The Complete Toddler Mattress Buying Guide For New Parents

Kid sleeping on a toddler mattress

Finding the right toddler mattress is essential. This is the surface your little one will spend many hours snoozing on every night. So, it only makes sense to buy a mattress that meets all of your child’s needs and includes important safety features.

But what exactly should you focus on, and what isn’t important? When it comes to kids’ beds, you have to consider size, firmness, materials used, comfort, and so much more.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed just looking at the list of requirements, don’t worry. We have your back!

In this article, we’ll share all you need to know about toddler mattresses. By the end of the guide, you’ll know how to confidently select the best bed for your child.

But first, let’s start by discussing the importance of sleep for children.

Table of contents

Why Is Sleep So Important For Children?

 Young kid sleeping on a toddler mattress

Children have lots of energy! They are often running, jumping, skipping, laughing, playing, and doing everything else in-between.

Because of their activity throughout the day and the energy it takes for their little bodies to grow, they need appropriate rest each night to stay well and reset for the next day.

While sleep is important for every age group, for children, sleep is essential because it helps aid their continued growth and development.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital shares that “kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.”

The right toddler mattress can be a part of helping your child get good, quality sleep night after night. But what should you look for when buying one? Let’s dive in!

5 features of a good toddler mattress

1) Breathability

 Baby sleeping on stomach

Toddlers sleep an average of 11-14 hours every 24 hours. This is great news for parents — you can get some rest! However, if your little one’s bed isn’t breathable, you may have a problem.

Choosing a mattress that allows for airflow is essential to body temperature regulation. For example, if your child gets too warm, they could overheat. While overheating is commonly due to a heavy blanket or being overdressed, there could be underlying medical issues as well.

Whatever the reason, we don’t want any child to be stuck in a pool of sweat throughout the night, as it can be both uncomfortable and dangerous.

The Newton Baby Crib Mattress allows for optimum airflow. The secret is in our innovative Breathe-Thru technology that enables a child to breathe right through the mattress.

Our dual-layer quilted cloud Mattress Cover is also 100% breathable and adds an extra layer of comfort for your child to rest safely and comfortably throughout the night. Top it off with our supremely soft Breathable, Organic Cotton Crib Sheets.

2) Support

Most toddler mattresses are wrapped in plastic and made with foam, springs, wool, or latex. Each option has its own unique features (or cautions).

For example, wool mattresses, although hypoallergenic and thermoregulating, can be too firm and uncomfortable for toddlers. They also require maintenance because the wool can compress over time. Wool mattresses are also more expensive than other options.

Coil and spring mattresses offer lots of support, especially for your child’s growing body. However, like wool mattresses, they tend to be pretty firm and not always the most comfortable.

Foam mattresses may be comfortable but can emit potentially harmful VOCs that can cause respiratory problems and other negative health effects. Latex mattresses tend to be very heavy and expensive.

For a safe, comfortable, and supportive option, Newton Baby mattresses take the cake. Our beds are made with a Wovenaire® Core, which is composed of 90% air. They are then covered with a soft, quilted, 3-D space cover for comfort.

3) Child-friendly materials

 Stack of toddler mattress

As we just mentioned, some brands use harmful materials to make their mattresses. And with so many different chemical combinations, it’s important to be aware of what toddler mattresses are composed of.

The best way to check your mattress for toxins is to read the label or contact the manufacturer to get more details about their materials. This ensures that you’re buying your little one a mattress constructed with quality, non-toxic materials.

At Newton Baby, all of our mattresses are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. In a nutshell, this certification confirms that the product is scientifically proven to help reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure.

Since children will place their faces right on their beds when sleeping, this certification is essential, as it will reduce the chances of them breathing in harmful chemicals. Choosing a GREENGUARD Gold Certified mattress may also help children who suffer from allergies.

4) Firmness

When your little one is an infant, their mattress should be comfortable yet firm because this reduces the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Toddlers, on the other hand, don’t require the same level of mattress firmness that infants do. This is because they are more mobile and have more physical strength to maneuver their way out of potential suffocation hazards.

However, while your toddler’s bed doesn’t need to be as firm as a baby’s, it still can’t be too soft. When a mattress doesn’t have enough structure and conforms too much, it can potentially smother your child.

For this reason, we recommend choosing a mattress that’s medium-firm to firm to keep your little one both safe and comfy throughout the night.

5) Protection

Bedwetting is very common in children under five years old (and sometimes in older children). That’s why it’s essential to choose a mattress cover or pad that’s waterproof or water-resistant and can lay securely over your little one’s mattress to protect it.

Our Newton Baby Waterproof Crib Mattress includes a waterproof lining on the toddler side. It also comes with a cover that allows you to conveniently zip it off and throw it into the washing machine on laundry day or when an accident occurs.

In addition, these covers are made with hypoallergenic materials to provide allergy protection, which can help your little one stay safe from a build-up of bed bugs, bacteria, and dust mites.

FAQs about toddler mattresses

Finding a toddler mattress isn’t just about buying a bed that’s the right size and is aesthetically pleasing. It’s about making sure your little one is safe and cozy when you put them to sleep every night (or for naptime).

But even with the above information, you may still have concerns, so let’s look at some frequently asked questions about your toddler mattress and bed.

What is the standard toddler mattress size?

The standard toddler mattress is the same size as a crib mattress. The specific dimensions are 27 ¼ inches x 51 ⅝ inches, give or take.

Where should I place the toddler bed in the room?

Of course, once you’ve figured out your toddler mattress and bed, you’ll have to think about room layout. Although we can’t tell you exactly where to place the bed, we can tell you where not to.

You’ll want to avoid radiators, air conditioning vents, and windows. Wherever you place the bed, you should also make sure your child can’t reach anything that could tip or fall on them.

A regular toddler bed can be placed against a wall or floating in the room. However, if you have a toddler floor bed, you want to pull it out from the wall so that your little one can’t get trapped between the bed and the wall.

Will there still be room for other important furniture (e.g., drawers, a rocking chair, etc.)?

It can be a puzzle fitting all the furniture you want into the room, and you’ll want to leave enough floor space so that it’s easy to get around.

If you’re short of space, think of other areas in the house that can be convenient for the additional furniture such as a playroom, the living room, or even your bedroom.

    How long will my child use the toddler bed and mattress?

     Young kid being tucked in for sleep while holding his teddy bear

    Children develop very quickly and outgrow many things, including their beds. They are also unique and vary in weight and height across different ages.

    That’s why the right age to transition your child from a toddler bed to a twin bed is different from child to child. But having said that, most kids are ready for a bigger bed at around three years old. Some parents may transition their growing little ones a little earlier or even later.

    While there is no “right age,” if you notice that they need a little extra stretching room, then it might be time to take the leap.

    When should I get a toddler mattress?

    Since a toddler mattress is the same size as a crib mattress, some parents purchase it as soon as their baby is born. Others decide to buy their babies a bassinet or co-sleeper when they are born and then move them to a crib after a few months.

    Either way, if you already have a crib mattress, you can continue to use it through the toddler years.

    However, since you can select a mattress that’s more comfort-driven for toddlers, you might consider switching it up, especially if you’re planning to have another baby.

    Optimizing your toddler’s room for sleep 

    kid laying on a toddler mattress

    Once you’ve chosen your child’s toddler mattress and bed, you’ll want to optimize their sleep environment. The transition to a toddler bed is a big step and sometimes not easy.

    Here are some tips on how to set up their room to prepare them for their eight hours in dreamland.

    Cool, not cold

    First of all, you’ll want to think of the temperature. Your little one will have a hard time sleeping if their room is too hot or cold. Set the thermostat to between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Dark and cozy

    Outdoor light can keep your little one up or wake them up. Invest in blackout shades to ensure that they sleep through naptime and nighttime.

    Quiet, please

    Of course, if your toddler can hear everyone having a great time without them, they’re going to get a case of FOMO. Be sure your household is calm and quiet while they’re sleeping. You won’t have as much control over noise outside — lawn mowers and sirens, for instance.

    The best thing to do is to get a sound machine that will play ambient sound, drowning out any external noise. This will make it easier for your toddler to get their shuteye.

    Distraction-free

    If your child’s favorite toy is in their room, it’s no wonder they’re up and out of bed when the door shuts and the lights go out. It’s best to remove any temptation (particularly electronic toys or any tablets that could emit sleep-disrupting blue light).

    Not too dry

    The summer and winter months can be particularly dry thanks to heaters and air conditioners, and the dry air is not optimal for sleep. Consider getting a humidifier for your little one’s room to moisten the air and make them more comfy.

    Room safety for toddlers

    kid sleeping on a toddler mattress

    When your toddler was a baby, you had all sorts of things to think about with regard to safety: “always put them to bed on their back” and “keep the crib bare” were two of the big ones.

    But now that they’re older, they can have a blanket and a lovie and can sleep on their stomach or side.

    Of course, there are new things to think about. For instance, your little one now has more freedom, so you have to anticipate that as much as you want them to stay tucked in, once the lights are out and the door is closed, they might decide to explore.

    This means childproofing their room is more important than ever. Here are some tips for helping your little one get a safe and comfy night’s sleep.

    Dress your toddler for the temperature.

    kid sleeping on toddler mattress

    As we mentioned earlier, it’s going to be hard for your child to sleep if they’re too hot or too cold. So before we get to childproofing, you want to first think about your little one and what they’re wearing to bed.

    Use your own comfort as a gauge when you choose your toddler’s bedtime attire. If the room is temperate, a light pair of cotton PJs will do.

    Add the toddler blanket, hold off on the pillow.

    Feel free to give your toddler a blanket, as it’s no longer a safety hazard, but hold off on the toddler pillow until about 18 months to two years old.

    Anchor dressers and bookshelves.

    To ensure your toddler’s room is safe, the first thing to look at is furniture, like the dresser and bookshelves. These tend to be the larger pieces of furniture that can be hazardous, especially if your little one is a climber.

    To avoid the potential of tipping, you’ll need to anchor your furniture to the wall in at least two places per item and ensure that the anchor is affixed to a stud.

    Cover electrical outlets.

    Next, you’ll want to protect against curious fingers. Look for unused outlets in the room and fill them with outlet covers.

    Keep medications and creams out of reach.

    The changing table probably has a range of diaper rash creams, ointments, and other medications to help with your child’s comfort and health. Make sure these are secured so your little one can’t access them.

    Check for dangling cords.

    You’ll also want to look around the room and ensure there aren’t dangling cords that could be reached, especially those with a loop.

    Window treatments often have such cords, and if the blinds or shades in the room do, then tack the cord up well out of reach or cut them shorter. You can also consider electric shades that operate via a switch.

    Use a childproof lock.

    If you’re worried your toddler is a nocturnal wanderer and want to ensure they stay in their room, you might consider a childproof lock for the door. You also might want to add a door alarm if they have Houdini-type tendencies.

    Set up a monitor.

    Another option to make sure your toddler is sleeping soundly and not burning the midnight oil with their toys is by setting up a baby monitor in their room (if there’s not one there already).

    This allows you to check in on them periodically for your peace of mind.

    Remove choking hazards.

    Lastly, you want to look around your toddler’s room with an eye toward choking hazards. Toddlers will mouth things until they’re about three years old, so any toy with small parts or other objects in the room that may pose a danger should be removed.

    First, check their bed to make sure that the blanket and stuffies don’t have any long cords or loose buttons that could pose a problem.

    Then, it’s a good idea to get down on your hands and knees and do a sweep of the room to ensure there’s nothing your little one can get in trouble with under the bed, in a closet, or behind a piece of furniture.

    Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

    kid sleeping with a teddy bear on toddler mattress

    Once your toddler’s room is set up for sound sleep, it’s time to think about sleep hygiene. Let’s take a look.

    Follow a consistent routine.

    One of the most important ways to ensure your toddler gets a good night’s sleep is to stick to their daily bedtime routine. This might include dimming the lights, reading a bedtime story, and playing soothing music.

    It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it consistently. The routine will signal to your toddler that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep.

    Give your toddler a bath.

    If your little one is having a hard time sleeping, add an evening bath before doing the bedtime routine. A warm bath or shower an hour or so before bed will lower your toddler's core temperature, which triggers their circadian rhythm and makes it easier to get their zzzs.

    Avoid sugar or caffeine before bed.

    This one’s pretty obvious, but you want to watch what your little one eats as bedtime approaches. Anything with caffeine or sugar (we’re looking at you, chocolate) is a no-no, as it will give them an unwanted burst of energy.

    Stop screen time an hour before bed.

    Trade the TV for a page-turner when bedtime is nearing. Blue light emitted by televisions, phones, and tablets is a known sleep disrupter because it tricks your body into thinking it’s day.

    Get out during the day.

    Speaking of daytime, did you know that what you do during the day with your toddler can affect their nighttime sleep? Be sure to get out in the sunlight and enjoy some outdoor activities. This will pay off in spades come bedtime.

    Say no to Fido.

    As much as your toddler loves the family pet, it’s better to draw the line at bunking with their bestie. This is because your dog could reposition during the night, waking your little one from slumber.

    Fido might also be an earlier riser and wake up before your toddler naturally would, depriving them of necessary shuteye.

    Instead, get your pooch their own high-quality bed, like the Newton Baby Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed.

    Our pet bed features the same Wovenaire ® technology as the toddler mattress as well as a removable and washable cover, meaning it’s both comfortable and convenient.

    Comfort for your child, peace of mind for you

    mom putting toddler to sleep

    Throughout this guide, we’ve shared what to consider before purchasing a toddler mattress, such as firmness, comfort, the materials used, breathability, and protection the mattress offers.

    Keeping these factors in mind will help you decide which mattress is right for your child.

    At Newton Baby, we take pride in only manufacturing high-quality toddler mattresses made with the safest materials. This ensures that your child can have a good night’s sleep every night without being exposed to harmful chemicals.

    While there’s so much that parents need to worry about when having a child, with our mattresses, you can worry a little less knowing your child is safe and cozy!

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