Advertisement

Join in

10 best mattresses for kids

Are you feeling sleepy? Well, wake up and put your listening ears on. We’ve done all the legwork for you to find the best and safest kids’ mattresses around. Use our guide to find the best mattress for your child and enjoy happier bedtimes and more peaceful nights all round. 

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jan 6, 2022

child asleep in bed hugging teddy bear

A child’s mattress is an important purchase and one you’ll want to feel confident about. Research shows that a lack of sleep can hold a child back both physically and emotionally, with children who lack sleep suffering much more regularly from obesity as well as mental health issues.

Advertisement

They also do most of their growing at night so, just as you wouldn’t shove any old shoes on their feet without checking they were comfy and fitted well, you should ensure that their mattress will offer great support at night and continue to support them as they grow. 

But to negotiate the minefield that is the kids' bedding market, what you really need is a bit of insider info. Most mattresses feel great when you try them in the shops. What you really need to know is how safe they are and how long they will stay feeling great for. 

When we set out looking for the best kids’ mattresses, we started with the most important people - parents who’d already bought one themselves.

We trawled the Mumsnet forums with a fine-toothed comb looking for Mumsnetters that were so happy with their mattress buys that they wanted to recommend them to others.

We also took note of expert and consumer reviews - how pleased customers were with their mattresses and also how well the company responded if parents decided the mattress wasn’t for them after all. Mattresses are one of those purchases where the aftercare really matters and longevity is key. 

So which mattresses do parents really rate? After extensive research, here are the best mattresses for kids, as recommended by parents. 

1. Best overall mattress for kids: Stompa S Flex Air Flow Mattress

Stompa mattress

Price: £179 | Buy now from Amazon 

The Stompa S Flex has been receiving rave reviews from experts and shoppers alike and, for its price, it represents excellent value for money.

It’s super-supportive with a firm feel, which means it will continue to support your growing child for years to come. And because it’s only 15cm thick, it definitely won’t be too tall for bunk beds or high sleepers.

The S Flex has no springs, but it's made from a high-density foam base, with an egg-box shaped hypoallergenic layer on top with moisture-wicking technology to keep your child cool, followed by a breathable fabric cover with a soft, knitted feel.

It makes for a really cosy sleep. As well as wicking away moisture and regulating temperature, it also has hypoallergenic properties, making it ideal for children with allergies such as eczema. Like other bed-in-a-box mattresses, it arrives curled up in a box so is easy to set up and delivery is usually fast. 

Pros

  • Removable, washable cover
  • Good price
  • Suitable for bunk beds and high sleepers

Cons

  • No springs but it's still very supportive

Key specs

  • Type: Foam
  • Depth: 15cm
  • Tension: Medium/Firm
  • Sizes: 90 x 190cm; 90 x 200cm

2. Best budget mattress for kids: Jay-Be Open Foam-Free Sprung Mattress

Jay-Be mattress

Price: From £88.99 | Buy now from Amazon

A decent mattress for under £100 is quite a rarity so we were impressed with how good this Jay-Be mattress is.

It’s a basic sprung mattress, which has coil springs to support the body evenly and three comfort layers on top that offer an open-cell structure for maximum breathability. But it isn't the most plush of the mattresses, and some reviews suggest it's best suited to toddlers and younger children.

However, for its price, we think it does an excellent job and it’s guaranteed for five years too. 

Pros

  • Can be used with a bunk bed or high sleeper
  • Excellent price for those on a budget
  • Five-year guarantee
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Reviews suggest it’s more suitable for younger children - teens may not find it quite so comfy

Key specs

  • Type: Coil sprung
  • Depth: 16cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: Single, European single, double, small double, shorty

3. Best luxury mattress for kids: Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress

Simba hybrid mattress

Price: £535 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have a Simba and love it! It's so comfy like a giant hug.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user, Mucky1)

This hybrid mattress from Simba impressed us on almost every front. Firstly, it’s a bed in a box, so delivery is easy, and getting it up the stairs is no problem either. Then you just sling it on the bed, unpack it and wait for it to ‘rise.’

If you’ve been deciding between a memory foam or sprung mattress, this gives you a bit of both. The feel of it is really comfy, with all the support of springs and all the cosy softness of memory foam.

It’s also designed to have edge support, which will help prevent your child from rolling out of bed. The mattress has five layers of open cell foam, springs and memory foam, and is engineered with more than 1,500 Aerocoil micro springs to support even the most fidgety of children in bed.

On top, a layer of Simbatex foam, made with an open structure and heat-wicking graphite, helps to keep your child’s temperature regulated while in bed, even on hot nights. 

Best of all, the Simba mattress comes with a 200-day free trial, so you have months to decide if it’s right for you, and it also has a 10-year guarantee. You can’t say fairer than that. 

Pros

  • Keeps them cool in bed
  • Hybrid materials
  • 200-day trial
  • 10-year guarantee
  • Should last from age three to adult

Cons

  • No built-in mattress protector - a Simba one costs £90
  • Quite expensive

Key specs

  • Type: Continuous coil and memory foam
  • Depth: 20cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: Single, small double, double, king

4. Best double mattress for kids: Silent Night Healthy Growth Kids' 600 Mirapocket Mattress

Silent Night mattress

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

“We've just bought this one. Had it just over a week and so far so good.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user, longtompot)

If your child needs a little more space to sprawl, this double mattress from Silent Night is an excellent buy and only a few pounds more than the single version.

The Mirapocket system provides support when growing bodies need it most: at the back, hips and shoulders with 600 pocket springs. Hypoallergenic and breathable fibres keep your child cool during the night and also help those with allergies sleep better.

And the good news is that these fibres are also made using recycled bottles, so you can sleep a little easier knowing that you’re taking care of the earth too. 

Pros

  • Five-year guarantee
  • Great support

Cons

  • Single-sided so can’t be turned but you should rotate it

Key specs

  • Type: Pocket sprung and foam
  • Depth: 23.5cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: Single, double, small double

5. Best kids’ mattress for bunk beds: John Lewis & Partners Deep Open Spring Bunk Bed Mattress

John Lewis bunk bed mattress

Price: £99 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Buying a mattress for a bunk bed can be tricky as you need to know that the mattress won’t be so tall that it comes up above the sides of the bunk.

This mattress is specially designed for bunks and is just 15cm thick so will fit snugly into any bunk frame. It has an open-coil spring system and is filled with polyester, white recycled cotton and wool to give squishy yet firm support.

It also comes with a seven-year guarantee and the peace of mind that a John Lewis purchase always brings in terms of quality and customer service. 

Pros

  • Very well priced
  • Seven-year guarantee

Cons

  • Less thick than some mattresses, but that’s often necessary for bunks

Key specs

  • Type: Open spring
  • Depth: 15cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: 190 x 90cm

6. Best eco-friendly mattress for kids: Little Green Sheep Natural Junior Mattress

The Little Green Sheep mattress

Price: £344.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have bought a mattress, sheets and blankets from Little Green Sheep. Would definitely recommend. Brilliant quality, wash well and of course no nasty chemicals. I found it to be perfect in terms of support - not too hard or soft. Give them a call to discuss what you want - I found the guy I spoke to very informative and most pleasant. Returned my calls straight away and gave great service. Would use them again.” (Recommended by MummyBirdie)

If a natural approach is important to you, look no further than Little Green Sheep, which eco-conscious Mumsnetters rate highly.

While their cot mattresses are a particular favourite among parents, their single mattress is suitable from 12 months to 12 years. And you’d be more than happy to put a toddler to sleep on it thanks to its coconut coir filling, wool and natural Latex, and absolutely no nasties whatsoever for them to be breathing in.

One of the things we really love is that this mattress is available in a European size, so will fit an IKEA bed, but you can also have it made in any customised size you want to fit any space at all. 

Pros

  • Available in a European size and custom sizes
  • Natural and hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Mattress can only be sponged clean (mattress protector available separately)
  • Quite thin at 13cm

Key specs

  • Type: Coconut coir, natural Latex and wool with a cotton cover
  • Depth: 13cm
  • Tension: Medium/Firm
  • Sizes: 90 x 190cm, 90 x 200cm

7. Best mattress for kids made from natural fibres: John Lewis & Partners Hampshire Wool Pocket Spring Mattress

John Lewis Hampshire mattress

Price: £299 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

John Lewis is always a good bet for bedding and this Hampshire Wool Pocket Spring Mattress is every bit as good as you’d hope it'd be.

The springs are medium tension, giving a nice firm support base and, for a bit of added ‘squish,’ Hampshire wool and cashmere add softness as well as breathability, keeping your child cool and comfortable all night.

The mattress doesn’t need turning but can be rotated, and it comes with a seven-year guarantee.

Pros

  • No turning needed
  • Seven-year guarantee

Cons

  • You might like to be able to turn a mattress to increase its longevity

Key specs

  • Type: Pocket Sprung with wool and cashmere
  • Depth: 20cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: Single (190 x 90cm)

8. Best hybrid mattress for kids: Casper Hybrid Mattress

Casper hybrid mattress

Price: £379 | Buy now from Amazon

“We've got a Casper mattress because I was sick of having springs dig into me. Like you, I wasn't sure at first but it's amazing now. The cheaper ones are quite firm (my kids have those) but we have an original one and you just sink into it. There are often 100 night trials available so if you hated it you could return it without too much of a problem.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Hallyup5)

The Casper is another hybrid mattress that really can be all things to all people. Reviews suggest that this is a great choice for teens, but it’s ideal for anyone who needs plenty of support but doesn’t like a hard feel, and it comes in plenty of different sizes too.

It has zoned pocket springs to help with spinal alignment, which not only aids a good night’s sleep but also gives you peace of mind that your child's posture is as good as it can be at nighttime when they're growing the most.

The mattress has three layers of foam on top of the springs for the ultimate in comfort: a deep comfort layer, then 4cm of memory foam followed by a cool layer that wicks away heat, which can often be a problem with cheaper memory foam mattresses.

We also like the fact that it comes delivered in an easy-to-manoeuvre box so it won’t take three of you to drag it up the stairs. 

Pros

  • 10-year guarantee
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Pricey

Key specs

  • Type: Pocket spring and foam
  • Depth: 24cm
  • Tension: Medium/Firm
  • Sizes: Single, small double, super king

9. Best pocket sprung mattress for kids: Little Big Dreams Dream Catcher Pocket Spring Mattress

Dreams Dream Catcher mattress

Price: £299 | Buy now from Dreams

“My 14-year-old DS was keen to test it as soon as I got it into his bed. His immediate reaction was 'Wow, Mum, this is amazing. I'm going to sleep so well!' After his first night's sleep he said he fell asleep quicker than normal, as he found it easier to get comfortable and his back wasn't hurting, which it did with his old mattress. We made a joke about him going to sleep on his new 'cloud'.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user, BellaVida)

This pocket-sprung mattress is suitable from five years of age and is a really practical choice for kids with its waterproof inner cover and water-repellant outer, meaning any middle-of-the-night accidents won’t be a problem. 

In testing, Mumsnet users rated the Little Big Dreams mattress: 97% would buy again and 95% said they would recommend to family and friends.

Pros

  • 40-night sleep guarantee (can be returned for 40 days)
  • Waterproof inner cover and water-repellant outer cover
  • Fits an IKEA bed

Cons

  • The one-year guarantee feels quite short compared to some

Key specs

  • Type: Pocket spring
  • Depth: 15cm
  • Tension: Medium
  • Sizes: Single, European single

10. Best memory foam mattress for kids: Good Nite Memory Foam Mattress

Good Nite mattress

Price: From £95.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If your child likes a soft feel to their mattress, this memory foam option by Good Nite might suit you.

It’s one of the thinnest mattresses we recommend, so it would be fine in a bunk bed or high sleeper, though the thinness of it did bother some customers. 

The mattress is made up of a firm foam, a softer foam and then a memory foam, which gently cups the body as you sleep. All three layers are then encased in a breathable knitted protector which zips off to be washed.

It’s antibacterial and breathable, wicking away perspiration and then releasing it into the air, so it never feels uncomfortable to sleep in. It’s endorsed by Allergy UK too, so is the ideal choice if your child suffers with a dust mite allergy or just gets a bit sniffly at night.

Like all memory foam mattresses, it’s a bit like Marmite. Customer reviews tend to either love it or hate it so it’s worth trying one out first to check that your child likes the feel of it before committing. 

Pros

  • Approved by Allergy UK
  • Suitable for bunk beds and high sleepers

Cons

  • Quite thin - some reviewers have used it as a mattress topper

Key specs

  • Type: Memory foam
  • Depth: 11cm
  • Tension: Soft
  • Sizes: Single, small double, double, king

How do I choose the best mattress for kids?

Many of your decisions will need to be made before you even start shopping, so the main things for you to consider are:

Size

Before you look at the different types of springs, fillings and foams, you need to know that your mattress is going to fit your child’s bed.

If they’re about to transition into a bigger bed, you'll be pleased to know that most beds and mattresses are a standard size. However, it’s always worth measuring your frame properly to ensure you buy the correct mattress length and width.

Be aware that, while you’ll probably be shopping for a standard single once your child is out of a cot bed or toddler bed, there's also such as thing as a ‘shorty,’ which is shorter than your average single bed, as well as European singles which are a bit narrower.

Remember to also check the depth of the mattress. While most mattresses will sit in a box frame, the mattress will need to be thinner if it's a bunk bed or high sleeper so that your child doesn't roll over the barrier and out of bed. 

Type

The choice for children is pretty much the same as for adults. You’re looking at springs (pocket spring, open spring and coil spring), latex or memory foam, or a hybrid of springs and foam. 

Spring mattresses offer good bounce and support, while memory foam is softer and typically hypoallergenic. Latex retains its firmness well, so can be good for children's beds, however a hybrid mattress offers both the comfort of latex and memory foam but the bounce of a spring mattress. 

How your child sleeps

Do they tend to run hot at night? Look for springs with breathable covers. Or do they wake up with chilly extremities? In which case, memory foam might offer more cosiness.

And how much do they move around in their sleep? Generally speaking, memory foam is good for fidgeters as they’re more cocooned and less likely to wake themselves up.

Also consider how often you end up in your child’s bed to settle them. It might be worth getting a larger mattress if you regularly end up spending a few hours in it with them.  

Allergies

If your child suffers from allergies, a memory foam mattress is the best bet as it doesn't trap dust and dust mites as easily as spring mattresses. Look for one that is labelled as hypoallergenic.

Mattress protector

If your child is toddler age, check whether the mattress comes with a removable, washable cover as accidents definitely can happen. 

Once you’ve worked out the measurements and decided which type of mattress your child needs, go and try some out. Check that it's comfy, not too bouncy, won't lose its oomph too fast, and that your child will feel safe and secure on it during the night. The mattress you choose should also adhere to UK safety standards.  

What is the best type of mattress for a child? 

Experts, rather unhelpfully, disagree on whether springs or foam is best for growing children. Some claim that springs are best because memory foam lacks breathability and also moulds to a child's body, which isn’t good when their body is growing so fast, while others feel memory foam offers superior orthopaedic support.

If you’re going for springs then a pocket sprung mattress is best and most supportive option. The higher the spring count, the more support there is. Also look at the gauge - the lower the gauge number the thicker the springs and the firmer the feel. 

Tension is also worth considering and is usually described as either soft, medium or hard. The only real way to tell what’s best for your child is to let them try different mattresses out and see what they prefer.  

What mattress firmness is best for a child?

Firmness will ultimately come down to how your child sleeps and what they feel most comfortable laying on. Lots of children like the cosiness of a soft mattress, while others will prefer a medium-firm option if they move about at night.

A medium or medium-firm mattress will suit most kids when it comes to comfort and structured support, particularly for their spine, however this may be even more important as they hit the teen years.

How thick should a toddler mattress be?

Once your toddler is out of their cot (at around 18 months to 36 months), you should use a kids' mattress, which tends to be 12 to 20cm thick. What’s important is that the mattress offers the correct support and won’t come up higher than the bed’s sides. A mattress that's too thick could lead to your child rolling out of bed.

How we chose our recommendations

Mattresses are a big investment and even budget models don’t come cheap so we wanted to be sure that the ones we recommended came with real-life recommendations.

We went to the Mumsnet forums in the first instance to find out which brands and models Mumsnetters rated most highly. We then cross-referenced that list with the mattresses that had one industry awards and accolades.

We then created a shortlist of those that made it onto both lists, and scoured the internet for customer reviews to tell us more about each one. Using those, we whittled our choice down to 10, which we think offers something for every little sleeper. 

Advertisement

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.