Twin Mattress For Kids: The Complete Buying Guide

Young girl sleeping on a twin mattress for kids

While on the hunt for the right twin mattress for kids, you may have some questions. For example, how firm should it be? Which materials are safe and which aren't? And does it need to be waterproof?

These are all important things to consider, but you don't have to find the answers all by yourself. In this article, we've compiled a detailed guide of everything you need to know about buying a twin mattress for your child.

From comfort to safety, we’ve got you covered.

Table of contents

Different kid mattress sizes

twin mattress for kids

Before we focus solely on twin mattresses, let’s first discuss the different bed sizes you may want to consider for your child’s room. Keep in mind the right mattress will fit your space and needs and also meet safety standards.

Toddler bed

A standard toddler mattress is 28” by 52”, making it big enough to fit your growing child.

For safety reasons, these beds typically lay close to the ground. And they may also have rails to reduce the chances of children rolling off while asleep.

There is no set age when kids are supposed to move from their crib to a toddler bed. However, most make this transition between 18 and 24 months, just before they begin climbing out of their cribs and hurting themselves.

Twin mattress

A standard twin mattress measures 38” by 75” and makes a great “starter” bed for your little one. It’s also big enough to fit children as they grow taller, so you don’t have to worry about buying a new bed as they get older.

In addition, if you have multiple children and limited space, these beds work perfectly for a shared bedroom. They’re a common size for bunk beds.

Twin xl mattress

Twin XL mattresses measure similarly to a standard twin mattress in terms of width, but they are five inches longer at 38” by 80”.

This extra length can be great for teens who need a few extra inches in legroom.

Also, most college dorms include a twin XL bed frame and mattress. So, if your child will be heading to college in a few years, getting this option can make it more affordable for them to swap out the dorm’s bed for their own if they want.

Buying bedding could be challenging. You’ll need to double-check the size to ensure it’s XL — otherwise, it will be too short.

Trundle twin mattress

If you’re looking for a mattress for a trundle bed, you’ll need to pay attention to the thickness. Typically, trundle mattresses need to be thinner than standard twins to fit in the trundle drawer.

Most trundle beds only accommodate mattresses up to 6 or 8 inches thick, while many standard twin mattresses are 10 inches or more.

Also, note that some trundle beds require custom-sized mattresses. You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for dimensions.

Full mattress

Full mattresses are also known as double beds and measure 54” by 75”. This size is a good mix between a twin and a queen-sized bed.

And while they’re suitable for growing teens who want more wiggle room, they’re also perfect for younger children to grow into as well.

Queen mattress

A queen mattress is 60” by 80” and works well for older children who have more space in their bedroom.

However, queens tend to be more costly than an average twin mattress, so you’ll need to have a bigger budget if you want to go with this option.

Now that we’ve discussed the different mattress sizes you can get for your child’s room, let’s talk about what makes twin beds special.

Why do parents love twin mattresses for kids? 

Two twin beds in kids room

As mentioned above, twin beds are typically 38” by 75”. This makes them big enough to fit most kids and growing teens. Many adults also find a twin mattress to be comfortable enough for them to sleep on. It’s very versatile.

And when it comes to working within your budget, choosing a twin bed can be cost-effective, as it’s often more affordable, and a quality one can last your child for years.

Twin mattresses are also great transitional options from a toddler bed. If your toddler is quickly outgrowing their bed, this option will be big enough for them but not too overwhelming in size.

Lastly, a twin mattress works great for parents who have spatial concerns. For example, if your child’s bedroom is small or they will be sharing a room with a sibling, a standard twin bed can fit comfortably in the corner while also leaving enough room for other bedroom furniture.

When to transition your child to a twin bed

Now that you know more about twin beds and why they’re so popular, let’s discuss when to move your child into a bigger bed.

While there’s not a “right” age to make the move, here are some readiness signs to watch for:

  • Getting too tall for the crib
  • Starting to potty train and need to be able to get to the bathroom on their own
  • Climbing out of the crib
  • Indicating they want a “big kid” bed through actions or words

It could also be time to make the switch if you have another baby on the way and need the crib for the new arrival.

Regardless of when you make the switch, you’ll have one of two main options to consider: a traditional twin bed or a toddler bed. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each to help you decide which route is best for your child.

Twin bed from crib

siblings on a twin mattress

Pros

  • Saves money by not having to purchase an additional bed (toddler bed)
  • A quality mattress can last your child a long time
  • May be room for you to lie down next to your little one to help them through the transition period
  • Gives children more room to grow and move around while sleeping
  • Can be placed directly on the ground as a floor bed

Cons

  • Could feel too big for some toddlers, causing them to be uneasy or anxious
  • May require additional safety measures, such as bed rails, to prevent falls

Toddler bed from crib

Pros

  • Smaller size can help your child feel safe during the transition
  • Often cribs convert to a toddler bed, giving them a sense of comfort and familiarity
  • Some toddler beds are also convertible and can be turned into a twin bed in the future

Cons

  • Requires additional purchase of a toddler bed and then a twin bed
  • May limit movement for larger children
  • Will mean a second transition period when you move them to a twin bed later

Safe sleep in a twin bed

toddler sleeping on a twin mattress for kids

By the time they’re ready for a twin bed, your child has likely outgrown the safe sleep guidelines recommended for infants and toddlers. But that doesn’t mean safety isn’t important anymore.

Use these tips to help ensure a safe night of sleep, regardless of your child’s age:

  • Consider installing a safety rail if your child rolls a lot in their sleep.
  • Keep the area around the bed clear of any potential hazards or obstructions. This includes cords, toys, and other objects that could cause tripping or strangulation.
  • Use the right size bedding. Make sure the sheets and blankets fit snugly on the bed and don’t leave excess fabric that could entangle your little one.
  • Keep the mattress in good condition. Regularly check for tears or damage and fix or replace if necessary.
  • If you’re using bunk beds, don’t let a child sleep on the top until they’re between 6 and 8 years old.
  • Talk to your child about safe sleep habits. Teach them to never jump on their bed or play rough, as these activities could lead to injuries.

What to look for in a twin mattress for kids

Whether you’re buying a twin mattress for a toddler or a teenager, you’ll want to consider these key factors.

1) Mattress type

twin mattress for kids

The type of mattress you choose can significantly impact how it feels, its durability, and other essential factors.

The most common mattress types are hybrid, latex, innerspring, and foam, and each has its own unique characteristics.

Hybrids mix coils and a layer of comfort materials (latex, cotton, wool, or foam). Their cost varies depending on the type of materials used and how thick the comfort layer is.

As long as they are labeled as 100% natural, latex mattresses use eco-friendly materials, but you have to be extremely cautious and do your research with this option.

While they can be good for children with sensitive skin, you’ll always want to know how this type of mattress is manufactured to ensure no synthetic blends or toxic chemicals are added. We believe in leaving the latex out, so the materials in our mattresses are 100% safe.

Innersprings are usually firmer because they’re made of coils that support the bed. However, they don’t have a thick comfort layer compared to hybrids.

So, although this option may be reasonably priced, your child may not find it comfy. And if they bounce a lot, the springs can poke through.

Lastly, as the name suggests, a foam mattress is made of layers of different types of foam. They also often have a contouring feel. However, while they may feel good to sleep on, the challenge is that most are made from potentially toxic materials.

2) Materials used

This point on our list connects to the previous one. However, we thought it deserved its own spot because, besides the four popular mattress types mentioned above, there are plenty of other materials that can be included in mattress construction.

Some can be great, while other materials can be harmful to your little one. Toxic chemicals within a mattress can negatively impact your child’s health. Because of this, you’ll want to look for a hypoallergenic mattress made from organic fabrics and none of the icky toxins.

At Newton Baby, our Crib Mattress’s Wovenaire Core is made of 90% air to provide just the right amount of firmness for babies and toddlers. And it’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it exceeds the highest industry emissions safety standards.

Our twin mattress for kids is made from the same patented technology. It’s breathable, which can help prevent overheating.

No matter the type of mattress you choose, the materials used to make it can also affect its overall performance and longevity.

3) Price

While mattress types and the materials used are important, sometimes, the price of the bed is the deciding factor for many families.

When looking at the cost, consider the other factors mentioned on this list, too. Remember, you want a quality bed to support your child’s proper growth and development, and this might mean paying a little extra.

While prices may vary, the great news is that twin beds are generally affordable compared to bigger bed sizes. And since it’ll probably last for years, you’re investing in your child’s health and well-being.

To save money, look for companies that offer free shipping and a solid warranty (such as Newton Baby).

4) Firmness

Mom laying with kid on Newton mattress

The firmness of a mattress will influence how much support and body contouring it offers your child. Firmer mattresses usually give users more support, while softer ones allow sleepers to sink in more.

So, which one is better? There is no “ideal” mattress firmness for older children because everyone’s body and preferences are different. In fact, a person’s weight can influence the firmness level that they prefer.

However, it’s important to note that the level of firmness is extremely important for infants because they need the right support for proper development. They can also suffocate if they sink too deep into a soft mattress.

Regardless of preference, it’s essential to ensure that the mattress you choose can give your child the comfort and restful sleep they need every night.

5) Temperature regulation

Unfortunately, many mattresses on the market tend to trap heat. If your little one is prone to sweating or overheating while they sleep, this isn’t great news.

Ideally, you want a mattress that allows for airflow and better temperature regulation, as this will reduce sweating and offer your child the safe, restful sleep they deserve.

Here at Newton Baby, we pride ourselves on providing parents with completely breathable mattresses and mattress pads.

Our Crib Mattress and twin mattress pads are made with innovative technology that prevents overheating, bacteria and dust mites, and reduces suffocation risks.

All of our products are also independently tested and certified to meet GREENGUARD Gold standards for the lowest chemical emissions, which means they promote healthier indoor air quality.

Ideally, you want a mattress that allows for airflow and better temperature regulation, as this will reduce sweating and offer your child the safe, restful sleep they deserve.

Here at Newton Baby, we pride ourselves on providing parents with completely breathable mattresses and mattress pads.

Our Crib Mattress and twin mattress pads are made with innovative technology that prevents overheating, bacteria and dust mites, and reduces suffocation risks.

All of our products are also independently tested and certified to meet GREENGUARD Gold standards for the lowest chemical emissions, which means they promote healthier indoor air quality.

6) Waterproof

We don't have to say much to convince you that a waterproof mattress is important. You know how easily accidents can happen, and it would be a shame to ruin a quality mattress because of bedwetting or spills.

If you decide to purchase a bed that isn't waterproof, don't stress. You can still buy a waterproof pad for the mattress, like the one mentioned above. This will ensure that the bed stays protected throughout every sleep.

7) Durability

If you’re going to be spending your hard-earned money, you need a bed that will last.

Your best option to combat daily wear and tear is to choose a durable bed by a reputable bed manufacturer. And as you do your research, pay close attention to the materials used to ensure the frames and mattresses are high-quality and safe for your child.

8) Testability

Family testing out twin mattresses for kids

Have you ever brought a mattress home only to discover it was uncomfortable? It’s not fun, and the experience can make you feel like you’ve wasted money. To prevent this, pick a mattress you can test.

Newton Baby offers a 100-night trial, which gives you plenty of time to decide if the mattress is right for your child. Other companies may also provide a trial period, but you’ll want to read the fine print to see if any restrictions or fees are associated with it.

What to look for when testing a mattress

Whether buying a twin mattress in person at a store or trying one out during a trial period, there are a few crucial things to look for when testing.

  • Support in your child’s favorite sleep position. Have your child climb into bed and try out different positions. Is the bed comfortable and supportive in their preferred position?
  • Edge support. Ask your child to sit on the edge of the bed and pretend to put on a pair of socks. Do they feel secure and comfortable? Or do they feel like they’re sliding off or sinking in?
  • Heat trapping. Have your child lay flat on the mattress for several minutes. Then, have them get up. Wait a few minutes and then touch the bed. Does the mattress still feel warm where they were lying? If so, it could indicate that this mattress isn’t breathable.

9) Cleanability

Kids can be messy, but you don’t want their mattress to be. Look for a mattress that is easy to clean in case of any accidents or spills.

The Newton Kids’ Twin Mattress is a great choice. Its removable cover and 3-piece core are completely washable. The cover can go in the washing machine, and you can rinse the core out in the shower.

Being able to wash your child’s mattress can help keep their room sanitary. This is especially important if they have allergies, asthma, or eczema.

10) Assembly

Some twin mattresses for kids come in one piece, ready to go on your child’s bed as soon as you get home. Others require a bit of assembly. For example, the Newton Kids’ Twin Mattress comes with a separate cover and 3-piece core.

You’ll need to put the parts together before it’s ready for use. The hardest part is lining up all three core segments so there are no bumps or spaces. While it might be tricky at first, it’ll get easier with practice.

Here’s a quick video tutorial:

 

How to help your child transition to a twin bed

After you select a twin mattress and set it up, your child may be hesitant to sleep in it.

If they're struggling with the transition, these tips can help:

  • Involve them in the process. Let your child help pick out their new twin sheets and bedding. This will help them feel excited and take ownership of the new bed.
  • Make it a special event. On the night they make the switch, have a “big kid” celebration. It could involve a special storytime, decorating the room for a party, or listening to some favorite songs while preparing for bed. If they’re old enough, let them help plan.
  • Use familiar items. Include a favorite stuffed animal or an old, familiar pillow to help create a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Keep consistent with your bedtime routine. Change is hard, so don’t try to change everything all at once. If you already have a bedtime routine in place, stick to it so your little one knows what to expect.
  • Make sure they can get into and out of bed safely. Have your child demonstrate their ability to climb into and out of the bed. If they can’t do it independently, you may need to move it to the floor. You can always put it back up on a frame when they’re a little bigger.
  • If you’re switching to free up the crib for a new baby, do it several months before your due date. You don’t want your little one to blame their sibling for the change.
  • Be patient and understanding. It may take a couple of days for your child to adjust to their new bed. Be patient with them and offer reassurance if they feel anxious or scared.

Before you know it, your little one will be sleeping soundly in their new twin bed. And that’s exciting!

Help your child get a good night’s sleep! 

Two happy kids laying on twin mattress for kids

There’s plenty to consider when buying a twin mattress for kids. Some of the most important things to remember are that it needs to be made from safe materials, affordable, waterproof, and durable.

Children need proper temperature regulation throughout the night, so having a mattress pad like our Waterproof Organic Twin Mattress Pad that allows airflow is also necessary.

At Newton, our Crib Mattress, Kids’ Twin Mattress, and twin mattress pads are made from high-quality, nontoxic materials for peace of mind and no chemical exposure for your little one.

By knowing what goes into your child’s mattress and the size that’s just right for them and their room, you can both have sweet dreams!

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