A kid sleeping on the best mattress for a growing child.

They Grow Up So Fast: How to Find the Best Mattress for Your Growing Child

If you’re like many people, you may not spend a lot of time considering the mattress your child sleeps on. From the time they’re babies until nearly middle school, your child probably crashes anywhere there’s a flat surface.

Yet, if you consider the time your growing child sleeps, they may spend half their day on a mattress. For example, the average preschooler sleeps around 10-12 hours a day. That’s a lot of time on one surface!

At Mattress Outlet, we know your children grow up so fast, so we will help you find the best mattress for your growing child.

Finding the Best Mattress for Your Little One(s)

Look at the Mattress Size

The first thing to consider when shopping for a children’s mattress is the size of the child and the size of the mattress.

When looking at mattresses for your growing child, you will most likely look at crib mattresses, toddler bed mattresses, twin mattresses, twin XL mattresses, and full-size mattresses.

In addition, consider the following:

  • Your child’s age
  • Their body size
  • The size of your child’s bedroom

Here is a basic guideline when looking at the best mattress size for your growing child:

Crib Mattress
  • Best for babies and toddlers
  • Dimensions are 28” x 52”
  • These are generally inexpensive and work in a variety of crib sizes
Toddler Bed Mattress

Some people go from a crib mattress to a toddler bed mattress instead of right to a twin mattress. Some of the toddler beds you see may actually be cribs converted into toddler beds.

This mattress is usually the same size as a crib mattress. You will find that, generally, toddler mattresses are a little bit softer than crib mattresses. Or, you may find a crib/toddler mattress that is softer on one side and firmer on another. You do want babies on firm mattresses, so there is no suffocation risk.

You will also often find that both the crib and toddler mattress have a waterproof casing.

Twin Mattress
  • Best for young children
  • Dimensions are 38” x 74”
  • Twin mattresses are inexpensive, fit in bunk beds, and are also great in small bedrooms
Twin XL Mattress
  • Works for young children through teenagers due to the longer size
  • Dimensions are 38” x 80”
  • Can also fit in a bunk bed and works in small bedrooms
Full Mattress
  • Best for teenagers
  • Dimensions are 54” x 75”
  • A full-size mattress works better in larger bedrooms and provides more sleeping space for your nearly grown child

Choosing Between Soft and Firm Mattresses

Now that you have the size down, you may wonder about the firmness of your child’s mattress. This is another critical factor and one that is definitely worth considering.

First, babies need a firm mattress while they are in a crib. You don’t want soft, pillowy mattresses because these are dangerous for babies.

As your children enter the toddler years, they no longer need an overly firm mattress. They should, however, have a slightly less firm or medium firm mattress. Why? As they grow, children need support from their mattresses and need a sleeping surface that supports their neck and spine in a natural position.

While children’s mattresses should be comfortable, extra soft mattresses don’t have enough support for kids. What’s more, most kids move around a lot at night, so a bed that is at least medium firm is ideal.

Waterproof the Mattress

In your child’s younger years, from the time they are babies until they are seven or eight, you may want to choose a water-resistant mattress or, at the very least, add a water-resistant mattress cover or protector.

This won’t harm your child’s rest, and it will make your life easier, as potty accidents and leaky diapers do happen.

Final Thoughts

Your children grow up so fast, and you want to make the best choices when choosing the best mattress for your growing child.

It is worth noting that you don’t have to cycle through all those mattress sizes. For example, you may decide to go straight from a crib to a full-size mattress. It is also acceptable to cycle through several mattress sizes because your child may feel uncomfortable in a larger mattress.

Do remember, though, when moving your child to a twin or a full, you might want to put one side up against a wall and add a rail on the other side. This is a good idea for a short period of time until your growing child learns to stay in bed and doesn’t fall out.

If you decide you are ready to shop for children’s mattresses for your growing child at a terrific price point, we can help. Contact us today!

Photo by Joao Viegas on Unsplash

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