How to choose a mattress for children

Written by maggie mccormick
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How to choose a mattress for children
A comfortable mattress helps your child sleep at night. (total müde image by fuxart from

A mattress affects your quality of sleep and the same is true with your child's mattress. You should never select the cheapest mattress in the store. Rather, you should examine all of the options to find the one that's best for your child's needs. When purchasing a mattress for a child, keep in mind that there are major differences between mattresses for younger and older children. Choose the one that is right for your child.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the area for the mattress. If you have a standard bed frame or crib, then you will not have a problem buying a standard-sized mattress. However, if you are using a bassinet or cradle, it may be more difficult to find a mattress in the size that you need. The mattress should fit snugly on its base to avoid trapping your child in the cracks.

  2. 2

    Compare the types of mattresses. The inside of a child's mattress will be spring or foam. A spring mattress typically offers more support than a foam mattress, but you can find firm foam mattresses by looking for a mattress that has high-density foam. Babies need a firm mattress to avoid problems with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but the risk diminishes after the first year has passed. After that, you can choose a firm mattress or a soft mattress, as long as it has support.

  3. 3

    Choose a waterproof mattress for young children. Many child mattresses come with a plastic outer layer, which can protect against accidents. This is especially necessary if you have a child who is potty training, but you may also need this for an older child who occasionally wets the bed.

  4. 4

    Look at the stitching around the edges. You want a high quality mattress that isn't going to come apart.

  5. 5

    Find the best price. Once you know what type of mattress you want to purchase for your child, you can compare the offerings at different stores. Look online and offline for a great deal. However, when purchasing your mattress online, remember that you may have to add shipping costs to the total in order to get a full look at the cost.

Tips and warnings

  • Some memory foam mattresses put off a gas when they are new, making this a bad choice for children.

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