A Buying Guide To Your Kids Mattress | MattressNextDay

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Kids Mattress Buying Guide

Kids Mattress Buying Guide

The importance of sleep to children can’t be understated. Kids get a whopping average of 12 hours per night, and they need every minute of that to be quality sleep time to support their growing bodies. Since they spend so much time in bed, it's important to make sure their sleeping environment is as healthy and as supportive as possible.

Buying kids mattresses can be a real challenge, as there’s so much information out there. To help you find the best children's mattress, we've put together this helpful buying guide to simplify the process, so you make the best choice when buying your child's mattress.

How to choose the best kids mattress?

Just like mattress buying for grown-ups, choosing the best kid’s mattress comes down to the child’s individual requirements. All children are different - from the things they like, the way they play, to the way they sleep.

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.


Children find it very difficult to control their body temperature and may get hot during the night. Choosing the right mattress can help prevent this situation. If your child gets hot during the night, avoid materials like memory foam that can retain heat.
You can even opt for a gel version such as the Coolflex i-Pedic Memory Cool Mattress that cleverly design cooling mattresses that 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.
The Silentnight Imagine Sprung Bunk Kids Mattress is a great choice that makes sure both of your children get an undisturbed night’s 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, such as the Silentnight Memory 7 Zone Mattress.

Back sleepers require a bit of extra support, so a spring mattress is a better choice, such as the Shire Madrid 1000 Pocket Mattress.

Front sleepers need a firmer mattress to make sure their spine is properly aligned and not sinking in. A quality mattress such as the firm-rated Silentnight Essentials Memory Mirapocket 1000 Mattress is a good choice for front sleepers.

What type of mattress is best for kids?

There are many different types of kid’s mattresses out there. The two most popular, memory foam and pocket There are many different types of kid’s mattresses. The two most popular are memory foam and pocket sprung. Memory foam mattresses are favoured due to their contouring effect. They’re particularly effective for restless children. While pocket sprung mattresses provide tailored support with individual internal springs.

Open Coil Kids Mattress

A standard sprung mattress offers even bodyweight distribution and spinal support, holding your child’s body up. Mattresses such as the Relyon Classic Sprung Cot Bed mattress are ideal for younger children, providing plenty of support and comfort all night long.

Latex Kids Mattress

If your child is prone to overheating or suffers from allergies and irritations caused by dust mites, latex mattresses are a great option. This natural mattress material has hypoallergenic and breathable properties. This helps to keep 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. Top of the range is the Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress. Don’t worry about this being an orthopaedic mattress – it’s incredibly comfortable and ideal for kids who prefer to sleep on their front.

Reflex Foam Kids Mattresses

Reflex foam mattresses are lighter in weight than their memory foam counterparts, with solid foam bases that are extremely supportive. This high-density foam is commonly found in orthopaedic mattresses and will keep your child’s spine aligned while they sleep.
For a slightly softer feel, the Kayflex Pocket Ruby 3000 Pillow Top mattress has a dreamy-soft pillow top design. This makes it incredibly comfortable for kids who prefer to sleep on their backs or sides.

Type of mattressProsCons
Open coil kid's mattress (such as the Relyon Classic Sprung Coil Bed Mattress)Supporting
Long lasting
Even body weight distribution
Not as responsive to your child's shape
Less cushioned
Higher maintenance
Pocketed springs Long lasting
Better and more responsive support
Minimal movement transference
More expensive than open coil
Memory foamIncredibly comfortable
Promote a more peaceful night's sleep
Conform to your child's shape
Reduce pressure points
Can be expensive
Hold the heat so can be uncomfortable for children who cannot regulate their body temperature as well
Latex foam Naturally hypoallergenic
Cooler than memory foam
Can be expensive
Some children may be allergic to latex
Reflex foamFirmer than memory foam
Lightweight and easy to maintain
A good budget option
Denser foam doesn't mould as easily to your child's shape
Children's Miracoil mattresses Branded technology that provides outstanding support and comfort
Firmer support - ideal for front sleepers
Can be expensive
Very firm so a topper may be needed to give a softer feel for back or side sleepers

Is a memory foam mattress good for a child?

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

Memory foam’s clever technology provides the perfect amount of support to pressure points. 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 as their spine needs to remain in a neutral position. If they are then upgrade to a firmer option.

A kid’s 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. It is recommended that memory foam bed mattresses are reserved for older children and not toddlers.

Is a pocket sprung mattress good for a child?

Pocket sprung mattresses for children provide plenty of motion control and supportive comfort. They feature an appealing bounce, without allowing the body to deeply sink into the base. They 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, particularly along the spine. These are great for this as they are very supportive without compromising on comfort. They're a particularly good 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 a bed is a big landmark as your little one’s body grows. Given that children grow at different rates, graduating to a child’s mattress between the ages of 18 and 36 months is a good rule of thumb.

close up of child asleep in bed

How often should I replace my children's mattress?

Having a supportive mattress is important, especially when it comes to young children. The National Bed Federation recommends replacing an adult mattress every 7-8 years, but for a children's mattress, you may need to replace it slightly earlier. This is 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 be 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 kid's 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?

You might be tempted to go for something super soft that your little one can snuggle into, but it’s actually better to choose something much firmer than you might think. This is because a growing child needs a good level of spinal support as they sleep. This is 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 like the Silentnight Double Sided Miracoil Mattress 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.

If you’re not sure, a medium firmness mattress is a good compromise.

Does your bed frame matter?

As long as your mattress fits the bed frame properly, the style, design, or type of child’s bed frame you choose is pretty much down to personal taste. You’ll need a more lightweight mattress for bunk beds.

The Dormeo Aloe Vera Memory Foam Mattress is specifically designed to fit a standard bunk bed. Bear in mind that children’s bed frames are often classified as ‘small singles’, so it’s important that you pick the right size mattress to fit (75cm x 190cm, or 2ft 6" x 6ft 3").

Couple holding a mattress ready to put on a bed frame

How much does a kid's mattress cost?

A kid’s mattress is generally more budget-friendly than a premium quality adult’s mattress. Cot mattresses are cheaper because they’re smaller in size, but with no compromise on comfort or support. The cost will also depend on whether you go for a thinner mattress if your children sleep on a bunk bed. Or if you have a teenager who wants plenty of room to spread out and has a full-size single.

Shorty mattresses are cheaper than a standard-length mattress. And if you want an easy-care option, mattresses like the Silentnight Easycare Mircoil Mattress are affordable and come with a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

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.

Waterproof 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.

If you want to know more about keeping your child’s mattress cleaner, check out our guide on How To Clean Your Mattress and Keep it in Good Condition.

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!