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Baby sleep

Best Kids' Mattress Options for Every Stage 2024

So many options, so many price points. Whether you’re looking for your baby’s crib or their first “big kid” bed, here’s help figuring it all out.

Best Kids' Mattress Options for Every Stage 2024

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Choosing a kids' mattress doesn't have to be complicated. When it comes to mattresses of any size—from the best crib mattress to California king—your options are spring, foam and hybrid. Each has benefits and can be used for a variety of sizes, ages and sleep training methods.

Kids' mattress types

  • Spring mattresses: These are firm and supportive thanks to the steel coils inside. The number, gauge, shape and positioning of the coils varies between brands, but generally speaking, the more coils in the mattress, the more supportive and durable it is. Choose from pocket coil (or “enclosed spring”) mattresses, which have individually wrapped coils working on their own and innerspring (or “open coil”) mattresses, which have coils working together. Both types are encased in one or more layers of padding or upholstery.
  • Foam mattresses: Find them made from polyurethane, latex (plant- or petroleum-based) and gel. Choose from different densities, textures and layers (for example, breathable foam on top, flexible foam in the middle and high-density support foam below). Foam conforms to the body, relieving pressure points while providing support. These come in a variety of sizes designed to fit everything from toddler floor beds to king-size models for parents.
  • Hybrid mattresses: The best of both worlds is within reach. These have both springs and foam. Some are double-sided—for example, with one firm side for babies and a more cushioned side for toddlers.

The best kids' mattress options in 2024

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Best overall

Helix Kids Mattress

Helix Kids Mattress Merchant

You don't have to keep switching mattresses as your little one grows, and this Helix model is proof. We covered every important detail in our Helix Kids Mattress review, but the short version is that it has two brilliant sides that offer both a toddler mattress and a big kids' mattress.

One side is made to perfectly support the youngest growing bodies—from age three up to about seven years old—while the other offers a comfortable, cool sleep to older kids. It's a budget-friendly choice because you'll keep it for years and the clever stain-resistant cover makes it parent-approved. It's one of our favorite dual-sided mattresses for the whole family.

Here's how to remove blood stains from a mattress in case your child is prone to nose bleeds and other normal mishaps.

Pros

  • Excellent quality and value
  • Offers two flippable sides for a custom sleep experience
  • Choose from both twin and full-size beds for kids
  • Stain resistant cover
  • Made in the USA
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • CertiuPUR-US certified

Cons

  • Somewhat pricier than other options, though still affordable (especially with this bed's longevity)

Best mattress for young kids

Bear Cub Kids' Mattress

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A quilted hypoallergenic cover with cooling fibers, an affordable price point and premium gel memory foam render this kids' mattress one of the best for young kids. We love the responsive foam layer that adds comfortable spinal support for younger kids' developing bodies.

Reinforced edges reduce the chances of rolling off the bed (especially important for three and four-year-olds), while six-inch inner coils offer added support and limited motion transfer. And, believe it or not, this one is comfortable and supportive enough for a parent to climb into for long-winded bedtime stories.

Pros:

  • Quilted cover with cooling fibers
  • Moderate/affordable price
  • Premium gel foam
  • Designed with younger kids in mind
  • Spinal support
  • Limited motion transfer
  • Reinforced edges to reduce falling
  • Two color options
  • Greenguard Gold certified

Cons:

  • Only two available sizes, twin and full

Best organic kids' mattress

Birch Kids

birch organic kids mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Grab one of your best toddler books and hop in, because the Birch Kids mattress is a natural dream come true. Made with natural and certified organic materials, this two-sided and flippable mattress for kids is sure to impress. The firmer side is designed for ages three through seven, while the softer side supports children ages eight through about 12.

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Fast, free shipping, safe and non-toxic materials and a generous 100-night sleep trial rank this organic wonder among our fave kids' beds ever. This mattress also offers in-home setup and mattress removal if you desire. Choose from twin or full sizes and then decide which of the handsome platform beds the brand offers to pair it with (or use your own).

Pros:

  • Natural and certified-organic materials
  • Free of all harmful chemicals
  • Two-sided, flippable design
  • Great for growing spines ages three through 12
  • In-home setup and removal available
  • Fast, free shipping (typically arriving in under a week)
  • 100-night sleep trial

Cons:

  • More expensive than some other models on our list, but worth every penny thanks to natural and organic materials

Best flippable

Nolah Nurture Mattress

nolah nurture kids mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

The Nolah Nurture mattress for kids is designed for growing bodies ages three to 12 and beyond. It grows alongside your child for years of sleep support you'll both rest easy with. We love the clever, flippable design with a softer texture on one side and firmer on the other.

Firmer mattresses are typically best for toddlers and younger children, while older kids can enjoy the softer textured side. The dual construction promises your little one has a healthy spine-aligning sleep surface at every stage. Gentle foam, organic cotton and wool encase durable coils for long-lasting quality.

Pros:

  • Ideal for toddlers and older kids thanks to a clever flippable design
  • Made of eco-friendly high-end materials
  • GOTS organic cotton cover
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Ideal for every sleeping position
  • Available in twin, twin xl and full-size
  • Free delivery
  • Designed and assembled in the USA

Cons:

  • 8-inch thickness might not be plush enough for deep-set bed platform bed frames

Best memory foam kids' mattress

Leesa Kids

leesa kids mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

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Kids ages four and up transitioning to their first mattress for bigger kids snuggle up to this cozy memory foam model for years to come. A top layer of high-quality, responsive and cooling memory foam cradles growing spines while secondary breathable foam relieves pressure from developing joints.

Each Leesa Kids mattress is made with environmentally-conscious foams certified by CertiPUR-US and offers a 10-year limited warranty. We love the feel-good 100-night sleep trial, free delivery and over 25,000 glowing reviews from real customers. It fits nicely in standard twin beds, bunk beds and platform beds.

Pros:

  • Two memory foam types, one for cooling and the other for breathable support
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • 10-year limited warranty
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Moderately priced
  • Free delivery
  • Designed for ages four through teen years
  • Comfortable enough for parents to climb in

Cons:

  • Only twin and full sizes available

Best Amazon kids' mattress

Zinus Green Tea Cooling Mattress

ZINUS Green Tea Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Each Zinus green tea cooling mattress features gel-foam technology that's a cinch to setup and easy to maneuver when you want to make (and remake) the bed. With over 90,000 shopper ratings, it's one of Amazon's most popular mattress models and an affordable find.

The temperature-regulating high-density foam boasts a soft cooling gel, pressure-relieving technology and CertiPUR certification. That makes it perfect for hot sleepers and those prone to sweaty nights. Parents of kids who sleep on their sides and backs rate it as "excellent."

Pros:

  • Over 67,000 ratings make it one of Amazon's most popular beds
  • CertiPUR-certified
  • Extremely affordable
  • Thicker 10-inch profile
  • Ideal for little kids, teens and adults
  • Bed-in-a-box delivery right to your door

Cons:

  • Some reviewers note that the mattress has a strong synthetic odor for the first day or two

Best convertible toddler mattress

Newton Crib mattress

newton crib mattress original grey, best kids mattress Newton
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Looking to invest in one bed to get you from infancy through about age 5? The Newton crib mattress is your best bet. It's a 100% breathable bed with a patented, supportive core and detachable cover. Airy construction keeps it lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Parents love how easy it is to change linens. This bed is also easy to wash and has no delicate glues, latex or springs that get damaged by moisture.

While it's designed for cribs, this brilliant option keeps baby resting well through all the stages of infancy and toddlerhood. It fits convertible cribs and toddler beds with ease. With thousands of five-star ratings, it's also one of Amazon's bestselling baby beds.

Pros:

  • Fits standard cribs and mattresses
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Easy to wash
  • 100% breathable materials
  • Detachable cover
  • Modest price point
  • These mattresses offer great sleep from day one through age five

Cons:

  • Only lasts till kids are ready to move onto twin beds
  • Won't support adult weight

Best luxury kids' mattress

Saatva Youth Mattress

saatva youth mattress, best kids' mattress Saatva

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The Saatva versatile innerspring mattress for kids is designed for growing bodies ages three to 12. It is made to support healthy sleep from pre-school to grade school thanks to a dual-sided, accident-proof design. Handcrafted with the same eco-friendly, high-end materials all Saatva mattresses boast, this bed promises an exceptional sleep experience.

This type of mattress is ideal for side sleepers, back sleepers and even belly sleepers. The firmness level of this mattress for your child is perfect for spinal alignment and proper growth. Heck, it's so comfortable that parents may end up dozing off in this one even.

Pros:

  • Ideal for toddlers and older kids
  • Made of eco-friendly high-end materials
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Available in twin, twin xl and full size
  • Free in-home delivery and setup
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Relatively pricey compared to other models on the market
  • Only three available sizes

Best budget kids' mattress

Novilla Twin Mattress

novilla mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Nearly 24,000 Amazon ratings call the Novilla mattress one of the best mattress for kids options—especially if you're working with a tight budget. This mattress is designed with gel-infused memory foam to keep kids cool and comfortable all night. Bamboo fabric on the surface promises better ventilation and airflow.

The middle foam layer is designed as an airflow channel also features pressure relief and added support. That means your little one won't get out of bed every night complaining of being too hot or cold.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly price starting at about $175 for a twin
  • Available in an extended size range spanning twin, twin xl, full, queen, king and California king
  • Three height options
  • Gel foam construction
  • Ships directly to your door in a compact box

Cons:

  • Heavier than it looks, so you may need two people to help set it up
  • Takes nearly a full day to expand after unboxing

Best twin XL

Nectar Memory Foam XL

best kids mattress, nectar memory foam xl Merchant
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Whether your kid is college-bound or just pretty tall, the Nectar Memory Foam bed is our favorite kids' mattress in extra-long proportions. It's a premium memory foam mattress designed to cradle their body even if they're no longer your teeny-tiny baby.

It's made with feel-good CertiPUR-US memory foam in an extra-long size that fits tall kids, dorm bedding and grown-ups with ease. We love the forever warranty, free shipping and returns and 365-night sleep trial. Oh, and the price is more than reasonable for the quality.

Pros:

  • Extra long-tall size is ideal for tall kids, dorm bedding and adults
  • Supportive, high-quality memory foam
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reasonable price
  • Free and easy shipping

Cons:

  • Requires spot cleaning if stained, so make sure you use a mattress cover

Considerations when choosing the right kids' mattress

For your baby's safety, a mattress must fit tightly in the crib. Standard crib mattresses measure 28 by 52 inches, and should be no more than six inches thick. If you can fit more than one finger between the mattress and each side of the crib, the mattress is too small.

To prevent suffocation, the mattress should also be flat and firm with no soft spots. When you’re shopping, test the firmness of each crib mattress by pushing down on its center and edges—you should feel good resistance. Speaking of safety, if you're wondering, "are crib bumbers safe?" the answer is simple: no.

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Spring mattresses should have border rods around the perimeter to prevent sagging when your baby stands or walks on the sides or edges. Foam surfaces shouldn’t conform to the shape of your hand, and they should snap back readily.

Also look for signs of quality construction, as you would if buying a mattress for yourself. These could include thicker fabric coverings, quality cushioning, sturdy edges and denser foam or higher-gauge springs. It’s better to buy a new crib mattress than reuse a second-hand one.

An improperly cleaned or stored mattress can harbor mold and bacteria. And in case there’s any question about using an air mattress or a waterbed, these are not safe sleep surfaces for babies. Neither are many adult mattresses—especially cheap twin mattress options. Ditto for playpens, car seats, strollers, swings, bouncers and hammocks—if your baby falls asleep in one of these, it’s safest to transfer them to a crib, cradle or bassinet.

When do kids transition to bigger mattresses?

Kids tend to transition from a crib to a “big kid” bed starting around age two and a half. Alanna McGinn, a sleep consultant and founder of Good Night Sleep Site, recommends waiting until age three or three and a half, if you can.

“The longer you can delay it, the better,” she says. “If they’re not jumping out and you’re not concerned about safety, it’s OK to keep them there. The older the child, the more they understand the transition.”

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The next mattress size up is a twin mattress (38 by 75 inches, also sometimes called a single), but if your child’s room can accommodate a double (also known as full; 53 by 75 inches) or queen (60 by 80 inches), it’s worth considering—your kid won’t outgrow it.

“It also depends on what kind of sleeper they are. Independent sleepers shouldn’t have an issue. But if you think it’s a little too soon and the kid is forced to make that transition, you might want to start with a smaller mattress.”

Are natural and organic mattresses best?

Mattresses off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which come from polyurethane, flame retardants, adhesives and solvents. They also cause that chemical new-mattress smell. VOCs can pollute indoor air and cause breathing irritation and other issues.

If possible, look for a low-VOC mattress with natural and organic materials, such as organic cotton, natural wool and natural rubber latex. Peace of mind has a price, though—expect to spend more for an eco-friendly bed.

There’s no legal standard for “natural” or “organic,” but you can look for third-party certifications that apply to mattresses and their components.

  • CertiPUR-US certifies that foam meets its content and emissions standards.
  • Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100 applies to cotton, wool and other textiles.
  • Greenguard and Greenguard GOLD certify that a mattress is low in VOCs.
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification requires mattresses to be 95% organic and free of polyurethane and chemical flame retardants.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification requires latex mattresses contain 95% organic latex and meet other strict requirements.

How much should you spend on a kid's mattress?

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Crib mattresses cost between $60 and $500 or more, and twins (without a box spring) are typically $150 to $1,000 or more, depending on quality, materials and features like edge support for growing kids.

It may seem extravagant to spend hundreds on a kid’s bed, but as with other major purchases, you usually get what you pay for with a child's mattress. Mattresses go on sale frequently so patient shoppers needn’t pay full price.

“I’d encourage parents to get the best possible quality they can afford because it’s something their child will use every single night,” says Solomon. It's easy to find mattress deals during the best Presidents' Day sales and best Memorial Day sales and back-to-school sales.

Comfortable kids’ mattresses are available at every price point. Spending more means more features, such as better support, temperature regulation and layers that relieve pressure points— which could translate into better, longer sleeps for your child.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on Feb 15, 2023

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