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How Thick Should A Child’s Mattress Be

How To Choose A Baby Crib Mattress

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This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD and by wikiHow staff writer, Sophia Latorre. Dr. Marusinec is a board certified Pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where she is on the Clinical Practice Council. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995 and completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Pediatrics in 1998. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care. This article has been viewed 62,473 times.

Selecting a baby’s first mattress can seem like an overwhelming task, but all you need to do is follow a few key pointers. Ensure the mattress has a certification seal and fits properly and snugly in the crib. Choose a mattress that is firm, has a thick cover, and is equipped with vent holes. Once youve chosen a mattress, simply add a fitted sheet and put the mattress in the crib to create a safe and comfortable resting place for your little one.

Best Mattress For Kids

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Choosing the right mattress is a similar process for any given sleeper, but finding a kid-friendly mattress requires a few additional considerations. A childs mattress requirements change as they grow. Toddlers and younger children often find softer mattresses with extra cushioning more comfortable, while older kids and preteens typically need a firmer mattress that promotes healthy growth and development. Many mattresses for kids made today are flippable models with different feels on each side to accommodate young sleepers throughout their childhood.

Additional mattress features can help children sleep at night. Many mattresses for kids are designed with waterproof barriers to protect the internal components if bedwetting occurs. Machine-washable covers are also somewhat common, especially with mattresses meant for young children. Temperature control is another important characteristic. Certain mattress materials promote breathability and cooling to prevent kids from feeling too hot while they sleep.

Bed Size: Low Mid And Tall Bunk Beds

The same considerations hold true for Bunks Beds, which we offer in 3 different bed size heights. The top bunk for our LOW bunk bed measures 45 inches to the top of the top bunk slat roll. Add to that the mattress thickness of 5, and you have a sleeping surface height of 50 inches off the ground for the top bunk. For rooms with 8 foot ceilings, that leaves 46 inches in sleeping and sitting surface. Under bed height measures 32.25 to the top of the slat roll, so if you add a 5 mattress you are left with 27.25 of headroom between top and lower bunk. shop Low Bunks

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Best Memory Foam Mattresses For Kids

An innerspring mattress or a hybrid mattress would work for your older child, but a memory foam mattress might be the best solution.

Memory foam mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic, so its ideal if your child suffers from allergies. Another perk of a memory foam mattress is that its good for all sleeping positions. Children sleep in many different positions throughout the night, so having a mattress that works to keep your child resting comfortably is the way to go.

For parents, getting a memory foam mattress for your child might also help your wallet in the long run. Innerspring mattresses and hybrid mattresses usually cost more than memory foam mattresses just because theyre made of different things there are no coils in memory foam.

Mattress Layers Whats Inside Yours

What Size Mattress Is Needed for a Toddler Bed?

The layers of your mattress contribute to thickness. Most mattresses consist of layers that can be broken into two different simple categories: the foundation or base layer, and the comfort layer or layers. Lets take a look at what this means and how they differ so you can have a better understanding of what is in your mattress and what it means for the thickness of mattresses overall.

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First, it was soda, then friesnow even mattresses have been super-sized.

So how tall is a mattress? The standard mattress height, or average mattress height, is 8- to 12-inches however, these days it’s common to find 14-, 16-, and even 18-inch mattresses. When it comes to mattress height or “mattress thickness”, how do you choose? Here are some guidelines.

Do You Use A Box Spring With Bunk Beds

Box springs are not necessary for a bunk bed because they are far too bulky, and using one in a bunk bed could even prove to be dangerous. Instead, you should use a bunkie board, bunk bed support slats, or even a DIY mattress foundation made out of plywood. In most cases, you should not use a box spring in a bunk bed.

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Best Bed In A Box: Tuft & Needle Original Twin Adaptive Foam Mattress

  • Comfortable for all types of sleepers

  • Cool foam to prevent overheating

  • Free of harmful chemicals

  • Mattress needs 72 hours to fully expand

  • Can have a slight odor

  • May be too firm for some

This foam mattress is somehow the perfect blend of soft and firm. It forms to the body , which makes it great for safe sleep. Additionally, it is created with cooling materials and includes a breathable mattress cover to make sure your little one doesnt overheat in bed.

While this isnt an all-organic mattress, it has a CertiPUR-US certification, which means it uses very few chemicals in the manufacturing process. The mattress is 10 inches thick and comes in both twin and twin XL sizes. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty and 100-night sleep trial.

Construction Type: Foam | Firmness: Medium Firm | Thickness: 10 Inches | Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

How To Choose A Mattress For Your Kids


Choose your childs mattress based on size and material preference. Babies and toddlers typically require a crib mattress , while older kids usually require a twin, full-size or larger mattress if you prefer. Older kids can use both spring and memory foam mattresses and can choose the firmness of mattress based on personal preference. Special features like organic materials, waterproof design, pillow top, and more should be decided upon in regards to personal taste and special circumstances, like bed wetting, allergies, or support needs.

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Accessories For A Kids Mattress

Mattress Protectors

One essential accessory to add to your kids new mattress is a mattress protector. These thin pieces of fabric go on just like a fitted sheet and protect against dust mites, spills, and any other accidents that may take place. When you are dropping a few hundred dollars on a new mattress, theyre worth every extra penny.


A pillow can have a significant impact on the quality of your childs sleep. As such, youll want to find one that caters to their sleeping preferences. As with mattresses, theres no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pillows. Factors such as your childs sleep position, age, and whether they overheat at night should all play into which pillow you decide to buy for them.

For example, the best pillows for stomach sleepers tend to be on the thin side, because too much height can put the neck at an angle that causes stress and pain. If your child gets uncomfortably warm at night, then youll want to look at latex pillows, or ones made with special cooling technology.

Though pillow shopping may not call for as much research as mattress shopping, finding the perfect one for your child still requires a good bit of thought. For some help, check out ourbest pillow guide.

Why Mattress Height Matters

Mattress height plays a significant role in how the bed appears in the room. Will a new, different size mattress fit with the headboard and surrounding furnishings? If you are replacing the bed base and headboard at the same time as the mattress, what will the height difference be between the old and new beds? How would the new bed look in the room once it has been topped with a bedspread or duvet, pillows? How about with extra layers of winter bedding and any additional cushions and finishing touches? These are all things to consider when buying or choosing a new mattress and when thinking about height, which is more controllable than the dimensions of the required mattress itself.

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What Makes The Tuft & Needle Stand Out

  • Its blend of comfort and support is also ideal for kid back sleepers. They should feel the support of the base foam below while the Adaptive Foam conforms to the curves of their body.
  • While theyre arent a ton of bells and whistles here, weve seen time and time again that mattresses with elaborate designs can make it difficult for kids to get in and out of bed.
  • Its only 10 thick, which really is the perfect thickness for a kids mattress. It pairs well with many types of bed frames made for children.

Read our full Tuft and Needle mattress review.

What Size Mattress Do Kids Need?

While the perfect size for a childs mattress varies depending on their age and height, the most ideal mattress sizes for kids tend to be:

  • Twin
  • Twin XL
  • Full

A twin-size mattress a little larger than a small single bed is a great choice for most children. Once kids become older and age into the teenage years, a twin XL mattress is an appropriate choice since it adds extra length to the bed. Twin XL mattresses are also commonly used for college students.

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Full-size mattresses give kids a little extra room to stretch out and move around. Theyre also a good choice for parents who either read to their kid before bed or sometimes sleep with their child, as theres enough surface room for a parent to lay down beside their little one.

Cons Of A Thick Mattress

Australian Mattress Size Guide  Relax Bedding
  • More expensive than thinner mattresses due to the number of materials used.
  • Thick mattresses are heavy and large, making them difficult to transport.
  • Thick mattresses can get quite tall depending on the base you have, so those with mobility issues may have difficulty accessing their bed.
  • Some thick mattresses can trap heat due to the amount of cushioning.

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If Youre Unable To Find An Appropriately Sized Mattress At A Store Near You Consider Ordering One Online Or Through Mail

You can also contact baby product manufacturers directly to ask if they offer custom baby mattress sizes.

It is important that you purchase baby crib mattresses with safety in mind because your child will spend a lot of their time sleeping on it! Look for baby products that feature waterproof surfaces, sturdy frames, and non-toxic materials like polyester batting or memory foam. The best way to ensure the quality of baby crib mattress you are purchasing is by checking online reviews from other parents who have purchased it before.

How To Choose A Crib Mattress

One of the most delightful parts of expecting a child is putting together the nursery. It’s also one of the most important. While the perfect paint shade and cutest bedding are nice, safe sleeping space is essentialand that starts with picking the best crib mattress for your baby.

While a mattress may just seem like, well, a mattress, there are specific safety considerations to keep in mind, as well as features that are worth looking for.

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Th Grade Through Middle School:

This is the time for growth spurts! High Lofts or Tall Bunk Beds are popular bed size choices for kids measuring 50 and taller. shop High LoftsConsider under bed headroom if you are planning to add desks, or create a lounge area for your kids A High Loft will give you 52.5, an ultra high loft will give you a full 58. Ceiling height is also an important consideration. High Lofts work well in rooms with 8 foot ceilings, although we recommend a low profile mattress to maximize headroom on the top bed. The height from floor to the top of the slat roll for a high Loft is 54 inches. Add to that the mattress thickness of 5, and you have a sleeping surface height of 59 inches off the ground. So for rooms with 8 foot ceilings, that leaves 37 inches in sleeping and sitting surface. Check your childs sitting height to make sure you have enough headroom left and you pick the right height mattress.

Do Toddlers Need Special Mattresses

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If you have a toddler bed, a smaller bed made specifically for the toddler stage, you can continue using your crib mattress. However, crib mattresses are quite firm, as this is a requirement for infants, so you may wish to consider a mattress more targeted to toddlers.

Some people choose to skip the toddler bed and move straight to a twin bed. Any twin bed mattress will work for a toddler provided its firm enough, but you should look for one thats better suited to children than adults.

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How Firm Should A Childs Mattress Be

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We all know how important getting a good nights sleep is – especially for children. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. Choosing the right mattress for your child can make things easier when it comes to bedtime. But how can you make sure youre choosing the right one?We answer a common question – how firm should a childs mattress be, to help you and your little one sleep easy.

Can A Mattress Help With Growing Pains

Growing pains, most common in kids ages 6 to 9, are severe muscle cramps and aches that occur during the night. For young sleepers with growing pains, lying on the wrong type of mattress may aggravate the condition. Moving frequently during the night can also make growing pains worse.

A supportive mattress relieves pressure on the lower back and pelvis, which can help make these common childhood aches and pains less frequent. Read our article on growing pains to learn more about relieving your child’s aches and pains.

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What Size Bed Sheets Fit A 10

Your fitted sheet should be about 1 to 3 inches deeper than your mattress to ensure it tucks under the bed and doesnt pop off when you shift around in bed. So, for a 10-inch mattress, the fitted sheet should be about 11 to 13 inches deep.

Too deep of a fitted sheet will only leave excess fabric for you to get caught on, which is just aggravating at night.

What Makes Up Your Mattress

Kids Loft KURA bed with NORDLI stairs

The materials inside your mattress determine how thick it is. Inside your mattresss cover are between 2 to 5 layers made from materials such as memory foam, latex, pocketed coils, or polyfoam.

Mattress materials affect its feel, durability, and support to help you sleep comfortably. The two primary layers in every mattress are the comfort and support layers.

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A Guide To Standard Mattress Thicknesses

To answer the question of how thick should a child’s mattress be, it’s helpful to start with an overview of standard mattress thicknesses.

  • Low profile mattresses are those between 5 and 13 centimetres. These are typically only found in foldaway spare beds and baby cots. Most adults and even some children would be uncomfortable sleeping on a low profile mattress.
  • Slim mattresses are those between 13 and 20 centimetres. Slim mattresses make it easy to get in and out of bed while providing more support than low profile mattresses, making them the perfect mattress thickness for most children’s beds, as well as for people with disabilities or conditions that limit mobility.
  • Standard mattresses are those between 20 and 30 centimetres. This thickness is most common in queen and king bed sizes.
  • Medium mattresses are those between 30 and 50 centimetres and are typically more expensive than standard mattresses, but allow for extra comfort and support.
  • Thick mattresses are those 50 centimetres or thicker. An uncommon mattress variety, thick mattresses are heavy, unable to be compressed, and therefore rather difficult to move.

Is 8 Inches Thick Enough Mattress

According to your size, sleeping position, mobility, and other factors, you should aim for a mattress thickness that is at least 3 inches thick. Using the same kind of material, we recommend placing two to four-inch comfort layers on one side, as well as five to six-inch support layers on the other.

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When Should My Baby Move To A Child’s Mattress

Moving your baby from a cot bed mattress to a child’s mattress is an important phase of their childhood. Eventually, a cot bed mattress will become too small for your child. We recommend moving your little one to a child’s mattress and bed between the ages of 18 and 36 months.

However, this is just a guideline. Keep an eye on your child’s size, comfort and safety in their cot and decide for yourself when you think it’s time to make the switch to a child’s bed.

Crib Mattress Height Regulations

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Crib falls injure babies with shocking frequency.

Given how common it is, its no surprise the federal government regulates crib mattress height. These guidelines are set-up to create escape resistant sleep environments for babies shorter than 35 inches tall.

Once your baby is 35 or taller, its time for a toddler bed, BTW!

In the United States, the minimum distance between the top of the lowest support and the top of the crib side rails is 26 inches.

Most full-size crib mattresses are between 5 and 6 inches thick. This means the actual distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the rails is 20 to 21 inches.

Falls from heights are a danger to babies in other parts of the home, too thats why we also dont recommend a baby bathtub that sits on the counter or on a base.

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