Best Toddler Mattresses for That New Big-Kid Bed
If you’re in the market for a toddler mattress, it’s likely because you’re thinking of transitioning your little one from a crib to a toddler bed. Some parents transition based on age (3 is a common age to make the move), while others may notice their dextrous little ones beginning to climb out of their crib. Regardless of the reason for that first big-kid bed, the toddler mattress you choose will set the tone for a comfortable night’s sleep for your kiddo.
If baby has been sleeping in a standard crib, know that you don’t necessarily need to purchase a new mattress if you’re moving your little one into a toddler bed; these two types of beds use the same size mattress. But if you’d like to try something different, or you’re moving your kiddo into a twin-size bed, our guide to the best toddler mattresses will make your decision easier. Keep reading to find the one that will work best for your little one.
In this article: Overall best toddler mattress
Most toddler mattresses are made from a blend of polyester, cotton and other fibers. This provides a firm mattress for safety, but also one that’s comfortable enough for little ones to get a good night’s sleep. In recent years, parents have started opting for twin-sized versions of popular mattress brands like Purple, Nectar, Avocado and Casper for toddlers. Foam beds are also great for little ones, because they tend to incorporate features that ensure proper spinal alignment. And for little ones with allergies or parents who are concerned about potentially hazardous chemicals in traditional mattresses, hypoallergenic toddler mattresses may be a sound solution.
If you’ll be moving your little one from a crib to a true toddler bed, you may not need to purchase a toddler mattress. That’s because toddler beds are constructed to fit the same size mattress as a crib. If you’ve been using a mini crib, the mattress you have is likely smaller than a traditional toddler mattress. Another option is to move your kiddo to a twin-sized bed and use safety rails to ensure they don’t fall out. Here’s a breakdown of toddler mattress sizes by type:
Mini crib mattress: 38x24x5 inches Standard toddler mattress: 52x28x6 inches Twin-size mattress: 75x38x6 inches
Double-sided mattresses are a great way to meet the sleep needs of both babies and toddlers without having to purchase a separate mattress, according to Sharifa Glass, MD, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. “Today, many standard crib mattresses have a firmer side for infant use (ideal for babies under 12 months of age) and a softer side for toddler use (12 months of age and older),” says Glass. Other helpful features to look for in a toddler bed mattress include the following:
- A protective cover that’s either waterproof or removable for easy cleaning. “This can help to protect the mattress from spills, stains, nighttime accidents and allergens,” notes Glass.
- A medium-firm to firm mattress to provide more support for a toddler’s neck and head.
- Good edge support.
Now that you have a better idea of how to shop for the best toddler mattress, it’s time to figure out which is right for your little one. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites for you to consider.
This premium mattress is constructed with high-density foam that provides just enough lumbar support for growing kids. It’s double-sided, with one side suitable for children from 3 to 7, and the other side best for kids 8 to 12 years old. Engineered with comfort, safety and proper spinal alignment in mind, the Saatva features a five-zone support layer that’s breathable but firm. Below this, the mattress’ core is made of steel coils, for a hybrid base that’s supportive but comfortable.
- Made from naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial organic cotton
- Protected by a nontoxic natural thistle flame barrier
- 365-night satisfaction trial
If you need a portable solution for your toddler’s sleep needs, a toddler air mattress might be the best bet for you. We love the Hiccapop, which is an easily inflatable bed that features safety bumpers on all four sides. It’s the perfect lightweight solution for overnights with grandparents, camping or traveling. The Hiccapop inflates in less than 30 seconds, and fits any standard crib bedding.
- Made with inlay-enforced vinyl for durability
- Fits all standard crib sheets and blankets
- Not safe for kids under 24 months due to side bumpers that could lead to entrapment and suffocation
The iconic Purple foam mattress is our pick for the best memory foam toddler mattress. With adaptive support using the company’s patented GelFlex grid system, and a softer, cooler feel for little bodies, the toddler bed mattress will have your little one in dreamland in no time. You can also choose from two different frame options, including a beautifully upholstered frame or a more affordable platform one.
- Free shipping and returns, plus a free 100-night trial
- Made from hypoallergenic, nontoxic and durable materials
- Machine washable cover
- Some find the Purple mattress too dense
If you’ll be moving your toddler to a twin-sized mattress, you can shop for just about any mattress you want, since most major brands make a twin-sized option. But our pick for the best toddler twin mattress is Casper’s original mattress. It features multi-zoned support to ensure spinal alignment, which is super important for growing kiddos. What’s more, the company offers quick shipping, plus other important accessories like a waterproof mattress protector. A 10-year limited warranty rounds out the great features of this mattress.
- Cooling system prevents your little one’s body from overheating at night
- Some find the mattress to be on the firmer side
This posh toddler crib mattress features a luxe, silky cover for a soft feel, and individually wrapped coils surrounded by a foam encasement that ensure your tot will have the best sleep possible during the crib years and beyond. This comfortable mattress is also free from toxic materials, and is CERTIPUR and GREENGOLD certified.
- Patented BeautyEdge support all the way to the edges of the mattress
- Waterproof and phthalate compliant fabric cover
- Limited in-store availability
Our top pick for safety- and eco-minded parents is the Naturepedic organic toddler mattress. This Greenguard Gold-certified pick provides firm but comfortable two-sided support for both babies and toddlers and fits convertible cribs and toddler beds. It’s a perennial favorite among parents for good reason: It’s made from 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton with no glues or adhesives, polyurethane foam, chemical additives or fire retardants (while still passing flame standards). Plus, it features a non-toxic waterproof layer made of non-GMO sugarcane.
- Wipe-clean, waterproof surface keeps the mattress safe from accidents and spills
- Breathable cover helps regulate temperature and improves airflow
- Provides support without being too heavy
- Can sag in the middle, according to some customers
The Newton mattress is a one-of-a-kind toddler mattress that features a special 100 percent hypoallergenic Wovenaire inner layer that isn’t made of common allergens like latex, glue and polyester. The cotton cover is removable and machine-washable for easy cleanup from spills and accidents, and the inner core can be cleaned in a bathtub and set out to dry as well. The mattress is available in gray, pink, blue or white and should be used without a sheet or mattress cover for maximum breathability.
- High breathable and recommended by pediatricians
- Super easy to clean
- Greenguard Gold-certified
- May have a smell when first unboxed
For a comfortable option that provides plenty of breathability for baby, consider the HALO Dreamweave. The mattress’ polymer core is surrounded by air pockets that enhance air flow and promote a safer sleep environment for little ones. A waterproof barrier prevents mold and mildew growth, and a mesh cover that’s washable helps keep this toddler mattress cleaner longer.
- Double-sided for both infant and toddler use
- Uses more plastic material than the similar Newton Baby mattress
We can all agree that durability is crucial when it comes to toddler mattresses for jumping, tumbling tots. Sealy Baby mattresses feature a tightly woven cotton cover that lends itself to easy clean up, and a waterproof barrier that prevents moisture from spills or accidents from seeping deep into the mattress, which can cause mold or mildew growth. The mattress is stuffed generously with 100 percent cotton to last for years, and all materials are certified non-toxic.
- Features firm support on the infant side and contouring memory foam cushioning on the toddler side
- Can be a bit too firm for some
If you’re hoping to save a few dollars, know that it’s totally possible to get a quality toddler mattress for less than $100. Our top pick for the best budget-friendly toddler mattress is the Dream On Me 2-1 mattress. This foam mattress is a basic 6-inch-thick mattress that features enhanced breathability on the infant side and a waterproof surface on the toddler side. Sized to fit a standard crib or toddler bed, this toddler mattress makes a great choice at an affordable price point.
- Mattress is stain-resistant and covered with an antimicrobial treatment
- GreenGuard Gold-certified
- Can be noisy when little ones roll over, some parents say
About the experts:
Sharifa Glass, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician, American Academy of Pediatrics fellow and clinical assistant professor at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. She received her medical degree from Drexel University’s College of Medicine.