Sleep is a critical component of good health — and a good mattress is essential to sound, quality sleep. This is especially important for children who need anywhere from eight to 16 hours of sleep.
A quality mattress will not only provide proper lumbar support to ensure your child’s correct posture, but also enable them to get restful sleep, with deep sleep cycles essential to good health.
If you are shopping around for mattresses your kids will use, then take note. We've put together this guide containing the 5 essential qualities of the best mattress for kids.
But first, let’s look into how sleep affects children.
The impact of sleep on children
Kids are still growing and have yet to undergo different developmental (mental and physical) stages, so they need adequate sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children belonging to specific age groups have the following amount of sleep for optimal health:
Babies 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours a day (including naps)
Children 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours a day (including naps)
Children 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours a day (including naps)
Children 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours a day (including naps)
Teenagers 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours a day
Sleep affects all aspects of a child's mental and physical health and development, such as their behavior, emotional regulation, attention span, learning, memory, and overall quality of life.
Inadequate sleep in children has been linked to their being prone to injury, obesity, hypertension, and — particularly among teenagers — depression.
One study involving seven-year-olds found that children who have chronic inadequate sleep during preschool and early school age exhibited “poor neurobehavioral function at around age 7.” It was also found that most sleep-deprived kids belonged to households with high television exposure.
These findings support the AAP’s recommendation for parents to have their kids turn off or stop screen use at least 30 minutes before bedtime. These include not only the TV, but also computers, tablets, laptops, and smartphones — which should be banned from kids’ bedrooms as well.
Implementing these steps is crucial in establishing a regular bedtime routine, especially for very young children.
Of course, in the bedroom, the mattress plays a significant supporting role in promoting sound, restful sleep — which is why it is important to find a comfortable one that will help facilitate the sleep your child needs.
Qualities of the best children’s mattress
Some of the best mattresses in the industry can last well beyond 10 years, so in choosing a mattress for your children, you also need to find one that can comfortably accommodate them as they grow through the years.
1. Provides proper support
The best mattresses provide adequate lumbar support and ensure correct spinal alignment even during sleep. A too-soft or sagging mattress can lead to the unnatural bowing or bending of the back, which can add pressure on the lower body. Having this happen night after night can affect your children’s back health, as well as the development of their spinal column and posture.
Latex mattresses are usually considered to be of the highest quality, providing the best back support there is in mattresses. The Nature’s Embrace Classic 6 latex mattress is made with a six-inch GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex support core. This material is naturally supportive and provides children and teenagers the perfect foundation for a good night's sleep.
Mattresses come with various levels of firmness, ranging from extra firm, firm, plush, and ultra-plush. Of course, what’s comfortable for one may not be so for another, as comfort is highly subjective.
One way to determine the most comfortable mattress for your child is by knowing their sleeping style. If your child is a back or side sleeper, a medium to medium-firm mattress is suitable. But if they are stomach sleepers, extra firm mattresses usually offer the best support.
Our Classic 6 latex mattress offers a firm level of comfort, so it’s most suitable for back sleepers, but growing children are flexible enough that the firmer profile is suitable for all sleeping styles. A topper or two can always be added to suit the level of comfort your child needs as they grow.
3. Sized right, with room to grow
While shopping around for your child's mattress, finding one that is child-sized might be your priority. But ponder this: While a small child’s mattress may seem a lot more affordable at the outset, will it be able to keep up with your child’s growth?
Latex mattresses can last anywhere from 12 to 20 years (or more!). Even though they may come with a hefty price tag, the longevity of latex mattresses will more than make up for their initial cost. So, if you’re looking for the best mattress for your kids, consider investing in an organic latex mattress. Read more about mattress sizes if you’re unsure what size to get your growing child.
Finding a durable, long-wearing mattress is important as kids tend to be boisterous and love to engage in horseplay — including jumping on their bed! So, when shopping for a mattress, consider whether it will hold even the toughest beating and if it is easy to clean and get rid of stains.
Make sure you look into factors such as the density and thickness of the foam, as well as the materials used in various mattress components (e.g., covers and toppers).
5. Made of safe quality materials
Children are naturally sensitive to a variety of materials — even more so if they suffer from allergies. This is why synthetic mattresses (which are usually more affordable) are a poor choice when it comes to kids’ mattresses.
Organic latex mattresses or ones made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and natural latex are the most ideal for children. Natural materials like cotton and wool help regulate moisture and body temperature, thereby helping ensure a good night’s sleep.
Mattresses sourced from natural, organic materials are also good for the environment. Aside from being biodegradable, they don’t need to be treated with harsh chemicals typically used in synthetic mattresses.
More importantly, children’s mattresses need to meet stringent safety and quality guidelines to ensure that they are not exposed to harmful chemicals and substances that can affect their health.
Nature’s Embrace latex mattresses are the gold standard in children’s mattresses because all the mattresses we produce are sourced from organic latex that is GOLS-, Oeko-Tex-, and Eco-Institut certified.
We also use 100% organic cotton fabric toppers certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and PureEmbrace Joma Wool that’s certified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. The water-based adhesives we use in our 8” and 10” Classic Series Mattresses is Greenguard GOLD certified.
Only the best will do
As a parent, you only want what’s best for your kids — and this includes getting them the quality mattresses designed to ensure they get adequate, restful sleep night after night.
By considering these essential qualities you need to look for in children’s mattresses, you’ll be on your way to making sure your kids have the best mattresses they’ll be using for years to come.
Looking for a safe, healthy kids’ mattress at a reasonable price? Check out our Classic 6 Latex Mattress. It’s our most popular mattress for kids and can be combined with a latex mattress topper when they get old
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