Baby sleep

Best Kids' Mattress Options for Every Stage 2023

So many options, so many price points. Whether you’re looking for your baby’s crib or their first “big kid” bed, here’s help figuring it all out.

By Bryce Gruber

Best Kids' Mattress Options for Every Stage 2023


There's lots to consider when buying a kid's mattress, but let's start with the basics: When it comes to mattresses of any size—from the best crib mattress to California king—your options are spring, foam and hybrid. Each has benefits and can be used for a variety of sizes, ages and sleep training methods.

Kids' mattress types

  • Spring mattresses: These are firm and supportive thanks to the steel coils inside. The number, gauge, shape and positioning of the coils varies between brands, but generally speaking, the more coils in the mattress, the more supportive and durable it is. Choose from pocket coil (or “enclosed spring”) mattresses, which have individually wrapped coils that work independently, and innerspring (or “open coil”) mattresses, which have interconnected coils that work together. Both types are encased in one or more layers of padding or upholstery.
  • Foam mattresses: These popular, affordable kids' mattresses come in many varieties. Find them made from polyurethane, latex (plant- or petroleum-based) and gel. Choose from different densities, textures and layers (for example, breathable foam on top, flexible foam in the middle and high-density support foam below). Foam conforms to the body, relieving pressure points while providing support. And because foam mattresses are lighter than spring mattresses, it’s easier to change sheets. These come in a variety of sizes designed to fit everything from toddler floor beds to king-size models for parents.
  • Hybrid mattresses: The best of both worlds is within reach. These have both springs and foam. Some are double-sided—for example, with one firm side for babies and a more cushioned side for toddlers.

The best kids' mattress options in 2023

Best kids' mattress overall

Saatva Youth Mattress

saatva youth mattress, best kids' mattress Saatva

The Saatva versatile innerspring mattress for kids is designed for growing bodies ages three to 12. It's made to support healthy sleep from pre-school to grade school thanks to a dual-sided, accident-proof design. Handcrafted with the same eco-friendly, high-end materials all Saatva mattresses boast, this bed promises an exceptional sleep experience.

This type of mattress is ideal for side sleepers, back sleepers and yes—even belly sleepers. The firmness level is perfect for spinal alignment and proper growth. Heck, it's so comfortable that parents may end up dozing off in this one.


  • Ideal for toddlers and big kids
  • Made of eco-friendly high-end materials
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Available in twin, twin xl and full size beds for kids
  • Free in-home delivery and setup
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • Relatively pricey compared to other models on the market
  • Only three available sizes

Best flippable

Helix Kids Mattress

Helix Kids Mattress Merchant

You don't have to keep switching mattresses as your little one grows, and this Helix model is proof. We covered every important detail in our Helix Kids Mattress review, but the short version is that it has two brilliant sides that offer both a toddler mattress and a big kids' mattress.

One side is made to perfectly support the youngest growing bodies—from age three up to about seven years old—while the other offers a comfortable, cool sleep to older kids. It's a budget-friendly choice because you'll keep it for years and the clever stain-resistant cover makes it parent-approved. It's one of our favorite dual-sided mattresses for the whole family.

Here's how to remove blood stains from a mattress in case your child is prone to nose bleeds and other normal mishaps.

*This slide is part of a paid partnership, though we really did try the mattress. We loved it so much that our own kids really sleep on it.


  • Offers two flippable sides for a custom sleep experience
  • Comes in both twin and full sizes
  • Stain resistant cover
  • Made in the USA
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • CertiuPUR-US certified


  • Somewhat pricier than other options, though still affordable (especially with this bed's longevity)

Best budget kids' mattress

Novilla Twin Mattress

novilla mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Nearly 24,000 Amazon ratings call the Novilla mattress one of the best mattress for kids options—especially if you're working with a tight budget. This mattress is designed with gel-infused memory foam to keep kids cool and comfortable all night long. Bamboo fabric on the surface promises better ventilation and breathability.

The middle foam layer is designed as an airflow channel that also features pressure relief and added support. That means your little one won't get out of bed every night complaining of being too hot or cold. What a win!


  • Budget-friendly price starting at about $175 for a twin
  • Available in an extended size range spanning twin, twin xl, full, queen, king and California king
  • Three height options
  • Gel foam construction
  • Ships directly to your door in a compact box


  • Heavier than it looks, so you may need two people to help set it up
  • Takes nearly a full day to expand after unboxing

Best twin XL

Nectar Memory Foam XL

best kids mattress, nectar memory foam xl Merchant

Whether your kid is college-bound or just pretty tall, the Nectar Memory Foam bed is our favorite kids' mattress in extra-long proportions. It's a premium memory foam mattress designed to cradle their body even if they're no longer your teeny-tiny baby.

It's made with feel-good CertiPUR-US memory foam in an extra-long size that fits tall kids, dorm bedding and grown-ups with ease. We love the forever warranty, free shipping and returns and 365-night sleep trial. Oh, and the price is more than reasonable for the quality.


  • Extra long-tall size is ideal for tall kids, dorm bedding and adults
  • Supportive, high-quality memory foam
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reasonable price
  • Free and easy shipping


  • Requires spot cleaning if stained, so make sure you put a good mattress cover on it

Best organic kids' mattress

Naturepedic Organic Kids' Bed

naturepedic organic 2-in-1 kids mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

A Naturepedic organic kids' bed is just the ticket if organic materials are your highest priority. These 100% GOTS-certified mattresses for kids feature two sides to suit your child's development. A waterproof side promises a safe, pee-free sleep while a luxurious quilted side honors their quickly maturing side.

It's also the only youth mattress for your child on our list that comes in both traditional and short trundle bed sizes. We love this one for growing kids of all types.


  • 100% GOTS-certified materials
  • Waterproof and perfect for potty training
  • Organic construction
  • Available in four sizes
  • Firm, supportive feel
  • Non-toxic and passes all government flammability requirements while maintaining UL/GREENGUARD certifications for low chemical emissions
  • Organic cotton filling over steel coils allows more airflow for a cooler, less sweaty sleep.


  • Relatively expensive
  • What 6-inch height is a bit shallow

Best memory foam kids' mattress

Linenspa 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress

linenspa memory foam mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Choosing a Linenspa memory foam mattress makes sense if you're looking for an excellent overall value. With over 132,000 ratings and a nearly perfect 4.6-star average, it's easily one of the most popular memory foam mattresses on the market. It's also one of our favorite Walmart twin mattress options.

Choose from 8-inch, 10-inch or 12-inch heights and either the mattress alone or with a trendy platform bed setup that's easy to assemble. We love the contouring comfort of memory foam this bed offers, plus the very-necessary durability and bouncy feel of steel springs. Kids may even ask for early bedtime just to be on this.


  • Over 132,000 ratings make this one of the most popular memory foam mattresses for kids on the market
  • Extremely affordable
  • Available in an extended size range
  • Conforms to growing spines and bodies
  • Ships right to your door
  • Three available heights


  • Some reviewers note that the medium-firm feeling isn't suitable for those who prefer firmer sleep setups
  • Takes a full day to inflate once unboxed

Best Amazon kids' mattress

Zinus Green Tea Cooling Mattress

Zinus Green Tea Mattress, best kids mattress Merchant

Each Zinus green tea cooling mattress features gel-foam technology that's a cinch to setup and easy to maneuver when you want to make (and remake) the bed. With over 67,000 shopper ratings, it's one of Amazon's most popular mattress models and an affordable find you'll wonder how you ever lived without.

The temperature-regulating high density foam boasts a soft cooling gel, pressure-relieving technology and CertiPUR-certification. That makes it perfect for hot sleepers and those prone to sweaty nights. Parents of kids who sleep on their sides and backs rate this one as "excellent."


  • Over 67,000 ratings make it one of Amazon's most popular beds
  • CertiPUR-certified
  • Extremely affordable
  • Thicker 10-inch profile
  • Ideal for little kids, teens and adults
  • Bed-in-a-box delivery right to your door


  • Some reviewers note that the mattress has a strong synthetic odor for the first day or two after unboxing

Best convertible toddler mattress

Newton Crib mattress

newton crib mattress original grey, best kids mattress Newton

Looking to invest in one bed to get you from infancy through about age 5? The Newton crib mattress is your best bet. It's a 100% breathable bed with a patented, supportive core and detachable cover. Airy construction keeps it lightweight and easy to maneuver. Parents love how easy it is to change linens. This bed is also easy to wash and doesn't have any delicate glues, latex or springs that can be damaged by moisture.

While it's designed for cribs, this brilliant option help keep your baby resting well through all the stages of infancy and toddlerhood. It fits convertible cribs and toddler beds with ease. With over 2,000 five-star ratings, it's also one of Amazon's bestselling baby beds.


  • Fits standard cribs and mattresses
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Easy to wash
  • 100% breathable materials
  • Detachable cover
  • Modest price point
  • Lasts from day one through about age five


  • Only lasts till kids are ready to move onto twin-size beds
  • Air-based inner design won't support adults crawling in at storytime

Considerations when choosing the right kids' mattress

For your baby's safety, a mattress must fit tightly in the crib. Standard crib mattresses measure 28 by 52 inches, and should be no more than six inches thick. If you can fit more than one finger between the mattress and each side of the crib, the mattress is too small.

To prevent suffocation, the mattress should also be flat and very firm with no soft spots. When you’re shopping, test the firmness of each crib mattress by pushing down on its center and edges—you should feel good resistance. Speaking of safety, if you're wondering, "are crib bumbers safe?" the answer is simple: no.

Spring mattresses should have border rods around the perimeter to prevent sagging when your baby stands or walks on the sides or edges. Foam surfaces shouldn’t conform to the shape of your hand, and they should snap back readily.

Also look for signs of quality construction, as you would if buying a mattress for yourself. These could include thicker fabric coverings, quality cushioning, sturdy edges and denser foam or higher-gauge springs. It’s better to buy a new crib mattress than reuse a second-hand one.

An improperly cleaned or stored mattress can harbor mold and bacteria. And in case there’s any question about using an air mattress or a waterbed, these are not safe sleep surfaces for babies. Neither are many adult mattresses—especially cheap twin mattress options. Ditto for playpens, car seats, strollers, swings, bouncers and hammocks—if your baby falls asleep in one of these, it’s safest to transfer them to a crib, cradle or bassinet.

When do kids transition to bigger mattresses?

Kids tend to transition from a crib to a “big kid” bed starting around age two and a half. Alanna McGinn, a sleep consultant and founder of Good Night Sleep Site, recommends waiting until age three or three and a half, if you can. “The longer you can delay it, the better,” she says. “If they’re not jumping out and you’re not concerned about safety, it’s OK to keep them there. The older the child, the more they understand the transition.”

The next mattress size up is a twin mattress (38 by 75 inches, also sometimes called a single), but if your child’s room can accommodate a double (also known as full; 53 by 75 inches) or queen (60 by 80 inches), it’s worth considering—your kid won’t outgrow it.

Your decision might come down to how your kid feels about making the switch. “If a child is very attached to their crib, going to a double or queen bed can be slightly overwhelming,” says McGinn.

“It also depends on what kind of sleeper they are. Independent sleepers shouldn’t have an issue. But if you think it’s a little too soon and the kid is forced to make that transition—maybe because you need the crib for someone else—you might want to start with a smaller mattress.”

A kid’s mattress doesn’t need to be as firm as their crib mattress. Most kids prefer a medium-firm or plusher mattress top, says Jory Solomon of Sleep Country Canada, which sells 10 different mattress brands. Admittedly, younger kids may not provide much feedback when testing mattresses at the store, he says. “But if it’s an older child, don’t discount their comfort choices. They have less padding than grown-ups do.”

Are natural and organic mattresses best?

Mattresses off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which come from polyurethane, flame retardants, adhesives and solvents. They also cause that chemical new-mattress smell. VOCs can pollute indoor air and cause respiratory irritation and other issues. If possible, look for a low-VOC mattress with natural and organic materials, such as organic cotton, natural wool and natural rubber latex. Peace of mind has a price, though—expect to spend more for an eco-friendly bed.

There’s no legal standard for “natural” or “organic,” but you can look for third-party certifications that apply to mattresses and their components.

  • CertiPUR-US certifies that polyurethane foam meets its content and emissions standards.
  • Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100 applies to cotton, wool and other textiles.
  • Greenguard and Greenguard GOLD certify that a mattress is low in VOCs.
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification requires a mattress to be 95 percent organic and free of polyurethane and chemical flame retardants.
  • Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification requires that a mattress with latex contains 95 percent organic latex and meets other strict requirements.

How much should you spend on a kid's mattress?

Crib mattresses cost between $60 and $500 or more, and twins (without a box spring) are typically $150 to $1,000 or more, depending on quality, materials and features like edge support.

It may seem extravagant to spend hundreds on a kid’s bed, but as with other major purchases, you usually get what you pay for. Mattresses go on sale frequently so patient shoppers needn’t pay full price.

“I’d encourage parents to get the best possible quality they can afford, because it’s something their child will use every single night,” says Solomon. It's easy to find mattress deals during the best Presidents' Day sales and best Memorial Day sales andback to school sales.

Comfortable kids’ mattresses are available at every price point. Spending more means more features, such as better support, temperature regulation and layers that relieve pressure points— which could potentially translate into better, longer sleeps for your child. Quality mattresses also last longer, up to 10 years, which could save you cash in the long run.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
This article was originally published on Feb 15, 2023

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