The 10 Best Mattresses for Kids of 2022

Drift into dreamland with ease on the Saatva Youth Mattress

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Verywell Family / Sabrina Jiang

We all spend a large portion of our lives sleeping, so it's a good idea to invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress. Kids' mattress needs will vary based on their age, size, and personal preferences. For babies up to age one, it's essential to choose a very firm mattress for safe sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS.)

Reviewed & Approved

The Saatva Youth Mattress can be used from toddlerhood through tween years as each side of the mattress has adaptable features to grow with your child. For an infant mattress, we recommend the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress.

Whether you’re shopping for a crib mattress, twin mattress, or something larger, you'll need to know the size of the bed frame you have along with the mattress’s thickness and firmness. It’s important to know the thickness and hardness of the mattress you're buying for a child, as one that’s too thick or soft can be dangerous for young children. We carefully looked over design, including firmness and thickness, value, material, and ease of cleaning when reviewing products. 

Here are the best mattresses for kids of all ages.

Best Overall: Saatva Youth Mattress

5
Saatva mattress

Courtesy of Saatva

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

Who else recommends it? Parents, Forbes, and CNET all picked the Saatva Youth Mattress.

The Saatva Youth Mattress is our top pick because it 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

Best for Infants: Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Crib Mattress

 Courtesy of BuyBuyBaby

Pros
  • Dual-side design

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Waterproof

Cons
  • Costly

  • Mattress may cave in over time

To ensure safety and a good night’s sleep, most infants 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 simpler.

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

Best for Bunk Beds: Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress

Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress

Courtesy of Amazon

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 as some require the twin XL size. Standard twin mattresses are between 8 and 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 and 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

 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, as 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 cleaned.

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 for free in 1 to 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 Hybrid: Purple Hybrid Mattress

Purple Hybrid Mattress

Courtesy of Purple

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Hyper-elastic gel grid

  • Soft top material

Cons
  • Machine wash/dry is not recommended

  • Costly

  • May be too firm for some children

From transition foam to supportive coils, the Purple Hybrid mattress is Purple's firmest mattress yet. The company combined their GelFlex Grid, a layer designed to hit pressure points, wrapped each coil individually, and added its transition foam.

The mattress is hypoallergenic, durable, and made with non-toxic materials. Machine washing and drying is not recommended, but it can be spot cleaned with mild detergent.

Construction: Foam and coils | Firmness: Firm | Thickness: 2 inches (Grid height only) | Sizes Available: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Best Organic: Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado

Pros
  • Non-toxic materials

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • No lifetime warranty

  • Costly

If an organic 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 Play Yards: Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress

Dream On Me Foam Pack and Play Mattress

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Anti-bacterial and waterproof cover

  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Spot or wipe clean only

  • Should never be used on bassinet level of play yard

  • Not safe for babies under 6 months old

If your child will be using a Pack 'N Play (or other play yard) 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 play yard less portable, it improves comfort and may lead to longer sleep. This pad fits a Pack 'N Play and most other play yards (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. However, never use this mattress on the top level of the play yard when it is set up for a bassinet, as that arrangement is a safety hazard.

Construction Type: Foam | Firmness: Not Listed | Thickness: 3 inches | Sizes Available: Pack 'N Play only

Good to Know

Before purchasing an additional mattress for your child's play yard, 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 fits snugly.

Best for Big Kids: Casper Sleep Foam Mattress

Casper Sleep Foam Mattress

Courtesy of Amazon

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 well-made and affordable mattresses. 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 Memory Foam: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Courtesy of Nectar

Pros
  • Three layers of memory foam

  • Meets CertiPUR-US standards

  • Quilted cover with cooling technology

Cons
  • Not safe for young children

  • May be too firm or soft for some

  • Spot cleaning only

The Nectar mattress is more than just your average memory foam mattress. It has three layers of memory foam! On top of the foam, users will find a quilted cool cover, which is designed with heat-wicking, cooling technology.

While it's available in six different sizes, each mattress meets CertiPUR-US standards. One of the best parts about this mattress? The company lets you try out the mattress for one year before you can make your final decision.

It's important to note memory foam mattresses are not safe for all children, especially babies and younger children. Children who are young need a more firm mattress to decrease the risk of suffocation.

Construction: Memory foam | Firmness: Medium-firm | Thickness: Not Listed | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best Breathable: Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed

5
Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed

Amazon

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

Final Verdict

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 for free in 1 to 3 business days and fit on any type of bed frame. If you want 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 in Mattresses for Kids

Thickness

Kids need different mattress thicknesses depending on their age. It’s important to know the thickness and hardness of the mattress you're buying for a child, as one that’s too thick or soft can be dangerous for young children. For example, infants should not sleep on an adult mattress. They need a firm crib mattress that is no more than six inches thick.

Children may use their crib mattresses in a toddler bed once they graduate from their crib. 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

Just as with thickness, you'll want to match a mattress's firmness with the age of your child. A super plush mattress is not safe for babies. When shopping for a 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 the firmness of their mattress. Kids have different preferences, but to be on the safe side, know that older children typically do best on a medium-firm mattress. One that’s too soft or hard can cause pain or discomfort. Medium-firm will help with spinal alignment and support during sleep.

Size

Whether you’re shopping for a crib mattress, twin mattress, or something larger, you'll need to know the size of the bed frame you have (and what the company’s manual recommends). The following dimensions are standard:

  • Crib: 52 inches x 28 inches
  • Twin: 75 inches x 39 inches 
  • Twin XL: 80 inches x 39 inches
  • Full: 75 inches x 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 taller children. A full-sized bed is what many adults and older teens sleep on. Larger options include queen and king-sized mattresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should a child's mattress be firm or soft?

    Babies need to sleep on a very firm mattress to reduce the risk of SIDS. Even for older kids, it is a good idea to use a firmer mattress, as a softer one can increase the risk of suffocation.

  • Can kids use adult mattresses?

    Adult mattresses are usually thicker and often softer than is recommended for children. Babies should never sleep on an adult mattress, as doing so increases the risk of SIDS. Also, it is recommended for toddlers and other young children to sleep on a mattress that is firm and low to the ground to prevent falls.

  • Can a child use a memory foam mattress?

    Memory foam mattresses are not safe for babies or young children. Sleeping on a soft surface that molds to the body increases the risk of SIDS and suffocation.

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, a 6-year-old son, and a 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 for that.

8 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.
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  4. Best Mattresses for Kids in 2022. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/best-mattress-for-kids/

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  6. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Full-size baby cribs business guidance & small entity compliance guide.

  7. Sleep Foundation. Children and sleep.

  8. Sleep Foundation. How to choose a mattress.