5 Best Kids Mattresses 2021
Some people just use adult mattresses for children, but there is also a good choice of kids mattresses on the market in the UK. But which is the best mattress for children?
As with adult mattresses, most kids mattresses are either made from foam or from springs. Some kids mattresses are made from a combination of the two (usually called a hybrid kids mattress) and others are made from alternative 'natural' materials such as latex.
Most children's mattresses come in a standard single size which is 190cm x 90cm. If you're looking for a mattress for very young children then you might like to look at our cot bed mattress guide instead.
The issue of dust mites is worth mentioning in relations to children's mattresses.
Much advice you'll read suggests that foam mattresses are superior when it comes to keeping dust mites away. For example, the memory foam mattress brand Dormeo suggest that the synthetic nature of foam makes it unattractive to dust mites as it doesn't provide 'life sustaining food' in the same way as a natural mattress. It's certainly true that the charity Allergy UK recommends lots of synthetic mattresses although these are aimed at adults rather than children.
On the other hand, researchers in Norway studied children's mattresses in more than 100 households and suggested the opposite. They proposed 'A simple replacement of foam mattresses with spring mattresses' for those who suffer from dust mite allergies. This was because 'the risk of finding mite feces was four times higher in foam compared to spring mattresses'.
Zock, Heinrich et al looked into the issue of dust mites in 2006 and found several factors were at play and that the presence of dust mites is linked to 'an older mattress, a lower floor level of the bedroom, limited ventilation of the bedroom, and dampness'.
The best advice I've found comes from Allergy UK which says that an 'allergen-proof barrier cover' is important if you have an allergy to dust mites.
We picked out 5 of the best mattresses for kids by looking at things like specification, value for money, warranty length, trial periods, customer reviews and brand awards. Prices are for a kids single mattress and are correct at the time of writing. Here's our top 5:
1. Simba Sleep Hybrid Bunk/Kids Mattress - £199
This children's mattress from Simba Sleep is designed with bunk beds in mind, but it is a popular kids mattress which they reckon is suitable for children aged 3 and over. They also say it is 'grown-up friendly' which means it would be fine for teenagers too.
The main advantage it has over other kids mattresses on our list is that it comes with a generous 200 night trial period. That means you can send it back if you don't like it. Home trial periods are quite common with mattresses for grown ups, but it isn't usually offered with a mattress designed for children.
It is 16cm deep and is available in the standard childrens single mattress size (which is the same as a standard adult's single mattress).
The word 'hybrid' in the title means that it uses a combination of pocket springs and memory foam. Pocket springs are the more traditional way of making a good quality mattress whilst memory foam is a popular alternative. Some people find memory foam gives them a more consistent support for their body than springs. However, others find that memory foam makes them feel warmer than they'd like. It's also a less 'natural' material than a mattress just made from springs.
The cover is made from polyester, which is a manmade material.
The Simba Sleep brand scores well with customers on TrustPilot (average of 4.5/5 at the time of writing).
Customers on John Lewis & Partners were giving it a score of 4.7/5 when we checked whilst it scores 4.9/5 on Amazon and 4.9/5 on Simba Sleep's own website.
Pros: popular brand, very positive reviews on TrustPilot and other sites, trial period, suitable for adults too
Cons: synthetic materials
Our Value Rating: ****
(Our value rating is rated from ***** meaning 'exceptionally good value' with **** for 'very good value' mattresses and *** for 'good value' mattresses)
2. Happy Beds Theo Pocket Spring Kids Mattress - £129
If you want a good-value kids mattress that is also suitable for a bunk bed, then I would look at this Theo Pocket Spring Mattress from Happy Beds.
Despite being a budget option, this mattress uses pocket springs, which are more supportive and more expensive than 'open coil' or 'traditional' springs which you see on a lot of cheap kids mattresses.
Reviews are very positive, with an average of 4.8/5 from 100+ reviews at the time of writing. You can also buy the Theo childrens mattress from Amazon.
It's described as being medium-soft. It's worth realising that every mattress brand uses their own scale for measuring firmness, but it's still a useful guide nonetheless.
It's only 15cm deep, which is fine for pretty much every bunk bed that I've seen but do check the instructions that come with your bunk bed to make sure. The issue is that some top bunk rails are not very and a deep mattress increases the risk of someone falling out of bed.
You get a 5 year guarantee, which is pretty good for the price.
Pros: cheaper than most kids mattresses, positive reviews, good length warranty for the price, pocket sprung
Cons: not a big name brand, quite thing
Our Value Rating: *****
3. Silentnight Healthy Growth 600 Mirapocket kids Mattress - £249
Silentnight is probably the best-known name in the UK mattress market and they make some mattresses specifically for children. The whole range is 'foam and chemical treatment-free' according to the official blurb.
The cheaper Silentnight kids mattresses are made with 'open coil' springs but if you can afford it I would get one with pocket springs, such as the Silentnight Healthy Growth 600 Mirapocket Mattress. As mentioned earlier, pocket springs do a much better job of supporting you than the springs on an open coil mattress. The 600 number refers to the number of springs you get in a king size version of a mattress. By adult mattress standards, that's a very low number of springs but lower numbers are more common on kids mattresses.
This mattress is a lot deeper than most children's mattresses (23.5cm if you're taking notes) so it's no use for bunk beds, but it should give a bit more support to larger children.
Silentnight as a brand scores a very respectable 4.2/5 on TrustPilot at the time of writing, whilst this particular kids mattress scores more than 9/10 on Mattress Online (albeit from a relatively small number of reviews).
Pros: big name brand, pocket springs, big seller, 'foam and chemical-treatment free)
Cons: low spring count, relatively expensive
Our Value Rating: ****
4. Jay-Be Simply Kids Mattress/Corekids Mattress - £109/£239
If you're looking for the best mattress for kids, I'd take a look at Jay-Be. The Yorkshire-based company is amongst a handful of mattress brands which has a Manufacturing Guild Mark. I won't bore you with the details, but it's a sign of good quality construction.
The company makes a pretty big range of mattresses designed for children, including a cheap range called Simply Kids and a posher range called Core Kids. We've picked out the Jay-Be Simply Kids Anti-Allergy Pocket Sprung Mattress which has pocket springs rather than cheaper open coil springs. It is foam free and gets positive reviews of 4.2/5 on Amazon at the time of writing.
It is 16cm deep. For an adult's mattress, that would be a little on the thin side but for a kids mattress it is quite standard. If you're planning on using this one on the top layer of a bunk bed then you need to check on the maximum depth for your bedframe. 16cm deep is fine for most models of bunk bed, but not for all.
You can't remove the cover so you might want to use a mattress protector.
If you want to upgrade then I would take a look at the Jay-Be CoreKids E1 IR-Energy 750 Pocket Spring Mattress (£239). It has a similar design, with pocket springs but it's a bit deeper and it comes with a 5 year guarantee, which is good for a kids mattress.
Pros: Respected manufacturer, pocket sprung construction method
Cons: Quite thin, cover can't be removed
Our Value Rating: ****
5. Little Green Sheep Kids Mattress - £299
If your priority is a 'natural' mattress for your kids then I would look at this children's mattress from Little Green Sheep. The company is mostly known for its popular cot mattress, but they also do a mattress in a single bed size and a slightly wider option.
It's quite pricey but it's the sort of thing which will impress your eco-friendly mother-in-law who hasn't used a tumble dryer since 1983. It only uses natural materials including cotton, wool, latex and something called 'coir' which comes from coconuts.
It's worth noting that this one is described as 'firm' which won't suit everyone. Most kids mattresses tend to be softer and some reviewers said they found it too firm.
This one is suitable for up to 12 year olds, according to the blurb.
The cover isn't removable but you can buy a specially designed mattress protector for it.
Pros: high quality natural materials
Cons: only suitable up to 12 years old, cover not removable
Our Value Rating: ***