Best Mattress for Kids

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I’ve written a lot about the best mattresses for adults – whether it is memory foam, hybrid or otherwise –  but what about for your child? Is there such a thing as a ‘best mattress’ for children  in the UK and if so, which one is it?

So without further ado, here is my list of the very best mattresses you can buy right now in 2024, for your child or children. All of these are available to order online, in the UK:

It’s no secret that sleep plays a crucial role in a child’s development. To ensure your child wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day, it’s important to invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress and bedding.

In a nutshell:

Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing a mattress for your child, so you’ll need to consider factors such as their sleeping preferences, budget, and other unique needs.

At a Glance: How to Find a Kid’s Mattress

Let me start by firstly summarising the key points that you really need to bear in mind:

  • If you’re worried about your kids rolling out of bed, make sure to get a mattress with side bolster support.
  • Consider the type of bed you’re buying for. If it’s a bunk bed, then there’s a legal requirement to have at least 16cm (6″) of space between the top of the mattress and the side rails – this is to prevent your child rolling out of the top bunk and causing injury.
  • Make sure to check that your child’s mattress is fire retardant and complies to BS 7177. All of the mattresses I recommend here, are.
  • If your child is prone to bed wetting, then of course removable covers are a must.
  • As a general rule: memory foam, hybrid and pocket sprung mattresses are all fine for most children.

If you are concerned about the new mattress smell or have any sort of chemical concerns (for example, that may cause eczema) then make sure to read my guide on how to get rid of that awful smell. This problem is particularly prevalent for memory foams, but all mattresses will smell a bit when they are new.

Which mattress size is best for kids?

Unlike with adults, kids are obviously still growing. So what may fit now, could be a problem in a year with their feet sticking out the end of the mattress!

So above all, remember that your child grows very quickly, and their body shape and weight will change, meaning their mattress requirement will also change. “A mattress that supports a four stone child sufficiently is unlikely to support them if they double their weight in a few years’ time,” Simon Anderson from the Bed Federation told me.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to mattress size for kids is this: buy for the next 3-5 years, considering how tall your child or children will be by that point.

And of course most mattresses can be “handed down” if you have more than one child, so there is no need to throw it out immediately. Storing a mattress may not be a practical consideration for a lot of people if you’re short on space, so make sure to time it right if you can – a good place to keep a spare matterss is in the attic.

Overview: Top 7 Mattresses for Children

Here’s a rundown of each mattress from my top picks:

1. Simba Hybrid Kids – Best Overall

Not content with dominating the UK mattress scene, Simba have recently released a child-specific mattress.

It’s supposed to be the perfect fit for bunk beds and other children’s bed frames and  has five layers of foam and springs, plus it’s designed to be supportive, breathable, and keep your little one cool all night long.

But let’s cut to the chase, is it any good? Well, I’ll tell you what, I got my three-year-old nephew, Dominic, to give it a try and he’s a tough customer. He’s not one to mince his words, let me tell you. And I’ve got to say, we were both pretty impressed.

How firm is it?

The mattress – like all Simba products, frankly – sits on the firmer side, and it’s suitable for all kinds of sleepers, whether your little one sleeps on their front, back, or side.

It’s also great for anyone who likes a bit of memory foam, but wants something with a little more spring too. One potential negative is that the mattress has a chemical odour when you first unbox it due to the foam layers expanding. While this is a common issue for most mattresses in a box, it might be concerning for aynone who is sensitive to strong smells or, if you have a child with allergies. Find out more about the smell here.

Overall, Dominic loved it, and I even gave it a try myself. I found it really supportive, and it didn’t sink too much when I lay on it. It’s also got a bit of a bounce to it, which is great if your little one likes to jump on the bed (which, let’s face it, they all do). Though, whether it will last from toddler to teen years as Simba advertise, is up for debate.

In terms of price, if it’s on sale (which it often is) you can get it for around the £250 – £300 mark.

In a nutshell:

I’d say the Simba Hybrid Kids Mattress is a pretty good choice if you’re looking for a UK made hybrid mattress. It’s comfortable, supportive, and it’s designed to keep kids cool and comfortable all night long.

2. Panda London Hybrid Bamboo – Best Luxury

For a while now, this mattress has been a popular choice among parents, and I can see why. It’s not strictly speaking a “kids mattress” – anyone can use it.

But it’s made up of six layers, including orthopaedic grade support and pressure point perfect comfort, which is great for growing bodies. Plus, it’s infused with bamboo, which has natural antibacterial properties and is temperature regulating, making it ideal for kids (or anyone) who sleeps hot.

The zip-off top bamboo cover is a nice touch too, as it adds an extra layer of softness that can be easily removed and washed. It’s also hypoallergenic, which is another positive for those wit allergies. The thing that impressed me is the fact that the mattress has a 100-night trial period, – which many kid’s mattresses do not – so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a mattress your child doesn’t like.

Now, I know some parents might be put off by the price of the Bamboo Hybrid Mattress, which is quite steep, but I believe it’s worth the investment – buy cheap, buy twice as they say. After all, sleep is crucial for their development and growth.

I actually have a friend who got this mattress for their child and they swear by it. They told me that their child used to toss and turn all night long, but since they got the Hybrid Bamboo, their child has been sleeping soundly through the night. I’m waiting to test it myself; I’ve only managed to see it in person but not sleep on it yet.

In a nutshell:

The downside (aside from the price) is that the mattress looks quite heavy, which might make it difficult to move around if you need to clean their bedroom or rearrange furniture. But overall, I think the Hybrid Bamboo mattress is a great choice for parents looking for a high-quality, comfortable, and safe mattress for their little ones.

3. Little Green Sheep ‘Natural Junior’ – Best for Allergies

If you’ve never heard of The Little Green Sheep company before then here’s a quick rundown: They only sell toxin-free, natural and handmade products, so if you’re concerned about things like eczema or rashes, then this may be the best mattress for your kids that you can buy.

The Natural Junior is available from moses basket size up to single (as well as bespoke sizes) and is supportive enough for all kids at any age.

First of all, this mattress is handmade using only natural ingredients, so you can feel good knowing that your child is sleeping on something that’s free from harmful chemicals and toxins. And that’s not all – it’s naturally hypoallergenic too, which is great news for kids who suffers from allergies.

But what does that mean in practice? Well, the wool used in the mattress naturally absorbs then disperses moisture away, creating a clean, dry environment that’s resistant to dust mites and bacteria growth. And let’s face it, kids can be messy little creatures, so having a mattress that’s naturally resistant to all the gross stuff is a big plus in my book.

Another thing I love about the Natural Junior is that it’s naturally insulating and breathable, which helps regulate your child’s body temperature. I don’t know about you, but I always worry about my kids getting too hot or too cold during the night, so this is a huge relief. And because the mattress is made from thousands of coconut fibres blended together with natural latex, it provides the right amount of support for your child as they grow from toddler to teen.

Now, I have to be honest with you – this mattress isn’t cheap (and you shouldn’t expect it to be, given what’s inside it!). But in my opinion, it’s worth the investment. Plus, it comes with a 5-year guarantee, so you know you’re getting a quality product.

Note that the Natural Junior is one the thin side at just 13cm deep, but it is surprisingly snug and cosy, with medium firmness and can be used on a UK sized bunk-bed. I was also impressed with the personalised and efficient customer service (UK based), and the delivery times are pretty good too.

In a nutshell:

All in all, if you’re looking for a mattress that’s safe, healthy, and will last your child for years to come, the Natural Junior is definitely worth considering.

Compare prices for The Little Green Sheep Natural Junior:

SellerPrice
The Little Green Sheep Top choice£318.60Shop now
Amazon UK£354.95Shop now
John Lewis£345.95Shop now
Thickness isn’t always the top consideration…

4. REM-Fit Remy Kidz – Best Eco-Friendly

The REM-Fit Remy Kidz mattress has a medium-firm tension, which I’ve rated at 6.5 out of 10. Though it’s perhaps on the softer side, it does still offer a good level of support for growing bodies, while still being soft and comfortable enough to give restful sleep.

The reason the matterss is this soft is because of its layers/construction, which actaully features three foam layers: a 2.5cm layer of viscoelastic memory foam for body moulding and contouring, a 2.5cm layer of reflex foam for added bounce, and a 10cm supportive base layer made from eco foam.

However, do note that the mattress probably isn’t suitable for children who prefer a very firm sleeping surface – or those who sleep primarily on their stomachs for that matter, as they will require a firmer mattress to maintain proper spinal alignment too. For those who sleep on their backs or sides, however, the REM-Fit Remy Kidz should provide a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface.

Parents who care about the environment will undoubtedly appreciate the eco-friendliness of the Remy. Why? Because the Seaqual Initiative, an international effort to reduce marine plastic waste, recycled all of the material for the mattress cover and the mattress’s foam layers are similar, with 75% of the foam coming from previously owned mattresses.

What’s more, REM-FIT tell me they also have a carbon neutral manufacturing process; the mattress is vacuum-sealed prior to shipping to reduce its container size, further reducing its environmental impact.

In a nutshell:

The Remy Kidz mattress is a fantastic option for families concerned about the environment and future generations. The higher-than-average quality of the mattress assures a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface for developing children.

5. Stompa S Flex Airflow – Best Budget

Stompa actually make an even cheaper version of this mattress, in the form of their blue label “memory foam” version, but I recommend this pocket spring version over that. Why? Because it’s much comfier, has less moisture-retention and only costs around £50 more. This is their top-end mattress for kids, and although it’s £199 on John Lewis, it is possible to get it a little cheaper if you shop around.

With this pocket spring mattress you get all the benefits from the cheaper mem foam version – the breathable top-layer and soft top shaped foam layer, supportive “HD” base foam layer and (most importantly) that soft, removable cover. All good in themselves, but the deal breaker is there’s yet another layer incorporating a 1000-spring pocket sprung layer (not to be confused with micro pocket units, which are more common in children’s mattresses but only an inch thick – this one boasts springs that are a bulky 4 inches thick!). Combined, all of this givesg an even more luxurious feel and extra durability.

If you aren’t aware of the drawbacks of memory foam then I’ve written a good article here. But in short, the pocket spring should wick away moisture and keep your child cooler, though if you can’t afford to opt for this pocket spring version, then save the extra fifty quid and just buy the regular Stompa memory foam “S Flex Airflow” model – it’s still great.

The red-label S Flex AIrflow is a decent, cheap Stompa mattress albeit rather basic

6. Emma Original – Best Memory Foam

This mattress isn’t specifically designed for children, but ultimately what’s good for adults is also good for kids. Read my full review of the Emma Original here first.

If you’re still keen after reading that, then great. It’s a very good, well-made and best-selling mattress in the UK, so certainly not one to be overlooked!

There’s 25cm of foam (it’s actually a regular memory foam, but Emma do offer a hybrid too if you have more money to spend). And there’s a fully machine washable cover too. This essentially means that the mattress is easy to keep clean, and the breathable material keeps things cool even when the weather starts to heat up.

While there is no specific child sizing, it’s available in other sizes, such as my recommended size a “small double” – this would be the perfect choice for tweens and teenagers. I loved how it arrived in a surprisingly small vacuum-packed box.

If you’re worried that your children won’t like this mattress, then rest assured that all these “XX night trials” are valid for both adults and children. In this particular case with Emma, there’s a 200-night free trial period in case they (or you) don’t like it. Sending it back at any point within that 200-night period, if you aren’t happy, means easy hassle-free returns and a full refund.

7. Jay-Be Simply Kids OpenCoil – The Outlier

If you like to keep things simple, then you can’t go wrong with Jay-Be.  This is a dedicated pocket spring mattress from Jay-Be, known for their versatility and budget-friendly ranges. This particular model is:

  • Anti allergy
  • Anti fungal
  • Fully waterproof
  • Edge to edge comfort layers for maximum sleeping area
  • Made in the UK to meet British and European safety standards
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Less than £175 in a lot of shops

If you’re looking for a medium-soft mattress, then Jay-Be might be worthy of your consideration. At 18cm thick, it’s easy to wipe clean and doesn’t compromise on comfort, thanks to the sprung layer of 325 springs covered with a cushioned top layer, which also offers great support for kids’ growing bones. While a lot of hybrid mattresses have almost 5 times as many springs, they will probably cost at least 300 quid more…

The only drawback here is that it’s wipe-clean only, there are no removable washable covers. If you use a mattress protector then this will overcome a lot of the potential issues here.

Think of the Jay-Be Simply Kids mattress as an introductory note to the world of mattresses. The smart fibre is breathable, allowing air to flow freely through the mattress, which was particularly great news for my little tester who is prone to getting sweaty at night but still stayed completely dry. If you’re not looking to break the bank, then do seriously consider the Jay-Be.

Places to buy the JAY-BE:

  1. Available at Argos.co.uk
  2. John Lewis – out of stock currently
  3. From Bensons for Beds – available in different kids sizes (see below)

 

What is the best type of mattress for kids?

There are a few options to think about when picking out a mattress for your kids (singular or plural!).

Memory foam is a common choice in the UK. The name of the game with this mattress ‘type’ is that it moulds to the shape of the sleeper’s body for optimal comfort and support. Concerns regarding off-gassing and heat retention may make some parents wary of selecting a memory foam mattress for their child, so look for a memory foam mattress with cooling capabilities, or if their bedroom is particularly hot then look into other options, if your child sleeps hot.

Hybrid mattresses are another option to think about. The advantages of memory foam and the responsiveness of an innerspring coil system often come together in one product: the hybrid mattress. This style of mattress is ideal for kids since it provides the right amount of support without being too stiff to accommodate their changing sleeping positions. Since the coil structure allows for more air circulation, hybrids typically deliver cooler night’s sleep than memory foam.

And lastly, there are airbeds, which are mattresses that may have their firmness altered by adding or releasing air.  Children who have special support needs or who are prone to back pain may benefit from sleeping on an airbed, though they’re not that common here in the UK. They are also a great option for families that may need to vary the mattress’s firmness as their child ages and new support requirements arise.

Note: There’s also the latex-derived mattresses but these are usually a combination of one of the above and not a standalone type – for example, most latex mattresses for kids are actually hybrids.

How do I find the best mattress for my budget?

Don’t buy on price alone. Seriously, don’t.

Even if you are on a tight budget, then consider that a good mattress will last for many years. Generally, the same recommendations apply to both adult mattresses and kid’s mattresses: that is, they should be replaced after 8-10 years. That’s a long time, and it doesn’t make financial sense to scrimp if you think about it.

But consider this important point: If your child is 5 years old now, then how much will they weight in, say, 8 years time when they are now 13 years old? Probably two or three times as much… So make sure to look at the maximum weight measurements for each mattress carefully.

If your kids sleep alone as most do, then you at least won’t need to consider any sort of “combined” weight as you would with an adult mattress (obviously, making sure to include your partner’s weight and so on… with kids, this part is not necessary normally so that certainly makes life easier).

More from WhatMattress...

What should I look for when choosing a mattress for kids?

There are a few important considerations that you’ll really want to consider first, before picking out a mattress for your kid:

  • Think about their sleep style: whether they are a front, back, or side sleeper first: this can help you figure out how firm of a mattress they need; side sleepers often like a softer option, while those who sleep on their back or stomach may need something more supportive.
  • Next, think about the mattress material. Mattresses come in a wide variety of constructions, including coil, hybrid, foam, pocket spring, and E-pocket, each of which has its own unique feel and level of support to offer. Keeping your child’s body in mind, as well as your budget, when shopping for a mattress is essential.
  • Finally, think about your kid’s actual bed. A mattress of a certain depth is required, for instance, if they sleep on a bunk bed. To make sure the mattress fits precisely on their bed, it’s vital to get the dimensions of the bed first. You’ll be able to find the best mattress for your child by keeping these things in mind.

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Are kids mattresses different sizes?

Yes and no.

Most mattresses for kids are in the same sizes as adults, but you will probably only really be shopping for a UK (or EU) single size.

If you have a very young child for example who uses a Moses Basket, then you can get smaller sized mattresses in the UK. These are often marketed as “toddler” size, or sometimes “supersmall“.

To make matters more confusing, there is also “Small Single” widely available in the UK. These are the same length but of a reduced width (across), compared to regular UK Single mattresses.

Here is a visual guide to each mattress size, including the sizing:

Methodology

So you may be wondering ‘how does an adult test out kids mattresses?’ and the fact of the matter is that it’s just not possible.

Instead I took my nephew Dominic to several furniture shops (Bensons for Beds, Dreams etc) that sold a variety of children’s mattresses so that we could try them out discretely. The shop staff assumed we were buying for us 🙂  Since Dominic is a very active kid who changes positions frequently while sleeping, we looked into mattresses that might be good for kids who toss and turn a lot.

Since memory foam beds are popular for their supposed pressure-relieving properties, we started by trying them out. We quickly ruled out these mattresses after discovering that Dominic sank too far into them, limiting his mobility.

Hybrid mattresses, which incorporate both memory foam and pocketed coils, were next on the list. These mattresses won Dominic’s approval because, quite simply, they allowed him to sleep comfortably while still being mobile.

Last but not least, we tried out airbeds, which are mattresses filled with air and have varying degrees of firmness. Often, they’re used for camping but some people use them for sleeping. Despite its quirkiness, Dominic quickyl got bored: these mattresses have a tendency towards excessive bounce and instability.

Here at WhatMattress we take mattress research seriously - all our product tests are done as fairly and honestly as possible.

That's quite a bold claim, but we're proud of the attention to detail that you're hopefully seeing within our reviews. Our methodology sets us apart from many other review websites. I like to think this is because WhatMattress is only run by two people - Carrie and Anthony. Over the years we've hand-tested multiple mattresses, pillow and other bedding products - so that you don't have to!

Every single mattress is put through its paces using the following tests:

  • We make sure to live with the mattress for at least a week.
  • We always sleep on the mattress we're testing - every single night.
  • We will always be 100% honest when we weigh up the pros and the cons of each mattress.
  • And in most cases, we've bought the mattress ourselves and haven't been given a free one.

A word about sleep trials

Being totally honest, when it comes to sleep trials for kids mattresses, there are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. As I discussed earlier, kids are often more active on their beds, which can lead to wear and tear that might not be covered by a sleep trial or warranty (and probably won’t happen with an adult mattress).

For example, if your child spills something on the mattress, or jumps on it repeatedly, this could damage it in such a way that might not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Similarly, if your child has any accidents on the mattress, this could also void it.

That being said, many mattress companies do offer sleep trials for kids mattresses, which can give you some peace of mind when you’re trying to find the right bed for your child. Just be sure to read the fine print carefully, and understand what is and isn’t covered by the trial before you make your purchase.

Conclusion – Which is the best?

So there you have it, folks. Choosing the right mattress for your child can be a bit of a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With so many great options out there in the UK now, hopefully this guide has helped.

Whether you opt for a memory foam, hybrid, or airbed mattress, make sure to keep in mind the key factors that actually make a mattress suitable for children: look for mattresses that provide the right balance of support and comfort, are durable and long-lasting, and have features such as breathability and hypoallergenic materials.

Of course, the best way to know if a mattress is right for your child is to let them try it out themselves. Sleep trials are available on some but not all kids mattresses; sadly you’ll need to read the fine print to see if you’ll be eligible.

Remember, a good night’s sleep is essential for your child’s growth and development, so don’t skimp on investing in a quality mattress. With the right mattress, your child will be well on their way to sweet dreams and restful nights for years to come.

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Was this article helpful?
YesNo

Are kids mattresses in different sizes?

Yes and no.  Most mattresses for kids are in the same sizes as adults, but you will probably only really be shopping for a UK or EU single.

If you have a very young child for example who uses a Moses Basket, then you can get smaller sized mattresses in the UK. These are often marketed as "toddler" size, or sometimes "supersmall".

How often should I replace my child's mattress?

It's a good idea to replace your child's mattress every 8-10 years or as soon as you notice signs of wear and tear. A worn-out mattress can lead to poor sleep quality, discomfort, and even pain, so it's important to invest in a new mattress when the time is right.

What is the ideal thickness for a kids' mattress?

A: The ideal thickness for a kids' mattress is generally around 22cm. This provides enough support and comfort for a child's growing body without being too thick or heavy. However, the thickness may vary depending on the child's age, weight, and sleep habits.

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How we reviewed this article:

Edit History:

Our experts continually monitor the mattress & sleep tech space, and we update our reviews & articles when new information becomes available.

  • 10th February 2024
    Current Article - By Carrie Taylor
  • 10th February 2024
    Checked & Reviewed - By Jean Marshall
  • 12th August 2020
    Copy Edited - By Carrie Taylor
  • 10th February 2024
    Reviewed - By Carrie Taylor

7 comments on “Best Mattress for Kids

  1. Amazing post it was. I am going to share it with my friends and family. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. That mattress size guide is probably the most useful thing I’ve found online in a long time. Is there an easy way to pin it to my Pinterest board?

  3. Wow some of these kids mattresses are a bit on the expensive side. Most kids beds come with a mattress anyway don’t they?

    1. Hi Lockie, I’ve tried to pick a mix of mattresses to suit any budget; sadly mattresses have gone up a lot in price across the board lately, though you can still get a kids mattress for around £150, such as the ‘budget choice’ above.

  4. I am looking for a new mattress for the wife that is covid proof. She is insisting that it can be transmitted by mattress. Please help!

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