The Best Mattress for Kids 2021

Updated on January 28, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
 

Sleep plays a crucial role in keeping your child healthy. From the time they’re old enough to sleep by themselves, kids need to get the right amount of sleep for their age group to make sure their growth and development is on the right track. If they don’t consistently get deep, restful, and uninterrupted sleep, they could develop sleep disorders, which could then lead to behavioral problems and even cognitive issues.

This is why it’s very important for your child to sleep on a comfortable and supportive mattress. The right mattress will be a long-term investment that allows him or her to get a good night’s sleep, regardless of age and daytime habits. In this guide, we’ll walk you through our top choices for the best mattresses that will last your child until he or she is old enough to switch to a more adult-sized mattress. We’ll also break down the most important components to look out for in child-appropriate mattresses when shopping on your own, as well as give you an overview of useful tips and accessories to aid your child in achieving the best sleep he or she can get.

The Top Mattresses for Kids

BrandModelType of MattressFirmnessPrice
Little LuftHybridMedium-Soft (4.5)$599 (Twin)
OriginalFoamMedium-Firm (6.5)$350 (Twin)
SignatureHybridSoft (4), Medium (6), and Firm (8)$599 (Twin)
OriginalFoamMedium-Firm (6.5)$595 (Twin)
 

Best Kids Mattress Reviews

Each of our top picks for the best mattresses for children have certain characteristics that make them stand out. Read on for more about what makes each of these choices unique.

Little LUFT

Why We Like it

  • Designed specifically for kids
  • Works with bunk beds
  • Weight-responsive foam and zoned coil support
  • 100-night trial, 1-year warranty

Luft Logo

Luft mattress on bed

Luft Beds’ Little LUFT Mattress is one of the only mattresses on the market designed specifically for kids. As the brand explains, most mattresses are built to accommodate the weight of adults, meaning they can be much too firm and unyielding for children’s bodies. The Little LUFT, however, provides weight-appropriate support using a hybrid design that combines innerspring coils with a foam.

The mattress’ support core is made out individually wrapped pocketed coils, the most conforming type of springs. These are further divided into individual segments corresponding to different zones of your child’s body for targeted support and contouring. Meanwhile, the comfort layer consists of three layers of foam: gel-quilted foam with cooling properties, graphite-infused foam for additional pressure relief, and patented Serene™ foam, which utilizes air support technology to provide additional cushioning that adapts to your child’s weight. At the top sits a fire barrier made out of all natural materials.

The Little LUFT is softer than most comparable adult mattresses, ranking a medium-soft (or a 4-5) on the firmness scale. Due to its zoned pocket coil support system, it’s bouncier than all-foam mattresses. Because it’s built to support children of average-weight “through early adulthood,” we wouldn’t recommend it for children or adolescents of above-average weight.

The Little LUFT is 8’’ tall and can be used with bunk beds. It comes with free delivery, a 10-year warranty, and a 100-night trial. All materials used are CertiPUR-US certified and allergen-free.

 

Tuft & Needle Original

Why We Like it

  • Specialty foams with cooling properties
  • Free shipping and returns
  • 100-night trial and 10-year warranty

Tuft and Needle Logo

Tuft and Needle

Tuft & Needle’s Original Mattress is best suited to children who tend to sleep hot. Because it’s an all-foam mattress, it provides the exact amount of support and pressure relief needed by your child. The comfort layer is made out of a Tuft & Needle’s patented Adaptive® Foam, a durable and flexible material that reacts closely to the sleeper’s weight, keeping the spine aligned regardless of sleeping position. Because of its breathability, this foam already sleeps cooler than traditional memory foam. The heat-absorbing graphite and moisture-wicking ceramic gel beads provide additional cooling properties. This comfort layer is bolstered by a thick layer of open-cell foam, which provides more support than the average foam mattress.

The Original Mattress is ranked at a medium-firm, making it soft enough for lighter bodies while still retaining the necessary amount of support. Unusually for memory foam mattresses, it’s supportive enough for side, back, and stomach sleepers, as well as sleepers of most weights. This means children and adolescents of above-average weight should find it a suitable choice.

As with all Tuft & Needle mattresses, the Original comes with a 10-year limited warranty and a 100-night sleep trial, as well as free shipping and returns. All materials in the mattress have received an UL Greenguard Gold certification for chemical emissions standards, the Intertek’s Clean Air Certification for indoor air quality compliance, and the Certi-PUR-US certification for chemical safety. Additionally, the mattress has undergone two parent-specific product testing programs, Parent Tested Parent Approved and Today’s Parent Approved.

 

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Why We Like it

  • Latex-like feel
  • Three firmness options
  • 120-night trial and 10-year warranty
  • Made in America

Brooklyn Bedding Logo

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Brooklyn Bedding’s Signature Hybrid Mattress is a great choice for parents who want to fine-tune their child’s mattress to their exact specifications. Whereas most child-friendly mattresses only come in one firmness level, the Signature Hybrid is available in three: soft, medium, and firm. This makes them suitable for children and adolescents of all weights and sleeping positions, and can be customized according to their comfort without compromising on support. While the soft option would suit most average-weight kids, Brooklyn Bedding recommends medium for combination sleepers and those who need more support, and firm for stomach/black sleepers and those who require additional lumbar support.

The Signature Hybrid Mattress is further set apart from other foam-innerspring hybrids by its unique materials. The 2-inch top layer is made out of anti-bacterial TitanFlex™ foam, which contours to the body just like traditional memory foam while retaining a latex-like bounce. Underneath is another 2-inch transitional layer. Made of TitanFlex™ foam, it offers additional compression support. While traditional memory foam tends to sleep hot, both layers are infused with temperature-moderating TitaniumGel™ to keep sleepers cool. These top-most foam layers are reinforced with 6 inches of 952 individually encased Ascension™ coils for targeted support and additional contouring. The entire mattress is kept stabilized with 1-inch of high density foam.

Like all Brooklyn Bedding mattresses, the Signature Hybrid is made in the United States. It comes with free shipping and returns, a 120-night trial, and a 10-year warranty.

 

Casper Original

Why We Like it

  • Zoned support
  • Open-cell foam for added cooling
  • Suitable for all sleepers
  • 100-night trial, 10-year limited warranty

Casper Logo

The Casper Mattress

The Casper Mattress is an excellent choice for parents who want a luxury foam mattress that will last their child until adulthood. Sitting at 12 inches tall, it’s made out of 4 layers of high-end specialty foam. At the top sits a comfort layer made out of open-cell foam, which provides it with breathability and cooling properties found lacking in traditional memory foam. Underneath is another layer of high-density memory foam, which absorbs weight and transfers pressure. This is followed by a key layer of zoned transition foam. Softer at the shoulders, firmer under the hips, and gentler under the legs, it’s organized in three zones for targeted support and spinal alignment. All three layers are supported by a thick layer of durable polyfoam that acts as a base.

Because the Casper is a medium-firm, falling at a 6.5 on the 1-10 scale, it may not be suitable for young children or those of below-average weight. However, this does make it a great choice for average-weight and above-average-weight children and adolescents, as well as sleepers of any position. It also means the Casper will serve your child well into adulthood, without the need for a replacement mattress as he or she grows older. Should your child require additional durability and more edge support, the Casper can be purchased with a Hybrid add-on that includes a layer of individually encased pocket coils.

Like all Casper mattresses, the brand’s flagship mattress comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty, as well as free shipping and returns. All foams used in the Casper mattress are CertiPUR-US certified.

 

Best Mattresses for Kids: Buyer’s Guide

Buying a mattress can be complicated. This is doubly true when you’re buying a mattress for your child. Not only do you have to find a mattress that will last kids throughout their developing years, but you also have to take into account factors and sleep needs that are unique to children. In this section, we’ll go over all the important features to consider when shopping for a mattress that works for your child.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Kids?

Children aren’t a monolithic group. When it comes to sleep needs, the only things they have in common are the amount of sleep they need every night (as dictated by their age group) and the fact that they’re still growing. In other words, kids are just as varied as adults in the type of mattresses they prefer, and what works for one child may not work for another. That said, some mattresses are more suitable than others to growing pains, lighter weights, and ever-shifting sleep habits specific to children. For example, foam mattresses respond to the amount of weight and pressure applied to them, which means they’ll give your child the support proportionate to their needs as he or she grows bigger. In this section, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each mattress material as they apply to the unique needs of a child.

DescriptionAverage PricePros (specific to children)Cons (specific to children)
FoamMemory foam is known for its extreme sensitivity to heat and pressure. Upon contact, mattresses made out of this material will soften and contour closely around a sleeper’s body, creating its signature “hugging” feel. In general, a high-quality queen-size memory foam mattress costs between $800 and $1,200. Specialty foams such as gel-infused, plant-based, and open-cell memory foams will cost more. + Foam contours to the sleeper’s body relative to weight, so this type of mattress will give children a proportionate amount of support as they grow older.
+ Foam mattresses are noiseless, so if your child is a restless sleeper, tossing and turning won’t wake him or her up.
– Traditional memory foam traps heat and could lead to your child uncomfortably overheating.
– Due to its lack of edge support, your child will sink when getting out of bed or rolling too close to the perimeter.
– Foam mattresses tend to sag over time.
LatexLatex is a relatively new mattress material that possesses all the conforming properties of memory foam while staying breathable, cool, and bouncy. Latex mattresses can be made from natural or synthetic varieties, or a combination of the two. A high-quality latex mattress will cost anywhere from under $1,000 to more than $2,000. Natural and specialty latex mattresses will cost more than those made out of synthetic equivalents. + Latex mattresses are highly durable long-term investments, so they will last your child until adulthood.
+ Latex inherently stays cool and breathable, so will suit children who happen to sleep hot.
+ Latex mattresses contour the body without sinking the way foam does, so will provide your child the proportionate amount of support through growth.
+ Latex maintains support from edge to edge, so your child won’t sink if he or she is a restless sleeper who rolls towards the perimeter.
– Latex mattresses may not be suitable for children with sensitive skin, not to mention latex allergies.
InnerspringInnerspring is the oldest and most traditional mattress material out there, as well as the most affordable. These mattresses come in four main coil types: bonnell, offset, continuous wire, and pocket. On average, quality innerspring mattresses cost between $500 and $800. + Innerspring mattresses have great edge support, so your child won’t sink when rolling towards the perimeter. – Innerspring mattresses may have too much support for younger sleepers.
– Innerspring mattresses are very noisy, so might not be the best choice for restless sleepers.
– Innerspring mattresses lack conformity, so don’t have the soothing “hugging” feel of latex and foam mattresses.
HybridHybrid mattresses can be made out of any combination of the above materials. In general, however, they combine memory foam or latex with innerspring coils, fortifying the softer, more responsive comfort layers with a layer of reinforced support. You can find a quality queen-size hybrid mattress for about $1,000 to $1,300. + You can mix and match the features that you like from any of the above materials to suit your child. – Since there are so many different types of hybrids out there, it might take you a while to find one that perfectly suits your child.
– Hybrids can be quite expensive. If you’re looking for a mattress that your child will only use for a few years, you might want to buy one made out of another material.

Important Mattress Features for Kids

Since every child’s needs are different, there isn’t a “one size fits all” mattress for children. Instead, you’ll want to take into account all the possible combinations of materials and features out there, narrowing down your choices according to your child’s specific needs. With so many different models available on the market, this can be a tough decision to make. When buying a mattress for your child, it’s important to weigh a combination of different factors, just as you would when buying a mattress for yourself. The mattress’ contouring, motion isolation, firmness, temperature regulation, edge support, and more will all depend on what your child personally finds comfortable and supportive enough to give a good night’s sleep.

  • Size: The size of your child’s mattress will depend on your child’s height and the amount of space needed to stretch out. For children of average and below-average height, a twin or a full should suffice until adulthood. The right mattress will leave enough space between the ends of the mattress and their feet and head.
  • Support: Compared to most adults, the average child needs a lot less support from a mattress. But as your child grows older, he or she will need more and more support. The right mattress won’t be so supportive that it lacks comfort during your child’s early years, while being supportive enough to last until adulthood.
  • Contouring: The amount of contouring in your child’s mattress will depend largely on personal preferences and sleep position. In general, side-sleepers need more contouring, so as to allow pressure points to sink into the mattress and keep spines aligned. Children with joint, back, and other body pain may also benefit from a mattress with more cushioning.
  • Firmness: As with contouring, the firmness of your child’s mattress will depend on personal preferences and sleep position. Back and stomach sleepers tend to need firmer mattresses, while side-sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses. It’s important to keep in mind that the firmness level has nothing to do with the support of a mattress.
  • Motion Isolation: A mattress’ amount of motion isolation determines how much movement one sleeper will be able to feel if the bed is shared with someone else. This means, unless you intend for your children to share a bed, motion isolation won’t make that much of a difference.
  • Temperature Regulation: The temperature regulation of your child’s mattress will depend entirely on how cool or warm he or she tends to sleep overnight. If your child has a tendency to overheat, you may want to consider looking for mattresses with gel-infusion, open-cell foam, or other materials that allow for breathability and cooling.
  • Edge Support: As they grow up, children can become restless sleepers who shift frequently throughout the night. If there’s a good chance your child will roll towards the edges of their mattress, you may want to buy a mattress with plenty of edge support. Additionally, a mattress with poor edge support will cause your child to sink when getting out of bed every morning.
  • Price: How much you want to pay for your child’s mattress will depend on how long you intend to use it. A mattress that you want to last until adulthood will cost a lot more than one your child will only use for a couple of years.

What Affects a Child’s Sleep?

Buying the right mattress is just one crucial step in establishing healthy sleep habits for children. From their lifestyle to busy daytime schedules to changes in their body and weight, there are plenty of other factors that affect how well your child sleeps. Since everyone is different, the significance of each of these factors will depend on your child’s specific needs.

  • Physiological Changes and Shifting Sleep Needs: As children get older, the amount of sleep they’ll need will change, as will the likelihood of sleep issues occurring. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine breaks down the necessary amount of sleep by age group as follows:
    • Preschoolers (3-5 years) typically need 10-13 hours of sleep per night. They might have issues with falling asleep, waking up multiple times throughout the night, and having night terrors and sleepwalking episodes.
    • Elementary and Middle Schoolers (6-12 years) typically need 9-12 hours of sleep per night. At this age, they may start to develop more sleep problems and disorders, especially those related to behavioral conditions like ADHD.
    • Teenagers (13-18 years) typically need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Common sleep disorders including narcolepsy, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and more may occur.
  • School and Busy Schedules: There’s no way around it: unless you homeschool your children, their bedtimes will be largely dictated by their school schedules and extra-curriculars. While this means should consistently wake up at the same time every morning, it also means their day-time activities could cut into their sleep time. As they become teenagers, these school schedules could lead to chronic sleep issues: Studies show that school start-times are much earlier than most adolescents’ internal wake-time, waking them up after an inadequate amount of sleep. To compensate, middle and high schoolers may sleep in on the weekend, but Harvard Medical School states that this habit only further disrupts their sleep schedules.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Since children’s sleep schedules are so easily thrown out of wack, it’s especially important for you to make sure your child maintains good sleep hygiene. This means you should cut out anything that might get in the way of a good night’s sleep, including electronic use too close to bed-time, caffeine and sugar less than six hours before sleep, and poor sleep habits. In addition to keeping a consistent sleep schedule, your child also needs to adhere to a set of standards that include a comfortable sleep environment, a predictable bedtime routine, relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and more.

Additional Sleep Tips for Children

Establish a bedtime routine: A consistent bedtime routine helps your child get in the habit of falling asleep at the same time every night. You can incorporate whatever you want into the routine, including having a light, sugar-free snack or a glass of water, brushing your child’s teeth, and reading a book out loud. WebMD suggests keeping the routine to 30 minutes or shorter.

Limit sugar and caffeine before bed: Sugar and caffeine are known stimulants, which is why plenty of people drink coffee and energy drinks every morning to boost their energy. This also means ingesting them too close to bed will seriously interfere with your sleep schedule. To stay on the safe side, don’t let your child have caffeine or sugar at least 6 hours before bed.

Build a regular schedule for sleep: Not keeping a consistent sleep schedule can delay the onset of sleep and even lead to the body feeling like it’s in jet lag mode. This is why it’s important for your child to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, regardless of special events and weekends.

Make the bedroom a place for sleep: It’s important that your child’s body subconsciously recognizes the bedroom as an environment for sleep. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet, and discourage your child from using their bed for non-sleep activities, such as doing homework or playing video games. If your child is scared of the dark, a soft night light can provide comfort while not interfering with sleep.

Manage screen time: From school-mandated computer labs to iPad apps geared towards toddlers, it’s pretty much a given that kids these days will spend the bulk of their day staring at a screen. Blue light, however, is known to get in the way of a good night’s sleep. To prevent sleep deprivation, have your child turn off electronics one to two hours before bedtime.

Encourage regular exercise: The more sedentary your child is, the longer it takes to fall asleep. Therefore, you should make sure your child is getting at least 60 minutes of regular exercise every day. In some cases, you might not want to let them exercise too closely before bedtime, as some people find it interferes with sleep.

Additional Sleep Accessories for Kids

While a mattress is the most important purchase you can make for your child’s sleep health, it isn’t the only thing that can help your child attain a good night’s sleep. Other sleep accessories like pillows and mattress toppers can go a long way in providing additional neck support, contouring, and other necessary features their mattress might lack.

Pillows

Since children are still developing, it’s important that their necks are protected throughout the night. In addition to a supportive mattress, you may also want to consider buying a pillow to supplement the spinal alignment and head support provided by their mattress.

Smaller heads typically need less loft (or thickness), as too much loft can lead to children uncomfortably craning their necks. On the other hand, since children tend to be lighter, you don’t want a pillow with too low of a loft level, since your children won’t be sinking into the mattress as much. Of course, since everyone has different needs, the best loft level and material for your child depends on the firmness of the mattress, preferred sleeping position(s), shoulder width, and personal preferences. Consider shopping for a pillow with your child in person, or buying one online that comes with a trial period, so that your child can try it out for themselves.

Mattress Toppers

The ideal mattress will accommodate your child through several different stages of development. As children grow up, however, their specific sleep needs—ranging from their weight to their sleep position—could change regularly, meaning they may need a different firmness level, breathability, and amount of contouring from year to year. A mattress topper allows you to change the entire feel of a mattress without springing for an entirely new bed.

Mattress toppers are made out of a variety of materials, including latex, foam, feather and down, wool, and more. Each one has its own pros and cons: memory foam, for example, is famous for contouring closely to sleepers’ bodies, creating a “sinking” feeling, while latex bounces back much more quickly and has cooling properties memory foam lacks. The type of mattress topper you end up buying for your child will depend entirely on specific needs and preferences. To get an idea, consult our buying guide on the best mattress toppers available on the market.

 

Top picks

1 Luft $599
2 Tuft & Needle $350
3 Brooklyn Bedding $599
4 Casper $595
*Prices without discount/promo applied.
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