Our recommendation for the most health-conscious, eco-friendly parent.
Every parent should be concerned about their child’s sleep. As we’re all becoming increasingly aware, it’s one of the biggest factors affecting health! Finding a supportive, comfortable mattress is absolutely crucial to giving your child a healthy upbringing.
One of the best things about the online marketplace is the range of sleep options that have become available for low prices! On the flip side, there are a lot of sketchy mattresses out there. Many are downright unsafe, not to mention uncomfortable!
Our team has put together this buying guide to help you out! Below, you’ll find reviews of the most comfortable, safe, and long-lasting twin mattresses you can buy. Read on to find out why our picks are better than the competition, and to find out which is best for your child!
MODEL NAME COST DEPTH MATERIAL
LinenSpa budget-range "8" hybrid
Tuft & Needle mid-range "10" memory foam
Pure Green expensive "9" latex
The Absolute Best Twin Mattresses For Kids (2018): Our Comprehensive Reviews!
LinenSpa 8” Memory Foam & Innerspring Hybrid Mattress
One of the best things about the LinenSpa is the hybrid construction It combines the value factor of steel coils with the comfort factor of memory foam! Looking at it horizontally, it’s constructed with 1.5” layer of memory foam over a coil base. It’s much cheaper than any decent all-foam mattress!
It sleeps relatively comfortably, although it can’t compete with pricier sleep surfaces. There’s just enough foam to give you the cradling sensation of a foam sleep surface. The springs are nice and bouncy, and should be supportive enough for any toddler through preteen child.
While we wouldn’t recommend this for teens or adults, it’s perfectly suitable for younger sleepers. There’s enough support for any smaller child and most preteens. The foam also makes it a lot comfier than the average child’s sprung bed! As far as we’re concerned, the LinenSpa is inexpensive as you can go without getting into the crappy range.
Unlike a lot of other options at this price, it’s not made with sketchy, unlabeled materials. The LinenSpa is made with CertiPur US-certified foam. That’s an independent certification which guarantees low chemical emissions.
It also indicates mattresses free of ozone-depleters, harmful flame retardants, formaldehyde and phthalates (among other things). While it’s imported, it’s certified along the same guidelines as any US-made bedding. You can rest assured that your kids aren’t breathing in the kinds of toxic chemicals that are common in cheap, imported mattresses.
As with most mattresses sold online in this day and age, the LinenSpa ships roll-packed. That makes it much more convenient than other spring options, like you’d find in the store, which ship fully-expanded. You just unseal the package at home and let it roll/expand to its normal dimensions.
It’s a good investment. This one’s covered by a 10-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about whether it’ll last as long as your child needs it. That’s guaranteed!
It’s not as comfortable as our other picks. For one thing, the springs are less supportive than the sturdy foams and latexes which are used in the core of pricier sleep surfaces. That’s one reason we wouldn’t recommend this for heftier kids or for teens. The thin layer of memory foam doesn’t allow as much cradling sensation as the Tuft & Needle, either. It’s comfy enough for young kids, but you can certainly do better if you spend more.
Spring mattresses don’t last as long as foam or latex options, in our experience. Not only will kids eventually outgrow the supportiveness of a LinenSpa in their teens, but any sprung surface will wear out within a few years of use. That’s one reason to spend more, if you’re able. The Tuft & Needle or Pure Green would both last longer and be able to remain comfortable as your kids grow up.
These don’t always expand perfectly symmetrically. That’s one downside we’ve found with roll-packed spring options, as well as some foam models. Most folks don’t report any issues, but it’s not unheard of to get a wonky one.
Overall, this is a very decent budget bed for a child. However, as we’ve noted, it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market, nor the longest-lasting. If you can spend more, it’s probably a good idea to do so.
Tuft & Needle
It’s very comfortable. This is the furthest thing from those horrible sprung beds a lot of us had when we were growing up! The Tuft & Needle is currently one of the highest-rated mattress on the market, for adults as well as kids. That’s down to the company’s innovative design, which uses custom-made foams to offer support, cushion, and pressure-relief.
There are two layers to it, as with most foam mattresses. The top layer is similar to memory foam (they call it “adaptive”), while the bottom is a dense structural foam. Gel and graphite in the comfort layer take away many of the downsides of traditional memory foams.
We think the overall effect is fantastic. The top layer gives you that cradling sensation, but it doesn’t sink as much as ordinary memory foam. It doesn’t feel like you’re drowning, and won’t make kids sweat all night. The bottom layer has plenty of support to keep growing backs and spines healthy, too!
It’s appropriate for any kids from toddlers to teens. While the spring portion of the LinenSpa isn’t really supportive enough for bigger kids, the support foam at the base of the Tuft & Needle makes it suitable for anyone. It also makes this one a better long-term buy, since it can remain supportive as kids grow.
It’s well-made, right here in the USA. Tuft & Needle has a much better reputation for quality control and durability than other companies, which is one reason Consumer Reports testers rated them so highly! This is something you can expect to last your child for as long as they live at home.
It’s safe. Unlike a lot of cheaper foam mattresses, which are covered in toxic flame retardants, the Tuft & Needle uses a chemical-free fire barrier. Inside, there’s CertiPur US-certified foam, bonded with GreenGuard-certified adhesives and covered by OekoTex-certifed fabrics. All in all, as healthy as foam mattresses get!
You can use it in any configuration. In our experience, kids love to play around with different bed arrangements, whether it’s a normal boxspring, a slatted base with storage for toys underneath, or even sleeping on the floor.
A lot of mattresses require you to use certain types of bases and supports, but the Tuft & Needle will be comfortable for your child even if you just put it on the floor.
While we don’t have any affiliation with the brand, we think Tuft & Needle is a great company to do business with. They have the highest rate of customer satisfaction on the market, according to Consumer Reports, and they offer a 100-day comfort guarantee! If your child really doesn’t like it, you’ll be able to get your money back.
You also don’t have to worry about what to do if you get a funky one that doesn’t expand properly. They’re prompt and courteous about making things right.
While Tuft & Needle go to great lengths to tout their GreenGuard and OekoTex-certified materials, the fact remains that many parents are still concerned about memory foam off-gassing.
The CertiPur US certification guarantees low levels of VOC off-gassing and that’s enough peace of mind for most people. On the other hand, if your child is very sensitive to chemicals or if you’re very concerned about chemicals in your home, you might consider spending more for the natural latex Pure Green.
Even a high-quality memory foam option like this is less resilient to long-term use than a latex model. Indentations will eventually form on any foam mattress, especially for heavier sleepers. That’s covered by Tuft & Needle’s warranty, though, and they’ve got a good reputation for durability. Latex does tend to last longer, though, so if you’re buying for a young child and hoping to last them through their teens, the Pure Green is the best investment here.
Compared to some other memory foam sleep surfaces we’ve reviewed, Tuft & Needle’s design is on the firmer side. We think it’s healthier for kids than the deeper, cushier memory foams, which don’t support spinal alignment at night. Still, you’ll have to judge what’s best for your child.
This is what we’d consider a midrange mattress, and we think it’s a bargain for the price. However, it’s certainly not in the budget range.
Sleep On Latex Pure Green
It’s as non-toxic as you can get without going old-school and buying a wool-stuffed bed (and we don’t suggest doing that, they’re not comfy!). No polyurethane foam or flame retardants whatsoever are used in the Pure Green.
There isn’t a lot of research on the health effects of polyurethane foam off-gassing, and CertiPur US-certified mattresses are tested to have relatively low emissions, but all polyurethane foams off-gas to some extent. That means they release chemicals (VOC’s) into the air. Some folks are beginning to have concerns about what effect that could have on sleeper’s health.
We should stress that most kids and adults don’t have any issues whatsoever, and point out that PU foam is in practically all furniture these days. However, some more health-conscious parents prefer to stay away from polyurethane foam products because of the VOC off-gassing they produce. Kids can also be more sensitive to those chemical odors and exposures. The Pure Green is a neat way to avoid all that and be completely worry-free.
This is all-natural latex foam, without any of the chemical-based materials that are used in other mattresses these days. It’s the healthiest thing you can buy for your kids’ sleep.
What’s particularly impressive is that the latex foam itself is tested by Eco Institut and OekoTex-certified! Most manufacturers have their fabric coverings tested by those bodies, but not the foam itself. That’s why all those “organic cotton”-touting memory foam products aren’t nearly as healthy as they look! The coverings might all be non-toxic, but the foam underneath could be the complete opposite. The Pure Green meets the most stringent emissions testing levels from OekoTex!
Aside from the natural latex foam, everything else in the Pure Green is as eco-friendly and non-toxic as you’d want. It’s got GreenGuard-certified adhesives and OekoTex-certified fabrics. A thick layer of wool wadding provides fire resistance without chemical flame retardants.
Thick wool on top also helps manage heat well. Other foam-type mattresses usually have a comfort layer of PU or latex right up to the top of the bed, which can trap heat. Wool might sound sweaty, but it’s actually very breathable! Your kids shouldn’t have any trouble with night sweats on this.
We think it’s on par with the Tuft & Needle, comfort-wise. Dual-density latex (this is the medium-firm model we’re recommending) gives you a slightly softer, more adaptive surface than traditional latex. It’s very supportive, but there’s still enough cradling to help side sleepers and keep pressure points from building up.
There are firmer and softer options available, which makes it easy to choose the model that’ll be comfiest for your child!
Like the Tuft & Needle, the Pure Green is made in the USA. Quality control is outstanding, and so is customer service!
It’ll last a very long time, since it’s all-latex. Latex lasts a lot longer than memory foams or springs and doesn’t have the same issues with soft spots and sags.
It’s covered by a convenient 100-day comfort guarantee!
Like any latex mattress, the Pure Green is expensive–even when you’re buying it in a twin! For the price of this, you could get a king-sized Tuft & Needle. Some parents simply aren’t going to want to spend this much for a kid’s bed. Others won’t be able to.
There are two reasons why you might want to spend this much:
First, you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you get with a completely non-toxic mattress. If you’re very concerned about chemical exposures from foams (even those certified to have minimal emissions), or have super-sensitive kids, it’s a no-brainer. Latex is as safe as you can get.
Even if that’s not your primary concern, you can also plan on this lasting longer than any traditional foam model, even the Tuft & Needle. Not only is it healthier for your child but it’s a better investment.
Latex mattresses are firmer than foam or spring models. They’re nice and springy, but make sure your child isn’t expecting something plush like memory foam. If you’re looking for something that feels more like a memory foam mattress, get this in the “soft” version!
It’s heavier than a foam or spring mattress. That’s just a fact of life with latex! The upside is that you won’t need to flip or rotate it, since it’s so resilient.
Latex has a distinct smell. It’s not toxic, but it still will take a bit of time to dissipate.
Which of the mattresses in this guide should you buy for your child?
The LinenSpa is the obvious choice if you’re on a tight budget. We think it’s the least you can spend for something that’s actually comfortable, supportive, and safe for kids. Having said that, it’s not as comfy as the Tuft & Needle or the Pure Green. Since it uses a spring base, it probably won’t last as long either. Buy it for younger kids if you need to be frugal, but plan to upgrade when they hit their teens!
The Tuft & Needle is our top recommendation to the average parent. It offers all the comfort of a great memory foam mattress without most of the traditional drawbacks. It also strikes a nice midrange price, considering the quality level. It’s suitable for toddlers and up to teens. Still, even a high-quality foam mattress like this won’t last as long as the all-latex Pure Green. It also doesn’t have the Pure Green’s appeal to the most health-conscious parents.
The Pure Green is worth every dollar, as long as you can afford it. Not only does its all-latex, non-toxic build make it the safest thing on the market for your toddler or teen, but it’s likely to last significantly longer than memory foam or spring mattresses like our other picks. However, if you already have memory foam mattresses in your home, you’re probably not going to feel the need to spend so much more to avoid the material.
Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Twin Mattress For A Child
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re shopping for your child’s new bedding!
Just like when you shop for your own mattresses, you should think about what kind of firmness level your child prefers.
If they’re very young, they probably don’t have a strong preference. In that case, it’s best to err on the firm side–especially if they sleep on their back. Firmer mattresses offer the best support to the spine.
If they sleep on their side, you’d be better off with a medium-firm or medium mattress that will relieve pressure points around the hips and shoulders. When kids sleep on their sides on firm mattresses, that can actually cause misalignment in the spine during the night (that’s true for adults as well!). So, be sure to choose a medium-firm or even medium-soft option.
When you shop for a child’s twin mattress, you’ve got the same basic choices as you’d have shopping for a full-size bed. There are twin beds with spring, memory foam, and latex for support.
Spring mattresses are the cheapest way to go. We suggest them for parents who can’t afford to plunk down a lot of cash for a child’s bed. They’re also what most people have grown up with. You can expect a basic level of support and pressure relief from them. They’re a bit noisy and nowhere near as comfy as memory foam/latex models, but a good spring model can stay comfy for a few years with no problem. Just don’t buy them for older, heavier kids! They’re not supportive enough.
Some health-conscious parents have asked us why we don’t suggest more spring models, since they’re concerned about memory foam off-gassing. Actually, nearly every spring mattress on the market is filled with polyurethane foam anyway. It’s used to mask noise. So, there’s no difference in terms of VOC exposure between spring models and memory foam models!
Memory foam mattresses are the most popular choice for adults these days, and they can also be great for kids. Memory foam is adaptive, and cradles the body much more comfortably than spring mattresses. It’s excellent at pressure relief. You’ll also find that it can keep kids’ spines in alignment better than spring options. Best of all, a high-quality memory foam sleep surface will stay resilient for longer than a spring mattress.
Be prepared to spend a fair amount of money for a memory foam mattress, though, even in a twin size!
As we’ve mentioned already, some parents and health experts are concerned about memory foam (and other polyurethane foam) exposures in the home. These foams (and things like paint, varnish, etc) off-gas chemicals gradually as they age, which are called VOCs (volatile organic compounds). According to Mother Jones, a typical memory foam mattress emits 61 different chemicals!
Aside from being quite stinky, most people don’t notice or have any reaction to this VOC off-gassing. There may or may not be unknown health effects, since it’s impossible to study them long-term. However, on their own, none of them are particularly great to breathe in.
That’s why we only recommend CertiPur US-certified foam models. They’re tested to guarantee very low levels of off-gassing. If you buy a non-certified mattress, you’ll have no idea what’s in it, and potentially be exposing a child to toxic levels of chemicals. Stick with reputable, certified brands!
Most people have no reaction to a high-quality memory foam sleep surface, other than disliking the initial smell. On the other hand some people have reported respiratory symptoms, headaches, or other reactions to the off-gassing of a new memory foam mattress.
This is going to be a personal call for you, since the science is mixed. If you already use memory foam elsewhere in the house, you’re probably completely comfortable with it in your child’s room. Unless they’re particularly sensitive to chemical odors, you shouldn’t feel bad buying a memory foam mattress. Just let it air out properly before they use it.
If you’re a particularly health-conscious parent who’s trying to avoid all chemical exposures at home, you probably want to avoid spring or memory foam mattresses. You can avoid the whole issue of VOCs and polyurethane emissions by choosing a latex sleep surface.
While traditional latex models weren’t as comfy as memory foams, newer latex foam materials keep the springy quality of their natural materials while adding some of the adaptiveness of memory foam! As far as we’re concerned, the latex models we recommend are as comfortable as the best memory foam options.
Latex mattresses have the best longevity of any mattress type. That’s why we think they’re the smartest long-term investment for parents who can afford them! You can safely assume that a good latex mattress will last your child from their toddler years through to high school.
The biggest difference between latex and other materials is its resilience. It doesn’t sag or develop soft spots in the way that springs and memory foam do, at least not for many, many years. It’s very important for kids to maintain optimal spinal alignment at night, and latex is a perfect way to ensure that they get enough support for their spine throughout their development.
They also have the best non-toxic credentials. Natural latex mattresses don’t off-gas VOC’s in the way that polyurethane foams do. They’ll smell of latex for a few days, but there’s nothing toxic in a natural latex mattress certified by GreenGuard and OekoTex. They’re the safest option on the market these days!
The downside of going for natural latex is that these mattresses are quite pricey. You can expect to pay about twice as much for one of these as you would for a memory foam or hybrid spring model.
While some parents aren’t going to feel the need to spend so much, it’s worth remembering that you’ll likely get a lot longer lifespan out of your child’s bed if you invest in latex. And if you’re at all concerned about VOC off-gassing, you can’t put a price on peace of mind!
You can pay anywhere from $50-$1000 for twin mattresses. We don’t recommend anything under $100, as a general rule. Anything that cheap is getting into sketchy territory and isn’t likely to be safe for your child. Likewise, we don’t think there’s any point spending more than $750. For that price, you can get a high-end latex sleep surface as comfortable as any full-size/adult bed.
Think about how much you can afford to spend. Remember that a mattress is a long-term investment, so it’s worth spending more up front to avoid having to replace a bed in just a few years! A high-quality mattress should last through childhood and remain supportive. Many budget models won’t, though.
We’ve already dug into safety in our comparison of mattress materials. There are a few more things to keep in mind, though! Whereas memory foam off-gassing is something most people aren’t concerned about and where the research isn’t conclusive, there’s plenty of research to be aware of on other fronts!
First, spinal support is something that’s absolutely essential for a child to be healthy. A lot of cheap twin beds provide little or no support, so kids’ spines can get bent out of whack and lead to chronic issues. Investing in something with proper support is a safety concern!
Flame retardants are also one place where the research is crystal clear. The vast majority of chemical flame retardants are highly toxic, and you want to steer clear of them! Flame resistance is required by law, but look for safer alternatives. CertiPur US is a certification which indicates an absence of a lot of the worst ones. Ideally, you should choose something with a chemical-free flame barrier. Wool is a popular material in the non-toxic mattress category, but many memory foam options are now using a silica fabric layer to do the same thing.
Uncertified materials are the other big thing to be aware of. A lot of mattresses sold online come from sketchy importers who don’t list their materials or disclose all the chemicals used to make their products. They can be full of toxins and produce harmful fumes. We only recommend models which meet or exceed US safety standards and disclose all materials.
Here are some common certifications you can look for:
Ready to buy your child’s new bed? Great! Follow the links in our reviews to get our recommendations from authorized dealers. That’s the best way to make sure you’ll get the convenience of their comfort guarantee periods.
If you’re still shopping, or simply want to see what other options are out there, no worries! Click here to see the best-selling twin mattresses on Amazon.
For more expert reviews, recommendations, and more from the WifeKnows team, head over to our homepage!
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