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Best Toddler Mattress:
Expert Picks for Your Little One

UPDATED

Written by Garen Glazier

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

Sleep is crucial to a toddler’s health and development, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to reinforce good sleep habits at an early age. One way that parents can foster healthy sleep is by choosing a quality mattress for their child.

Support and safety considerations are top priorities when buying a toddler bed. A mattress needs to be firm enough to promote spinal alignment but not uncomfortably rigid. The mattress should also fit snugly within a crib or bed frame to prevent entrapment and other hazards. 

To assist parents with their search, we’ve come up with a list of the best toddler mattresses. We’ll discuss their materials, features, and company policies so you can find the best fit for your child. We’ll also give tips for recognizing when your child is ready to transition from a crib to a toddler or twin size bed.

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Mattress Overall

Helix Kids

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The innovative Helix Kids features a reversible construction with a firmer side intended for children between the ages of 3 and 7, and a softer side for the 8 to 12 age range. This mattress is a great option for toddlers transitioning to a big kid bed.

Buy From Helix
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Firm

Value:

Great Value

Certifications:

Greenguard Gold

Pros

  • Dual-sided design with each side intended for a different age group
  • Water-repellent barrier protects the mattress from stains and accidents
  • Relatively lightweight and easy to flip

Cons

  • Not recommended for children under 3 years
  • Foam layers may produce off-gassing odor for the first few nights

Why We Like It

The flippable Helix Kids is a solid option if you’re looking for a mattress that will serve your kids from the end of their toddler phase to their preteen years. This practical, wallet-friendly design is particularly suitable for anyone with a tight shopping budget. The foam hybrid construction provides ample support, and the perimeter is reinforced — this helps your child get in and out of bed with relative ease. Lastly, the Tencel cover is great for kids who have a hard time cooling down at night. Tencel is a eucalyptus-derived fabric prized for its breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

How Does It Feel?

Each of the Helix Kids’ sides feels distinct. The side for kids between the ages of 3 and 7 rates as medium firm, or a 6 on the 10-point firmness scale. This surface features denser, more supportive foams that promote healthy growth and development for children who are using a big kids’ bed for the first time. After they turn 8, the opposite side — which is medium soft (4) — provides deep cushioning to help them sleep comfortably.

Each side contains a water-repellent barrier to protect the internal materials from damage if your child spills a drink or has a nighttime accident. The mattress is also treated with an antimicrobial shield. This prevents harmful bacteria from accumulating and keeps the bed smelling fresh.

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Best Crib Mattress

Avocado Organic Crib Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Avocado Organic Crib Mattress is made from natural and durable materials that should last your child through their toddler years. A flippable design with medium firm and firm feels ensures your child stays comfortable as they grow, helping them maintain healthy sleep postures.

Buy From Avocado
Ideal For:

Eco-conscious Shoppers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Good Value

Certifications:

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), Greenguard

Pros

  • Handmade using natural and organic materials
  • Dunlop latex gives firm yet responsive support
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • The mattress’ natural and organic materials hold a higher price-point
  • The firm and responsive feel may not be great for children who prefer more surface cushioning

Why We Like It

Some natural and organic beds have a premium sticker tag, but the Avocado Organic Crib Mattress is not one of them. The handcrafted mattress uses sustainably sourced, quality materials that should satisfy eco-conscious shoppers. The dual-sided model sleeps infants and toddlers, so parents get even more value for their money.

Featuring certified organic materials and a flippable design built to accommodate growing kids during all of their toddler years, the Avocado Organic Crib Mattress shows that affordability and sustainability can go hand in hand.

How Does It Feel?

The infant side uses a combination of coconut husk fiber and firm organic Dunlop latex to support small bodies. Both materials are naturally breathable, so your young child is less likely to overheat. The surface has a firm (7) feel designed for babies up to 12 months old.

Flipping the mattress exposes a medium firm (6) feel intended for kids ages 1 to 4 years old. This side features 1 inch of Dunlop latex with a layer of cushiony wool. The latex encourages good sleep posture, while the wool eases pressure buildup. The latex is more responsive on this side since toddlers move more than infants.

Both sides feature quilted organic cotton covers designed to disperse heat. Our testing showed that the mattress does indeed do a good job of staying temperature neutral. The combined layers amount to 6 inches thick.

The organic cotton and wool is GOTS-certified, while the organic latex holds GOLS certification. GREENGUARD Gold and OEKO-TEX certifications indicate that the mattress is free of harmful chemicals and emits low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Best Mattress for Growing Kids

Nolah Nurture 10

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Nolah Nurture 10 is a latex hybrid, making it more robust and durable than most competing toddler mattresses on the market today. Thanks to the flippable design, your child can enjoy a firm surface when they leave their crib and a plusher feel as they get older and need more cushioning to sleep comfortably.

Buy From Nolah
Ideal For:

Kids Ages 3-12

Firmness:

Firm (Side 1), Soft (Side 2)

Value:

Good Value

Certifications:

Greenguard Gold, GOTS

Pros

  • Latex hybrid design is supportive, breathable, and long-lasting
  • Zoned coils push back against your child’s midsection to keep their body aloft
  • Dual-sided design with a different firmness level on each side

Cons

  • No waterproof components
  • May not be adaptive enough for kids who want to be hugged by their mattress

Why We Like It

Our team loves latex hybrids for their light contouring, strong bounce, and superior breathability. The Nolah Nurture 10 boasts all of these qualities, and the flippable design makes it suitable for any child between the ages of 3 and 12. Although one side is firmer than the other, both surfaces provide the comfortable bounce latex is known for. The multi-zone coil system is another highlight. Thicker springs rest beneath your child’s midsection to prevent them from sinking too deeply into the mattress — this is key for healthy development.

How Does It Feel?

The side intended for younger kids is firm (7), with very little contouring sturdy support. While some kids may find this surface too stiff, the idea is to keep their entire body on an even plane with their shoulders, lower back, and hips in perfect alignment. Latex is highly resilient, so there’s also considerable bounce on this side.

Once they reach the age of 8 years or so, your child can flip the mattress to its soft (3) side. Kids tend to feel more comfortable with deeper cushioning layers around this age, so the closer contour may be preferable over the firmer surface. The nice thing about a reversible mattress is that you can flip it over any time — though the Natural 10 is pretty heavy, so you’ll need a lifting partner to reduce the risk of injury.

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Best Organic Mattress

Organic Dream ComfortSupreme 2-Stage Crib & Toddler Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

Eco-conscious parents who prioritize organic products for their children will enjoy the Organic Dream ComfortSupreme 2-Stage Crib & Toddler Mattress. The mattress features an organic cotton cover and a foam construction made from a food-based polyfoam. A flippable design also makes it comfortable for growing children.

Buy From OrganicDream
Ideal For:

Toddlers With Changing Firmness Needs

Firmness:

Medium, Firm Sides

Value:

Good Value

Certifications:

Greenguard

Pros

  • Reversible design intended to serve your child throughout their infancy and toddler years
  • Organic cotton cover promotes cooling and breathability
  • Cover is water-resistant and machine-washable

Cons

  • Kids who prefer more surface cushioning may find the mattress too firm
  • Only designed for children up to 3 years old

Why We Like It

The mattress has a reversible design to keep your child comfortable and sufficiently supported through their infancy and toddler stage. One side has a firm (7) and responsive feel, and is intended for babies who sleep in cribs. Organic Dreams follows CPSC guidelines to help ensure the utmost safety. The reverse side is medium (5), resulting in a gentle, adaptive feel for kids between 12 and 36 months.

You may remove and machine wash the cover whenever a cleaning is needed. Please note that washing in hot water can lead to shrinkage, which in turn can cause difficulty when zipping the cover back onto the mattress core. Although the cotton is not waterproof, it will resist liquid seepage for up to 16 hours if bedwetting occurs.

How Does It Feel?

If you prefer to buy and use eco-friendly products, the ComfortSupreme 2-Stage Crib & Toddler Mattress from Organic Dream should appeal to your priorities as a consumer. The core is composed of food-grade polymer processed into a foam that cushions your little one’s body without sinking too much. Another green component is the cover, which is made of breathable organic cotton.

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Best Mattress for Toddlers and Bigger Kids

Bear Cub

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Bear Cub is ideal not only for toddlers, but also growing kids through their preteen years. Foam comfort layers cradle and cushion your child’s body without hugging or sinking too deeply, while sturdy pocketed coils keep them on an even plane to promote healthy alignment.

Buy From Bear
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Firm

Value:

Great Value

Certifications:

CertiPUR-US

Pros

  • Supportive foam hybrid construction ideal for children transitioning to a big kid bed
  • Celliant-blend cover provides excellent cooling and temperature control
  • Available in two color schemes

Cons

  • Foam layers can emit harsh off-gassing odor for the first 72 hours
  • No waterproof or liquid-repellent components

Why We Like It

The Bear Cub has a firm (7), supportive design that can be ideal for toddlers who are leaving their crib for the first time. The memory foam comfort layer provides some light cushioning, so the surface shouldn’t feel too stiff for most children, but dense transitional foam and sturdy pocketed coils keep their bodies aloft and their spines properly aligned.

The coils promote steady air circulation — this helps your child sleep at a comfortable temperature — while the cover is woven with Celliant fibers engineered to dissipate heat on contact. Cooling gel infused into the memory foam adds extra breathability.

How Does It Feel?

The Bear Cub doesn’t contour as closely as many toddler-friendly foam hybrids sold today. This can be a pro or a con, depending on your child’s firmness preferences, but the supportive build can help ensure their shoulders, lower back, and hips are all in alignment while they sleep. The Cub is also bouncy and reinforced along the perimeter, so most kids have little trouble getting in and out of bed and moving on the surface.

You can choose from twin and full sizes, as well as two on-theme colors: salmon and Arctic blue. Unlike many competing mattresses, the Cub is not constructed with any waterproof materials. We recommend using a liquid-repellent mattress protector if your child wets the bed.

Why You Should Trust Us

We’re committed to helping people of all ages sleep better. Young kids have different mattress requirements than adults, and we make sure that comfort and safety are top concerns when assessing toddler beds. 

We understand that families have different budgets and priorities, so we test a variety of mattress types with a range of price-points. Parents are busy enough as it is, so we hope to take some of the stress out of buying a new bed for a toddler.

What Do Toddlers Need for a Good Night’s Sleep?

Toddlers have certain support and contouring needs in order to sleep soundly and safely. We’ll discuss what to look for in a mattress, including construction type and safety certifications. We’ll also highlight signs that your child is ready to switch from a crib to a toddler or twin bed.

Find the Type of Mattress That Works for You

A mattress’ materials and assembly determines how it feels and performs, as well as its ease of cleaning. Most toddler beds are innerspring or foam models, but shoppers can also find hybrid and latex options. 

When Is it Time to Change Mattresses?

Toddlers who have outgrown their crib can move to either a toddler or twin size mattress. Most children make the transition somewhere between 18 months and 3 years of age. Speak with your child’s pediatrician if you have questions about the appropriate time to transition from a crib to a larger bed.

Dual-sided mattresses are designed for either infants and toddlers or toddlers and older kids. Each side has a firmness level specific to a developmental stage. Twin beds are more expensive, but they’ll fit your child much longer than a toddler mattress.

Safety and Mattress Certifications

Young kids are more sensitive to chemical exposure, so it’s important that mattresses meet rigorous safety criteria. Various certifications, such as CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold, verify that materials comply with strict content standards. 

What Size Is a Toddler Mattress?

The average toddler mattress is approximately 28 inches wide by 52 inches long. Height varies, but most models are between 4 and 6 inches tall. 

Sizing is fairly standard since mattresses must fit snugly inside a crib or toddler frame. Space between the mattress and bed frame should not exceed the width of two fingers. The snug fit helps prevent entrapment and other injuries. 

Excessive tossing and turning or requests to sleep in your bed are telltale signs that your child feels confined in a crib. The Consumer Product Safety Commission stipulates that toddler beds are intended for kids weighing less than 50 pounds, so your child will need an upgrade once they reach this limit. Most kids are ready to sleep on a twin or twin XL mattress when they are 3 or 4 years old.

Mattress TypeSize
Toddler mattress28″ x 52″ x 4-6″

Is a Toddler Mattress the Same as a Crib Mattress?

Toddler and crib mattresses are generally the same size, though their firmness levels sometimes vary. Toddler mattresses often have a slightly plusher feel since older babies don’t require as much support as infants. 

A crib mattress rests in a taller bed frame, while toddlers can safely sleep closer to the floor. Toddler beds also don’t need front rails on the frame.

What Type of Mattress Is Best for a Toddler?

All toddler mattresses should be comfortable and supportive, but parents can choose from a range of styles. A bed’s performance varies somewhat based on its materials and construction method.

Foam Mattresses

Foam beds are popular choices for toddlers because they are lightweight and usually economical. Medium- to high-density polyfoam is commonly used since it is the most supportive. Memory foam is rare in a toddler mattress since its close cradling poses a safety risk.

All-foam mattresses are usually very quiet since they absorb motion well. Foam off-gasses more than other materials, so new mattresses tend to have a chemical-like smell. Shoppers can look for manufacturers that off-gas in advance, which reduces odors by the time the mattress reaches your home.

Hybrid Mattresses

This design merges a coiled support core with foam or latex comfort layers. Hybrid adult mattresses are very popular, but toddlers can also benefit from their combination of support and pressure relief. Hybrids tend to outperform foam models when it comes to edge support and temperature control. 

Hybrids often have a higher sticker price because of their more complex construction. On the other hand, their steel coils and thick comfort layers usually make them quite durable.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are made entirely from natural latex, synthetic latex, or a combination of the two. Natural latex is produced using either the Dunlop or Talalay process. The Dunlop method produces firmer latex, so it’s more common in toddler mattresses. Latex mattresses are breathable and durable, but they’re also on the pricier side.

Dual-Sided Mattresses

Dual-sided mattresses are popular because they are designed to sleep a wider age range. Some models sleep infants and toddlers, while others are suitable for toddlers and older children. 

Each surface has a firmness level tailored to certain developmental needs. An infant side is firmer to keep young babies from sinking into the mattress, while toddler sides are usually a little softer. Dual-sided models use any number of materials, including foam, coils, and wool batting. 

Kids can generally switch from the infant to toddler side when they are 18 months or older. Check with a pediatrician if you have questions about your child’s readiness for a toddler mattress.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are sometimes confused with hybrids because they both have coiled cores. Their similarity ends there for the most part. Innersprings have thinner comfort systems, so pressure relief is sometimes marginal. This isn’t as much of an issue for young children since they need a solid surface for safety reasons. As your child grows, a bed with thicker comfort layers may be necessary to provide sufficient cushioning. 

Since the space between coils promotes airflow, innerspring mattresses usually have excellent temperature control.

When Is Your Baby Ready for a Toddler Mattress?

Every child develops at their own pace, but most babies can switch to a toddler or twin bed between 18 months and 3 years of age. Toddler bed frames often come with side rails to prevent children from falling out of bed, though safety rails can also be installed on twin beds.

The following behaviors may indicate that your child is ready to make the transition to a larger bed:

  • Your child’s scaling their crib like it’s Everest. Children who attempt to climb out of their crib are at risk of injury. This usually signals that a crib feels too confining, so it’s probably time for a bed that sits closer to the floor. 
  • They prefer sleeping in your bed. Children who frequently want to sleep with their parents or older siblings may just want more space to sprawl out. Transitioning to a toddler mattress can reestablish sleep independence.
  • Your child recently had a growth spurt. Cribs can start to feel oppressive when kids are about 3 feet tall. If more than half of their body is visible when standing in a crib, it’s likely time to switch to a toddler or twin size bed.

Should You Forgo a Toddler Mattress and Upgrade to a Twin Instead?

Mattress firmness and pressure relief needs change as your child grows older. Toddler mattresses are on the firmer side since a toddler’s developing musculature requires extra support. School-age children can sleep on a softer model with deeper cradling. Pressure points start to develop more as children grow, so plusher comfort layers help reduce tension. 

More developed toddlers are sometimes better off going directly to a twin bed, which they can use for several years. A less expensive toddler mattress might be more suitable for kids still prone to bedwetting, especially one with waterproofing. 

Toddler Mattress Safety and Certifications

In addition to buying a well-constructed mattress from a reputable company, parents are advised to take certain safety precautions. Periodically checking the bed for loose splinters or rough metal edges can prevent scratches and other injuries. It’s also a good idea to limit accessories like blankets, pillows, and toys, all of which increase the risk of choking and suffocation. Avoid placing your child’s crib directly by a window, and make sure dressers and hanging objects are at a safe distance.

Kids are more vulnerable to toxins and chemicals, especially when exposed to them on a nightly basis. Certain trust marks show that materials are free of harmful contaminants and are safe for use by children. Parents can look for the following certifications on company websites, product pages, and labels: 

CertiPUR-US:

This certificate is specific to foam and shows that harmful chemicals and other heavy metals weren’t used during its manufacturing. It also indicates that the foam emits low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX:

Used for foams and textiles, this third-party testing rules out the presence of hundreds of harmful substances. Qualifying materials can’t contain any of the tested contaminants.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS):

GOTS certification shows that chemicals, pesticides, and other contaminants weren’t used to source and produce a textile.

GREENGUARD Gold:

This third-party testing verifies that a product emits low levels of VOCs. The certificate indicates that any off-gassing present is not considered harmful.

About The Author

Garen Glazier

Staff Writer, Product Testing Team


Garen is a health and lifestyle content creator. She realized the importance of sleep when her children made getting a good night’s rest more challenging. Garen is always learning something new about the wide world of sleep and sleep products. Married with two girls, ages 7 and 11, she is a book nerd and a lover of pop music, travel, and the Pacific Northwest.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Neutral Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Wolf

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