Many people put a lot of thought and time into finding the perfect mattress. However, when it comes to shopping for a mattress for a child, many parents do not put in the same amount of effort. Even if you think your child will be comfortable on any mattress or that children's mattresses seem cheaper and more disposable than adult mattresses, you should still put a significant amount of effort into selecting a mattress for your child. After all, most children sleep significantly more than most adults and need a mattress that is safe, supportive, and comfortable. Below are some tips for finding the perfect child mattress.
Determine How Long Your Child Will Use the Mattress
When purchasing an adult mattress, you will likely expect to keep it until its warranty ends, which is usually between 7-10 years. This justifies a larger cost. However, crib mattresses are often used for 2 years or less and toddler mattresses are used for about the same period. Because the mattresses are used for less time, you should think about your cost to use ratio and spend significantly less on these types of mattresses. If you are purchasing a full or twin mattress, you may want to budget more, as your child will likely use the mattress longer.
Opt for a Firm Mattress for Babies and Toddlers
Babies and toddlers are at risk of SIDS and suffocation while they are sleeping. Because of this, it is important to get them a firm mattress that will allow them to have a clearly open airway while sleeping on their backs and also allow them to roll over easily once they are mobile.
Opt for a Supportive Mattress for Older Children
For preschoolers and older children, you do not need to get a firm mattress, but you should get a supportive mattress that allows their spine to rest in a neutral position while they sleep. This is especially important for children who sleep on their sides.
Take Allergies and Toxins Into Account
Different mattress materials offer different benefits. For example, while memory foam can be very supportive, it can also release gasses for a long period of time. Alternatively, natural latex has no off-gassing and is hypoallergenic but much more expensive. If your child is sensitive or has known allergies, you may want to opt for a more expensive natural material such as natural latex or bamboo.