The Best Mattresses for Kids, Tested Over Months of Snoozing by Our Own Kids

Our babies, toddlers, tweens, and teens dreamed and dozed on these foam, spring, and hybrid mattresses.

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Best Mattresses for Kids

Parents / Marcus Millan

Considering the strange places and cramped positions we’ve all seen children fall asleep in, only to wake up as fresh as daisies before 6 a.m., it’s sometimes hard to comprehend the fact that kids need quality mattresses. While they don’t often wake up with back pain or suffer from insomnia the way adults do, they need to spend about half their lives sleeping (ideally) for their physical health, as well as to maintain good behavior and sharp brains in school. That’s why we tested dozens of mattresses with our own kids at home to find the very best ones to recommend to you.

There is no one best mattress for kids of all ages and sizes, of course. For safe sleeping, newborn babies and older infants should have hard mattresses to fit their bassinets and cribs. Toddlers can have slightly softer crib mattresses—but they should be as waterproof and/or as washable as possible to get through the potty-training years. Even after they graduate from toddler beds, bigger kids have accidents at night, so you may not want to drop a lot of money on a luxury mattress just yet. Then, as they grow into tweens and teens, they start to voice opinions about the level of softness or firmness they prefer, and some may be getting too tall for their regular twin-size beds. 

“If children have good sleep habits and know how to sleep independently, the mattress firmness shouldn't influence a good night's sleep,” Nilong Vyas, M.D., a pediatrician at Sleepless in NOLA and medical review expert for the Sleep Foundation, tells Parents. “However, if an older child is complaining about the comfort of a mattress, exploring a different mattress is applicable.” 

We took all of the above sleep stages into account and picked out options of varying firmness and softness. We also found the best bunk beds and trundle beds, options for hot sleepers, and even an inflatable mattress that comes in handy in a pinch. After grilling our children about how they slept (and sometimes even crashing on their beds ourselves), we’re confident you’ll find the best mattress for your kid among the ones we’ve chosen.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for Kids?

Crib Mattress: Babies should only sleep on hard, flat surfaces made for babies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ latest safe sleep guidelines. If a crib mattress is meant for toddlers as well as babies, it may have a toddler side that is more waterproof (and therefore may not be as breathable) or softer than the infant side, so make sure you read all the safety directions before using it. 

Innerspring: Once kids have graduated to a full-size mattress, innerspring mattresses are a safe option, offering optimal support so they won't sink. Traditional innersprings contain interconnected coils that provide extreme durability, whether your kid is sleeping or jumping on their bed.

Encased Coils or Pocket Coils: Sometimes this type of mattress is lumped in with innerspring mattresses, but this refers to coils that are individually wrapped in materials. This means they can move independently of the other coils, theoretically providing more support and less unnecessary movement.

Foam: Foam mattresses are a great option for kids because they are comfortable, quiet (compared to innerspring mattresses), portable, and usually less expensive than other models. Memory foam mattresses can help older children with pressure relief.

Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine layers of foam with coil systems. These are becoming increasingly popular since they tend to be comfortable and supportive, but they’re also much more expensive than all-foam or innerspring-only mattresses.

Best Overall (Foam): Nod by Tuft & Needle

Amazon Nod by Tuft & Needle 8-Inch Twin Mattress


Why We Like It: You get supportive, breathable foam at an extremely affordable price (and with a 100-day trial) for any size of bed.

But Take Note: It doesn’t have great edge support for adult bodies, and the cover is not machine washable.

Mattresses are such a subjective topic, even for kids, so it’s difficult for us to name one that’s absolutely the best for all sleepers. Still, when it comes to all-foam mattresses, the Nod (Tuft & Needle’s Amazon-exclusive product) performed the best in our real-world testing. It checks a lot of boxes, especially in terms of value for a mattress purchased for a younger child who will be using it for several years to come. 

How we slept: Most important of all: Our editor’s 10-year-old compared this mattress to a cloud and said she doesn’t want to get out of bed once she’s in it, and her mom said she truly noticed her falling asleep faster and sleeping in longer with it, even months into testing. She even decided to sleep on this twin-size mattress in her top bunk over the full-size bottom bunk.

Mattress construction: While our young sleeper praised the Nod’s softness, it actually falls more in the medium-firm category. This has two layers of foam: a supportive, dense bottom layer and a “comfort” top layer, which is softer and provides more airflow. Unlike the original Tuft & Needle mattresses, the Nod’s top layer doesn’t have fancy “cooling gel” or graphite, but we still think it’s plenty airy for hot sleepers, and it molded to the sleeper’s shape without constricting her. The mattress we tested is 8 inches thick (compared to the 10 inches of many other similar mattresses), which is more than enough to support a child or smaller adult. It’s also available in a 6-inch size if you need something thinner for a top bunk or trundle bed. We know some adult sleepers complain of the Nod not having great edge support, but we had no trouble in that area for a child’s body. The mattress has a removable polyester cover that is spot-clean only, so you may want to get a waterproof cover for it for younger kids.

Setup: After receiving the Nod as a bed-in-a-box compressed shipment, we found that it bounces into its full size within 24 hours. There was no noticeable smell when we opened it.

Value: The Nod really stands out from the competition for its price. It’s not quite as high-tech as some of the other mattresses out there, and that’s just fine for parents buying a mattress for their child’s first “big kid” bed. If, in a few years, they decide they like a softer or firmer mattress, or they need a bigger bed, you won’t feel too sad about the money you spent on this one.

Price at time of publication: $349 (8-inch twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold, CertiPUR-US
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king; all available in 6 inches or 8 inches
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited
  • Shipping and returns: Free 
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: For California

Best Overall (Hybrid): Saatva Youth Mattress

Saatva Youth Mattress


Why We Like It: This dual-sided mattress supports growing kids’ bodies, and a water-resistant cotton cover helps it last. 

But Take Note: Adults don’t find it very comfortable, so it won’t make a good guest bed.

This is one of a handful of mattresses that truly take the specific needs of a child in mind, starting by making it dual-sided to suit those growing bodies. One side of this hybrid innerspring and foam mattress is slightly softer, with zoned support for kids ages 3 to 7 years old; the other side is firmer and has lumbar support for ages 8 to 12. It’s also all covered by an organic cotton cover that has a water-resistant finish on it—which is a relief to anyone ready to invest around $800 on a child who doesn’t always remember to go to the bathroom before going to bed.

How we slept: This was actually the first big-kid mattress for our 3-year-old sleeper, and while at first, he was a little emotional about that fact, he soon changed his mind and was calling this mattress “MINE!” For the past several months of testing, he’s been sleeping quite soundly and barely even moves, according to his editor mom. He also had two little accidents within the initial testing period and that water-resistant cover came through—the mattress still looks as good as new. For any parents out there who wind up sharing a bed with their little ones, however, we have to warn you that this isn’t a very comfortable mattress for adult bodies. We found it too firm in all the wrong places, so it also won’t make a great option for a guest room.

Mattress construction: A middle layer of flexible, recycled steel coils is topped on one side by foam that’s firmer in the middle third to support 3- to 7-year-olds’ bodies. Flip it over for 8- to 12-year-olds, who will benefit from the lumbar support from the coil layer, a firmer high-density foam layer, and quilting in the center third of the cover for even more lumbar support. The mattress is labeled with these age ranges, so don’t worry about mixing that up.

Setup: Though the delivery people didn’t wear actual white gloves, they did a great job bringing in our Saatva Youth Mattress wrapped in plastic but not squished into a box. They placed it right where we wanted it and showed us the dual-side labels. Because it was never in a box and is also CertiPUR-US foam (more on that below), there was no smell that bothered us.

Value: While this mattress is more than twice the cost of the all-foam Nod, we do have to remember that it’s essentially two mattresses in one. Also, an innerspring construction tends to give mattresses a little more life than an all-foam has, so this feels like a worthy investment for years to come.

Price at time of publication: $795 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Dual-sided hybrid innerspring
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Firmness: Medium on one side, firm on the other
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full
  • Trial period: 365 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping within the continental U.S., $99 return fee within 365-day trial period
  • White glove delivery: Yes, included
  • Mattress removal: Yes

Best Crib Mattress: Newton Baby Crib Mattress

Amazon Newton Baby Crib Mattress


Why We Like It: This mattress has been third-party tested to prove its breathability and firmness, plus it’s completely washable.

But Take Note: It’s more expensive than most crib mattresses on the market.

If you’ve ever cleaned up a baby’s mess (or just imagined doing so), you’ll know right away why we’re very excited about the fact that not only can you machine wash and dry the Newton Mattress covers, but you can also machine wash the mattress encasement, You can even wash the core mattress itself, which the brand recommends doing in the shower or outside with a hose. All that is on top of the fact that this mattress is breathable, firm, and doesn’t emit toxic gasses, keeping your kid safe and comfortable from infancy through their years in a toddler bed. 

How we slept: While we haven’t officially tested this mattress, some of our editors already use Newtons with their babies and toddlers. Of course, it’s kind of impossible to guess how much a baby or toddler likes their mattress, but they have slept as soundly as babies and toddlers do. What we do know is that we sleep better having placed our infants in a mattress known for its breathability. We also appreciate that there’s a waterproof version of this mattress (for $50 more than the Original), which comes with a cover that’s breathable on one side for infants, and waterproof (and still breathable!) on the other side for toddlers as they begin to potty train. There’s also one more step that can ensure more sleep for your kid: Though the mattresses come with a cover included, you can buy a second one (for $70-$90) to use as a backup while the first is in the wash. As much as the washable mattress is a selling point, none of us have actually had to wash it, since the cover protected it so well.

Mattress construction: The mattress core is made from food-grade polymer, which the brand says is “90% air.” What does that really mean? It’s basically a type of plastic fiber made into what looks like a large sponge (and the holes between the plastic are 90% air). If you choose the Essential mattress, it’s 4 inches thick, and for $50 more, the Original is 5.5 inches thick. The Essential has a single-layer breathable cover, while the Original and Waterproof covers have two layers.

Value: You certainly can find cheaper crib mattresses out there, but this one is made to last through the toddler years, and it gives us so much peace of mind to know that our babies can still breathe through it if they roll over.

Price at time of publication: $250 (for 4-inch Essential)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Polymer (similar to foam)
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold, tested for breathability in a CPSC-accredited lab, meets and exceeds Australian Firmness Standard Test levels for crib mattresses
  • Available sizes: 4-inch standard, 5.5-inch standard, 5.5-inch waterproof standard, mini
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping and returns (within 90 days on Amazon, 100 days on
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: No

Best Value: Siena Memory Foam Mattress

Amazon Siena Twin Memory Foam Mattress


Why We Like It: Our kids sleep so well on this supportive foam mattress, which is basically always on sale.

But Take Note: It’s on the plush side, so look elsewhere if you want a firm mattress.

If your kid likes a soft mattress, you don’t need to plunk down a lot of money for them. Siena, the sister company of the pricier Nectar mattress brand, sells its five-layer, 10-inch memory foam mattresses for around $200 and up (depending on sales). 

How we slept: Our Siena sleeper is a 17-year-old boy—and while we all know that teenage boys can sleep all day long, we’re very impressed by the fact that he’s been falling asleep faster at night on this mattress and wakes up feeling refreshed. It’s soft but still supportive for him, giving him “the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.”

Mattress construction: There are three layers of foam making up this mattress, with each reportedly serving a different purpose: a thicker, sturdier foam at the bottom; a small cushioning layer with a “ripple” that allows extra airflow; and a top gel memory foam layer to hug the body. The bottom cover prevents the mattress from slipping around on the bed, and the top cover is a breathable poly blend. There’s no mention of water resistance, as this is not a child-specific mattress, so you may want an additional cover. 

Setup: This is a mattress in a box that expanded fully by the 24-hour mark. It didn’t have any kind of odor when we took it out of the box.

Value: We’re really surprised that this much comfort can come at such a low cost, and it feels like these mattresses are almost always on sale, too.

Price at time of publication: $249 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Firmness: Medium firm with plush top
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 180 days 
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping in Continental U.S.; Amazon purchases can be returned if unopened; opened mattresses must be donated (will be refunded if within 180-day trial period)
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: In California (Amazon only)

Best Hybrid: The Allswell

Allswell 10-Inch Hybrid Mattress


Why We Like It: It’s got a kid-pleasing combination of support, a bouncy core, edge support, and a soft, cooling foam top.

But Take Note: It’s not Greenguard Gold certified.

Hybrid mattresses—those with individually wrapped coils or innersprings at the core (this one has individually wrapped coils) and foam on top—are usually more expensive than other types. Allswell keeps its bed-in-a-box mattresses at much lower-than-average prices while still delivering all the support of individually wrapped coils and the body-hugging comfort of breathable foam.

How we slept: We had a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old sleeper on this mattress. The 3-year-old needed a bit of time to get used to the firmness and size of the mattress after moving up from his toddler bed. After a few nights, he returned to his usual sleeping habits. Though those springs are very supportive and provide a good amount of bounce, we couldn’t feel them when we sank down into the foam of the upper layer. We’re also pleased with the edge support. The 7-year-old was quite enthusiastic about that bouncy-and-soft combination, and she’s been sleeping better—no middle-of-the-night wakeups—since getting the Allswell. 

Mattress construction: The inner core of this 10-inch mattress has individually wrapped coils, and the top layer is graphite and copper gel memory foam. It’s encased in a quilted, non-removable cover.

Setup: The bed arrives compressed in a box with built-in wheels, which makes moving it into the bedroom quite easy. It rose up to its full size within a few hours and did not emit a smell.

Value: This all comes at a surprisingly low price, especially when it’s on sale at Walmart. 

Price at time of publication: $227

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping, free returns within 100 days (via; for Walmart returns, contact customer support
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: Yes, for a nonrefundable fee

Best for Hot Sleepers: Casper Original

Nordstrom Casper Sleep Original Hybrid Mattress


Why We Like It: The soft top foam layer is cozy but also provides plenty of airflow, allowing hot sleepers to stay asleep all night.

But Take Note: This mattress is definitely on the soft side, and some may feel it lacks support.

This hybrid mattress is a crowd-pleaser for its medium level of firmness, which is provided by an innerspring core and two foam layers. The top foam layer is perforated, providing lots of airflow to soothe hot sleepers.

How we slept: Before using this mattress, our teenage sleeper said she thought her blankets and sheets were to blame for how hot she got at night. She immediately realized the difference the Casper made to solve that issue and has been sleeping so much better (and cooler) since making the switch. Though she sinks into those foam layers, she’s pleased with that softness. We’re pretty thrilled with anything that makes a teenage girl say she’s excited to go to bed and has been waking up feeling more refreshed because she wasn’t tossing and turning all night. 

Mattress construction: Beneath that top layer of soft perforated foam is a second foam layer that’s divided into three sections, so it’s softer under the shoulders and head, but firmer under the hips and lower back. (No one bothered to explain what’s in the third section.) Under all that is a spring core that’s surrounded by a firmer edge-support border.

Setup: After removing the compressed mattress from the box, we watched it rise to its full 11 inches within minutes. The instructions say to continue to let it expand for three to five hours after that, which we did. There was no discernable smell.

Value: This is one of the more expensive mattresses on this list, and for that reason, we don’t suggest purchasing it until your kid is a little older and not experiencing nighttime accidents. 

Price at time of publication: $1,095 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited 
  • Shipping and returns: Free in continental U.S.
  • White glove delivery: Yes, in select areas
  • Mattress removal: Only with in-home delivery

Best for Bunk Beds: Purple Kid’s Mattress

Amazon Purple Kid's Mattress


Why We Like It: Multiple layers of foam relieve pressure while still being soft, and it’s sized just right for both regular beds and top bunks.

But Take Note: Because it’s on the thinner side, it’s not recommended for anyone who weighs over 115 pounds.

Purple adapted its special pressure-relieving grid foam mattress design to a version that’s just for kids. Recommended for those up to 14 years old (or up to 115 pounds), it’s just 7 inches thick, which is ideal if you need to put it in a bunk or loft bed. 

How we slept: While we were skeptical about how comfortable anyone could be on a mattress that looks like a waffle—and it did feel quite odd when we lay down on the bare mattress at first—once we got the cover and sheets on it, we totally got the appeal. The foam conforms to your body’s shape, but it’s also very cooling. Our 6-year-old sleeper, who used to wake up a lot through the night, took to this mattress immediately, and his editor mom says his sleep quality has vastly improved. He even occasionally sleeps in late now. “I feel this mattress takes a lot of pressure off of body parts that maybe were bothering him,” she says, and they’re still seeing the benefits months into testing it. She’s also had to share the mattress with him (because: motherhood) and has been really surprised by the fact that she didn’t wake up feeling achy after being in an awkward position all night.

Mattress construction: Purple calls that 2-inch top waffle layer of foam a “Purple GelFlex Grid,” and it really is adaptive and cooling. Beneath that is another 2.5 inches of soft foam and 2.5 inches of medium-density foam. A denser foam surrounds it all for edge support. The cover is a polyethylene-polyester-spandex blend, and you can zip off the top of it to toss in the washing machine on cold (hang to dry). 

Setup: While it was fun watching this mattress expand after removing it from the box, we were immediately hit by an odor from it that worried us about its chemical content. (The materials are third-party certified to have low chemical emissions, but that doesn’t mean the mattress won’t smell!) After a week, the smell was almost gone.

Value: This is neither the most expensive, nor the cheapest mattress on our list. Considering how well we slept on it, it’s worth the price; especially if it lives up to the promise of lasting until a child’s early teens.

Price at time of publication: $699

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Certifications: Clean-Air Gold, CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Shipping and returns: Free in contiguous U.S.
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: No

Best Soft and Firm: Helix Kids

Helix Kids Mattress


Why We Like It: The two sides of this hybrid mattress provide distinct choices between medium-soft and medium-firm, and we appreciate its water-repellant and antimicrobial cover.

But Take Note: If your kid definitely wants something very soft or very firm, they may be disappointed.

Much like the Saatva Youth, the Helix Kids is a dual-sided hybrid mattress you can flip over when your child gets older. Or, you can keep it as is. The brand suggests using its medium-firm side for younger kids (3-7) and medium-soft side for older kids (8-12)—generally, that’s how kids’ mattress preferences tend to go—but you really can use either side for any age. Kids’ sleeping preferences can vary just as much as adults’ do, after all. 

How we slept: Our pre-teen sleeper initially confused us by saying this mattress was soft and squishy but too firm. (You can maybe see why we hire adults to write these things.) The real results weren’t something we needed in words, however, as he has been sleeping more and waking up refreshed through the several months he’s been using it. We’ve also tested other Helix mattresses as adults and are consistently satisfied with the brand.

Mattress construction: The Helix has a 6-inch core layer of wrapped coils. On the firm side, it’s topped with a denser foam to support young growing bodies. On the softer side, there’s gel memory foam. All of that is encased in a flame-retardant layer, which is then all covered by a hypoallergenic, breathable cover that is also treated with an antimicrobial shield and a plant-based water-repellent finish. The whole thing is 8 inches thick. 

Setup: The mattress came out of the box and expanded to its full size within an hour. It had no smell.

Value: This mattress is leaning toward the pricey range, which is something we expect out of a hybrid mattress. But because you can flip it, you’re almost getting two mattresses in one.

Price at time of publication: $748 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium-soft and medium-firm (2-sided)
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold, CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin, full
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited
  • Shipping and returns: Free
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: California only

Best Medium-Firm: Nest Bedding Puffin

Nest Puffin Memory Foam Kids Bed

Nest Bedding

Why We Like It: It has all the coziness of memory foam without making kids feel too hot or confined.

But Take Note: It won’t feel supportive for anyone who weighs over 110 pounds.

This all-foam mattress was a favorite among our kids who have been testing more than one new mattress. Its 7-inch thickness is supportive enough for any bed but thin enough to use in a bunk. 

How we slept: The 6-year-old and 8-year-old sleepers who tried this mattress said it was very cozy, like sleeping on a marshmallow. We wondered what that meant, since the brand calls the Puffin “luxury firm,” and tried it ourselves. So, translation: The memory foam conforms to your body, but it’s not too soft and feels supportive—though it probably won’t support someone over the recommended 110-pound weight limit for long. These kids didn’t have any sleep problems to begin with, but we’re also quite happy to report that this new mattress didn’t cause new issues to arise.

Mattress construction: The Puffin has 5 inches of supportive base foam topped with 2 inches of the brand’s proprietary memory foam that’s latex-free and cooling. The quilted cover is also cooling. It does not provide any water resistance, so you may want a separate mattress cover.

Setup: We were able to use this mattress almost immediately after unboxing it, though the brand recommends waiting 12-24 hours for it to reach its full height. There was no smell, perhaps because the manufacturer allows all foam to air out in the factory before they ship it out.

Value: This mattress falls right in the middle of our price range. You can find cheaper all-foam mattresses, but when this is on sale, it’s a decent use of your money.

Price at time of publication: $499 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Shipping and returns: Free in continental U.S.
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: No

Best Firm: Leesa Youth Mattress

LEESA Youth Mattress


Why We Like It: Kids who prefer a firmer feel will appreciate the three-layered support of this foam mattress. Plus, the foam cradles their body without overheating them.

But Take Note: It won’t appeal to those who like a soft or medium mattress.

This 10-inch foam mattress is for older kids (around 8 and up) who prefer a firm bed. It’s got the body-cradling feel of memory foam without being too hot, and the sturdy foam base will help it last longer than cheaper mattresses. A knit cover with a herringbone texture provides soft, cooling relief.

How we slept: Our 8-year-old sleeper called this mattress “hard” when he first lay down on it, especially compared to his previous one. But he’s been sleeping just fine on it from the start, as “your body gets used to it and it's comfortable,” he says. It’s got a bit of give in the top memory foam layer, but we agree with him that it’s a very firm mattress overall.

Mattress construction: This is a three-layer foam mattress, with a memory foam top layer, a perforated foam inner layer for airflow, and a thick supportive foam core base. The foams are certified by CertiPUR-US.

Setup: Though it comes tightly bundled in the box, this mattress puffed up to its full size almost immediately. (And of course, the kids jumped on it right away.) It had no discernible smell.

Value: This mattress has a mid-range price point. It’s more expensive than some other foam options but cheaper than the hybrids on our list.

Price at time of publication: $549 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold. CertiPUR-US, 
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Shipping and returns: Free on Leesa; Shipping starts at $99 on Pottery Barn Kids, but returns are free 
  • White glove delivery: Yes, for a fee
  • Mattress removal: Yes, with white glove delivery option

Best Organic: Naturepedic Verse Mattress

Amazon Naturepedic Verse Organic Kids' Mattress


Why We Like It: Made from safe, organic materials, it’s a comfortable, firm mattress with just enough springiness.

But Take Note: The cotton and wool give off a smell at first, though it fades within a week.

By now you’ve read enough of these mattress descriptions to realize that a lot of fancy science can go into making the artificial materials of a mattress. But you can also choose a mattress like this one from Naturepedic that opts out of most of those chemical polymers, instead relying on organic cotton and wool to cushion the encased coils. The result is a very comfortable, firm mattress that also feels like a healthy investment for your child and the environment.

How we slept: This is one of the mattresses my own 10-year-old kid tested, and we are very happy with it. It’s got just a bit of the telltale bounce of a coil mattress, with a cozy top layer that’s far more supportive than the cheap Ikea innerspring mattress it replaced. My son’s only sleep problems are night terrors, and I’ve noticed fewer of those happening since we switched to the Verse (of course, he’s also just getting older, but he’s also had them on vacations in recent months). He falls asleep very quickly and doesn’t wake up sweaty. We do keep a waterproof cover on it, because we’re serious about protecting it to last through his teen years.

Mattress construction: Seven inches of individually encased coils are surrounded on top and bottom by a layer of organic cotton. The top quilted layer is a combination of organic cotton, organic wool, and plant-based synthetic fibers, while the sides and bottom are covered in even more organic cotton. 

Setup: We unfurled this mattress from its box and watched it spring to life pretty quickly. But we soon learned that there are some downsides to all that cotton: It took a much longer time for the mattress to puff up enough to its full, comfortable size than most of the foam mattresses did. Plus, the cotton and wool smell was quite strong. Personally, I liked the smell and knew it came from a natural source, rather than a chemical one, but my son wouldn’t sleep on it for a few days until it was aired out. The smell is completely gone now, and months later, that ordeal is all but forgotten.

Value: This feels like a very sturdy mattress with long-lasting support (particularly around the edges), and we know that organic materials sadly cost more to produce than cheap chemicals. So, it’s not the absolute most expensive mattress here, but it is an investment.

Price at time of publication: $999 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Encased coils
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Certifications: Greenguard, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Made Safe certified
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen
  • Trial period: Varies based on vendor
  • Warranty: 25 years
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping, returns within 30 days on Amazon; shipping starts at $99 on PBKids, with no returns available
  • White glove delivery: Available through Pottery Barn Kids
  • Mattress removal: With Pottery Barn premium in-home delivery

Best for Trundle Beds: Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Amazon Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress


Why We Like It: The thinner versions of this mattress still have multiple layers of foam to provide softness and support for all kinds of sleepers, at least for a short duration.

But Take Note: A 6-inch mattress won’t be great for adults or big kids in the long term.

To fit a mattress into a trundle bed that rolls under your kid’s regular bed platform, you’ll want a thinner option. And since trundles aren’t typically for every-night use, you don’t need to get something high-end or elaborate—especially if this is going to be for kids sleeping over, rather than adults. That’s why we recommend this inexpensive, medium-firm, cooling foam mattress from Zinus, which comes in 6-inch and 8-inch sizes (among others) and will please a broad range of sleepers, at least for short stays.

How we slept: A 4-year-old sleeper, who was graduating from a toddler bed, tested the 8-inch version of the Zinus. Though he’s typically a hot sleeper and was using a waterproof mattress cover, he didn’t wake up sweaty on this mattress and didn’t toss and turn through the night. His grandmother and mother also slept on it and found it soft but supportive, even for side sleepers. Since the initial testing period, he has gone back to his toddler bed, but we’re not blaming the mattress for that.

Mattress construction: The 8-inch and 6-inch versions of this mattress both have a 4-inch base foam layer. This is topped by a “comfort” layer that’s 2 inches thick on the 8-inch mattress and 1 inch on the 6-inch version. The top layer (also 1 inch for the 6-inch mattress, 2 inches for the 8-inch one) lends this mattress its name: It’s made from memory foam that’s infused with charcoal and green tea, which are meant to absorb moisture and keep sleepers feeling cooler, even though it’s a soft layer that you sink into it a bit.

Setup: Our 8-inch mattress was its full size only 24 hours after we unboxed it, though some sleepers report it taking a little longer than that. Funny enough, the brand says that jumping, walking, and sleeping on it makes it puff up faster. (Bonus for your kid!) We noticed a slight synthetic smell at first, but that went away within those first 24 hours. 

Value: This is a great price for a foam mattress that’s well-liked. We don’t think the 6-inch mattress is going to be comfortable for bigger kids in the long term, but again, if this is for occasional sleepovers, that won’t matter.

Price at time of publication: $129

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US
  • Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, California king; in 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-inch thicknesses
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Shipping and returns: Free shipping; returns within 30 days on Amazon, 100 days on Zinus
  • White glove delivery: No
  • Mattress removal: California only

Best Air Mattress: Intex Dura-Beam Plus Pillow Raised Airbed

Amazon Intex Dura-Beam Plus Pillow Raised Airbed


Why We Like It: It’s high off the ground and has a built-in pump so you don’t have to go digging through your closets.

But Take Note: As with almost any inflatable mattress, this isn’t a good long-term option.

Inflatable mattresses are pretty much a must-have for large family visits when you don’t happen to live in a mansion. They’re never the most comfortable beds, but being raised higher off the ground in a model like this one (it’s 16.5 inches thick) soothes the sting of feeling like you’re the least important member of the household. It comes in twin and queen sizes and has a built-in pump and a storage bag.

How we slept: We have not slept on this mattress in the real world, but we did test it in the lab along with toddler travel beds. We found it quite comfortable, as far as inflatable mattresses go. It’s firm and sturdy, with a raised “pillow” at the top, in case you don’t have extras around.

Mattress construction: Though it looks like it has separate top and bottom sections, it is actually all one piece, made primarily of PVC. The built-in pump has an AC power cord.

Setup: The pump inflates the whole mattress in about two minutes. According to the brand, the material stretches out for the first two to three nights, making many users feel like it’s leaking, but just inflate it some more when this happens. That built-in pump saves SO much time when you have to get ready for bed with guests in a crowded house. (How many times have you lost stand-alone pumps or mixed up their power cords with other devices? Who else has had to resort to using a hair dryer on cold?) 

Value: Since it’s very often on sale, this is a good deal for an inflatable mattress that’s this high off the ground. While inflatables are always at risk of getting holes, you won’t mind too much if you have to replace this after a year or two.

Price at time of publication: $55 (twin)

The Details:

  • Mattress type: Inflatable
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Certifications: None
  • Available sizes: Twin, queen
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Warranty: 180 days
  • Shipping and returns: Free within 30 days on Amazon
  • White glove delivery: N/A
  • Mattress removal: N/A

Our Testing Process 

To find the best mattresses for kids, we took home 20 twin mattresses for our own children. 

First, we spoke to Angelie Mascarinas, M.D., a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor with fellowship training in interventional spine and musculoskeletal care, who practices at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, to develop our testing methodology. At home, we documented the unboxing process, timing how long it took for compressed mattresses to puff back up to size, as well as whether there was any kind of off-gassing smell coming from them. We had our kids sleep on the mattresses for four weeks initially. In several cases, we wound up sleeping with them, which wasn’t even part of the testing plan but came in handy, because getting kids ages 3 to 17 to speak about how their mattresses felt is about as hard as you’d expect it to be. But they did tell us about how their beds bounced, hugged them, snuggled them, made them feel like they were on a cloud or a hard slab of concrete, and left them cool or sweaty messes. As parents, we noted whether they slept through the night—or even slept in late—without tossing and turning. We also checked back in with them three months later to see if those initial opinions held up.

We also looked back at a toddler travel beds test recently completed in our labs to find the best inflatable mattress, spoke to the many editor-parents on our team to find our favorite crib mattress, and reviewed the real-world adult mattress test results from our sister sites to see how adults like bigger versions of mattresses from the same brands. Finally, we spoke to pediatrician Nilong Vyas, M.D., founder of Sleepless in NOLA and medical review expert for the Sleep Foundation, to get more helpful intel on choosing kids’ mattresses.

Other Notable Kids’ Mattresses

  • Avocado Green Mattress: Our teen sleeper really loved this mattress made of organic cotton, organic latex, and organic wool, and she’s been falling asleep quickly and staying asleep for longer on it. If you’re willing to spend $1,400 on a mattress for your child, go for it, but that price kept it off our list.
  • Nectar Memory Foam Mattress: The teen on this mattress did not like the way he would first sink into it, then would feel like he was sleeping on a brick since it was so firm. It may be more comfortable for people with bigger bodies than his who like firm memory foam.
  • Linenspa Hybrid Mattress: This is a solid budget choice, especially for a hybrid. It just didn’t quite wow us with its quality like other mattresses on the list.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Kids’ Mattress

As Dr. Vyas tells us, after a child is 18 months old, the type of mattress they use is a matter of preference. Often, you won’t know what that preference is until they’ve had a number of bad nights on a new bed—or, we hope, many really good, uneventful sleeps. For this reason, we highly recommend buying a mattress with free shipping, a long trial period, and free returns. 

Value and Durability

The mattresses on this list range from around $130 to $1100, giving you plenty of choices to fit your budget. If you’re going to spend on the higher end of that scale, you want your child’s mattress to last more than a few years. In general, hybrid mattresses and others with coil or innersprings tend to last longer than foam, which can get compressed over time and eventually feel uncomfortable. (Mattress prices usually reflect that longevity.) You may also consider a two-sided mattress, like the Saatva Youth or Helix Kids, which offers two options of firmness type, should your kid change their preference over time. 

If you plan on investing in a quality mattress when your child is young, look into a quality mattress cover to protect it against moisture, stains, dust, and more.


Again, after infancy, the firmness of a mattress is mostly a matter of preference. Dr. Mascarinas says she recommends medium-firm mattresses for both kids and adults. “You don’t want to sink in. It should cradle the hips and shoulders,” she says. And if your child initially complains that a new mattress is too hard, she recommends giving it two weeks for their body to adjust to it.

Because kids weigh less than adults, they need a lot less support for a mattress to feel firm. If you’re thinking about buying your child a mattress sometime in the future, help them pay attention to the mattresses they sleep in away from home, at friends’ houses, or on vacations, and see if there’s a type they like more than others.

Mattress Size

Mini crib mattresses are typically about 38 inches long by 24 inches wide, but mini crib sizes can vary, so check with your crib manufacturer. There should never be a gap of more than an inch between the mattress and the crib, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Full-size crib/toddler bed mattresses should be at least 51.25 inches long by 27.25 inches wide with a thickness of less than 6 inches. 

Twin mattresses typically measure 75 inches long and 38 inches wide. 

Twin XL mattresses are 80 inches long by 38 inches wide.

Full mattresses are 75 inches long and 53 inches wide, so they are the same length as twin mattresses but 15 inches wider. 

How to Use Kids’ Mattresses Safely

Baby Sleep Safety

Before buying a crib mattress, read up on the latest baby sleep standards from the AAP and check with the CPSC to make sure the product has not been recalled. Again, babies need to sleep on hard, flat surfaces, with no other objects such as blankets or toys in the crib with them. Familiarize yourself with other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS

Safe Mattress Materials and Certifications

You’ll see a lot of labels on mattresses you buy these days, and many have to do with whether their materials contain harmful chemicals or emit gasses called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. As we noticed in testing, even the mattresses labeled as safe sometimes smell when you remove them from their packaging. That could be off-gassing, or it could be just a harmless smell.

“If parents can't afford to [buy a mattress] with that label or with an organic classification, letting it air out for several days until the odor is eliminated is sufficient,” Dr. Vyas assured us. 

Here are three of the most common third-party certifications you’ll see on mattresses:

  • CertiPUR-US: Foam materials with this label are certified not to contain ozone-depleting chemicals, certain flame retardants, phthalates, mercury, lead, other heavy metals, or formaldehyde. They also meet low VOC standards.
  • Greenguard Gold: These products have undergone testing to meet low VOC standards that have been set with children in mind. 
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): This third-party certification process examines materials from the point of harvest all the way through manufacturing to ensure products are made without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs, while also ethically treating workers. 

Your Questions, Answered 

When should a child switch from a toddler bed to a big-kid bed?

While it’s probably obvious when your kid is ready to go from crib to toddler bed configuration—they often announce this themselves with the huge “thump” of their feet hitting the ground after climbing out—the transition from a toddler bed to a twin-size or bigger bed isn’t as clear cut. You can think about doing this when they’re just getting too long for those little spaces but don’t seem likely to accidentally roll off their smaller bed. 

“A child is ready to transition to a standard bed typically by preschool age,” Dr. Vyas says. 

Whatever you do, make this something they can look forward to—try having them help you choose new sheets and a bedspread they love—but not so exciting that they can’t fall asleep. 

What types of mattresses are best for a child with allergies? 

Fortunately, you don’t need to shop for a fancy mattress just because your kid is prone to seasonal allergies. “For children with allergies, any mattress can be used,” Dr. Vyas explains. “However, using a hypoallergenic mattress topper explicitly made for those with allergies is recommended.” A cover is great because you can wash it often, getting rid of dust mites, pet dander, and other potential allergens. 

Who We Are

Sabrina Rojas Weiss is the senior commerce editor for Parents. She’s been a parenting and lifestyle editor and writer for 9 years, following a previous life as an entertainment journalist—and it’s no coincidence that her son is 10 years old. She was really happy to switch out his old Ikea mattress for the Naturepedic Verse, both because he’s sleeping better on it, and because she winds up in that bed when her in-laws are in town. 

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  2. Non-full-size baby cribs business guidance & small entity compliance guide. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

  3. Non-full-size baby cribs business guidance & small entity compliance guide. 

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