Best Mattress for Kids - Firm or Soft, What Type is Best?

Last Updated: December, 2023

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Even though you want your kids to be up on time for school, you don’t want them getting up early because they have a bad mattress. To get your kids to sleep well and be well-rested for a day of school, friends, and homework, check out some of these best mattresses for kids in our mattress reviews. There won’t be anymore falling asleep during school when you have one of these twin mattresses set up in their room.

According to our tests, the best mattress for kids is the  Ghostbed Classic. This timeless mattress is built to last and keep your kid well supported throughout the night, which means they stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day.

7 Picks For The Best Mattress For Kids

Ghostbed Classic - small

GhostBed Classic

Your child will be able to rest easy on the Ghostbed classic mattress, which is a medium firm that's ideal for balanced comfort. It comes in a variety of sizes, including a twin xl mattress model and a California King size mattress. 

Sweetnight Twin Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Ocean Blue - Sweetnight 8'' Hybrid Mattress

Once you unbox this Sweetnight mattress, you can set it up for your kid to relax atop the gel foam mattress, with included motion isolation too. This ultra affordable mattress for kids starts at just $248. It's also Certipur us Certified.

Zinus Memory Foam 8 Inch Mattress

Zinus Memory Foam 8 Inch Mattress

Check out this Zinus mattress to provide your child's bed with some firm support and good airflow at night too to keep them comfortable.

Zinus 8 Inch Hybrid Green Tea & Spring Mattress

Zinus 8 Inch Hybrid Green Tea & Spring Mattress

If you’re looking for something to make your child more comfortable, try the Zinus, which is great for a good sleep and a reduction in odor too.

Signature Design 12 Inch Chime Express Mattress

Signature Design 12 Inch Chime Express Mattress

Your child can sleep on 12 inches of this Signature Design mattress comfortably, and sink into that gel infused memory foam each night.

Inofia sleeping 8 Inch Hybrid Comfort Mattress

Inofia sleeping 8 Inch Hybrid Comfort Mattress

You might like this Inofia hybrid bed if you’d like to ensure that your child is supported well through the whole night, and comfortable too.

Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress

If you want to get something for a good price, with gel on top, and lots of layers of foam, look no further than this cool mattress for hot sleepers.

Ghost Bed Classic

What We Like

  • Medium firm mattress that helps support your spine and overall comfort
  • Gel foam and aerated latex mattress materials ensure your kids sleep cool and sweat-free throughout the night
  • High density support foam means the mattress will last longer than other all-foam mattresses
  • Has twin XL and full options

What We Don't Like

  • It's a premium mattress for kids and comes at a higher price point, but you're paying for longevity and quality
  • It's a premium mattress for kids and comes at a higher price point, but you're paying for longevity and quality

Overall Thoughts: 

The GhostBed classic is a medium firm cooling mattress that's without a doubt worth the investment. It's an 11" all foam mattress for kids that consists of 4 layers of different foams that offer a plush supportive platform, while also actively cooling those who sleep hot.

Unlike some other mattresses, this supportive medium firm mattress is all foam, which helps isolation motion and keep hot sleepers asleep throughout the entire night -- priceless.

GhostBed is a family owned company that prides themselves on excellent customer service so you can be sure the process of purchasing and getting your mattress delivered will be smooth. 

If your child has issues with bedwetting, you can also add a GhostProtector to your order as well. This waterproof mattress cover locks out all moisture without creating a crinkly plastic feeling like other protectors do.

Sweetnight Twin Gel Memory Foam Mattress

What We Like

  • Support is a good mix of firm and comfortable
  • Expands to its full size almost immediately
  • Doesn’t make any noise when you get up and roll over
  • Certipur US Certified
  • Great for side sleepers

What We Don't Like

  • May be too firm for some kids

Overall Thoughts:

The Sweetnight Hybrid is an 8-inch mattress designed with young sleepers and bunk beds in mind. It will provide your child with the perfect balance of support, comfort, and pressure relief with the individually-wrapped innersprings and foam set on top. The high-density memory foam layer, along with the gel infused foam, will slowly adjust to your body so that you’re able to sleep comfortably. With the motion isolation too, your child won’t be woken anymore by the dog jumping onto their bed. They can just sleep and relax on this healthy and hypoallergenic (Certipur us certified) mattress for kids alternative. Plus, if your child sleeps on their side, they should really enjoy the support and comfort this quality mattress has to offer. Use code SLEEPSHOP at checkout to get the best discount available.

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Zinus Memory Foam 8 Inch Mattress

What We Like

  • Very comfortable and relieves pressure
  • Easy to unbox it and set it up
  • Can be rotated over time

What We Don't Like

  • If not rotated, it can sag over time

Overall Thoughts: 

This Zinus is just like its counterpart, including green tea memory foam that will help with pressure relief and support a better night’s sleep for your child. This one is made to be firmer though rather than a hybrid.

It boasts a breathable cover and a strong core construction of memory foam that’s made to be durable, relieve pressure, and provide a good amount of airflow so that your child remains cool throughout the night. Keep in mind that a firmer mattress like the Zinus 8 inch foam bed is highly recommended for children up to 18 months. It's also a better option for promoting growth and healthy sleeping positions.

Zinus 8 Inch Hybrid Green Tea & Spring Mattress

What We Like

  • Works great for all body types
  • Able to support lots of weight comfortably
  • Supports different sleeping positions

What We Don't Like

  • The support is firmer than some people might like

Overall Thoughts: 

The Zinus 8-inch Hybrid Mattress is another perfect fit for hot sleepers looking for the best kids mattress for bunk beds. This soft mattress isn’t just any ordinary bed though, not when it’s infused with green tea extract and castor natural seed oil, both of which will help with odor and stop the growth of bacteria. Keep your kids safe and sleeping well thanks to the high quality of foam that ensures the mattress is durable, soft, and cooling throughout the night.

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Signature Design 12 Inch Chime Express Mattress

What We Like

  • Affordable pricing
  • Comfortable mattress type to rest on for all weight groups
  • Quick and easy to set it up and expand
  • Has twin xl and full options

What We Don't Like

  • The springs are less comfortable than memory foam, and cause pressure points for heavier people

Overall Thoughts: 

From Signature Design, this 12-inch hypoallergenic mattress is a hybrid bed, which is designed with cooling gel foam for a comfortable night’s sleep and is best for young sleepers. Your child will have lots of support not only with the foam, but with the 360 individually wrapped coils too. On top of the quilt foam, you can relax comfortably, and your kids won’t be sneezing either. Not with the hypoallergenic material that it’s made out of.

Inofia sleeping 8 Inch Hybrid Comfort Mattress

What We Like

  • Supports different parts of the body evenly
  • Easy to unbox and set up in your room
  • Firm yet comfortable

What We Don't Like

  • Tends to be a little heavy to transport

Overall Thoughts: 

Check out the 3D knitted design of this Inofia hybrid mattress, which helps to create a medium-firm feel for young sleepers. Like most hybrid mattresses, it's made to be firm yet supportive, with a construction that absorbs moisture and makes this kids mattress that much more breathable.

Thanks to the comfort foam on top too, you’ll be able to relax atop the foam layers of cushioning. Hopefully your child isn’t experiencing back pain, but this is the best kids mattress that helps with that too.

Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress

What We Like

  • Support is a good level of medium-firm
  • You can sit on the bed without sinking into it
  • The motion isolation works well

What We Don't Like

  • There’s fiberglass in this cooling mattress that can end up everywhere if you're not careful

Overall Thoughts: 

Pick out this Classic Brands Hypoallergenic Mattress to help your child sleep comfortably atop the gel-infused memory foam, which is made to keep hot sleepers cool throughout the night. It will provide some firm support with that memory foam, and can help with the feeling of their spine and pressure points.

Thanks to the hypoallergenic quality of this kids mattress too, you can rest assured that your child will breathe and sleep comfortably.

Why Good Sleep is Important for Children

Children should sleep on the right mattress to enhance sleep quality. This should be backed by keeping the mattress clean throughout, which might be difficult with kids. Click here to read about cleaning pee stains.


Getting the recommended amount of sleep is important for everyone. But it is especially important for children who are still going through their formative years. Getting less sleep can do more harm than good, but there are instances where some children will have problems going to sleep or staying asleep which might require some form of treatment.

Sleep is one of the most integral parts of growth. Children who get an adequate amount of sleep show development in the areas of behavior, memory, learning, attention, and overall physical, emotional, and mental health. Children who do not get the recommended hours of sleep can be at risk for depression, obesity, or high blood pressure.

Sleeping Recommendations

There are different sleep recommendations for children depending on their age ranges. Children will typically spend more time asleep than they spend awake, and during those times it will be important to remain safe and sound to grow properly.

For infants, the recommended amount is 12-16 hours. Children 1-2 years old will need 11-14 hours, children 3-5 years old will need 10-13 hours, and children 6-12 will need 9-12 hours. Teenagers 13-18 years old will need 8-10 hours.

Important Factors for Choosing the Best Mattress for Kids

Remember, each child has unique needs, so there isn't one best kids mattress to suit all children. Factors such as the kid's preferred sleep position, size, and available space may play a pivotal role in which bed is best for them.

When selecting the best bed for kids, considering specific factors that affect the value of sleep and the sleep experience in general, such as edge support, temperature regulation, and pressure relief, may help you settle for the perfect mattress for your child. 


The size of your kid's mattress will depend on different factors, such as your child’s size, age, and the ability to let your child grow into it as they grow older.

Depending on these factors, you will need to get your child a crib mattress, a toddler mattress, or a kid mattress. When they grow taller, you will be able to upgrade your child’s mattress to a full-size mattress or a twin xl size mattress. Toddler beds or crib mattresses will quickly be outgrown. Tip for the creative parents out there, crib mattresses can also be converted to pet beds after you kid outgrows it!


Kids love to play rough more often than not, and one way they love to play is by jumping up and down on their beds. You will need to find a mattress for kids that will remain strong through moments of the play, through all of the sleepovers they will have, and all the times they will be sick in bed.

Most mattresses can last for ten years, although a few factors can cause some compromises to the overall durability.

Ability to Let Children Grow into the Mattress

Children can grow faster than you may think so they will need a kids mattress that will allow them to have enough space to sleep even when they are taller.

If your kid is only 6 or 7, they may be better off with a bed that seems large for them. That way, you won't have to look for something new to fit them as they grow.

While most smaller mattresses come at an affordable price point, there is a big chance that your children will eventually grow out of it. To save the most money, get your child a high quality, durable mattress for kids that they can grow into.

Comfort and Support

Children will need proper spinal alignment and comfort levels to keep themselves and their bodies happy, just like adults do. It is best to avoid a kid's mattress that's rough and saggy to prevent your child’s body from getting shifted out of alignment.

To determine which mattress will work best, it will be best to take advantage of the trial period that most mattress stores offer so you can test the mattress' firmness and comfort level of the bed before making a final decision. You should be looking for at least a 100 night sleep trial for most memory foam mattresses, crib mattress, and pillow top mattresses, especially if this is their first big kids bed. Pressure relief is also very important, especially in a big kid bed where your child has more freedom and space to move around. If your kid sleeps on the side, pressure relief will be key.

>> Related Content: Best Extra Firm Mattress

Sleeping Position

Your child's preferred sleeping position plays a vital role in how comfortable the bed feels. Side sleepers usually prefer a slightly softer mattress that allows the wider parts of the body, such as the shoulders and hips, to sink in more. Back and stomach sleepers tend to opt for a firmer mattress to help support their midsection and prevent excessive sinkage. If your kid moves around a lot at night, look for a mattress that balances contouring and support to accommodate all your kid's potential sleep positions. A flippable mattress can also be an ideal alternative as it allows your kid to easily change from the firmer side to the softer side, and vice versa, for a good night's sleep.

Mattress Firmness Level

Mattress firmness plays a significant role in how much support and contouring it offers. Generally, softer mattresses allow the sleeper to sink into the mattress surface and enjoy more contouring. On the other hand, firmer and medium firm mattresses tend to offer more support. While firmness preferences are largely subjective, your kid's body weight and preferred sleeping position can impact the ideal firmness level.

Temperature Regulation

Nobody wants to wake up in a pool of sweat, and your child shouldn't have to, either. It's wise to find a quality kid's mattress with exceptional temperature control features.  

Some beds trap body heat, while other models allow it to dissipate. For kids prone to sweating or overheating at night, a bed with excellent temperature regulation will keep them more comfortable. Hybrid, natural latex, and innerspring mattresses are usually more breathable than all-foam beds. However, it's also worth noting that some all-foam models have features that help them sleep cooler. 


This refers to how a bed forms to your kid's body. Mattresses with more contouring are known for redistributing the sleeper's weight and relieving pressure buildup from the shoulders and hips. Kids suffering from pain at night may benefit the most from this pressure relief. 

Edge Support

Edge support refers to how secure the edge of your kid's bed feels when they sleep or sit near it. If the edge doesn't feel secure enough, your child won't be able to use the entire bed surface as they might feel like they could easily roll off.

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The materials that the mattress is made of and the quality of those materials will factor into the overall comfort, support, durability, and overall quality of the kids mattress. A mattress is built with either latex, organic wool, foam, other various types of fabric, springs, or coils.

For foam and latex mattresses, you will focus on the density and the origin of the foam mattress material in order to determine the quality of the mattress. For inner spine mattresses, however, you will want to focus on the quality of the coils.

Safety Standards

Any mattress that you get for your child should be non-toxic and fulfills safety guidelines. Your child will likely spend most of their time in their beds. So it is important that they are surrounded by organic materials that will not be heavily affected by environmental factors. Here, an eco-organic kids mattress with natural materials and global organic latex standard or global organic textile standard certification will be a great alternative. 

Mattress Thickness

When hunting for the best kid's mattress, you'll want to opt for a thinner model. If your kids mattress is too thick, it can make it quite challenging for your young ones to get in and out of their beds. If your child's bed has safety runners along the side, make sure the mattress isn't higher than the runners. 


Because kids grow so fast and will outgrow their mattress with time, you may want to think carefully about how much you're ready to spend on a new mattress. Spending thousands of dollars on an expensive mattress might not make sense if it's not long-lasting. 

An affordable mattress is still a good mattress to have if it has all of the amazing qualities you are looking for. Setting your budget before you go searching for the best kids mattress will help you narrow down your selection.

Off Gassing

Off gassing is the period where the mattress has a chemical smell. This is especially relevant in mattress-in-a-box style beds. Letting a mattress air out during the off gassing period is best for kids. You can also add an organic cotton cover to your kid mattress or toddler bed.

Crib Mattress vs Big Kid Mattress

If you have a toddler, you'll want to look specifically for a crib mattress, as opposed to an older kids bed. A kid's best chance at a good night's sleep starts with the right type of mattress. Toddler mattresses are normally twin size or a crib mattress, depending on how old your kid is.

Crib mattresses are more specialized, once your child outgrows that, you'll have more options when it comes to kid mattress options. Since most kids are fine on a twin mattress, you'll open up a ton of possibilities with big brand mattresses offering different comfort layer options for a mattress for your child. You'll want to look for a bed with a lifetime warranty and a good sleep trial, since a twin bed can last for most of your child's time living with you.

Once you're looking at a twin mattress, ask your kid what type of feel they prefer. Is it a very firm mattress or a soft one? A medium soft or a medium firm alternative? Perhaps it's something in between. A firm mattress for a child who prefers a softer feel won't last long and can prevent them from getting good sleep. Even if you have a 10+ year warranty, that generally won't cover comfort preferences. You can only use your year warranty for defects with the mattress.

Other Accessories

Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers can be placed over your child’s mattress in order to increase or decrease the softness and comfort level if the mattress is too firm or soft for them. A mattress topper can do a lot if your child doesn't like their mattress. Foam mattresses can really benefit from an extra foam layer. They will be useful in helping your child rest in a comfortable sleep position that is catered to them.

However, they will not solve the problem of a sagging mattress when it comes closer to the time you will have to replace the mattress. If your kid's mattress is sagging, you'll have to buy a new mattress for your child. Adding foam layers on top won't help that. If you have a 10 year warranty or more, getting a new mattress is best overall if the company will replace it for free.


While you may have the best kids mattress, you'll still need a pillow to help align your child’s neck, head, and spine correctly and provide an extra level of comfort to them. A kid's best night sleep also has to do with the pillow you choose. While a good mattress is best, and choosing the right mattress type helps too, having a good pillow is also important. The type of pillow you get for your child may be determined by their preferred sleeping position.

Different types of pillows serve different purposes for each type of sleeping position. Placing pillows on or between different parts of the body can also help with proper alignment.

Mattress Protectors

Mattress protectors will come in handy to prevent your child from making big messes on their mattress. Younger kids tend to make a lot of messes for many reasons, so their mattresses must be protected from stains to maintain a decent level of durability.

Protectors can also help to keep the warranty of the mattress in place. This is because a warranty becomes void when the mattress is exposed to liquid damage. So, as you shop for the best mattress for your kid, it's also a good idea to grab a mattress protector to help safeguard your investment against accidents and spills. 


The mattress that your child uses can make a big difference in the quality of sleep every night. Also, a kids bed is better if it has CertiPUR-US certified foam layers. The best memory foam mattress, or mattress of other materials is up to you. Get an affordable, all-natural, high-quality mattress that fulfills all of your requirements. Make sure it has just the right comfort level for your child. Other additional features will also help to add to the quality of the best mattresses for kids. Pick one from our mattress reviews and help your child sleep and grow properly.

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