No age group needs a good night’s sleep more than what our children do. Their little bodies and minds are in a constant state of development, and they need to have that time to allow their brain to digest everything that it has learned during the day. Further, when a child sleeps, their bodies, including their brain’s physical makeup, their hormones, and their bones, develop at a faster rate.
Getting a good night’s sleep is done to a variety of different factors. A proper routine, both for going to sleep and for getting up in the morning, is incredibly important. Making sure your child has some cooling down time, away from electronic equipment, before they go to sleep also matters. But perhaps the most important thing is that they have a bedroom, and a bed, in which they feel comfortable, safe, and secure. This means that you also have to purchase the right mattress.
What Mattress Is Right for Your Child?
Picking a mattress is quite a complicated decision. There are many different factors that you have to think about. For instance, you must consider whether your child has special needs such as allergies, how firm the mattress is, how big your child is, whether they still wet the bed, and so on.
The Style of the Mattress
You may have come across split king sheets and believed them to be so beautiful, and available at such a good price, that your child should have a king size bed. However, this is not necessarily the case. Your child may feel overwhelmed by the scale of this bed. On the other hand, if you co-slept for a long time, they may feel more comforted by it, believing themselves to be back in your bed. This is one area in which you need to allow your child to guide you.
Children’s mattresses, like their adult counterparts, come in latex foam, memory foam, pocket-sprung, and open-sprung varieties. Each of these types has their own pros and cons that you should investigate. Do take your child to a mattress store so they can feel the difference between them and express their personal preference as well.
The most important thing is that your baby is adequately supported when they sleep. Their bones and spine have to be properly aligned to facilitated appropriate growth, which is what a supportive mattress does. Additionally, proper support reduces discomfort, fidgeting, and rolling. As a result, your child will, as the expression goes, “sleep like a baby”, which parents will love as well. Generally speaking, the younger the child is, the firmer their mattress should be because their bones develop very rapidly.
Regarding supportive mattresses, latex, memory foam, and pocket-sprung mattresses are the best ones. However, each of these three has other features that can benefit your child. The pocket-sprung mattress, for instance, has covering layers in a tufted pattern, which provides more comfort. A memory foam mattress, by contrast, is body-forming and dense. This stops children from waking up during the night if they are naturally restless. Lastly, a latex foam mattress is made from one of the most breathable materials. This means they are perfect in warm climates, or for those children who get very warm when they sleep.
If you decide to opt for the sprung mattress, then do make sure that you look at the coil gauge and the height of the spring count. The higher the spring count is, the more supportive the mattress is as well. A lower gauge number, meanwhile, means the coils are thicker, which makes the mattress firmer. With any foam mattress, be that memory or latex, the measurements indicate the density of the mattress. So long as you have chosen a high-quality foam, the density should be between four and five pounds. Higher numbers mean that the sleeping surface will be firmer.
Other Important Considerations
Some mattresses that offer specific other benefits that you may want to consider. At the same time, certain models have pitfalls to be aware of as well. For example, the foam used in a memory foam mattress can, at times, release gases. This is known as off-gassing. There is some debate going on about whether these gases are dangerous, so you should certainly take precautions. This means that you need to allow your purchase to air out for free to four days, which should be done in a ventilated room. All fumes should then be released, and the problem will be gone. It does mean, however, that you need to have the space available to do this and that this room will not be used for anything else during that time.
If your child has a breathing problem or allergy, then you may need to provide them with a synthetic mattress. These have fibers that don’t attract as many mites and bacteria, leaving their airways clear. That said, natural latex offers the same benefits, as does using a sheet made from silk, pure wool, or cotton. If you do have a child with allergies, you should consider those sheets regardless of which mattress you have purchased. Children with allergies can also use other springs, although you may have to consider adding a hypoallergenic, antibacterial mattress protector.
If your child still wets the bed, meanwhile, you will have different considerations. The best thing to do, however, is to pick the mattress most suitable to your child regardless of the bedwetting, and invest in protectors. You can purchase full protectors, or you can place washable bed pads in place.
As nothing seems to be simple and straightforward when it comes to babies and children, it also won’t surprise you that there are even more things for you to keep in mind. If the bed is for a baby or toddler, the frame will be much smaller than a standard bed. While baby cribs are incredibly cute, and only you can decide whether to purchase one or not, most parents agree (although sometimes in hindsight), that a single-sized bed is a much better option. This is mainly from the perspective of cost. Since children grow very rapidly, you could find yourself purchasing a new bed every few months until you eventually get to the regular single bed.
Bedframes can last a lifetime, which is why buying a good quality one from the word go is possibly the best idea. Mattresses do have to be changed regularly, however. A high- quality unit will last around a decade, provided it is regularly flipped and rotated. You should do this every six months. If you have purchased a memory foam mattress that only has a mattress topper, then rotating will be the only thing you can do. Once your child is 10, they would probably love a new bedroom anyway, so you can also purchase a new mattress at that time.
What about the Cost?
Unfortunately, we all have to be somewhat frugal. However, you should not purchase something of poor quality, something that may cause problems for your child, just because it is cheaper. The price difference between the types described above is negligible anyway, so if you want to look at it from that perspective only, it won’t give you much to go by. What is more important is that your child grows very rapidly, so the size of your mattress (crib size, toddler size, single-size) is more important and also has greater cost implications.
While the difference is negligible, you should find that the latex and pocket-sprung mattresses are the most expensive of them all. The more springs the mattress has, the more it will cost. Similarly, if you choose to opt for a natural latex, you can expect to pay substantially more. The memory foam mattress is in the middle regarding price. It is made of a synthetic material but is surprisingly comfortable regardless. The futon and open coil mattress are the cheapest of them all. This is for a good reason, since they tend to be uncomfortable and are made of inferior quality materials.
If you are in the market for a new mattress for your child, you really have to think about what you will buy. If your child has an unusually large bedroom, you might want to consider a wider bed as well. There are single-sized beds, but also double sized, king sized, queen sized, and even super king sized. Naturally, the wider the bed is, the more it will cost as well. Do also consider that regarding purchasing your bedding, which also becomes more expensive the wider and bigger your bed is. However, there is no price difference in bedding for latex beds or memory foam beds, since they all are the same, standard sizes. The one big caveat to that is that there is a difference in sizes between United States, United Kingdom, and European sizes. Hence, you do have to check that you are consistent in this, particularly if you shop online for any of your products.