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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.