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If there is one mom truth we believe whole-heartedly, it’s that if a toddler is cranky, everyone is cranky. There’s little joy in living with a toddler who hasn’t gotten a good night’s sleep. Even if you carefully selected the best crib mattress for your baby’s crib and toddler bed, eventually they will outgrow it and need a real, twin-size mattress and bed frame.
It can be daunting moving your child from a toddler bed to a big-kid bed, but once you get through the transition period, it will be well worth it. If your little one is nervous, you can make it fun by redesigning their whole room or even trying out unique bunk bed ideas (but be sure to follow these tips to avoid having to re-decorate year after year).
Once your toddler is on board, then it’s time to actually pick out the best twin mattress for them. They probably won’t show much interest, but that doesn’t mean the mattress itself doesn’t matter. Just like when you select a new mattress for yourself, there are several key factors to consider, such as sleeping position, firmness preferences and materials. Thanks to the expert review team at Mattress Advisor, we are confident that any of these mattresses will help your little one get the sleep they need, whether it’s a gel memory foam mattress or an innerspring mattress, a bunk bed or a trundle bed, a regular twin or a twin XL.
The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by the Mattress Advisor team in partnership with SheKnows. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this article, we may receive a small commission of the sale at no cost to you, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Best Budget Mattress — Puffin by Nest Bedding
The Puffin by Nest Bedding is supportive and firm, but comfy thanks to its cooling Energex foam and temperature-regulating cover. Maybe the biggest selling point, though, is its affordable price compared to many mattresses: just $359 for a twin, or for those tall kiddos, $404 for a twin XL. It’s a great price, especially for such a quality mattress.
Best Innerspring Mattress – Saatva Youth
The Saatva Youth is our number one pick for an innerspring mattress for toddlers, mostly because it grows with them from toddlerhood to childhood. The biggest difference between the Saatva Classic and the Saatva Youth is that the Youth is meant to be flipped over when the child gets older. Start your toddler on the 3+ side, and when they get older and need a bit more support for their weight, flip it over to the 8+ side. This is the perfect way to give your child exactly what they need from a mattress at a variety of ages without having to buy a new one every other year.
Puffin by Nest Bedding
Memory foam is a great material for children’s mattresses because it offers support for their developing spines while also providing plush comfort. Out of all the great mattresses made from support foam, comfort foam and memory foam on the market today, Nectar is definitely the best. It uses three different types of memory foam: a quilted top layer for cushion, a gel foam layer for pressure relief, and a high-density foam base layer for adequate support and structure. Its top cover also resists dust mites and is hypoallergenic. Plus, it comes with a sleep trial that lasts a full year. If it turns out your little one doesn’t actually like memory foam, you can return it for free.
Puffin by Nest Bedding
The Bear is a hybrid mattress, combining individual coils and cooling gel memory foam, and the result is an amazingly comfortable bed that will keep your little one cool all night long. Memory foam is known for sleeping hot, but this gel memory foam twin mattress tends to be a bit cooler. Coils allow for a significant increase in airflow which can make the mattress more breathable and help reduce body heat buildup. If your toddler wakes up nearly every morning flushed and sweaty, you need to get them a Bear mattress when they move up to a twin to help regulate their body temperature. However, it’s important to note that it does not offer the best pressure relief, so if your child usually sleeps on their side, you may want to look at the Tuft & Needle mattress instead.
Best for Side Sleepers – Tuft & Needle
If you’ve noticed that your child tends to sleep on their side, you should get them a mattress that will take the pressure off of their shoulders, hips, and other pressure points that can get agitated by side sleeping. Our top recommendation? Tuft & Needle. To prevent morning aches and pains caused by sleeping on your side, you need a mattress that relieves pressure, evenly distributes weight, and promotes healthy spinal alignment. Our Mattress Advisor team found that Tuft & Needle blew every other mattress out of the water in these two categories. Plus, even though it’s a pure memory foam mattress, the layers of foam are designed with breathability in mind, so your child can sleep cool and be comfortable on their side.
Most Durable Mattress – Saatva Classic
Even though we recommended the Saatva Youth mattress earlier, we think the Saatva Classic is also worth a mention. Let’s face it: toddlers can be hard on their toys and furniture. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to buying anything for your child is finding something that will actually last. You don’t want to buy an expensive mattress now, only to have to replace it two years later because it couldn’t stand up to the typical wear and tear of a toddler. The Saatva Classic mattress is a great option if your little one is particularly rambunctious. Our Mattress Advisor team actually gave it a 10 out of 10 for durability. Why does it hold up so well? The Saatva Classic uses two coil systems, one classic innerspring system made from steel coils on the bottom, and another layer of individually wrapped coils on the top, directly below the soft pillow-top. Together, these coil systems can prevent motion transfer, avoid sagging and absorb all the wear and tear of jumping, play-fighting, actual fighting, and more.
Best for Stomach Sleepers – Studio by Leesa
Once babies learn how to roll over onto their stomachs, many of them prefer to sleep that way, and that preference can follow them into their toddler years. Unfortunately, stomach sleeping isn’t the best position for spinal alignment, especially on a particularly plush mattress. That’s why we recommend the Leesa Studio instead. Unlike most typical bed-in-a-box memory foam mattresses, it has a medium-firm feel, which provides the kind of support stomach and back sleepers need. But don’t worry, your baby won’t be sleeping on a wooden board. The mattress still has comfort layers that offer support, contouring, and cooling to help them get a restful night’s sleep.
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