The best mattress for toddlers 2020: For cot beds and singles

For safety, support, and the soundest of sleeps, look no further than our list of the best toddler mattresses

best mattress for toddlers: Eve The Cot Mattress
(Image credit: Eve)

To understand the importance of getting a full forty winks, just try living with a toddler. If they don't sleep, you'll soon know about it – most likely because you won't be sleeping either – which makes bedtime pretty serious business. Our top tip for outsmarting sleepless nights? It's all to do with finding the best mattress for toddlers, and in our round-up, that means one that's comfortable and cooling as well as supportive and safe.

We'll kick things off with some important buying advice, followed by our ranking of the best mattress for toddlers right now. If you're looking for not-so-little-ones, head to our list of the best kids' mattresses, or alternatively the best mattress overall. 

What's the best mattress for toddlers?

Right now, we have two mattresses vying for the crown of best mattress for toddlers: the hybrid Baby Mattress by Eve and the foam Emma Cot mattress. The Eve pips the Emma to the top spot thanks to its antibacterial-treated cover, which you can wash at a higher temperature, but there's not much to separate the two really (it might come down to whether you want that spring layer, or prefer a firmer memory foam).

These two mattresses top our list because they both tick a lot of boxes, but if your boxes are slightly different, you're still sure to find a does-all option in our list. Our picks have all been highly rated by real parents and diligent testers for their support and comfort, and many include common non-negotiables like great waterproofing, natural materials, and hypoallergenic treatments.

Buying a toddler mattress: what you need to know

One of the most surprising things to note when buying a toddler mattress is just how much support and alignment those growing bones need. That means a proper, firm base to sleep on, which any toddler mattress worth its salt will provide.

Once children reach toddlerhood, or 1 to 3 years of age, they're no longer considered at risk of SIDS, and so safe sleep guidelines aren't quite as rigid. However, if you're looking at one of our cot mattress options with a younger baby in mind, be sure to check out The Lullaby Trust, the NHS, or another trusted source for guidance before you buy.

In terms of materials, you're most likely to find foam, springs, and combinations of the two. Both have their benefits, but if you're undecided, a hybrid option is a great choice. That said, there's a surprising variety of mattress materials out there, with nursery-grade foam, felt, springs, wool, and even coconut fibres popping up in our list alone.

best mattress for toddlers: Eve The Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Eve)

1. Eve The Cot Mattress

The best hybrid cot mattress (and an award-winner)

Specifications
Best for: A risk-free buy
Type: Hybrid
Waterproofing: Yes
Size: L120 x W60cm, L140 x W70cm
Reasons to buy
+30-night trial+Stay-cool cover+Natural antibacterial coating
Reasons to avoid
-Waterproof layer can crease

In at #1 in our best toddler mattress guide is the Eve Cot mattress (confusingly, also sometimes called the Baby mattress). This Junior Design Award-winning mattress shares some charms with its grown-up equivalent, most notably a generous 30-night trial, giving you the option to test your little one on it before committing. Like the adult Eve mattress, it has a hybrid construction, in this case a combination of pocket springs and nursery-grade foam; unlike it, The Baby Mattress has a whole host of toddler-specific special features to recommend it, too.

It has a PVC protector to ably deal with night-time leaks and a breathable, moisture-wicking cover that's designed to improve airflow – perfect for little ones, who tend to overheat more easily during sleep. It's also treated with a natural antibacterial coating called Argentum to do away with bugs and allergens. Finally, if they do get on with it, you can upgrade them to the larger size for a mattress that'll see them through silent nights until the age of six. Before you buy, make sure you check our Eve mattress discounts page for any offers and sale codes.

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best mattress for toddlers: Emma Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Emma)
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best mattress for toddlers: Emma Cot Mattress

(Image credit: Emma)

2. Emma Cot Mattress

The best foam mattress for toddlers

Specifications
Best for: A firmer toddler or cot mattress
Type: Foam
Waterproofing: Yes
Size: L120 x W60cm, L140 x W70cm
Reasons to buy
+Firmer surface for healthy spine development+Washable cover+45-night trial

We're big fans of Emma's adult mattresses, and brand's newest addition to the collection caters to the smaller members of the family. It's made from breathable, durable, open-pored foam designed to prevent overheating (and we were pleased to note no funny smells when we unpacked ours). This is firmer than your average memory foam, to keep your child supported, promoting healthy spine development. 

The cover is soft and cosy to touch, and washable at 40 degrees (the Eve, at #1, is washable at 60 degrees). There's also the all-important waterproofing layer. This isn't your standard crunchy fabric, but instead soft and inviting. The Emma Cot mattress is fully certified according to UK regulations, and available in two sizes. Plus you've got a 45 night trial (slightly longer than Eve's) to make sure your baby is as much of a fan as we are. Before buying, check for deals on our dedicated Emma mattress discounts and deals page.

best mattress for toddlers: Silentnight Healthy Growth Miracoil Sprung Mattress

(Image credit: Silentnight)

3. Silentnight Healthy Growth Miracoil Mattress

Help them grow up big and strong with this supportive, no-sneeze mattress

Specifications
Best for: Growing toddlers
Type: Spring
Waterproofing: No
Size: L190 x W90cm
Reasons to buy
+Edge-to-edge spring support+Allergy UK-approved+Great interim option
Reasons to avoid
-Could do with handles for turning

Next up in our ranking of the best mattress for toddlers is the Silentnight Healthy Growth Miracoil Mattress. For many parents, it was the "healthy growth" bit of this mattress' name that made it a winner, and it certainly walks the walk on that front. The Miracoil spring system is designed to properly align the spine of your growing toddler, and the edge-to-edge support ensures it works even when they're doing that awkward-looking starfish pose.

The polyester filling is hypoallergenic and dust mite-free, and the Purotex cover comes with the stamp of approval from Allergy UK, so it's good news all round for allergy sufferers. Plus, reviewers say this mattress has proved the perfect step up for toddlers moving from cots into big-kid beds, offering a comforting and comfortable night's sleep, and masses of longevity. Great all round.

best mattress for toddlers: John Lewis Spring Cotbed Mattress

(Image credit: John Lewis)

4. John Lewis Spring Cotbed Mattress

For very little ones, this mattress' waterproof inner works wonders

Specifications
Best for: Waterproofing
Type: Coil spring
Waterproofing: Yes
Size: W70cm x L140cm
Reasons to buy
+Double covers with waterproof inner+3D fabric allows air circulation+Extra thick
Reasons to avoid
-Needs regular rotating

Intended for young 'uns who haven't graduated to the toddler bed or full single yet, the John Lewis Spring Cotbed mattress should prove very agreeable indeed. Over supportive springs, there's a felt layer, then dent-resistant orthopaedic foam for a sleeping surface that's both comfortable and resilient – remarkably, even its smallest users have noticed the impressive thickness of this John Lewis mattress compared to others, with some reviewers attributing newly tantrum-free nights to its cloud-like plushness.

Arguably though, the best bit is the advanced waterproofing. If there are any accidents in the night, the mattress' outer layer can be quickly stripped and washed at 40, while the breathable waterproof inner cover is suitable for sleeping on directly and lets them nod straight back off (alright for some). Add to that the 3D fabric for breathability, air circulation, and redirecting of any errant liquids, and you have a practical waterproof cot mattress that doesn't compromise on comfort.

best mattress for toddlers: The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress

(Image credit: The Little Green Sheep)

5. The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress

This natural material cot mattress grows with your child – simply flip for added longevity

Specifications
Best for: Longevity
Type: Dual-sided, natural materials
Waterproofing: No
Size: W60cm x L120cm
Reasons to buy
+Made from naturally derived materials+Suitable for babies and toddlers+Naturally dust mite-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricey side

If you're a bit iffy about having your littlest one in such close proximity with synthetic materials, the The Little Green Sheep Natural Twist Cot Mattress should soothe your troubled mind. It's made from a comfy combination of breathable cotton, natural latex from the Hevea tree, organic sheep's wool, and coconut fibres, an impressively wholesome line-up that's naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant, and temperature regulating.

This cot mattress' clever double-sided design is what gives it its longevity and makes it suitable for both babies and toddlers. Parents said it was firm, bouncy and supportive without being too hard, with a tangible difference between the two and clear guidance on which side to use from which age. Many raved about the difference in their little one's bedtime routines after switching to this mattress, claiming it kept them cooler, more comfortable and better rested. Crucially, while a few acknowledged it was on the more expensive side, reviewers unanimously agreed it was worth every penny.

Silentnight Safe Nights Memory Wool Toddler Mattress

6. Silentnight Safe Nights Memory Wool Toddler Mattress

With mini springs and bouncy fibres, this is one safe and supportive mattress

Specifications
Best for: Durability
Type: Memory wool
Waterproofing: No
Size: W70 x L140cm
Reasons to buy
+Regulates body temperature+Anti-allergy, no-chemical materials+Two kinds of support
Reasons to avoid
-No waterproofing

Sure, you've heard about memory foam, but what about memory wool? Unlike its foamy cousin, which can sometimes be a bit sticky and cause its charges to overheat during the night, memory wool claims to naturally regulate body temperature for a soothing, uninterrupted sleep, and is combined in this toddler mattress with mini pocket springs for properly-sized support. Green-minded parents may also be pleased to hear that the ‘Airstream' wool fibres used to make this mattress have less impact on the environment than foam.

Like some other entries on our list, this mattress is dual-sided, but rather than offering two stages of support, this one offers even more customisable temperature regulation. One side features lighter quilting for hot summer nights and the other a heavier weight quilting for maximum cosiness in winter.

For its combination of breathable, anti-allergy materials and no harsh chemical treatments, it's won a whole host of safety awards, and comes highly rated by parents for peace of mind.

best mattress for toddlers: Happy Beds Noah Mattress

(Image credit: Happy Beds)

7. Happy Beds Noah Mattress

A hypoallergenic hybrid with big ideas and a reasonably-sized price tag

Specifications
Best for: Sturdiness
Type: Hybrid
Waterproofing: No
Size: W70 x L140cm
Reasons to buy
+Hypoallergenic+Clever foam construction+Rarely needs rotating
Reasons to avoid
-No removable cover

This hypoallergenic toddler mattress from Happy Beds is designed for the comfort of all kinds of sleepers. It doesn't use any materials that are likely to aggravate sufferers of sensitive skin or asthma, and features a cosy quilted topper that even adult testers were impressed by.

The presence of two distinct layers of foam might seem a little gimmicky in a toddler mattress, but they actually have different, very important functions, with reflex foam offering support and memory foam providing the comfort. The other pleasant surprise here is the open-coil spring construction – it's not something we'd necessarily rave about in an adult mattress, but testers found that these springs didn't make a peep, offering a smooth, stable sleeping surface with minimal motion transfer and nary a creak to be heard. 

Another benefit for time-poor parents of toddlers? It might be a little thing, but the fact that this mattress only needs rotating every six weeks certainly helps.

(Image credit: Mamas & Papas)

8. Mamas & Papas Essential Pocket Sprung Cotbed Mattress

This multi-talented mattress is sure to please mamas, papas, and toddlers too

Specifications
Best for: Firm support
Type: Pocket spring
Waterproofing: Yes
Size: W70 x L140cm
Reasons to buy
+ Very firm and supportive+Incredibly durable+Extensively tested
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproofed all over

The Mamas & Papas Essential Pocket Sprung Cotbed Mattress is This Which? Best Buy that boasts a combination of charms: light yet firm, ultra-durable, and super-supportive, it's an excellent all-rounder for an impressive price. It's classified by expert reviewers as ‘very hard', which might not sound like the most comfortable thing in the world, but it does mean unrelenting support for growing bones, as proven by rigorous testing emulating two to three years of use. Parents were also impressed with how soundly their little ones slept, and some noticed a marked difference in the restfulness of their toddlers' nights after road-testing a series of less successful mattress options.

There's an adjustable water-resistant layer to keep the core from getting wet, but it has been noted that this doesn't extend across the whole mattress, so if that doesn't sound heavy-duty enough, you may want to opt for backup waterproofing. However, in the event of any accidents, reviewers said that its cover – washable at 60 degrees to kill any nasties – was easy to remove and pop in the machine.