Mattresses are different for kids and adults. For adults, it’s much easier to determine what we want. Understanding a child’s requirements, especially when they don’t know how to communicate their sleep problems could be difficult. Research indicates that sleep problems in children could cause mental and physical problems. Obesity, lethargy, mood swings and anger could all be rooted to sleep in children. It’s not uncommon for children to throw a tantrum when they feel sleepy.
Understanding your child’s mattress requires a bit of experience. Experience from parents and a bit of science indicates that a firm mattress is best suited for children. A firm mattress bordering around medium firm creates an even surface to sleep on while being supportive. While a plush mattress does seem comfortable, it creates a few problems. To begin with, plush mattresses are notoriously hot after a few hours of sleep on them. Heat retention will result in poor sleep patterns in children and adults, which should be a concern. The second problem with a plush mattresses is that they are harder to move on in bed. Kids and adults turn approximately 30 times during their sleep. If the mattress is too uncomfortable to turn on, you are providing a reason to wake up. This can be avoided with a firm or a medium-firm mattress
The firmness or comfort level is the primary factor to consider when purchasing a mattress for your child. Everything else comes next. Other factors which follow are size, Material used (latex, foam), type (Hybrid, pure foam), Cooling features, Protection (Protectors for incontinence ) etc. Each of these is important and some more than others. Most parents would agree that bedwetting is a common problem in smaller children and a mattress with a protector is a blessing. Also, Parents would want to consider the size of a mattress early. If you do not want to change your mattress every second or third year, you may want to consider sizes accordingly.
Features to consider for Kids’ mattress
Firmness: The firmness of a mattress depends on the child’s age. There are reasons from safety to heat problems which indicate the right firmness for a child’s bed. A mattress that is too firm or soft is either unsafe or uncomfortable for a child. It’s important to get the firmness right for kids, especially when they are younger.
Age 18 Months to 5 Years: Children below the age of 5 require a firm mattress. Infants are more prone to SIDS but even children between 18 months and 5 years require something firm. A mattress which is too soft has problems with heat retention, especially when they are made of foam. Foam traps heat and with a plush mattress, heat tends to increase a lot faster.
5-10 Years: Between the age of 5 and 10, the mattress can be medium firm or firm. This depends on the preference of the child and weight. Heavier kids should go for something more firm. This ensures that the mattress is more supportive and durable for a longer period of use. It is also comfortable to turn around on a firm mattress. Firm mattresses are also much cooler than plush mattresses, especially when your child is heavier. Also, Kids love to Jump or play in bed which requires a mattress which is more on the firm side. Research also indicates a firm mattress is aligned with better growth in kids.
over 10 Years: Kids over the age of 10 or even 12 will love a medium-firm mattress. The medium firm feels more comfortable than a firm mattress. Teens especially love a more comfortable mattress. This does not mean they get a plush mattress. The medium firm is as far as they go. Even with a medium-firm mattress, the mattress must be supportive and pressure-relieving.
Size : For toddlers and infants its inevitable to purchase a mattress which is small and categorized as a crib mattress. There is often no way out of this but for kids above 3 years, there are possibilities. You could purchase a mattress which would last 10 years or just purchase a mattress every 3 years or whenever they overgrow the size of the mattress. Mattresses for kids range in sizes from Twin, Twin XL and Full. You could purchase a twin or twin XL for kids till the age of 12. Teens would require a full mattress especially when they are bound to move around in bed a lot and require space.
Type : The Type of mattress makes a bit of difference when it comes to children with specific needs. If your child is allergic to dust or foam in general, a Latex mattress may be a good option. If you are budget conscious, a foam mattress should work, unless you can’t do without a latex mattress. Mattresses come in Organic latex with organic covers and wool batting which is 100% organic. These mattresses are good but may cost a bit more than a normal kids’ mattress. Apart from regular form and Latex mattresses, there are options for innerspring and hybrid mattresses too. Hybrid mattresses are known to be a bit more supportive than regular latex or foam mattresses. they are also a bit cooler and well-ventilated.
Innerspring mattresses are slightly cheaper and bouncier than hybrid mattresses but work very well for kids. In general, the type of mattress depends on the child’s preference and weight. If your child is a bit heavy, go for a hybrid mattress . hybrid mattresses are known to be more supportive than foam. But latex mattresses are generally a lot more durable.
Cooling: Cooling may be overlooked in cooler regions but is something you need to consider seriously when you live in warmer areas. A cool mattress will result in a steady sleep with kids not waking up in the middle of the night because it’s too hot to sleep. Children are generally more warm-bodied than adults and will feel hot a lot faster. Consider a gel mattress if you are purchasing a foam or a Latex mattress. Also, ensure that the mattress is medium firm or firm as they tend to be a bit cooler than a plush mattress for kids.
Protectors: Protectors are important for kids who are aged below 8 years. most kids do have problems with bed wetting till 3-4 years old but some kids do have accidents till they are 7 or 8. It’s normal to have problems and corrective measures should happen for the same but in the meanwhile, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your child has a comfortable mattress during this period. A protector is a good investment when you purchase a mattress but a mattress with an inbuilt protector makes the investment even better.
FAQ – Best Mattresses For Kids
Q: What type of mattress is best for kids? A: The best type of mattress for kids is typically a medium-firm mattress that provides proper support for growing bodies. Look for mattresses made from high-quality materials such as memory foam or innerspring.
Q: Should I choose a twin or a full-size mattress for my child? A: The choice between a twin or full-size mattress depends on the age and size of your child. A twin mattress is generally suitable for younger children or those with limited bedroom space, while a full-size mattress offers more room to grow and is better for older kids or teenagers.
Q: Are hypoallergenic mattresses necessary for kids? A: Hypoallergenic mattresses can be beneficial for kids with allergies or sensitivities. These mattresses are designed to resist allergens like dust mites and mold, providing a healthier sleep environment for children.
Q: How often should I replace my child’s mattress? A: It is recommended to replace your child’s mattress every 8 to 10 years or when it shows signs of wear and tear. Regularly inspect the mattress for sagging, lumps, or other signs of deterioration.
Q: Can a mattress help with my child’s posture and spine development? A: Yes, a supportive mattress can contribute to proper posture and healthy spine development in children. Look for mattresses that offer good spinal alignment and sufficient back support.
Q: Are waterproof mattresses necessary for kids? A: Waterproof mattresses can be beneficial for young children who are prone to accidents or bedwetting. These mattresses have a waterproof layer that protects against spills and stains, making them easier to clean.
Q: Can I use a mattress topper on my child’s mattress? A: Yes, using a mattress topper on your child’s mattress can enhance comfort and provide additional cushioning. Ensure that the topper is suitable for your child’s age and preferences.
Q: What safety features should I consider in a mattress for kids? A: Look for mattresses that meet safety standards and certifications, such as CertiPUR-US® or GREENGUARD Gold. Additionally, check for flame retardant properties and ensure the mattress is free from harmful chemicals.
Q: Are organic mattresses a good choice for kids? A: Organic mattresses can be a good choice for kids, especially those with allergies or sensitivities. These mattresses are made from natural materials and are free from synthetic chemicals and toxins.
Q: How can I keep my child’s mattress clean? A: To keep your child’s mattress clean, use a mattress protector or waterproof cover to prevent spills and stains. Regularly vacuum the mattress and spot clean any soiled areas following the manufacturer’s instructions.