What to Look for When Buying a Mattress for Your Kids
09 Nov 2021
Just like adults, kids are unique sleepers. Every child has their own patterns, sleep style, needs, and preferences. This means that the choice of a mattress is important. Consider the materials, size, price, accessories, and more if you’re in the market for a new mattress for your child.
What is it Made From?
One of the most important decisions in buying a mattress for a kid is the material. Today’s mattresses come in a range of materials, including new foams and standard springs. There are organic mattresses, allergen-free mattresses, and more. Here are some things to consider when choosing type and materials:
A mattress for a child, especially a baby or a toddler, should be breathable—the more breathable the mattress, the lower the risk of suffocation.
Kids have accidents, so a washable material is essential. You may also need to consider waterproof materials, depending on your child’s nighttime habits.
A kid’s mattress should tend toward firm or medium-firm. A material that is too soft won’t support the spine and neck correctly and can lead to pain or poor sleep.
A denser mattress will be firmer and also last longer. Kids put a lot of wear and tear on their beds (remember five little monkeys jumping on the bed?), so the more durable the mattress, the longer they can use it.
Is it Safe?
Safety is a top priority for choosing a kid’s mattress. Choice of material has a significant impact on safety. For instance, the breathability factor is essential for protecting babies and toddlers from the possibility of suffocating.
Another issue with materials in mattresses is off-gassing. Beds made with toxic chemicals can emit fumes harmful to your child. For instance, a mattress may give off several phthalates—compounds used to make plastics more flexible. Phthalates can potentially disrupt hormones. Other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in mattresses are known carcinogens and may damage the kidneys or cause throat irritation.
To avoid toxic chemicals that can harm your child while sleeping or playing, look for furniture and accessories with a CertiPUR-US certification, like Nolah Sleep for children’s mattresses or Figgy for play couches (also great for naps!). Check out a full list here. This certification ensures the foam and other materials have been made without flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, or phthalates. They are also low in volatile organic compound emissions.
What Size Do You Need?
Size is usually less important than safety and materials, but you still need to consider this aspect of a kid’s mattress. The size should fit your space and also match your budget. Here is a basic guide to the size requirements for a child’s mattress. Their weight will also be a factor.
Another good reason to go larger with a mattress is so that your child can grow with it. If you can get a durable, high-quality, and safe twin mattress, you should be able to keep it for many years. If you’re purchasing for a baby, you will need a mattress to fit the crib, so make sure you know the correct measurements before shopping.
What Accessories Do You Need?
A mattress for your child’s bed is only the beginning. You may need several accessories to keep them safe and comfortable:
• Bumpers and rails keep your child on the bed if they tend to roll. This is especially important for a bunk bed.
• A topper can make a mattress more comfortable or change the firmness as needed.
• A waterproof cover is something you can add if your child struggles with wetting the bed and then remove it later.
• Blankets and pillows make a bed cozy and comfortable.
• When choosing sheets, as with mattresses, look at materials and quality.
Here are some other considerations to make when creating the perfect bed for your child:
• Think of the future. Can your child grow into the mattress you buy, or will they need a new one in a year or two?
• Does your child have allergies or asthma? Look for a mattress that won’t trigger them.
• If you’re on a budget, you may be tempted to buy used. There are good reasons not to, such as no warranty, the potential for bed bugs, and decreased durability and firmness.
• Don’t be afraid to look online. Online retailers have some great options and deals for kids’ mattresses.
Do Your Homework for the Best Result
A mattress affects how your child sleeps and feels. It can even impact their health. Take this decision seriously and spend time learning about mattresses and shopping around before making a purchase. Not only will you get the best mattress, but you’ll save money too.