm mattress, while a medium-firm mattress is perfect for stomach sleepers.

White Mattress Protector

Deciding on a Durable Design

Kids are notorious for accidents, and they love jumping on beds. Make sure to choose a kid's mattress that can withstand a little abuse. A mattress protector is always a good idea, regardless of the type of mattress you purchase, as it guards against stains and can be removed for cleaning.

Platform Bed

Consider the Foundation

A simple platform bed works well in a child's room. This type of foundation lets you avoid using a box spring, which saves you money. If you're considering a traditional bed frame, you also need to purchase a solid box spring. Most high-quality mattresses have matching box springs, so you can purchase the two together as a set. When choosing a box spring, select one that's the same size as your regular mattress and fits snugly inside your bed frame.