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Choosing a Mattress for Your Child

by Reyna Thomas

While you may be familiar with the ins and outs of selecting a mattress for your own bed, purchasing one for your child is an entirely different experience. However, buying a mattress for your child does not have to be difficult or stressful with our guide! We’ll help you figure out what things to consider for your growing child.

The ideal mattress for your child will be determined by their age, development stage, and preferences. In addition to varied sizes, mattresses come in a variety of materials and designs that you should consider. And we’ll lead you through every step!

Mother kissing son goodnight


While there is no such thing as a “correct” mattress size for your child, taking into account your child’s growth, the mattress’ lifespan, and how you intend to use the mattress in the future will help you choose the ideal mattress for your household.

  • Twin: Most kids can sleep comfortably on twin mattresses. Twin mattresses are the most inexpensive standard mattress size, and they can also fit incredibly well in a shared or tiny space.
  • Twin XL: Has the same width as a twin but is longer by five inches, which is ideal for taller children or teens!
  • Full: A full mattress allows a child to move about more freely during the night, which may be useful for kids who change positions frequently or are wild sleepers. The bigger surface area also makes it possible for siblings to share the bed or for cuddling during bedtime stories.
  • Full XL: Offers similar benefits of a full-size mattress but is five inches longer. This size fits taller teens perfectly and doesn’t take up a lot of floor space.

Young girl standing on her bed


Another key factor to consider when purchasing a mattress for your child is the material. Chemical-based materials are found in many synthetic mattresses, which can cause allergies, breathing problems, and skin irritations. So, if you’re child already suffers from any of those ailments, you’ll want to avoid synthetic mattresses. Instead, choose a mattress composed of natural materials, such as organic wool or organic cotton to avoid causing or aggravating health problems. Bamboo, silk, hemp, and natural latex are other natural mattress materials to consider for your child.

Comfort level

Your child’s favorite sleeping position will influence the comfort of the mattress. Side sleepers often want a somewhat softer mattress, while those  who sleep on their backs and stomachs like a firmer feel. If your child moves about a lot during the night, seek for a mattress that has a good balance of support and contouring to fit all of your child’s possible sleeping positions.

Young girl sleeping with stuffed animal

Edge Support

Edge support might not be something you think about for your bed, but it is an important factor if you have smaller kids. Edge support refers to how secure the edge feels when you sit or sleep near it. You want your child to sleep comfortably and peacefully, but your child may not be able to use the entire surface of the mattress if the edge is not safe, as they may roll-off. Additionally, a mattress with a weak edge can make it more difficult for your child to get into and out of bed.


The thickness of your child’s mattress is another factor to consider. Some children prefer mattresses with low dimensions, which can also make it easier for them to get in and out of bed. If you have noticed your child’s bed seems too high, you want to make sure the mattress will help balance it out. Other children and parents may want to get something thicker. Ultimately, because children are lighter than adults, they may not require as thick a mattress to feel adequately supported. This factor is very much based on personal preference unless you have bunk beds.

Two young boys standing on bunkbed

Your child’s mattress should be at least 5 inches lower than the guard rails of their bunk to avoid an accident. A new mattress can range in thickness from less than 6 inches to more than 20 inches, but most are between 10 and 13 inches thick, so double-check the specs before you buy.

When shopping for a new mattress for your kids, remember that a good night’s sleep could promote many health, learning, and behavior benefits. This is why choosing the right one for your child is important! If you encounter a question while browsing our selection, don’t hesitate to call Action Appliance! We’d be glad to help both you and your kids find the perfect sleep solutions!