The 8 Best Mattresses for Kids of 2021

Good Sleep is Essential

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Sleep provides kids’ growing bodies a time to rest and recharge. It’s an essential bodily function and so important for the mind, the body, and the well being of everyone in the family.

A good mattress is a must-have for both kids and adults. We all spend a large portion of our lives sleeping, so it's a good idea to invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress. For kids, the needs of the mattress can depend on their age and size, and some mattresses can even be adapted as they grow.

Here, the best mattresses for kids.

Our Top Picks
As the baby grows, flip the mattress to the softer, plusher toddler side.
The affordable set comes with two mattresses, so once you have the bed, order these, some sheets, and the bunk bed is ready.
Best for Allergies:
Puffy Queen Mattress at Puffy.com
To manage allergies, the cover comes right off so you can wash it as an extra step to remove dirt, germs, or allergens.
Sensitive sleepers will appreciate how the natural materials wick away moisture and the air flows better.
It has an anti-bacterial and waterproof cover that is nearly 3 inches thick, providing a good support base.
The mattress is delivered right to you, with a 100-night guarantee.
With increase air circulation to limit overheating and risk of suffocation, your baby will enjoy consistent restful sleep.
Designed to be used from toddlerhood to tween years, each side of the mattress is adaptable to meet the needs of your child.

Best for Infants: Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress
Pros
  • Dual-side design

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Waterproof

Cons
  • Costly

To ensure safety and a good night’s sleep, most infants will sleep in a crib and you’ll want a comfortable and durable crib mattress. This mattress checks those boxes. It has a dual-side design so for the first year or so, the baby can sleep on an extra firm foam side made just for infants.

As the baby grows, flip the mattress to the softer, plusher toddler side. The mattress is hypoallergenic and waterproof, so it’ll be easy to clean when the inevitable happens. At just over 8 pounds, it’s easy to lift for changing sheets and the squared edges and corners make that even easier.

Construction Type: Foam | Firmness: Extra firm (infant side) | Thickness: 5 inches | Sizes Available: Crib, Twin, and Full

Best for a Bunk Bed: Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress

Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Safe for bunk beds

Cons
  • Springs may become noisy

  • Chemical smell reported by some reviewers

Finding the right mattress for a bunk bed requires some specific criteria. Most bunk beds have twin-sized mattresses but double-check your set since some require the twin XL size. Standard twin mattresses are between 8-12 inches thick. For the top bunk, the mattress should not exceed 7 inches thick. Otherwise, it can extend past the bed’s guardrails.

The more guardrail space, the safer the bed is. The Zinus Sleepmaster mattress is easy to clean and at only 6 inches thick, it’s safe and secure for a bunk bed. The affordable set comes with two mattresses, so once you have the bed, order these, some sheets, and the bunk bed is ready.

Construction: Memory foam and steel coils | Firmness: Medium | Thickness: 6 inches | Sizes Available: Twin

Best for Allergies: Puffy Queen Mattress

Puffy
Pros
  • Stain-resistant Zip-N-Wash cover

  • Fits on any type of bed frame

Cons
  • Not sold in stores (only online)

  • On the heavier side

If your child has allergies, it’s best to choose memory foam or natural latex mattress for their bed. Avoid any fluffy pillow top covers, since they can accumulate dust mites. For that reason, a Puffy mattress is a good choice for kids. It’s a foam mattress that comes with a stain-resistant Zip-N-Wash cover that can easily be wiped.

To manage allergies, the cover comes right off so you can wash it seasonally (or whenever allergies flare) as an extra step to remove dirt, germs, or allergens. These mattresses ship free in 1-3 business days and fit on any type of bed frame.

Construction Type: Memory foam | Firmness: Not Listed | Thickness: 10 inches | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best Organic: Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado
Pros
  • Non-toxic materials

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • No lifetime warranty

  • Costly

If an organic and “green” mattress choice is important to you, the Avocado Green mattress is a top-of-the-line choice. These non-toxic mattresses are made with organic wool, cotton, and latex. For vegans, they even sell a Vegan Certified mattress.

Sensitive sleepers will appreciate how the natural materials wick away moisture and the air flows better than a polyurethane foam mattress. This made in America brand offers a full refund for up to a year after purchase and has a 25-year warranty.

Construction Type: Organic wool, cotton, latex, and steel coils | Firmness: Medium | Thickness: 11 inches | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best for Playards: Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress

Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress
Pros
  • Anti-bacterial and waterproof cover

  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Spot or wipe clean only

  • Should never be used on bassinet level of playard/Pack and Play

  • Not safe for babies under 6 months old

If your child will be using a Pack and Play (or other playard) for frequent naps, overnight sleeping, or at grandma’s house, it might make sense to invest in a mattress. While the addition of the mattress makes the playard less portable, it improves comfort and may lead to longer sleep. This pad fits a Pack and Play and most other playards (double-check measurements to be sure).

It has an anti-bacterial and waterproof cover. The mattress is nearly 3 inches thick, providing a good support base. For added safety, this mattress is equipped with full-perimeter wires along the mattress border, so it keeps the sides, corners, and edges of the mattress firm and allows it to maintain its shape. Never use this mattress on the top level of the play yard when it is set up for a bassinet.

Construction Type: Foam | Firmness: Not Listed | Thickness: 3 inches | Sizes Available: Pack and Plays only

Good to Know

Before purchasing an additional mattress for your child's Pack and Play or playard, you'll want to use the mattress provided. If you need to replace the mattress, choose one that fits snugly without any gaps and is firm and thin for safe sleep. A mattress should be firm and flat, and if you choose to put on a sheet, make sure it's fitted.

Best for Big Kids: Casper Sleep Foam Mattress

Casper Sleep Foam Mattress
Pros
  • 100-night guarantee

  • Zip-off cover is washable

Cons
  • Mattress is not waterproof

  • Costly (depending on size)

Once your child moves to a bigger bed, whether a twin or queen, it’s worth it to purchase a comfortable mattress at a reasonable price. With bedtime stories and games, chances are you’ll spend some time catching some ZZZ's in that bed too.

Casper, the online mattress retailer, sells a well-made and affordable mattress. Their “essential” line works for most bed bases and foundations. The mattress is delivered right to you, with a 100-night guarantee. While it's not waterproof, the zip-off cover is made for easy washing and has a rich, charcoal cover to hide any stains.

Construction Type: Latex foam | Firmness: Medium | Thickness: 10 inches | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best Breathable: Newton Crib Mattress

Newton Crib Mattress
Pros
  • Can be washed

  • Hypoallergenic

  • 2-stage design

Cons
  • Most versions are not waterproof

  • Costly

Kiss sweaty sleep goodbye with this super breathable mattress. Designed to increase air circulation to limit overheating and risk of suffocation, your baby will enjoy a restful sleep night after night. You'll love that this mattress can be washed and used for years to come as your infant grows and transitions into a toddler bed.

Construction Type: Comfort foam | Firmness: Not Listed | Thickness: 5.5 inches | Sizes Available: Mini and standard cribs

Best Hybrid: Saatva Youth Mattress

Saatva mattress
Pros
  • Free in-room delivery and setup

  • Water-resistant finish

  • Internal waterproof barrier

Cons
  • No lifetime warranty

  • Not recommended for children under 3 years old

With so many options on the market like foam, latex, and coils, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for your child. The Saatva Youth Mattress offers your child a hybrid of the best materials on the market. Designed to be used from toddlerhood through tween years, each side of the mattress has adaptable features that meet the needs of your growing child.

Separated by a dual-sided coil unit, the mattress has an organic cotton cover and five-zone support for your child under 7 years old. When they are older, you can flip the mattress for the extra comfort of the high-density foam and lumbar supportive coils.

Construction Type: Foam and coils | Firmness: Not Listed | Thickness: 10 inches | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full

The Puffy Mattress (view at Puffy.com) is a great choice for kids because the cover comes right off so you can wash it seasonally as an extra step to remove dirt, germs, or allergens. These mattresses ship free in 1-3 business days and fit on any type of bed frame. If you're wanting to splurge, check out the Casper Sleep Foam Mattress (view at Amazon). While it's not waterproof, the zip-off cover is made for easy washing and has a rich, charcoal cover to hide any stains.

What to Look for When Buying Mattresses for Kids

Thickness

The thickness of your child’s mattress will heavily depend on their age. It’s important to know the thickness of the mattress as one that’s too thick for young children, like babies, can be detrimental. For example, you don’t want an infant sleeping on an adult mattress, so finding a crib mattress is your best bet for absolute safety. Look for crib mattresses that are no more than six inches thick.

Children typically use their crib mattress once graduating from their crib, and use them for many more years. If your child is still young, you just want to ensure the mattress and bed are low enough to the ground should they fall out during sleep. As your child gets older, they will move on to the regular thickness of mattresses for adults, which is anywhere from 8 to 14 inches.

Firmness

Firmness is similar to the thickness of a mattress because it also depends on the age of your child. Some children, depending on their age, should not have a super plush mattress to sleep on as it can be dangerous. When considering the mattress for a baby, you want a firm sleep surface, meaning it should not indent when an infant is lying on it.

No matter the age of your child, you want them to get a good night’s rest, and that is really going to depend on their mattress and if it’s firm enough or too firm. To be on the safe side, older children would do best on a medium-firm mattress because one that’s too soft or hard can cause pain or discomfort. Medium-firm will help with spinal alignment and support during sleep.

Size

While it’s no secret mattresses come in different sizes, knowing those sizes can help you make your decision. Whether you’re shopping for a crib mattress or twin mattress, understanding dimensions will actually help your child sleep better. Depending on the bed frame you have (and what the company’s manual recommends), the following dimensions are standard for these types of mattresses.

  • Crib: 52 inches x 28 inches
  • Twin: 75 inches x 39 inches 
  • Twin XL: 80 inches x 39 inches
  • Full: 75 inches by 54 inches

Once you’ve noticed your toddler getting too big for their crib mattress, you can move up to a twin-sized mattress. The only difference with a twin XL mattress is that it adds five extra inches in length for children who are on the taller side. A full-sized bed is what many adults and older teens sleep on.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. All three have slept on (or still sleep on) the same crib mattress. They are all good sleepers, so maybe the mattress is to thank.

Was this page helpful?
6 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sleep Report. Mattress thickness, does depth matter? Which is best? Updated February 21, 2020.

  2. Safe sleep.

  3. Full-size baby cribs business guidance & small entity compliance guide. CPSC.gov.

  4. How thick should a mattress be? - amerisleep.

  5. How to keep your sleeping baby safe: aap policy explained. HealthyChildren.org.

  6. Mattress P. The best mattress for kids. Puffy Mattress.