Children's Mattress Buying Guide

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Did you know? The mattress your child sleeps on profoundly affects his or her bone strength and posture. It’s an important decision and, when the right product is chosen, it can last up to 10 years and provide your child the foundation he or she needs to grow up healthy and strong. Start here with our simple guide to children’s mattresses.

1. Determine the right size

Mattress buying begins when your child is an infant. Many cribs convert to toddler beds, but you’ll want to purchase a new, toddler mattress when your child reaches that stage. Avoid moving straight into a twin-size mattress as it may be too high and/or stiff and pose safety issues.

If your older child is tall or you want to avoid your child outgrowing a mattress too soon, consider an extra-long twin mattress. Many middle-school-aged children and teens prefer full- or queen-size mattresses, which can accommodate them well into adulthood on visits home.

2. Find the right support

Children’s mattresses are essential to their bone growth and spine development. You’ll want to invest in the most supportive mattress you can afford. Bring your child with you when shopping for his or her mattress so that he or she can test them out for comfort. You should also test each mattress, as children often have trouble determining adequate support. A good rule of thumb: choose a mattress with at least 225 coils and a gauge of 13. 

3. Explore materials

The most common children’s mattresses are made from innerspring coils. They consist of a series of coils—or springs—which provide support, topped with comfort layers (various foams and fibers) to cushion the body. Memory foam, latex foam, or pillowtop mattresses also are good options for kids, as they have added cushion and support.

4. Make it durable

Kids have accidents, and not only that—they are well known to jump on beds. Be sure to add a mattress protector and cover to your purchase, which will help the mattress last longer.

5. Consider allergies

If your child has or develops allergies, consider purchasing him or her a synthetic-filled mattress, which will resist dust mites and allergens. You can also purchase microbial mattress covers, and be sure to wash sheets with an allergy-free detergent.