Picking a mattress out for your child can seem like a challenge, as it's unlikely that your child will know enough about the process to weigh in on the decision. As a parent, you will need to weigh in on what you need in the mattress now, as well as ensuring that you choose one that can grow with your child into their teen years. The following can help you make the right choice.
Unless you want to be buying a new mattress every few years, the best option is to go straight from a crib or toddler bed into an adult-sized mattress. A twin mattress of regular length is suitable for most kids from preschool age into the teen years. Avoid odd-size "kid" mattresses—not only will your child outgrow them quickly, but it can be difficult to find bedding to fit them.
Skip the pillow top
A pillow top may be your mattress of choice, but it's not a good option for kids. Younger kids simply don't weigh enough to compress the pillow top, which means they are more likely to roll off its rounded surface. If you are concerned about the mattress being too hard, opt for a plush top. This is softer than a plain mattress, but it isn't as over-stuffed and rounded as a pillow top.
Opt for medium firmness
For most kids, a mattress with medium firmness is sufficient. A too-soft mattress can cause pain to developing bones and joints, while an overly hard mattress can simply be uncomfortable for young kids. Medium works well at different stages of development, so both a young child and an older teen can get the support and comfort they need.
Consider memory foam
One issue that often results in the need to retire a mattress prematurely is popped springs. This is especially true in kid's rooms, where rough-housing and jumping on the bed can lead to damaged mattresses. One way to avoid this is to get a memory foam mattress. These don't have springs, and they don't provide much bounce for jumping, so the chances of damage are minimal.
Don't skimp on the rest of the bed
The best way to extend the life of a mattress is to invest in quality accessories. Use a zip-up mattress cover to protect it, especially if your child still occasionally has nighttime wetting incidences. A quality box spring and frame are also a must, as an improperly supported mattress is more likely to suffer damage or to break down.
For more help, contact a mattress store in your area.