Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattresses for Kids

A guide to finding and selecting the best mattress for your children—what to consider and look for when making your choice.

By Katie Terrell Hanna

All parents want the best for their kids, don’t we? Shouldn’t that include a good sleeping experience? Fortunately, we’ve done all the research and can offer you some great options for the kiddos, whether it’s a toddler who has outgrown their crib mattress or a pre-teen who is complaining about their uncomfortable old mattress.

What factors should you consider when you choose a mattress for your child? Rapid growth and proper support for growing pains for one. We can help there, too. We understand that the considerations for a kid’s mattress will differ from those for an adult’s mattress and that’s why we will cover these considerations as well.

In this guide, we’ve reviewed our top picks of the best mattresses for kids, and the important factors to consider when choosing a mattress.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

The Best Mattresses for Kids

Best Organic Mattress for Kids: Saatva Youth

Saatva Youth

Best Organic Mattress

Kids may not grow out of mattresses at the same pace that they grow out of their clothes, but that doesn’t mean their sleeping needs don’t evolve as they grow up.  Saatva has a solution!

Saatva Youth
Nerd Score
4.9 / 5
Firmness

Dual-Sided

Trial

120-night trial

Reason to Buy

Tons of features specific for growing kids

The Saatva Youth isn’t just a smaller mattress for smaller kids. It’s actually packed full of thoughtful designs to be suitable for kids at a variety of ages and as they grow.  Let’s name a few…

Starting with the basics, this mattress is coming from Saatva, and like its normal mattresses, they put a lot of time and money into quality and durability.  This mattress is a hybrid, meaning it contains foam layers coupled with innersprings. Not only that, but Saatva has arranged the layers so the mattress is dual-sided.  A 3-year-old and a 12-year-old have very different bodies. This mattress is flippable to find the right level of comfort and support based on age and weight.

On the outside, you’ve got an organic cotton cover that is soft, breathable and hypoallergenic so you don’t have to worry about chemical smells due to off-gassing. Not to embarrass any of your youngins, but it also comes with a water-resistant finish to make it “accident-proof.”

See our full Saatva Youth Mattress Review to learn more.

Best Cooling Mattress for Kids: Casper

Casper Original

Best Mattress for Kids With Allergies
The original mattress that made the brand famous, the Casper is known for its design that suits all sleep positions. Casper's Zoned Support feature is engineered to support the hips, shoulders and back to keep the spine aligned. At an affordable price point, too, this mattress is hard to beat.
Casper Original Mattress
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable mattress made for all sleepers

Coming from one of the most trusted mattress brands available, the Casper is a reassuring choice, as you know you’ve bought a high-quality product at an excellent price point. Its construction combines pressure-point relief that doesn’t overheat and because of its dark color, spills will be easy to hide.

The Casper is built with a three-layer foam construction that includes an open-cell, AirScape layer that will keep kids cool and comfortable. In addition, a combination of softer foam and high-density foam help provide the support needed as your child grows. 

The Casper is CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified, and it comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.

See our full Casper Review for more details. 

Best Value Mattress for Kids: Nectar

Nectar

Best Value

The Nectar is an 12-inch gel memory foam mattress that has a reputation for exceptional cooling comfort. It measures as a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale and is great for all sleep positions.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

365

Reason to buy

Best Bed-in-a-box on a budget

Four unique layers of quilted foam culminate for a great night’s sleep with the Nectar memory foam mattress. Its Tencel cooling cover helps to circulate air and regulate temperature to keep your child comfortable as their body temperature rises throughout the night. It’s also bed-bug resistant. 

Beneath the cover lies a layer of gel memory foam that allows for superior contouring and circulation. In the center is a high-density foam that distributes weight throughout the mattress for support and stability. Finally, there is a base layer of foam engineered for great airflow to keep your child cool and supported all night long.

The Nectar mattress is CertiPUR-US® certified and comes with a 365-night trial and lifetime warranty.

See our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more!

Best Foam Mattress for Kids: Leesa Studio

Leesa Studio

Best Foam Mattress for Kids
Leesa's most affordable mattress yet, the Studio is a no-frills option made for the average sleeper. Its three layers of memory foam provide pressure relief, support and cradling, so it's great for side, stomach and back sleepers alike. If you're looking for a high-quality, yet simple, mattress, the Studio by Leesa is a great pick.
Studio by Leesa Lifestyle
Score
4.6 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable quality for all sleep positions

Leesa is known for making some of the highest quality yet affordable mattresses. The Studio by Leesa is no different. Combining three layers of memory foam, the Studio provides support and comfort for growing bodies.

The mattress includes a pressure-relieving support layer to take away aches and pains in any sleep position, along with a top layer of soft memory foam that cradles the body. It’s a medium-firmness mattress, which is ideal for lighter-weight bodies.

The Studio by Leesa comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. Leesa also gives back by donating a mattress to kids in need for every 10 mattresses sold.

Read our full Studio by Leesa Mattress Review to learn more.

Best Latex Mattress for Kids: Birch

Birch

Best Latex for Kids

This eco-conscious hybrid latex mattress is made with organic wool and all-natural latex. It’s good for all sleep positions.

birch mattress
Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable, all natural hybrid

This all-natural, organic mattress by Birch provides support while still cradling pressure points. The innerspring coils and Talalay latex give the bed bounce and support, while the latex and organic New Zealand wool top offer plenty of cushioning.

Wool and latex are known for their superior cooling properties compared to memory foam, so if you’re sleeping in a hotter climate, this bed could be a good option. As a medium-firm bed, the Birch mattress works for all sleep positions.

Read our full Birch Mattress Review to learn more.

Best Full Size Mattress for Kids: The Big Kid’s Bed

The Big Kid's Bed (BKB) by Nest

Best Full Size

The Big Kid’s Bed by Nest is a 7″ tall memory foam mattress that measures a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. 

My Big Kid Bed Mattress
Nerd Score
4.6 / 5
Firmness

Medium Firm: 7/10

Trial

100 nights

Reason to Buy

The original "Big Kid "Bed"

The Big Kid’s Bed is another sturdy multi-layer memory foam bed at a value price point. There is a top layer of Energex foam that has better responsiveness than traditional viscoelastic foam, but it still keeps the conforming properties that help relieve pressure points for young sleepers. The secondary layer of edge-support base foam provides stability for your child and durability for the life of the mattress. 

The Big Kid’s Bed is best for kids who are transitioning from a toddler bed, as it has a maximum recommended weight of 120 pounds.

The Big Kid’s Bed is CertiPUR-US certified, and it comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty. 

Best Medium-Firm Mattress for Kids: Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid

Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid

Best Medium-Firm Mattress

The Bowery by Brooklyn Bedding is a 10″ tall hybrid mattress. It measures a 6 out of 10, or medium firm, on the firmness scale and is best for back and stomach sleepers.

bowery hybrid lifestyle image
Score
4.6 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

120 nights

Reason to buy

Competitive price point and great quality

The Bowery mattress is created with three layers of proprietary foam, and one 6″ layer of pocketed coils. The combination of comfort and support that these two materials (innerspring and foam) makes for a bed that will allow your child to move easily, but settle in nicely once they find a comfortable position.

The Bowery’s build also marries pressure-point relief and cooling gel, so your child is cool and comforted, while also supporting them properly while they sleep. And best of all, Brooklyn Bedding has its own factory where they build all their mattresses, meaning they can offer a high-quality, handcrafted product at a value price point.

The Bowery is CertiPUR-US® certified and comes with a 120-night trial and a 10-year warranty. 

Read our full Brooklyn Bowery Mattress Review to learn more.

Best Twin Size Mattress for Kids: Tuft & Needle Nod

Tuft & Needle Nod

Best Twin Size

The Nod by Tuft & Needle is an 8″ tall memory foam mattress that measures 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Available on Amazon Prime

The Nod by Tuft & Needle is designed with two powerful layers of polyfoam. The first is the comfort layer, which absorbs and cradles the body for comfort and pressure-point relief. The second is the support layer that gives the bed stability and allows for equal weight distribution. Thanks to this construction, the mattress responds better to movement, and you don’t feel as though you are “stuck in the mud” while sleeping. 

It’s simple, yet accommodating design makes it a win for all sleeping positions. This is good news for parents with young children whose sleep patterns are just starting to develop and may very well change in time.

The Nod is CertiPUR-US® certified and comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial, plus free returns. 

Read our full Nod by Tuft & Needle Mattress Review to learn more.

Best Odor Neutralizing Mattress for Kids: Zinus Green Tea

Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Best Odor Neutralizing Mattress

The Zinus Green Tea is a 12″ tall memory foam mattress—also referred to as their pressure-relief bed—that measures a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It is a great bed for combination sleep positions.

Zinus Green Tea Mattress
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Multiple thickness levels and firmness levels

You might wonder how this unique pressure-relief bed got its name. Turns out the mattress materials are infused with a green tea extract and ActivCharcoal, which helps to control odor and maintain freshness. It is also hypoallergenic and a favorite of parents who frequently deal with spills from little ones and body odor in teens.

The Zinus is a medium-firm mattress that features enhanced motion isolation thanks to its memory foam and comfort foam layers. Still, due to the added high-density foam, it has better support than traditional memory foam mattresses.

The Zinus also boasts an affordable price point that’s great for families on a budget. See: Best Affordable Mattresses 

The Zinus Green Tea is Certi-PUR US certified, so it isn’t adding dangerous VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to your children’s air quality.

Read our full Zinus Mattress Review to learn more. 

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Kids: Amazon Rivet

Amazon Rivet

Best Memory Foam

The Amazon Rivet mattress is a responsive, three-layer memory foam mattress that measures 11″ tall and rates as a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It accommodates all sleep positions.

AMAZON RIVET full
Nerd Score
4.7 / 5
Firmness

Medium: 6.5/10

Trial

100 nights

Reason to Buy

A Best-Seller on Amazon

With three layers of Celliant technology foam and a LuraCor top layer, the Amazon Rivet should offer proper spinal alignment, pressure-point relief and cloud-like comfort to slumbering tykes. While it works with all sleep positions, the mattress may be a bit firm for little ones who are strict stomach sleepers.

Celliant is a patented mineral blend that has shown to increase oxygen delivery to cells, so growing sleepers will recover properly during sleep and sleep soundly throughout the night. The base layer of adaptive foam distributes weight evenly so they will stay properly supported throughout the night.

The Amazon Rivet is CertiPUR-US certified, and it comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.

Why Sleep Is Important For Children

You’ve probably heard many times that a good night’s rest is imperative for your overall well being. Well, that is doubly true for children, who’re constantly developing, both mentally and physically. Studies conducted on the matter have shown that getting the right amount of quality sleep can improve behavior, attention, and memory, and can even prevent obesity and depression.

How Much Sleep Is Enough For Children?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has put together recommended ranges depending on a child’s age. The older a child gets, the less sleep they need. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 should look to get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep. Ages 6 to 12 can stay in the 9 to 12-hour range, and for anyone older than 13, 8 to 10 hours is sufficient.

What Mattress Size Is Best For a Child?

Size is definitely a factor to consider, not only because children go through growth spurts but also because sleep positions and habits change for young children. It may seem like an easy decision to just purchase a regular Twin mattress and be done with it, but don’t be so quick to make that judgment. If you think you might be better off with a slightly bigger size, keep in mind most mattress companies offer a Twin XL and a Full size.

In their younger years, kids sometimes suffer from nightmares or fear of the dark and may want you to sleep with them. If this is a common occurrence, it might be better to go for a larger mattress. In addition, the same can be said for siblings. If they often sleep together, it may be better to get a larger size. Additionally, consider how long they will be sleeping on this bed. It’s possible they’ll still be on the same mattress up until high school graduation. In that case, spending the extra $100 for a Twin XL or Full-size bed may be worth the investment.

To learn more about the most common mattress sizes for kids, check out our best Full mattress and best Twin mattress articles.

Things to Consider When Buying a Children’s Mattress

Support

You might think support is more important for adults and seniors who are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, but children need proper support too, maybe even more so. Their bodies are changing and growing at a rapid rate, and this can frequently cause growing pains. Finding a mattress that offers pressure-point relief, spinal alignment and recovery will help reduce the likelihood and severity of the aches and pains they experience during growth spurts.

Allergies and VOCs

Another factor to keep in mind is any allergies your kids may have, including sensitive skin. If this is the case, be on the lookout for mattresses made of organic cotton, latex and hypoallergenic materials like the Zinus and the Casper.

You will also want to keep an eye out for certifications against harmful substances that some mattresses emit or contain. Here are some important designations to keep an eye out for:

  • CertiPUR-US is a foam certification which means it was created without ozone depleters, flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals, formaldehyde and phthalates. In addition, it means that the foam has passed an indoor air quality standard and has low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions.
  • OEKO-Tex is certified fabrics and textiles found to be free of harmful chemicals and safe for human use. This organic certification means that textile and fabric products are made according to strict guidelines on the use of petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic products.

Price

Lastly, you will want to be mindful of your budget. Luckily, mattress manufacturers know that the budget for a child’s mattress is typically much smaller than that of adults, and many well-known companies have designed value options. These types of mattresses are perfect for kids, especially if you are considering buying two for a bunk bed. 

How Firm Should a Child’s Mattress Be?

As long as the child is not an infant, the firmness of their mattress is really up to personal preference. Just as we say for adults, the position you sleep in, your body type and weight will play the biggest role in selecting the mattress’s firmness. If the child likes a more supportive feeling or has pain concerns, a firm mattress may be the best option. If they like a more “in the mattress” feeling, they can try a soft mattress

Related: Mattress Firmness Guide

What Type of Mattress is Best For Kids? 

Foam

What is a foam mattress? Foam mattresses are made of layers of various types of foam. These mattresses have a contouring feeling to the body that many people love. Additionally, foam mattresses can be found at a very reasonable price. Read our best foam mattresses roundup for more information.

Are they safe? Foam mattresses are made with the most potentially toxic materials. However, many popular brands have stepped up and made commitments to ensuring their products are not harmful to any sleepers. 

Innerspring 

What is an innerspring mattress? Innerspring mattresses are made of coils that support the bed, causing them to be on the firmer side. Unlike hybrids they usually do not have a very thick comfort layer, so you feel more of the support from the coils. Head over to our list of best innerspring mattresses if you’re interested.

Are they a good value? These mattresses are also reasonably priced, but you may find your child does not find them as comfortable. However, like we always say, comfort is relative, and if your child is used to this type of mattress, they may find the support suits them just fine. 

Latex

What are latex mattresses? Usually the most eco-friendly mattress material, latex has gained a good reputation from its use of all-natural materials, making these beds naturally dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic. 

Are they good for kids? Yes! Especially if your child has allergies, sensitive skin or other health concerns. The latex gives a bouncy effect to the surface, but it still does a good job at minimizing motion transfer if that is a concern. 

Related: Best Latex Mattresses

Hybrid

What is a hybrid? Hybrid mattress are a mix between coils and a comfort layer of foam, cotton, wool or latex. They can range in price depending on what materials they are made of, how thick the comfort layer is, and what additional features are in the mattress. Our best hybrid mattress roundup has some wonderful options.

Are they good for kids? Hybrids were invented for a reason. They really are the best of both worlds. Kids will likely agree. The coil base makes them easy beds to navigate, and the comfort layer can be as plush as you and your child choose. 

Accessories for a Kid’s Mattress

Mattress Protectors & Mattress Pads 

You already know about sheets, pillows, comforters and blankets. However, one essential accessory to add to your kid’s new mattress is a mattress protector. These thin pieces of fabric go on just like a fitted sheet and protect against dust mites, spills and any other accidents that may take place. When you are dropping a few hundred dollars on a new mattress, they are worth every extra penny. 

Conclusion

I hope you’ve found this review helpful on your path to finding the best mattress for kids. Most parents will choose a Twin-size or a Full-size mattress for kids, but that is up to you. If you have multiple children that like to sleep together, then you may choose a larger mattress. Other factors that might influence your decision are your budget and the amount of space you have to work with. 

Ultimately, the right mattress for your child will provide room to grow, be comfortable, and will stand the test of time. Also, you will want an option that provides good support to kids who may experience growing pains and growth spurts. Finally, take into account the firmness level of the mattress based on any established sleeping patterns. If your child is very young, this may not be an issue yet. For more mattress recommendations, check out our best mattress page.

Recap of the Best Mattresses For Kids in 2021

Mattress Award  Nerd Score
Saatva Youth Best Organic Mattress For Kids 4.9/5
Casper Best Cooling Mattress For Kids  4.8/5
Nectar Best Value Mattress For Kids 4.7/5
Studio by Leesa Best Foam Mattress For Kids 4.6/5
Birch Best Latex Mattress For Kids 4.9/5
The Big Kid’s Bed (BKB) by Nest Best Full Mattress For Kids 4.6/5
Brooklyn Bowery Best Medium Firm Mattress 4.8/5
Tuft & Needle Nod Best Twin Mattress for Kids 4.7/5
Zinus Green Tea Best Mattress For Kids Bed 4.7/5
Amazon Rivet Best Memory Foam Mattress For Kids 4.7/5