Updated January 7, 2021It’s tempting to send an old mattress to the kids’ room when you upgrade. We often believe kids are resilient and can sleep anywhere. However, the best mattress for kids supports their bodies and allows them to rest deeply each night. Children grow rapidly, both physically and mentally, and much of this growth and development happens when they rest. This makes healthy sleep for kids a lot more important than you might realize.Like with adults, a child’s health starts to suffer without appropriate rest. Now more than ever, kids experience adult-level stressors at younger and younger ages. A good night’s sleep is critical for their health and development. Well-rested kids better manage their emotions, perform better in school, are less likely to struggle with anxiety, and tend to develop better socially.You also may look for new mattresses as your child transitions from a crib to their own bed and then grow into a new size. Look to move from a twin mattress to a larger size around the age your children experience growth spurts— this is generally ages 10-15 for boys and 8-15 for girls. Monitor your child’s growth to assess when they are ready for a new mattress.We’ve compiled our top recommendations for kids’ mattresses to help narrow down your choices and keep your child rested.Best Mattress for KidsBest Overall Mattress: Vaya MattressBest Memory Foam Mattress: Amerisleep AS1Best Mattress for Active Kids: Zoma MattressBest Mattresses for KidsMattressHighlightsPrice (in Twin)VayaHypoallergenic foam enables better breathing and enhanced comfort for a good night’s sleep.$315Amerisleep AS1Responsive, eco-friendly memory foam mattress that makes movement easier.$629Zoma MattressGel memory foam prevents overheating and promotes healthy recovery.$4995 Little MonkeysCradling memory foam mattress that relieves pressure points while remaining supportive.$499My Green Mattress Pure EchoFirm innerspring mattress with even support without sagging.$649Modway AvelineBudget-friendly option containing gel memory foam for enhanced cooling.$207Nest Bedding Big Kids BedBreathable and supportive poly-foam conforms to the body, relieving pressure points.$299Avocado GreenOrganic latex and recycled steel pocket coils evenly distributes weight across the sleep surface.$959Naturepedic Verse Kids Organic CottonInnerspring mattress made from all-natural materials for a comfortable, organic option.$8991. VayaAt Vaya, they go above and beyond to create a mattress that is both affordable and supportive. The 12 inches of breathable, hypoallergenic foam ensures that children sleep soundly night after night. Both foams used in the mattress are also CertiPUR-US certified to be low in VOCs. This certification gives you peace of mind knowing it is safe for young sleepers.The lightweight cover of the Vaya mattress helps to encourage airflow throughout the bed, so kids never wake up during the night due to overheating. The foam top layer supports growing bodies with pressure-free contouring so that muscles can repair and rebuild themselves during the night. The base layer of the Vaya is built to last and also helps the bed maintain its shape. This mattress is also very versatile since it works well with most foundations and frames–including boxsprings, slatted frames, and adjustable beds.The Vaya mattress comes with a risk-free, 100-night sleep trial, so your child has time to test out the mattress and ensure it is right for them. A 10-year warranty also backs this mattress for any manufacturing defects.2. Amerisleep AS1It’s not uncommon for kids to prefer firm mattresses, and although recommendations vary person-to-person, firm mattresses can be better for children since they promote healthy spinal alignment and deter sinking. The Amerisleep AS1 is the perfect mattress for this!The soft, breathable cover of the AS1 is cozy enough to help children drift off to sleep peacefully, and has enough airflow to help them stay cool. The top layer features Amerisleep’s Bio-Pur® comfort foam, which has an advanced open cell structure that is more responsive and breathable than most memory foams.The comfort layer of this bed offers enough cushioning to ease pressure and distribute your child’s weight across the mattress, but it’s also plenty firm enough to keep your child lifted in a neutral position. Beneath this top layer is the Bio-Core® base foam; this layer provides enough durability to ensure the mattress supports your child for years to come. Both of the foam layers of the AS1 are backed by a CertiPUR-US certification, guaranteeing they’re low in VOCs.All of Amerisleep’s mattresses come with a 20-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial. You can have their beds delivered to your home, or you can choose their white glove delivery service. With this service, Amerisleep will have the mattress set up for you and haul away your old one. They will even ensure that your old mattress is recycled or donated.3. Zoma MattressNext on our list is the recovery-enhancing Zoma Mattress, built with gel memory foams and zoned support technologies to heal sore muscles and facilitate healthy development. We recommend this mattress for children because its design helps kids sleep in a neutral position, maintaining good spinal alignment and preventing aches and pains.The first layer of the Zoma is 2 inches of contouring gel memory foam; this layer adapts to your movement to provide all-over pressure relief and wick away body heat. Built into this comfort layer is Triangulex™, a surface modification technology characterized by triangle-shaped cutouts. These cutouts are placed strategically through the surface of the layer to provide extra cushioning for the shoulders and hips and extra support for the lumbar area. The design of this technology keeps the spine in a healthy position to prevent stiffness and soreness.The middle layer of the Zoma Mattress is 2 inches of Reactiv™, a responsive transition layer in place to prevent uncomfortable sinkage and reinforce the layer above. Reactiv™ feels a lot like latex, so it gives the bed a bit of bounce, but it doesn’t contain any actual latex, so it’s cost-effective and safe for allergy sufferers.At the base of the Zoma is 7 inches of sturdy core foam, designed to distribute your weight evenly and prevent sagging or indentations. Support+ base foam is long-lasting and super durable, so it’ll provide good sleep through your kid’s growing years. And it’s even backed by a 10-year warranty so you can feel confident in your purchase.Zoma is an online-only mattress brand, and they offer free shipping, free returns, and a risk-free 100-night sleep trial with every purchase.4. 5 Little Monkeys5 Little Monkeys focuses on mattresses and bed products for younger children. This mattress is made using three layers of CertiPUR-US certified memory foam. This full sleep system includes a free waterproof mattress cover (machine washable in the event of nighttime accidents) and a free pillow, anatomically correct for smaller bodies. This bed is perfect for young kids transitioning from a crib to a regular bed.This mattress is designed to give a cradling effect and support the growing spines of small children. The cradling technology discourages tossing and turning, regardless of whether your child is a side sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper. It’s made from hypoallergenic ingredients with no off-gassing and comes in standard twin, full-size, and queen. It also has a temperature-responsive top layer of gel foam to help keep your child cool as they sleep.5 Little Monkeys offers a risk-free 100-night sleep trial. If you’re not 100% satisfied, they will cover the pick-up costs. This mattress also comes with free shipping and a 15-year warranty for manufacturing defects. This company will pick up and recycle your old mattress at a fee set by your state.5. My Green Mattress Pure EchoMy Green Mattress offers a latex-free kid’s bed, perfect for any child with a latex allergy who still wants a great night’s sleep. This firm mattress is made with 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton and wool and is ideal for back and stomach sleepers. The wool on these mattresses is a natural flame retardant that won’t off-gas (as other chemical fire retardants might).If you find this mattress is too firm for your child, you can easily add a plush or foam topper. This mattress is upholstered on one side, meaning you can’t flip it over. Instead, My Green Mattress recommends you break in the mattress evenly by rotating it head to foot once a month for the first three months. From that point, they recommend rotating it once every three months. This mattress is firm and stable, and it will work with any type of bed foundation with slats 3.5 inches apart or less.My Green Mattress offers a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty against manufacturer defects. They offer free shipping and hassle-free returns and exchanges after 30 nights of sleep.6. Modway AvelineThis gel-infused memory foam mattress is among the most budget-friendly options on our list. Modway is also a top pick among Amazon shoppers (98% satisfaction rate). The open-cell memory foam helps your child align their spine as they sleep and provides pressure relief in the hips, lower back, and shoulders. It’s also a great buy for adults who need spinal alignment and extra support for pressure points.Available in all standard size mattresses, the Aveline is a cooling mattress with a gel-infused memory foam top layer. It’s made with open-cell technology, meaning it breathes well and ventilates heat throughout the night. No more waking up sweaty on your memory foam mattress, even in a humid climate.The Aveline comes in three heights: 6 inches, 8 inches, or 10 inches, depending on how high-profile a mattress you’re looking for. The mattress is compressed and delivered in a box, so it will expand after you’ve unrolled it and placed it on your mattress foundation. This mattress is free to ship with free returns.7. Nest Bedding Big Kids BedNest knows kids. That’s why they’ve created the first kids’ bed in a box designed with comfort in mind. In addition to offering the Big Kids Bed (BKB) for growing kids and teens, they also offer a crib mattress for baby and toddler beds. The BKB comes in twin, twin XL, and full mattresses to accommodate growing kids at the later stages of development. Because Nest offers factory-direct sales, you can get a top-quality CertiPUR-US certified foam mattress at a lower price than many competitors. This certification means no fire retardants, no VOCs, and no off-gassing.This mattress ships for free and comes with an industry-leading lifetime warranty on manufacturer defects. And although it’s priced competitively, Nest Bedding offers hassle-free payment plans that are interest-free for the first 18 months.Nest also offers a Lifetime Comfort Guarantee. The goal is not only to keep you as a long-term customer in the long-term, but it’s also to make sure you continue to get good quality sleep long after your first Nest purchase. This guarantee allows qualified customers to buy a second mattress from Nest bedding at a 30% discount. Some restrictions do apply, so see their website for details.8. Avocado GreenWhile this mattress is more expensive, it comes with the cleanest materials and the best sleep trial on the market. These qualities can help both your body and mind rest well. Avocado Green is an eco-friendly mattress option featuring top-quality natural materials. Their natural mattresses are made with GOLS organic certified latex, GOTS organic certified wool, GOTS organic certified cotton, and up to 1,414 pocketed support coils. This is a hybrid mattress with innerspring comfort beneath a natural latex layer. Free of polyester, polyurethane foams, and fire retardants, this mattress is 100% eco-friendly. They even have a vegan option free of wool.Avocado mattresses are great for the whole family, but for kids, the clean ingredients are especially important. All Avocado mattresses are GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL Environment for emissions, the world’s most rigorous, third-party emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants. This includes VOCs, formaldehyde, and phthalates. You can rest easy knowing this mattress doesn’t include ingredients harmful to your children. These include toxic gas, harsh chemicals, or synthetic materials.The standard for this mattress comes is gentle-firm, but Avocado offers a 2-inch pillow top addition for $300 extra on any of their mattresses. This additional cushioning is ideal for both side sleepers and back sleepers. Avocado sleepers enjoy a 25-year limited warranty and an extremely generous 365-day sleep trial.9. Naturepedic Verse Kids Organic CottonThis innerspring mattress offers firm support for kids and teenagers. No sagging or sinking, this bed comes with high support and comfort to accommodate growth spurts and good ventilation for the hot sleeper. Naturepedic offers twin and twin XL mattresses, as well as full and queen-size mattresses. Made in the USA with organic cotton, this top-quality mattress is a great middle-ground for the budget shopper who wants a long-lasting mattress. The quilted-finish cushions 15 gauge coils and strong edge support for kids who may like to jump and play. For babies and toddlers, Naturepedic also offers crib mattresses.This one-sided mattress isn’t meant to be turned over. Rather, you should rotate this mattress head to foot every six months. Mattress reviews show while most purchasers are satisfied with this medium-firm mattress, some find it too firm and recommend a foam topper to soften it. This mattress ships compressed and will expand when laid flat. Because of the natural materials, this mattress has no odor or off-gassing as it regains its shape.The price includes free shipping and a 10-year limited warranty against manufacturer defects. Returns of this item depend on where you purchase it.SEE ALSO: Mattress Size and Dimensions GuideMattress Types to ConsiderThe main mattresses types to consider for your child are innerspring, memory foam beds, latex mattresses, and hybrid mattresses. Again, the quality of materials is an important factor to consider not just for comfort but for the health of your child.Memory Foam MattressesMemory foam mattresses are great for kids who toss and turn. The stabilizing foam could help keep them comfortable, in place, and still throughout the night, leading to a better night’s sleep. This material limits motion transfer in the night, meaning the bed stays still as your child moves.If your child runs hot, choose a gel memory foam mattress with an open-cell structure. These features offer a cooler sleep and prevent overheating during the night. Memory foam isn’t as rigid as innerspring or hybrid mattresses. It therefore requires a very supportive foundation. Slat foundations should have gaps no greater than three inches. If you plan to use this type of mattress on a bunk bed, you’ll want to ensure the foundation is compliant with the mattress’s warranty. Incompatible foundations could void the bed’s warranty.If you’re concerned about off-gassing, make sure your memory foam mattress is CertiPUR-US certified.Latex MattressesLatex, like memory foam, is a less rigid material. Also like memory foam, latex contours to the body, providing support where you need it and taking the pressure off where you don’t. It’s meant to bounce back but needs additional support beyond the standard bed frame and box spring. Otherwise, it will sag through the cracks and won’t perform correctly. Look for either a platform foundation or a highly supportive slat foundation for your latex mattress.The feel of latex is the most similar to memory foam. Latex ventilates better, offering superior breathability (particularly if you choose natural latex). While natural latex is among the most eco-friendly materials, it can be expensive. However, if you think your child will be in the same bed for a long time, it could be worth it. Latex lasts longer than innerspring mattresses (usually seven to eight years) before it needs to be replaced.Innerspring MattressesTraditional innerspring mattresses are the most purchased mattresses in the country. They are the most cost-effective choices and offer versatility for all styles of sleepers. They range greatly in quality and price. The best quality innerspring mattresses have many small coils spaced closely together rather than larger coils spaced farther apart. While the springs can be noisy and don’t tend to isolate motion well, a top-quality innerspring mattress is springy and responsive. Innerspring is also the best option for sleepers who run hot, as they’re the most breathable type of mattress.Unfortunately, innerspring mattresses don’t tend to last as long as memory foam or latex mattresses. The springs degrade over time. This can lead to sagging in the middle, which can cause back pain and unsupported pressure points.Hybrid MattressesA hybrid mattress has the best qualities of each mattress type. Hybrids tend to have a combination of springs and either a latex layer, foam layer, or some combination of both. With a hybrid mattress, you get the flexibility and breathability of innerspring mattresses with the support and contour of memory foam or latex. Hybrid mattresses tend to be one-sided, meaning you can’t flip them as they age. Rather, you have to rotate them so they age evenly. They can usually work great with a standard bed frame and box spring, so you’re not as limited in your set-up as you are with latex and memory foam.Generally including a thick comfort layer between the coils and the sleeper, hybrid mattresses tend to have less motion transfer than standard innerspring mattresses. Again, if you’re concerned about off-gassing, you’ll want to make sure the foam or synthetic latex materials in your hybrid mattress are CertiPUR-US certified.Mattress BudgetQuality kids’ mattresses range in price from $400 to $1500. This is admittedly a huge range. Mattress materials and bed size both greatly influence the mattress price tags. Most companies focusing on kid-specific mattresses and bedding also focus on twin, twin XL, and full-sized beds. This is in addition to emphasizing non-toxic materials and eco-friendly practices. Natural materials cost more, as the certifications that put your mind at ease have price tags. If you’re looking for the least expensive options, you’ll want to choose innerspring organic cotton. This way, you still get natural materials without spending the extra money on expensive latex or additional certifications beyond organic.Sleeping PositionYour child’s sleeping position is definitely a priority when deciding which type of mattress to buy. The three main sleeping positions are back sleeping, side sleeping, and stomach sleeping. Determining which of these three positions your child tends towards will help you choose the best mattress for her.Side SleepersSide sleeping is the most common sleep position. Many side sleepers curl into the fetal position with their knees bent and head tucked down. When sleeping on your side, your shoulder and your hip come into contact with your mattress with more force. Err on the side of softer mattresses for side sleepers. Side sleepers should also use a supportive pillow to keep their head in line with their spine. A mattress that gives a bit more around the shoulder and hip will also help this sleeper. Innerspring mattresses tend to have more give for side sleepers. Latex and memory foam will curve to the contours of the torso and legs to help distribute weight across the body. For this reason, a hybrid combination might be the best mattress for side sleepers.Back SleepersMany beauty experts recommend back sleeping to avoid facial wrinkles. While younger kids aren’t generally concerned about such things, about 18% of the U.S. population sleeps on their backs. This is true whether they keep their arms by their sides or their heads and whether they keep their legs straight down and together or spread out to the sides. Some studies show that those who sleep on their backs are less likely to change positions in the night, which may mean a better night’s sleep. Back sleepers need a mattress that contours to their bodies to support the lower back and avoid back pain. Foam, latex, and possibly hybrid mattresses contour the best. However, children with lower back pain might consider sleeping with a small pillow under their knees to take the pressure off the lower back.Stomach SleepersMany experts recommend against stomach sleeping because it has the potential to put undue strain on your neck and back. However, if you need a mattress for stomach sleeping, choose something firm and pair your child’s new mattress with a thin pillow. A firm mattress will provide support to the spine, and a thin pillow will prevent back hyperextension while your child sleeps. For additional support, we recommend placing a small pillow under the pelvis to put the spine in a more neutral position. You can get firm mattresses across each of the categories, but it’s likely latex might provide the most support.Some mattresses advertise they’re made specifically for side sleepers. Side sleeper mattresses are a bit softer than those meant for stomach or back sleepers. They offer some give for the shoulder and hip to avoid creating pressure points in those areas.Sleeping Cool and AirflowWe’ve mentioned airflow multiple times. This is because many memory foam mattresses trap heat, making for a hot night’s sleep. If your child runs hot or wakes up overheated, we recommend opting for an innerspring mattress. However, new technologies in higher-end memory foam mattresses that better circulate the air. This includes open-cell structures and memory foam, featuring cooling gel. If your child loves memory foam but runs hot, make sure you choose a foundation that allows for airflow rather than a solid wood platform bed.Common QuestionsDo toddlers need a firm mattress?Toddlers do not have the same proportions as adults. Their heads are much bigger and heavier in relation to the rest of their bodies. While a soft, fluffy mattress might seem cozy for your toddler, very soft mattresses can conform to your little’s one face and create a smothering hazard. Choose something firm that doesn’t contour. Likely, your best bet is a very firm latex pad or innerspring model.How thick should a child’s mattress be?Along the same lines as the firmness, the thickness of your child’s mattress is an important safety consideration. This is especially true for younger children who are transitioning from a crib to a regular bed but may still need safety rails. It’s also true for kids with bunk beds. The thicker the mattress, the lower the safety rail becomes. A taller mattress closes the gap between the top of the mattress and the top of the safety rail. So, toddlers and young children should have relatively thin mattresses for safety.What size should a child’s mattress be?Again, you might consider purchasing a larger sized mattress when your child hits a growth spurt. At 39 inches by 75 inches, a twin mattress is best for children with ages up to middle school. A twin XL, 39 inches by 80 inches, would be suited to children who grow quickly, taller children, and possibly teenagers (depending on their height). A full size mattress accommodates children who sleep alone and ensures they sleep comfortably as they grow.Are memory foam mattresses safe for children?Memory foam mattresses are considered unsafe for children below the age of 8 because kids can sink too far into these foam beds and become smothered. Babies and toddlers should never sleep on foam mattresses because, should your baby roll onto its belly while in bed, the foam layers in these mattresses will conform to their face and possibly suffocate them.If you’re considering a foam bed for your little one, wait until they’re about 9 or 10 years old to make the investment.What type of mattresses are best for children?Firm beds with coils, such as hybrids or innersprings, as well as firm latex mattresses are great options for children. Kids over the age of 10 may enjoy a memory foam mattress for its sleep-promoting benefits, but you’re better off playing it safe with an innerspring or latex mattress when your child is younger.ConclusionChoosing the best mattress for your child requires quite a few considerations. First, the age of your child will determine both the firmness and the thickness of the mattress. The position in which your child sleeps is another important factor to consider. If your child is at a growth-intensive age, you’ll want to consider whether to get her a twin, a twin XL, or a full mattress.The materials and eco-friendly concerns are also important. Avoid mattresses made from materials that off-gas, and if you go with foam, make sure it has a reputable safety certification. Now you know all the considerations, you should be able to make a decision for your younger child. If you have an older child, include them in the process so you can be sure they end up with a mattress that gives them a good night’s rest.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. CommentsLeave a comment AJH October 21, 2020 at 5:11 am ReplyI don’t care about the quality of the mattress at this point, the absolutely terrible customer service at Nest Bedding should steer you away from this company. I’ve gotten better customer service for a $5 cup of coffee, let alone $500 for some mattress in a box.I did a lot of research to find the right mattress for my child, which is why I ordered the BKB from Nest. I saw all the warning about delays due to COVID, which is fine. I place the order, and for days the status online says “awaiting production.” Well the COVID notice said production might take 7-10 days, so does that mean that it will be ANOTHER 7-10 days once the status changes? So I reach out with an email from their website with my order number. NO RESPONSE.Days pass – we’re now on day 6 ordering, and the status still says “awaiting production” and I’ve gotten no response to help me understand what this means and when I may get the bed. Now we all have different circumstances; for me, my dog just tore his ACL/CCL and is having surgery soon. I now have greater urgency to start this transition and get my child into a bed so that I can focus on him at night post-surgery. I decide to cancel the BKB and buy locally.I call the customer service line, since I still haven’t gotten a response from the email from the webpage. I sit on hold and finally get sent to a voicemail. I leave a number with my order details and that I want to cancel. Miraculously, within the hour, I get an email that my order is shipping with FedEx! We’ve gone from awaiting production to shipping in the time it took for them to listen to voicemail that I wanted to cancel. I send two response emails and call back. I again sit on hold and again have to leave a voice message. I’m furious at this point. I canceled my order after complete lack of response, now it’s shipping.A short while later, I get a call back, to which the man tells me that I can’t cancel without incurring a hefty fee because the bed has now shipped. First, the bed (miraculously) shipped after I called to cancel, and second, the bed is still sitting in Phoenix – all they’ve done is print the label. FedEx doesn’t even have record of the package yet when I click on the tracking number. The man tells me that I was given the COVID delay policies and that they’re actually exceeding the production time, and made me verbally tell him that I saw and read the policy. Sure, I did. Does that mean I can’t change my mind due to changing circumstances? And does that mean that you can highroad me and quick try to ship me a bed so you can keep you sale? So he says he will call his guys and see if they can pull the package back since it hasn’t yet shipped. NO RESPONSE.So I hear nothing back, although the man said he would let me know if they could pull the package back. Since I’m sick of getting no response to emails (three in total) and leaving voicemails on some line (two in total), I try their chat function. I check to make sure that I’m within their business hours (I am), and would you guess it? NO RESPONSE. It’s been 14 hours and I’ve still gotten no response.And would you guess what I woke up to this morning? A shipping confirmation that FedEx has picked up the bed from their facility.So, if you want to take your chances you have no need to contact customer service, then this sounds like this is a great bed. But if something comes up and you need to contact the company, prepare yourself for the worst customer service. They don’t care about you – just selling you a product. There’s plenty of bed-in-a-box options – stay away from Nest. Mary December 27, 2020 at 7:32 am ReplyThanks to one of these review websites we purchased the 5 little monkeys mattress and let me tell you we have had plenty of foam mattresses in our home but this one truly smells terrible. I feel guilty for letting it off gas in my 1 year olds bedroom for as long as I did. After two weeks of thr smell not receding we contacted the company for a refund. They insisted we donate it to a local charity (so they could have and itemized receipt aka tax write off). Due to covid they could not accept the return but none of the local charities wanted a mattress during covid either. After contacting them again explaining the situation they emailed me a sheet of paper to write the contact info for a friend or neighbor who we were expected to donate it too before receiving our refund. Well…you tell me if you think anyone else would want our mattress during covid. We “donated” it to my mother and received our refund…. and it is now sitting in our garage 4 weeks later still stinking and off gassing. Honestly I feel guilty giving away this toxic mattress to ANY child to sleep on. Nothing that smells this horrible is non toxic. After much research I learned that the certifications for these foam mattresses are really bogus and their list of chemicals/toxins not found into their “clean/pure” mattresses aren’t usually used in the production of foam mattress anyway ( bummer). Its like putting a “gluten free” label on an apple at the grocery store…catch my drift? I ended up paying twice as much for a naturepedic mattress for my toddler but ..oh man..it was totally worth it. No smell, super comfy…she climbed on it and laid down immediately (which didn’t happen with the 5 little monkey mattress) . I am out some $$$ but its 100% worth the peace of mind and non toxic environment in my baby’s room. 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