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How To Choose The Best Mattress For Your Toddler

Apr 14, 2023

toddler wearing head scarf in bed | How To Choose The Best Mattress For Your Toddler | Featured

Once your little one outgrows the cot, it’s time to shop for a mattress for your toddler. But where do you begin? What features do you look for?

RELATED: Baby’s Sleep Pattern And Everything You Need To Know About It

Two- to three-year-old children sleep as much as 12-13 hours a day, so choosing the best mattress for your toddler is very important. It allows them to sleep well, deeply, and refreshingly.

The first eight years are the most important for a child’s brain. And at this age, their brain develops at a much faster rate. Your once gentle newborn will soon be running around and asking for heaps of cuddles.

Finding the Best Mattress for Your Toddler | What to Know

How Firm Are Mattresses for Toddlers?

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The best toddler mattresses are firm to medium-firm. In contrast to a newborn’s mattress, toddler mattresses are softer and bouncier.

Still, experts advise against mattress materials that are too soft or have too much give. Memory foam may be too soft for your toddler, and it might envelop your little one, potentially smothering or suffocating them.

Pocket spring mattresses, latex mattresses, or a hybrid combination of sturdier and firmer mattress materials are great options for your toddler. Pocket spring mattresses are unparalleled in providing robust support for both adults and growing children. And latex mattresses are popular for their ability to cradle and contour to the unique shape of your body. The material is also hypoallergenic, perfect for those with allergies. Meanwhile, both pocket spring mattresses and latex mattresses are very durable and great at staying cool throughout the night.

When shopping for a toddler mattress, you will find many different materials that you may have never encountered when shopping for adult mattresses. Some brands offer 3D-printed mattresses that are waterproof, washable, and firm. You might also find beds with polyethylene or organic materials like eucalyptus fibers.

How Big Are Toddler Mattresses?

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Mattresses for toddlers come in three different sizes:

  • Crib or cot
  • Toddler bed
  • Single bed

Some cribs and cots are convertible, making them useful even in your child’s toddler years. Cots and toddler mattresses have similar sizes (69cm by 131cm) but have different firmness levels. Newborns and babies generally need much firmer mattresses to allow them a safe sleeping surface. But once they hit two years of age, they can safely enjoy a mattress with more give, cushioning, and a bouncier feel.

Toddler bed foundations are designed to be very low, nearly grazing the floor. The low clearance is intended to prevent injuries from falls, especially if your toddler zooms in and out of bed. And close to the ground, it will be easier for your little tike to shimmy in and out of bed. While they are similarly sized as cots, they are noticeably softer and bouncier. Toddler beds are also typically made with extra durable materials—a must-have for parents with especially bouncy and active kids.

Single beds are ideal for families with tall genes and a toddler that’s quickly outgrowing their bed. If you do opt for a single ed, place it on a low bed frame. If you’re concerned about your active toddler’s safety, make sure to get a bed foundation with guardrails.

RELATED: Serta Mattress Size Chart

Best Features You Want in the Mattress for Your Toddler

Cool and Comfy

baby in white and yellow polka dot dress | best toddler mattress

The best toddler mattress doesn’t retain heat and promotes air circulation to keep the mattress fresh and cool.

If your toddler will be using a blanket, make sure to equip them with a mattress that dispels body heat, especially if your little tike tends to sleep hot at night. A temperature-regulating mattress might also have a moisture-wicking feature that keeps the bed dry, fresh, and sanitary.

A warm and stuffy bed can wake them and cause them to lose much-needed sleep—and a lot of tears.

Pocket spring mattresses or hybrid mattresses outfitted with a pocket spring foundation generally provide the coolest sleeping surfaces as they allow air to move freely through the layers.

Waterproof the Bed

small asian girl with closed eyes | mattress for toddler

Many toddler beds come with waterproof linings or casings that protect the inner materials from leaks and spills. Oftentimes, the materials themselves are waterproof and are completely washable. Add an extra layer of protection like a mattress protector to waterproof your toddler mattress further and extend its lifespan.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Toddler beds are usually made with unique materials and may require some special care.

Low Maintenance

baby on bed | mattress for toddler

A feature you can only find in a toddler mattress is that they are washable.

These days, toddler beds are designed with materials that are both durable and washable for low-maintenance cleaning. But to simplify the cleanup process, encase your toddler’s bed with a mattress protector. Wash this regularly, along with other bed linens.

Future-proof Your Mattress

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If you think it’s almost time to upgrade your one-year-old’s bed, consider purchasing a flippable mattress.

A flippable mattress is a unique combination of a newborn mattress and a mattress for a toddler in one. On one side is a firmer and more rigid mattress for your infant. Flip it over and you get a softer, bouncier mattress perfect for your growing toddler.

Purchasing a flippable, dual-sided mattress the moment you come home with your newborn can spare you from buying a mother’s mattress just two years later. And if you buy it with a matching convertible cot, you won’t need to buy a completely new bed set just three or four years after.

If you have a tall family and your toddler is growing at a staggering rate, consider purchasing a single mattress that your little tike can use until their childhood years. Just remember to pair it with a bed frame that sits close to the floor.

Future-proofing your mattress can also save you big bucks down the road. Toddler mattresses can be expensive. But if you extend their useful life, you get more out of your money. Think of it as a big one-time purchase with a cost that spreads out over a number of years.

Common Questions about Mattress for Toddlers

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Is it safe to let my toddler sleep with a blanket?

Yes, it is now safe to let your toddler sleep with a blanket.

How firm should a toddler bed be?

Experts recommend the firm to medium-firm mattresses for your toddler. Too-soft mattresses may potentially smother or suffocate your little one, while a firmer mattress provides them with great support and promote good posture. But because toddlers are very light, their mattress does not need to be very firm to provide optimal support.

What kind of mattress should a toddler have?

Like adult sleepers have preferences, the quality of the mattress for your toddler will depend on your child’s bedtime habits. Are they fussy and tend to move a lot in bed? Do they like to play in bed and require something firmer and sturdier? Does your toddler have allergies? Your answers to these questions will determine the best mattress for your toddler.

Is memory foam safe for toddlers?

Firm to medium-firm mattresses are safer and far more supportive for young toddlers. Your child may sink too deeply into a memory foam mattress and potentially suffocating them. However, your child can choose to switch to a memory foam mattress when they’re older.

Did you know a lot of consideration goes into deciding the best mattress for your toddler? What unique needs does your little one have? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.