A Buying Guide To Kids Mattresses | MattressNextDay

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Kids Mattress Buying Guide

The importance of sleep to children can’t be understated. In fact, kids get a whopping average of 12 hours per night. And since they spend so much time in bed, it's important to make sure their sleeping environment is up to scratch.

Buying kids mattresses can be overwhelming, with so much information out there, it can be difficult to find the best children's mattress for your needs. We've put together this helpful buying guide to simplify the process and help you make the best choice when buying your child's mattress.

How To Choose A Children’s Mattress

Choosing the best kids mattress comes down to their individual requirements. All children are different - from the things they like, the way they play to the way they sleep. Just like adults, children tend to have a preferred way to sleep. But what should you look for when choosing a child’s mattress? Here are a few things to factor in when deciding which is best for them.

Age, Height And Weight

The first thing to consider is their age, this will give you a good indication of what size mattress is best for your child. Their height and weight will also play a part in finding the best toddler mattress, dictating the firmness you should go for and how the mattress is sprung. If they're likely to outgrow a small single in the next year, choose a standard single to make sure you don't need to replace it so soon.


Many children get hot during the night, resulting in duvets strewn around, and let's face it, tantrums. Choosing the right mattress can avoid this situation completely. If your child gets hot during the night, avoid materials like memory foam that can retain heat. You can even opt for a brand such as Coolflex that cleverly design cooling mattresses which regulate temperature and prevent overheating.

Motion Absorption

Some children fidget a lot throughout the night and often wake themselves up because of it. A mattress with motion absorption and noise minimizing properties could be your new best friend. Pocket sprung mattresses are great for this and are an ideal choice for bunk beds too. Making sure both of your children get an undisturbed nights sleep.

Sleeping Position

Your child’s preferred sleeping position can be a deciding factor when choosing their mattress. If they like to sleep on their side, memory foam mattresses are good for providing a softer surface to sink into. Back sleepers require a bit of extra support so a spring mattress is a better choice. And finally, front sleepers need a firmer mattress to make sure their spine is properly aligned and not sinking in.

What Is The Best Type Of Mattress For A Child?

There are many different types of kid’s mattresses out there. The two most popular, memory foam and pocket sprung, have their own benefits and will be discussed in more detail further into the guide. Memory foam mattresses are favoured due to their contouring effect. They’re particularly effective for restless children, preventing roll together. Pocket sprung mattresses provide tailored support with individual internal springs. Here’s a run-through of other top kids’ mattress options to choose from.

Open Coil Kids Mattress

A standard sprung mattress offers even body weight distribution and spinal support, holding your child’s body up. This is a good option for children who suffer from joint and back issues, as it promotes correct spinal alignment. This is typically a firmer and less responsive mattress type.

Latex Kids Mattress

If your child is prone to overheating or suffers from allergies and irritations caused by dust mites, latex mattress are a great option. This natural mattress material has hypoallergenic and breathable properties, keeping the air flowing through while keeping the bed bugs at bay.

Miracoil Kids Mattress

Silentnight’s patented Miracoil technology helps kids who require firmer support get a good night’s sleep. Miracoil mattresses also prevent roll together with a spring system which is both comfortable and supportive.

Reflex Foam Kids Mattresses

Reflex foam mattresses are lighter in weight than their memory foam counterparts, with a solid foam bases which is extremely supportive. This high-density foam is commonly found in orthopaedic mattresses and will keep your child’s spine aligned while they sleep.

Is a memory foam mattress good for a child?

Memory foam is one of the most comfortable mattress types on the markers, moulding to the shape of your body to promote a comfortable sleeping position. Children can benefit from this model too, particularly the more restless youngsters.

Memory foams clever technology moulds to the body, providing the perfect amount of support to pressure points. For this reason, it can be a great choice for growing children since they are constantly changing in weight and height.

However, it is important to make sure your child isn't sinking into the mattress too much as their spine needs to remain in a neutral position. If they are sinking into the mattress too much, upgrade to a firmer style of memory foam.

A kids memory foam mattress will also aid in the development of bones and joints as they grow, reducing pressure and pain as they become stronger. Bear in mind the age and weight when choosing a memory foam mattress for kids, as it is recommended that memory foam bed mattresses are reserved for older children and not used by toddlers.

Is a pocket sprung mattress good for a child?

Pocket sprung mattresses for children are favoured due to their motion control and supportive comfort. They feature an appealing bounce, without allowing the body to deeply sink into the base. Made with individual springs encased in cloth within the fabric, pocket sprung mattresses offer tailored support to specific pressure points, and are particularly kind to your child’s sensitive growing joints. 

When choosing your children's mattress, the right firmness should be a top consideration. Since your child will be spending so much time sleeping, the correct amount of support is vital. Children do a lot of growing over time while they're sleeping so it's important to make sure their spine has optimum support. Pocket sprung mattresses are great for this as they are very supportive without compromising on comfort. They're a particularly great choice for children that prefer to sleep on their front or back.

What Age Should My Baby Move To A Kids Mattress?

They don’t stay babies forever. Making the step up from a cot mattress to is a big landmark as your little one’s body grows. While there’s no black and white answer, given that children grow at their own rate, graduating to a child’s mattress between the ages of 18 and 36 months is a good rule of thumb.

How often should I replace my children's mattress?

Having a supportive mattress is amazingly important, especially when it comes to young children. The National Bed Federation recommends replacing an adult mattress every 7 years, but for a children's mattress you may need to replace it slightly earlier to ensure they're getting the proper spinal support they need. If you spot any signs of sagging or wear and tear, it's time to replace your children's mattress.

Age and rate of growth are also key factors when it comes to replacing a kids mattress. Between the ages of 3 and 10, it’s recommended that their mattress is renewed every 3 years. As they creep into the pre-teen and teenage years, change up their mattress every 5 years between the ages of 10 and 16. Of course, all children grow at different rates. As a general rule, ensure your kids mattress is around 10cm longer than the frame of your child for optimal comfort and room to stretch.

How firm should a children's mattress be?

The ultimate goal when it comes to choosing your children's mattress is making sure it offers them optimum spinal support. The ultimate goal when it comes to choosing your children's mattress is making sure it offers them optimum spinal support. You might be tempted to go for something super soft, but we actually recommend you go for something much firmer than you might be inclined to choose. This is because a growing child needs a good level of spinal support as they sleep, to ensure their spine is kept correctly aligned so they grow properly. Bone development at a young age is critical, so a firm mattress is almost more important for a child than it is for an adult.

Firm mattresses offer a stable, floating feeling, and younger kids transitioning from cot to bed or children that like to sleep on their back or stomach tend to prefer them. Softer or plush mattresses create more of a sinking feeling that older children or children that like to sleep on their side tend to prefer. If you notice your child's mattress is sagging when they lay on it, they may need a firmer mattress.

How do I protect my child's mattress from accidents?

Bed-wetting and spillage's can be a common occurrence when it comes to your child's mattress. These types of accidents can be quite tricky to clean and it's best to make sure your child's mattress is protected. Water-proof mattress protectors have come a long way, they're no longer noisy and uncomfortable and can be a discreet addition to your child's bedding. Mattress protectors often have a soft cotton surface that prevents any crinkling noises that could disturb your child's sleep.

You can shop our range of dedicated children's mattresses, small single mattresses, single mattresses, and small double mattresses, here.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!