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The Complete Guide To Buying Your Child A Kids' Mattress

Sleep is vital for your children’s growth, health, well-being, learning and development. It is when their bodies grow, their immune systems recharge and their brains process all that new information they’ve taken in throughout the day.

In fact, studies by John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital have shown that “children who get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory and overall mental health and physical health. Also, not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression."

Image of a smiling young girl sat on an unmade bed cradling a pillow

So what is enough sleep?

This varies by age, but it is recommended that children sleep:

Infants (0–3 months)14–17 hours, including naps
Infants (4–12 months12–16 hours, including naps
Toddlers (1–2 years)11–14 hours, including naps
Preschool (3–5 years)10–13 hours, including naps
School-age (6–13 years)9–12 hours
Teens (14–17 years)8–10 hours

But what mattress should they be sleeping on?

Buying the right mattress for your child is an important investment, but even a mid-range mattress at £200 works out at only 7p a night over the seven years you can expect to get out of it.

Knowing what's best for your little one can be tricky - you want to make the best decision for them. Don't worry, we've done the hard work for you and put together a comprehensive guide full of all the information you could possibly need when looking for your child's new mattress. From what materials are used, how age affects mattress choice, to our top picks for you, we just want to ensure the best night's sleep for them... and for you!

What exactly should you consider when purchasing a kid's mattress?

When purchasing a mattress for kids, you need to consider firmness, size, material, durability, price, safety, and - of course! - comfort.

Firmness

The firmness of the mattress is important as it contributes to the quality of sleep children receive. A mattress that is too firm can be uncomfortable for children and can lead to disturbed sleep.

And on the other hand, a mattress that is too soft can cause back and neck pain due to improper support.

It is best to find a mattress with medium firmness that offers proper support without sacrificing their comfort.

Size

The size of the mattress also matters when shopping for a kids’ mattress, as they need enough space to sleep comfortably without feeling cramped or overcrowded in their bed.

A small single mattress should be sufficient for children, but if you have an older child or they have started to sprout early you might want to opt for a regular single mattress or even a double bed instead!

Material

The material used in the construction of the mattress should also be considered when making your purchase.

Memory foam mattresses are popular, but hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or even latex with pocket spring systems to enhance support and comfort - perfect for easing relief on little bones as they grow!

While latex mattresses tend to have better breathability than foam models, they can be more expensive - so consider whether it fits into your budget before making your final decision.

You might also want to consider if your child has any allergies. Lots of natural mattresses are hypoallergenic, using naturally allergy-free materials like cotton, perfect for reducing night-time sniffles.

Durability

Durability is another important factor when choosing a mattress for kids, as it will determine how long the product will last before needing to be replaced. You can expect a good mattress to last you 6-8 years, so buying a cheaper one can be a false economy.

Look out for high-quality materials that are designed to stand up against wear and tear from daily use over time. And take note of any warranties offered by the manufacturer so you can easily get repairs or replacements if necessary in future years.

If you're little one is of the bed-wetting age, or transitioning from nappies, a good mattress protector can also help increase the longevity of their mattress. You can also check out our guide on preventing your child from wetting the bed, which could help you increase the life span of your new purchase.

Price

We all want the best for our kids - but we also all work within the constraints of our budget.

Generally speaking, higher-end models may cost more initially but tend to offer better quality cushioning and support - which could mean fewer replacements down the road, saving you money over time. You can get a good, durable mattress for around the £200 mark.

Safety

Safety should always be top of mind when selecting any type of bedding product for kids, particularly mattresses

Simon Williams from the National Bed Federation (NBF) says, “Ensure it is made by a reputable manufacturer and you purchase it from a trusted retailer or internet site. The mattress should display the BS 7177 label for flammability standards.”

Fortunately, you can be assured that all mattresses from MattressNextDay are carefully selected - we only offer you the best of the best.

Comfort

Comfort should also not be overlooked as this will directly impact how well your child sleeps each night. Look out for features like temperature-regulation technology mixed with traditional cushioning technologies.

Materials such as wool can act as climate-regulators, keeping your little one cool in the summer and warm and cosy in the winter, so look out for this property when researching your child's new mattress.

When is it appropriate for my infant to transition to a child's mattress?

It is generally recommended that an infant transitions to a child's mattress once they reach 18 months old. At this stage, babies require more space and support than a crib mattress can provide.

A child's mattress should be firm, supportive, and able to provide the correct amount of cushioning and comfort for your toddler's growing body.

To ensure the best sleeping environment for your little one, look for mattresses specifically designed for children that are constructed from high-quality materials such as breathable fabrics and foam layers with good ventilation.

In addition, it is important to choose a mattress size that allows your child some room to move around, yet still fits snugly in their bed frame or crib.

With these features in mind, you can be sure your little one will have a comfortable and safe night’s sleep.

Types of Children's Mattresses

Types of children's mattresses vary depending on the age and size of the child, as well as personal preference. The most popular types are innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses.

Pocket Sprung Mattresses

Pocket Sprung mattresses offer excellent support and comfort with their individually pocketed coils and layers of comfort foam. These springs react to yout child's movements throughout the night, offering support to their heaviest pressure points and keeping them supported all night long.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are made from a heat-sensitive material that adjusts to the shape of your body for personalized pressure point relief and support. While they can often retain heat, memory foam mattresses are ideal if your child would prefer a comforting 'sink in' feeling when they get into bed.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses provide superior support with their all-natural materials, and don't tend to retain the heat that memory foam does. Plus, latex springs back to its original shape once pressure is removed, so you don't have to worry about your mattress compressing over time.

Can my child use a second-hand mattress?

It is possible for a child to use a second-hand mattress; however, it is important to check if it has any signs of wear and tear or other damage.

It is best to inspect the mattress in person before making the purchase, as this will give an indication that the mattress is still usable. Mattresses should generally be changed every 7-10 years regardless of whether they are new or second-hand, so it’s best to check how long the mattress has been used before deciding if it is suitable for a child.

If hygiene is a major concern you might want to consider purchasing a mattress protector which can be washed and replaced regularly.

All in all, when considering buying a second-hand mattress for a child, take the time to properly inspect its condition and consider if it meets their needs.

How often should I replace my child's mattress?

It is recommended that you replace your child's mattress every five to seven years in order to ensure their safety and comfort. This is especially important for growing children as their needs and preferences change over time. Generally for adults, you can wait to replace your mattress after around six to eight years, but as your child grows, their needs will change. Plus, the likelihood of damage through soiling etc. is much higher with kids!

It's also important to note that a mattress can begin to lose its shape, support, and comfort over time due to regular use. As such, regular replacements can help ensure that your child continues to sleep comfortably and safely.

Plus, the accumulation of allergens, dust mites, and other irritants can cause health issues if not properly addressed with a new mattress.

What steps can I take to create an allergy-safe bedroom for my child?

  • 1. Start by purchasing hypoallergenic bedding and pillows for your child's bedroom. Look for bedding made from organic cotton, bamboo, or wool. These materials are less likely to contain allergens or irritants than synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon.
  • 2. Clean your child's bedroom regularly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to help remove allergens from the air. Make sure to focus on carpets, upholstery, and other fabric surfaces since they can harbour dust mites and other allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction in your child.
  • 3. Remove any stuffed animals, curtains, or other decorative items that have a high likelihood of containing dust or dander which can trigger allergies in some people. Also, avoid having live plants in the bedroom as some can cause allergic reactions when their pollen is released into the air.
  • 4. Consider replacing carpeting with hardwood floors as wall-to-wall carpets often trap dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens that could trigger an allergic reaction in your child. Hardwood floors are easier to clean with a damp cloth and vacuuming them weekly will help reduce allergens in the room too.
  • 5. Keep the mattress itself clean. You can read our guide on how to clean your mattress to learn tips and tricks on how to clean and sanitise your mattress, ensuring it helps to create a healthy and hygienic environment for your child.

Want to see our best-selling mattresses for children?

Here's a few of our favourite kids' mattresses! Whatever mattress you choose, remember that we offer an award-winning free next day delivery service and a sustainable and eco-friendly old mattress recyling service. Plus, for more information and advice on all things sleep related, including how to buy the right cot bed mattresses, and how to clean a memory foam mattress if that's the one you go for, head to our advice hub.

Silentnight Healthy Growth Lunar Eco Memory Miracoil Mattress

Corner image of the Silentnight Healthy Growth Lunar Eco Memory Miracoil Mattress
  • Miracoil® Springs
  • Memory Foam & Soft White Fibres
  • 23cm Depth
  • Quilted Cover
  • Orthopaedic Support
  • Firmness: Firm

Silentnight Healthy Growth Cosy Toddler Mattress

Close up corner image of the Silentnight Healthy Growth Cosy Toddler Mattress
  • 10cm Depth
  • Orthopaedic Support
  • Eco Comfort Fibres
  • Made in The UK
  • Odour resistant
  • Foam
  • Firmness: Firm

Silentnight Healthy Growth Astro Eco Comfort Pocket Mattress

  • 600 Mirapocket® Springs
  • Eco Comfort Fibres™
  • Reflex Foam
  • 23.5cm Depth
  • Quilted Cover
  • No Roll Together
  • Firmness: Medium