Which mattress is best for a child?
How often should I change a child’s mattress?
Is a firm mattress good for a child?
These are all commonly asked questions when buying a new bed for your child. As the summer holidays draw to a close and a new school term begins, we’re sharing some tips on what to look for and how to buy a children’s mattress.
Sleep is extremely important to support children’s development both physically and mentally. A decent night’s sleep will help them to do better at school, allow them to react more quickly to situations, have a more developed memory, learn more effectively and solve problems plus, it will make them less susceptible to colds and other minor ailments, less irritable and better behaved!
Children spend around 40 per cent of their childhood asleep, and to get a good night’s sleep, they need to sleep on a comfortable mattress – not a ‘hand-me-down’ or second-hand one.
As sleep needs change as children get older – so do mattress needs. Parents and caregivers should aim to change their child’s bed and/or mattress at significant growth periods. This may require several bed changes – for example, a teenager who has suddenly shot up to 6ft-plus needs a bed that will enable their feet to stay on the mattress and not hang over the end! The right mattress is vital as it must provide the proper support for growing bones and muscles. That means sufficient support to hold the spine in correct alignment and sufficient comfort layers to cradle the body’s contours.
There are several factors to take consider when buying a new bed for your child, from aesthetics to materials, price and size. Read more about what to look for, how often you should change a child’s mattress and what sort of mattress is suitable.
Remember to look for NBF Approved member products to ensure the mattress you’re buying is safe, clean and does what it says it will do. And choose a reputable retailer who will ask you about your child’s needs, where the bed is to go, how big it needs to be etc.
Apart from the bed, children can also benefit from having a good sleep routine – adults too! A good sleep routine needs to be planned well in advance. Our friends at The Sleep Charity have lots of information and advice on children’s sleep.
First published 9.3.21, republished August 2023.