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Choosing a mattress for yourself can be a daunting task if you don’t have something such as bedMATCH, our patented sleep diagnostic system, to help you. One might think it might be easier when it comes to buying a mattress for your kid.
The truth is, there are still a few factors you should keep in mind when buying a mattress for your kid. Everything depends on your child’s age, size, and overall comfort once they get older. Here are three things to consider when buying a mattress for your kid.
Choosing Your Kids’ Mattress Size
It should go without saying that parents will need to take their children’s age into consideration when buying a mattress. Babies need cribs, toddlers and adolescents need a bit more.
- Crib mattresses – According to Consumer Affairs, while crib mattresses are federally regulated and usually come in at 27 ¼ by 51 ¼, the size of the crib mattress might vary slightly, so you’ll want to have the dimensions of your crib handy when you shop for a mattress.
- Toddler mattresses – A toddler mattress is going to be about the same size as a crib mattress, so if you have a crib that converts to a toddler bed, you should be good to go. There are parents, however, that decide to forego the toddler mattress altogether and jump right into a “big kids” bed. That is entirely up to the parent and how comfortable they feel making that decision.
- Kid mattresses – Finally, the “big kids” bed. These mattresses are typical twin size, but parents have been known to opt for a little longer mattress (a twin XL is the same size in width, but adds an additional five inches in length) or one their children can grow into, such as a full-size mattress, that provides 16 inches more in width than the twin or twin XL.
Your Kids’ Mattress Material
Choosing the material for your kid’s mattress is also extremely important. While it’s recommended that babies and toddlers sleep on a firm mattress (more on that in a bit), it’s really more to the adolescent’s preference which type of mattress is best for them.
- Innerspring mattresses – Most parents will go with an innerspring mattress for their little ones. Innerspring mattresses tend to last a little longer than foam mattresses and can handle the wear and tear of a bouncing toddler a little better.
- Foam mattresses – Foam mattresses are usually softer and cradle the curves of your body. That’s not something you want for a baby or toddler. They need a firm mattress that will allow them to grow and sleep peacefully.
- Hybrid mattresses – Hybrid mattresses are the best of both worlds – you get the sturdy support of an innerspring mattress with the curve-hugging softness of a foam mattress. Hybrid and foam mattresses are generally best left for “big kid” beds.
Choosing the Right Firmness
Babies need a firm mattress. It might seem like the most uncomfortable surface in the world for adults, but in reality, it’s meant to keep your baby alive. If an infant lies on soft bedding or soft surfaces (such as an adult bed or couch) that surface may indent or conform to the shape of the baby’s head and increase the likelihood that the infant will breathe in his/her own exhaled breath (carbon dioxide). These surfaces also increase the risk of suffocation if the baby would become face down in the mattress, couch, or another soft surface.
While it’s not as dire for toddlers, it is still worth noting they need a firm mattress as well. It’s not until your little one becomes and adolescent that it’s safe for them to try softer mattresses. It’s usually best to have your older child test out a few different types of mattresses in a store to see which firmness feels right for them.
The Best Mattress for Your Kid
Regardless of which mattress you choose for your child, it’s important to remember the reason why you’re getting it in the first place. During childhood development, missing as little as 30 minutes of REM sleep a night can have serious consequences. Lack of sleep can lead to childhood obesity, a weakened immune system, and impaired academic achievement.
The sleep specialists at Mattress Warehouse can help you find the right mattress for your kid, as well as the accessories they need for a good night’s sleep.