We review and compare the Juniper 6″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress vs. the EcoAir Waterproof Baby Crib Mattress. Use our kids’ mattress buying guide (following our mattress comparison review) to help you with your shopping process.
How to choose a mattress for a baby/toddler/kid
Buying a mattress for kids requires different considerations than selecting an adult’s bed.
A child could easily double in body weight and height by the time she/he reaches their teenage years, outgrowing their mattress in the process. As a result, many parents find that less expensive beds are the best solution.
Mattress pressure relief and support are also key factors for kids, particularly those that suffer growing pains during early adolescence. Other important factors to consider are bed thickness, temperature neutrality, material composition, your child’s most common sleep position(s), and the safety provided by cribs for babies and toddlers.
Adequate sleep of your child impacts school performance, memory, and immune system responsiveness. When shopping for the best mattress for your baby, toddler, or kid, consider the mattress type and level of firmness together with the quality of materials. Ideally, you’ll want to shop for a new mattress that your kid can grow with for many years.
Choose the correct size mattress
Selecting which size mattress to purchase will depend on your child’s age, size, and for how long you plan on having your kid use the new mattress.
Baby and crib beds
Crib mattresses have normally a size of 28″ x 52″, so you’ll want to have these dimensions of your crib handy when you shop for a new mattress for your baby.
If you’re shopping for a mattress for a child, a twin mattress is the most common mattress size (38″ x 75″), but some parents may purchase a full mattress size (54″ x 75″) that the child will be comfortable with even into their teen years. Twin XL mattress sizes are also available and will provide extra length (38″ x 80″).
Set a budget
A twin innerspring mattress will cost between $300 and $500, while a memory foam one may cost a bit more.
Your money will be best spent by purchasing a quality mattress that your kid can grow with. A good mattress can last more than 10 years, meaning that if you shop for the right bed for a toddler, it may last them into their teen years. Paying more money upfront for high quality may actually save you the headache of having to buy a new, cheaper mattress every few years.
Choose the type of mattress
You’ll have 4 major options: innerspring, hybrid, memory foam, and latex. Each of these types of mattresses comes with advantages and drawbacks, so you’ll want to understand the differences before you make the decision. Searching for a mattress that focuses on the integrity of its construction and materials will save you money in the long term.
- Innerspring mattresses. Spring mattresses have on average a longer lifespan than the other types and may be harder for a child to damage. They tend to be firmer, and supportive for most sleeping styles.
- Hybrid mattresses. A hybrid mattress can be a good choice for a parent looking for the sturdy support of an innerspring mattress with the cushier feel of memory foam or latex.
- Memory foam mattresses. A toddler may enjoy the adaptive nature of memory foam, especially if they’re a side sleeper. Be aware that these mattresses are known for off-gassing, which can cause a strong smell for the first several weeks of use, and can be disruptive to sleep (but not harmful). A room with airflow and good ventilation will help the smell dissipate quicker.
- Organic latex mattresses. These mattresses are hypoallergenic, chemical-free, flame resistant, and/or biodegradable. Organic latex crib beds are highly recommended as they’re safer for babies (although they’re more expensive).
Make sure the mattress is durable
Everybody knows that spilling nighttime snacks and jumping on their bed is a common hobby for kids. Most mattresses for children will last about 10 years, but the total lifespan of your mattress will depend on the quality of its materials.
Look for high-quality thick memory foam or pocketed steel coils, or consider opting for a latex mattress, or a mattress with at least one latex layer, which will help the mattress to last a few years longer. Rotating and flipping the mattress every year will also help to ensure it wears evenly. Shopping for a mattress protector (especially if bedwetting is a concern), will go far in extending the life span of your kid’s new mattress.
Determine the right firmness level for the mattress
A firm mattress is recommended for children under 2 years old, for proper development and safety. A mattress that’s too soft can cause your child to sink deeper into it, which might put them at risk for suffocation and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
What to look for in a crib bed
New parents looking for a cribbed need to think about both comfort and safety when they’re making their final selection. You’ll want to buy your crib before you buy your mattress, and then you’ll know exactly which size you need. It must be a mattress that’s made specifically for infants. The best crib mattress should be firm and fit snugly against the crib.
Your baby will need sufficient ventilation in the mattress, so make sure you know what materials are used in the mattress. Organic latex crib mattresses are an outstanding option because the natural fibers and materials are healthier for newborns. These beds may be a little more expensive, but you’ll have the peace of mind that your baby isn’t exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins that are sometimes used to manufacture mattresses. Select a new mattress that meets all the latest safety standards and has been independently certified to be safe for babies and toddlers.