We all know how tricky the early years of child rearing are and also the usual lack of sleep that goes hand in hand with caring for children. It is often said when discussing children’s beds that it doesn’t really matter too greatly as they’re only in a cot/bed for a short amount of time and price is usually the first consideration. Many don’t think about their children’s physiology as a starting point and they don’t go on to choose a mattress for the benefits of a young child’s backs/muscles.
The quality and importance of a good night’s sleep is also sometimes lost in the task at hand. The bed someone buys for a child at aged 3 isn’t really suitable for the teenager. Often the implications of that are not considered. A child’s posture can be greatly enhanced with a suitable quality mattress which then stays with them through their normal healthy growth and development.
Sleep is vital for children as it directly impacts their growth, development and health. Depending on a child’s age they will need between 10 and 14 hours sleep per night. For this reason, it’s vital that your child’s mattress provides a comfortable and supportive night’s sleep.
A Child’s Mattress Should
- Encourage healthy posture
- Support their growth
- Provide a clean and healthy night’s sleep
- Be longer than their height by 4 inches (10cm)
Common questions about buying a child mattress
What type of mattress shall I buy for my child?
Standard Sprung (open coil) Mattress
Open coil springs work as one unit to spread your child’s weight across the entire mattress standard sprung (open coil) mattresses. Generally these type of mattresses can be very money saving.
Pocket Sprung Mattress
Pocket sprung mattresses feature springs wrapped in their own cloth sleeve. These mattresses are more responsive to your child’s weight and movements than standard sprung mattresses. Provide great support and optimal spinal alignment.
Memory Foam Mattress
The contouring effect of memory foam will help reduce how often your child tosses and turns during the night.
Latex mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic and breathable. They’re perfect for kids who like to stay cool throughout the night, for the cover kickers this is the perfect choice.
Reflex Foam Mattress
Reflex foam mattresses feature solid foam that provides great support for growing kids.
Should My Child Use A Second-Hand Mattress?
Unfortunately, children often sleep on old, hand-me-down mattresses and beds. If your mattress or bed isn’t good enough for you – it’s not good enough for anyone else.
Here’s A Couple Of Reasons Why You Should Never Give A Child A Second-Hand Mattress:
1. Reduced Support
Over several years, an old mattress will lose its ability to offer the support and comfort it once did. This means your child may experience an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
2. Poor Hygiene
Each year, we lose around half a pint of body moisture and shed a pound of skin during sleep. The build-up of dead skin cells, dust and moisture can lead to increased bacterial growth, mould and dust mites. This creates an unhealthy sleep environment for your child.
How Often Should I Replace My Child’s Mattress?
Between 3 and 10 years old = Every 3 years.
Between 10 and 16 years old = Every 5 years
It is also worth noting that children grow at different rates. It is recommended that a child’s mattress is approximately 4inches (10cm) longer than the child. Because of this, you may need to renew a child’s mattress sooner or later than the suggested guidelines.
What Size Bed Does My Child Need?
When determining what bed size will “fit” your child what needs to be considered are your child’s current height standing and how tall he/she is likely to grow in the next year. Also, how well is your child able to climb? How secure is he/she manoeuvering around furniture? Watching their behaviour on an outdoor playground is often a good indication of how ready and confident they are likely to be when it comes to elevated furniture. To get started, measure your child’s standing height (foot to the top of the head) and sitting height (seat surface to the top of the head) to get an idea what bed would be a good fit. Compare these to our bed height and headroom dimensions for low, mid and high kid’s beds A visit to a sleep centre or store also helps children to be able to road test beds and deem what size is right for them for as we know ‘one size fits all’ is definitely not the case with growing kids!
Should I Use A Mattress Protector On A Child’s Mattress?
This is a common question with purchasing young children’s mattresses. We all know when investing in a mattress we want to ensure it lasts well and can be easily cleaned/protected.
Bedwetting and spillages can be a common problem when it comes to your child’s mattress. Accidents can be quite tricky to clean therefore it’s important to give your child’s mattress the protection it requires. You can prevent damage to your mattress by investing in a waterproof mattress protector.
Mattress protectors are fitted with an elasticated skirt to firmly fit around the top and sides of your mattress. Mattress protectors are also machine washable so you can keep your child’s mattress looking and feeling clean.
It is a common misconception that waterproof mattress protectors can be noisy or uncomfortable to sleep on. This isn’t the case! Mattress protectors often have a soft cotton surface that prevents any crinkling noises that could be caused by your child’s movements.
Does Mattress Quality Matter?
Because children do most of their growing whilst asleep it is very important that the mattress is of sufficient quality to support them properly through the night.
It should be not only made by a reputable manufacturer but purchased from a trusted retailer or website. Its safe practice of course to check that the mattress displays the BS 7177 label for flammability standards.
Can I Buy A Sustainable Bed For A Child?
If you’re concerned about chemicals used in foam production, you can opt for a sprung mattress with layers of natural fillings such as wool and cotton. There are lots of organic brands out there to choose from.
You can even involve your child in the purchasing decision, getting them to try the mattress first as they will let you know if they find it too firm or too soft, providing a great starting point.
Above all, remember that children grow very quickly, and their body shape and weight will change, meaning their mattress requirement will also change.
A sustainable option is a really great investment and you can also be rest assured knowing that not only is your child sleeping in a non-toxic and fully recyclable bed but you’re doing your bit for the environment while you sleep! Fantastic health benefits for your child and a purer nights sleep is also an amazing bonus!
What Double Mattress Would You Recommend For Kids?
We would suggest looking for non-slip fabric for stability and for extra peace of mind so the Majestic mattress from Baker and Wells would be a great option. With a three year guarantee and featuring cool gel infused memory foam this mattress features 1000 pocket springs and provides edge to edge support which means an extra strength to the mattress and less sagging. Let’s face it any mattress for a child needs a bit of extra protection and we can also provide you with some great mattress protector solutions too.
Responsibly Sourced Organic Mattresses For Kids
One great company renowned for their ethical approach is Harrison Spinks and their range suitable for adults and children are made using the purest products, foam free and glue-free so the mattresses are not only organic but fully recyclable. The mattresses are also free from chemical treatments for the purest nights sleep.
Millbrook beds also offer a solution to finding great mattresses for children.
By using natural fillings such as British wool, silk, pashmina, cashgora and cotton in their mattresses, they create a mattress which is truly sumptuous and luxurious whilst also ethically sound.