Best Mattresses For Kids In 2021

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Getting your kids to bed is hard enough; choosing the right mattress for them to sleep on shouldn’t be.

A good night’s sleep is extremely important for children as they grow and develop, and a proper mattress can go a long way toward ensuring our kids are getting all the restorative sleep they need. But taking a look through all the options can be a headache, especially when you don’t know how much you should spend on a kid’s mattress or even what size bed your child will need.

If you’re looking for a great mattress for children, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share our top six picks for the best mattresses for kids (we will note that these recommendations are generally for children who are at least four or five years of age) and answer all the questions you may have while shopping for a child’s mattress.

The Best Mattresses For Kids

  • Nolah – Best Foam Mattress For Kids
  • Lull – Most Supportive Mattress
  • Tuft & Needle – Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
  • Bowery – Best Mattress For Combination Sleepers
  • Leesa – Best Cooling Mattress for Kids
  • Zinus – Best Budget Mattress For Kids

Some companies claim that they have the perfect bed for kids but, like adults, kids have their own sleep preferences, sleep in different positions, and have different comfort and support needs. That being said, one of these six excellent mattresses should be a proper fit for most kids out there!

Best Foam Mattress for Kids

Nolah

The Nolah is one of the most comfortable mattresses we have reviewed, and we feel it should be a particularly nice soft option for children. The Nolah features a material called AirFoam in the comfort layer that is designed to relieve pressure even better than memory foam – we have personally tested the AirFoam out ourselves, and we can see it does relieve pressure extremely well.

At the same time, the AirFoam is more responsive and cooling than memory foam; many people complain that memory makes them feel trapped and sleep hot, and this can also be a major issue for kids. Kid side sleepers should feel the soft pressure relief of the AirFoam on the Nolah, but they should not have any significant trouble moving around on the mattress or sleeping hot.

In addition, the Nolah should also be a fantastic option for kids who sleep on their backs – the AirFoam will conform to the curves of their bodies and also offer the necessary amount of support.

Finally, the Nolah is a thinner mattress that won’t be too thick, substantial or complex for children. The Nolah is only 10″ thick which makes it a safer option for children, and it is moderately priced, so parents aren’t paying for extra mattress their kids don’t really require.

What Makes The Nolah Mattress Stand Out?

  • The Nolah mattress features a comfortable, proprietary AirFoam which is a responsive and cooling alternative to memory foam.
  • The Nolah mattress is thinner, yet it’s still comfortable and supportive enough for children who are back sleepers or side sleepers. 
  • The Nolah is affordable and durable, making it a wise investment that should last for a significant amount of time.

Read the full Nolah mattress review

$260 Off
Nolah
Nolah
Nolah

Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers.  You can get $260 off the Nolah mattress and 2 free pillows by clicking the link below.

Most Supportive Mattress

Lull

Comfort is important for kids, but parents should not overlook support when they are shopping for a mattress for their child. It really isn’t just about finding the softest mattress possible, especially if one’s kid sleeps on their back or stomach – with that in mind, we included the supportive Lull mattress on this list.

The Lull is an all-foam mattress that features a thin layer of memory foam over a transition layer and then a base layer on the bottom. While the memory foam is quite soft, there is not much of it, and, because of this, kids who are back sleepers will feel their hips in just the right amount while the bottom layers support their bodies. In addition, kid stomach sleepers should get the requisite amount of support from the Lull and should not feel their hips dipping extremely far into the mattress which could cause back pain

Even though it contains memory foam, the Lull should not sleep particularly hot because it contains a gel infusion that should help dissipate any heat that is trapped in the top of the mattress. Lastly, the Lull is a simpler, streamlined mattress, similar to the other options on this list – it is 10″ thick and, paired with a lower frame, should not make it too difficult for kids to safely get in and out of bed.

What Makes The Lull Mattress Stand Out?

  • The Lull is a very supportive mattress that should be an excellent match for kids who are primarily back sleepers or stomach sleepers. 
  • The Lull contains a gel memory foam which should keep the top of the mattress feeling cool at night and won’t make children overheat and wake up sweaty. 
  • The Lull features a simple design and is a good basic fit for kids who don’t require a thicker, complex mattress with tons of extra features. 

Read the full Lull mattress review

$250 Off
Lull
Lull
Lull

Lull is a great fit for those looking to get a slight memory foam feel and for those who sleep on their back or stomach - customers can get $250 off right now by clicking through the link below.

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

Tuft And Needle

The Tuft and Needle is an extremely popular bed in a box mattress and for good reason – it contains Adaptive Foam, a memory foam alternative that is both responsive and breathable. This proprietary foam will make it quite easy for kids to move around at night, and they shouldn’t be sleeping particularly hot either.

The design of the Tuft and Needle provides an excellent balance of comfort and support that should be ideal for kid back sleepers; they should feel the support of the base foam while the Adaptive Foam conforms to the curves of their body. At the same time, the Adaptive Foam is quite soft and is thick enough to provide the requisite amount of pressure relief for children when they are side sleeping.

As we have seen with these other mattresses, kids don’t require an advanced mattress with tons of bells and whistles, and it is also a bad idea to get an extremely thick mattress for kids as this can make it more dangerous and difficult to get in and out of bed. The Tuft and Needle is only 10″ thick and really is that perfect thickness for a kid’s mattress and will pair well with many types of beds made for children. 

What Makes The Tuft And Needle Mattress Stand Out?

  • The Tuft and Needle mattress features Adaptive Foam, a proprietary alternative to memory foam that is both responsive and cooling.
  • The Tuft and Needle boasts a balance of comfort and support that will be an excellent fit for children who are back sleepers or side sleepers. 
  • The Tuft and Needle is a streamlined yet high-quality mattress that will work for kids of many sizes. 

Read the full Tuft and Needle mattress review

15% Off
Tuft And Needle
Tuft And Needle
Tuft And Needle

The Tuft & Needle is a great value mattress that is also extremely comfortable. Click the button to save 15%. Use code CLARITY15 to save. 

Best For Combination Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

The Bowery mattress comes from Brooklyn Bedding, a company that is all about value and excellent savings – they own their own factory, and this allows them to cut out the middleman and pass savings along to customers. The Bowery is their most affordable mattress model and it is also a fantastic match for parents who want to save some money on their kid’s mattress. 

Kids who sleep in all three sleeping positions are going to find the Brooklyn Bedding Bowery to be an excellent match – it features an exceptional balance of comfort and support and should be soft enough for side sleeping and firm enough for back and stomach sleeping. The Energex foam found in the comfort layer is also particularly responsive, making it easier for kids to switch between their back, side, and stomach during the night. 

The Bowery is also only 10″ thick which is, again, a proper thickness for a kid’s mattress – it only features three foam layers, and it is the perfect simple design for kids who shouldn’t be sleeping on a thick, over-designed mattress. 

What Makes The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Mattress Stand Out?

  • The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery is a very high-quality mattress that is sold for a surprisingly affordable price.
  • The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery mattress is a fantastic match for younger combination sleepers who sleep in multiple positions at night.
  • The Bowery mattress is a streamlined option for kids who don’t require as much comfort or support material as adults.

Read the full Brooklyn Bedding Bowery mattress review

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Brooklyn Bedding Bowery
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

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Best Cooling Mattress

Leesa

The Leesa is another streamlined 10″ bed in a box mattress that should be a simpler, streamlined option for children. The mattress features a proprietary LSA200 foam in its comfort layer that offers the benefits of memory foam with only few of the drawbacks – it is soft and pressure relieving but is also significantly more responsive and breathable than standard memory foam.

Its superior breathability is what makes the Leesa our top cooling mattress for kids – sleeping hot is an issue that many people deal with, including kids, but they should not be overheating when they are sleeping on the Leesa mattress. 

The Leesa also boasts a fantastic balance of comfort and support that will be a suitable match for kid back sleepers – they will receive some excellent contouring from the LSA200 foam while the support layers hold them up. Also, this LSA200 foam should relieve the majority of pressure on their shoulders and hips when they are side sleeping. 

What Makes The Leesa Mattress Stand Out?

  • The Leesa is a basic, streamlined mattress that shouldn’t be too thick or advanced for children. 
  • The Leesa is a cooler sleeping mattress that should keep kids from overheating during the night.
  • The Leesa mattress is a comfortable and supportive option for younger side sleepers and back sleepers.

Read the full Leesa mattress review 

Up To $200 Off
Leesa
Leesa
Leesa

Leesa is a very comfortable mattress that I think a lot of people are going to really like.  You can get up to $200 off the Leesa mattress and get 2 free pillows simply by clicking the link below.

Best Budget Mattress

Zinus

As with any mattress purchase, it is always a good idea for parents to consider their budget when shopping for their kid’s mattress. There really is no reason for parents to break the bank because their kids don’t really require the same amount of support and comfort as adults.

Those who are seeking out a fantastic budget pick for kids should take a look at Zinus because they offer a number of mattress models, and they are all sold for an affordable, value price. One of our favorite models is the Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam mattress because it is extremely comfortable and does not sleep particularly hot.

Also, the Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam mattress is available in four heights – 8″, 10″, 12″, and “14 – we have learned that thinner mattresses are a better choice for kids, so we would recommend parents choose either the 8″ or 10” models.

What Makes The Zinus Stand Out?

  • Zinus offers multiple mattress models that feature different materials and designs that should be an excellent match for children.
  • The Zinus mattresses are affordably priced and a good fit for parents who want to save money on their mattress purchase.
  • The Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam model offers that classic memory foam feel, but it doesn’t sleep extremely hot.

Read the full Zinus mattress review 

Zinus Deals
Zinus
Zinus
Zinus

Zinus has a wide selection of mattresses that are really great values: customers can get the best current deal on Zinus mattresses simply by clicking the link below.

What Size Mattress Do Kids Need?

The size of mattress a child needs varies depending on their age and height, though generally the best size mattresses for kids are:

  • Twin (38” x 75”)
  • Twin XL (38” x 80”)
  • Full (53” x 75”)

Twin, twin XL, and full-size mattresses are best for children. A twin-size mattress, a little larger than a small single bed, is a great choice for most children. Once kids become older and age into the teenage years, a twin XL mattress is an appropriate choice since it adds extra length to the bed. Twin XL mattresses are also commonly used for college students.

RELATED: Best Mattress For Teenagers

A full-size mattress gives kids a little extra room to stretch out and move around. Full size mattresses are also a good choice for parents who either read to their kid before bed or sometimes sleep with their child as it gives enough room for a parent to lay down beside the child.

Anything larger than a full-size mattress isn’t necessarily the best size for a kid. Queen, king, California king, and split king mattresses are better for adults and couples since younger and smaller children don’t need as much sleeping space.

What To Look For In A Mattress For Kids

Now we’ll go over all the most important factors to consider when buying a mattress for a child and explain why it matters.

Mattress Type

There are many choices for different types of mattresses, so you may be wondering which are most suitable for children. The main types of mattresses available include innerspring, memory foam or foam blends, latex, and hybrid mattresses.

Traditional innerspring mattresses and memory foam or foam blend mattresses are great options for a child’s bed. These mattress types are more affordable and have an average lifespan of about 7-10 years so your child can grow on the mattress and sleep comfortably for a long time.

Latex mattresses and hybrid mattresses are typically more expensive and luxurious, though there are some affordable options that make good choices for kids as well.

Pressure Relief

Children should sleep on a pressure-relieving mattress. A mattress with great pressure relief will help keep your kid comfortable while they sleep. This factor is especially important for growing kids or active kids, as sleep is an important time for restoration, healing, and growing.

Generally, memory foam mattresses offer good pressure relief since these beds evenly distribute your body weight across the surface.

Mattress Thickness

Mattress Comfort Layer ThicknessWhen shopping for a kid’s mattress, you will want to look for a thinner mattress. If a mattress is too thick, it can be dangerous for kids and make it much more difficult for them to get in and out of bed.

Also, some kid beds feature safety runners along the side, and the mattress shouldn’t be higher than those.

Sleeping Position

One of the best ways to start the mattress shopping process is by narrowing down your options to best suit your sleeping position, and the same rule applies for children! You will want to find a mattress that matches your child’s primary sleeping position.

If your child is a side sleeper, they may be more comfortable on a softer mattress, while stomach and back sleepers will be more comfortable on a slightly firmer mattress that offers more support.

Price

Because children grow so quickly, you may want to think about how much you’re willing to spend on a mattress that a child will grow out of if you’re purchasing a smaller-sized mattress. You may not want to splurge on a mattress with all the bells and whistles if it won’t last for very long before the child will need a new mattress.

However, if you’re purchasing a mattress that the child can grow into, you may be willing to spend more money for a long-lasting mattress.

Temperature Regulation

Nobody wants to sweat through their sheets at night, so kids shouldn’t have to either. You will want to find a mattress that offers nice temperature regulation for your child. Memory foam mattresses are typically the least cooling due to their foam construction, although some models do have advanced cooling features. Generally, hybrid mattresses and latex mattresses will naturally be more cooling.

You may not think this matters much for your kid, but kids tend to pile a lot of bedding, stuffed animals, and more in their bed, so it may be extra important to have a mattress that won’t trap heat.

What To Think About When Buying A Kid’s Mattress

Whether our readers decide to choose one of the six mattresses listed above or want to keep shopping, there are some things to consider when choosing the right mattress for kids.

  • Don’t choose a mattress that is too much for kids. Looking for a kid’s mattress, it isn’t so much what they need but what they don’t need. For instance, kids don’t need a mattress with a thick comfort layer or supportive coils, and they don’t need a ton of bells and whistles. Whatever mattress parents choose, they should make sure they aren’t spending money on features their kids won’t even really notice or care about.
  • Choose a mattress that kids can grow into. Let’s face it, kids grow up fast – that’s why it is important to find a mattress that they can use for many years. If they are only six or seven, it might be a good idea to get a mattress that seems large for them – as they grow, they won’t be too large for the mattress, and parents won’t need to buy something new to fit them. In addition, take a look at the mattress warranty, so you are covered if anything goes wrong with the mattress.
  • Choose an organic mattress if your child has allergies or sensitive skin. Look for an all-natural organic mattress that is made with hypoallergenic materials, CertiPUR-US certified foam, and OEKO-Tex certified fabrics to keep your kids protected.

Final Thoughts

Here’s a summary of the best mattresses for kids:

Mattress Best For
Nolah Best Foam Mattress For Kids
Lull Most Supportive Mattress
Tuft & Needle Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
Bowery Best Mattress For Combination Sleepers
Leesa Best Cooling Mattress For Kids
Zinus Best Budget Mattress For Kids

We will just note that we are not pediatricians, so parents should be sure to check with a medical professional if their child has special needs or requirements for their sleep. That being said, one of these six mattresses should help get those kids back to sleep!

FAQs About Kid Mattresses

What is the best type of mattress for a child?

Pretty much any type of mattress can work for a child as long as they are older than four or five (if the child is toddler age, memory foam mattresses can be dangerous).

That being said, it also depends on the child and their sleeping position: if the child sleeps on their side, a softer memory foam mattress might work but, if they sleep on their back or stomach, a firmer innerspring mattress might be in order.

Is a memory foam mattress good for a child?

Memory foam can be good for a child as long as they are not too small. If they are an infant or a toddler, memory foam can be a dangerous choice, but if they are older, over four or five, memory foam can be a very comfortable option for kids.

How thick should a child's mattress be?

Parents should be looking for a thinner mattress for their kids because, if the mattress is too thick, it can be very dangerous. If the child’s bed has safety rails, a mattress that is only 5″ thick should be a good idea and, even if the bed doesn’t have rails, a child’s mattress really shouldn’t be thicker than 10″ or 11″.

Should a child's mattress be firm or soft?

If the child is over four or five years old, a firm or soft mattress could work for them, and it really depends on their sleeping preferences. If they sleep on their side, a soft mattress is a better choice and, if they sleep on their back or stomach, a firm mattress will be better.

Do I need to get a mattress protector for my kid's mattress?

You don’t have to put a mattress protector on your kid’s mattress, but it could be a good idea if your child is still having accidents and wetting the bed. Waterproof mattress protectors can protect your kid’s mattress from stains along with dust mites.

Featured image: fizkes/Shutterstock

Marten is Senior Editor at Mattress Clarity. He covers the mattress industry as well as sleep science news. He is specifically interested in the connection between sleep and overall health. Marten has written for media publications like Consequence of Sound and received a master’s degree in Film Studies from Emory University. He comes from Franklin, Indiana, and spends all the time he can writing, directing, and acting in films. He has directed genre short films and features. His newest film, Starlets, recently premiered at the River Town Film Festival in Clinton, NJ. He also stars in the upcoming thriller, Sour Bear. His next film, At The Hop, is a hot rod actioner with a horror twist.